The Cowboy Rescues a Bride
The Cowboys of Chance Creek, Book 7
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Publisher: One Acre Press
Date of Publication: May 3, 2014
Number of pages: 181
Word Count: 57,730
Ned Matheson knows Fila Sahar has been to hell and back. Born in Connecticut, but captured by Taliban extremists when her family returned to Afghanistan to attend a funeral, she spent ten years in captivity and lost the parents she loved. Back on United States soil she’s finally safe in his care on the Double-Bar-K, but hemmed in by her fears, she might as well be a prisoner again. Ned knows he has to help her regain her self-confidence before they can date, let alone marry. Good thing he’s found the perfect solution.Excerpt:
Fila cares for Ned more than she can say, and she’s grateful for the home he’s given her on his family’s ranch, but before she can give her heart to any man, she has to find the courage to reenter society. When Ned surprises her with his perfect solution—the restaurant he’s leased and renovated in her name—she doesn’t know how to tell him she can’t imagine being brave enough to ever run it. So when Ned’s father sends him out of town to check on the family’s remote hunting cabin, she’s grateful for the delay.
Ned knows his father wants to split him and Fila up, so there’s no way he’s leaving town without taking her along. But when they reach the cabin, a savage twist of fate will turn the tables on both of them. Ned will learn what it’s like to be helpless. Fila will have to find the courage she lost years ago.
Can they survive the weekend? Or will this trip be their last?
Fila was up before Ned the next morning. She slipped downstairs on silent feet, showered, dressed, checked her reflection in the mirror until she was sure all was right.Giveaway:
Ned had kissed her.
He’d kissed her.
Autumn was right; the tall, wonderful cowboy was sweet on her. And what had she done to show her appreciation for the fact that he took her to dinner, leased her a restaurant, renovated it—and kissed her?
She’d fainted dead on the floor.
Probably not the reaction he’d hoped for.
She’d tossed and turned all night thinking about that kiss, about the brush of his lips against hers, the heat and desire behind it. In that instant she’d gotten a flash of what it could be like with Ned—the passion he could show her, the spark that could flash between them.
It scared her to death.
It set her on fire.
He had already grown to be special in her eyes. She knew he showed her a side of himself he showed to few others. That was fitting since he saw things about her no one else knew. Who else brought out her shy sense of humor? Who else knew how much she loved music?
Who else would look at her and see something worth caring for?
She’d given him a shoddy return for all his efforts. This morning she meant to show him that she knew what he’d tried to do and that she appreciated it.
She’d cooked an omelette, toast and sausage for breakfast by the time Ned got to the table. She could see by the rings under his eyes that he hadn’t slept well, either. A pang of self-blame struck her at the realization that was due to her.
“Morning,” he said when he took in the table set with two places, the pitcher of fresh orange juice and plate fixed with his breakfast.
“Good morning,” she said clearly. “Would you like some toast?” She was determined to live up to the courage he saw in her. She’d begin by speaking up instead of mincing her words like a frightened child.
As she passed him the plate, she took her own seat and faced him boldly across the table. It was still hard to look anyone in the eye, let alone a man, but she knew this was important. “I am sorry about last night. I was so surprised.”
“I’m the one who should say I’m sorry. It was stupid. All of it. I see that now and I’ll do what I can to get rid of the place.”
Fila stilled. “Get rid of it?”
“You’re not ready to run a restaurant and I don’t ever want to make you uncomfortable. You’ll always have a home here. You know that, right? I won’t force you to work and I sure as hell won’t force you to—you know.”
She stared at him until comprehension came. He was talking about the kiss. He wasn’t going to do that again? Loss struck her like a punch to the gut.
“I want to run a restaurant.” The words blurted out of her mouth on their own accord.
Ned put down his fork. “I mean it, Fila. You don’t have to work. You don’t owe me anything.”
“I want to,” she said. And suddenly she realized it was true. She did want to. She wanted to earn an income. She wanted to stand on her own two feet.
She wanted to be the kind of woman Ned wanted to kiss.
“Are you sure?” His brow furrowed. He didn’t believe her.
“I’m sure. It—it will be hard,” she confessed. “But I want to.”
“Okay.” He bent over his meal again as if content to leave things there. It wasn’t enough for Fila, though. That wasn’t all she wanted, but she didn’t know how to say the rest. Couldn’t say it to a man.
Instead, she reached out and touched Ned—just a finger to the back of his hand. She pulled her hand back almost as soon as they connected.
He froze. Looked at her. Put his utensils down.
Slowly reached out and took her hand.
And held it.
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Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.
Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a neglected one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini. Visit www.coraseton.com to read about new releases, contests and other cool events!
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