Bonus for you today! All you have to do after reading the excerpt is leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a signed print copy of the very first in the series, A Rancher's Pride.
Genre: Short contemporary romance
Heat level: Sweet/Sensual
A Best Friend’s Vow
The hero of Flagman’s Folly has been gone more than a year. But he still stands between Ben Sawyer and what he desires most—Dana Wright, the love of Ben’s life.
When soldier Paul Wright left for the last time, he made his best friend promise to look after his wife and kids. Ben—good, steady Ben—is honoring that promise. And it’s burning him up inside.
Because Dana is shutting Ben out. She wants him—so much—but she can’t afford to give in. If she does, she’ll spill her secret, and the betrayal will hurt everyone she cares about—her children, who loved their daddy; her town, which loves its hero; and Ben, who loved his friend. She’ll do anything to protect her secret—even give up her second chance at happiness.
In all the years since grade school, nothing had ever come between Paul and Dana. Ben had always honored that. Now he had to make doubly sure not to cross the line. "Today has to be hard for you," he said, keeping his voice low.
"Seeing Tess and Caleb so happy? Why should that cause me any trouble? I'm glad they're finally together."
She meant it, he knew, though her words sounded as brittle as the chipped ice in the banquet hall's champagne buckets. In the moonlight, her eyes glittered. Had she tried for a lighter tone to keep tears from overflowing? Or to prove how comfortable she felt around him?
Why did she have to prove anything? Why the heck couldn't she enjoy his company, the way she always used to? If she'd just give him that, he'd feel satisfied.
Sure, he would.
She'd grown quiet again, and he gestured toward the fountain. "What brought you out here? Wanting to make a wish?"
She shook her head. "No. Those are for people who aren't willing to work hard to get what they want."
"I can't argue with you there." Still, he felt tempted to toss a coin into the water for a wish of his own—that for once, she'd let him make things easier for her. "But there's such a thing as working too hard, you know."
"Ben, please." She gathered up her dress and stood. "You called the truce yourself, remember? I know you only want to help. For Paul. And because we're friends." Her voice shook from her stress on the word. "We've had this conversation before. Now, once and for all, I'm doing fine." As if to prove her point, she smiled. "And I have to go inside. Tess will be tossing her bouquet soon. I wouldn't want to lose out on that."
A tear sparkled at the corner of her eye.
Missing the chance to catch a handful of flowers couldn't upset her that much. He knew what she really missed—having a husband by her side. Her husband.
His best friend.
But neither of them would have Paul back in their lives.
Before he could get to his feet, she left, running away like that princess in the fairytale his niece asked him to read to her over and over again.
No, not a princess. The one who took off without her glass slipper—Cinderella.
Dana was no Cinderella. She hadn't left a shoe behind. Hadn't even dropped a button from that pink dress as something for him to remember her by. As if he could ever forget her.
She'd been the heroine of a story he'd once created long ago, a story he'd had to write in his head because he hadn't yet known how to spell all the words.
How did it go? Like in his niece's storybook...
Once upon a time, that was it.
Once upon a time, in the Land of Enchantment—otherwise known as the state of New Mexico—Benjamin Franklin Sawyer had high hopes and a huge crush on the girl who sat one desk over from him in their classroom every day.
No other girl in town, Ben felt sure, could beat Dana Smith, and most likely no other woman in the world could compare to her, either. In any case, without a doubt, she was the cutest of all his female friends in their kindergarten classroom.
Unfortunately, when the teacher moved his best friend, Paul Wright, to the desk on the other side of Dana's, Ben saw his hopes dashed.
The crush, however, continued. For a good long while.
As for Benjamin Franklin Sawyer's hopes...
Well, not every story had a happy ending.
From Barbara: "Hi! I hope you enjoyed the excerpt of HONORABLE RANCHER. I'm currently on a blog tour to celebrate the release of the book. You can find full details at my website. Meanwhile, please leave a comment or question for me here at Sunday Share, and your name will be entered in a drawing for an autographed paper copy of A RANCHER'S PRIDE, the first book set in Flagman's Folly."
Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.
From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called "books." Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that spell for others.
Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!
Thanks so much for stopping by to share that great excerpt Barbara, and thanks to you readers, too. Now comment so you can win Barbara's book.
Stacey Joy Netzel