Hi! I could wait until Short Snippet Saturday to post this, but I should keep “short” snippets for that topic. This one isn’t short. I’m sharing an excerpt from my second new release, South of True North, featuring Cade and Faith. Faith isn’t in this, but she’s the topic of discussion.
Townsfolk cheered when they fell in love. Then they destroyed them with rumors and lies.
Rancher Cade Outlaw and his ex-fiancée share custody of their daughter, and they’re growing close again. Her ex-boyfriend’s vengeful attack on her seven years ago destroyed Cade and Faith’s happily ever after. When he asks for a do-over, he vows to protect the relationship from the pain that separated them—to keep her and their child safe from their past. But how can he take a step back if he gets the chance to settle the score? Is his love for Faith and Nadia strong enough to hold on to the second chance they deserve?
Heartbroken, pregnant, fired from her job, and Cade’s focus on avenging the assault took a toll on Faith Ribeiro. To heal, she’d left him. Years later, a Fundraising Executive and single mom, she lives with emotional and physical scars. Cade is the only man she’ll love, and she can’t deny the powerful chemistry between them. However, rekindling a relationship may invite wickedness back into their lives. What will she do this time if Cade still wants to pay back her abuser? How much will her heart break if Nadia gets swept up in their chaos after striving to keep her from it?
They’re stronger together, though they need to overcome the challenges standing in their way of a peaceful life—hate, heartache, vengeance, and family betrayal. But how will they hang on to the profound love they once shared if they don’t come out of this unscathed?
Available at Amazon
Setup: On the way home from an auction, Cade’s dad, one brother, and his sister are with him, so he decides it’s a good time to blast some news.
As they pulled out of the diner, a truck horn bellowed. Their big rig hauling new cows pulled around to the larger parking area. Jesse waved. Cade chatted with Nadia at her bedtime before blasting his news. They neared home now. Time ran out.
He rubbed his hands on his knees as chatter from Ronni and Dusty blurred in the back seat. He turned the volume down and gave a sidelong glance to his dad leaning against the front door. “Listen up. I have news to share you aren’t going to like, but keep it to yourselves until we get home, or I’ll put you out of my truck.”
“Uh, this is my truck. Nobody’s getting out, son.”
He took a deep breath. “Faith and I are considering a second chance. We have a daughter together and want it to work between us.”
His dad canted his head toward the side window. “It’ll kill your mama.”
“Daddy,” Ronni said from the back. “No, it won’t. I agree with Cade. Nadia needs a mother and a father to parent her together. We don’t want to see another man raising our flesh and blood. You talk to Mom.”
Cade dragged his palm across the steering wheel. For sure he didn’t want another man parenting his kid. “Thanks, Ronni, but I’ll tell her myself.”
Dusty shoved the seat behind Cade. “You sleep together for two nights and think you can start over?”
He just about blew a brain gasket. Cade slid to a stop on the shoulder of the road, got out, and pulled the seat forward. “I haven’t slept with nobody. Get your ass out of the truck.”
Dusty narrowed one eye and remained sitting. “I told you you’d start a shit-storm. Happy now?”
Jesse raised his voice. “Get in the truck. Your brother isn’t walking home. You’re a grown-ass man. Act like it!”
“You can join him, Dad. I mean it. Pay attention.” Idiot. Shit. He kicked his dad out of his own truck. He grabbed his hat off his head and shoved his fingers through his hair and repeated Faith’s phrase. “You don’t have to like her, but you need to accept she’s with me.”
“Get in the damn truck, Cade Lee Outlaw, or I’m coming around there to drive, and I don’t see well at night.”
Cade turned his back on them and gazed upward. Then he faced his dad, lifted a foot to the running board, and laid his eyes on Dusty.
His dad continued, “All right. Fine. You’re back together. You’re old enough to make your own decisions whether they’re right or wrong. I know how we raised you, so most of them are right.”
“This one affects us all, Dad,” Dusty warned.
“Shut up, Dusty!” Ronni leaned forward. “What’s the big deal? Get your damn facts straight. Hear me, Dad? Here we are all these years later still hashing out the same shit. How do you see Faith being at fault when an asshole started the whole thing to get back at Cade? He beat her!”
“Calm down, darlin’.”
“No! I consider her a friend. If you want to turn your backs on me, go ahead. I’ll miss you all a hell of a lot if you do. Like Cade, I’ll come to work every day because my name is on the flippin’ business too.”
“Nonsense. You’ll always be my little girl. Ladies don’t curse like that, honey.”
“You raised me to be a cowboy, not a lady. Give Faith and Cade a chance. Why make it hard on them? Now, they have an innocent little child. I hope you can find it in your hearts to do the same.” She sat back and folded her arms. “I thought Outlaws stuck together.”
Well, obviously, Dusty wasn’t getting out, but wow, his sister let loose. Cade shoved the seat back and got behind the wheel, continuing to drive toward home. “I’ll have Nadia from after work tomorrow through the weekend. Please, for her sake, don’t bring this up because if you speak bad about her mom, you’ll lose her. If you can’t, I’ll keep her at Faith’s while she’s out of town.” He glanced in the mirror at Dusty who nodded. Wow.
“You have my acceptance,” Dusty said in a calmer tone. “You’re right. This foolishness has gone on long enough. Everybody should be able to love who the hell they want to love. Right, Dad?”
“No comment. You aren’t the one going home to talk to your mother.”
Cade scoffed. “She’s wrong about her, Dad, and always has been. Let me handle Mom.”
“No one handles your mother. You know, Cade Lee, I’d do anything for your little girl. If this is what it takes, so be it. I wish you the best, and I honestly mean it, but it’ll take time. Don’t expect miracles overnight, boy.”
“We’re determined to make it work this time. No matter what, and I’m telling you up front, if Garrett returns to town, he’ll pay for what he’s done to her.”
“I got your back, bro.”
His dad laid his hand on Cade’s shoulder and flicked his gaze back to Ronni. “We do stick together, honey. And, Cade, if the day comes when Faith becomes your wife, she’s included. You’ve got my word. However, I repeat… Don’t expect us to change at the snap of your fingers.”
Cade’s throat closed up in emotion at his dad’s words. He could’ve done this the first time. “Don’t worry. I know better. It’ll break my heart if I leave my family. I’ve had a broken heart before.”
Ronni tapped his shoulder with her water bottle. “Here’s to no more heartaches for us Outlaws.”
End of Excerpt.
I try not to post long excerpts like this, but since South of True North and Blue Snow in the Moonlight are new releases, I made an exception. Find a recent snippet for Blue Snow HERE.
Thank you for reading. Have a peaceful rest of your week. ~MJ