A traumatized young woman held hostage for years.
The rancher who comes to her rescue.
The crime boss who will kill them both if he finds them.
Jenny Stone’s voice was silenced the horrific day ruthless crime boss Victor Sorkin executed her parents in cold blood and took her as his personal good luck charm. Now she’s his pet, at his mercy when he summons her to warm his bed. Or the beds of his more esteemed business associates.
When she sees her chance to escape, she takes it, hitching a ride with an unsuspecting cowboy, horse trainer Cole Caldwell. Cole’s stunned to find the terrified young redhead hiding in his horse trailer. She’s as skittish as some of the horses he works with, and she’s apparently mute. But the nurturer in him wants to shelter her, to protect her. He’ll do his best to ignore the attraction he feels, content to help her know she’s safe with him.
When Jenny first escaped, her only thought was to get away. But now she’s worried. She’s put Cole in unspeakable danger. Should she leave before Victor finds them? Could it already be too late?
If you like your romance filled with hot cowboys, suspense, and happily-ever-afters, you’ll love JENNY’S VOICE.
JENNY’S VOICE is Book 1 in the Redheads & Ranchers Series.
Sexy redheads and the ranchers they can’t resist.
Here’s a little teaser from JENNY’S VOICE.
As he stepped inside, he was immediately surrounded by the tantalizing aroma of something cooking. He set down the bag and followed Jenny into the kitchen. The first thing he noticed was the table, set for two, a pretty bouquet of field flowers arranged in a Mason jar in the center.
He looked to Jenny, who was carefully watching his reaction. “What’s going on here?” He smiled encouragingly. “And what smells so good?”
Jenny used a folded kitchen towel to remove a dish from the oven and set it on the stove. Cole peered into the dish, where golden chicken breasts sizzled in a thin sauce.
“That looks amazing, Jenny. What is it?”
Her board was lying facedown on the counter. She picked it up and showed him what she’d already written on the other side. Chicken piccata.
“Chicken piccata? I had all the stuff to make that?”
Jenny nodded proudly.
Cole squinted, looking more closely at the dish. “What are the little burned peas-looking things?”
Jenny rolled her eyes. She jotted on her board. Capers.
“I had capers? Where the hell did I get capers?”
She shrugged and hooked a thumb at one of the upper cupboards.
“Oh, it must have been in that basket one of my clients gave me for Christmas.” Cole shook his head. “All sorts of fancy shit–I mean stuff.” He looked to Jenny. “Sorry about that.”
Jenny grinned, then jotted quickly, You can say shit. I’m a big girl. She laughed lightly.
Cole laughed, too. “Good. Well, shit! Yeah, that feels good.”
Waving with her hand, Jenny gestured toward the table.
“Is dinner ready?” Cole asked, and she nodded.
“Alright, let me go wash up and I’ll be right back.”
Cole headed upstairs. As he washed his hands, he wondered about how Jenny had created such a dish with the simple things he kept at the house. She seemed pleased with herself, too. Quite a difference in her from the first time he’d seen her in the back of the horse trailer.
He sighed to himself. They were making progress, and he found that gratifying. Would it be possible that one day she’d decide to talk to him?
When he returned downstairs, the chicken was arranged on a platter. Jenny had placed a bowl of salad on the table, along with a bowl of rice. She’d poured Dr. Pepper for herself, while at his place she’d set out a bottle of Heineken.
“I know this is the fanciest dinner this table has seen in years,” Cole said, sitting in his chair. “We have a centerpiece and everything. You picked these?”
Pleased, Jenny nodded as she took her seat.
“They’re beautiful. The purple ones match your dress and everything.” He smiled at her. “You look pretty tonight.”
Jenny blushed profusely and looked down at her plate, trying to suppress a smile.
“Let’s dig into this fine dinner, what do you say?”
She nodded, and Cole took the platter, serving her first, then himself. They passed the rice and the salad as well. Cole took a bite of chicken and closed his eyes, savoring the flavor. When he opened his eyes again, she was watching him carefully.
“Oh my God, Jenny, this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted. How did you know how to make this?”
Jenny’s smile faded a bit and she hesitated. Then she jotted on her board. It’s a long story.
Cole regarded her thoughtfully. “Maybe you can tell me sometime.”
She chewed her lower lip. Maybe.
They ate in awkward silence for a few minutes, and Cole silently cursed himself for stepping into something that made Jenny uncomfortable. Wishing to restore their easy rapport, he cleared his throat.
“I know. You’re an undercover chef.”
She gave him a sideways glance and snorted.
Encouraged, he tried again. “You’re a secret chef, and you’re on a mission to educate dumb cowboys like me in the ways of international cuisine.” He drew out the last two words in an exaggerated drawl.
Jenny giggled, tossing her napkin at him.
Cole grinned good-naturedly. “It really is good, Jenny, no lie. Thank you for making dinner.”
After dinner dishes were cleared, Cole remembered the bag he’d left by the door. “Oh, Jenny, I almost forgot. I have a surprise for you.” He reached out his hand. “Come see.”
Her eyes widened, but she took his hand. He led her to the family room and pointed at the couch. “Sit down and close your eyes.”
She hesitated a moment, then sat down. She glanced up at Cole.
Pursing her lips, she complied, knee bobbing anxiously. Cole retrieved the bag and placed in on Jenny’s lap. “Okay, now you can open them.”
With a glance at Cole, Jenny peered into the bag. Brow knit in a frown, she pulled a brown cardboard box out of the bag, setting the bag on the floor. With another glance at him, she lifted the lid and gasped.
Cole couldn’t stop the smile as Jenny picked up first one boot, then the other, eyes wide, running her fingers across the purple embroidery.
“I figured, if you’re going to be working in the barn, you’re going to need some good boots. I saw these at the saddle shop and I knew they were supposed to be yours.”
She looked up at him as a smile spread across her face. Standing, she let the box fall to the floor as she came to him, a boot in either hand, and wrapped him in a hug.
“Do you like them?” Cole laughed.
Jenny stepped back and nodded vigorously. Then she pointed up the stairs.
“You want to try them on?”
She nodded again. Gathering up the box, lid, and bag, she hurried upstairs. From where he stood, Cole heard her moving around, drawers opening, the creak of her bed. Then came the clomp of boots on the hardwood floor as she came back downstairs, her face beaming.
She crossed to him, then back to the bottom of the stairs like a fashion model on a catwalk, rocking the new boots with her dress.
Cole couldn’t stop his grin. “How do they feel? Do they fit?”
Jenny nodded happily.
“Okay, then. Wanna go help me out in the barn?”
She nodded again, taking his arm as they headed out the door and across the yard. Every few steps, she looked down at the boots. Cole couldn’t remember ever feeling so pleased with himself.
The horses were waiting near the gate as they approached. Cole opened it, and he and Jenny watched them head straight for the barn. He looked to her. “You do the feed and I’ll do the hay?” he asked.
She nodded, heading for the buckets and feed cans at the end of the barn. As Cole lugged a bale of hay into the first stall, he started singing a cowboy song about not being buried on the lone prairie. When Jenny smirked at him, he winked at her and continued with more gusto.
By the time the horses were in their stalls with buckets of feed and fresh hay, Cole had started the song over, and Jenny was grinning broadly and shaking her head.
“What? Does my singing suck?” he asked.
She shook her head. No, it’s very brave, she jotted on her board.
“Brave?” he laughed. “That’s what they tell people who can’t sing.”
He took Jenny’s hand and twirled her around as he sang, pulling her to himself and launching into an impromptu waltz down the center of the barn.
Cole relished her giggles as he spun them around, drawing out the final note. Breathless, they stopped, Jenny smiling up at him, her emerald eyes wide. Cole’s gaze drifted to her lips, pillowy and soft, no trace of the trauma that had once been there. He felt an almost irresistible pull, as though a magnet drew his lips to hers, but he blinked hard and spun her one last time before letting go.
“Who knew those were dancing boots?” he joked softly. When he looked back at her, he saw a glint of sadness in her eyes. She’d felt the same pull he had. But he knew he couldn’t take advantage of her. That wasn’t who Cole Caldwell was.JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks