Country Brides [Secure]
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by Debbie Macomber
Description: Rorie Campbell has a pleasant, predictable life in San Francisco, where she's seeing a pleasant, predictable man. Then, one vacation, her car breaks down on an Oregon country road and horse rancher Clay Franklin comes to her rescue. Rorie soon discovers that a city girl can fall in love with a country man. But Clay has no right to return her feelings--because he's engaged to another woman. Kate Logan is devastated when Clay Franklin, her former fiancee and the man she's always loved, marries Rorie Campbell instead. But at Clay's wedding--and after a glass of champagne too many--Kate proposes to her longtime friend, rancher Luke Rivers. Luke accepts her proposal--and refuses to renege on his promise. What's more, he insists that Kate doesn't love Clay--she loves him.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA,
eBookwise Release Date: July 2007
15 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [602 KB]
GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS: Available to customers in: US, NZ, SG, TW, ER, GQ, LS, MG, MW, SD, SN, HM, MN, GD, JM, LT, SI, BY, FO, TR, PS, BM, AS, IO, SB, FK, SR, AF, FJ, CA, ES, PR, PH, BF, EG, KE, NG, RE, BV, TF, GE, KP, MV, PK, TL, BQ, HT, KN, CZ, CH, GI, IS, RS, SJ, BH, MH, NU, BO, AD, AL, AE, GF, MX, FR, IT, BE, CF, DZ, EH, GN, MA, MZ, SO, TD, TG, BT, KG, NP, VN, IM, AW, BB, CW, EE, LU, VA, IQ, QA, KI, PF, TK, AR, PE, AM, NI, KR, VI, UM, KM, MR, NA, NE, TN, TZ, KH, TJ, GG, LC, CY, FI, GR, HR, MD, JO, KW, OM, SY, YE, CC, FM, GT, MY, CD, CG, GA, ZA, ZM, ZW, MM, DM, GP, TT, VG, DK, HU, IE, LV, PT, SE, MC, ME, NO, IL, LB, GL, CK, GU, NR, PG, CL, GY, BL, BZ, DE, CN, BJ, CM, CV, GM, SH, UG, HK, UZ, GS, PN, SX, AT, AX, BG, MT, RO, BA, LI, MK, RU, PM, CX, PW, VU, CO, SV, UY, AU, BR, JP, BI, BW, CI, SL, BD, BN, ID, IN, LA, MO, TH, TM, MS, BS, CU, DO, MQ, TC, VC, PL, SM, UA, SA, TO, WF, HN, PY, NL, DJ, ET, GH, GW, LY, ML, MU, RW, ST, SZ, AZ, KZ, KY, MF, SK, JE, IR, MP, NC, NF, TV, WS, CR, EC, PA, VE, LK, AG, AI What's this
"Help! Fire!" Rorie Campbell cried as she leaped out of the small foreign car. Smoke billowed from beneath the hood, rising like a burnt offering to a disgruntled god. Rorie ran across the road, and a black and white cow ambled through the pasture toward her, stopping at the split-rail fence. Soulful brown eyes studied her, as if the cow wondered what all the commotion was about.
"It's not even my car," Rorie said, pointing in the direction of the vehicle. "All of a sudden smoke started coming out."
The cow regarded her blankly, chewing its cud, then returned lazily to the shade of a huge oak tree.
"I think it's on fire. Dan's going to kill me for this," Rorie muttered as she watched the uninterested animal saunter away. "I don't know what to do." There was no water in sight and even if there had been, Rorie didn't have any way of hauling it to the car. She was so desperate, she was talking to a cow—and she'd almost expected the creature to advise her.
Rorie whirled around to discover a man astride a chestnut stallion. Silhouetted against the warm afternoon sun, he looked like an apparition smiling down at her from the side of the hill opposite Dan's car.
"Hello." Rorie's faith in a benign destiny increased tenfold in that moment. "Boy, am I glad to see another human being." She'd been on this road for the past two hours and hadn't encountered another car in either direction.
"What seems to be the problem?" Leather creaked as the man swung out of the saddle with an ease that bespoke years of experience.
"I…I don't know," Rorie said, flapping her hands in frustration. "Everything was going just great when all of a sudden the car started smoking like crazy."
"Steam! You mean the car isn't on fire?"
The man flipped the reins over his horse's head and walked toward the hood of the sports car. It was then that Rorie realized the man wasn't a man at all, but a boy. Sixteen, or possibly a little older. Not that Rorie was particular. She was just grateful someone had stopped. "A friend of mine insisted I drive his MGB up to Seattle." She sighed. "I should've known that if anything went wrong, I'd be at a total loss about what to do. I should've known…"
The boy whipped a large blue-starred hankie from the hip pocket of his faded jeans and used it to protect his hand while he raised the hood of her car. The instant he did, a great white cloud of steam swirled up like mist from a graveyard in a horror movie.
"I…thought I'd take the scenic route," Rorie explained, frantically waving her hand in front of her face to dispel the vapor. "The man at the gas station a hundred miles back said this is beautiful country. He said I'd miss some of the best scenery in Oregon if I stuck to the freeway." Rorie knew she was chattering, but she'd never experienced this type of situation before or felt quite so helpless.
"It's not only the best scenery in the state, it tops the whole country, if you ask me," the boy murmured absently while he examined several black hoses beneath the raised hood.
Rorie looked at her watch and moaned. If she wasn't in Seattle before six, she'd lose her hotel reservation. This vacation wasn't starting out well—not at all. And she'd had such high expectations for the next two weeks.
"I think you've got a leak in your water pump," the teenager stated, sounding as though he knew what he was talking about. "But it's hard to tell with all that fancy stuff they got in these foreign cars. Clay can tell you for sure."
"Is he a mechanic?" Rorie's hopes soared.
"He's done his share of working on cars, but he's not a mechanic."
Rorie gnawed on her lower lip as her spirits plummeted again. Her first concern was getting to a phone. She'd make the necessary arrangements to have the car repaired and then call the hotel to ask if they'd hold her room. Depending on how close she was to the nearest town, Rorie figured it would take an hour for a tow truck to arrive and then another for it to get her car to a garage. Once there, the repairs shouldn't take too long. Just how hard could it be to fix a water pump?
"How far is it to a phone?"
The young man grinned and pointed toward his horse. "Just over that ridge…"
Rorie relaxed. At least that part wasn't going to be much of a problem.
"…about ten miles," he finished.
"Ten miles?" Rorie leaned her weight against the side of the car. This was the last time she'd ever take the scenic route and the last time she'd ever let Dan talk her into borrowing his car!
"Don't worry, you won't have to walk. Venture can handle both of us. You don't look like you weigh much."
"Venture?" Rorie was beginning to feel like an echo.
Rorie's gaze shifted to the stallion, who had lowered his head to sample the tall hillside grass. Now that she had a chance to study him, she realized what an extraordinarily large animal he was. Rorie hadn't been on the back of a horse since she was a child. Somehow, the experience of riding a pony in a slow circle with a bunch of other six-year-olds didn't lend her much confidence now.
Copyright © 2007 by MIRA Books.