When Jenny got away from her captors and hid in Cole’s horse trailer, escape was all that had been in her mind.
But has she put him in unspeakable danger?
Jenny Stone is a survivor. In fact, she’s the only surviving member of her family, the unwilling witness to their brutal execution at the hands of the crime boss who’s been keeping her for the last two years. Traumatized beyond imagination, she hasn’t spoken a word since that fateful day.
When she sees her chance to break away, she takes it, hiding in the horse trailer of an unsuspecting cowboy. She didn’t mean to put horse trainer and former Marine Cole Caldwell in danger. But she has. So now what?
Here’s a teaser from JENNY’S VOICE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 1.
Jenny gazed unseeing out the kitchen window as she beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Her thoughts strayed back to Saturday when she and Cole had ridden up the ridge overlooking the ranch. Looking back, she’d known there was something going on, something he’d been holding onto. Heightened radar was a survival skill she’d mastered over the last couple of years, one that, to her way of thinking, had kept her alive.
She couldn’t have foreseen, however, that Cole knew about that day. It was her own damn fault, though. Leaving her search in his History like she had. What a stupid, careless thing to do.
Hearing him say her full name, Jennifer Stone, had been a gut-punch. Reliving the moment now, her stomach churned with shame. She liked Cole, really liked him. She hated that he knew her dark and dirty secrets.
She could have predicted the return of the nightmares. It seemed Cole had seen them coming too, because when she’d tiptoed into his room in the dead of that night, cold sweat dotting her brow, the cot was ready and waiting. His steady breathing was quietly reassuring, and she’d quickly fallen back to sleep.
For now, she was thankful that she hadn’t suffered another episode. That was really embarrassing.
Cole, for his part, had moved forward as though the truth about her didn’t phase him or cause him to view her differently. But of course, it did. It had to.
Over days of working with him in the barn and sharing meals with him in the farmhouse kitchen, she’d been foolish enough to begin entertaining notions of falling in love with the handsome rancher. But now that he knew the truth about her, there was no hope of some storybook happily-ever-after.
She beat a room temperature egg into the mixture and nodded to herself. This was how she’d get on her feet. Cole had negotiated a price for her cupcakes for the baby shower. After she repaid him for the ingredients, she’d save the rest of the money, and hopefully continue to get more orders until she had enough saved to move out on her own. That way she could leave Cole to his life. He deserved someone without her ugly past.
When the batter was ready, she scooped some into the paper-lined muffin tins and put the first batch into the oven. While it baked, Jenny wandered into the den and looked out the window. Cole had Dahlia in the round pen and he was putting her through her paces.
From what he’d told her, the horse had about another week and a half before she returned to her owner. Jenny sighed deeply. She loved that horse. She knew she’d miss her more than she cared to acknowledge.
By the time Cole returned to the farmhouse, Jenny was just starting to apply pale blue frosting to the cooled cupcakes.
“Mm-mmm, something smells good in here, doesn’t it, Blue?”
Pleased at hearing his name, the dog wagged his tail and grinned up at the humans.
“I don’t suppose you have one I could taste, do you?”
Suppressing a smile, Jenny plucked one from the end of her workspace and handed it to Cole.
He peeled back the paper and took an enormous bite, then shook his head. “Oh, that’s terrible.”
Frowning, Jenny snatched up a second cupcake and sniffed it carefully.
He shook his head. “You can’t send these over to Alida. To get rid of them, I’ll just have to eat them all myself.” He gave Jenny an exaggerated wink, and she relaxed, shoving him playfully.
Cole’s laughter rang through the house as he made his way upstairs to get cleaned up for dinner.JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks