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Monday Puzzler > Monday Puzzler: 16 July 2017

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message 1: by Okie (last edited Jul 15, 2018 09:02PM) (new)

Okie (okieb) | 2123 comments Mod
*I was in a mood for a Western read. I found this one on Kindle. New to me author, but I love second chance romances and this one was really sweet with a great mix of mystery.

“Heroine,” it called in a friendly drawl. She turned slowly wondering what he would look like after all this time, but the same Hero stood in the street where he had grown up, and the memories came flooding back.

There was a short spell of silence, and she saw the same man he had always been. Older and more solemn but still the same Hero that she had grown up with and loved as a teenager. He had always been her very best friend, and that was the person she saw. It took away any feelings about what she would say or how he would react, and she almost ran the few steps towards him. He held out his hands, and she took them in her own.

“Oh, Hero. It is so good to see you again.” She didn’t have to think about it. It was good to see him again.

“Heroine, you haven’t aged a minute since I saw you last."

“Flatterer,” she said but smiled at the same time.

“Come on into the office and have a coffee with me,” he invited. “Apart from a catching up, I need an honest opinion of what is going on here.” Heroine nodded, and they fell into step walking towards the Sheriff’s office. Inside she saw the now much-relieved deputy, Jonah Lucas, with a smile on his face.

**********************

Heroine stood up and put the sewing aside. The man was as handsome as he had ever been.

Better if anything, she thought. Because time has matured his features.

Hero slid off the horse and looped the reins over the rail at the door. She came down the steps to say hello, and he bent and kissed her cheek.

“Mornin’ Heroine,” he said, and they started to go into the house when the small bundle of blond energy that was Luca hurtled out of the door and fastened himself to his mother’s skirt.

“Well, hello, young fella,” Hero said and looked at Heroine. “Introduce me to this gentleman.”

“Luca,” she said to the little boy, “Shake hands with Uncle Hero. He is the new Marshall and will keep us all safe.” She looked at Hero. “This is Luca Carson—my son.” Hero was stopped in his tracks but covered the moment well and solemnly shook the boy’s hand.

“Happy to meet you, Luca,” he said, and Luca smiled and went away to see Jeannie in the kitchen.

“So, are you married in secret, Heroine?” he asked. “What have I missed?” He saw that shadow cross her face again and did indeed wonder what he had missed. She walked into the living room and took a breath.

“It’s a long story, Hero.”

He sat in a big armchair and said he had all the time in the world. “Didn’t we make a pact all those years ago to always be there for each other?”

Heroine nodded and took a seat herself. “I met a man called Gino. He worked at the Green place and was their foreman. It was a time when I thought I had found happiness, and we were going to be married in two weeks when he disappeared.”

“Disappeared?” he prompted.

“He rode out on the range and never came back. The men from both ranches searched day and night for two or three weeks but found nothing.”

“What about his horse? Did it not wander back home?”

She shook her head. “We all hoped that would happen, but not a trace of either him or the horse was ever found. I had to think, in the end, that he had simply ridden away.” She paused and then added that she had found out that she was expecting a baby. “Luca is the result,” she added. “And he lights up my life.” Hero came over and sat beside her.

“Oh, I wish I had been here to help. I am sorry that it all happened to you. I know how much it hurts.” He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her towards him. “That old pact still holds you know. I’m glad I came back.”

She leaned against the man who had been her first romance and first love. The years seemed not to have spoiled their easy relationship with each other, and she knew in her heart that he would always be on her side.

“I’m glad you’re back as well,” she said and went over to find the little box. “Remember your mum making me this at sixteen?” He took the embroidered picture of her name and thought back over the years.

“She loved you so much,” he said. “And gave me such a lot of grief when we broke up.”

Heroine took the paper out of the box and handed it to him. “Proof,” she said. “The pact exists.”

He took the torn piece of paper, and his mind instantly saw the two of them with a sharp little knife and vowing to have a pact of blood that they would always be there for the other one. The blood stains were brown on the paper, but they told the story along with the two names.

“Heroine was right. We thought the world was ours.”

“Memories,” she added. “Happy days they were.” She sat in silence for a few moments. “Dad died, and when Gino went away, I determined to make the ranch a success to hand on to Luca, and work is a great healer.”

“Yes, you are so right there, but nobody can take away that first kiss behind the barn or sneaking away from the hoedown to find a quiet spot,” he told her. “They are always ours.”


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 727 comments Cute, but no idea. will look forward to your reveal.


message 3: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2102 comments Mod
No clue


message 4: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 896 comments Nope. I don't think I've read this one. I like Westerns too, so I'll look forward to the reveal.


message 5: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1207 comments no idea and I know I haven't read it as I haven't read any westerns


message 6: by Okie (new)

Okie (okieb) | 2123 comments Mod
This weeks puzzler is The Marshall's Second Chance by Aurora Hanson.


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