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New Release | Moonlight Over Montana by Lucinda Race #romanticsuspense #laterinlife #bookboost

Title Moonlight Over Montana

Author Lucinda Race

Genre Contemporary Romantic Suspense- light on the suspense and Later in Life

Book Blurb

Single mom, Maggie Brady lives above the Filler Up Diner in River Junction, Montana. When fire destroys the business Maggie built, her good friend Jed Steel is there to help them escape from the harrowing flames. Except, the fire wasn't an accident. It was arson. Reluctantly, Maggie accepts the temporary home Jed offers, unsure why anyone would threaten her or her teenage daughter, Susie. Tall, lanky, with a rolling gait, a salt and pepper mustache, and a quirky sense of humor, Jed is the primary caretaker of the horses at Grace Star Ranch. Disowned by his family, the cowboy has also had a soft spot for Maggie for a long time. However, he's never felt worthy of a woman like Maggie. How could she fall for somebody like him when his own family doesn't want him? During their stay at the ranch, Jed teaches Susie to ride and helps her to develop into a talented barrel racer. And while Maggie has only seen Jed as a friend before, the moonlight over Montana is close to convincing her to take a second chance on love. But someone is watching Susie - someone who could use Susie's talent if only Maggie wasn't in the way. Will the secret that Susie's keeping destroy Maggie and Jed's romance before it has a chance to begin?

Moonlight Over Montana is the third novel in the Cowboys of River Junction Series, although each book can be read as standalone. A sweet and clean romantic story with a guaranteed happily ever after. Happy reading!


Jed ran his thumb and forefinger over his thick mustache before jamming his hands in his front jeans pockets. The air had a northern bite to it as he ambled toward The Lucky Bucket. He was looking forward to working off some frustration by knocking little balls into a side pocket, which usually helped. If that didn’t, darts were the next best thing. He tipped the brim of his cowboy hat back and drank in the stars, grateful to be alive in Montana. He touched the fresh scar on his forehead and placed a protective hand over his still tender ribs. Only a few short weeks ago, his life had nearly come to an end at the hands of a crazy man. But luckily, he and Polly, the head gardener at Grace Star Ranch and his good friend, had survived being kidnapped and held at gunpoint.

He loved River Junction in the late fall, especially after the harvest and before preparations for winter began. These few weeks helped him transition from the ranch being busy to the long months of cold and snow ahead.

Inhaling deeply, he expected the sharp crisp air; instead, it was tinged with the acrid smell of smoke. He waited, listening, looking up and down Main Street. Each storefront was dark. Jed began walking to his left as the wind had shifted and the smell was stronger now. He picked up his pace and had his cell phone in his hand. The minute he located the fire, it had to be called in. With buildings this close, a chain reaction fire was a possibility. His heart rate increased as the smell grew in intensity and his steps slowed as he saw red and yellow flames inside the front windows of the Filler Up Diner. His heart stilled. Maggie’s place.

Hitting the emergency number, he got the address out and stashed his phone before he had even reached the front of the diner. At this time of night, Maggie and her teenage daughter should be upstairs. He banged with all his might on the front glass windows, but his fist barely made a thumping sound. He raced down the alley to the back staircase, stumbling over what looked to be a large can, catching himself before he did a face-plant. Looking up, he saw smoke was swirling around the top of the wooden stairs, and it was the only exit.

Taking them two at a time, Jed shouted, “Maggie. Fire!” He pounded on the door as hard as he could with both fists, “Mags! Fire!”

The door opened, and Maggie stared at him. She was wearing sweats, her feet bare, confusion on her face. “Jed, what’s going on?”

“Hurry. The diner is on fire. Where’s Susie?” He could tell the moment the sight and smell of smoke registered with her.

“She’s in her room.” Maggie moved down the hall and Jed grabbed her arm. “Get out. I’ll get her.”

She nodded and hurried back down the short hallway as Jed burst through a closed door. “Susie.”

A lump of covers was in the middle of the twin bed and a groan reached his ear.

“Five more minutes.”

He tugged on the blankets. “Come quick, there’s a fire.”

She threw back the covers and leaped from the bed, the color drained from her face. “Jed?”

“Come on, we have to get out of here.”

He tossed a bathrobe from the bottom of the bed in her direction. “Put this on, shoes if they’re close.”

A look of pure panic filled her face and she froze. “I need my stuff.”

He gestured to the door. “I don’t know how much time we have.” The wail of sirens reached his ears as they grew closer, and even though he wanted to feel relief, right now he needed to get Susie out of this building.

She began stuffing clothes, which were strewn around the room, into her backpack, along with her laptop and cell phone.

“Susie,” he coughed as the smoke grew thicker. “We have to go. Now.”

With a final look around, she stepped into a pair of cowboy boots and he slung the backpack over his shoulder and grabbed her hand. “Stay close behind me.” They made their way cautiously down the hall, pausing to look into the open living room where Maggie was stuffing a duffel bag.

He shouted, “Maggie!”

She glanced over her shoulder as he waved his arm in the direction of the back door. Relief coursed through him as she hurried toward them.

Jed eased open the door with caution, unsure what they’d find waiting for them. Would the stairs be on fire, cutting off their only escape? He stepped onto the landing, testing it for strength as he witnessed flames licking the bottom steps. He put Susie in front of him. “Go fast.”

“I can’t.” She clung to his arm as tears coursed down her cheeks.

“You must.” He gave her an encouraging squeeze on her arm and pointed down. “At the bottom, jump out as far as you can.” Flames were creeping up the side of the building, headed in their direction.

Maggie reached out and took her hand. “Susie, ready?”

She took a smoke-filled breath and started coughing before taking the first tentative step behind her mom. Jed was right behind them as the wooden stairs groaned with their combined weight, but they had to get down as fast as possible.

They had only gone down two stairs when Jed noticed the second stair had flames licking around the open side. “When you get down there, you have to jump.”

Neither mother nor daughter answered, but Maggie let go of Susie’s hand and rushed to the next to last step and jumped out as far as she could. Once she was on her feet, she extended her hand. “You can do this, Susie.”

The girl stalled as if her feet were welded to the steps from the heat. “Momma, I can’t.”

Her tears were coming faster and Jed could hear the overwhelming panic in her voice. He knew he had to act fast. “Maggie, catch!” He tossed the bag he had over his shoulder and didn’t bother to wait and see if she caught it. Slinging Susie over his left shoulder as if she were a sack of potatoes, he yelled above the roar of the fire, “No matter what, don’t let go of me.” He raced down a few stairs and then jumped out as far as he could, away from the flames. He collided with the ground on his right side, taking the full brunt of the impact to protect the girl. He hit so hard it jarred his teeth and the tender bones in his body. He groaned and tried to get up, but Susie hadn’t moved. Was she hurt?

He struggled to his knees, a dead weight on his shoulder. Maggie was pulling at her, crying out her name.

Susie clung to Jed. He got to his feet and set the girl down while she continued to hold on to him. “It’s okay, you can let go now. You’re safe.” Their next most important move was putting distance between themselves and the burning building. A fire truck screeched to a stop and the sheriff’s vehicle pulled up.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)

Author Biography

Award-winning and best-selling author Lucinda Race is a lifelong fan of fiction. As a young girl, she spent hours reading cozy mystery and romance novels and getting lost in the fun and hope they represent. While her friends dreamed of becoming doctors and engineers, her dreams were to become a writer—a novelist.

As life twisted and turned, she found herself writing nonfiction but longed to turn to her true passion. After developing the storyline for the McKenna Family Romance series and the Cozy Nook Bookshop Series, it was time to start living her dream. Her fingers practically fly over computer keys she weaves stories about with mystery and happily ever afters.

Lucinda lives with her two little dogs, a miniature long hair dachshund and a shitzu mix rescue, in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts. When she's not at her day job, she’s immersed in her fictional worlds. And if she’s not writing mystery, suspense and romance novels, she’s reading everything she can get her hands on.

Social Media Links

Lucinda’s Heart Racers Reader Group

1 Comment

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N. N. Light
Sep 01, 2023

Thank you, Lucinda, for sharing your new release with us!

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