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Kate Harris is racked with guilt over an eight-year old secret. She’s not sure that revealing the identity of Becky’s father is the best thing to do. She only wants to do what’s right for her child. Even if it means missing out on recapturing the love of her life.
Dude ranch owner Cord McClayne is in for the shock of his life, he has an eight-year old daughter. On top of this news, he’s about to lose his ranch and when he should be focusing his attention on his financial problems, all he can think of is Kate and their adorable daughter.
Can Kate and Cord put past mistakes and fears of the unknown future aside and see that they were meant for each other?
"Horses. Where are the horses?" Becky exclaimed as she jumped off the third step of the ramp and onto the airstrip. She was a child with a mission.
"Becky, wait," Kate Harris yelled to her over-excited eight year old. What she wouldn’t do to have Becky’s energy.
"Honey, I told you the horses wouldn’t be here. They’re all at the ranch. Watch where you’re going." Kate braced herself when she saw the oncoming inevitable collision.
Just as Becky turned around, she slammed into a cowboy who was loading luggage into the back of a jeep. Both crashed to the ground in a cloud of dust and grunts. Her daughter scrambled up and continued on her search, not stopping to see if the man was all right. Kate shook her head. She definitely had to work on Becky’s manners, but at least she knew she wasn’t hurt. That was just like Becky though. She bounced back from most everything without a scrape. Kate wished she were able to move away from problems with so much ease. Kate’s bumps and bruises were internal, though, and never seemed to get any better. She thought with time she’d heal, but it didn’t seem to be happening.
"Are you okay?" she asked the cowboy as she quickly crossed the airstrip, pulling her heavy overnight bag over her shoulder. "I’m so sorry. She’s so excited about our vacation. She may be little, but when she’s determined, her size is of little consequence."
Kate felt an odd sensation run through her as she looked at the man. She couldn’t see his face because his back was to her, but there was something about him. Something that made her think twice. Then she caught it. His fluid-like movements reminded her of…
The man stopped brushing dust off his jeans and jerked his head toward her. As if she were stuck in glue, Kate stopped. It couldn’t be, she thought as she stared back at him in disbelief. Not after all this time. Kate fought back the overwhelming urge to grab Becky and run back on the plane. Run home to her safe little apartment and forget she ever saw him.
As her mouth grew dry as the desert, her heart pounded wildly in her chest. She never thought she’d be standing face to face with Cord McClayne, Becky’s father, ever again. Hazel eyes, hauntingly familiar because they were the same as her daughter’s, bored into hers. He stood rigid as a giant redwood.
Kate opened her mouth to say something, but even though she had a million things to say to him, nothing seemed right. Too much time had passed for apologies and not enough had gone by for forgiveness.
Never taking his angry gaze off her, Cord reached down and snatched his crumpled hat. "Still speechless. Oh, that’s right. I’d almost forgot. Your father had said that you didn’t have anything to say to me. Some things never change, do they, Kate?"
Her stomach churned, and her sweaty palms were losing their grip on her bag. What rotten timing. If she had picked the later flight, she would’ve missed running into him. But Becky wanted to get to the dude ranch as soon as possible, and Kate would do anything to make her happy. The last few years had been rough on both of them and this vacation was supposed to be fun. But suddenly, it turned into her worst nightmare.
Was this a sign? Was she being tested? Was she destined to run into Cord so that she could ease her growing guilt that Becky deserved to know her father and he deserved to know her? There wasn’t time to think about that now because the man, flesh and blood, stood angry before her. And, she definitely needed some time to figure out what to do.
"You’re not giving me a chance, Cord."
He crossed his arms over his chest. "I don’t remember being given a second chance. Come to think of it, I never knew what blew my first chance anyway."
Since they were outside and she didn’t want their voices to be carried by the breeze, Kate said as calmly as she could, "You don’t have to raise your voice. I think we both owe explanations."
"Mom, over here. Here’s our ride."
Carey Krieger fell in love with romance novels while working in a public library during college. However, it was seven years later when she enrolled in a continuing education romance novel writing class that she started penning her own novels.
Carey lives in Missouri with her husband and daughter. She spends most of her time with her family and in any spare time, tries to win the battle with weeds in her neglected gardens.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 190
Paper Weight (lb): 8.2
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