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Honey Johnston lives a life that many envy. A fine house and furnishings, and a job at the Wells Fargo Office. Yet she has sorrow, too. Her life revolves around her sickly 2-year old son, and she tries everything to bring him a good life. She thinks she is coping fairly well until half-breed Waco Carter steps into her life. He turns her thoughts upside down.
Waco Carter, half-breed and outcast, yet many women desire him. They like his looks, his fabulous body, his long hair, and twinkling eyes that seem to know a secret they don’t. But after he rescues Honey Johnston and her little boy from a runaway horse and buggy, he’s only interested in her. Things really start to perk up when all he can think of are ways to help the widow—to gain her love and trust.
1888 Engle, New Mexico Territory
“You damned no-good breed! Why don’t you get out of town and let us decent folks be?”
Those words of condemnation still rang in Waco Carter’s ears. He wanted to be somebody, to be respected for who he was, not just for his horse sense. He sat on a hill contemplat-ing whether to ride on into Engle or not. His head was still big from last night’s episode.
Waco heard a scream and looked down on a cloud of dust when a buggy rounded a point in the road. The horse pulling the buggy was in a flat out run with nostrils flared, dust boiling up from the wheels. The buggy careened back and forth on one wheel, ready to turn over. A woman hung on for dear life to reins that no longer controlled the rampaging horse.
Waco kicked Big Ben in the flanks and raced down the hill. Dust boiled up in the wake of the woman’s horse and whipped into his eyes, but slowly he gained on the buggy. She looked back at him with white face and frightened eyes, like he were an apparition or an answer to a prayer.
“I’m coming,” he yelled. Big Ben’s long strides soon over-took the buggy. Waco grabbed the bridle of the mare, and though she resisted the loss of her freedom, by tossing her head and trying to jerk away, he brought the buggy to a stop.
“Whoa now, little lady. What’s the problem?” He stepped down from his horse, ran soothing hands along the neck and withers of the frightened mare. He’d never liked to see a woman, horse, or a child unhappy or abused. The horse qui-eted under his soothing hands, as horses always did.
He walked back to the buggy to see a honey blond woman trembling, and tears streaming down her face. She reached to the floorboard. Waco realized she wasn’t alone. A sobbing child of about two cowered on the floor of the buggy.
“Come on, Jerry Jr.,” he heard her say shakily. “We’re safe now.”
Her big green eyes, framed by long lashes, turned to him thankfully. A round face with pouting lips made him look at her twice. Although she was still visibly shaken, a pulse point at her throat beat like a frightened bird. Dainty gloved hands patted the little boy and calmed him, much as he had soothed the horse a moment ago.
“What happened, ma’am? What scared the mare?”
“Thank you. You saved our lives,” she said with a smile that warmed his heart. “I’m Honey Johnston and this is Jerry, Jr. A rattlesnake struck at the mare.” Her gaze traveled down the corded muscles of his arms, the breadth of his chest, and she shivered again.
He guessed his appearance frightened her. With his wild black hair that hung to his shoulders and dark skin, he under-stood how he might look forbidding to a woman. His intense gaze took in her flawless white skin and rosy lips. She shifted uncomfortably.
He extended his hand to her. “I’m...I’m Waco Car-ter...ma’am.” He stammered, saying the words and hating himself for a weakness that made his words come out haltingly when he was upset or excited. He’d fought all his life with the kids at school when they made fun of him. “Maybe I ought...ought to drive you home...see that you get...get there...safely. Do...do you mind?”
“No, I’d be grateful. I’m not good with horses, and Jerry needs me to comfort him.” She clasped the little boy closer, bringing him into her lap, as if protecting him from the evils of the world and this big man that towered over them. She scooted to the far side of the seat. Waco tied his horse to the back of the buggy and came around to get in beside her.
Jerry Jr. looked at him with big eyes, still sniffling, and clutching his mother’s hand tightly.
“The boy looks better now,” he said, settling onto the seat and clucking to the horse. He patted the little boy‘s head. Now that the excitement was over, he realized he had seen the woman before in town. She stood out, particularly her fresh beauty and striking palomino-colored hair. A good woman, he figured. Her genteel mannerisms gave her away.
Ms. Nichols’ story is one of hardship, love and acceptance, The author’s attention to detail lets the reader picture the scene so well that they can almost smell the flowers, feel the rain falling and sweat from the heat of the hot sun. Ms. Nichols gives the readers some historical events along with the story that only make it more believable and help it to flow smoothly from one scene into the next without a hitch. Reviewed by: Donna - 5 Angels
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 330
Paper Weight (lb): 13.8
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