THE SISTERS OF BELL RIVER RANCH
Three sisters who should have been happy...who should have been friends.
Meet Rowena, Brianna and Penny Wright, the daughters of Bell River Ranch, a glorious 500-acre spread in western Colorado through which the glistening Bell River twines. The ranch's open plains, natural waterfalls and fresh green juniper forests made it a wonderful place for the girls to grow up, as healthy and vigorous as any of the high-priced horses their father, Johnny Wright, raised there.
Idyllic, even…until the night, fifteen years ago, when the peace of Bell River exploded—and the girls’ mother, Moira Wright, lay dead at the foot of the stairs.
Traumatized, exiled, sent to separate parts of the country to start over, the sisters have struggled to forget the ranch they once loved. But some things can't be forgotten. Some things have to be reclaimed.
Maybe it's time to find out whether a broken heart can heal. TIme to discover whether an exiled daughter can go home again.
OCTOBER, 2014: RECLAIMING THE COWBOY
Bonnie O'Mara, the "sister" they chose.
Bonnie O'Mara shouldn't let herself get involved with anyone. She wasn't free. She wasn't safe. She wasn't even named Bonnie. She was only a desperate stranger hiding out at Bell River Ranch, hoping to remain anonymous and stay alive a little longer.
Then she met Mitch Garwood. Boyish, irreverent, carefree, Sheriff Dallas Garwood's younger brother hadn't ever met a problem he couldn't charm his way out of...or walk away from without a backward glance. The last man on earth who would want to get mixed up with trouble like her.
But she'd underestimated Mitch. Falling in love with this mysterious, vulnerable woman made a man out of him. When she had to run again, he ran with her. He spent an amazing year at her side, determined to protect her even though she would never tell him from what.
One morning, he woke up, and she was gone. She'd vanished without a trace. When his frantic searching led nowhere, he dragged his broken heart back to Bell River, and somehow, with the help of his family and hard work, he survived. He's even starting to believe he might love again, someday. There's a waitress at the ranch who's been good to him. She's simple. Sweet. An open book.
In short, the opposite of his elusive, mysterious lover who might as well have been a ghost. It ought to feel perfect. It does feel perfect. Almost...
But then, one cold Colorado night, Bonnie O'Mara returns...
MAY, 2014: THE SECRETS OF BELL RIVER
Tess Spencer: the secret one.
On her deathbed, after more than two decades spinning a fantasy about a heroic soldier who died before he knew he had a daughter on the way, Tess Spencer's mother finally told her the truth about her paternity.
Tess's father wasn't a hero. He was an adulterer. Most shocking of all, he was a murderer. Johnny Wright had died in prison after killing his wife and leaving her body to be discovered by their three young daughters.
When Tess learns the facts about Johnny's other daughters, she wonders whether her mother, who dreaded leaving Tess alone in the world, idealistically hoped she might connect with her half-sisters.
But does Tess dare to reach out? Maybe having no family is better than having one that resents her. If she shows up at Bell River Ranch--particularly now that it's thriving--what will Rowena, Bree and Penny think? Will they assume Tess is an opportunist, hoping to claim an inheritance she doesn't deserve?
Then Tess's short, unhappy marriage falls apart, and her ex-husband files for so much alimony it bankrupts what's left of her massage therapy clinic and spa. She can't pretend the idea of a fresh start at Bell River isn't tempting.
When the ranch advertises for a massage therapist, it feels like fate. Without revealing her connection, Tess applies for the job. To her shock she gets it.
And that's not the last shock Fate has in store for her. Because working on the beautiful Wright homestead is a movie-star-gorgeous carpenter, Jude Calhoun, whose body has been damaged so badly only Tess's skilled hands can heal him.
However, Jude's heart has been mangled, too. And that may be more than Tess, who discovers she hasn't even come close to leaving her problems behind, can fix.
DECEMBER, 2013: THE RANCH SHE LEFT BEHIND
Penelope Wright: The gentle one.
Penny was only eleven when her mother died, and she's lived the past sixteen years quietly, as the grateful caregiver to her elderly aunt, the reclusive woman who was kind enough to offer Penny a home after the tragedy.
She doesn't regret the sacrifices she made. But when Aunt Ruth dies, Penny gradually realizes that she's twenty-seven years old, and she's never really...lived! It's time to take some chances. She puts together "The Risk-It List," her version of the bucket list...except that this list is filled with all the things she longs to do, but has never had the courage.
For at least one year, she vows, she'll devote her life to herself--to building her art business, living on her own for the first time ever, and finding out who Penny Wright really is.
Until she's done every single darn thing on her Risk-it List, no crutches. No boyfriends, no roommates...she won't even accept her protective older sisters' offer of a home at Bell River Ranch. To their shock, she buys her own little duplex in Silverdell. Near enough to reconnect with her lost family, but independent enough to keep her fragile spark of independence from being smothered.
It's a wonderful life.
The first thing she crosses off her list is "Kiss a stranger." Widower Max Thorpe is gorgeous, new in town, and obviously a devoted father to his edgy eleven-year-old daughter, Ellen. Impulsively, Penny kisses him the first time she meets him.
The second time she meets him, she discovers to her horror that he's the new tenant in the other side of her duplex... As she get to know him, and Ellen, intimately, she realizes Max may just be the single most dangerous thing on her list.
He may be the man who breaks her heart.
JULY, 2013: BETTING ON THE SHERIFF
Brianna Wright:The icy one.
Brianna learned early not to show what she really felt. Her temptestuous big sister, Rowena, was the perfect role model for what not to do, always at loggerheads with ...well, everyone. But Bree also learned not to trust anyone. Her mother had been restless, unfaithful, emotionally remote. Her father had been--a lunatic. And, worst of all, for several, terrifying days after their mother's murder, no one had stepped up to offer Bree a home.
The family friend who finally took her in insisted on cheerfulness and cooperation from her little, traumatized adoptee. "No one likes a sad sack, Bree."
So is it any wonder that Bree developed a slightly chilly, guarded exterior? What else could protect the vulnerablity inside? If her cheating, faithless fiancee, Charlie, can't deal with that, then good riddance to him!
When she goes home, to recover from her failed engagement, and to help with the opening of the new Bell River Dude Ranch, the last thing she's looking for is a lover. And, even if she were, the last man she'd ever consider in that role is gorgeous, spoiled bad boy Grayson Harper III.
The disgraced heir to the Harper Marble Quarry millions, this cowboy has serious commitment issues--far worse than Charlie's! Gray and Bree will have to work together at Bell River, but he's already announced he's not in Silverdell to stay. He wants his job for only four weeks, not a day longer--just long enough to win his ridiculous bet with his grandfather, and get himself reinstated in the old tyrant's will.
FEBRUARY, 2013: WILD FOR THE SHERIFF
Rowena Wright:The fiery one.
By the time she was a teen, Rowena was notorious in Silverdell, the black sheep of the Wright family. Raven-haired, green-eyed, she even looked wild, nothing like her sisters. Her restless spirit needed open air and freedom--not classrooms and curfews--and she refused to cowtow to the town's old biddies who disapproved.
When she set out to seduce Dallas Garwood, Silverdell's golden boy, she wanted only the pleasure of knocking him off his pedestal. She hadn't intended to get him shot. But she had underestimated her father's inner violence. They all had--as they realized the next day, when Johnny Wright killed his wife, making everyone forget, at least temporarily, the furious bullet that had grazed Dallas's handsome brow.
But Rowena never forgot. And now...of all the terrible memories she'll have to face when she returns to spruce up the ranch for rental, Dallas is the one she dreads the most