Lucy Woods has dreamed of her perfect wedding since she was a young girl. A designer of jewelry and dresses, she designs her own dress and will marry the man of her dreams in a Christmas wedding at the Triple C Ranch. She worries something will go wrong to ruin the wedding.
Jack Barr will marry the woman he loves in just two days. The rehearsal dinner is tonight. But after the ranch foreman is hospitalized with a stroke, horse thieves have stolen all ten horses from the ranch and he’s the one man close enough to chase them.
With the help of the Brotherhood Protectors and the state police, will they catch the thieves? Will Jack make it to the rehearsal dinner on time? Will Lucy’s fear that something will go wrong and ruin the wedding come true?
Lucy’s perfect wedding can’t take place at the ranch where they met, but Jack is able to persuade the Triple C Ranch to host the wedding. There are a lot of rules to follow by Lucy and Jack are more than happy to follow them.
With all the plans for the wedding the Triple C is jumping with activity and then their foreman, Buck, has a stroke and is hospitalized. The good news is it hasn’t affected any of the wedding preparations. Just threw a minor wrench into the day to day operations.
The day before the rehearsal dinner, Jack and Lucy drive to the ranch to check on the decorations and find a serious problem. The barn is open and so are the pasture gates. There are cows everywhere except where they belong. But that’s not all.
This is a favorite scene.
Outside the barn, Jack saw only cows in the paddock, wandering about, no horses. He started to look for horse tracks.
As he searched, he got a strong gut feeling about this. His gut had never steered him wrong.
When he found their tracks and followed them, the tracks bore out what he’d been thinking. Someone had taken the horses.
Horse thieves. Do they still hang them here in Montana? Montana had a long history of horse thieving.
It looked to Jack like that history was alive and well today.
The tracks indicated that someone had led the horses out, single file, all the way to the open gate and beyond. The gate now stood open, just like the stalls inside the barn.
Whoever had taken them had been in a hurry, not bothering to close the gates or doors.
He headed back to the barn to tell the others.
As he stepped inside the barn, he saw that George had joined Leah and Lucy.
“The horses are gone,” Jack said, as he walked back in. “They’re not in the paddock. Just cows. Best look around the barn, see if anything else is missing.”
George went directly to the tack room and came right back out, moving faster than Lucy would have guessed the older man could move. “Somebody broke into the tack room last night. Three saddles are missing.”
“Oh no,” Leah said, her eyes widening. “What can we do?”
“Nothing you can do,” George said. “Except put the cows back right now.”
“I’ll help you with the cows,” Lucy said quietly. “I’m sorry about the horses.”
“Thanks,” Leah said and sent her a sad smile. “Two of the horses are ready to foal in just three more weeks.”
“Get the cattle out of the paddock. Put them back in the pasture,” George said to the women. Then he turned to Jack. “Show me where they took them,” he growled, containing his anger, even as it radiated off his wiry body.
“Tracks are back here,” Jack said and gestured for George to follow him.
“Take me to where the tracks are. Then I’m calling the sheriff. I’d better check Buck’s apartment when we get back, too, to see if they got into it. He’s got a land line. I can call the sheriff from up there.”
He followed Jack outside to where the horse’s tracks were.
They both looked down at the ground.
“Looks like the horses were led out.” Jack said. “Single file. Probably on a lead.”
The women were trying to move the stubborn cows out of the paddock, into the pasture on the other side.
Jack watched his bride out of the corner of his eye as he talked to George.
Seeing her trying to move a big cow was sort of comical, as she began by waving her arms and shouting, “Shoo, move on, cow.”
It even caught George’s attention. “Got yourself a city gal, I see.” He shook his head. “She’s not dressed for this. Don’t let her stay out in this cold too long. You can leave her with Leah, but Leah is a hard worker, raised on a reservation, and used to being outdoors in all kinds of weather. She’ll outwork and outstay your bride.”
“Honey, why don’t you go on into the house,” Jack called out. “Tell them what’s happened and send Dan out here. Get Cecelia to find the number for the sheriff and call them.”
Lucy waved and went back inside to get warm and to tell the others.
She was too worried about Jack, and about the horses to enjoy all the beautiful red and white flowers and the decorated Christmas tree. But the scent as she came in the door was wonderful. She closed her eyes and breathed in.
It smells like the magic of Christmas.
They needed some Christmas magic right about now. Too many bad things had started to happen. Lucy stood breathing the scent in and wishing that when she opened her eyes everything would be better and there would be nothing to do but enjoy the beautiful decorations and look forward to their wedding day.
Parmley, Debra; Protectors World, Brotherhood. A Triple C Ranch Christmas Wedding: Brotherhood Protectors World. Kindle Locations (819-846). Twisted Page Press LLC. Kindle Edition.
With the horses gone, time is of the essence to get them back. As soon as Buck hears, he knows immediately who has taken them and why.
Jack is the one following closest much to Lucy’s dismay. There’s a storm in the mountains to the north and that’s where they’re headed. Lucy doesn’t want him to miss the rehearsal or the wedding because of the horses, but she also knows he’ll find them and get them home safe.
This is a fun, read with some excitement and plenty of friendship and love.
5 Contented Purrs for Debra!
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Fascinated by fairy tales and folktales ever since she was young, Debra Parmley has always ended her stories with a happy ever after. Every story she writes has an element of romance. She started out writing gritty western historical romance and damsel in distress stories. Her first book, A Desperate Journey, was traditionally published in 2008, after competing in the American Title II contest. A hybrid author, she went on to write for five publishers before branching out with her own Indie press, Belo Dia Publishing Inc. Belo Dia is Portuguese for Beautiful Day.
Debra writes historical romance, contemporary romance and romantic suspense. An Air Force veteran’s wife, she writes military heroes in the present and in the future. Debra’s work as a travel consultant gave her the opportunity to visit many countries. Her luggage often carried home folk tales from the countries visited.
Her three favorite things are dark chocolate, visiting the beach and ocean, and hearing from her readers. Each card, letter and email is a treasured gift, like finding a perfect shell upon the beach. For more information about Debra, please visit her website, links below.