Thank you to Iris for inviting me here to share a peek at Honourable Rancher, onHone of my Flagman's Folly stories, now available in electronic format in Australia!
A Best Friend's Vow
The hero of Flagman's Folly has been gone more than a year. But he still stands between Ben Sawyer and what he desires most—Dana Wright, the love of Ben's life.
When soldier Paul Wright left for the last time, he made his best friend promise to look after his wife and kids. Ben—good, steady Ben—is honoring that promise. And it's burning him up inside.
Because Dana is shutting Ben out. She wants him—so much—but she can't afford to give in. If she does, she'll spill her secret, and the betrayal will hurt everyone she cares about—her children, who loved their daddy; her town, which loves its hero; and Ben, who loved his friend. She'll do anything to protect her secret—even give up her second chance at happiness.
Ben and Dana are both members of their friends' wedding party. At the reception, a chance encounter in the garden of the banquet hall soon has Dana running away and Ben longing to follow her.
She had grown quiet again, and Ben gestured toward the fountain. "What brought you out here? Wanting to make a wish?"
She shook her head. "No. Those are for people who aren't willing to work hard to get what they want."
"I can't argue with you there." Still, he felt tempted to toss a coin into the water for a wish of his own—that for once, she'd let him make things easier for her. "But there's such a thing as working too hard, you know."
"Ben, please." She gathered up her dress and stood. "You called the truce yourself, remember? I know you only want to help. For Paul. And because we're friends." Her voice shook from her stress on the word. "We've had this conversation before. Now, once and for all, I'm doing fine." As if to prove her point, she smiled. "And I have to go inside. Tess will be tossing her bouquet soon. I wouldn't want to lose out on that."
A tear sparkled at the corner of her eye.
Missing the chance to catch a handful of flowers couldn't upset her that much. He knew what she really missed—having a husband by her side. Her husband.
His best friend.
But neither of them would have Paul back in their lives.
Before he could get to his feet, she left, running away like that princess in the fairytale his niece asked him to read to her over and over again.
No, not a princess. The one who took off without her glass slipper—Cinderella.
Dana was no Cinderella. She hadn't left a shoe behind. Hadn't even dropped a button from that pink dress as something for him to remember her by. As if he could ever forget her.
She'd been the heroine of a story he'd once created long ago, a story he'd had to write in his head because he hadn't yet known how to spell all the words.
How did it go? Like in his niece's storybook...
Once upon a time, that was it.
Once upon a time, in the Land of Enchantment—otherwise known as the state of New Mexico—Benjamin Franklin Sawyer had high hopes and a huge crush on the girl who sat one desk over from him in their classroom every day.
No other girl in town, Ben felt sure, could beat Dana Smith, and most likely no other woman in the world could compare to her, either. In any case, without a doubt, she was the cutest of all his female friends in their kindergarten classroom.
Unfortunately, when the teacher moved his best friend, Paul Wright, to the desk on the other side of Dana's, Ben saw his hopes dashed.
The crush, however, continued. For a good long while.
Honorable Rancher can be found at:
Amazon (U.S.) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00835RNFE
Amazon (Australia) http://www.amazon.com.au/Mills-Boon-Honourable-Harlequin-Collection-ebook/dp/B00WS8549Y
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwestern U.S. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven't gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.
When she was very young, Barbara learned from her mom about the storytelling magic in books—and she's been hooked ever since. She hopes you will enjoy reading her books and will find your own magic in them!
Her latest release is The Cowboy's Little Surprise, the first in a new series, The Hitching Post Hotel, about a matchmaking grandpa determined to see his three granddaughters wed. Upcoming books in the series are A Rancher of Her Own in July and The Lawman's Christmas Proposal in December.
Find Barbara at the following locations: