Title: Will o’ the Wisp
Author: Lucy Naylor Kubash
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
In spite of a broken heart, Allison Delaney carved out a life for herself and her young daughter on her grandparents' farm. Her child and the horses she rescues are all that matter. Then a sudden threat to their safety puts her back in touch with Shane McBride, the man she never thought to see again.
Returning to the small town of Silver Creek brings back a lot of memories for Shane, ones he treasures haunted by the ones that made him leave, but this time he is determined to stay and make things right.
Trusting Shane may be her only choice, but now Allison fears not only the threat against her farm but the risk of losing her heart again.
“It’s not Doc’s truck.” Lizzie watched the black pickup crew cab pull into the drive.
Used to Doc Brewster’s ancient red vehicle, Allison observed this strange one as it rolled up to the barn. She’d only gotten the answering machine when she’d called the clinic this morning, and Murray at the feed store had told her last week Doc wasn’t feeling well. Had he finally gotten someone to help him out? He’d been her family vet forever, but he was nearing eighty. Well, she just hoped he was okay and that this vet had Doc’s way with horses.
Gypsy took off like a bullet, barking at the unfamiliar truck. Allison called her back as the driver parked in the spot closest to the barn.
The collie took up her place beside her, glancing up as if waiting for an explanation of this new intruder. Allison shielded her eyes against the bright morning and waited, too.
The man who stepped from inside the truck was definitely not Doc. Tall, with shoulders stretching the faded fabric of his denim shirt and shiny black hair that glistened in the sunlight, he would have towered over Doc’s stocky figure. As he started toward the barn, she couldn’t see his face, but the easy swagger to his walk, the way he rolled his booted feet from heel to toe, spoke to her of things she thought she had forgotten. Had worked very hard to forget. Feelings she’d buried ten years ago. Uncomfortable, she dropped her gaze to her daughter who had come to stand next to Gypsy.
“Is he Doc’s helper, you think?” Lizzie scrunched her nose. “I don’t think I know him.”
Sudden awareness clutched Allison’s heart, giving it an extra beat, as if to prove the man walking toward her was still easy on the eyes but hard on the heart. He’d certainly been hard on hers.
It would stand to reason Doc might call on him to give a hand. But why does it have to be my barn that needs visiting this morning? Her heart thumped hard in her chest as Shane McBride came closer, stopped short, and tilted his head back to get a better look at her. For a second, surprise lit his eyes to the color of the sky, then, sticking his hands into his denim pockets, he shook his head. A slow grin touched his mouth. The mouth she remembered so well.
“Allison,” he said in his slow, sexy way. “I…wasn’t sure it was you who called.”
Her throat closed up, and she had to clear it twice to speak. “I left the message on the machine. Do I sound so different?” After ten years, she supposed she did. Ten years could rob you of a lot of things, a lot of memories, especially if the memories meant nothing to you.
“Sandy called and gave me the message, so I could just come straight out without stopping at the clinic.”
Doc’s receptionist—efficiency in person.
Allison nodded, words still sticking in her throat. After this many years, how did you talk to your first love? She glanced at her daughter and noticed the curious stares bouncing between them.
“What’s your name anyway?” Lizzie piped up.
He looked down and lifted one brow a little, as if surprised at the forthright question. Then he stuck out his hand and politely introduced himself. “Dr. Shane McBride. And you are?”
The small hand fit into his big one. “Lizzie Delaney. And this is my mom. But, I guess you know that.”
As he shook her hand, his gaze flicked from her daughter to herself and back again. “Nice to meet you, Lizzie. I hear you’ve got a horse I need to see. Maybe you can show me the way.”
Finding her voice again, Allison stepped aside from the door of the barn. “Go ahead and take him to Pride’s stall, honey. I’ll be hone feeding the others in a minute.”
When they walked past, Gypsy looked up at her and whined, as if asking to follow them. Though normally wary of strangers, the collie didn’t seem to mind the one walking the aisle of their barn this morning.
“Traitor,” she muttered but motioned for her dog to go.
She finished handing out hay and grain to the rest of the horses and filled buckets with water. By the time she made it back to Pride’s stall, Shane had gone to his truck for an injection. Outside the stall, Lizzie kept watch over the buckskin, who had calmed down since last night and hungrily pulled breakfast from his hay net.
“The new doc says you did a pretty good job on the cut.” Her daughter hung on the wooden half-door. “It won’t need stitches or anything, but he said Pride needs to stay inside today.”
Which would go over like a lead balloon when they let the other horses out. But then, considering she still didn’t know what happened to the buckskin, maybe keeping all the horses in today wasn’t a bad idea.
Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/y4d8khde
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I have not read a book listed as binge-worthy yet but will be looking for something new in this event.
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Will o’ the Wisp is a story of love lost and found, two people learning to trust again, and broken hearts mended, all with a touch of mystery and suspense. It has received a number of 5 star reviews on Netgalley and Amazon where it was called “a beautiful must read romance” and “a delightful read.”
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I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, starting with animal stories and graduating to historical romance I wrote while in junior high school. In college, I took several creative writing classes, and when my children were small, I wrote and sold a number of short romance stories to Woman’s World magazine.
I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America and Mid-Michigan Romance Writers for over thirty years and have written articles for chapter newsletters. I’m also concerned with animal welfare issues, and I write a monthly column called The Pet Corner, where I advocate for homeless pets and local shelters and rescue groups.
My husband and I live in southwest Michigan, near the sunset coast of Lake Michigan, with our dogs; Ace, a tenacious Terrier and Foo Foo, a crazy Pomeranian, and two kitties, Zombie and Sandwich. We have two grown children and a number of granddogs. We love to travel, especially out West, where I’m always on the lookout for a new setting for my books.
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