Susan Y. Tanner
DUST, GLORY—AND MURDER—AT THE RODEO.
Malone Summers ‘has what it takes’ to ride horses to big wins in the rough and tumble world of rodeo. Once young and headstrong, she’d chased her dream with a wild rodeo cowboy destined to break her heart. Now she’s riding high–until she finds a frightened young stowaway named Joss in her rig, and the murders of rough stock riders begin.
Cade Delaney has a past heartbreak of his own. He’s ready for a second chance with the only girl who ever turned his head or stole his heart, but while Malone is a risk-taker in the arena, she’s not willing to put her heart on the line again when Cade reappears in her life.
Trouble, the sleek and talented black cat detective, finds himself in the world of rodeo and murder when he takes on the job of guarding Malone against the mounting danger around her. Young Joss is connected to the murders, but how? Trouble has to help the humanoids determine what role Joss plays in the dangerous events and then help them see the truth their hearts fight against.
After attending the wedding at Summer Valley Ranch, Trouble sees some activity in Malone’s trailer that has him ending up trapped with a stowaway.
Now Malone is heading home, where she needs to make a decision. Sell or not and then travel to the Association Rodeo Finals.
When Cade finds out Trouble is with Malone and his history of knowing when someone is headed for some sort of problems, he follows.
This is a favorite scene.
Malone’s lips curved in a faint smile that faded when she turned back to Cade. “So why are you here, Cade?”
He tilted his head toward the black cat sitting motionless and watchful on the corner post. “To find out what that cat knows and make sure you’re in no danger.”
“As you can see, I’m fine. You can head back out with a clear conscience.”
He ignored the suggestion. “How long are you staying in LaGrange?”
Her glare held pure exasperation. “I don’t need taking care of, Cade. I never did.” It was a deliberate jab.
Cade wanted to tangle with her over his motives on that long-ago and ill-fated day, but now wasn’t the time or place. “I promised Dirks and Avery I’d check things out here. If I hadn’t, they would be standing here themselves instead of relaxing in a first-class cabin on a jet headed to Wales.” It wasn’t his only motive by a long shot. Regardless, it was a true statement and succeeded in taking the starch out of her shoulders. He didn’t see much need to go any deeper into his reasons, not now and maybe not ever.
He waited – patiently for him – until she turned her attention from the red mare he suspected she wasn’t actually seeing at this point back to him. “So, why don’t you tell me why the cat, which I’m assured has amazing detective skills, decided you needed his company?”
Malone hesitated for a long, long moment before admitting, “I had a stowaway in my horse trailer. Trouble must have been prowling around the hatches and saw something because he somehow ended up coming along for the ride as well.”
The skin tightened on the back of Cade’s neck. Only the fact that Malone was beside him unscathed by any encounter along with the fact that the black cat had nonchalantly lifted one paw to begin grooming himself kept Cade from a sharp rejoinder. At least verbally. Internally, was a different matter. The hell she didn’t need taking care of.
“And just where is that stowaway now?”
“She’s inside. At least I hope she is. She’s a flight risk and I won’t put it past her to slip out a back window and run if she thinks you’re a threat. She tried that once already. She barely trusts me.”
She. Some of Cade’s tension eased, but only some. “Is she running from the law?”
“I don’t think so. She’s got a few bruises, blamed them on an ex-husband but she’s lying about that.”
“Husband? How old is she?”
“If she’s sixteen, I’ll be surprised.”
“So, she’s run away from home.”
“I’m not sure about that part. She’s hiding but I don’t have a clue from who or what. I’m planning on looking up some recent Amber Alerts to see if I can find anyone who looks or sounds like her. She got on board in Lake Charles but I don’t know if that’s where she’s from.”
“Have you called the authorities?” Somehow, knowing Malone, he’d already surmised the answer to that.
“No, and I’m not going to.”
“You could be putting yourself into some real legal difficulties here, Malone.”
“And I could do worse than that if I do call them. They’ll contact some state department who’ll come after that girl. They’d never get her into a vehicle with them, not without force, which means I’d be arrested for fighting them off her.”
Cade rubbed the back of his neck battling every wrong word he wanted to say.
Unexpectedly, Malone smiled though her gaze retained just a bit of poignancy. “You always did that when you were getting ready to lecture me.”
“I’m not going to lecture you, Malone.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Damned if I know.” And damned if he did. “Maybe a better question is, what are you going to do?”
Susan Y. Tanner. Turning For Trouble (Kindle Locations 466-496). KaliOka Press. Kindle Edition.
I love the way this book plays out. Cade and Malone have history that may or may not be easy to overcome.
There’s lots of suspense and intrigue at the Rodeo as Joss, our stowaway, finds a bit of trouble and finally spills her history.
Another great read in this series, and I am almost caught up!
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.