currently enjoying this stretch as the author of sweet and clean Western
romance. She is the author of the Kansas Crossroads series, the Nurses of New
York series, and contributed two books to the American Mail-Order Brides series
– with ideas for many more. You can learn more about her and her books on her website.
and laughter – two young men sought her hand, and she chose the one she thought
would make her the happiest. He certainly was the most handsome, and the
wealthiest, and could offer her the most pleasant life. But that turned out to
be a mistake . . . one she would regret for a very long time.
set things right. Will she be able to live down her past, or will her
foolishness keep coming back to haunt her and keep her from ever being happy
with the man she loves?
There was one thing she couldn’t delegate, however—one thing she would do herself, no matter how much it hurt.
She waited along the road for Luke to walk home from work. He was late enough that she wondered if maybe he had taken a different route or was working for a different farmer that day, but at long last, she saw him. He usually quickened his pace when he saw her, but this time, he didn’t change speed at all.
“Hello,” she said when he finally drew near. “You look tired. Long day?”
“Pretty long. Biggest problem was a cow that wouldn’t budge from the spot where we needed to dig. Spent about twenty minutes pushing on her behind, and let me tell you, pushing on a cow behind is hard work.”
Meredith smiled. “Come for a walk to the bridge with me.”
It wasn’t a long walk, and they were soon seated side by side. This time, Meredith did pull off her shoes and stockings and dangled her feet in the water. It might be quite a while before she had a chance to do something like this again, and she wanted to enjoy it.
“Word spreads quickly around here, and I imagine you’ve already heard,” she said.
“Yep.” Luke picked up a stick that had been tossed on the bridge and used it to make swirls in the water.
“I had to break away and talk to you myself,” she went on. “I needed . . . I needed to make sure . . .”
Luke reached out and caught her hand. “It’s all right, Meredith. We both knew this was going to happen, and I’ve had a chance to come to terms with it. I want you to be happy, and if this makes you happy, who am I to say anything different?”
He’d already told her this before, but now that that moment was actually upon them, it was so good to hear it again and know that his feelings hadn’t changed, that he was still eager to see her find joy. “Thank you,” she said, giving his hand a squeeze. “I can’t tell you how much that means. If I’d lost your friendship, this wouldn’t be a happy occasion for me.”