The plot feels like an old fashion western movie, with bandits, good outlaws, wars, and history in the making. If you want to experience some of that, I think you’ll find some in this book.
Return of the Fox (Mission Belles Book 2) by Pamela Gibson will release Wednesday in the Historical Romance genre.
The year is 1847. Gabriel de la Vega, disgraced son of a Mexican ranchero, returns to his Alta California home when Americans take power to help his countrymen with the bewildering transition and make amends to the woman he once wronged.
Fiercely independent, Isabella Fuentes swore she’d never forgive Gabriel for abandoning her on the night they were to elope. Now he’s back, playing a dangerous game, pretending to be meek and repentant when she knows the handsome, former outlaw is anything but contrite.
When a series of accidents threaten Isabella’s safety, Gabriel offers an outrageous solution: the protection of a brief civil marriage. Isabella is tempted. But can she rely on a man who once betrayed her and can she trust her foolish heart to let him go when the danger has passed?
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Isabella Fuentes lifted a corner of the drapes and peeked outside. Muttering a word no lady should know, she fought for control, willing her heart to slow to a normal pace.
Had she not told Drake Logan the ranch was not for sale twice before?
Insufferable pig. Who did he think she was? A weak, cowering female, afraid of her own shadow because a man did not speak for her? An illiterate widow befuddled by the day-to-day operation of her forty-thousand-acre ranch?
Two hundred people lived and worked on her property. She’d made it her business to know most of them by name.
She ran her ranch as capably as any man. She’d thought she’d made that quite clear.
She flung open the door, not waiting for the knock.
“Mr. Logan. You’re back.”
“Señora Fuentes.” Logan doffed his hat, revealing greasy strands of fair hair that fell to the sides of his face. “I’ve brought good news. May we come in?”
She tightened her hands, then stepped back from the door. Good manners were bred into her. She’d hear what he had to say and send him on his way.
“This is my associate, Morgan Slade. I don’t believe you’ve met.”
The young man’s arrogant sneer seemed out of place on his cherubic face. Isabella suppressed a shudder and nodded, as he looked her up and down like she was a slab of meat in the marketplace.
“Please be seated.” She dropped into a chair across from the one Logan chose. The other man wandered around the sitting room, picking up odd pieces she had on display—a silver vase, an ornate clock from France, a teacup from China.
He acts like he is taking inventory.
The first time Logan made her an offer, he attempted to speak to her in Spanish. She’d shocked him by answering in English. Showing off, she’d even used a few French phrases.
Tomas Fuentes, her late husband, had been a well-educated man, enlightened for his time, who believed his wife should know everything he knew. When he’d discovered she had a flair for languages, he taught her enough to speak to the traders, whether they spoke English, French, or Russian.
Forcing herself now to focus on Logan, she waited while he reached inside a leather satchel and drew out a sheaf of papers.
“I’m happy to say I’ve been able to convince my colleagues to increase their offer.” He pointed to a line on a sheet of paper he held out to her. “Here is the number. I’m sure you’ll want to reconsider.”
Nearly choking with fury, Isabella rose from her chair. “I told you before, nothing will convince me to sell this ranch. This is my home, my livelihood. These are my people. Please leave and do not return.”
“See here, lady,” Slade spouted. “Laws are going to change. All this will be taken away from you when the treaty is signed.”
She gritted her teeth. “Not if I still draw breath.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Author of eight books on California history and thirteen romance novels, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who lives in the Nevada desert. Having spent the last three years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of Ralp, the Rescue Cat. If you want to learn more about her activities go to https://www.pamelagibsonwrites.com and sign up for her quarterly newsletter and occasional blog. Or follow her in these places:
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