THE SHERIFF CATCHES A BRIDE
by Cora Seton
When county sheriff Cab Johnson gets a hunch, he’s learned to trust it, and his hunch tells him Rose Bellingham is in a peck of trouble. Bad enough he’s in love with her, bad enough she’s already engaged to Jason Thayer. He’s got to figure out what she’s hiding before he loses her for good.
Rose can’t stand one more person meddling in her business, even if that person is a handsome, eligible sheriff. She’s been controlled for far too long. But since her fiancé’s father is both her boss and landlord, she can’t dump Jason until she’s got somewhere to run. She’s found the perfect place: a patch of forest outside town. But with Cab watching her every move, she’s hard pressed to finish her hideaway so she can make her escape. Meanwhile, she’s not the only one with problems. Can she find a way to help her friends, too?
Just when Cab solves one mystery, more pop up. Where does Rose keep disappearing to? What’s wrong with Mia Start? Why is Hannah Chatham lying to her fiancé? At least he’s let Rose know he’s interested. And if he’s not mistaken, she’s interested, too.
Rose’s hideaway is perfect, until her friends invade it to escape their own troubles. Can she trust them to keep its whereabouts a secret? Does she want to hide from Cab anymore? Now that Jason’s out of the picture, is it safe to follow her heart?
When two unexpected visitors arrive with secrets of their own, Chance Creek must brace for its deadliest night ever. Can Cab figure out the connections between all the mysteries fast enough?
Or will Rose and her friends pay the ultimate price?
“Walk you to your car?”
She glanced up at him and his heartbeat sped up. Did she know he was hitting on her? He was trying not to, but somehow he couldn’t stop himself. Jason was a damn fool to leave her alone so long.
“Sure. It’s over here.” They walked through the shadows of the parking lot to Rose’s truck. He couldn’t help noticing the pile of lumber in the back.
“What are you building?” he said, peeking over the side.
“Just fixing something at the carriage house,” she said and bit her lip. Cab narrowed his eyes. That was a tell if he ever saw one. Most people had a tell; a little quirk that broadcast they were lying. Why would Rose lie about a building project?
“Oh, yeah? A big project?” he pressed.
She wasn’t going to give up anything, was she? Rose didn’t seem the type to get into trouble, but you never knew with women. Men he could usually peg pretty quickly. Women?
They didn’t make logical decisions for one thing. Men put two and two together and got four. They bought exactly the right tools to get the job done and they did what was necessary and then stopped. Women, on the other hand, put two and two together and came up with a reason to buy two hundred Hummel angels and store them in a fancy cabinet for the next fifty years. They got in stranger’s cars and ended up dead.
Rose might be lying because she planned to build a catapult. Or she might simply lie because she didn’t want his interference. Women were like that, too.
“Got all the tools you need? I’ve got a bunch kicking around if you need to borrow any.”
“Thanks, but I think I’m all set.” She fumbled in her purse for her keys. “Good to see you again, Cab. Good night.”
He thought about her driving home alone, parking in the carriage house driveway, walking up the front steps and inserting her key in the lock. There was shrubbery around her front door. Anyone could hide in it.
“Was there something else?” Rose asked when he didn’t walk away.
“What? No… nothing. Good night, Rose.”
He forced himself to walk nonchalantly back to his vehicle, and when Rose pulled out of the parking lot he hung back to let another car pass before he followed. He kept his distance, slowing down to a crawl when she turned in to her place. Pulling off the road several houses down he watched her exit her truck, walk up the steps and let herself inside. Only when her lights came on did he pull out, execute a U-turn and head on home.
He didn’t park the car, sneak up to the house and check the door handle to make sure she’d locked it.
But he wanted to.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.
Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a neglected one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini. Visit www.coraseton.com to read about new releases, contests and other cool events!
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