“Dang nabbit,” Hank yelled. Smoke began to fill the kitchen, and he coughed as the pork he’d been attempting to cook smoked. While Hank tried his best to salvage their dinner, it caught fire in the pan, igniting in flames of orange and gold.
It might have been pretty, if the situation were different.
“Ya best put that out before you set the whole place aflame,” Michael yelled. He’d moved away from the stove the moment the fire had engulfed the pan.
Hank didn’t blame him much, but he couldn’t help but be annoyed by it. Michael’s job was to help Hank. After all, he was the ranch’s best man, but when Hank needed him most, he’d pressed himself against the far wooden wall, his back as far into it as he could get.
“A bit of help would be nice,” Hank said. He’d taken a rag to the pan in an attempt to smother the flames, but he couldn’t even do that correctly. The linen had caught, and Hank dropped it into the pain with the sizzling pork. Definitely ruined now, he thought.
“Grab the salt!” Hank yelled out.
This time, Michael moved. Grabbing a large amount of salt, he did not think twice before dumping the entire content on the fire. This time, the flames flickered just enough to allow Hank to grab a towel and smother the remainder of the fire.
The white smoke that filled the kitchen grew ten-fold, and both Hank and Michael fled out the door and into the open, crisp air of the Colorado morning.
“Well, that was a hog-killin’ time,” Michael said, as he couched into the morning sun. His face was red, and his black hat was askew. He looked as if he’d wrestled a herd of cattle rather than tried to help make breakfast for the rest of the ranch.
“You could have been more helpful,” Hank grumbled. He didn’t like Michael poking fun at his attempts. Hank wasn’t usually so sensitive, but when it came to his ranch and men, he didn’t like failing. And this morning, he’d failed. Miserably.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” Michael said. He patted Hank on the shoulder. Michael had worked on Hank’s family ranch since he was a young boy. He’d started by doing small jobs for Hank’s father and over the years had worked his way up to be the best ranch hand they’d ever had.
Now that Hank’s parents were gone, Michael was more like family. The only family Hank had left, which is why Michael’s good-natured ribbing smarted more than it would have from someone else.
“We should go back inside,” Hank grumbled under his breath. “Make sure the fire’s really out.”
He didn’t wait for Michael to follow. He stormed into the kitchen. His boots slapped against the wood, making loud booming noises. He made his way back to the stove and inspected the damage.
“That pork is ruined all to pieces,” Hank said.
He could feel Michael behind him. “It ain’t pretty, but maybe…”
Hank snorted. “I’d be likely to kill us all with this,” he said, picking up the skillet. The pork, which had been pink and white with delicious fat, was now black and covered in burnt linen. Hank scratched his head as he considered what the heck he might do. He hated wasting food, but he knew ain’t no one was going to eat this pork. Even the hungriest of men would turn their nose up at this blackened mess.
“I need to think,” he said. “The men need to eat, and we ain’t got nothing here that I know how to cook.”
Hank was getting frustrated. His parents had always made sure to feed the men. Working on the ranch guaranteed one a wage and two square meals. Of course, that had been when Hank’s ma was alive. Hank’s ma had cooked two hot, delicious meals for every man who worked on the ranch, and she’d done so every day.
Now, Hank couldn’t even handle getting a simple meal of pork and eggs going. Though Michael would never say it, Hank knew that the men were growing frustrated as their bellies grew hungrier.
And this ranch can’t afford to lose anything more, he thought. Hank allowed himself a moment of upset, but only a moment. He didn’t have time to wallow. Grabbing the cooling skillet, he threw the charred meat into the empty water bucket. The meat was so hard that it clanked against the wood.
Hank and Michael’s eyes met, and they both released a snort of laughter. “Don’t quite know how ya managed that,” Michael said.
Hank shrugged. He hated to admit it, but he’d been defeated by a single slab of meat.
“Are ya going to try again?” Michael asked warily.
“‘Course not,” Hank told him. “No use destroying the whole pig.” Fresh meat was expensive, even on a ranch, and Hank knew better than to waste their wares.
“We’ve got some tac,” Michael said. “I’ll get some cheese from the main house…” He didn’t sound happy about the thought of that meal. Hank couldn’t blame him. The ranch required hard work, and when one’s stomach hadn’t had a good meal, that work was much harder.
“I’ll go into town,” Hank said. It was the only way he could ensure a hot, hearty meal for his men.
“We can’t be putting off work all day,” Michael reminded him. Hank released a heavy sigh.
“Get the work started. Give them men some Hardtack and cheese to hold them over. I’ll be sure to come back with heartier fare as soon as I can,” Hank said. He was determined to feed the men, even if it meant that things on the ranch might fall by the wayside just for the day.
The look on Michael’s face made it clear to Hank that he didn’t think pushing back work was such a good idea.
“You look like you’ve got a bee in your bonnet,” Hank said to his friend.
Michael sighed. “I don’t understand why ya won’t hire someone.”
“Someone for what?” Hank asked. He was pretending to be confused, but he knew what Michael was getting at. They’d had this argument before.
“One of those Angelicas, to come and cook for the men.”
“I’m handling things here,” Hank said. He knew that he was being prideful, but he was determined to run the ranch just as well as his parents had and that meant providing food for his men himself.
Michael said nothing, but the purse of his lips made his opinions known. Hank ignored Michael and instead grabbed the wooden water bucket which contained the burned-out pork so he could discard of it.
“I’m going into town, and I’ll make sure that this problem is resolved,” Hank said, his tone snippy.
Michael said nothing but tipped his hat to Hank as if to say, “Good luck.”
Hank hated that he needed it.
Lauren tip-toed around her parent’s home as she prepared herself for an early morning at the bakery. It wasn’t uncommon for her to wake up before the sun and her parents rose.
“Lauren?” her ma called out. Lauren’s mother always woke up just as Lauren was heading out the door. She claimed that she liked a few minutes of solitary enjoyment before Lauren’s pa woke, but Lauren suspected that her ma simply wanted to see her off.
“I’m going to Roberta’s,” Lauren whispered. She didn’t want to wake her pa. He often slept until the morning sun peeked through their threadbare curtains. Unlike his wife and daughter, he wasn’t a morning person.
“Be sure to bundle up,” her mother said. She gave a slight tug to the bonnet string that Lauren had yet to tie.
Laurent smiled at her mother. No matter the temperature, her mother always warned her against catching a chill. It was a sweet part of the morning routine they had established since Lauren had begun working at Roberta’s.
Lauren took a deep breath of the crisp morning air as she stepped outside. Her parents did not live far from Roberta’s, and Lauren appreciated the walk. It gave her a few moments to herself every day.
Her job at Roberta’s bakery was a godsend. Since she was a young girl, Lauren had enjoyed cooking. She never felt as content as she did in the kitchen. There was something about providing people with nourishment that filled Lauren with a sense of completeness.
Working at Roberta’s bakery not only allowed Lauren to explore her passion and make a bit of extra coin, but it also gave her access to a real kitchen. Lauren’s own family still cooked using the woodstove at their hearth, though Lauren had been secretly saving up for a new stove.
The sun had begun to rise in the sky and Lauren added a slight skip to her step, enjoying the sun on her face. Her skin thrummed in excitement as she got closer and closer to Roberta’s. Though the bakery didn’t open for at least another hour, Lauren wanted to get in as early as possible.
Though Lauren always worked hard for Roberta, she wasn’t just coming in to be a star employee. The town’s annual pie contest was coming up and Lauren wanted to win. For years, she’d helped her mama make pies, and she cherished the memories they had created together. Last year, when Lauren had begun working with Roberta, she’d honed her skill, and for the first time, she’d won.
The feeling of winning was one that she’d never forget. It wasn’t the praise that made the experience so special. Watching everyone enjoy her cooking made Lauren’s heart beat a little quicker and made her just a bit more prideful.
That was why she’d been going in an hour early every day for the past few weeks. Lauren had been baking pie after pie in an effort to get her recipe just right. Roberta wasn’t just nice enough to lend the kitchen and the ingredients, but she also allowed Lauren to sell her wares.
A hot blush overtook Lauren’s cheeks as she recalled how several of the men who’d come into the bakery had ooh-ed and ahh-ed over her pies. It made her feel good to know that they found pleasure in her food.
Lauren was lost in her head—so much so that she didn’t notice the handsome man standing at the bakery entrance until she nearly ran into him.
“‘Scuse me, Miss,” the man said, as he reached out to steady Lauren.
The man was much taller than she was, dressed in dark gray pants and a crisp white shirt. He smelled of acrid smoke, and she wrinkled her nose at his scent. This man, with his dark hair and rumpled clothing, caused a blush to form across Lauren’s face as she untangled herself from his arms.
This was the closest she’d ever been to a man who was not related to her, and it made her stomach do funny things.
“Excuse me,” she said softly, as she darted around the man and toward the bakery door.
“Do you work in the bakery?” he asked. His voice was smooth and deep. It reminded Lauren of a black velvet dress sliding across her skin, and the thought made her cheeks redden even further.
“I do,” she told him.
She raised her eyebrow at his tone. She did not care for it.
“I need breakfast,” he told her. His voice was frantic, and he ran his dirty fingers through his hair. The action made the light brown tresses stand on end. Lauren stifled a smile. Something about the messiness gave her the urge to giggle.
“The bakery isn’t open,” she told him. She walked past him, and her skirts brushed against his legs as she made her way toward the door.
Though she did not think this man meant her any harm, she did not like the way he caused her stomach to lurch.
And I don’t have time to converse with him, she thought. I have pies to bake.
The man’s hand reached out. He grabbed Lauren’s clothed arm, stopping her from heading inside.
“Unhand me!” Lauren yelled. She yanked her arm back quickly. It wasn’t hard. The man’s grip had been loose and non-threatening.
He held his hands in the air. “I meant no harm,” he told Lauren. His eyes were as blue as lake water, and they seemed contrite. “I simply need your help.”
Lauren crossed her arms over her bosom once more. “And I told you that the bakery isn’t open yet. Please, come back and place an order later.”
Lauren expected the man to turn and walk away when he realized that he was not going to get whatever breakfast he was after. But instead, he moved just a little closer, each thud of his footsteps echoing ominously in the quiet morning.
“I’ve known Roberta my whole life, and I know she wouldn’t be pleased to hear that you were turning away a paying customer—especially one who is willing to pay extra for breakfast today and every day this week.”
“Well, I don’t know you,” Lauren told him.
The man reached out his hands toward her. Lauren eyed them skeptically. His skin was dark and weathered. He had cuts across his knuckles, and she noticed that his fingernails were blackened with what appeared to be dirt.
He must work on one of the ranches, she thought. There wasn’t any manufacturing in Colorado, so most men worked in the mines or on one of the two ranches outside of town. Considering the man wasn’t completely covered in soot, Lauren guessed he was a ranch worker.
“I’m Hank Collins,” he said.
Lauren’s eyes widened with surprise. He’s the big augur, she thought, surprised to see him. The Collinses didn’t often come into the town, at least, not as often as Cornelius Webster, the owner of the largest ranch in town.
“Are ya gonna shake?” he asked.
Lauren had been so caught in her thoughts that she’d allowed Hank to stand outside of the bakery doorway, looking foolish with his hand sticking out.
She thought for one moment. She wasn’t in the habit of shaking a stranger’s hand, but she also knew that Hank Collins was right. Roberta would be angry if she turned away a paying customer who could help her.
“Come on in,” Lauren told Hank.
Hank seemed to relax, and Lauren smiled. “Thank ya,” he said. “You are gonna be making a lot of hungry men very, very happy.”
Lauren’s heart warmed. “That’s what I love to do,” she told him.
She didn’t say much as she began taking out the ingredients she needed to get Hank Collin’s breakfast started.
“I’m surprised to see you here,” she told him.
He raised his eyebrows at her. “Why’s that?”
Her delicate shoulders shrugged as she began getting the stove ready. Being in the kitchen was effortless for Lauren, and as she cooked, she did her best to engage Hank in conversation.
“I’ve never seen ya in here before, and I’ve been working for Roberta for nearly two years. I always heard your family kept to yourselves.” She knew it was rude to discuss town gossip, but she couldn’t help myself. Lauren was searching for something to say, and it was the first thing that came to mind.
“My ma used to cook for all of us. She’d come into town when we needed supplies, but she kept us all well-fed.” Hank’s blue eyes grew sad. Lauren remembered that his mother had passed several months ago, and she wondered if this was why he’d come into the bakery searching for enough breakfast to feed a small hoard of men.
“Do y’all have someone cooking for you now?” Lauren asked. She had prepared several egg pies and had begun putting the finishing touches on each one.
“I tried my hand at biscuit rolling,” Hank told her.
Hank shook his head. “And I found myself banging on y’all’s door.” A small smile spread across his handsome face, and Lauren felt her heart give a slight thump in her chest.
My goodness, she thought. What is the matter with me?
Grabbing an old mitt, Lauren began meticulously removing the pies from the tins.
“Ain’t that hot?” Hank asked. His eyes were focused on her, and he seemed fascinated by her actions.
“It’s not terrible,” Lauren told him. “You do it often enough, and your fingers become used to the heat.”
Lauren took some cloth and began wrapping the pies so that they wouldn’t lose their heat while Hank took them back to the ranch. Though he’d inconvenienced Lauren by showing up an hour before their opening time, she would not have him going away with sub-par food.
“All finished,” she said, presenting the pies with a flourish.
Hank said nothing. He clambered forward, gathering his wares.
Lauren expected him to say something. She expected a thank you or, at minimum, a tip of his head in acknowledgment of her hard work. But Hank said nothing. He threw a few coins on the counter, collected his food, and moved swiftly toward the door.
Lauren’s mouth dropped open in shock. She’d dealt with some rude customers from time to time, but never like Hank Collins.
“Well,” Lauren muttered, as she gathered the coins he’d strewn about, “that’ll teach me to dish favors out like cake.”
Hank had paid a pretty penny for her egg pies, but his unappreciative behavior made Lauren angry. He’d taken up the entirety of her free time, and he hadn’t even had the decency to thank her.
Grabbing the flour, Lauren began her morning duties. Soon, people would be coming in for their breakfast and weekly loaves, and Lauren wouldn’t have time to think about Hank Collins.
Kneading the dough, she allowed her mind to focus on her task. I don’t need Hank Collins’ appreciation, anyhow, Lauren thought. She knew that soon she’d have the appreciation of people who cared for more than just themselves. Lauren refused to think about Hank Collins for one moment longer. After all, she wouldn’t have to see him again… until tomorrow.
Things hadn’t been going well for Hank the past week. Each morning, before dawn, he’d been going to the bakery to pick up the breakfast.
Earlier-than-normal mornings coupled with the hard work of the ranch was starting to take a toll, and Hank could barely keep his eyes open by the time supper came most days. When it was time to hit the hay, Hank crawled into bed and slept as soundly as the dead.
Tonight, was no different. Hank’s eyelids were drooping as he sat on a bale of hay waiting for the men to finish up for the day. Several of his ranch hands were taking care of the horses and locking up the tools for the night.
It wasn’t like Hank to sleep on the job. He might own the ranch, but that didn’t mean he didn’t work as hard as anyone else. In fact, he often worked harder, which was why he could barely lift himself off the hay once he’d sat down.
“…can’t go on like this,” someone murmured.
“…won’t be able to keep this goin’ for much longer.”
“Recipe for disaster.”
Hank knew his men were talking about him. His mind was tired, but he wasn’t so far gone that he’d fallen asleep out in the open of the barn. He was just taking a bit of a catnap.
“Oy! Collins!” a deep voice yelled.
Hank shot up. He hadn’t been sleeping, but he’d been on the verge. The deep shout startled him, so much so that his heart had nearly jumped into his throat.
“Glad to see ya awake,” the voice said.
Hank rubbed the sleep from his bleary eyes as he focused his attention on the man before him.
“Gerald,” Hank said. “What are ya doing here at this hour?”
Gerald Price, the owner of the local sawmill and Hank’s best friend, was standing before him, smiling from ear to ear. Gerald was tall and wiry and always looked as if he were desperate for a hearty meal.
“Brought those metal pieces you wanted.” Gerald held up the pieces, and Hank squinted his eyes in the dim light to inspect them.
Groaning, he got to his feet. Despite his few moments of rest, he still felt utterly exhausted.
“I’ll take those,” Michael said. He stepped forward to take the metals from Gerald. “Why don’t y’all head into the main house? There are some leftovers for supper.”
“I’ll help y’all finish the night’s work,” Hank said.
He was so tired that he missed the quick look that was shared between Michael and Gerald. If he had seen the look, it wouldn’t have sat well with him.
“I came all the way here, and you won’t even feed me?” Gerald said, his tone joking.
“Fine,” Hank said. “But y’all holler if you need anything.”
The men all nodded, though not a single one of them planned to call for him. They weren’t just worried about their boss’s health, but they were also worried about their own safety. A tired man on a ranch could cause all sorts of havoc, and most of it was dangerous.
“You look like you are about to bite the ground,” Gerald said, as they walked out of the barn. The sun was setting, and the sky had taken on a pink-purple hue as it bathed the land in its last bit of light. Hank took a moment to enjoy the picture the sun painted on his ranch.
Ain’t nowhere as beautiful as this, he thought.
“You know how it goes,” he told Gerald as he pulled his heavy eyes away from the land.
“I know that calamity occurs when your head is foggy,” Gerald said.
Hank sighed. He had argued with Michael about the same thing just this morning. Michael tried to convince Hank to sleep the day away, but Hank wouldn’t hear it. All his life, he’d been a hard worker, and now that the ranch was his he felt the need to work even harder.
“Ain’t no calamities here,” he told Gerald.
Gerald’s lips thinned, but he said nothing as they continued to walk toward the main house.
“You don’t have to prove anything to anyone,” he told Hank once they bounded up the porch.
“I ain’t,” Hank said.
“Why is it that I’m hearing all about how Hank Collins is going into town every day getting food from Roberta’s place before the sun is even fully awake?”
Hank sighed once more. Dang gossips, he thought. He’d hoped that he would be able to get in and out of town quickly without anyone being the wiser. The last thing Hank needed was for the town to be speculating about what was happening on his ranch.
“You know I’m not good in the kitchen,” he told Gerald.
Gerald gave a short bark of laughter, shaking his head. “You aren’t your ma, that’s for sure,” he said.
If Hank weren’t so tired, he would have laughed. As it was, he could barely keep himself from swaying on his feet. He planned to offer Gerald supper, but he wasn’t sure he could keep himself awake.
“Why don’t ya hire someone to cook? There’s plenty of ladies looking for a good job, and it’s gotta be cheaper than buying a feast every day,” Gerald said.
“I ain’t got the time to sleep,” Hank said. “And I certainly don’t have the time to find a cook.”
Gerald pursed his lips. It was clear to Hank that his friend didn’t like his answer, but again, he was too tired to kick up much of a fuss.
“Think on it,” Gerald said. He slapped a heavy hand on Hank’s arm.
“You don’t want no supper?” Hank asked.
Gerald shook his head. “Nah,” he said. “Gotta head home before I lose the light, and you look like you need a good slumber.”
Hank couldn’t argue that, so he didn’t.
“Hank! Hank! COLLINS!”
Hank barely stirred. He could hear the voice, but he assumed that the voices were part of his dream.
“Is he dead?”
“Don’t mean he’s not dead.”
The loud voices coupled with the warm sun woke Hank from his deep sleep. His eyes darted back and forth, and he nearly yelped in surprise to find Michael and several other ranch hands standing around him.
“What are y’all doing here?” Hank asked, his voice groggy and thick with sleep.
“Making sure you hadn’t cashed it in,” Michael said. His tone was light, but as Hank looked into his eyes, he could see the worry.
“Why y’all here?” he asked once more. The longer he lay in bed, the more concerned he grew. Looking around, Hank realized that the sun shining into his window was high in the sky, and it was a lot later in the morning than normal.
He jumped out of bed and to his feet. “I got to get to the bakery!” he yelled as he searched ‘round for his boots.
“Are you wearing your work clothes?” Michael asked.
Hank ignored him as he frantically pulled his boots on his feet. Normally, he was back from the bakery by this time, eating his breakfast with the men before they got to work for the day.
“How angry are the men?” he asked.
This was the second time in a week that they’d be starting their days on an empty stomach, and Hank wouldn’t be surprised if they were unpleased. He worried that if he kept this up then his men would be heading to find new work within the day.
I can’t afford that, and neither can the ranch, Hank thought, panicked.
“I’m not going to lie and say they are happy, but I think they are more worried about ya than pinched,” Michael said.
“Worried about me?” Hank said, confused. Every portion of his body wanted nothing more than to rush off to the bakery, gather the food he promised, and make his failings right.
“This isn’t like ya,” Michael said. “You are barely keeping it together most days, and no one wants you working yourself into an early grave.”
Hank sighed. “Ain’t no one going into an early grave,” he said. “But I am going to the bakery.”
Hank didn’t wait to hear more from Michael. He grabbed his hat and started off for his wagon. He wasn’t a coffee boiler, and he’d make this right.
Walking into the bakery, Hank sighed as he saw the young baker, Lauren, happily chatting away with one of her customers. Though Hank was pressed for time, he allowed himself a moment to observe the young woman.
She was a small thing. Hank suspected she’d barely reach his chin, but she was mighty pretty. Her dark brown hair was pulled away from her face in a tight bun, and for the briefest of moments, Hank wondered if it would feel soft against his fingers. He shook the thought away.
You barely have time to feed your men, yet here you are admiring this lass? Hank thought to himself.
He tried to wait patiently for Lauren to finish with her customer, but as he watched the sun, he felt his patience dwindling.
“Can we get on with it?” he asked. Lauren’s head snapped to attention and her green eyes, which reminded Hank of moss, widened as she took in his presence. “You’ve got more than one customer this morning.”
The customer that Lauren was helping bristled at Hank’s words, but she said nothing. She passed some coin into Lauren’s hand, thanked her for her time, and scurried out of the store, passing Hank a scandalized look.
“Good morning, Mr. Collins,” Lauren said. Despite Hank’s rudeness, she gave him a sunny smile. Any other time, Hank might have flirted with the pretty girl, but today, her happiness made him grind his teeth.
“I need my breakfast,” he told her gruffly.
Lauren said nothing, as she began to tie together his order, just as she did every single morning. “Is everything all right today?” she asked. Her voice was soft and melodic, and it drove Hank insane.
How can one person be so happy? he wondered. He figured that Lauren probably had never experienced a terrible moment in her life.
“Just looking for my chow,” he told her.
“You aren’t usually this late.” She tied a piece of cheesecloth around the pies, something Hank knew she usually did so they’d keep warm. Generally, he appreciated it. But today, her actions grated. He was at least an hour late, and he suspected that the egg pies he’d bought all week were as cold as a stone in snow.
“You’re correct,” he said, but he didn’t offer any more explanation. “Which is why I need my food.”
His rudeness finally penetrated Lauren’s bubble of happiness, and he felt slightly bad as he watched her smile turn into a frown. “Rudeness won’t make me work any faster,” she told him.
Hank rolled his eyes. “Haven’t ya ever had a bad day?” he asked.
“Of course,” she told him. “But I try not to lay my problems at the feet of innocent people.”
Hank gave a small chuckle. He suspected that she was right. Lauren had been kind and pleasant to him every day this week, even though he’d been gruff with her. His mother would have boxed his ears for his behavior, but Hank’s stress ate at his good manners.
“Do you like working here?” he asked her. He didn’t know why.
Lauren’s beautiful smile returned, and Hank didn’t care for how it affected him.
“There’s no place as wonderful as a kitchen,” she said.
Hank laughed. It was a loud, fully belly laugh. The type that he hadn’t had for months. There’d been little reason for him to smile recently. “I’ll have to take your word for it,” he said.
For a moment, things between them felt sweet and easy. But Hank didn’t pay much attention to it. Grabbing the food, he placed his coin on the counter and walked out, again without thanking her.
“The Way to His Lonely Heart” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
Cooking has always been Lauren Fisher’s greatest passion; a passion she has had the chance to exercise at her best friend’s bakery, until everything is changed forever. When Hank Collins enters her life with an appealing business proposal, she realizes that she has never truly known home outside of her town’s limits. Being rather skeptical, at first, she declines the offer but when her family is in great need of money, she sees no other choice but to take it. Surrounded by people she does not trust and being away from her family, how will she handle the challenges coming ahead? Could a relationship that started as a professional one, be developed into something deeper and more meaningful?
Hank Collins has been down on his luck facing tragedy after tragedy, and now, his family legacy is nearly in shambles. Hank will meet Lauren under very peculiar circumstances, but he is soon to realize that she and her amazing cooking skills are all that he needs. When Lauren joins the ranch, her cooking fills the souls of Hank and his men, while it gives him strength and inspiration for even greater things. How far is he willing to go in order to claim his happiness with Lauren? When a misunderstanding nearly destroys their connection, will he manage to prove his feelings and true intentions to her?
Their paths entwine more than either of them expected, but the struggles of running a ranch might just tear them apart. When success comes knocking, will they make the decision their heart truly desires or will they suppress their feelings driven by selfishness? ?s their love meant to last or will it be demolished at the first sign of trouble and disagreement?
“The Way to His Lonely Heart” is a historical western romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.