Western romance author Kaye Spencer here with another excerpt from my novel, THE COMANCHERO’S BRIDE.
Beautiful heiress Elizabeth Bradford White is exiled to Texas with family friends until she “comes to her senses” and agrees to marry the prominent politico her parents have chosen for her. Grayson Beal is certainly not the man of her dreams—she finds him so revolting she welcomes her exile and makes a new life for herself in south Texas.
When she is approached at a fiesta by dark-eyed, handsome Mingo Valderas, she knows her heart will never be her own again. But Mingo has a checkered past—a reputation as a Comanchero, and a man who is as fast with his knives as he is with his gun. An ex-outlaw with many secrets, Elizabeth gives her trust to him, and their whirlwind courtship begins.
But Grayson Beal will stop at nothing to claim Elizabeth and her inheritance, along with the political influence her parents have. In a deadly cross-country race for her freedom, only one man stands between her and the monster who follows her. Fueled by their love and dreams of a future together, Elizabeth and Mingo stay one step ahead of Beal…but will that be enough?
EXCERPT 2 (G rating) [Set-up: Mingo and Isabel (aka Elizabeth) are on the run from a man who plans to kill Mingo and force Isabel to marry him.]
Mingo’s horse shifted weight and the saddle creaked as he scanned the area around them. “We will backtrack to Arroyo Frío. It is still a small town, but because of having the only water for miles, it is growing with settlers. Farmers. Someone there can tell us if the way ahead is too dangerous with Comanche. And, the town has the supplies we need. Though many travelers pass through, the last I knew, there was no sheriff. The townspeople take care of their problems themselves.”
“Must we? We’ve managed this far without going into a town.”
“It is a risk, but we will take it. You have gone without simple comforts for weeks, and there are more weeks of the same ahead. We will not have this opportunity again before we reach our home.” He nudged his horse alongside hers. “You need a good, hot meal and rest in a real bed. The horses need grain, and all their feet and shoes checked by a blacksmith. If we ride into Mexico on these horses, they must all have sound feet under them. If I hear stories of Comanche to the south, we will continue by another route…and with more ammunition.”
They rode on until Mingo found a secluded place to make a cold camp two miles from the town. “You have all our food and water. If all is well, I will leave the packhorse with the blacksmith and come back right away. If I do not return by late afternoon, ride into town, and tell whatever story you must to claim our horses and supplies.”
“And find you, of course.”
He forced a smile. “Of course.” They both knew if he didn’t return to her, he was dead.
Her eyes revealed her unvoiced apprehension. The words, as harsh to his ears as to his heart, transported back again at the river on that gloomy morning when they’d parted just hours after their marriage. Then, as now, he hated leaving her behind, but had she accompanied him that fateful morning, she could have been caught in the same gunfire that took Camila’s life. Providence had watched over her then, and he had to believe she would remain safe now.
Isabel reached for the blue ribbon he wore tied around his neck and ran the ends through her fingers. “I remember what happened last time you rode away from me like this.” With a gentle tug, she pulled him toward her as she leaned across the space between their horses. “This time, you’ll be back, and I’ll be waiting right here.” Her eyes, shining with bright tears of parting, belied her façade of confidence. “You’ll be back.”
He whispered against her lips, “Tu eres mi corazón.”
COMMENT TO WIN
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Writing the West one romance at a time