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"Do You Take This Cowboy?"" "
A blizzard traps rancher Davy White in his family's secluded cabin with Rose Evans...and she's nine months pregnant! Help is miles away, and Davy must work to keep them both alive. As the storm rages outside, he comes to care for the vulnerable widow. Enough that he's willing to offer her his name--against his family's objections.
Rose will do anything for her baby, but she's recently widowed. She doesn't know if she can trust the feelings she has toward Davy. And she refuses to come between him and his family. But the more time they spend together, the less she can resist the comforting, caring cowboy.
Wyoming Legacy: United by family, destined for love
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USA Today bestselling author LACY WILLIAMS is a wife and mom from Oklahoma. She has loved romance from childhood and promises readers happy endings in all her stories. Her books have finaled in the RT Reviewer's Choice Awards (three years in a row), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers' Best. Lacy loves to hear from readers at email@example.com. She can be found at www.lacywilliams.net, www.Facebook.com/lacywilliamsbooks or www.Twitter.com/lacy_williams.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Early December 1900
"Halloo, the house!"
Davy White pulled up his horse outside his brother Oscar's cabin, in the sparsely settled hills of east central Wyoming. His breath misted in the cold predawn air; the rising sun was just a hint of light at the eastern horizon.
The saddle creaked as he dismounted from his horse. One of Oscar's horses nickered in welcome from the nearby corral. The smell of wood smoke from the stove tickled his nose as he tied off his horse and stepped up onto the back porch.
He didn't know if one could call his pa's homestead and the surrounding area unsettled, not with the way their family was growing. It now included Oscar's brood; his brother and sister-in-law, Maxwell and Hat-tie, doctors who split their time between town and their cottage on the family homestead; Edgar and his wife and her siblings Emma and Daniel. Daniel had married and settled close by as acting schoolteacher. Add in Davy's unmarried siblings Matty, Seb and Breanna, along with his pa and ma and their biological kids, and the homestead was practically a town in itself.
There was just one missing. His adopted brother Ricky. And as he and Davy had been closer than any of the others since the day they'd found each other in Cheyenne eleven years ago, Davy felt a gaping hole in their family every day he was gone. It had been six months with no word, not a single letter to let them know he was okay. Davy could only pray for his brother and hope the other man's orneriness was enough to keep him safe and alive.
His boots thudded on the porch planks, loud in the early morning half dawn. Sarah must be frying bacon, judging by the smells wafting out the back door. The door stood open, even though it was chilly outside, and Davy expected to meet his brother on his way out to the horse barn.
He pushed open the door with another soft "halloo," in case the toddler was still sleeping, but stopped in his tracks as he witnessed his brother in a passionate embrace with his wife Sarah.
Oscar must have sensed his presence because his head came up. "Morning, Davy," he threw the words behind him, not really looking in Davy's direction.
Sarah peeked over his shoulder, face rosy in the lamp-lit kitchen.
But Oscar didn't let her go immediately. He bent his head and whispered something to her. She still had an arm around Oscar's back and whatever he said, her hand clenched in his shirt briefly before they let each other go.
Davy couldn't help the pang of loneliness that hit him square in the gut like an unexpected punch. Seemed like recently he'd felt it every time he was around one of his married brothers. Sometimes even his pa. It wasn't that he was jealous of them, just that something in him recognized an emptiness. He longed for a family of his own.
It was an old ache, one that remained from a childhood cut short. Before Ricky had left home, Davy had been too busy working the ranch and trying to keep his brother out of trouble to give it much thought. Or to actively pursue any of the eligible women in town.
But Ricky had been gone since the summer, with no word to let his family know if he was all right. And without the distraction of Ricky's presence, his desire for a family of his own remained.
But that would have to wait. He had plans in place to execute before he could think about going courting.
Oscar's hair was mussed and he shoved his hat on before coming through the doorway and slapping Davy's shoulder in a friendly welcome.
"You headed up to the line shack?"
Davy nodded. "I'm on my way now but noticed there's a section of fence down in the west pasture. You or Pa will need to make sure it gets patched today or you'll want to move your horses out."
Oscar looked past the packhorse Davy had tied off next to his mount, both animals loaded with supplies, to the slowly lightening sky.
Judging by the way Oscar's jaw was locked, Davy wasn't going to like whatever his brother said next. "You're still determined to winter up there alone?"
Davy's spine stiffened. "My plans haven't changed."
But two of his three older brothers disagreed with the plans he'd set in motion. Before Ricky had left, the two of them had spoken of investing money in a winter herd, cattle that could turn a profit by springtime. With Ricky gone, Davy had used nearly all of the money he'd saved working for his father these past years since he'd reached his majority to invest in the herd. It was a risk. If the animals didn't bring a good price in the spring, the grazing land wouldn't support them for the summer. If he couldn't keep them alive during the long, cold winter, he would lose his investment.
But he believed his brother was coming home. And when Ricky came home, Davy would have a profit to share with his brother.
No matter if his older brothers approved of his plans or not.
"I don't like the idea of you staying up there all winter alone," Oscar said, his eyes slightly narrowed on his brother.
"Matty offered to come, but it was half-hearted."
One corner of Oscar's mouth twitched up. They both knew personable twenty-year-old Matty liked being around people. Whether he was playing dominoes, talking, laughing or eating, he'd be miserable spending the winter alone on the mountain with Davy. Which meant Davy would be miserable, too.
Davy shrugged. "It doesn't matter. We'd have probably driven each other crazy stuck up there in close quarters. Breanna wanted to come, but she couldn't talk Ma into it no matter how big a stink she raised."
Oscar laughed, a short burst of sound. They both knew the line shack was no place for a 15-year-old young woman to spend the toughest months of the year.
When snowstorms came, as they were bound to do, Davy would likely be stuck in the cabin for days at a time. Roughing it with few luxuries, only a roof over his head and his horse to keep him company. It was no place for a lady.
Oscar's concern hadn't abated at Davy's mention of Breanna to lighten the moment. In fact, his brows drew down farther. "Ricky should be up there with you."
Davy shifted his feet, crossing his arms over his chest. "I'll be fine on my own."
Where Oscar and Edgar didn't approve of his risky plans with the winter herd, he didn't agree with the blame they placed on Ricky's shoulders for abandoning the family. He and Ricky had been brothers by bond long before they'd come to live with Jonas and his other adopted kids. That bond was why Davy felt Ricky's absence so keenly, while his older brothers seemed only to want to lay blame.
Oscar took off his Stetson and ran a hand through his mop of black curls. "I would offer to split the time with you, but Sarah's in the family way again."
His brother's smile was both sheepish and full of pride.
The hot spear ofjealousy through Davy's midsection was unfamiliar and unwelcome. He didn't like feeling the distance between himself and his brothers, nor did he like this ugly feeling.
"Congratulations." He knocked a fist on his brother's shoulder. "Sarah hoping for a little girl this time?"
Oscar shrugged, that smile lingering. "She's raising three, plus the little man. She won't say."
Oscar's oldest three were adopted, little girls whose parents had died. Sarah had been their schoolteacher and stepped in to help, and then she had fallen in love with the girls. Oscar and Sarah had had a son eighteen months ago, and now their family was growing again.
A cold wind snaked its fingers down the back of Davy's slicker. It was getting colder. He needed to go.
Oscar seemed to notice, too, his expression suddenly gone serious. "If you're going, you'd better ride fast. Storm's brewing."
Davy nodded. He'd felt it, too, the stillness, the heavy, expectant feeling that sometimes preceded a bad storm.
The sun was barely peeking over the horizon, lighting the undersides of low-lying clouds.
"Don't forget about the fence."
"Stay safe," his brother responded.
Davy mounted up and gathered the reins for the packhorse, spurring both animals into a quick trot through the grove of pines that backed Oscar's cabin. The building storm was a worry. He should've already been settled up at the cabin. His brothers had helped him drive the cattle up to the high mountain meadow days ago, but he'd delayed his arrival, hoping against hope that his brother would return so they could go together. But either Ricky had forgotten about the plans they'd talked about, or whatever was keeping him from coming home hadn't been resolved yet. And Davy could delay no longer.
He hadn't gotten far from the homestead before he noticed someone following. His sister Breanna's little white dog, the one that his sisters-in-law Hattie and Emma had a special fondness for, and he and his brothers tolerated.
"Git on home!" he called back to the dog. He didn't need company up in the cabin, didn't want to be responsible for another creature, not this one.
But the dog stubbornly followed in his tracks, even as a light snow began falling. Davy squinted against the blowing wind and spurred his horse to a faster pace.
Hours later, he was near frozen to the bone and caught in a blinding snowstorm. His lashes, clumped with snow, kept sticking together every time he blinked. He flexed his fingers inside his gloves trying to restore feeling to the near-numb appendages. And he had the stinking wet dog across his lap.
No matter what he'd done to get it to turn back and go home, it hadn't listened. And when the snow had begun coming down in torrential dumps, he'd been afraid it would get separated from him and get lost. He'd had to dismount and grab it and put it in the saddle with him.
He guided the horses into some woods. The snowfall wasn't quite as bad beneath the canopy of the scrub trees. But it obliterated any landmarks he might use to find the line shack—more of a cabin—that he and his brothers had built in the early spring. He'd been back in the autumn and stocked it with a good amount of his ma's canned goods, because they wouldn't spoil. His packhorse carried a side of beef that should last him a good long while. He would rely on his hunting skills to supplement on the days when he could get out of the cabin.
Weeks back he'd chopped a cord of wood. It was stacked neatly against the cabin wall. He was all set.
Except he couldn't find the cabin. Worry skittered through him.
The swirling white flakes created illusions that could lead a man false. He knew roughly where he was. The cabin was nearby.
But if he didn't find it, if he missed it, he could freeze to death out in the elements.
He'd been praying under his breath since the snow started.
Even sounds were muted.
His nose twitched. Was that wood smoke he smelled? Suspicion rose.
The only building near here was the line shack. Someone would be crazy to camp outdoors this time of year.
Which meant... Was someone squatting on their property in his pa's cabin?
The hair on the back of his neck rose. He pulled up his horse and reached for his rifle, and through the swirling snow he got a glimpse of the roofline of the cabin. Relief that he'd found it mingled with his suspicions. Had someone disturbed his cattle? Anger throbbed through him.
There hadn't been any reports of unsavory folks such as bank robbers or the like nearby, not anyone who would be looking for a place to hide out, but it paid to be careful. He would hate to get shot if he did come upon someone who didn't want to be disturbed—and was ready to protect himself with a bullet.
He edged his mount closer to the cabin through the blowing snow, and the packhorse followed.
Snow continued to fall in a blinding curtain. As he got closer, the cabin's dark log walls appeared out of the white in stark contrast. He was conscious of all the hiding places in the woods and around the cabin.
Everything was quiet.
No smoke curled up from the chimney, but the scent remained as if someone had just put out a fire. He scanned the ground. There were no prints in the newly fallen snow, no sign of other horses or boot prints.
He vacillated. Should he just walk up to the door unannounced?
Sitting on his horse amid the trees, he thought he saw a shadow move behind the glass-paned window. Was it a trick of the light? Or was someone in there?
He edged the horses back into the woods out of sight of the windows, but not so far that he lost sight of the cabin. With cold stiffening his joints and the snow swirling all around, he couldn't afford to get lost.
He kept one eye on the cabin while he guided his horses around to the back side. The one-room cabin only had the single window and door in the front, so if he came around from the side, he should be able to get close to the door without anyone seeing him from inside.
There was always the danger of a second person playing lookout in the woods or taking shelter in the lean-to built off the back of the cabin, but with only himself to count on and out of options, he was going to have to risk it. With the snowstorm showing no sign of abating, there was no riding back down the mountain to his pa's homestead to get help from his brothers.
He was chilled, cold to the bone. He needed to get inside and warm up.
He put down the dog, watched its paws sink into the drifted snow, and hoped it wouldn't alert anyone to his presence. Then he left the horses standing near the back corner of the building, sheltered a bit from the biting wind. He took his rifle and had a pistol tucked in his coat pocket should he need it. He kept his back to the wall as he rounded the cabin, moving toward the front door. The structure still smelled of sawdust and the freshly hewn logs it was made of.
Everything outside was quiet and still; his movements were muted by the snow. But who was inside the cabin?
His foot stepped in a depression and he froze. Something was off. He kicked aside the drifting snow and realized what it was. The entire woodpile he'd chopped was gone. Not a stick of kindling left.
He'd been counting on several weeks of warm fires from that wood, counting on having time to chop more before the winter storms prevented him from getting outside.
Anger boiled, along with a good dose of worry. Someone was squatting here. He was almost sure of it now.
His pa had good relationships with all the neighboring ranchers. Davy couldn't see anyone they knew doing such a thing.
Maybe it was a criminal, hiding out from the law in the remote cabin.
He tightened his hand around the stock of his rifle. Fat, wet snowflakes darkened his calf-length leather coat. Whoever was inside his cabin was in for a rough day. This was his family's property and he aimed to protect it. Those cattle were his and Ricky's future.
He banged the butt of his rifle against the wall behind him. "Halloo, the house!" he shouted, so he could be sure they'd hear him over the rising wind. "You're trespassing and I'm armed."
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Book Description Thorndike Press Large Print, 2016. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1410487202
Book Description Thorndike Press, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Large type / large print edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Do You Take This Cowboy? A blizzard traps rancher Davy White in his family s secluded cabin with Rose Evans.and she s nine months pregnant! Help is miles away, and Davy must work to keep them both alive. As the storm rages outside, he comes to care for the vulnerable widow. Enough that he s willing to offer her his name--against his family s objections. Rose will do anything for her baby, but she s recently widowed. She doesn t know if she can trust the feelings she has toward Davy. And she refuses to come between him and his family. But the more time they spend together, the less she can resist the comforting, caring cowboy. Wyoming Legacy: United by family, destined for love. Seller Inventory # BTE9781410487209
Book Description Thorndike Press Large Print, 2016. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111410487202