His Montana Rescue
by Vella Munn GENRE: contemporary romance
Former firefighter Echo Rose may have recovered from the injuries that nearly ended her life but the emotional scars still linger. She now devotes herself to protecting wildlife and sheltering her heart until local contractor Rey Bowen reminds Echo that life can offer so much more.
Rey Bowen is not the only one at Lake Serene with secrets and a desire to reboot his seriously derailed life. Meeting Echo reminds him that life can sparkle with joy and laughter and passion, but can he show the cautious Echo how to love again even as he struggles to trust his own heart?
“Ranger Echo Rose,” a rumbling voice said.
Taking it slow, she turned in the direction the words came from.
Rey Bowen was looking at her, or rather looking down at her. He wasn’t a giant of a man, just a shade over six feet, but that didn’t stop her from remembering she was at least seven inches shorter and only one hundred twenty pounds. For reasons she was careful not to examine too closely, she’d told herself the breadth of his chest and width of his shoulders were responsible for her unsettling reaction to him.
What was she thinking? Hadn’t she learned, painfully, to keep emotional distance between herself and men? She had, darn it. She’d never drop her guard.
Until she’d done in her ankle, she’d spent much of her time around physical people, most of them men. She still was around more men than women, but in recent months she'd mostly rubbed shoulders with people who spent their days behind desks.
Despite how she'd been forced to earn her living since last summer, she believed she still understood the physical male. When he was around women he was trying to impress, the breed carried himself as if he was a bull elk, strutting a bit, hard muscles pushing against too-tight T-shirts, and gazes giving out bedroom vibes.
Rey did none of those things. Instead, it was as if he’d built an emotional wall around himself. The reason was none of her business, darn it. She had enough to do dealing with her own life.
Vella Munn freely admits to being a dedicated and sometimes demented fiction writer. She has always been drawn to nature and those who feel at home in it. A career writer, she has had way over 60 books published, most of them romances both past and present. As far as personal statistics go, she has one husband, two sons, four grandchildren, and is owned by two rescue dogs. Home is southern Oregon within a two hour drive of Crater Lake. She frequently visits Montana in her mind and heart.
His Montana Rescue is part of a five book contemporary romance series called Montana Lakeside, written because one afternoon I was hit broadside by an idea that kept me awake most of that night and many others since. To give a little background, a writer friend and I were relaxing at a Colorado mountain cabin after an exciting and tiring writers’ conference in Denver. We’d poured ourselves some wine and had gone out on a deck that overlooked a fast-running creek. The wind picked up, the sky turned blue-black and we knew we were in for a storm.
After several days of intense activity in a city, this country gal was happily getting back in touch with nature which has always nourished me. I was at peace, looking forward to experiencing the approaching storm. That’s when I started thinking about trying to share what the wilderness means to me with readers. Our family has a summer cabin in southern Oregon within an hour’s drive of world famous Crater Lake. The seasons rule everything we do there, and I spend as much time as possible outdoors. I began playing with the idea of setting each book (there’s also a novella that takes place in a single day) during a different season so I could explore how the seasons would impact my different couples.
All of my characters, I decided, were in need of second chances. They’d come to fictional Lake Serene to try to accept their pasts and have the courage to embrace the future. They needed help if that was going to happen. Some of the help would come in the form of new romances as they fell in love, but the wilderness would cast its own spell and thus allow my flawed men and women to accept their flaws and build on their strengths.
Yes, I had lofty ambitions. Although I’m a multi-published writer, I’d never tackled a series which turned out to be quite the learning experience. For a number of reasons, the publisher and I agreed to move the series from Oregon to Montana which meant I did considerable research on that amazing state and have fallen hopelessly in love with its mountains.
His Montana Rescue takes place in summer and touches on the reality of wilderness fire danger, something my family has always had to be aware of. In other words, I worked at blending reality and fiction.
A heartfelt thank you to Lynda for risking being blown away as I told her what was taking place inside this writer’s brain and heart.