Mattie, the eldest of Marietta’s Carrigan girls, married rodeo cowboy, Wes Bishop, right out of high school and raised twin daughters. A happy life, she thought, but now that she’s in her late thirties and their daughters have left for college, her husband has become strangely distant.
Then one night Wes comes home late from a rodeo—with a stranger’s key in his pocket. He won’t talk, but she knows something is wrong.
When her worst fears are confirmed, the hits keep coming. It seems her husband is determined to destroy everything she loves in this world. Thankfully she still has her sisters, and her home on The Circle C Ranch. But more and more she thinks, not of her roots in Marietta, but of her kind, dependable neighbour, Nat Diamond. Over the years Nat has been a constant in her life, but only as a friend. Is it possible the two of them could become more? But if Nat really does have romantic feelings for her—as she suspects—why does he keep pulling away?
Is there something he needs to tell her?
She leaned her back against the counter, sipping the hot coffee and eyeing her husband. He was looking at the iPad again, as if her presence was nothing but an interruption. That was when she noticed the key was no longer on the counter.
“I found a key on the floor by your jacket this morning.”
Wes nodded, head still lowered. “Yeah. Thanks.”
“So... what’s it for?”
Wes hesitated a moment before answering. He seemed annoyed that she felt it necessary to ask the question and he answered with exaggerated patience. “I crashed with the Wilkinson’s this weekend. Peter gave me a key to their guest cabin and I forgot to return it. I’ll put it in the mail later today.”
A wild impulse rose in her—a desire to take his silly iPad and toss it into the garbage. What was he reading on there that was so damn fascinating? After four days apart, was it so unreasonable of her to expect to have a proper conversation with her husband?
CJ Carmichael has published over 35 novels and has twice been nominated for a RITA award. She likes to write stories about romance, family and intrigue, usually in small town or rural settings. When it’s time to take a break from the computer, she heads to the Rocky Mountains near her home in Calgary where she lives with her partner Michael and their cat, Penny. If you’d like to learn more about her books, check out her website: http://cjcarmichael.com.
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