Happy Valentine’s Day! On this day dedicated to love, I’m sharing a throwback to my first published romance novel, The Sheriff’s Son.
From the back cover:
Why Is Tanner Jones Back In Town? Seven-year-old Kevin has been a handful for single mom Sarah Lindstrom, and when the new sheriff walks through her door holding her son by the scruff of his neck for egging his car, she knows she's lost control. But can she control herself—and keep the secret she's kept for so many years? Tanner Jones has no idea Kevin is his son—he lost the right to that information when he abandoned Sarah soon after graduation. Just because he's back in town doesn't mean he can waltz into her life—and Kevin's—to pick up where they left off. But Sarah can't deny the feelings she still harbors for Tanner, and can't deny how her son is benefiting from his attentions. When Tanner finds out the truth, what is he going to do?
As Sarah set the foil-wrapped platter on the table, she felt someone move in close beside her. A long arm reached around her, and a huge hand tweaked at the foil. She shoved the arm aside.
"That's for later."
Tanner's teasing tone sounded so like Kevin's, she nearly expected to find her son beside her.
"Just a quick look to see if it's what I'm thinking." He pulled the foil aside. "Mmm-mmmm."
The husky murmur threatened to undo her.
"Great deductive skills, huh?"
She rolled her eyes. "You knew you'd find pecan loaf, Tanner. I always brought it everywhere." She took as much pride in the light response she'd managed as she ever had in her baking.
"Where's that boy of yours tonight? Leave him home with his daddy?"
"I don't have a husband," she said flatly, hoping the closed tone would end it. She should've known better, with Tanner. From the minute he could string a sentence together, he'd never stopped asking questions. Kevin took after him that way.
No. She pushed the thought from her mind. All children asked questions.
"You're raising the boy yourself?"
"Yes, I am. Though it's no business of yours."
From somewhere far off, she heard the thump of wood hitting wood. A gavel.
As Tanner tucked the foil under the plate again, she edged away. "Sounds like Doc's ready to start. I'll see you."
He looked up, but she nodded shortly and left. She had problems of her own, plenty of them, and staying near Tanner could only make things worse.
Forcing herself to walk slowly, she headed for the front of the room. She nodded to Charlie Kemper, one of the local ranchers, before taking a first-row seat in front of him. Deliberately, she'd chosen a chair near the wall, as far from Tanner's sharp gaze as she could get. Yet she could feel the same prickly sensation that used to come over her in class, from grade school right through senior year.
It meant Tanner was near, and watching.
Beneath the prickliness, she shivered. He'd always seen too much, read her too well, understood too clearly what she was feeling.
Except for that one heart-wrenching night when he didn't understand anything at all.
At the front of the room, Doc Thompson banged his gavel again. "All right, now, let's call this meeting to order."
Gradually the noise level quieted down, except for the calming hum of the overhead fan.
Then she heard the slap of boots on bare wooden flooring, the rattling of metal, the squeaking of leather. Afraid to turn her head, she looked from the corner of her eye. And saw Tanner sauntering along the front row toward her.
Around her, excited whispering drowned out everything but the rushing of her blood in her ears. Everyone in town knew her and Tanner's history.
Or most of it, anyway.
About the Author:
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!
Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years later...in the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life: https://barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter.
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