Everyone Remembers their First by Paty Jager

 

firstridecollectionbannerSaddle up for a sexy ride with 18 bestselling and award winning authors as they share with you their first in a series. These cowboys will claim your heart with their rough edges and raw emotions. Dust off your boots, and join us for a ride you’ll never forget. All of these for only $0.99!

I’m excited to have Davis: Letters of Fate in this box set. It’s a historical western filled with steamy romance and the rawness of a growing country.

Excerpt from Davis: Letters of Fate

By Paty Jager

Davis knew the man who walked through the door must be the Justice of the Peace. On the ride from Roaring Springs Ranch to J.P.’s ranch, his brother-in-law had told Davis the man was meeting them here.

Mariella wasn’t unpleasant to look at. She had light brown, curly hair. He knew it was curly because of the wisps curling around her face, otherwise it was pulled up in a bun. The smattering of freckles across her nose and cheeks gave her a youthful appearance. Talking with Mariella, her hazel eyes changed with her mood. His first sight of her had pleased him. She was nothing like his dainty Sarah. There was no comparison to his late wife. The dress Mariella wore showed off her wide child-baring hips, ample breasts, small waist, and broad shoulders. And her height. She stood a good two inches taller than his five-ten.

What did concern him was her riding and working cattle like a man. Granted she was as big as many men and no doubt strong, but a mother should care for the children.

“Davis, this is Mr. Cline, the Justice of the Peace, I was telling you about,” J.P. said, leading the man over to Davis.

Davis stood, shook hands with the man, and wondered if he should go through with this.

After they shook hands, Mr. Cline turned to Mariella. “Mrs. Swanson, are you sure you’re ready to remarry?”

Mariella shook her head. “I’m not sure. But Peter French has given me no choice.”

The venom as she said the other rancher’s name, caught Davis’s attention. He felt there was more to the feud than she was telling. Her indecision about marrying after meeting him was a bit of a blow to his ego. He hadn’t expected her eyes to light up with interest when they met, but her having second thoughts after talking with him didn’t give him hope of an easy marriage.

Ernestine moved to put an arm around Mariella’s waist. “Mr. Cline, I’m sure you’ve heard how Mr. French is pushing squatters and homesteaders out of Blitzen Valley. He’s now trying to take Blitzen Canyon. That is Mariella and her children’s home. She needs a husband to keep her land. My brother needed a change in his life. This is a good thing.”

Davis stared at his sister. She didn’t need to tell a stranger his problems. This matter was between him and Mariella. He held out a hand to Mariella. “We need to talk alone.”

Mariella ignored his outstretched hand, but headed for the door of the house. He followed, tossing over his shoulder. “We’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Outside, standing in the warm May sunshine, Davis walked over to where Mariella stood stroking a harnessed horse’s neck.

“Mariella, I understand this marriage is being forced on you. That you’d rather deal with it on your own but can’t. I didn’t want to remarry. Ever. It’s too painful to lose someone you love. You know this, having lost your husband brutally.”

She nodded and wiped at her tears with her fingers.

“What we have to decide isn’t if we will ever love one another, but can we get along. Do you think we can work together to keep your ranch?” Davis leaned against the wagon wheel behind the horse she pet.

Mariella cleared her throat. “I don’t know about getting along. You seem a bit citified to help on the ranch, but if you can help me keep this ranch, I’m willing to give it a try. I’m running out of choices.”

“All I can tell you is I will do my best to help you keep the ranch. My goal in coming here was to change my life and leave memories behind. Helping you may just be my only salvation.” Davis didn’t know why, but since seeing the woman, he wanted to help her keep a ranch he’d never seen.

“You seem to be a reasonable man and with some intelligence. I’d be a fool to turn down someone willing to help.” Mariella held out her hand.

Davis felt stung a bit by the ‘man of some intelligence’ comment but he understood her desperation. He clasped her hand and they shook.

“Come on. Let’s make this legal so you can explain all the problems on the way to the ranch.”

Mariella smiled. The first one he’d witnessed since meeting her. Her eyes turned a golden brown and her face glowed with youthfulness. That smile took his breath away.

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About patyjag

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 30+ novels, novellas, and short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
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