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New Release | Saddled Hearts by @JanSikes3 #romanticsuspense #romance #bookboost
Title Saddled Hearts
Author Jan Sikes
Genre Romantic Suspense
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
Colt Layne owns the Layne Horse Sanctuary. He lives an idyllic life between caring for the animals and playing music with his band. That is until a stranger appears with unreasonable demands. When someone murders the man, Colt is arrested. He’s been framed, but by whom and why?
He needs to talk with his deceased grandfather. But that’s impossible. Or is it?
Sage Coventry is gifted with the ability to communicate with the deceased. Skeptical but desperate, when Colt consults with her, he gets more than messages from beyond the grave as she breezes into his heart with sweet patchouli fragrance and tempting lips he longs to kiss.
The race against time to clear his name and save the ranch launches them on a mission that brings shocking revelations.
“Hey, boss. This is Brady. There’s a woman here who says she was supposed to have a tour of the ranch today. What do you want me to tell her?”
“Oh, hell!” He covered the phone. “Hank, what day is it?”
Brady asked, “Want me to tell her to leave?”
“No. Definitely not. Let her into the ranch house and tell her I’m on my way. Offer her a cup of coffee or something. Don’t let her leave. We’re on our way back. And, hey, Brady, tell Stubby to thaw out two T-bones.”
“You got it, boss.”
Sage frowned and fought against the urge to get in her car and drive away as the young cowboy relayed the message. Disappointment crawled up her spine. He’d forgotten about her.
And to just barge into the man’s house without him there? No, she couldn’t do that. She’d wait on the porch. Ten minutes is all she’d give him, and then she was out of there.
The two dogs stayed at her heels until she settled into a rocking chair on the porch, then licked her hand and demanded pets.
“Oh, you’re such pretty girls,” she crooned as she scratched behind their ears.
They rewarded her with whimpers and sloppy kisses.
She leaned back and took in the scenery around her. Large sprawling oaks, a winding driveway, early spring bluebonnets poking their heads through the rich dark soil, and cardinals flitting through the trees was like an organic scene frozen in time. Serene, peaceful, and alive.
While searching for Colt, she’d caught a glimpse of two big barns and another building that looked more like an oversized cabin. The Double L Ranch was no small operation.
In the distance, cows bellowed.
From the manicured lawn and flower beds to freshly painted buildings, everything spoke of the love Colt Layne put into this place.
But he’d forgotten she was coming.
And why was she letting that bother her? Old insecurities reared their heads.
She cast a glance at her watch. Two minutes more, and she was leaving, although a large part of her wanted to stay no matter how long it took. After all, she had the photos of a man named George Winfrey to show him.
She did have a genuine interest in this operation, and if she’d dare to admit it, in the man who ran it.
Fifteen minutes later, the sound of tires crunching on the gravel driveway got her to her feet.
She walked to the edge of the porch and waited.
A pickup and trailer rolled to a stop, and Colt jumped out, waving. “Sage. Thank God you waited. I’m so sorry. Had a little trouble.”
“Trouble seems to be your middle name.” She walked down the steps to meet him.
“You have no idea. You are certainly a sight for sore eyes.”
“There’s blood on your shirt. You okay?” When she met his steady gaze, her heart stopped for a second.
Colt looked down at his clothes. “Oh, hell! I forgot she got blood on me.”
“A mare.” He put a hand on the crook of her elbow and steered her toward the house. “Come on inside. I’ll change right quick, then I have a lot to tell you. You won’t believe all the shit that’s happened since I talked to you last.”
Sage allowed him to escort her through the door. She stopped short and let out a soft whistle at the sight of the sprawling living room, with a cozy fireplace in one corner, exposed wood beams on the ceiling, and cowhide furniture. “This is nice, Colt. There’s a great open energy in this room.” The faint scent of worn leather wove through the air like an invisible incense.
“Thanks. It’s home, and I love it.” Colt tossed his hat onto a peg and jerked his shirt over his head.
Oh, my! Her throat closed, and her heart pounded. Muscles rippled across his upper arms with every movement. She stared, unable to dislodge her tongue from the roof of her mouth or speak. At a loss for words, she cleared her throat.
“Oh, God. I’m so sorry. I’m making a holy mess of things. I didn’t mean to do a striptease for you.” His crooked grin and flashing eyes reminded her of a little boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar.
“It’s okay,” she managed.
“Make yourself at home. I’m gonna get a clean shirt and wash up. Then I’ll fill you in on everything.” He continued to talk as he strode down a long hallway. “I have a lot of crazy shit to tell you.”
Something told her she would believe whatever it was. She craned her neck to watch his well-formed backside disappearing down the hallway, fanned her face with her hand, and muttered, “Girl, it has been way too long since you’ve seen a man take off his shirt.”
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Jan Sikes writes compelling and creative stories from the heart.
She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. The entertaining true story comes to life through fictitious characters in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books.
And now, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published numerous award-winning short stories. She published her debut paranormal romance novel, Ghostly Interference, Book 1 in The White Rune Series, in 2020, which won a bronze medal award from Reader’s Favorite. Jagged Feathers released on January 31, 2022, as Book 2 of that series, and Saddled Hearts will release on October 19, 2022.
She is an active blogger, an avid fan of Texas music, and a grandmother of five. She resides in North Texas.
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