If you've followed my Wyoming Legacy series, you know that older brothers Oscar and Maxwell have found love with some pretty spunky women. And now it's Edgar's turn...
Cowboy Edgar White has met his match in Fran Morris, who is on a mission to protect her younger sister. They've been hitched--only as a convenience--and are currently driving a bunch of cattle toward the railroad for a sale (Fran is driving the chuck wagon). It's been several days on the trail, and... well, I'll just let you peek in on what's going on:
It made for a drowsy morning, especially with the bright spring sun glaring in her eyes.
She was glad to take a mid-morning break.
Fran walked a bit away from the wagon, stretching the kinks out of her still-sore muscles.
The grass in this area was taller than her knees, and dotted with wildflowers. It smelled fresh and springy, and she felt hope for the first time in a long time.
Edgar hadn’t made any declarations. But didn’t actions speak louder than words? This morning had given her a tiny kernel of hope.
Contemplative, she sat down among the prairie grass, letting the sun warm her shoulders.
Then she thought she’d like to feel it on her face, so she laid down and spread her arms, face turned up to the sky.
It stretched, limitless and blue, like the possibilities before her.
Could she and Emma be happy on a ranch? She could. She knew it.
A shadow fell over her face.
She opened her eyes, raising up on her elbows to face the man standing over her.
“What are you doing?” Edgar’s voice revealed his curious confusion.
“Enjoying the day,” she retorted, lying back down to stare up at the puffy clouds against the blue sky. “You’ve been driving all of us so hard I thought I could take a few moments for myself.”
He settled beside her in the grass, heads tucked together, only inches apart. “Tyrant that I am, I’m only giving you two more minutes,” he said. He sat his Stetson on his chest.
He took a deep breath. She felt more than saw the motion, as his feet were pointed in the opposite direction of hers, and she couldn’t really see his chest.
“How long has it been since you stopped to smell wildflowers?” she asked, genuinely curious. “You haven’t stopped working since I met you.”
“It’s not always so bad,” he murmured. “Things around the homestead slow down in the winter months. There’s time for reading, games… But in spring there’s planting, calves being born, steers to sell…”
They were silent for a moment before he went on. “And I guess my brothers are probably right—I’ve been working more and not taking time to slow down and have fun like I used to.”
“Too afraid some eligible girl might catch your fancy?” she asked, only half teasing.
He snorted. “Didn’t stop you,” he said, reaching over to tweak her nose.
“Ha.” She swatted at his hand, and he captured her fingers. Slowly, he interlaced their fingers, surrounding her hand with the warmth of his larger one. He kept her hand, their clasp resting lightly on his shoulder.
“Just didn’t—don’t want to let my pa down. With Maxwell gone to medical school and Oscar married, more work falls on him.”
“But doesn’t your oldest brother still live on the ranch?”
“Yeah, across the valley. But he’s busy with his own family.”
“And the other brothers? Seems like they’re all of age…able to help take on more responsibility….”
He turned his head, the soft grasses beneath him rustling.
|Photo courtesy www.scx.hu #1212249|
She turned to meet his gaze straight on. From only inches away, the intensity of his blue eyes caught her breath.
“And what of Ricky?” she asked softly. “Maybe he could bear a little more of the load?”
“You’re not going to let my excuses stand, are you?” he asked.
That one corner of his mouth kicked up. “You’re intent on turning every cranny of my life inside-out, aren’t you? The only one who challenges me.”
==We interrupt this scene==
Lacy: Edgar, I've got to grab you for a quick interview for this blog post.
Edgar: (sighs) Fine. But I was enjoying a private moment with Fran there...
Lacy: Yes, I saw. You seem like you're getting along pretty well.
Edgar: (neck turns red) She's something, isn't she?
Lacy: Are you starting to trust her yet? Because you've had trust issues all throughout this book.
Edgar: I... don't know. She's different than the other gals of my acquaintance. Pushes me. But there is the fact that she was in the middle of a deception when we met.
Lacy: She didn't really have a choice.
Edgar: (he shrugs, looks off in the distance)
Lacy: Don't you think you could forgive that one little untruth about her age, since she was really protecting her sister?
Edgar: I guess I would do the same for one of my brothers. If I was really stuck and there was no other choice.
Edgar: Doesn't mean I like being lied to.
Lacy: You got stuck in this marriage of inconvenience--
Edgar: Who came up with that tagline anyway?
Lacy: Ssh. You're hijacking my interview. So you got stuck in this marriage. Any chance it could turn into a real love match?
Edgar: I guess we'll have to see what happens with Fran and me. Can I get back to the meadow now?
The Wrangler's Inconvenient Wife is an August 1 release and available for pre-order now. Click here to grab a copy.
With no family to watch over them, it's up to Fran Morris to take care of her younger sister, even if it means marrying a total stranger. Gruff, strong and silent, her new husband is a cowboy down to the bone. He wed Fran to protect her, not to love her, but her heart has never felt so vulnerable.
Trail boss Edgar White already has all the responsibility he needs at his family's ranch in Bear Creek, Wyoming. He had intended to remain a bachelor forever, but he can't leave Fran and her sister in danger. And as they work on the trail together, Edgar starts to soften toward his unwanted wife. He already gave Fran his name…can he trust her with his heart?
And don't miss, A Cowboy for Christmas (Ricky's story), a December 2014 release!