Love on the Ranch by Ciara Knight releases October 16th!
Add it to your TBR TODAY: http://www.bit.ly/LoveOnTheRanchTBR
Elizabeth McKinnie will no longer accept men ruling her life. After the Civil War devastated her family home and having no way to survive, Elizabeth accepts one of the mail-order bride proposals presented to her and her sisters. She chooses a man who promises to treat her as an equal. Her sister convinces her to switch suitors, proclaiming the weather in Texas would be more suitable for Elizabethâs weak lungs. Agreeing, she heads west to meet the mysterious cattle baron she knows little about.
Jeb Clayton grew up as a poor son of a drunkard. He has worked his entire life to ensure he never starves again. He is a man who understands cows better than women, especially after watching the fairer sex manipulate his father into an early grave. Still, he begrudgingly agrees to marry a sturdy bride to produce sons who can help build his ranch into an empire. Yet, what he sees getting off the stagecoach is a whisper-of-a-woman with undesirable birthing hips.
When Elizabethâs and Jebâs futures are threatened will they join forces, or will their bitterness be their end?
Susan rolled Elizabethâs head from Jebâs shoulder and patted her cheeks. âWake up, dear.â She smacked her harder. âWake up.â
Adrenaline pumped through Jeb. If there was one thing he couldnât witness, it was a woman in trouble. It did things to him he didnât like.
Charles pounded on the wall behind him and the horses slowed.
âElizabeth?â He turned to her and found her lips blue and her eyes rolled back in her head. His muscles tightened, his gut twisted.
The stagecoach rolled to a stop and the man on the end opened the door and everyone spilled out of the carriage. Jeb lifted Elizabeth and handed her off to the man that had been at her other side.
By the time Jeb reached the ground, Susan was on her knees at Elizabethâs side, and everyone stood around, looking down at her gasping for air.
He found himself matching her breath for breath. âAnyone know whatâs wrong?â
âNo, she was fine the entire way here. Until you boarded the stagecoach,â Susan said with clipped speech.
Charles put his hand on his wifeâs shoulder. âI doubt itâs him, dear.â
She shot a sideways glance of disapproval at Jeb.
âWhat else? Anything else change at the stop? Perhaps she ate something that she had a problem with?â
âDress.â Susan looked up at him. âHer dress. She changed it. Maybe the corset is too tight. We couldââ
He didnât waste any time. If there was one thing heâd learned raising cattle, time meant everything. The faster you worked, the better the outcome. He slid his knife from its holder, rolled Elizabeth onto her side, slid the knife carefully under the neck of the material, and sliced down. Then he cut the string and yanked the corset loose.
After a second, she gasped for air and coughed. He rolled her over and saw the color in her lips and face returning.
âYouâll be fine now.â He stroked her cheek with the back of his knuckles and found her skin softer than any horse mane heâd ever touched.
Jeb watched as Elizabethâs green eyes blinked and focused on him. âWhat happened?â
Susan huffed behind him. âYou are an animal.â
Jeb looked up at her. âWhat are you talking about? I saved her life. That stupid-looking, impractical dress nearly choked her to death.â
âMy dress?â Elizabeth said in only a whisper. She blinked, then her eyebrows pulled tight toward the center. âWhat did you do to my dress?â She shrieked and shot up but swooned again. With a hand to her head, she took a moment, then reached around her back. âOh, my dear lord, what have you done!â
Charles cleared his throat. âI think he did what he thought was best to save your life.â
Susan glowered at her husband, and he shut his mouth. The man was controlled by a woman. That was never going to happen to Jeb. Ever.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes 'A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart' that spans the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), takes readers into small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love.