The White Roses are pleased to welcome Teri Wilson back with Book Two in her Hoofbeats & Heartstrings series, Love, Lilies & the Unbroken Straw.
Blurb: Christabel Wilde’s life has just turned upside-down. With little more than the clothes on her back and her newly rescued Chihuahua tucked under her arm, she makes a pledge to start over and applies for a job as a groom at a horse rescue farm. Nevermind that she’s never been up close to a horse before, she has a bigger secret to hide. A mysterious gift her new neighbor, Dr. Declan Armstrong, is determined to uncover. When the irresistible veterinarian volunteers to give her riding lessons, Christabel knows it could be the end of her secret. With the Easter holiday approaching, she tries to remember that sometimes what looks like the end is really a new beginning.
Excerpt: He wore a straw cowboy hat, frayed leather work gloves and faded jeans. Period. She suspected cowboy boots completed the picture, but he stood too close for her to get a glimpse of his feet. He didn’t wear a shirt, though. That much was certain. Christabel drug her gaze from the stranger’s rippling abdominal muscles and somehow managed to look him in the eyes. Of course, they were nearly as distracting. Clear, ice blue. Twinkling with good humor. “Um, I guess I could use a little help.”
He flashed a crooked grin. “Pop the hood and I’ll take a look.”
“Thank you.” She did as he said, scooped her dog into her arms and stepped out of the car while he held the door open for her.
A gentleman. Nice.
“I’m Declan, by the way.” He tipped his hat and gave her a wink.
She made every effort to keep her gaze focused firmly on his face… or the car… or anywhere but his bare chest. “I’m Christabel. Thanks for your help, but I’m afraid my car might be hopeless.”
“We’ll see about that.” He took off one of his gloves and scratched the dog on the chin. “Cute Chihuahua. What’s her name?”
“Snowdrop.” The pup’s nose quivered and she licked the tips of Declan’s fingers. In the past weeks, Christabel had wondered more than once what kind of dog she’d brought home. “Do you think she’s a Chihuahua? I wasn’t sure.”
“Definitely a Chihuahua. See the dome-shaped skull?” He ran his fingers over Snowdrop’s forehead, pausing to scratch behind her ears. “It’s a dead giveaway. Is she a rescue dog?”
Christabel’s tongue tripped on her reply. The man asked a loaded question to say the least. “Y-you could say that.”
“It looks like she’s lucky you came to her rescue, then.” He met her gaze over the top of the dog’s head and she became transfixed by his sapphire eyes. They possessed an intensity that made her feel transparent, as though he could read her thoughts. “Snowdrop, huh? Nice name. I suppose that’s because she’s white like snow.”
She tore her gaze from his, telling herself she only imagined his extraordinary perception. Of course he couldn’t tell anything about her just by looking at her. “Actually, a snowdrop is a type of flower.”
“Really? I’ve never heard of one before.”
“They have a unique history – their own mythology.” What was she doing standing here rambling about flowers? She needed to get out of here and figure out what to do with the rest of her life.
“Do they now?” Declan’s brows lifted and he leaned closer, clearly interested in the story behind Snowdrop’s name.
“According to legend, the snowdrop started as a snowflake that was magically transformed into a flower to comfort Adam and Eve when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Now they’re known as a symbol of consolation and hope.” Her cheeks burned with heat and her gaze darted once again to his muscled physique. She looked away, trying to ignore the fact that he stood before her half as naked as Adam himself.
Declan’s face grew serious, his voice quiet as a whisper. “What do you hope for, Christabel?”
Hope. The word alone held so much weight. She’d come here today with a heart full of hope, only to find that hope dashed. What did she dare hope for now?
Love Lillies & the Unbroken Straw is available now in Ebook and will be in Print next month!
Find out more about Teri and her books at her website.
Good luck Teri!