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(Porter Family #3)
by Becky Wade
by Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary RomancePaperback, 368 Pages
May 5th 2015 by Bethany House Publishers
When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, returns to their hometown of Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake trusts her with his prized racehorse, Silver Leaf, then battles his hopes for his horse against his increasing fear for Lyndie's safety.
Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?
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Jake stopped at Silver Leaf’s stall. The horse had his head down, chewing hay. It took Jake a moment to spot Lyndie’s small form in the dim space. She sat to one side, her back against the wall, her knees drawn up and her arms wrapped around them. She must have heard him coming because she was already gazing up at him. Her lips tipped into a gentle smile.
For a long moment Jake stared at her. Foolish woman, sitting in a horse stall for hours every day. Even more frustrating, looking at him as if she liked him and trusted him. Looking at him as if she believed he was worthy of her friendship and trust. Raw pain gathered in his chest. “I saw your car,” he said.
“I’m still trying to get to know Silver Leaf. I’m learning a lot, but I don’t yet understand him.”
“I never said that I expected you to make him into a runner.” The words came out more harshly than he’d planned. “I don’t think anyone can.”
“I think that I can.” She spoke quietly but with confidence. “I hope that I can.”
“I hired you to exercise him and that’s it.”
“Go home, Lyndie. It’s too cold for you here.” A front had moved through late this morning. The rain had grown stronger since he’d let himself into the barn, drumming now against the roof.
“I’m all right.” She motioned to the light blue vest she had on over a long-sleeved shirt and her riding leggings.
Was she trying to point out that she’d dressed warmly enough? He wasn’t buying. Her hands looked pale and cold to him.
“I’m just going to stay with him a little longer, Jake.” She’d put her hair into some sort of bun on top of her head. “If that’s okay with you.”
He should order her to leave like he’d planned. To do so was certainly within his rights. But for reasons he didn’t understand, he found it hard to say no to her when she looked at him like that.
He went to the warm room and made her a cup of coffee using the Keurig. He hadn’t wanted to know things about Lyndie, but he’d nonetheless learned a great deal since they’d started working together.
He’d learned that she liked coffee. He knew that her cheeks turned pink when she rode. He’d memorized the exact shade of her pale brown eyes, like the color of Jack Daniels. It took physical strength to do the job she did, and he knew that she had that strength. He’d learned that short strands of her hair always came free of her ponytail. He knew that an angel charm dangled from her riding hat. He knew that she worked hard and didn’t complain.
From the cupboard, he pulled free two of the throw blankets stored there. Meg’s doing. As he made his way back to her, Blackberry leaned out her doorway and Silver Leaf leaned out his. The neighboring horses touched noses in greeting.
Jake handed Lyndie the cup of steaming coffee.
Her expression softened with pleased surprise. “Thank you.”
Her profile created a perfect line, so sheer and sweet that hunger filled him.
Hunger? No. But it was hunger. The realization sent fear slicing into him. He wasn’t right or whole. Not good enough for her or anyone. Caring about Lyndie, wanting her, could only cause him misery.
Without grace, he opened the blankets and dropped them onto her knees. “I’m going to give you thirty more minutes.” He needed to get out of here and away from her. “That’s it.”
“Thirty more minutes,” she agreed.
His boots pounded the floor as he strode toward the exit. He’d made a mistake, hiring her. It would be better for them both if she went to work for one of the trainers at Lone Star.
“Thanks again,” she called after him.
He didn’t respond. He desperately needed to make it outside so the rain could wash over him and carry away the longing he’d begun to feel for her.
Becky Wade frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.
Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market. She's the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, and Meant to Be Mine.
These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.
Links for My Stubborn Heart
Links for Undeniably Yours (Porter Family #1)
Links for Meant to Be Mine (Porter Family #2)
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