- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
"What's your business here?"
Carni's gaze was pulled to the muscles straining the thighs of his muddy denims. The man obviously worked hard for a living. How dare a ranch hand question her? Rudeness was not to be tolerated. Grasping the reins with one hand, she reached under the cart seat to collect the velvet reticule lying at her feet. "I'm tired and I'm cold. As wonderful as our conversation has been, I need to get to the Bar-T ranch. I'll pay you four bits to direct me to the ranch house."
She dug out the coins and held them suspended over the side of the cart, staring with a narrowed gaze at the man's shadowed face. When he sat as still as a statute with only his eyes tracking her movements, her temper simmered. However, discussing her personal business with a ranch hand was unthinkable. She shook her hand and raised an eyebrow in his direction. "Okay, six bits." Another coin was added to her hand.
The wind teased her skirts, flipping back the hem to reveal several inches of a red petticoat.
His gaze flicked to the exposed lingerie and the right side of his mouth quirked for just a second.
She saw his reaction and steamed even more. He'd taken advantage of the wind's mischief instead of averting his gaze like a gentleman would. "A dollar for the directions. Take it now, I won't be offering more." Money well spent to remove herself from the belligerent company of this quiet man.
Several moments passed before he clucked out of the side of his mouth and urged the horse forward until abreast of the cart. "Whoa, Hades." He held a cupped hand under her outstretched one, looked up from under the brim of his black hat and winked.
Heat flashedthrough her at his bold gesture. With a quick movement, she released her hand and let the clinking coins drop into his gloved hand. "Your boss will be hearing about your surly attitude."
He shrugged and wheeled the horse, guiding it to the middle of the path. "Follow me."
Posted April 26, 2013
Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
The year is 1868 and Carnelian Wendell (Carni) can't believe it has been a year since her world changed forever. Associated with an outlaw, her past isn't something she is proud of. The thing is that she doesn't feel she belongs anywhere, so she decides to visit her older sister in Wayside Gap, Texas. She works as a cook on the Bar T ranch owned by Luc Tarrant. Her first meeting with Luc has sparks flying, but Carni is sure that someone like Luc would never be interested in her. When she takes a trip to town and is recognized by the local sheriff it's up to Luc to get her out of jail, and the plan he comes up with will alter their lives forever. Will Carni's past keep her from the future that she longs for, and what lengths will Luc go to in order to get Carni out of jail?
"Lone Star Angel" is a short but very satisfying historical fiction read. The author packs plenty of detail providing an in-depth story with more than a few twists that kept me quite interested! Carni's character is multi-layered, and my first impression was that she would be someone I wouldn't like, but the background the author provided for this character really changed my mind, and she actually became my favorite character! I thought the tension between Carni and Luc was perfect, not overdone, instead it seemed very realistic, and while I was pretty sure I knew how it would turn out the twist the author provides near the end really provided a punch that wasn't expected! Linda Carroll-Bradd's writing allowed me to easily visualize the story unfolding, and even provided a few laughs. Ms. Bradd has a unique way of expressing her characters' feelings giving enough description to allow us to understand what is going on but also leaving something for the reader's imagination, which is wonderful for someone who enjoys a clean read. The secondary story between Carni's sister Ame and Rey the ranch foreman grabbed my attention and added another layer to the story. Fans of historical romance with a western setting will certainly enjoy this well-written novella.