To escape an arranged marriage, beautiful, proper Cynthia Harrington from East Texas impulsively marries Ricardo Romero, a striking, sensual Spaniard who ranches on the far western edge of the Texas frontier. Innocently, she steps into a hotbed of anger, rivalry, and strong wills. As she struggles to gain a foothold in the hostile household and foreign ranch community, she finds that her biggest challenge is to make her husband love her. Ricardo creates his own problems by marrying an outsider, angering his mother, father, and his jealous ex-lady friend. Then, the Texas Rangers arrive looking for a killer, and Cynthia saves Ricardo's mother in a confrontation with the wanted man. Ricardo realizes that his delicate bride has more grit and spunk than he thought, and his greatest trial becomes a race to pursue his own wife and persuade her to stay with him.
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The Wild Rose Press
December 08, 2008
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Excerpt from All My Hopes and Dreams by Celia Yeary
"Where are you going, Miss Harrington?" Ricardo called after her. He stood next to the mare with his arm slung over her back and his hat hanging down his by the cord. He looked young with his inky hair mussed and errant strands falling over his forehead. He wasn't as old as she'd thought.
"To find a place to sit, that's all."
"Don't go too far," he said.
Cynthia raised her chin, sniffed, and turned away. She took two steps but failed to look where she was going and inadvertently stepped in a hole. She found herself pitched forward right into the creek. Once again, she landed face down--this time in water--and her feet were up the incline of the bank, only slightly higher than her head. The flounced skirt and petticoats ballooned forward, almost covering her head and exposing her white lawn pantalets, trimmed in several rows of dainty lace.
Immediately, Cynthia panicked and began to flail her arms and attempt to right herself. The position was so awkward she couldn't find a handhold or foothold. Strong hands gripped her shoulders, lifting her once again to a sitting position in the creek bed. She was soaked and her long mass of curls now hung in wet, limp clumps.
She flew into an uncharacteristic rage. "Can't you get me out of this water? Why am I sitting here? Do something!"
With little effort, Ricardo picked her up and carried her to a level spot on the bank. Instead of gently setting her down, he leaned over, lowered her bottom to within half a foot off the ground, and released her.
Cynthia literally bounced on her rump. "You...you...!"
Ricardo had turned away to retrieve his boots, but he paused and looked over his shoulder with one raised eyebrow. "Yes, Miss Harrington? You wish to say something?" He had such a regal air.
As he walked away, she heard him laugh out loud, a deep rumbling sound of pure joy. He was laughing at her.