Newly widowed, Ruth crosses paths with a rancher. What does he want? Complete.
|This is how I envision this novel's cover when it is published someday.
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Click the book cover below to read the first three chapters of Woman, Gentle Woman
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Adversaries Thrown Together on the Harsh Prairie
Newly widowed and grief-stricken by the death of her young husband, Ruth Thomas is trapped by the harsh Kansas winter. Alone with her three-year old son, she faces the reality of destitution or death.
Blake Andersen, a brooding rancher handicapped by a war injury, struggles to keep his life's work from being destroyed by nature and the changes brought by newly arrived farmers and pioneers.
Facing a long, deadly winter, the lives of Blake and Ruth are interwoven. But will the coming of spring mean hope of a new future---or sorrow and devastation?
Inside Front Cover
"Why are you so willing to do this for me?" she asked. "This land is surely not that valuable to you."
"Oh, but it is!" He smiled gently. "It's very valuable." And she didn't know at that moment if he was joking or serious, so impenetrable was his gaze.
She sat, studying the tablecloth. What can I do? Talk to the pastor? No, he's a rancher's man. Perhaps the banker, if I could get to town. This-- this idea-- it's not proper-- I've only been a widow for a month-- maybe in a few days or weeks I could--- I might think of something else before that.
She met his gaze as she spoke. "All right, Mr. Andersen. I'll think about it. How much time do I have?"
He stood and limped to the window. "By the looks of that sky, I'd say about an hour."
"An hour? But-- but why?"
"This could be one rip-snorter of a storm. You could be trapped here without enough firewood or hay for your animals, and I have to go out on the range to save as many cows as I can. It wouldn't be safe to leave you here by yourself-- it could be days before I can come back for you. I'd like to give you more time, but it doesn't look like Mother Nature is going to let us do that." He turned from the window, his large frame silhouetted by the sun's brightness reflected from the snow. His body shaded the room with its size, his face unreadable against the glare.
"What do you say, Mrs. Thomas?"
She closed her eyes against the image of him blocking the window's light. There was no alternative.
Click below to read the first three chapters of Woman, Gentle Woman