I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve found the real world to be a depressing place. My grandma passed away a few months ago and she was the rock of my family. I have many friends who are searching for jobs and not having any luck. It looks like fire season is going to hit in my area a month earlier than usual because it is so dry and I don’t even want to bother to turn on the TV to find out what is going wrong with the rest of the world.
So what does that all mean? I’m reading more romance! Yes, a good romance book is my antidote for the real world. I love to escape into the pages of a good book, especially knowing that there will be a happy ending. We all want a happy ending, don’t we?
Romance is still looked down upon by many readers who say it is nothing but fluff. Yes, it might not pack the same punch as a literary novel but Moby Dick just doesn’t have the same ability to cheer me up. I really think it is the ability to speak to our fantasies that makes romance appeal to the masses. Whether the romance is about a wolf shifter and his mate or a knight wooing a princess they have one thing in common: no matter what difficulties they face their love prevails. I know it is fiction, but it gives me hope that I can overcome the obstacles in my life and find my happy ending too.
My newest release Wild and Tender Care is my first foray into the western side of historical romance and now I can’t wait to write more. Hopefully this excerpt will give you a second to forget about the stress in your life.
The stranger’s gaze scanned his surroundings and then fell on her. A lump sprouted in her throat. Had he felt her mooning at his back earlier? Heat rushed into her cheeks, but she couldn’t look away. Those dark brown eyes stopped her heart, had her mesmerized.
He stomped out the small cigar and then strode toward her, his powerful legs filling his trousers well. She had been right in her assumption he was a city man—his copper skin looked soft. She longed to run her fingers across his smooth cheek. Having been with too many dirty and gruff miners and drifters over the years, she liked a cleanly shaven man. Why was this man with a level of refinement showing interest in her?
He reached her and her pulse raced like a spooked horse.
The stranger took off his hat. “I don’t believe we’ve met, ma’am.”
Ida got to her feet, still gripping her plate. “Ah…no. Are you new to town?” She inwardly cringed. She could have thought of something more intelligent to say.
“Yes,” he said, a quirk to his sensuous lips. “I’m Dr. Steere.”
“Oh.” Her eyes widened and her mouth popped open. She knew it was unseemly to just stand there, but she couldn’t get her wits about her.
Dr. Steere tensed, his pleasant expression transforming into one of agitation. “You don’t think I should be a doctor, miss?”
Ida blinked. Oh, he’d misunderstood her. “It is Miss Page,” she said, trying to start acting like a well-bred lady even though she was far from one. Clearly the mayor had forgotten to warn Dr. Steere about her. “Of course I think you should be a doctor. I mean you are a doctor.” She stumbled over her words and her cheeks heated. “I just didn’t realize any doctor had agreed to come way out here.”
The man’s face relaxed and he ran his fingers through his thick black hair. “I guess I am the one who should apologize, Miss Page. I jumped to conclusions. I’m just so used to people judging me and…” He drew a deep breath and returned his attention to her. “Shall we start again, Miss Page? I’m Dr. Steere. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
Ida’s smile grew, stretching her jaw. It has been a long time since any man had treated her like a lady even for a second.
“I saw you sitting all alone,” he continued. “It is a shame a beautiful woman should have to endure such loneliness.”
Ida laughed. If he only knew.
His eyebrows slanted. “What is so funny about that?”
She shook her head. “It isn’t funny, Doctor. Just ironic.”
He pressed his lips together and after a second forged on. “So if you wouldn’t mind, could I sit with you?”
She should tell him no. Make a scene and embarrass him so he never came around her again. It would be for his own good, but selfishly she wanted him to stay. The good people in town would set him straight later. Since he didn’t know about her sordid past he could not be blamed for keeping her company.
“I would like that very much, Dr. Steere.”
He sat next to her, folding his legs crisscrossed. Like an Indian. He clearly had some Indian blood mixed with the white blood in his veins. Probably a half-breed. It wouldn’t be polite to ask, and his ancestry did not bother her one bit. He took off his hat and set it in his lap.
A fluttering sensation in her chest gave her a heady rush. She had been with many men in her short lifetime, but none had given her this feeling. Swallowing a sip of punch, she wished he would hold her hand. Yes, it was a foolish notion. They weren’t children stealing a kiss in the barn loft.
The town of Big Rock, Colorado is changing its wild-west ways, and ex-madam Ida Page and new town doctor William Steere are finding it difficult to be accepted for who they are. But when these two outcasts meet, they find their rightful place in each other’s arms. Haley Whitehall burns up the pages in her hot, new historical romance, Wild and Tender Care.
Will send them to you as soon as they are available
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy. Visit Haley’s website at http://haleywhitehall.com.