Greetings from Montana!
If you enjoy deeply felt small town, family romances, you've come to the right place. That's what I write… because that's me in a nutshell—a look-on-the-bright-side, rural girl who appreciates the friendship and sense of community common to so many small towns.
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On the surface, horse trainer Heather Brown is strong, confident, and successful, and as far as ranch hand Jeremiah Mackey is concerned, she has it all. So why does she keep walking away from good men? And with the mistakes he's made, what chance does he have to prove he's worthy of her?
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Jeremiah gripped the rusty nail with his pliers and yanked it out of the fence post, glancing at his Australian shepherd when the dog jumped to his feet with eyes and ears alert. Murph’s tail stump wiggled, and when Jeremiah followed his dog’s gaze, he spotted Aaron striding toward them from the back door of the main house. The older man would be heading in to work shortly, so he was dressed in his brown and tan uniform, and the sight of it brought a trickle of adrenaline. He set his pliers on top of the post and waited for the sheriff to stride across the snowy yard.
Snow. On the eighth of May.
It didn’t matter how long he lived in Northstar; its weather and beauty still left him with the same wonder and awe as it had that first year he’d worked for the Hammonds.
As Aaron neared, the trickle of adrenaline increased to a stream. He didn’t like the grim set of the sheriff’s jaw.
When Aaron was a dozen yards away, Murph raced out to him, prancing around his legs until the man gave in and lavished him with pets. Satisfied, the dog trotted back to Jeremiah looking entirely too pleased with himself.
“Well?” Jeremiah asked when Aaron reached him.
“Zach got the early parole.”
“Fuck.” He winced, glancing at his companion. “Sorry.”
Aaron’s brows rose. “Been a long time since I’ve heard you use that particular word.”
“Yeah.” He raked his gloved hand through his hair and scowled. He needed a haircut. “When’s he getting out?”
“I seriously doubt he’d throw away all his hard work to get the early release and risk his freedom to get back at you.”
“You don’t know him.”
“You’re right. I don’t. But I know one thing.” Aaron nudged him with his elbow and offered a teasing grin. “He’s not a hothead like you were.”
Jeremiah snorted and folded his arms on the top rail of the fence. He let his gaze wander over the snow-covered hayfields and pastures dotted with cattle and horses. Above the cacophony of his thoughts, the quiet, natural sounds of the Lazy H ranch—cows calling to their calves, the twittering of birds in the willows by the nearby creek, the sighing of the wind through the pines blanketing the foothills—were a soothing song, but even that couldn’t ease the clawing anxiety.
Not today. Maybe, if Aaron had brought different news…. But not now.
“He’ll never forgive what I did.”
© 2017 Suzie O'Connell. All rights reserved.
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