When a young soldier home on leave rescued Sydney Bishop from attackers, he also stole her heart. But, when he returned to active duty without saying goodbye, she was shattered.
Now years later, fate–and a little matchmaking–has brought them together again.
As a way of overcoming his own wartime nightmares, Ryland built a ranching retreat in Montana. His goal? To give traumatized military families a place to heal. But the ranch desperately needs funding. Luckily, help comes through, in the form of Sydney’s mother, who’s kept tabs on her daughter’s first love over the years. Her foundation is more than willing to give him the cash he needs, but there’s a catch.
And if Sydney finds out, she might never think of Ryland as her hero again. . .
He slammed the truck to a stop. The seat belt, tight against his chest, jerked him out of the fantasy. His heart pounded, exactly as it had when’d felt her close tight around him when he’d eased inside her for the first time.
Swearing, he whipped his head around, saw her studying him. Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes wide, not with surprise, but with wonder. Exactly as they had been that single night.
God help him, he wanted her with a hunger he hadn’t felt in years.
They stared at one another, neither wanting to make the first move, both afraid of the consequences if they reached out and acted on the desire that stretched between them. How was it possible to be so powerful after all the years? After the way they’d parted?
“I think you missed the turn-off,” she finally whispered.
They sat, figuratively and literally, at a crossroads. If they went straight ahead, if they acted on this need pulsing between them, would it be a short trip filled with speed and rush? Or, if they turned right, would it prove to be a detour that eventually led to a roadblock?
“Sorry. I was daydreaming there for a moment,” he finally said, not attempting to keep the direction of his thoughts out of his voice or gaze.
“Were you?” she asked with a boldness that surprised him.
“I’m not sure it’s wise for us to go down that road again, Sydney.”
“I suppose you’re right,” she said, turning away from him. But not before he heard her soft whisper, “And that’s a damn shame.”
About the Author
An author of passionate, emotional romances with heart, Pam loves crafting stories about independent women and men who discover the thrill and joy of falling in love. After years of moving as both an Army brat and corporate wife, Pam and her craftsman husband settled in Atlanta, close to family and friends. When not writing, Pam enjoys quilting, planting beautiful flowers, home improvement projects and spending time with her wonderful family.
She’s afraid to take risks. He’s an incurable daredevil. When tragedy throws them together, will it spark a lasting devotion?
Crystal Whalen isn’t sure why she should go on. Two years after her husband’s death on a ski trip, she’s devastated when a fire destroys her quiet Colorado mountain home. And when she can’t keep her hands off the gorgeous divorcé who’s become her new temporary housemate, it only feeds her grief and growing guilt.
Garth Welty won’t be burned again. After his ex-wife took most of his money, the downhill-skiing Olympic medalist is determined to keep things casual with the sexy woman he can’t resist. But the more time they spend with each other, the harder it is to deny his burgeoning feelings.
As Crystal’s longing for the rugged man’s embrace grows, she worries that his dangerous lifestyle will steal him away. And although Garth believes she’s his perfect girl, the specter of betrayal keeps a tight grip on his heart.
Will the thrill-seeker and the wary woman succumb to the power of love?
The Patron of Emerson Pass is the emotional second book in the Emerson Pass Contemporaries small-town romance series. If you like lyrical prose, unexpected chances at happiness, and uplifting stories, then you’ll adore Tess Thompson’s sweet tale.
Other Books in the Emerson Pass Contemporaries series:
The Sugar Queen
Emerson Pass Contemporaries, Book 1
Published: May 2020
True love requires commitment, and many times unending sacrifice…
At the tender age of eighteen, Brandi Vargas watched the love of her life drive out of Emerson Pass, presumably for good. Though she and Trapper Barnes dreamed of attending college and starting their lives together, she was sure she would only get in the way of Trapper’s future as a hockey star. Breaking his heart, and her own in the process, was the only way to ensure he pursued his destiny. Her fate was the small town life she’d always known, her own bakery, and an endless stream of regret.
After a decade of playing hockey, a single injury ended Trapper Barnes’ career. And while the past he left behind always haunted him, he still returns to Emerson Pass to start the next chapter of his life in the place his ancestors built more than a century before. But when he discovers that the woman who owns the local bakery is the girl who once shattered his dreams, the painful secret she’s been harboring all these years threatens to turn Trapper’s idyllic small town future into a disaster. Will it take a forest fire threatening the mountain village to force Trapper and Brandi to confront their history? And in the wake of such a significant loss, will the process of rebuilding their beloved town help them find each other, and true happiness, once again?
Fast forward to the present day and enjoy this contemporary second chance romance set in the small town of Emerson Pass, featuring the descendants of the characters you loved from USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson’s The School Mistress.
Tess Thompson is the USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of contemporary and historical Romantic Women’s Fiction with over 40 published titles. She lives in a suburb of Seattle with her husband and their blended family of four kids and five cats.
Adam Brockman has been working the land and the horses in Graciella since he can remember, and the new Brockman Farms business ventures are all blossoming. Adam’s always believed in the farm, in family, and he’s convinced he’ll find the perfect love in the perfect moment.
Widowed Cassandra Dorsey hopes her stay at a Brockman Farm cottage will help her find peace and get her life back on track after losing her dream job as the food editor of The San Francisco Chronicle and being reckless with men in order to feel again had done nothing but leave her numb.
Tumbling headfirst into love, Adam sets out to woo Cass into staying in Graciella and becoming his forever. Although she’s initially convinced she needs to get her old job back, the land and love revive Cass’ senses and she starts to imagine new dreams that include a gorgeous farm and her sexy cowboy.
But a bombshell flips their world upside down and shakes the foundation of their fledgling relationship. Will the shock of a lifetime tear them apart or grant Adam and Cass their chance at forever?
Other Books in the Graciella Romance Series:
Handling the Rancher
Graciella, Book One
What’s a sexy rancher to do when an uptight accountant falls into his lap?
Ahh her voice. Adam’s entire body ignited with it. His heart perked up, started its gallop, and his blood thrummed with awareness. All his senses beat her name. Cassandra. She was so dang pretty, pretending to pout, but fierce and powerful all the same, and all untangled this afternoon. Her hair was loose, long wavy locks flying in the breeze. Vibrant eyes, happy eyes. He climbed down from the fence, tossed his gloves to the side and wasted no time at all in stalking her and wrapping his arms around her. He didn’t kiss her even though it was all that dragged his mind these days, especially with their bodies pressed together. A little flirting was his intention. If it happened to lead to kissing, he’d know he was doing it right.
“All bets are off when it comes to those cinnamon rolls.” He leaned in and dragged his lips, his nose up her neck. “Decadent, with all that sugary caramelized goodness, unique places with hints of spices I can’t name.” He did kiss her then, behind the ear, lingering as the heat built around them.
“Cardamom,” she breathed. “And orange.”
“Never would have guessed. I need you to lead me.” Adam brushed his finger over her full mouth. “All these hidden secrets I’m in search of.”
“I don’t know if you want all my secrets.”
She wasn’t pushing him away or pulling back. Progress. “I’m pretty sure I do. Like this one here. Let me guess.” He gently kissed the corner of her mouth then narrowed his eyes at her. “Didn’t know powdered sugar was on those glorious rolls.”
She laughed as if she’d succeeded in tricking him. And he frowned when she wiped her mouth. “Didn’t know I got sugar on me.”
On you? You’re all the sugar and spices wrapped up in the perfect package for me.
“It’s from the donuts that came later.”
He squeezed her to him and moaned. “I missed donuts?”
“Brought you some.” She handed him a small brown paper bag and when he opened it, he nearly fainted in pleasure.
“I bow to those women,” Adam said after inhaling one of the donut holes, still warm, with sugary goodness melting on the outside.
“You bow, huh? Guess who made them?” She pointed to herself and his smile stretched across his face. “I had a chance to take a class years ago when I was in Portugal. Sonhos, they’re called. Dreams.”
He gave her a loud, smacking, powdered-sugar-covered kiss and twirled her around, which made her laugh again. Every time she let loose with that beautiful sound, he noticed nuances of it. A spring tree in bloom letting all her bright foliage show, from light green to grassy, growing into a darker hue with certainty. He was going to spend a lifetime making her laugh. “I’ll promise you anything if you make those for me again.”
“Maybe you don’t have to beg. Maybe I’d like cooking for you.” Cassandra untangled herself as she said it. Christ, the woman could tease. Telling him she wanted to cook for him while separating them. And this time it was her turn to leave him standing behind.
“I need to do some work.” Her smile was all happiness and light.
“Now?” He glanced from the food of his dreams to the woman of his dreams.
“A little bit.” Was she taking pity on him?
“Are we walking again tonight, Cassandra?”
“I’d like that.”
About the Author
Puget Sound based writer, Sara Ohlin is a mom, wannabe photographer, obsessive reader, ridiculous foodie, and the author of the contemporary romance novels, Handling the Rancher, Salvaging Love, Seducing the Dragonfly, Igniting Love and Flirting with Forever.
She has over sixteen years of creative non-fiction and memoir writing experience, and you can find her essays at Anderbo.com, Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home, and in anthologies such as Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Healthcare in America, Take Care: Tales, Tips, & Love from Women Caregivers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Although she’s the author of many essays about life, grief, motherhood and the connections we make through delicious food and shared meals, Sara loves creating imaginary worlds with tight-knit communities in her romance novels. She credits her mother, Mary, Nora Roberts and Rosamunde Pilcher for her love of romance.
If she’s not reading or writing, you will most likely find her in the kitchen creating scrumptious meals with her kids and husband, or perhaps cooking up her next love story.
She once met a person who both “didn’t read books” and wasn’t “that into food” and it nearly broke her heart. You can learn more on her website https://saraohlin.com.
Lincoln Carver is not worried about the lack of women in Stone Ridge, Texas. He’s content earning the occasional buckle as a rodeo champ and working his family’s cattle ranch. In fact, life was perfect until his matchmaking granny stuck her nose in his business. Now, he’s injured the new schoolteacher, and is spending more time with her than he’d like.
Sadie Stephens has loved Lincoln since she was a girl, but they were never more than friends. And a family feud involving a runaway bride closed any options for a romance with Lincoln for good. Lincoln’s only interest in her now is one of obligation and guilt. After all, he’s the one responsible for the lassoing “incident” at the school (don’t ask.) The single men of Stone Ridge are lining up to nurse the very eligible Sadie back to health, bringing her flowers, candy, and pies.
Lincoln brings her an ice pack…and gum.
No doubt about it, the hunky cowboy needs to learn the ABCs of courtship, but is Sadie the one to teach him?
About the Author
Heatherly was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama but lost her accent by the time she was two. Her grandmother, Mima, kept both the accent and spirit of the southern woman alive for decades. After leaving Alabama, Heatherly lived with her family in Puerto Rico and Maryland before being transplanted kicking and screaming to the California Bay Area. She now loves it here, she swears. Except the traffic.
Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.
Chef Stevie Fox isn’t just looking forward to a luxurious holiday celebrating her sister’s Christmas wedding, she needs it. A difficult year has her brain bursting and her heart starving. A menu of late-night chats, lots of laughter, and tons of pampering with her beloved foster sisters and Maddie, the woman who made them a family fifteen years ago, promises the nourishment she craves.
But then her sister’s fiancé calls off the wedding, and Stevie’s dreams of a restorative vacation and a love story that actually works out go up in smoke. Heartbroken and simmering with anger on her sister’s behalf, Stevie agrees with her family to stick to their holiday plans to show support.
Throwing oil on her fiery emotions, Stevie runs into her old high school flame and long-cooled feelings boil over. She’s determined to put a lid on them, however. Jackson Bassett may be full of zest and passion, but she’s been scalded too many times.
If you’re a fan of small towns, heartwarming holiday romance stories, second chances, and furry dog friends, you’ll fall in love with Stevie and her soul sisters in CHRISTMAS DREAMS, Book 5 of Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge, from USA Today bestselling author Ev Bishop.
Don’t miss a Soul Sisters book – download them all today!
Book 1: Christmas Sisters – perma-FREE prologue book
Book 2: Christmas Kisses by Judith Keim
Book 3: Christmas Wishes by Tammy L. Grace
Book 4: Christmas Hope by Violet Howe
Book 5: Christmas Dreams by Ev Bishop
Book 6: Christmas Rings by Tess Thompson
About the Author
Ev Bishop is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author, best known for her small-town contemporary romance series, River’s Sigh B & B. Readers describe her books as “full of humor, love and wisdom,” set in places “where breathtaking scenery and the magic of love are the best medicine for the soul.”
When Ev’s nose isn’t in a book or her fingers aren’t on her keyboard, you’ll find her with her family and dogs or playing outside, usually at the lake or in an overgrown garden somewhere.
She loves any and all garden related talk and work, cooking (and eating!), and making all sorts of random things – especially out of upcycled or reclaimed items.
She hopes you love Stevie Fox in CHRISTMAS DREAMS as much as she does and that you’ll catch up with her, Maddie, and the other three soul sisters, in the rest of the Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge series.