I honestly can't believe it. I got to hold my second book - Heart Of A Hero - today. My head is still spinning just thinking about how quickly all of this is going for me. Soon, this story will stand next to Winning Mr. Wrong in the book stores!
For all those Christian readers - and all those readers who love historicals - this is the story for you!!! Check out the book trailer to the right of this blog. My friend, Ginger Simpson, did an awesome job putting this story into a video! Love the music, too!
There's a new hero in town . . .
When Summer Bennett returns to Richfield after a five-year stint at her aunt’s finishing school, she discovers a lot has changed. Her father has suffered a crippling injury, and Summer is desperate to get the money to pay for surgery that could allow him to walk again. She hears of a reward offered for the capture of a cunning gang of bank robbers, and her years of etiquette training fall by the dusty roadside.
What Summer doesn’t count on in her quest to capture the bandits is the competition from her family’s longtime friend, Jesse Slade. Now a deputy marshal and local hero, Jesse keeps thwarting Summer’s plans, just like he did when she wore pigtails. She would like nothing more than to use Jesse’s head for a slingshot target, but soon Summer finds her aim shifting from his head to his heart. Problem is, Jesse is engaged to her sister Violet.
For seven years, little Summer Bennett was the burr under Jesse’s saddle. Now he feels a different irritation as Summer is always on his mind—whether he wants her to be or not. But Summer’s father expects him to marry Violet, and he won’t let him down. So why does Jesse find himself encouraging Summer’s attentions, and why do sparks fly every time they are together?
The deputy marshal must be the one holding me. She let her body relax against the contours of his body. Normally, she wouldn’t want to be protected and cared for by a man, but at the moment she was reluctant to break the spell.
She dared a peek at his face. His deep blue eyes grabbed her attention. Kind eyes. Sunlight glinted off the golden tones of his light brown hair. He must have sensed her watching, for his square jaw changed shape and a soft smile bracketed his mouth.
He was very handsome. She couldn’t have dreamed up a better vision of a hero, and dream it must be because things this good just didn’t happen to her. Safety and security spread over her like a warm blanket and she melted against him, closing her eyes while his long fingers continued to stroke her cheek. It was the first time in her life she had allowed a man to touch her like that—a soft stroke, a gentle caress—and the first time she had ever really relaxed in a man’s presence.
She sighed. Wonderful.
“How do you feel, Summer?”
The soft baritone voice rumbling in his chest seemed oddly familiar. Summer frowned and took a second peek at his hair and his mouth. He gave her a full smile. Awareness tugged at her memory and a large knot formed in the pit of her stomach. When recognition came, it struck like a thick piece of wood right between her eyes. She jerked, moving off the comfortable nest she had made of his chest.
A crafty smile claimed his face. “The one and only, darlin’.”
She widened her eyes. “Darlin’? I’m not now, nor will I ever be your darling, Jesse Slade.” She couldn’t believe her rotten luck. She fought to move from his grasp, batting his hands away. “Get your hands off me.”
“Be still Summer, or—”
“Let me go,” she demanded.
“Tarnation, Summer.” His hands moved to her waist. “You’re as slippery as a wet weasel.”
“Quit touching me and put me down.”
Although he tried to hold onto her, she managed to slither from the horse.
“Of all the confounded foolish female stunts.” He pulled the horse to a halt and dismounted.
The moment her feet touched the ground, dizziness overtook her and she plopped down on her bottom. When Jesse reached for her, she slapped at his hands.
She glanced up at him from her undignified position and clenched her teeth. “You. Of all people, it had to be you.” Holding onto a stirrup, she pulled herself to her feet and gazed into the heavens. “Why Lord? Why me?”
“There’s no need to get your feathers ruffled.” Jesse looked at the blood oozing from her shoulder wound. “Look what you’ve done. You’re bleedin’ again.”
She glanced at her injury. It was worse than she thought, but she’d die before admitting it to him. She was not riding into town perched on Jesse’s lap for the whole town to see.
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