Read Heart So Sweet: Book 3 in the Great Plains Romance Series Online

Authors: Corrissa James

Tags: #Contemporary Western Romance

Heart So Sweet: Book 3 in the Great Plains Romance Series

BOOK: Heart So Sweet: Book 3 in the Great Plains Romance Series
4.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Contents

Title Page

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Acknowledgments

Sneak Peek: So Wills the Heart

The Great Plains Romance Series

About the Author

Heart So Sweet

 

 

by Corrissa James

 

Copyright (c) 2014 Corrissa James

All rights reserved.

 

Terms and Conditions:

The purchaser of this book is subject to the condition that he/she shall in no way resell it, nor any part of it, nor make copies of it to distribute freely. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

 

Cover designed by
Blue Valley Author Services

 

Please consider leaving a review for this book at your place of purchase.

Chapter One

 

Susannah Clark sat fuming in the back of the sheriff’s SUV. In all her twenty-two years she’d never been inside a police car, never had any of her own legal issues, and now she was being escorted home by the new sheriff after witnessing the attempted murder of Dalton James and his new bride, Trish. Susannah had tried to stop Trish’s ex from firing on the couple as they rode back to their ranch house and, luckily, Dalton had only been grazed by the bullet, but she knew she wouldn’t get out of this situation unscathed. Sooner or later the questions would start, and something about this lawman told her he wouldn’t just let it go.

“You okay back there?” His deep voice startled her, making her heart jump.

“I’ll be better when you let me out of this car.”

He turned away, muffling a noise that Susannah recognized. He was laughing at her!

Although his mirrored sunglasses hid a large swath of his face, she could see an aquiline nose that fit his strong jawline well. He wore his hair a little longer than she expected of a sheriff, almost as if he was overdue for a visit to the barber, and his black hair already showed a few streaks of gray, although Susannah would be surprised if he was even in his thirties. There was just something about him....

“I don’t understand why I have to ride back here anyway. It’s not like I did anything wrong. Hell, I saved two people today!”

“Department policy.”

Susannah looked at him via the rear view mirror and blinked. “Excuse me?”

“No passengers up front. Department policy.”

She rolled her eyes, wishing she could see behind his mirrored sunglasses. She had a feeling that he was still laughing at her, which gave her the sudden urge to rip off his sunglasses and crush them in her hands.

She frowned and looked out her window. She needed to stop wasting time on the sheriff and figure out how she was going to get herself and her family out of the mess her brothers created. Susannah scowled in frustration. Her older brothers Andrew, Daniel, and Jonathan were always getting in trouble, always costing the family bail money, although Andrew was the real troublemaker. Daniel just wanted to ride his coattails while Jonathan got dragged along. Only Lucas, the oldest, stayed out of trouble, but he had his own issues, far worse than what the others were dealing with.

“Most innocent people don’t get so jumpy sitting in the backseat.”

Susannah’s brows furrowed together, and she pursed her lips into a light white line. He was goading her, and she knew it. She crossed her arms and made a show of turning away from him to look out the window once again. His quiet chuckle made every muscle in her body scream in fury, but she would not give him the satisfaction of seeing her react. She curled her toes tightly in her boots, concentrating all her anger there. It was a trick she learned while growing up with her brothers, a way to express her anger without them seeing. If they knew they were getting to her, it was like adding gasoline to an open flame.

She needed to keep her anger hidden. For now. But once they got back to her farm, she’d let loose, knowing that her brothers would quickly rally around her. For all their trouble-making, they were extremely loyal. And they damn sure better be there today after she saved their butts.

Susannah sighed. She didn’t think this sheriff would care about who did what or why. Old Sheriff Enger would’ve come out to the farm to lecture the boys and, because he’d been a close friend of their father’s, the boys would listen. For a bit. Things would calm down for a while, and everyone would breathe easier. This new sheriff couldn’t be much older than her brothers. They certainly would not take to him one bit. Susannah sighed again, realizing what she would be in for: cleaning up more of her brothers’ antics.

A little of the sting of her anger dissipated when she realized that the sheriff was driving her right to the one place he shouldn’t be going. Her brothers would likely be there, still smarting from the scolding she’d given them when she found them cutting the fence along Dalton James’ property line—the line he shared with their grazing land. Not only that, but they were stealing tools from Dalton, all to get back at his sister, Miranda, who the boys swore was stealing the family’s cattle. When she’d first learned what they were doing, Susannah had lashed out at them like their momma used to do when they were younger. She had scared them with that tirade. Truth be told, she had scared herself a bit too. But apparently it hadn’t been enough, because this afternoon she’d had to ride out to the Jameses’ horse ranch and confront her brothers, who were back at their shenanigans. When her anger boiled over, it had surpassed anything they’d ever seen in their momma, and the boys had high-tailed it back to the farm, leaving Susannah to walk the fence line and try to fix the damage.

That was when she’d seen Bruce Garrison taking aim at the two riders on a horse.

Susannah was glad she intervened, saving both Dalton and Trish. But she hadn’t realized the predicament it would put her in, having to explain her presence on their property. Questions would inevitably arise and here she was, leading the sheriff right to the lair of the vandals—vandals who would more than likely brag about their efforts, seeing that they perceived themselves to be the victims. After all, Miranda James was stealing their cattle. Well, that’s what Andrew said. Susannah wasn’t convinced. She sighed loudly again. Andrew had done it again, created a total mess for the family—namely, her—to clean up.

“You okay, Miss Clark? Maybe need to get something off your chest?”

Susannah rolled her eyes, then winced at the bruise on the side of her face where Bruce had struck her down before running away. She could feel her anger rising again, furious at Andrew for risking the entire farm, the only thing they had left of their parents. But Andrew wasn’t here, so she’d just have to take her anger out on the sheriff. “Actually, I do.”

She saw him frown in the rear view mirror, then he slowed the SUV and pulled to stop along the shoulder. He turned around in his seat to look at her, finally taking off his sunglasses. “Are you sure, Annie?”

His voice was quiet, and Susannah almost didn’t hear his words, but not because of the steely reserve that kept his voice low. It was his eyes that shocked her into silence. Rich, cobalt blue eyes stared at her, taking her breath away. She’d only seen one person who had eyes that shade of blue, but he had left Harrington County nearly a decade ago, when she was just a little girl with a giant crush. It couldn’t be him...could it?

She studied his features more closely, his strong jawline coming to a rounded chin under lips that were perfectly proportioned to his face. His skin, which she’d originally taken for tanned, was actually more of an olive complexion. A lock of hair fell across his forehead, and he pushed it back in a way that was familiar to her. And he had called her Annie. Only two people in the world called her that: her brother Lucas and his best friend.

“Tate?”

She wasn’t sure she said it out loud, that it wasn’t just an echo in her mind, but his large expressive eyes registered something new...
amusement?

Susannah frowned. “Tate Trudell, what the hell are you doing back here?”

The corner of his mouth lifted in a half-smile, showing a dimple on his left cheek. Oh, how Susannah had dreamed about that dimple when she was younger, and now here it was, back in her life again. She felt her stomach flip-flop, and she told herself that it was just because she was worried about how she would convince him that she just happened to be in the right place at the right time earlier today. Tate would know immediately that her brothers were involved—hell, he’d probably already figured it out. She tried to maintain a pleasant smile while groaning inwardly. He knew her brothers almost as well as she did, probably even better in some ways.

“Sit tight, Annie.” His voice had returned to its authoritarian manner, and Tate shifted to step outside the car.

Susannah watched him walk along the side of the car, his right hand resting on his gun in its holster. She twisted around to see Bruce Garrison, the man who shot at Dalton James, about thirty yards behind the SUV, jogging toward the trees along the opposite side of the road. Tate called out to him, and Bruce stopped in the middle of the road, facing Tate, the rifle he’d used on Dalton still in his hand. Tate stood by the back bumper of the SUV, his hand still on his gun. Why hadn’t he drawn?

“Tate! That’s him! Tate?”

He made no indication that he had heard her, and Susannah whipped around to try to open her door, but she knew it was futile. Even the window wouldn’t roll down.

She turned back to knock on the driver-side window, but as she did, she heard the crack of gunfire. Her heart jumped to her throat. She saw Bruce fall to the ground, and she breathed a sigh of relief. Until she realized Tate was no longer standing next to the SUV. She pulled herself to the driver’s side seat and pressed her face to the window.

Tate was face down on the ground, and he wasn’t moving.

Susannah pounded on the window. Tate remained sprawled on his stomach along the side of the SUV.

This was all a dream, it had to be a dream—or a nightmare—but it couldn’t be real. “Tate, oh my God, Tate, please be okay.”

She pulled on the door handle, but of course it wouldn’t open. She was still in the back of a police car, after all. And there were no handles to roll down the windows. She leaned back and kicked at the windows with the heel of her cowboy boots, but the glass wouldn’t break.

Susannah growled in frustration, then looked around to see if she could find anything in the car to call for help. She had rushed out of the house that afternoon without her cell phone, but she saw Tate’s sitting on the front seat next to the console with the police radio. She pushed on the steel cage separating the front seat from the back, but it wouldn’t give. She tried to squeeze her fingers through the holes in the cage, but unless they grew about six inches longer, they would never be able to reach anything on the other side.

She examined every part of the cage, especially where it met with the roof of the SUV. Pulling on the edging, trying to pry it loose, made no difference. The cage just wouldn’t budge. She swore loudly, using a phrase that would make even her brothers blush. Then she screamed loudly in frustration.

“Tate Trudell, when I get out of here, I am going to kill you for putting me in the backseat!”

Her stomach lurched as she realized he might already be dead.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

Tate rolled over in the gravel, inhaling deeply despite the pain spreading across his chest. He sent a silent prayer of thanks to whatever entity was watching over him. His department had just received bulletproof vests that morning. He’d be sore for a while, but alive. He rolled his eyes as the SUV rocked erratically next to him, but he wasn’t at all surprised that Annie would take advantage of the distraction to try to escape the backseat.

BOOK: Heart So Sweet: Book 3 in the Great Plains Romance Series
4.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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