He Longed for...
Race Spencer's gunslinging days are far behind him. He is now a rugged, respectable rancher, but it's a solitary life. Then Fate leads Race to an earthbound angel--lost and alone' the sole survivor of an outlaw attack--and even his hardened heart is moved. He sweeps the ivory-skinned beauty into his arms and carries her away from danger.
A Woman to Cherish
When innocent Rebecca Morgan wakes up in a stranger's embrace, her life has been changed forever. Race's touch makes her blood sing and stirs up emotions in her she never knew existed. But this man has a fearsome reputation. And though her life may depend on him, can she trust him? Is it love she sees in her rescuer's dark eyes.?
Race Spencer's gunslinging days are far behind him. He is now a respectable racher, but it's a solitary life. But then Fate lead Race to an earthbound angel--lost and alone, the sole survivor of an outlaw attack--and even his hardened heart is moved. He sweeps the ivory-skinned beauty into his arms and carries her away from danger. When innocent Rebecca Morgan wakes up in a stranger's embrace, she knows her life has been changed forever. Though Race's touch makes her blood sing and stirs up emotions in her she never kenw existed, she knows this man has a fearsome reputation. And though her life may depend on him, she doesn't know if she can trust him. Can it really be love she sees in her rescuer's dark eyes?
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1 . Great book
Posted November 24, 2010 by Miss G , PomonaIt inspires one to believe all cowboys are heroes
November 01, 1998
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Excerpt from Cherish by Catherine Anderson
Southeastern Colorado, 1868
There was nothing quite as distinctive as the scent of human blood, Race Spencer thought grimly. Warm and slightly sweet with a coppery tang, it put him in mind of his childhood and the stolen pennies he'd often clutched in one grubby fist.
All his life, he'd heard men tell of seeing things so terrible it curled their hair. Race, whose wiry, jet-black locks were as straight as a bullet on a windless day, had always believed those tales to be flapdoodle. Until now. Judging by the prickly feeling under his collar, the short hairs at the nape of his neck were curling as tight as the topknot on a bald-faced calf.
Even his horse Dusty was all het up, withers twitching, ears cocked, freshly shod hooves nervously striking partially buried slabs of rock on the sandy rise. Race leaned forward in the saddle to stroke the buckskin's muscular neck. Not that he figured on it doing much good. Dusty knew the smell of death, and like any living thing with a lick of sense, the horse had a hankering to make fast tracks.
"Easy, old son," he murmured to the mount who was also the best trail partner around. "Give me a minute to eyeball this here mess before we decide to hightail it."
In the arroyo below, a half dozen wagons sat in a loose circle around a lone candelabra cactus. The stretch of sun baked, yellow clay between the wagons was littered with all manner of possessions and so many dead people Race had trouble counting them in a sweeping glance. All were dressed in black clothing, with large, crimson patches staining the yellow earth under their spread-eagle bodies.
Though a few rays of fading sunlight were still visible over the distant peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Race felt chilled to his marrow. A shudder did a do-si-do up his spine, and his skin went as knurly as a plucked goose.
Over a mile back, he had started catching whiffs of the blood. Knowing it was fresh and most probably human, he should have been braced for the sight that greeted him now. But to say these people had died violently was like saying Methuselah was sort of old. This was a massacre, nothing less, the type of thing Apache warriors might do, only as far as Race could see, there hadn't been a single scalp taken.
All totaled, Race counted eleven bodies in the rubble, six middling-aged men and five women. Citified folks, he reckoned, lured west by the promise of free land and wide-open spaces. It was disheartening to think that high hopes for a better life had led them to such a sorry pass.
From the looks of things, they'd traveled a far piece, probably clear from St. Louis, a hell of a journey for both man and beast. A fellow lying in the foreground wore boots with patched soles, indicating that he'd walked many a mile, and the canvas on the rattletrap wagons was tattered and sported so many holes, it reminded Race of the punctured Arbuckle can that his biscuit roller, Cookie Grigsley, used as a strainer.
The poor damned fools. What craziness had led them to leave the main wagon train? And after doing that, why in the hell had they ventured off the Santa Fe Trail? He supposed they might have taken a wrong turn. The Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail meandered in a northwesterly direction for quite a spell before it dove south toward New Mexico, and sometimes inexperienced travelers got to thinking they were headed the wrong way. When they tried to correct their course, they often got lost.
He heaved a weary sigh, knowing even as the questions circled darkly in his mind that he'd come up with no answers. None that made sense, anyhow. After hiring out his gun to Santa Fe Trail wagon masters for ten long years, Race knew that all westward-bound travelers were warned repeatedly that it was dangerous to light out on their own.