- N. N. Light
Leaving Noah by Maddie James is a Western Romance Event pick #westernromance #99cents #giveaway
Title: Leaving Noah
Author: Maddie James
Genre: Western contemporary romance
Parker Ranches, Inc., Book 8
Leaving Noah is a heartwarming tale of love, loss, second chances, and the power of the written word.
When a rodeo accident leaves Rock Creek Ranch shorthanded, Connie MacKay travels from South Dakota to Montana to visit her daughter and help with the neighboring ranch’s cattle roundup. Raised on a ranch and comfortable in the saddle, she is determined to help.
After decades of working ranches throughout the northwest, Noah Parker heads home to Rock Creek to stay—maybe. That all depends on the reception he gets from family. When he arrives, the last person he expects to see there is Connie.
Several months earlier at Sarah MacKay’s wedding, Noah and Connie shared a clandestine night together. Neither have seen nor spoken to the other since.
It’s been a little over a year since Connie’s husband’s death, and no matter how attracted she is to the rough stock cowboy, she can’t let herself get swept away by Noah’s charm and old-fashioned cowboy ethics. Figuring out the next chapter of her life is her priority—and one she must do alone.
Noah has baggage of his own he’s not sure he can get past, let alone heap on top of hers. He has known love, and lost love, and doesn’t want to live out the rest of his days alone. He loves her, but following Connie to South Dakota is not the answer, so he tries another tack—old fashioned love letters designed to share his story, and perhaps woo her heart.
“I guess this is it.” Dylan pulled onto the ranch road and crossed under the Rock Creek Ranch sign. He glanced at her through the rearview mirror. “You okay Mom? You were lost in thought there for a few miles.”
She smiled and nodded. “I’m fine. Just nostalgic thinking about all the traveling we’ve done over the years.”
“Yep. I get that.” He broke eye contact and returned his attention to his driving. “If I remember correctly, Parker’s place is over that hill.”
“Um. I think so…” They’d only been there twice to visit Sarah and Cole, once for the wedding and another time after that. The young couple’s cabin sat further up in the foothills. Cole had bought a section of land that bordered the Rankin property a couple of years earlier. But her mind drifted off again as they traveled back to the ranch houses.
One thing for certain—I need out of this funk sooner rather than later.
Getting her butt in the saddle and on the trail would help.
“Looks like a whole heap of activity going on here,” Aiden said as they pulled into a parking lot next to the barn.
“Yes. Seems so.” Connie’s gaze raked over a group of wranglers near the barn, settling on a tall, older cowboy chatting with a group of younger men. She sucked in a breath and held it.
I loved you, you know, with everything that was in me. You’d let me in and for the first time in my life, I wanted to stay put. Then you pushed me away. Kept pushing me until I had no choice but to leave. Who knew you would be the one to send my wandering ass into a tailspin? And for what?
Noah tucked his notepad and pencil into his left shirt pocket.
He eyed the Suburban and gooseneck with South Dakota plates as it pulled into the barn lot. He watched with interest as a back passenger door of the vehicle opened and the tall blonde stepped out, stretching her arms toward the sky. She took a moment to twist and bend, getting the kinks out, he assumed, after hours of riding in the truck. He’d known Connie MacKay was coming ever since Sarah made her announcement in Parker’s kitchen the day before. It was a statement he had contemplated long into the night.
The two young men who exited the truck from the front seats were her sons. He remembered them from the wedding.
He remembered their mother even better and hadn’t expected to see her again—wasn’t sure he’d wanted to. Or perhaps, more accurately, if she wanted to see him.
Seeing her again might mean something—something he didn’t want to admit.
That carefree weekend had been a mistake and the guilt ate him for a long time. Of course, that emotion was embedded in and twisted up with so many others it was difficult to pull them apart. For months, he’d not been sure what he’d been feeling.
Involuntarily, he drifted her way, his old knees crackling as he took a few steps. Her eyes widened as he drew closer, and she sucked in a quick breath. His knees might falter but his hearing was still good.
That quick breath indicated something. He wasn’t sure what yet.
“Noah,” she whispered.
He took his hat off. “Well, hello. Ms. MacKay, I believe?” He almost called her Connie but stopped himself. One awkward thing about their meeting again was wondering who remembered them from the rehearsal dinner party. Another thing was recalling what they had done.
They’d made a spectacle of themselves two-stepping around the barn, tripping over booted toes, giddy from too much whiskey and sexual innuendo.
Not that either of them was obnoxiously drunk—nothing like that. They’d loosened up and had a good time, not unlike most of the wedding party. But Noah was certain they’d been noticed by more than a few.
If memory served—and it did—Connie had lost her husband a while back. Hell, it wasn’t like Noah hadn’t permanently noted that in his brain back then. Was it too soon for her? How needy was she? He didn’t need a vulnerable woman on his hands. He’d wanted to respect the situation, but she’d come on strong. He’d found her an interesting contradiction—the vulnerability and her sensuality—and yes, very attractive.
Sexier as the night wore on.
Even more so now.
He’d not forgotten her. Or anything about that night.
She stood steady and studied him back, her expression blank.
Had she forgotten him?
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Leaving Noah is on sale for 99 cents April 24 – May 1!
Maddie James Bookstore: https://maddiejamesbooks.com/products/love-letters-from-noah
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Maddie_James_Leaving_Noah?id=_Vm0EAAAQBAJ
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/leavingnoah
What makes your featured book a must-read?
Leaving Noah is a satisfying, later in life romance story about love, loss, and second chances!
Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win. Runs April 25 – May 2, 2023. Winner will be drawn on May 3, 2023.
Whether writing flirty contemporary romance or gritty romantic suspense, Maddie James writes to silence the people in her head.
In 2022, Maddie celebrated her 25th year of publishing romance fiction under multiple pen names. Her collective body of work includes over 70 titles. Maddie loves writing small town contemporary romance and cowboy worlds, and as M.L. Jameson she pens romantic suspense. You might find a few naughty short stories written under another pen name if you look hard enough.
Affair de Coeur says Maddie, “shows a special talent for traditional romance,” and RT Book Reviews claimed, “James deftly combines romance and suspense, so hope on for an exhilarating ride.”
Learn more at https://maddiejamesbooks.com/pages/about
Social Media Links: