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Reunion (Montana Bred Series) by Linda Bradley is a Celebrate Mothers Event pick #womensfiction
Title: Reunion (Montana Bred Series Book 2)
Author: Linda Bradley
Genre: Women’s Fiction
How much will Chloe McIntyre and her mother, Brook, sacrifice to rebuild their relationship?
Chloe McIntyre expectant momma, invites her Hollywood fashion designer mother to the Montana family ranch, knowing it's time to make amends after a three-year rift. As Chloe and her mother strive to start over, they quickly discover that letting go of past hurts is easier said than done. Brook's workaholic lifestyle leaves little room for mother-daughter time, and Chloe's impulsive nature to fix what she sees as her mother's shortcomings create added tension.
Just as Brook finally expresses the maternal emotion Chloe craves and acceptance breeds a newfound trust, Brook's hidden agenda is revealed. Chloe's instinct to protect the wranglers she oversees, her home and her heart leaves her mother with an ultimatum: to stay and to stick with their compromise—or cut ties for good.
Chloe and her mother must come to terms with what they can't change in order to accept an outcome defined by tough love.
Reunion (Montana Bred Book 2) – Linda Bradley
I knew if I didn’t seize the moment, nothing would change between us.
I’d proven one thing. Impulsive reactions and innate stubbornness made the distance between my mother and me even greater—in more ways than one, and now I wanted her back in my life.
“I haven’t seen my momma in three years.” I rubbed my belly and spoke to the babies as the golden Montana sunrise grew brighter with each passing thought.
I was as big as a whiskey barrel and anchored in the Adirondack deck chair by the twins. The May 22 due date was a week away. The anticipation of crying, spit-up, sleepless nights, and the echo of four tiny feet on my heels consumed me. Having one baby hadn’t been part of my life’s aspiration, let alone a matching set.
“My momma’s coming to meet you when you get here. I didn’t expect her overzealous joy to reach through the phone line and grab me by the heart. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. I was afraid to tell her about you, glad my cowgirl grit didn’t let me down.”
I balanced the La Chic magazine featuring my mother and her latest fashion collection on my belly. Skimming the pages, I studied her Western-inspired designs and glossy photos. As usual, her ambition and career took top billing. The fact that she shared the limelight with a colleague seeded the premise that she and I could share something just as special.
I’d learned the hard way that promises my mother and I made were bound to be broken. But as the haze blanketing the sleepy Gallatin Valley lifted, so did the hard feelings I’d clung to.
I soaked in the original timber homestead with undertones of honey and McIntyre history. The four-bedroom, two-story gabled structure my grandparents had built was mine now. When they had established the 617 Ranch—6/17, my grandparents’ wedding date—little did they know their dream would become my legacy.
Trout, my grandpa’s best friend, would be my morning escort to watch the horses run. Staying off my feet as ranch foreman proved difficult. I was hands-on. I wanted to rope and ride with the wranglers, the best crew of men I knew.
Tires on the gravel drive took me from my thoughts.
Trout drove Grandpa’s vintage pickup truck through the grove of shaggy pines between our houses, his elbow propped in the open window. He had purchased his great-granddaddy’s cabin, then hired a company to move it from its original Virginia property to the ranch. Trout was more than an employee—he was family, and the essence of my grandpa lived on through him.
I got to my feet. Lola, the cattle dog-Sheltie mix rescue Matt had adopted, nudged me closer to the stairs. She knew as well as I did that our morning ride was here.
Trout slowed to a stop. “Get in, kid.”
I was twenty-six and no kid, but I’d always be kid to Trout.
Lola ran in circles. I opened the door, and she jumped in, eager for the morning’s offering.
“Whatcha got there?” Trout pointed to the La Chic magazine in my hand.
“Maggie thought I’d want to see my mom’s latest fashions.” I laid it on the seat.
“You sure about having your momma visit?”
“Yep. It’s time.” I took in Trout’s droopy white, bushy moustache. “Look, I understand your concern, but it’ll be fine. Mom feels the same way I do. It’s time to start over. Put the past behind us, once and for all.”
Trout told Lola to sit. She sat, looked me in the eye, and barked.
“Not you, too.” I scratched her head. “Besides, Mom and I have had time to cool off.”
“I’ll say. Three years if my math is right.” Trout put the truck in gear and drove toward the barn.
“Your math is just fine.” I inhaled the fresh air scented with sagebrush, dew, and everything Montana that stoked my love for horses and eccentric white cattle. “Morning’s my favorite time of day.”
“Mine too.” He tugged at the front of his cowboy hat.
I rolled down the window, returned Trout’s smile, and stroked Lola’s fur, imagining the rush of horses galloping toward the corral.
“You nervous, kid?”
“Thought we weren’t discussing my momma.”
“We aren’t. I don’t know much about babies, but you can’t hold out much longer.” He slowed as he drove over the rut at the end of the drive.
“I suspect they think I’ve got some things to settle first. They’ll be here when it’s time. And so will my mom.”
“We all have things to settle.”
I gestured for Trout to park the truck near the empty pasture. “Listen, the horses are coming. Can you feel them?”
“As sure as the sunrise.” He turned off the engine.
The rumble of hooves trickled through my bones. Trout and I got out of the truck. Lola jumped from the passenger’s seat, then ran off to round up the horses with the wranglers and my dad. Trout stood beside me. He was a pillar of strength, salt of the earth, and the flicker in his stare reassured me that we would walk many miles together in this lifetime and lifetimes to come.
“I miss riding. It’s not the same sitting behind the wheel or riding shotgun, even if Silas tuned up Grandpa’s truck.”
“You’ll be back in the saddle before you know it. And your granddad would be tickled pink to see this old truck still running.” Trout leaned against the hood, crossed his arms over his chest, and tipped his hat to the ridge where we’d scattered Grandpa’s ashes two and a half years ago.
“I want to sleep on my stomach. I want a cold beer. I can’t see my feet.” I stood next to the man who had handed me his reins as ranch foreman last year, leaned against the truck, and tipped my hat to the ridge, too.
“They’re on the ground, kid. You’d think you could feel the rocky soil through those paper-thin soles of those sorry boots. Have some faith. And I’m talking about your momma now. Any of us can stumble into quicksand, eyes wide open. You’re a good daughter. Not everyone has a momma like yours. She can be a pill. If you ask me, it was ’bout time you stood up for yourself.”
“I agree. I shouldn’t have cut her off though. And for the record, I can be quite the pill, too.”
“Don’t I know it.” He snickered. “Can’t rewind time.”
“I know. But I can use what I learned from the past to not screw up the future. And the babies deserve to know their grandmother.”
I fingered the silver heart charm on the necklace I wore. My mom had given it to me at one of her photo shoots in Chicago when I was seven, and I wore it every day. It reminded me that when my mother and I lived in the moment together, magic happened. I’d show her this reunion would be the one to define our future.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Linda-Bradley/author/B00JUIS2FS
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3pyzUJN
What makes your featured book a must-read?
“Reunion by Linda Bradley is a fantastic story and the second book of the Montana Bred series. You can also read it as a standalone or a part of the series because it’s both independent and continuous. The story centers on the parent-child relationship, priority, abandonment issues, love, sacrifice, and traumas. I loved the depth, uniqueness, and authenticity of this novel. Linda’s writing style gave off a laid-back vibe, warmth, and southern drama in the summer. This novel felt like a classic soap opera. It also touched on some sensitive issues that could guide parents into having better relationships with their children…Reunion was a beautiful book!”-Jennifer Ibiam, Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review
“Linda Bradley’s REUNION is an extremely well written story! You feel like you know each of the characters personally and you are catching up with old friends. The series takes place in Montana and the descriptions of the state make you want to book a trip there. REUNION is a heartfelt story of the relationship between mother and daughter, of love, acceptance, and the ties that bind and build a family.” -Pam McCarthy, Book Bub Review
“This would get my vote for the best book Linda has written to date. Her love for Montana shines throughout the book. Her descriptions of the open spaces make me want to visit as soon as possible. Chloe and her mom are at it again, amazing how two women can be so much alike and not realize it! Once I started, I read the whole thing in less than 3 days, which is not like me at all. Once you start reading, you will see why!” -Amy Moening, Goodreads Review
Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card:
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Runs May 9 – May 16, 2023.
Winner will be drawn on May 17, 2023.
Linda's inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her stories integrate humor found in everyday situations, family drama, and forever love. Her distinct voice creates memorable journeys with heart-warming emotion.
Linda is a member of Michigan's, Greater Detroit Romance Writers Group and Capital City Writers Association. She's been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best Contest and Romance Reviews Readers' Choice Award. Linda has received an Author Shout Top Pick, Reader Ready Award, and has been recognized for award-winning cover design.
Linda lives in Michigan, loves dogs, horses, art, and stories with hope and heart.
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