The ramrod absently smoothed his mustache. Something wasn’t right. The boy was hiding something. He could smell it. And the last thing he needed was trouble on this drive.

Cookie glanced at the foreman’s set face and the boy’s belligerent one and interjected hastily, “You know, Mr. Wade, I could sure use some help.”

The foreman’s eyes bore into the youth. The boy stared back, his thumbs hooked in his belt. The silence stretched between them, broken only by the lapping river and the monotonous croaking of a bullfrog on its banks.

He’s one of the handsomest men I’ve ever seen, Alexandria thought irrelevantly. The man was well over six foot with wide shoulders and a hard-muscled body that his shirt and chaps did little to disguise. His face alone would send a spinster’s heart aflutter, with thick tawny hair and cool green eyes. A mustache accented his thin lips.

Finally, Brandon said, “What’s your name, kid?”

Alexandria paused for a heartbeat then extended her hand and gave him her childhood nickname. “Alex, Alex O’Malley.”

The foreman gripped it, his hand engulfing hers. If Wade noticed the brief hesitation, he kept it to himself. “Those hands are a bit on the small side, soft too. But I guess as long as they can hold a rope, they’ll do. Pay is thirty-five dollars a month.”


  1. Nightingale // January 26, 2008 at 2:04 PM  

    I don't normally read western themes (don't know why since I was an avid horsewoman) but your excerpt was a good hook.

  2. Mona Risk // January 26, 2008 at 2:15 PM  

    This a special book I bought in a second. I have now to make time to read it without going through my waiting list of TBR books.

  3. Sandra Cox // January 26, 2008 at 2:40 PM  

    Thanks, Linda!
    Thanks, Mona honey:)

  4. Beth Trissel // January 26, 2008 at 8:07 PM  

    Good job, Sandra. I liked it your intro!

  5. Sandra Cox // January 27, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

    Thanks, Beth!

  6. Joanne // January 29, 2008 at 9:35 AM  

    I love your writing, Sandra. Great work!