Welcome, Silver Dagger Tours and Author Anne Carrole!
To risk or not risk: that is the question? A second-chance, enemies-to-lovers novel.
Career-minded Lexi Russell seeks a calm, predictable life that doesn’t require taking chances. But coming home to Wyoming for Thanksgiving, she finds out her carefully orchestrated life has imploded. Her “perfect” boyfriend has been cheating on her, her lucrative job has been eliminated, and the family ranch is on the chopping block. In addition, the teenage boy who broke her heart one summer a decade ago has turned into a handsome cowboy who’s planning on buying her family’s ranch with a low ball offer and her parents’ blessing. She’s got to figure out a way to help her parents avoid a serious mistake, find a new job, and stop her growing attraction to the cowboy who dumped her. With Christmas on the horizon, things take an unexpected turn that will force her to decide whether love is worth the risk.
The cold night air nipped at Cort’s skin as he walked to the pickup in stride with Lexi. He had to restrain himself from reaching for her hand, like he might have done if it had been a date. They’d spent considerable hours together, but far from making him ready for alone time, he wanted more of her company.
She was bright, funny, frank, and darn pretty. And she knew about ranching, even if she didn’t do it anymore. The perfect partner. But, unfortunately, the ranching part was the stickler. She didn’t want it and it was all he wanted.
How things had changed from that long-ago summer when she’d teased him about his city-boy ways and the future he’d laid out where he would be heading up some company, while all she’d wanted was to raise and train horses.
And look where they’d wound up.
As he shifted the truck into gear, he checked on her. Her head was leaning back against the headrest, a smile on her face, and her eyes closed.
“You have a buzz?” he asked. She’d only had two beers, and since he was driving, he’d stuck to one.
She chuckled. “Just feeling relaxed.”
He remembered what it’d been like when he’d quit working at his corporate job. It’d been like banging his head against the wall one day then suddenly finding his head resting on a soft pillow the next day. “Guess you haven’t been very relaxed in that job you had.” Maybe she’d reconsider her plans now that she didn’t have a job to immediately go back to.
And maybe he was dreaming.
“Not at all. You know what it’s like.”
“Yeah, crazy.” He turned onto the main highway and put some pressure on the gas. “That’s why I’m not doing it anymore. When the buyout came and everything sort of stopped for a moment, I realized how bad it had been, how much stress I’d been feeling. Then my uncle got sick, and by the time he passed, well, I didn’t want to go back anymore.”
She turned her head in his direction. “It’s tempting when everything stops. But, you know, ranching isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s risky. There’s a lot of stress and a ton more things you can’t control. Like the weather.”
“Or what my neighbors decide to do.” He glanced again at her. Her face was serene, not a frown line to be seen.
She closed her eyes and smiled. “That too. But I don’t want to talk about that. Let’s just enjoy the moment. I haven’t been able to do that in a long, long time.”
He turned the truck into her driveway. The headlights caught Bandit in the equipment barn doorway running around in circles. Barking filled the air.
“What the heck?” Lexi shot straight up in her seat.
Cort gunned the gas, and the truck bumped down the gravel drive like a runaway roller coaster. Something was wrong.
Anne Carrole is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical western romances. Raised on a farm with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, and whatever other animals she could convince her parents to shelter, she’s married to her own sweet-talking hero and the proud mother of a twenty-something cowgirl. Besides Country Snow and Mistletoe, you can also enjoy her popular Hearts of Wyoming contemporary series where love gets a second chance. Visit her website at https://www.annecarrole.com.
Concept for the Book
People may not realize it, but family ranches may soon be a thing of the past. Many are being swallowed up by mega corporate ranches or sold to developers, particularly if there is no one in the family who wishes to take on the ranching legacy. And few independent ranchers are able to pony up the money to buy these family ranches when competing with the likes of corporations and real estate contractors. Ranching, as a lifestyle, may be under threat.
It is this situation that I explore in COUNTRY SNOW AND MISTLETOE. Faced with health issues, Lexi Russell’s parents need to sell the family ranch since their children have gone off into different careers. Cort McClane, a city boy who got a taste of the ranching lifestyle one summer when he also met Lexi, has the means and the desire to buy the Russell ranch, but his offer cannot compete with a developer’s. Lexi, striving to do what she thinks is best for her parents, goes in search of a better offer, so sure that the boy who dumped her that fateful summer is taking advantage of her family’s situation with a lowball offer. But their past attraction is as strong as ever as they navigate past hurts, present obstacles, and the potential for future complications. With Christmas on the horizon, things take an unexpected turn, forcing them to decide if love is worth the risks. You can find this heartwarming second-chance holiday story on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.
If you like Hallmark movies, you'll love Country Snow and Mistletoe. Enjoy! Here's the link:
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It's no secret that I prefer fat HEAs. Where better than in a beautiful romance?
From me to you with a smile.
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