Cover RevealWarning. Besides hand-tooled boots, content contains: a big-hearted, hasty-tempered cowboy, a homeless young woman, an orphaned little girl and a wild white stallion.
Blurb. Coop Malloy receives a telegram that his sister and brother-in-law have died and Kallie, his ten-year-old niece, is on her way to Texas to live with him.
Still reeling from the loss of his sister, he receives another shock when his childhood friend Randa Lockhart steps off the stage with Kallie. He’s stunned to see that the little pigtailed nuisance that tagged after him and his best friend years ago has turned into a beautiful young woman.
Randa and Kallie have barely settled in when Coop finds buffalo hunter Marvin Doolin beating the local blacksmith within an inch of his life for laming his horse. Coop steps in and when the buffalo hunter tries to kill him, shoots him. Now Doolin’s four brothers are out to even the score.
When they go after Randa, they cross the line. They’re about to find out that’s there’s nothing Coop won’t do, and no one he won’t track down to protect the two females that have burrowed hard and fast into his heart.
A May sun beat hot on Cooper Malloy’s shoulders. He hooked a dusty boot heel on the wooden sidewalk and pulled a creased telegram out of his pocket. The paper, torn in spots from handling, crackled as he unfolded it and read it again. Your sister, Patsy Mae, and her husband have passed. Stop. Your niece, Kalinda Raine, arriving on stage, May 16, 1880. Stop. Sincerely, Montgomery Smith, Attorney-at-Law.
His breath whistled past the lump in his throat. A hot kernel of grief had lodged in his heart when he’d received the telegram a week ago and showed no signs of leaving. What the hell had happened? Even though they’d been married eleven years both Patsy and George were young, Patsy twenty-eight, George—his childhood best friend—thirty. They’d grown up together in St. Louie. He and George had raised all kinds of hell till he’d got an itch to go west and George fell in love with Patsy.
Thundering hooves and a cloud of dust tore him from his painful reverie. He straightened as the stage pulled into the small town of Mobeetie, Texas.
“Whoa, there,” the black-bearded, wiry driver called out, bringing his team to a stomping, snorting halt. The door swung back against the side of the coach with a thump. A thin, little man hopped out and offered his hand to a lovely young woman with honey-colored hair and doe-brown eyes, her skirt rustling as she descended. Cooper’s gaze coasted past her looking eagerly for his ten-year-old niece.
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