Dreams for Courage

Dreams For Courage

Will two lonely hearts find the courage to love?

A loner for most of his life, Rowan Reed wants nothing more than to be left alone. He buys a run-down farm near Holiday, Oregon, intending to turn it into a successful ranch through hard work and determination. When a nosy, albeit beautiful, woman shows up on his doorstep, the instant attraction he feels to her sets off nearly as many warning bells as her barrage of probing questions.

Private detective Rhetta Wallace always unearths the truth. Involved in a lengthy investigation into a man suspected of killing a politician’s son, her pursuit leads her to the town of Holiday. Accompanied by her adopted son, Rhetta finds herself squaring off against the grumpy, growling rancher she believes is the suspect. Whether or not Rowan admits his true identity, Rhetta is sure of two things: his innocence of the crime, and the deep affection he awakens in her heart.

Will their dreams for courage help them release the past and embrace a future together?

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Praise for Dreams For Courage

“One of my favorite books by this author. I loved the mystery aspect of this book.”

Goodreads Reviewer

“This sweet, inspirational love story has it all. Detective with ethics, sweet orphan street kid that gets a second chance, hunky rancher just trying to quietly live his life, dirty politician, and of course all the wonderful people of Holiday, Oregon! This author always weaves a story that has you instantly engaged and cheering for the good guys and booing the bad guys! Don’t miss it! You will love it!”

Goodreads Reviewer

“Oh, I loved this book so much. Rhetta and her ward/son Lee were such a great team from the beginning. Lee was so very grown up, helpful, and eager to help and to learn. Rhetta had done a great job raising him. And, of course, I loved Rowan. He had been through so much but was determined not to keep running when trouble came calling. The townspeople were wonderful and came through when they were needed. I just loved everything about this story, the entire way through.”

Goodreads Reviewer

Excerpt

Rowan hopped up and marched over to the well. Quickly drawing a bucket full of water, he dumped it over his head, hoping to wash away dirt and sweat before whoever was approaching arrived. He gave his head a shake to dislodge the water droplets clinging to it, ran a hand down his chest to sluice away what he could as a buggy stopped in front of the house.

He strode around the house and came to a halt at the sight of the woman he’d seen at church stepping out of the buggy. She wore another expensive gown, this one pale blue, with a straw hat perched at a sassy angle on the crown of lustrous brown hair.

She smiled as he walked around the buggy and headed toward him.

It wasn’t until she stopped a few feet away that Rowan realized her eyes were the prettiest shade of blue he’d ever seen. In fact, the woman was a beauty, with her cute, upturned nose and delectably full lips. She was even taller than he’d thought, with a figure full of curves.

Her gaze fastened on him as she pretended not to notice his bare chest or the fact that he smelled worse than one of Mr. Wagner’s goats.

“Mr. Reed. Rowan Reed?” she asked, tilting her head slightly as though she was memorizing every detail of his face.

“That’s right. I’m Rowan. You must be Mrs. Wallace. I heard you and your son were visiting Holiday. Is your husband working in the area?”

She shook her head. “I’m not married, Mr. Reed. I never have been. It’s just easier to let people assume I am a missus than explain all the details. You see, Lee is my adopted son, although he’s not legally adopted because we could never actually trace his birth records. His name is Leland Turner.”

The name Turner landed like load of bricks tumbling off a wagon into Rowan’s stomach. Preacher Bill hadn’t been entirely wrong about the name of the woman pestering him with questions about Rowan.

Rather than show his dismay, he did his best to look friendly. “What brings you to Holiday, Miss Wallace?”

“You,” she said, holding his gaze, as though she dared him to turn tail and run, which was exactly what he felt like doing.

Instead of giving in to the urge, he rocked back on one hip, doing his best to appear at ease and relaxed despite the ringing in his ears, and the feeling that a freight train was bearing down on him with no hope of him escaping the oncoming collision. “Why me?”

“May we sit in the shade, sir? It may take more than a minute to explain.” Rhetta glanced behind him toward the shade trees.

Rowan motioned to the porch, where he’d built a bench out of split logs. It wasn’t fancy, but it provided a place to sit in the evenings, which he didn’t get to do very often. However, the dogs enjoyed the seat and often took their naps there.

He pulled the soggy handkerchief from his pocket and brushed at one end of the bench, dislodging dog hair, a few burrs, and the remnants of a gnawed-on bone Kitty had been chewing the past few days.

To her credit, Miss Wallace didn’t so much as grimace as she settled onto the seat, then gave him an expectant look.

Barely holding back a sigh, Rowan took a seat on the other end of the bench. “Now, why are you looking for me? I don’t know you or your son, and there is no possibility I’m his father.”

She smirked, actually smirked at him. “I’m aware of that, Mr. Reed. The purpose of my visit has nothing to do with Lee, and everything to do with your brother.”

“I don’t have a brother.”

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