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Under Starry Skies by Judy Ann Davis

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    Hired as the town’s school teacher, Maria O’Donnell and her sister Abigail arrive in the Colorado Territory in 1875, only to find the uncle they were to stay with has been murdered.

    Rancher Tye Ashmore is content with life until he meets quiet and beautiful Maria. He falls in love at first sight, but her reluctance to jeopardize her teaching position by accepting his marriage proposal only makes him more determined to make her part of his life.

    When their lives are threatened by gunshots and a gunnysack of dangerous wildlife, Tye believes he is the target of an unknown enemy. Not until Maria receives written threats urging her to leave does she realize she is the target instead of the handsome rancher.

    With the help of Tye, Abigail, and a wily Indian called Two Bears, Maria works to uncover her uncle’s killer and put aside her fears.  But will she discover happiness and true love under Colorado’s starry skies?

    Rating: Sensual
    Page Count: 306
    Word Count: 80996
    978-1-62830-364-3 Paperback
    978-1-62830-365-0 Digital

    Excerpt:

    Tye smiled down at her and pulled her close, her back to his chest. He kissed the side of her forehead. “I love you, Maria,” he whispered in her ear. “You know, it’s time for me to settle down. You don’t have to live in a room at the inn or a house with your sister. My ranch house is too large for one man. Let’s get married. We could raise some cattle for me and some chickens for you. And a passel of kids for both of us.”

    “And I’d lose my job. You know the school board is opposed to having a married woman for a teacher.” She twisted her head up to look at him.

    “Forget the dang school board—”

    “Tye—” Maria glanced at the dance floor and spotted Millie moving toward the door on the other side of the barn. She wiggled free from his embrace, turned toward him, and pulled his face down to meet hers, her lips touching his. She kissed him soundly, brazenly. “Hold that thought, Rancher Ashmore. We need to discuss this, but there’s something I have to do right now. Right this minute.”

    “What? Hellfire! Where are you going?”

    To catch a murderer. Maria smiled. “I need to talk to Millie Hanson. It’s really important.”

    “For the love of Pete! Why now?” he asked in disbelief. “Maria, I’m trying to propos—”

    “Please, Tydall. Not now. I’ve waited all evening to corral Millie and talk to her alone, away from the clutches of Aunt Emma.” Before he could utter another word, she slipped away and disappeared across the barn floor, threading her way among the dancers.

Reviews

Grade 
10/02/2014

Review

I loved the time and setting and the author used words and phrases that put me right there. Beautiful love story.

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    Under Starry Skies

    Under Starry Skies

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