Excerpt #1 (She Noticed Him):
Charlie stood at the kitchen window looking toward the bunkhouse. The men had gone there right after dinner, Joe following Rafe and Jerrick after they invited him to play cards. Joe had taken to the two newcomers and they'd fallen into an easygoing rapport of sorts. Both Rafe Preston and Jerrick Black were very handsome men. It still astounded her to find so many good-looking men in one town. It was as if the beauty of the area attracted them. The local McKade men where a striking bunch, all of them with the same devilish green eyes and tall muscular build.
Her thoughts returned to the new ranch hands. They were as different in looks as night and day. Jerrick was blond with light eyes that caught attention. He had a playful edge to him, as if always holding back from teasing.
Rafe was the more serious of the two, seeming to measure his words before speaking. With black hair and the darkest brown eyes, he made one take notice. Taller than Jerrick, he shrunk a room when entering. Of the two, she took more notice of Rafe. Whenever his dark eyes met hers, it was as if he could see deep inside. To the most intimate areas, she'd rather keep to herself.
"There's too much work to be done for daydreaming," Mary Ellen, Charlie's friend chided her with a soft smile on her lips. "You thinking about our new ranch hands? They are a handsome duo, aren't they?" "Honestly, I barely noticed," Charlie lied and avoided looking at her friend who carried a cup of tea to the kitchen table. The cool breeze blew in through the open windows helping air out the overheated kitchen. She glanced once again outside. The sun's setting always gave a beautiful glow to the valley.
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In 1860’s Montana, Charlotte “Charlie” Kennedy has been doing her best to run the Horseshoe ranch by herself since her husband Daniel’s passing. She has some help from her foreman Joe and her sister-in-law Mary Ellen, but it is a tough job. In addition, there is also fellow rancher Jessup Winfrow who keeps harassing her about selling the ranch to him and marrying him.
Rafe Preston and his best friend Jerrick Black each want to own land and have a ranch of their own. They leave Wyoming and travel to Montana in search of a better place to live. They travel to Colter Valley and feel that is a good place to call home. After being told that the Horseshoe is looking for ranch hands, they go there to inquire about work.
There is attraction between Rafe and Charlie, as well as Jerrick and Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen is called back to Billings to help her family after her sister has trouble with her childbirth. Jerrick wishes that she would stay, but understands and says that he will wait for her to come back.
Rafe and Charlie fall in love and he asks her to marry him. Two days after their marriage, Winfrow’s men attack and kidnap Rafe. Winfrow tells Charlie that she has to come with him or he will kill Rafe.
Rafe escapes and goes back to the ranch, but Charlie isn’t there. The men go after Winfrow to rescue Charlie. While in jail, Winfrow is charged with murder for previous crimes he has committed and then is hanged.
Charlie sends a letter to Mary Elllen to let her know that she and Rafe are married. Jerrick buys a ranch and Charlie helps him plan a gathering to meet his neighbors. While talking with a friend about how she has been feeling at the gathering, Charlie realizes that she is pregnant.
I really liked this story. I was so interested in what was happening that I couldn’t put it down and read it in one day. The relationship that develops between Rafe and Charlie is beautiful. It is like they are soulmates.
I am looking forward to reading the next story in the series when it comes out!
About the Author:
Amazon bestselling author Hildie McQueen loves action, love and unusual settings. Author of western historical, Highland historical, paranormal and contemporary romance, she writes something every reader can enjoy.
Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.
Hildie's favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.
She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt and two unruly Chihuahuas Pepito and Lola, her assistant.
Visit her website at www.hildiemcqueen.com