I love those strong, quiet cowboys, don’t you?
A Ransom Canyon Romance
by Jodie Thomas
In the heart of Ransom Canyon, sometimes the right match for a lonely soul is the one you least expect.
Dan Brigman may not lead the most exciting life, but he’s proud of what he’s achieved: he’s a respected lawman, and he’s raised a bright, talented daughter on his own. But finding a lone, sparkly blue boot in the middle of a deserted highway gets him thinking maybe the cowgirl who lost it is exactly the shake-up he needs.
After losing her baby girl, Brandi Malone felt like her soul died along with her daughter. Now singing in small-town bars to make ends meet, she’s fine being a drifter—until a handsome sheriff makes her believe that parking her boots under his bed is a better option.
College grad Lauren Brigman has just struck out on her own in downtown Dallas when a troubling phone call leads her back home to Crossroads. Her hometown represents her family, friends and deepest hopes, but also her first love, Lucas Reyes. Will Lauren’s homecoming be another heartbreak, or a second chance for her and Lucas?
“Brandi!” Hank, the owner, yelled. “Sheriff’s got something for you.”
The tall man in a tan uniform moved toward her, and for a moment she considered running. But he was between her and the door, and the guy’s face, framed in the shadows of his hat, looked like he operated strictly by the book.
She had no outstanding bills or fines or tickets. She hadn’t committed a crime. There was no reason the law wanted her, so the sheriff must have questions about the bar, or maybe her old van parked outside…
Brandi stood and waited as the sheriff neared. She was stronger than she’d been months ago. She didn’t have to run from questions.
When she’d first hit the road, she hated strangers asking where she was from or anything about her family. She didn’t want to talk about anything but her music. Nothing else mattered. Nothing else existed.
Only, when this stranger in a uniform raised his eyes to look up at her standing on the small stage, he smiled as if he was happy to see her. “Morning, ma’am,” he said.
She didn’t miss that the lawman’s eyes ran the length of her body before he reached her face. Could he have been checking her out? Surely not. Not if he called her ma’am.
“Morning,” she managed to say. “What’s the problem?”
He smiled again, and she had the feeling that he was a man who didn’t smile often. Brandi relaxed slightly. He had honest blue eyes.
“This wouldn’t happen to be yours?” he asked as he lifted a boot. “It kind of looks like something you might wear.”
Brandi exploded. “Yes! Someone stole them out of my van two weeks ago. In their hurry, they dropped the left one in the parking lot.” She bounced down from the two-foot-high stage. “I loved those boots. I thought I’d lost this one forever, but I couldn’t bring myself to toss the other one away.”
The sheriff stood as stiff as a mannequin while she hugged him.
“Thank you. Thank you.” She reached for the boot.
He pulled it away. “Now wait a minute. I have to have proof.” He was smiling again, obviously enjoying himself. “Maybe you need to try it on. The slipper needs to fit. I think it’s the law, or maybe just a rule.”
She looked down at the tennis shoes she was wearing. “I have to have that boot. I own the match. One boot’s no good without its mate.”
“I’ll need to see the left one first before I hand this one over.”
“Follow me.” She shifted and straightened as if planning to march, playing along with his game.
New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas is a fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. She is a certified marriage and family counselor, a Texas Tech graduate and writer-in-residence at West Texas A&M University. She lives with her husband in Amarillo, Texas.
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