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Interlude: A Novella

Interlude: A Novella

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Interlude: A Novella

évaluations:
4/5 (3 évaluations)
Longueur:
89 pages
1 heure
Sortie:
Oct 5, 2015
ISBN:
9780795347498
Format:
Livre

Description

A contemporary Western romance novella from the #1 New York Times bestselling author who “creates vibrant characters and stories I defy you to forget” (Debbie Macomber).
 
Cassidy McCullough has come home to the family ranch outside Busted Spur, Arizona, to prepare for her upcoming wedding—to the wrong man.
 
Sure, Michael’s nice enough—he’s smart, successful, and good-looking to boot. The trouble is, he’s not G.W. Benton, the sexy, slightly older rancher who lives near the McCullough place. G.W. has a young son and a history of heartbreak, and while Cassidy has known him all her life, she swears she’s over her childhood crush. Cassidy has made herself a life in Seattle, where Michael is eagerly awaiting her return. A difficult decision looms closer and closer for the big-city girl who still has a soft spot for her country roots. Is Seattle—and Michael—her real home, or does her heart still belong to Busted Spur after all this time? 
 
All proceeds from the sale of this novella will be donated to the Humane Society.
 
Praise for Linda Lael Miller and her novels
 
“Miller has found a perfect niche with charming western romances and cowboys who will set readers’ hearts aflutter. Funny and heartwarming . . . a must-read.”—RT Book Review on Big Sky Wedding
 
“An engrossing, contemporary western romance . . . Miller’s masterful ability to create living, breathing characters never flags . . . combined with a taut story line and vivid prose, Miller’s romance won’t disappoint.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on McKettrick’s Pride
Sortie:
Oct 5, 2015
ISBN:
9780795347498
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

New York Times-bestselling author, Linda Lael Miller was born and raised in Northport, Washington. The author of over 50 novels and the daughter of a U.S. marshal, Linda has bid farewell to her home in Scottsdale, Arizona, and returned to her rural, Western roots. On the horse property in the arid Arizona desert, Linda now enjoys riding her horse Skye in the early morning sun. She has finally come home to the lifestyle that has inspired numerous award-winning historical novels including those set in the Old West.

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Interlude - Linda Lael Miller

Interlude

Copyright © 2015 by Linda Lael Miller

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

Electronic edition published 2015 by RosettaBooks

Cover design by Corina Lupp

Cover image by PetePhotographer

ISBN (EPUB): 9780795347498

ISBN (Kindle): 9780795347504

www.RosettaBooks.com

Contents

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

About the Author

One

Cassidy McCullough peered through the grimy storeroom window at the back of Hennipen’s Gas & Grab, an establishment that definitely lived down to its name.

This is some kind of joke, right? she asked, taking in the familiar swaybacked mare standing peaceably in the shade of what was probably the only deciduous tree in the whole town of Busted Spur, Arizona. The horse was loosely tethered to a rusted pump handle, and there was a water bucket in easy reach.

Annabelle Hennipen gave a throaty chortle. No joke, she replied. Your Uncle Duke, he rode in an hour or so ago, on one of his cow ponies, leadin’ old Pidge there behind him. Duke said his truck was broke down again, but it was probably temporary, so he’d come back here and pick up your suitcases soon as he and G.W. got the rig running. In the meantime, he didn’t want to leave you waiting around, so he brought the horse.

Cassidy glanced back at Annabelle, lounging in the doorway between the crowded storage area and the main part of the Gas & Grab, and shook her head. Sometimes I wonder if that man ought to be allowed to live alone, she said.

I been sayin’ the very same thing for years, the other woman replied, with a wide grin. Annabelle was a voracious reader with a top-notch vocabulary, but she liked to ‘talk country,’ as she might have phrased it, provided she knew the other person pretty well. Claimed it felt more natural. ‘Duke McCullough,’ I tell him, ‘you need a wife and I need a husband, so why don’t we just go ahead and hitch ourselves to the same wagon? Two can pull twice as far as one.’ He just smiles in that knee-meltin’ way he has and says something like, ‘One of these days, Annabelle, I’m gonna take you up on that offer, and it’ll serve you right when I do, because then you’ll be stuck with me for the duration.’

Cassidy had heard it all before, of course; Duke and Annabelle had been flirting with the idea of marriage for as long as she could remember. The truth was, Duke wasn’t the only one with a chronic case of cold feet—Annabelle could be pretty skittish herself. They never seemed to be on the same page, those two, when it came to tying the knot; if one was ready, the other wasn’t.

Thinking about the slow, plodding horseback ride ahead of her, all five dusty, sweltering miles of it, Cassidy didn’t reply right away. She’d just have to bite the bullet, she guessed, open one of her suitcases, slip into the restroom, and swap out her tailored beige crepe pantsuit and matching strappy shoes for jeans, a tank top, and a pair of sneakers.

And mount up.

It wasn’t as if she had any other choice; there were no taxis in Busted Spur, since it barely qualified as a wide spot in the road, let alone a town.

Annabelle had a car, but she couldn’t be expected to close up shop, even for the fifteen or twenty minutes the trip out to the ranch would take. The Gas & Grab was a one-woman operation, and customers were few and far between these days. Every sale counted, however small.

Cassidy’s best friend, Shelby, would have been glad to provide transportation, except that she was in Nogales for the day, buying folk art and silver jewelry for her online shop.

The reality: Pidge was parked outside and the poor horse had to get home somehow.

No doubt about it, Cassidy loved her uncle, but right about then, well, she could cheerfully have strangled him.

Annabelle’s voice drifted her way. I guess that would fix him, she was saying.

Obviously, while Cassidy was letting her mind wander, Annabelle had gone right on talking.

Though she’d missed the middle part, it didn’t take a psychic to fill in the gap. Annabelle had been pondering the mystery that was Duke McCullough.

So Cassidy simply agreed. I guess it would, she said, with conviction.

Annabelle stood with one shoulder braced against the door frame now, her arms folded. She had muscular biceps and a small, colorful tattoo of a dragonfly just above her right wrist. You reckon Duke’s ever gonna change? she asked, and it was clear from her tone that she didn’t really expect an answer.

Cassidy gave her one anyway. No, she said breezily. Would you want him to?

Annabelle pondered for a few moments, looking solemn, then shook her head. Probably not, she admitted. If he was different, he wouldn’t be Duke.

There you have it, Cassidy replied.

Just then, the bell over the front door jingled, and Annabelle’s whole face brightened. Customer, she chimed.

Cassidy waved her off with a grin. Take care of business, she said. I’ll be fine.

Annabelle nodded in an of-course-you-will kind of way, returned Cassidy’s grin, and disappeared.

Cassidy opened a suitcase, took out a change of clothes, and ducked into the staff bathroom, a cubicle with a sink and a toilet, and swapped out her pantsuit and pricey shoes for denim, cotton and sneakers. She’d worn her shoulder-length brownish-blonde hair in a loose chignon for the trip; now, she let it down, did a little finger-combing, folded her dressy jacket, pants and sleeveless top, and packed them, along with the heels. Within moments, she’d tucked her luggage and laptop case into a corner,

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