Single mother Jenny Holloway has her hands full running a 1200-acre ranch, and keeping her daredevil son out of the emergency room. So when her foreman suggests she hire on his son, who just got home from the war, Jenny jumps at the opportunity of having another skilled cowboy around.
Gil Montgomery had his life all planned out, until a roadside bomb in Iraq ended his army career. When his dad suggested he work for him at the Hazy Holloway Ranch, Gil wasn't too thrilled with the idea; but, he needed a job and there were worst things he could be doing with his time.
Gil is used to taking orders, even from women. What he isn't prepared for are the feelings this little firecracker of a woman triggers in him. The unexpected death of her husband has left her jaded and afraid to risk her heart getting broken again. Somehow, he has to gain her trust and prove he isn't going anywhere.
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Desert Breeze Publishing, Incorporated
September 14, 2011
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Excerpt from Renegade Hearts by Ann Patrick
Gil helped distribute and light all the candles. By the time they were done it was almost as bright as if the lights had never gone out.
"Thanks, guys," Jenny said.
Gil looked over at her. She looked miserable. "How's the pain?"
It was the answer he had expected. Gil picked up a stack of magazines from a nearby table and moved to one of the chairs. He sorted through the titles of mostly ranching magazines until he found one on sports. The minutes crept by and every now and then they could hear a loud crash. As much as he hated being stuck somewhere where he couldn't see what was going on, he dreaded the moment when they would walk out of the basement. He'd seen on TV the amount of destruction a tornado could produce in the matter of seconds.
"Can I ask you something, Gil?" Jenny asked.
He glanced up from his magazine. "Sure."
"Earlier when we were leaving the barn and the lightning struck, what happened to you?"
He hesitated a moment, not quite sure how to answer her without leaving the impression that he was mentally unstable.
"Did you have some sort of a flashback?"
"Yeah," he admitted. "Loud noises and flashes of light sometime trigger's a memory. But it doesn't happen very often... I mean there's nothing to worry about."
"I wasn't worried, Gil. I was just curious. I'm sorry I brought it up."
He smiled. "Don't be. I didn't mean to sound so defensive. It's just some people, after learning that I was in the war, get a little nervous around me."
"I'm sorry people treat you that way. They shouldn't."
"No. What people don't understand is that when a soldier is in battle they don't have time to think about it, to process it correctly in their minds. So when they get home those memories that have been suppressed sometimes occur when we least expect them."
"That makes sense."
"The trick is to pretend that you're not shaken by them."
"I barely noticed."
"You're not a very good liar."
"No, I don't suppose I am. What happened is perfectly understandable though."
He smiled. "Thanks."
"You're welcome. Now will you stop hogging all the magazines and hand me one of them?"
He smiled as he got up from his chair and handed her all but the one he was looking at.