Home Sweet Texas [NOOK Book]

Overview

When a strange man appeared to her like a mirage in the desert, he was the answer to the lost and injured woman's prayers. But she couldn't tell her handsome rescuer who she was?because she couldn't remember....

Ex-Texas Ranger Jake Trayner felt instantly protective of the mysterious lady who'd stumbled onto his sprawling Texas ranch. She brought a beacon of light to his solitary world and Jake was determined to help her find the missing pieces of her life. Even if the return of...

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Home Sweet Texas

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Overview

When a strange man appeared to her like a mirage in the desert, he was the answer to the lost and injured woman's prayers. But she couldn't tell her handsome rescuer who she was—because she couldn't remember....

Ex-Texas Ranger Jake Trayner felt instantly protective of the mysterious lady who'd stumbled onto his sprawling Texas ranch. She brought a beacon of light to his solitary world and Jake was determined to help her find the missing pieces of her life. Even if the return of her memory erased the precious bond growing between them—and meant he'd never see her again...

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426885969
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 12/27/2010
  • Series: Love Inspired Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 106,116
  • File size: 698 KB

Read an Excerpt

Home Sweet Texas


By Sharon Gillenwater

Steeple Hill

Copyright © 2007 Sharon Gillenwater
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780373813124

Mesquite trees. Prickly pear cactus. A vast uninhabited land.

She was in the Southwest, somewhere between California and Texas. Maybe even Mexico. She didn't question how she knew it. General facts such as those seemed to come easily. Important things, such as why she was alone and on foot in the middle of nowhere, were nonexistent.

Turning in a slow circle, she searched the rangeland, silently praying for a glimpse of a house, a car, a power line—any sign of another human being.

Nothing.

The landscape was little different than what she had seen the previous morning when she had finally been able to climb out of the narrow canyon. Today it was a bit flatter, with fewer hills and long, flat-topped mesas. Rocky ravines cut through here and there, proof that it sometimes rained, despite the cloudless blue sky and dusty soil.

The grass was longer and greener than it had been the day before. Small green shrubs and the yellow-blossomed prickly pear added more color, as did a sprinkling of yellow and purple wildflowers and the scattered light green mesquites.

She had seen a light last night, way off on the horizon. It had still been there before dawn so it wasn't a star. Now, lining up on the arrow she had drawn in the dirt, she faced the west.

The light in the darkness, that tiny beaconof safety, had been miles away. Without any means to carry water, she dared not strike out toward it, across an unending and unforgiving land. She had to stay by the creek, though at this point it meandered more in a northwesterly direction. How far would she walk before it switched back around with one of those frustrating bends?

Still, she had water, for which she was eternally thankful. Water meant survival for a while. The small plums she'd found yesterday helped. Despite not being fully ripe, they were edible. She'd had five for dinner and six for breakfast as she watched the sunrise. The rest of the fruit on the shrub was too green to eat. If she stayed near the creek, she might find more of them.

Too bad fruit or water didn't help a pounding headache. Gingerly touching the knot on her forehead, she decided the swelling had gone down somewhat. The only good thing about a monster headache was that it kept her from noticing the mosquito bites so much. She checked her knee through the rip in her jeans. It was swollen, but there was no nasty redness around the big scrape. The cut on her arm had finally stopped trickling blood.

Was anyone looking for her? Would anyone even miss her?

Be strong. Don't give into fear. Hold on to Jesus. "Lord, thank you for watching over me. For providing the water and the food. For keeping me safe from the animals last night." Coyotes? Wolves? She didn't know one howl and yip from another. Though they had seemed close, they hadn't come near enough for her to see them.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me! The psalm had brought her great comfort during the night, just as it did now. God was taking care of her; she was certain of it. But quoting scripture, recognizing plants and having some idea how to survive seemed so odd in light of the things she didn't know, the things she couldn't remember.

She took a deep, determined breath and headed northwest. Limping along through the grass and rocks above the creek, she prayed softly. "Lord, please send someone to help me. Someone who can tell me who I am."

Jake Trayner rested his hands on the saddle horn, the reins falling in relaxed loops along the mare's neck. He had followed a coyote's tracks for the past hour, not that he expected to come across the animal in the middle of the day. But it took him to a corner of his West Texas ranch that he hadn't checked in a few weeks.

He stopped at the barbed wire fence separating his land from the Rocking K Ranch. The flattened grass beneath the fence revealed where the coyote had wiggled through. The trail began again on the other side, then quickly disappeared in the rocks and brush. The ornery critter was probably watching him, tongue hanging out, a foxlike grin on his face.

"Fine. Go pester them for a while." Jake smiled as he thought of his best friend, Caleb Kincaid. He would be sure to mention that he'd given the coyote permission to visit. Get back a little at Caleb for teasing him about his piddly ten thousand acres compared to the Rocking K's hundred thousand.

He rode along the fence line, following it down the steep creek bank. The posts running up each side of the creek stood solidly in the ground, the barbed wire stretched tightly between them.

He dismounted in the shade and removed the canteen from Prancer's saddlebag. The horse sidled over a few steps to the edge of the yardwide, lazy stream and began to drink. Jake took a long swig of cool water, then recapped the canteen and put it away.

Scanning the area, he listened to the chatter of sparrows and the sweet melody of a mockingbird. Thick green grass swathed both sides of the bank where the willows and mesquites protected it from the hot, late-May sunshine. The grass in the pasture wasn't as long, but it was still green and thick. The good rain from a week earlier was paying off. "Should move the cattle over here in a week or two."

Prancer looked at him, her plaintive gaze making Jake chuckle. Taking off his old battered straw hat, he wiped his forehead on the long sleeve of his blue chambray shirt. He squinted up through the lacy, pale green mesquite leaves at the noonday sun and settled the hat back on his head.

"Might as well stay in the shade a spell and have lunch. I don't have any pressing business."

He retrieved a brown lunch sack from the saddlebag before Prancer moseyed over to a patch of grass to graze, swishing her tail at a fly. Jake looked around for his dog, expecting him to appear the instant he heard the rustle of the paper. Licorice never missed an opportunity for a nibble. He whistled loudly. "Come on, Lic. Chow time."

Five minutes later, the dog came splashing down the creek and onto the sand beside it, water dripping from his face and feet. Jake supposed he was a bit odd looking, with the thick muscularnarrow nose and large, pointed, upright ears of a kelpie. His coat was predominately black, with a large white patch on his chest. The sprinkling of white on his chin and feet looked as if he had brushed against wet paint.

"I should have known you'd be playing in the water." Jake laughed as Licorice gave a hearty shake. The dog stared intently at him, backing up a few steps. He turned, looking expectantly over his shoulder at Jake and made a quiet, short huffing sound—his way of asking someone to go with him. The dog tensed, poised to run. He rapidly huffed again, three times. Whatever he wanted, it had to be mighty important for him to ignore food.

"Hang on." Tossing a banana peel into the weeds, Jake hurried over to Prancer and slid the lunch sack into the saddlebag. He grabbed the reins, mounted and looked down at the dog. "Okay. Show me."

Licorice took off up the middle of the stream. Jake followed, guiding the horse at a fast walk through the grass in the dry portion of the creek bed. Dodging a weeping willow, he moved to the sand next to the water—and came across footprints of someone who had done the same thing.

He stopped the horse and dismounted, squatting down to inspect them. His father had taught him well, not simply to identify one animal print from another but to note the distinguishing features of a variety of tracks, from shoes to tires. During his years in law enforcement, especially with the Texas Rangers, he had expanded that knowledge. These were walking shoes, a size six or seven, the soles worn a bit more on the outside of each heel. The right indentation was consistently deeper than the left. The prints were undisturbed, not more than a few hours old.

He checked the creek bank, noting that the visitor had followed the cattle trail down to the water. He figured some youngster visiting the Rocking K had been thrown and the horse headed for home. The kid could have easily gotten lost and wandered over to Jake's land. In another hour, the whole section would probably be crawling with people looking for him.

Licorice was no longer in sight. Jake climbed back into the saddle and followed the tracks where they continued in the sand beside the water. He directed Prancer across the creek and up the bank to a trail worn in the grass from the cattle's habitual trek to drink. The trees and brush were sparse on that side, affording a good view of the stream, the footprints and south bank.

He knew to take nothing for granted, not even miles from the nearest road, and unfastened the strap on his holster. Approaching a bend in the stream, he put a little pressure on the reins, slowing Prancer. He moved around a cluster of mesquite trees and stopped.

On the opposite bank in the shade of a willow, Licorice sat beside a woman in the creek bed. The dog snuggled against her like a long-lost friend, and Jake felt some of his tension ease. Licorice was friendly, but he was also a good watchdog. If anyone else were around, he wouldn't have been so relaxed.

Jake studied the woman. Although he was less than thirty feet from her, she hadn't noticed him. And his dog was enjoying the attention too much to enlighten her.

She scratched Licorice behind one ear, her gaze never leaving him. Practically babbling, her voice was a little hoarse. "Such a good boy. You like that? Want me to scratch on the other side?" She moved to the other ear. "Does that feel good?"

Licorice tipped his head so she'd find just the right spot. Any other time, Jake would have grinned. Instead, he assessed her appearance. She was in rough shape.



Continues...


Excerpted from Home Sweet Texas by Sharon Gillenwater Copyright © 2007 by Sharon Gillenwater. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Great book

    Highly recommend this book. What it all comes down to is that sometimes you have to lose it all in order to find out what really matters in life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2011

    What a GREAT read!

    I wasn't sure about the storyline - didn't really see where it was going. But still, I found it to be a sweet Christian romance-type book, which always makes for a nice cozy read for me. The more I read, the more "attached" I became to the characters, and I enjoyed the mystery twist it culminated into. Really an enjoyable book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Enjoyable

    Enjoyable

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Kat

    Next res.

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  • Posted February 4, 2013

    Great read

    Loved this book

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Home Sweet Texas is a perfect example of Sharon Gillenwater's wr

    Home Sweet Texas is a perfect example of Sharon Gillenwater's writing talents. I loved this sweet story of hope.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Loved it! A must read...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 1, 2012

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