Title -- Hazelanne
Author -- Linda Carroll-Bradd
Genre -- Historical Romance
One week after leaving her childhood home, Hazelanne Pitts is married, widowed, and in charge of a sheep ranch. Stagecoach shotgun rider Brice MacAndrew always wanted to end his wandering ways and offers a marriage of convenience--just until she’s healthy again. What he didn’t count on was falling under the spell of her sweet nature.
After tugging a knot into the last rope, he glanced down again to see where Harry was in his process of inspecting the harness. No matter how long the hosteller had worked for Wells Fargo, Harry rechecked the equipment on his teams. Brice scanned the area and caught sight of the woman standing near the leaders. As she scratched between their long ears, she leaned close, like she whispered secrets. A pang of longing shot through his chest following by a wash of need. When was the last time someone touched him with an ounce of comfort?
The thought reeled him backward, and he landed on his rear.
The woman stepped between the lead mules and glanced up.
Brice saw the face of an angel with smooth skin, high cheekbones, and lips that looked like they were puckered and ready to be kissed. Delicate brows pinched over her pert nose. Heat crept up his neck at being caught watching her and at being so clumsy.
“Whatcha doin’ up there, Brice?”
Harry’s voice pushed him into action. “Coming down.”
He grabbed the metal bar and backed down the short ladder. By the time his feet hit the ground, he spotted Butch hightailing toward the lady. Made sense since the lady obviously lived in his town. He completed his duties of setting the stool in place and offering his hand but this group looked to be married couples and a solitary man. In anticipation, he watched the lead mules for a sight of the lone woman.
Harry stepped out of the depot. “Passengers aboard?”
“All but one.”
“Oh. I’m coming.” Rapid footsteps hit the hard-packed dirt and then she dashed around the back of the coach. A hand clamped atop her head, she hurried forward.
Brice glanced over his shoulder and the image of a daisy entered his mind--her wide smile made the sunny center and the folded-back parts of her bonnet looked like petals. Close by the woman was lovelier, and his usual greeting dried on his tongue. She rested a hand in his then disappeared into the coach before he could register the touch.
As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda now writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.
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