If you are looking for something sweet, clean and short, this is DEFINITELY the book for you!
Dry Bayou Brides Book One
by Lynn Winchester
Genre: Sweet Western Romance
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
Date of Publication: September 27th, 2016
Number of pages: 97
Word Count: approx. 26k
Cover Artist: Dar Albert
“Welcome to Dry Bayou, Texas, where Southern Charm meets the Wild West…”
From author Jackson d’Lynne writing as Lynn Winchester, a sweet and romantic western sure to warm your heart!
Ray MacAdams and Billy Ducharme have been best friends since her family moved to his ranch fourteen years ago to start a new sheep ranching operation.
Through thick and thin, good and bad, fire and rain, their friendship has only gotten stronger—so strong that nothing could possibly break their bond, a bond that for Ray has suddenly changed from simply friends to something deeper… Something that makes her dream of days and nights beside the man she loves, something that makes her wish she were more than just the shepherd’s daughter.
Then Billy’s mail order bride arrives.
Rebecca DuCastille is everything Ray is not: refined, well-mannered, and pretty as a porcelain tea cup. How can Ray possibly compete for Billy’s heart when his new bride is everything he could want in a proper wife?
Can the shepherd’s daughter convince her childhood friend that their love for one another goes beyond friendship, or will Billy marry the pretty interloper and leave Ray out to pasture?
Publisher Note: This is a ‘sweet’/’clean’ romance.
So this was the new head shepherd his pa had hired? Billy didn’t know much about it other than what he’d overheard between his parents at night while he was supposed to be reading The Word before bed. He couldn’t help it. He liked sneaking down the stairs to listen to his parents talk when they thought no one was listening. Something about the love between them made Billy want to stick close.
From what he’d heard and could understand of their conversations, his pa wanted to expand the ranch into sheep and wool but didn’t know how to do it. He’d sent advertisements back east to the big cities, looking for a man who knew the industry and could come live on their ranch to manage the lambing and shearing and rotating—moving the herd from one parcel of land to another without losing a single one.
Apparently, these newcomers were the ones his pa had picked for the job. Billy didn’t know, quite yet, what he thought of the whole thing.
Not that it really mattered. Billy was set on growing up to be the best horse breeder in the state. He didn’t care much for smelly old sheep. He’d stick to the stable and barn, and leave Mr. MacAdams and Mr. Pallo to their sheep.
Billy’s pa turned to him and motioned for him to come forward. Billy complied with only a little warmth rising in his cheeks.
“Mr. MacAdams, this is my son, Willem.”
Pa patted Billy on his shoulders and squeezed one just enough to make him clear his throat and say, “Good afternoon, sir. Nice to meet you.” Just as his mother had taught him.
Mr. MacAdams grinned down at him. “What a polite young man ye are. Nice to me ye.”
Billy’s mother stepped forward. “Good afternoon. Welcome to Dry Bayou Ranch. I’m Linda Ducharme and we’re very pleased to have you here.”
His mother’s voice was soft, friendly, and cultured. She was a fine lady, much too fine for all the dust now coating her skirts. Pa said he’d found her in a catalog and she’d moved west to marry him. He said he was a lucky man, especially since she hadn’t turned tail and run at the first sight of the shack he’d lived in back then.
Mr. MacAdams turned around and helped the woman from the wagon. She strutted toward the porch, put out her hand, and smiled. Pa took it and shook it, a little less vigorously than he did the man’s.
“I’m Moira MacAdams—,” she called into the back of the wagon. “Get down here, bairn, and say hello.”
Billy didn’t know what to make of the bundle of rags and wild, frizzy, red hair that appeared. He stood, staring at the little girl who seemed more hair than girl. She looked a few years younger than his seven years, but he thought maybe her size threw him off. Her small face was covered with freckles, her brown eyes were filled with curiosity and something else he couldn’t name.
She bounced from foot-to-foot, then stuck out her hand. He blinked down at it, surprised and a little uncertain what to do.
“Go ‘head, take it, it won’t bite,” she chirped. Her voice was like sugar on syrup and he found he didn’t know what to say back. So, he stepped forward and gripped her hand without saying a word.
“Name’s Raychelle, but you can call me Ray, account of the fact that I don’t like Raychelle ‘cause it sounds too uppity.”
Billy couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face.
He liked her.
He tightened his grip on her hand. “He-hello, Ray, I’m Billy.”
Her smile brightened and he felt the light of it right down into his boots. In that moment, he wondered if smelly old sheep weren’t all that bad.
She must’ve read his thoughts because a glint of excitement filled her eyes and Billy could only blink in awe.
“Billy, do you know how to catch a frog?”
I don’t know why I usually stay away from historical westerns but something about this description just caught my eye and I had to give it a go. And I am SUPER glad I did. Even though it is short, it is packed full of fun.
Billy and Ray have been friends practically their whole lives but suddenly they are seeing each other a little bit differently. Both are struggling because they aren’t quite sure what it means and, not wanting to ruin their friendship, they are keeping it quiet. While things would likely have worked out eventually, they’ve got to deal with it quickly because Billy’s mail order bride just showed up 🙂
Usually I’m not a fan of a miscommunication and secrets plotline but Winchester does an absolutely fabulous job of making it believable and fluid with the characters. It’s not annoying at all because you totally can understand where they are coming from and why the do the things they do. Granted you want them to hurry up and figure it out but that’s just because you like them and want them to be happy.
With moments of levity and a whole heap of sweetness, Winchester brings her readers a fabulous friends to lovers story.
Lynn Winchester is one of the pseudonyms of a hardworking California-born caffeine addict, now living in the wilds of Northeast Pennsylvania. Lynn has been writing fiction since the 5th grade, and enjoys creating worlds, characters, and stories for her readers.
When Lynn isn’t writing sweet historical romances, she is writing spicy paranormal romance as Jackson D’Lynne, and YA Sci-Fi/Thrillers as DJ Sorber. When is isn’t writing at all, she is running a successful editing business, reading whatever she can get her hands on, raising her four children, making sure her husband is happy, and binge watching shows on Netflix.
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