Kay Hewitt was sitting in her bedroom wondering how long she could bear to live the life she was leading. She sat with her head in her hands and fought back tears.
“Oh, Mom,” she thought and not for the first time. “I wish you and dad were here.” Then her brother’s voice broke through her thinking and she stood up quickly.
“Yes?” she called back. “I’ll be right out.”
“What ya doin’ in there?” her brother, Stewie asked with a bad-tempered glower on his face. Kay closed the door behind her and forced a smile onto her face. The last thing she wanted was to cause her brother to lose his temper completely. It was better to pretend that she was perfectly normal and off to start making the pie for the dinner.
“You got some secret letters or something in there?” he glowered and went into her bedroom. Kay continued to the kitchen and let him rummage through her things. There was nothing to find anyway. She started making pastry and pretended to hum a little tune as she worked. Stewie came in having found nothing which made him even more grumpy.
“Have a cup of coffee,” Kay said. “Is your head hurting again?” She had to make a determined effort to look and sound as if she cared. He slumped into a chair and watched her work but took the coffee she poured and handed to him. She thought to herself that drinking most of the night, it would serve him right to have a bad head.
“I guess I will have to take that couple of cows and sell them. Jake Harman said he would buy them.”
“We could do with more supplies from the store if you can get them on the way back,” she suggested knowing that it would start him off again.
“For heaven’s sake, how much food do we need? I am not made of money.”
“Well if you want to eat, I have to have something to make the meals,” she said and had to reply despite knowing that he could never stand being questioned. Stewie Hewitt could not argue and could not see anyone else’s point of view. If you disagreed with him, he lost his temper and flew into a rage. It was worse if he had been drinking but even through the day, it could be a nasty situation.
Kay had always been able to speak her mind and offer an opinion when their parents were alive. She had enjoyed cooking with her mom and could have taken a real interest in running the house for her brother but he was nasty and frightening. She had learned to hold her tongue most of the time. They did need supplies and she had to tell him that.
Even getting enough cloth to do some needlework and make herself a dress from time to time was getting more and more difficult.
“I can come in with you and go to the store,” she offered hoping that he would see reason for once but it was not to be.
“You just want to go in and talk about me. You’ll just spend too much money. I know what you are thinking.”
She turned back to the dishwashing and said nothing.
“Don’t turn your back on me. This is my house now and I say what goes.”
“That’s okay,” she tried to sound mild and reasonable and half turned to look at him. What she saw was the handle of the broom coming down at her with force and she screamed and turned her back to save the wooden handle from hitting her face. Instead of which it hit her across the back and it was repeated three times. Then he threw the broom to one side and stamped away out of the house.
Kay sank to the floor and covered her face with her hands as she sobbed and shuddered.
“How can I keep going on like this. Oh, please, Mom, help me from wherever you are.”
Eventually she realized he had taken the two cows and ridden into town. It was not that far but Jake Harman was on the far side of town. It would take him a little while. She made something to eat for when he returned and found her needlework. It calmed her down to sit and make something pretty. Then she heard the sound of a cart and leaped up in alarm. Surely he could not be back so quickly. She ran and peeped out of the door.
The only good friend she had in the world was tying the reins of the horse and running up the steps. Kay opened the door and Abigail caught her in her arms and held on as the floodgates opened and the tears flowed. The two girls came inside and sat together on the sofa.
“I saw him go through town and just left little William with my mom. Then I came as fast as I could.”
“Thank the Lord for a friendly face,” Kay said. “He is unbearable.”
“You can’t stay here,” Abigail said. “Come with me and we will protect you from him.”
“I can’t do that. You are so kind to offer but you have one little one and another on the way. It might put the children and you at risk. He would attack you to get to me.”
Kay winced as she moved and Abigail wanted to know what was wrong.
“He hit me across the back with the broom handle,” Kay told her. “Have a look at it for me, please.”
Abigail undid the dress and looked at the wound on her friend’s back.
“Oh, Lord above, please help us,” Abigail whispered. “How could he do this to his own sister?”
She bathed it with a little cold water and fastened the dress back up.
“He should be in jail for that.”
“It cannot last forever,” Kay said. “I will keep going for now.”
“I will talk to my mom and Bill. Surely we can make an escape plan for you.”
“You had better go, he might come back,” Kay said and the two girls hugged each other. Abigail drove her little cart away on another trail because she did not want to pass Stewie on the way back.
Kay stirred the stew and dropped in the dumplings. She was a very good cook and could have enjoyed the work if she was not so frightened that her brother would find some fault with it or knock it off the table. The plates were getting fewer as he broke things and did not replace them. She went out to the barn and collected the eggs to take them back inside when Stewie arrived back with the supplies she had requested, or some of them, in his saddlebags. He seemed to be more cheerful. She went to meet him with the eggs in the basket and held out a hand to carry some of the supplies inside.
“Stew and dumplings are ready,” she told him and there was no outburst or complaint. They carried everything inside. She served the stew and he sat at the table. She took some herself and asked if he had heard any news in town. He shook his head.
“Same old rubbish. Old Batty at the store said that he hadn’t seen you for a long time. I told him it was none of his business.”
“Thanks for getting the supplies, anyway,” she said and brought some cake to the table for a dessert. Stewie was about to put it to his mouth when he saw a ribbon on the floor and picked it up. Kay’s hand flew to her mouth as he turned and his face changed as he looked at her.
“That little madam, Abigail, has been here, hasn’t she? How did she know I was away? Did you send her a message?” He took a step towards Kay with the ribbon in his hand but his hand was a clenched fist.
“How could I send her a message? Please don’t hit me, Stewie.”
Stewie threw the ribbon away and lowered his hand.
“No, that would leave a bruise. Go and clean yourself up and we will go into town. There’s a good poker game.”
Kay’s heart sank to her boots. She knew what he was going to do because he had done it before. She would sit in the corner with a lemonade until he was losing and then he would offer his sister as the prize instead of money. It was horrific, humiliating and frightening. The two times that he had done it before, she had escaped by the goodwill of the mostly decent men who were in the game. One of the times he actually won and went off happily with cash and his sister.
She wondered briefly if the men had let him win to save her.
“Go. Make yourself look half decent.” Stewie went to the bucket of water and splashed his face. That was all he did to spruce himself up. Kay changed her dress and brushed her hair. She slipped the needlework into a bag because she thought she might pass the time better. There was no joy in watching a group of half-drunk men play poker.
Stewie brought the little wagon around and she sat in the back. He climbed onto the driving seat and they set off for town.
The saloon was not one of the better ones but the beer seemed to be good and the poker tables were always in business. Stewie pushed his sister into a corner table and brought her a lemonade. She tried not to look at anyone and pulled out her needlework.
Kay Hewitt was a beautiful girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. She stood about five feet five inches tall and was slender. Some of the men cast her a look now and then but she kept down her head and they left her alone.
From the corner of her eye, she could see the men at the table with Stewie and two of them were really horrible types. They drank a lot and shouted a lot and made a few remarks about how pretty she was and maybe she would like to join them. Kay ignored it all as best she could but in the end her hand was trembling and she could not carry on with the sewing. She put it in the bag and tried to sip the lemonade. There were no other women around and the barkeeper just did his job. She had nobody that would even stand by her or help her. Kay Hewitt wanted the ground the swallow her up. Instead, a very large man came into the saloon, looked around and asked to join the poker game. He sat in and all was quiet as they played, lost, won, drank and played some more.
Stewie threw his cards down.
“One more chance,” he said. “You can have my sister there if I lose this hand.”
The awful, loud men, laughed and joked and her heart thudded to the floor.
“How can this go on?” she thought to herself. “I don’t deserve this. I never hurt anyone.” A few tears rolled down her cheeks and she saw the big man who had just arrived look in her direction.
Hutch Mullins was not given to speeches or jokes. He ran his small ranch and once in a while came in for a drink and a game of poker. This had never happened before in any game he had ever played. The girl was terrified, crying and this ghastly brother was giving her away as if she was a piece of meat. Hutch didn’t know how anyone could do that. He didn’t want a woman but he didn’t want those two across the table to win. He had a pretty good idea what would happen to the poor girl.
Hutch Mullins played poker like he had never played before and swore to himself that he would probably never play again. It was better out on the ranch than sitting with these men who could not care anything about the feelings or fear of a young woman. He was developing a real and fierce dislike of the man who was giving away his sister. Hutch won the game.
Stewie was angry. He threw the cards on the table and pushed back his chair.
“She’s all yours,” he said and walked out of the saloon.
Kay shrank into the corner and tried to stop herself from shaking. She held onto the edge of the table and had a slight relief as the loud young players left the saloon. The big man came across and sat at the table. Hutch Mullins was not sure what to do or how to deal with this poor soul. She was shaking like a leaf and looked absolutely terrified.
Hutch had spent most of his adult years building a small ranch, more or less singlehandedly. He came into town once in a while and had a drink. He had never had much to do with women apart from speaking to storekeepers and the wives of other men. He was almost as frightened as the girl in the corner but he had to do something.
“Let’s get you out of here,” he said and tried to speak quietly and calmly. “I won’t hurt you.” For the first time the girl looked into his eyes and seemed to know that he was telling the truth. He saw a slight wave of hope cross her face and registered that it was really a very pretty face.
“Come on,” he said. He stood up and held out a hand to help her up. She hesitated but accepted and they left the saloon. Nobody even noticed the fact that something monumental had happed to Kay Hewitt. When they were away from other ears and eyes, Hutch told her again that he wouldn’t hurt her.
“You will have to ride with me on the horse to get to my house but you will be safe there.” She nodded without speaking and he unhitched the reins of a large gelding. “I’ll lift you up.” She nodded again and when she was settled, he climbed up behind her and the horse walked sedately away from the saloon, the town and her ghastly brother.
From behind her he told her his name was Hutch Mullins.
“I have a spare room and you can use it.”
He felt her relax slightly and was pleased that it was having some effect.
The ranch was not far out of town and they stopped in front of the house. There seemed to be nobody else around and she wondered what on earth she had been thrown into. Then she told herself that at least her brother would not be inside. Hutch lifted her down. He was a strong man and she seemed to be no weight at all to him. He set her on the ground and there was still enough light to see their way into the living room.
He found a lantern and lit it with a taper from the embers of the stove. Then he stoked the stove into life and saw that she was standing just inside the door. He poured two coffees and offered a seat. Kay perched on the edge of an armchair and accepted the coffee.
“Tell me how you came to be in that saloon,” he said and sat back in an armchair himself. Hutch knew that he was very big and could be quite intimidating. He had found ways of fighting his six feet six impression and he settled well down into the chair. “What’s your name?”
“Kay. Kay Hewitt,” she answered. “My parents died and Stewie inherited the house and the few cows and things that went with it. He has become more and more unbearable as the weeks have gone on and tried to sell me as a poker prize before.”
“He did that before?” Hutch was genuinely amazed. Kay gave him the first glimmer of a smile and told him that she thought maybe the men let him win to save her.
“He sold the last two cows today and had money to gamble. My friend saw him in town and drove out to see me when she knew he was away. He found her ribbon on the floor and lost his temper.”
Hutch knew there was more and waited.
“He hit me across the back with the broom handle three times. Abigail looked at it and bathed it for me.” Then she gasped. “I will have to let her know where I am. She will hear what happened.”
“Tomorrow, I will get the message to her and she can come out here if she wants to see you are alright.”
Hutch was stifling the feeling that he would like to shake that brother until his teeth fell out. He stayed outwardly calm and told her that she was safe.
“Let’s fix a room for you and you can lock yourself in if it will make you feel better.”
“Thank you,” she said again.
“I had to try and win you to keep you away from those other gamblers at the table. What you would like to do afterwards, is up to you.”
He smiled and his face was transformed from a rather forbidding expression into a friendly and understanding look.
“Please don’t say thank you again.”
Kay smiled. He stood up and told her to come and look around the house.
“I live alone and this place is what a house looks like when a man is in charge.”
“It is a lovely house,” Kay spoke more freely at last and told him that she liked cooking and was happy to make meals for him. She did not add that a few cushions and blankets would make the place a lot easier to live in.
He collected blankets and pillows and dropped them on the bed.
“Make yourself at home and I will put away the horse.” He strode away with long easy strides.
Kay breathed a sigh and sat on the edge of the bed.
“Thanks, Mom. You got me out of there. Heaven knows where it will end but for the moment, I am safe.” There was no reply, of course, but the faintest of warm breezes brushed across her cheek and she took comfort from thinking it was her mother watching over her from somewhere. She looked around. The room was very basic like the rest of the house but there was a bed with a decent mattress, blankets, pillows, a set of drawers with a water bowl and jug on the top and a wardrobe. That made her think that she had no clothes to change into and no nightdress.
She put the bedclothes in place and moved into the kitchen. Like the rest of the house, it was very plain but the large table was scrubbed and the stove looked like a good working one. Crockery was stacked in a corner and the place was clean. She washed the coffee cups and noticed that he had water pumped into the kitchen. His footsteps sounded at the porch.
The man filled the doorway. He wore the clothes that most ranchers wore with a checkered shirt, braces and rough trousers. His hair was long but clean and tied back with a leather thong. He had a gun belt at his waist and one handgun. He saw her looking at him and came inside.
“Sorry if this place is plain and simple. Like me, I guess. When you decide what to do, I can help you find somewhere.” He looked awkward and sort of embarrassed standing in his own doorway and not coming any further towards her. Kay Hewitt smiled properly for the first time. It was easy to see this man was a gentle giant. He had saved her from a fate worse than death and had brought her away from her dreadful life. She took a deep breath and stepped beside him.
“I know you said I hadn’t to say thank you but I really am grateful to you. Tell me the truth. If you would like the place back to yourself, I will find somewhere to live. If you do not mind, I would like to stay here and help you. I am a good cook and I am used to looking after the house that was my parent’s.” It was a long speech.
This slender, blonde woman had brilliantly blue eyes and he looked into them. He had never felt the need for a woman around but there was something about Kay that drew him in. Whether she was just grateful and offering to help, he had no way of knowing but the thought of her company was quite appealing.
“It’s a deal,” he said and smiled. “You stay and help around the place. I provide food and whatever we need and we see how we get along.” He held out a large hand and she took it in her slender one. A slight frisson of pleasure ran up her arm and she smiled back.
“Deal,” she said.
“Protection as well,” he added. “Will the brother want you to go back?”
“I don’t think so but you can never tell with Stewie. He can change in an instant.”
“Then we will be on guard, just in case.”
“But,” they both said together and then laughed. It suddenly felt good to laugh with someone and to feel that she was safe.
“You first,” he said and she answered that she had no clothes to change into.
“I was thinking exactly the same thing,” he added. “Do you want to go back to the house and collect them?”
“Maybe someone could go for me. I don’t want to risk seeing him again. It would be good to have my things and my needlework and sewing materials. I can manage tonight.” Hutch nodded.
“The sheriff is a good man and if I ask him, he will go with me. Can you wait at your friend’s house?”
She nodded and said she wanted to tell Abigail anyway.
“Good,” he said. “I like to get things organized. Is there anything else you need tonight?”
“You are like a magnificent guardian angel,” she told him and for the first time in his life, Hutch Mullins felt his heart do a strange little flip in his ribcage. He told her, to bring his practical side back, that he would lock up the doors and bank the stove.
“You can sleep safely, Kay Hewitt.”
“Good night,” she told him and went into the bedroom. It was a different room, in a different house and with a man she never met before in the next room but Kay Hewitt felt safe for the first time since her father had died. She did not know how exhausted she was until daylight filtered into the room and she smelt the bacon in the kitchen.
She took the luxury of a few moments before splashing water on her face and pulling her dress back on. Then she found him in his kitchen with supplies of eggs and bacon being piled onto her plate.
“Hungry?” he asked.
“Yes, but that is enough to feed two of me.” He laughed and said he would finish what she didn’t manage.
They sat at the table and he told her that he had a man who worked for him.
“He will be here in a few minutes to see what needs doing. He has a small house further onto the ranch and is married with a little boy.”
“What will he say when he finds me here?” she suddenly worried.
“Man of few words is Juan. He and his wife are happy to stay away from town and only go in when they need to.”
The knock came at the door and Juan Benito stepped inside and stopped short. His mouth almost dropped open but not quite.
“Come and have a cup of coffee, Juan,” Hutch invited. “We will tell you why Kay is here.” The man came over. Kay stood up and held out a hand.
“Kay Hewitt,” she said.
“Juan Benito,” the man replied and drank some coffee. He listened to the tale of the card game in silence.
“I hope you don’t mind that I am here,” Kay said at the end of the story. The man shook his head.
“I am glad that Hutch was there to help you. People can be very nasty, I have found. That is why my wife and I are glad of a house and job that is out of the way. If you need any help, please ask.”
“And that is a long speech for Juan,” Hutch added. He told his ranch hand that he was taking Kay into town to collect her things.
“But I am not going to the house,” Kay said.
“The sheriff will go with me, I think,” Hutch said.
“I can go with you if you think two of us will be safer than one,” Juan offered.
“I will be happier if you work close to the house and wear your gun belt,” Hutch told him.
“I’ll let the stock out and keep an eye on things here.”
“Thanks.” Hutch said. He took his Stetson off the peg and loosened the gun in its holster. “You ready to go, Kay?”
She picked up her bag and followed him outside. He brought a small wagon with a horse in the shafts and she climbed up beside him. As the town drew close, Kay was uneasy. He seemed to sense it and looked across at her.
“Don’t worry. Let’s see the sheriff and then you can show me where your friend lives.” She nodded and noticed that one or two folks did look at the wagon as it passed. Again, he seemed to sense what she was thinking. “Those folk will be thinking that your brother was wicked man and not that you are a fallen woman.”
“Thank you again, Hutch. You were reading my mind.”
“Can’t blame people for being curious but most of them are decent. I am guessing that the opinion of your brother is not even repeatable.” Kay laughed and he lifted her down at the sheriff’s office as if she weighed nothing at all.
“Mornin’ folks,” Grant Carson, the sheriff greeted them. “I’ll shake your hand Hutch. Last night’s poker game did reach my ears. Are you feeling better, Kay?”
She told him she was fine and had accepted Hutch’s offer of a housekeeping job.
“Good,” Grant said. “How can I help?”
Hutch asked him if he would mind going along to the house to collect Kay’s things.
“I can stay with Abigail until you come back. I don’t want to see my brother.”
“But I do,” the sheriff said. “I am giving him a strong warning. If he so much as looks the wrong way, I will slam him inside. I will also tell him to stay away from you.”
“I will add my warning to that as well,” Hutch added.
Grant said that he would follow them to Abigail’s and then they could go to the house. Abigail shouted out loud as she saw them drive up. She ran to the wagon and wrapped her arms around her friend as soon as her feet hit the ground.
“Oh, Lord. I heard the stories and feared the worst. Come in. Come in.” The two men went away with a reminder to not forget her materials and sewing things.
The girls closed the door and fell into each other’s arms. There were tears and some laughter as Kay told her about going from terror to safety and Hutch being almost as afraid as she was herself.
“He is a good man, I think,” Kay said. “and says I can stay there and cook for him. It seems like a genuine offer and I feel safe there.”
“That’s what we need. We have to keep you safe. Your poor dad would turn in his grave if he knew what your brother had done to you.”
“He will sell everything my mom and dad had and then what will he do?”
“Probably end up in jail,” Abigail answered sadly, “but that’s what he deserves.”
She looked at Kay’s back and said it was on the mend and the two of them played with the little one and looked at Abigail’s patchwork until the wagon returned, piled with what looked like half of the house contents.
“What on earth have you brought?” Kay exclaimed as she looked at small pieces of furniture as well as her sewing machine, mountains of clothes, blankets, cushions and even things from the kitchen.
Hutch jumped down and Abigail invited him inside. He sat down and told them that he and the sheriff had found the house wide open, no Stewie and everywhere things scattered around as if the place had been searched.
“We didn’t know what you would save from the mess and took what we thought would be useful or some things that looked like they were from your mom and dad.”
“So where was Stewie?” Abigail asked.
“No trace of him and his horse wasn’t there. We could only think that he had gone off somewhere. The sheriff had no idea as to why the place was ransacked and we did not know if anything was stolen.”
Kay stood up and thanked her friend for her company.
“You and your husband are welcome at the Big M,” Hutch told her. Abigail said that they would visit in a few days.
“I’ll keep my ears open in town to see if I hear about Stewie. With a bit of luck somebody punched him hard,” she added with a touch of dark humor. “I haven’t forgotten those marks on your back.”
“I guess we better get this lot back to the ranch,” Kay said. “If I never see my brother again, I will be happy.”
They stopped at the store for flour and a few other cooking ingredients. Kay had to draw a deep breath and hold her head high as she went inside. There were a couple of women at the counter and the storekeeper wrapping purchases. They all looked up to see who was coming inside.
Kay stopped in the doorway and felt so ashamed of what had happened to her. It was horrible having to see the way folk looked at her but Hutch bumped into her from behind and her feet took her inside the store.
“Mornin’ folks,” Hutch said and it was an effort for him to speak out because he was a quiet man and never looked to cause a scene. He could feel Kay freeze next to him and knew he had to take the lead. “I guess you all heard about Stewie Hewitt and the disgraceful way he treated his sister.”
“We did indeed,” one woman said. “If my son did that to his sister, I would shoot him.” She came over to Kay. “Are you alright, my dear?”
Hutch felt the strain leave the woman by his side.
“Thanks, Missus Brown. This man saved me from those awful gamblers and has offered me a job.”
“If she is going to cook, we need some supplies,” Hutch added. The atmosphere in the store was changed and the two women finished their shopping and went away. The storekeeper served them.
“Your brother was in here yesterday,” the man said. Kay nodded.
“I asked him for some supplies and he flew into one of his rages.”
“He hit her across the back with a broom,” Hutch added.
“Oh, good heavens,” Batty replied. “He said he was going away. I thought you might have a bit of peace and quiet.”
“Going away?” she asked. “Did he say where?” The man shook his head.
“He had quite a bundle of notes in his hand.”
“He sold two cows,” Kay said. “The last two cows at the homestead.”
“There was more money than the amount you would get for two cows. I was quite shaken when I saw how much he was holding.”
“I think we should tell the sheriff,” Hutch said. “We found the place ransacked when I went to collect Kay’s things.”
“Maybe he sold the house,” Kay suggested. “I said he would sell everything my parents ever worked for.”
Hutch paid for the supplies and they took them to the wagon.
“I’m glad you got away from him, Kay,” Batty said as they left. Hutch looked down at the slim blonde by his side.
“Feel better? Folk seem to be on your side.” She smiled and nodded. They walked across to find Grant Carson.
“Going away? I wonder where and why. That man is up to no good. I wonder if Batty could give an idea of how much cash was in the bundle.”
They left the sheriff saying that he would ask questions about money going missing and try and see if there was an answer.
On the way back to the Big M, they went over the curious events of the morning.
“I wonder if he did sell the house,” Kay pondered. “At least you and the sheriff took my things away. If the place is sold, that will be the end of things.”
“Mmm,” Hutch looked across at her. “He is a wild one and a bit crazy by the sound of things. We will not let our guard down.”
They turned the loaded wagon into the ranch and pulled up at the house. Juan came across and looked at the enormous pile of rescued furniture and clothes.
“Need a hand?” he asked and the three of them carried everything inside. The living room looked as if there was no way through.
“I seem to have completely messed up your house,” Kay said as she surveyed the mess. “I’ll take the clothes into the bedroom.”
“The sewing machine can go by the window where there is more light,” Juan suggested because he had one much the same at home. He went off to finish what he was doing in the barn. Hutch moved any kitchen things into the kitchen and Kay found some bits and pieces that were memories of her mother and father. She suddenly found herself crying and holding onto the few ornaments that the men had thought to take for her.
“Sit down,” Hutch told her. “It has been a couple of desperate days.” He put the vases she was holding to one side and brought her a fresh cup of coffee.
She wiped her eyes and gave him a shaky smile.
“It’s over,” he added. “You have your things. Abigail knows where you are and the sheriff is on our side.”
“You had a terrible fright. That takes some time to get over.”
“You have a gift for saying the right things,” she told him.
“Nobody ever said that to me before,” he smiled. “I usually get tongue-tied and stuck for what to say.”
“You saved me, Hutch. I will never forget that.”
He waved a hand to dismiss the thought.
She looked at the things left around.
“Can these blankets go over the sofa and chairs?” she asked.
“Feel free,” he told her. “I have no idea about anything like that.”
“You and most men,” she gave him a smile. “What is your favorite meal?”
He came straight back.
“Anything with dumplings.”
“Dumplings I can make.”
“Can I leave you to sort out here and ride out to the stock?”
“I will fit in with your normal routine,” she told him. He stuck his Stetson on his head.
“Thanks,” she said as he went out of the door and then in hurtled a small terrier and stopped at her feet.
“His Heart’s Lucky Bet” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
Kay Hewitt has been stuck with her cruel and controlling brother, Stew, since the loss of her parents. Spending her days at home, isolated, trying to avoid her brother’s bad temper, Kay cannot believe how her life will take a turn for the worst in a single day, when Stew uses her as a bet at a poker game. To her misfortune, her terrible premonition will soon come true, as a stranger beats Stew and she has no choice but to follow him to his ranch. Can she truly be safe with him or a nightmare is awaiting her? Will she lose her heart due to this reckless gamble, or will she discover the sweetest company she’s ever known?
Hutch Mullins has never been interested in having a wife but everything he has planned turns upside down during a fateful win. In a seemingly usual poker game, he feels the urge to save an innocent woman, who is being awfully mistreated by her brother. What he doesn’t expect is that Kay will quickly grow on him and have an enormous impact on his life. Will he take the risk to open his heart for the first time? Hutch is willing to offer her safety, protection and a job but would love ever enter the equation?
Kay and Hutch will find encouragement in the tentative trust that grows between them, but whether it is enough to guarantee them a happy future together is far from certain. The challenges they go through, though, are far from over, as an unknown threat appears on the horizon ready to put everything at risk. Could this unconventional match that started as a simple bet end up becoming the couple of the season?
“His Heart’s Lucky Bet” is a historical western romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.