Susan Y. Tanner
DIVORCE, BETRAYAL, MURDER
Avery Wilson knew starting over would be hard, but she never expected to be in an all-out war with her ex. What was he planning next? Her goal of equine rehabilitation for wounded veterans on her Alabama horse ranch was slipping from her grasp, and her precious horses were in danger.
Dirks Hanna had what should have been a simple mission – evaluate Summer Valley Ranch for federal funding. But something deadly was happening in Summer Valley. The beautiful – and headstrong – equestrian was targeted for harm with danger in every direction. And, intertwined with that danger, was a multi-faceted black cat who somehow appeared at the scene of every disaster.
Trouble had arrived at the ranch anticipating bitter human emotions to run high, but the black cat finds his paws more than full with murder and two very stubborn humans who refuse to see they are meant for each other.
I love Trouble! The cat that is, he seems to follow his instincts wherever they lead him and Tammy Lynn his human is totally okay with this. In this tale, an email from Tammy Lynn’s friend Avery has him traveling, not too far away to Summer Valley Ranch and into a very interesting situation.
Avery’s ex-husband is angry and deeply in debt. He lost his court case and has threatened her. She has retained sole ownership of her ranch and her horses, much to his dismay. Not that he had any right to it to begin with.
Dirks has arrived on the scene to evaluate the ranch for therapeutic horse therapy for veterans. This is a contract Avery has been working very hard to get. But there is more to this than meets the eye.
Avery’s step-daughter is a big part of what the ranch is today. This is also something that annoys her ex.
Dirks and Avery arrive at the ranch, together, after Avery’s car is trashed by ‘vandals’. What they find is unexpected and disturbing.
This is a favorite scene.
Carlee shook her head and her mid-length layers of hair swirled slightly with the movement. “You didn’t see him, Avery. I’m not sure he can pull himself together. His hands were shaking – not just trembling – but shaking and he was talking wild. Kept saying ‘they’ would be angry and he wasn’t going to take the blame for what you’d done to him.”
“They?” Avery was completely confused. “They, who?”
“I don’t know. I asked. He wouldn’t answer me.”
“Don’t worry about it for now,” Avery said firmly, shifting into mother mode. “You’re exhausted and so am I. We’ll get some rest and clean up this mess first thing in the morning. I’ll finish and lock up here. You go on inside.”
Carlee didn’t seem at all sure about leaving Avery and turned her attention to Dirks for the first time. Her eyes narrowed in warning. “Who are you?”
Dirks gave his name and held out his hand, waiting patiently for Carlee to shake it. Avery could see her hesitance and offered as much explanation as she could.
“Mr. Hanna will be staying in the guest quarters while he checks out what we can offer wounded veterans.” She was relieved to see Carlee’s shoulders lose some of their tension.
“Welcome to Summer Valley Ranch,” Carlee said, with more welcome but still no smile.
Avery suspected she didn’t have much ‘smile’ left in her after the episode with Craig. “Get some rest, Carlee,” she said gently. “I’ll get Mr. Hanna settled and see you in the morning. Everything will seem better with the sun.”
Carlee gave her an ‘I’m not so sure look’ but she complied, giving Avery a light, quick hug before turning to leave. At the door of the barn, she cast a final backward, slightly anxious glance.
“She’s worried about you,” Dirks offered. Avery sighed. “Well, that’s two of us.” She brushed tangled hair from her face. “I’ll show you to the guest quarters and let you take your bags in while I get some fresh linen.”
“What remains to be done out here?”
The question surprised her. “With the horses? Nothing.” She glanced toward the tack room with the tangle of ruined headstalls. “Nothing at all.”
Susan Y. Tanner. Trouble in Summer Valley (Kindle Locations 349-367). KaliOka Press. Kindle Edition
There is much to do and little time to accomplish things as more chaos ensues.
Dirks finds himself in an awkward position as he finds himself not only attracted to Avery, but convinced she has nothing to do with fraud.
Fast-paced and suspenseful, this tale unfolds with many twists and turns and Trouble is right in the middle of it all, helping to find the right clues.
I really can’t wait to read the next installment in this wonderful multi-author series.
5 Contented Purrs for Susan!
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Susan Yawn Tanner continues to blend her passion for horses with her passion for writing.
In Trouble in Summer Valley, she introduced readers to the rescue horses of Summer Valley Ranch where they prove their worth in the world of therapeutic riding. In Turning for Trouble, her own rodeo experience brings that rough and tumble world to life. Her third romantic mystery, Trouble in Action, showcases the risky world of stunt riding while giving a glimpse into historical reenactments. Published as Susan Y. Tanner and released by KaliOka Press, these books are part of the Familiar Legacy series written in concert with some very talented authors.
Two of her historical romances, Fire Across Texas and Winds Across Texas, have been rereleased by Secret Staircase Books, an imprint of Columbine Publishing. Soon to follow will be A Warm Southern Christmas, Highland Captive, Captive To A Dream, and Exiled Heart. All were previously published by Leisure Books. Her historical romances will all be rereleased as Susan Yawn Tanner.