The Love Letters Series
Carrie Vernon knows her powerful father has no love for her except as a pawn in his evil plans. Receiving a letter asking her to elope with the handsome rancher who’s been courting her, she defies her father to follow her heart.
Hank Anderson has survived on his small ranch with hard work and the sheer will to make it prosper, and he desires the beautiful Carrie by his side. After he refuses to sell his ranch to Carrie’s father, cattle and horses are stolen and fences destroyed on the ranch. And he knows exactly who is causing the problems. But can he overlook the fact that maybe Carrie is part of her father’s plan?
Will their love and family survive the cruelty of a man bent on destroying them both to get what he wants?
Page Count: 100
Word Count: 24470
Carrie awakened when Biscuit growled in the outer room. Hank left the bed, and she searched for him in the darkness. “What’s wrong with Biscuit?”
The barks intensified. “I’m not sure, but something’s got him spooked.” Hank hastily pulled on his clothes.
Carrie followed him to the outer room. The full moon shone through the window. Biscuit stood alert at the front door and growled.
“What is it, boy?” Hank grabbed two rifles from the corner, made sure they were loaded, and handed one to Carrie. “You stay here, keep the rifle with you. It’s probably just a coyote nosing around.”
Hank grabbed a lantern, lit it, and opened the door. Biscuit barked as he ran toward the barn. Carrie stood at the window and held the rifle. She followed the light as Hank approached the barn and Biscuit continued his frantic barks.
Carrie was worried. What if someone was in the barn to do her husband harm? Hank searched the ground by the corral and door. The rifle in her hands seemed heavy, as she waited for her husband to come back to the cabin.
When he returned, Hank said. “Someone was here all right. The barn door was wide open and the corral unlatched. The milk cow is gone, and several of the horses are missing too.”
“Oh no,” Carrie said. “How could that happen?”
“I found boot prints outside the barn door and gate. They were quite a bit larger than mine, so someone was here in the night.”
“Why would anyone want to cause us trouble?”
“I have my suspicions.” Hank strode into the kitchen and checked his guns. He added extra shells to his leather bag.
“I’m going to saddle Dakota and see if I can track down the animals.” He left the cabin, and Carrie hastily put food in a napkin, filled a canteen, and hurried to the barn just as Hank was bringing out his horse.
Hank mounted Dakota, and she handed him his canteen and bundle. “Here’s some food in case you get hungry.”
“Thanks.” Hank stuffed the parcel in his saddlebag. “I’m not sure when I’ll be back, but keep the rifle close.”
Carrie searched her husband’s angry face. “Who would do such a thing?”
Hank’s eyes speared her. “Your father.”
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