Dakota Home (Dakota Series #2)

Dakota Home (Dakota Series #2)

4.3 75
by Debbie Macomber

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Buffalo Valley, North Dakota, has found new life. People have started moving here—people like Lindsay Snyder, who came for one year to work as a teacher and stayed, marrying local farmer Gage Sinclair. And now Lindsay's closest friend, Maddy Washburn, has decided to pull up stakes and join her in Buffalo Valley, hoping for the same kind of contentment. And the


Buffalo Valley, North Dakota, has found new life. People have started moving here—people like Lindsay Snyder, who came for one year to work as a teacher and stayed, marrying local farmer Gage Sinclair. And now Lindsay's closest friend, Maddy Washburn, has decided to pull up stakes and join her in Buffalo Valley, hoping for the same kind of contentment. And the same kind of love...

Jeb McKenna is a rancher, a man who's learned to endure, as the Dakota earth endures. He's raising bison and, buy choice, lives a solitary life. Maddy—unafraid and openhearted—is drawn to Jeb, but he rejects her overtures. Until one of North Dakota's deadly storms throws them together.

These few days and nights bring unexpected consequesnce for Maddy and Jeb. Consequences that, in one way or another, affect everyone in Buffalo Valley.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Buffalo Valley's depressed economy has taken a turn toward recovery in this second installment in Macomber's trilogy set in contemporary North Dakota. Buffalo Bob's bar is flourishing, Rachel's weekend pizza delivery has become a full-fledged restaurant and Sarah has a waiting list for her quilting classes. But the main attraction this time is Maddy Washburn, who bought the failing grocery store and, through clever marketing, has revived the town's interest in shopping locally. One of Maddy's new customers is Jeb McKenna, a farmer who lost his leg from a tractor accident four years before and now prefers a reclusive existence on his ranch to socializing in town. A blizzard sends Maddy into Jeb's arms long enough for the pair to fall in love (thus importing another romance from Dakota Born), but Jeb still considers himself a cripple and refuses to allow Maddy a permanent place in his life. Macomber closes book two with a cliffhanger, leaving readers anxiously awaiting the final installment to this first-rate series. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Publication date:
Dakota Series, #2
Product dimensions:
4.14(w) x 6.74(h) x 1.07(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

It was the screaming that woke him.

    Jeb bolted upright in bed and forced himself to look around the darkened room, to recognize familiar details. Four years had passed since the accident. Four years in which his mind refused to release even one small detail of that fateful afternoon.

    Leaning against his headboard, he dragged in deep gulps of air until the shaking subsided. Invariably with the dream came the pain, the pain in his leg. The remembered agony of that summer's day.

    His mind refused to forget and so did his body. As he waited for his hammering pulse to return to normal, pain shot through his badly scarred thigh, cramping his calf muscle. Instinctively cringing, he stiffened until the discomfort passed.

    Then he started to laugh. Sitting on the edge of his bed, Jeb reached for his prosthesis and strapped it onto the stump of his left leg. This was the joke: The pain Jeb experienced, the charley horse that knotted and twisted his muscles, was in a leg that had been amputated four years earlier.

    He'd cheated death that day, but death had gained its own revenge. The doctors had a phrase for it. They called it phantom pain, and assured him that eventually it would pass. It was all part of his emotional adjustment to the loss of a limb. Or so they said, over and over, only Jeb had given up listening a long time ago.

    After he'd dressed, he made his way into the kitchen, eager to get some caffeine into his system and dispel the lingering effects of the dream. Then he remembered he wasout of coffee.

    It didn't take a genius to realize that Sarah had purposely forgotten coffee when she'd delivered his supplies. This was his sister's less-than-subtle effort to make him go into town. It wouldn't work. He wasn't going to let her manipulate him—even if it meant roasting barley and brewing that.

    Jeb slammed out the back door and headed for the barn, his limp more pronounced with his anger. His last trip into Buffalo Valley had been at Christmas, almost ten months earlier. Sarah knew how he felt about people staring at him, whispering behind his back as if he wasn't supposed to know what they were talking about. He'd lost his leg, not his hearing or his intelligence. Their pity was as unwelcome as their curiosity.

    Jeb hadn't been particularly sociable before the accident and was less so now. Sarah knew that, too. She was also aware that his least favorite person in Buffalo Valley was Marta Hansen, the grocer's wife. The old biddy treated him like a charity case, a poor, pathetic cripple—as if it was her duty, now that his mother was gone, to smother him with sympathy. Her condescending manner offended him and hurt his already wounded pride.

    Jeb knew he made people uncomfortable. His loss reminded other farmers of their own vulnerability. With few exceptions, namely Dennis, the men he'd once considered friends felt awkward and uneasy around him. Even more now that he'd given up farming and taken up raising bison. For the past three and a half years he'd maintained a herd of fifty breeding animals. He'd learned mostly by trial and error, but felt he'd made considerable progress.

    Genesis, his gelding, walked to the corral fence and stretched his head over the rail to remind Jeb he hadn't been fed yet.

    "I haven't had my coffee," he told the quarter horse, as if the animal could commiserate with him. He hardly ever rode anymore, but kept the horse for company.

    He fed the gelding, then returned to the kitchen.

    Cursing his sister and her obstinate ways, he wrote a grocery list—if he was going into town he'd make it worth his while—and hurried toward his pickup. The October wind felt almost hot in his face. A few minutes later, he drove out of the yard, sparing a glance for the bison grazing stolidly on either side. He moved the herd on a pasture rotation system. Later in the day he'd separate the weanlings and feeders from the main herd.

    Buffalo ranching. He'd made the right decision. They were hardy animals, requiring less care than cattle did. The demand for their meat was growing and often exceeded supply. Business was good. Currently his females were worth more as breeding stock than meat: just last week, Jeb had sold one of his cows for a healthy five thousand dollars.

    To his surprise, he enjoyed the fifty-minute drive to Buffalo Valley, although he rarely ventured into town these days. Usually he preferred to drive with no real destination, enjoying the solitude and the changing seasons and the feel of the road.

    When he pulled into town, he was immediately struck by the changes the last ten months had brought to Buffalo Valley. Knight's Pharmacy was and always had been the brightest spot on Main Street. Hassie Knight had been around as long as he could remember and served the world's best old-fashioned ice-cream sodas. He'd loved that place as a kid and had considered it a special treat when his mother took him there on Saturday afternoons.

    Like Marta Hansen, Hassie Knight had been a friend of his mother's; she was also the one woman he knew, other than Sarah, who didn't make him feel like a cripple.

    3 OF A KIND, the town's only hotel, bar and grill, was down the street from the pharmacy, Jeb had briefly met Buffalo Bob a couple of years earlier. He never did understand why a leather-clad, tattooed biker with a ponytail would settle in Buffalo Valley, but it wasn't up to him to question. Bob had lasted longer than Jeb had thought he would. People seemed to like him, or so Calla, Jeb's niece, had informed him.

    The Pizza Parlor was new, but now that he thought about it, he remembered Sarah telling him Calla had started working there part-time. Good thing—the kid needed an outlet. She was fifteen and full of attitude. Jeb suspected that Dennis and his sister would have been married by now if it wasn't for Calla.

    Sarah's quilting store came into view next and despite his irritation with her, he couldn't squelch his sense of pride. Her quilts were exquisite, crafted from muslin colored with various natural dyes that Sarah derived from plants, berries and lichen. She managed to make something complex and beautiful out of this hand-dyed muslin, combining traditional methods with her own designs. The store was a testament to her talent and skill. She took justifiable pride in her work, displaying quilts in the front window of what had once been a florist shop. The Spring Bouquet had been closed for at least fifteen years. Folks didn't buy a luxury like hothouse flowers when it was hard enough just getting food on the table.


Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at www.DebbieMacomber.com.

Brief Biography

Port Orchard, Washington
Date of Birth:
October 22, 1948
Place of Birth:
Yakima, Washington
Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college

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Dakota Home (Dakota Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 75 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did read this book the first time is came into print. From all three I did like this one the best! I love how the old fashion values come up against today's strong women. I have and still recommend this book to all my friends!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Buffalo Valley, North Dakota, new grocery storeowner Maddy Washburn refurbishes her store while falling in love with reclusive rancher Jeb McKenna, who lost a leg in a farm accident four years ago. Jeb¿s sister Sarah loves Jeb¿s friend Dennis, but still remains married to a philanderer she has not seen in a decade. Buffalo Bob loves his Buffalo Girl, but she flits back and forth into his life, leaving him heartbroken when she goes. Joanie and Brandon love each other, but seem heading towards divorce. Heath and Rachel make a perfect pair so why are they only occasionally dating? It appears none of these couples will find a lasting happiness in the foreseeable future.

New York Times best-selling author Debbie Macomber returns to Buffalo Valley, North Dakota to display the lives of several couples. Though complex with many subplots, the contemporary rural romance works because each character is fully developed and understood by the reader. As she did with the series first novel, DAKOTA BORN, Debbie Macomber provides her audience with a stirring novel that will surely return the popular writer to all the lists.

Harriet Klausner

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I am a big Debbie Macomber fan and this Dakota series was just great. Couldn't wait to finish each book. Almost felt that I was living in Dakota in the town with all of them. Almost makes you wish for the small town setting in life.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. I would read this author again.
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judiOH More than 1 year ago
the dakota series deals with friends that decide for one reason or another to leave their homes and start new lives. a schoolteacher moves to the dakota valley to teach after a romance goes bad. one follows her friend because her job has burned her out. romances as only debbie can write them.
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Love Debbie Macomber books! the Dakota series is especially good. The characters are very real people making daily choices in the midst of their trials....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While Macomber's first book in the series, "Dakota Born," reads like a pile of notes girls pass in middle school, "Dakota Home" is far more mature and interesting. Macomber focuses on the most compelling residents of Buffalo Valley. After suffering through the non-problems of Gage Whinypants Sinclair and Lindsey McWhitebread in the first book, we are now treated to the brooding and sometimes bizzare lives of Buffalo Bob, Merrily, and Jeb. Also, bonus points for actually describing somewhat graphic sex in this one.
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