Eleanor Benton has lived most of her life under the protective watch of her widowed father. A tragic, life-altering event robbed her of the person she could have been. When she is brought to stay with her relatives on a horse ranch in Montana, she meets a man who reaches out to her in ways no one else has ever done.
Lance Taggart prefers being a drifter and doesn’t believe in putting down roots. Together with his canine companion, he finds solace in keeping his distance from those who cannot see past his mixed-blood heritage. When his boss' quiet, auburn-haired niece arrives at the ranch, his priorities are about to change.
Facing the daily misunderstandings and harsh realities of an often cruel, close-minded society, Lance and Ellie fight to overcome what others perceive as barriers. Will their love be strong enough to withstand the truth that links their pasts in a way they never imagined?
***This book contains some mild language, mild violence, and kissing. Heat level 2 on a scale of 0-5. PG
Other Book in the Blemished Brides Historical Romance Series (each book is a standalone and do not need to be read in order, although characters from earlier books make appearances in the later books)
In His Eyes
In His Touch
In His Arms
In His Kiss
Other books with crossover characters with in In His Kiss:
Ain't No Angel (Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, Book 2)
Emma: Bride of Kentucky(American Mail Order Brides, Book 15)
What others are saying about the book:
Essentially the novel is a beautiful and delightful love story of two people who have always felt alone in the world finding somewhere to belong, or should I say someone with whom to belong … Readers are advised to keep tissues handy!
A heartwarming addition to this wonderful series.
Loved the strength of the characters and the details of the writing to make you feel all of the emotions.
I would love to hear what you think after you've read the book! Please send me an email and let me know! A review at the retailer of your choice would also be greatly appreciated!
The Writing Assistant is exhausted after final proofing!
A short Excerpt:
Ellie pushed the curtain aside. Her hand reached for the white wooden trim around the window as her eyes followed the horse circling around the pen, and the man standing in the center. She’d seen soldiers try to catch unruly horses with lassos before, but this man was clearly not trying to rope the horse. He was making the animal move away from him. Her forehead scrunched in puzzlement.
Fascinated, she leaned against the window frame. She pushed wisps of her hair away from her cheek that had come loose of the pins that kept the long strands out of her face. The ends of her scarf tickled the underside of her jaw, and she ran a finger underneath the material to loosen it. Perspiration dampened her skin, so she unwrapped it completely from her neck. The breeze cooled the moist skin along her throat.
Her eyes returned to the scene outside. Watching the horse moving around the pen had a soothing effect on her jumbled insides. The wrangler remained in the center of the pen, only stepping forward when the horse slowed. He barely moved when he raised his arm and pivoted his body. As if on cue, the horse suddenly turned toward the man and took off in the other direction.
Mesmerized, Ellie stood rooted to the spot. The man sent the horse forward with only the slightest shifts of his body, so subtle that not many people would have noticed. When the animal lowered its head, the man stood still and, judging by the way his hat tilted forward, he’d also lowered his gaze. As if it had been given an invisible signal, the horse stopped and walked toward the man, coming to a halt directly in front of him. The man touched his palm to the horse’s forehead, then walked away. The horse followed close behind him, even though there was no rope attached to its head or neck.
He was talking to that horse. Communicating without words.
Ellie’s heart fluttered as her limbs tingled with an inexplicable sensation of excitement.
Uncle John and the shorter man met the wrangler at the fence. The two men nodded vigorously, clearly pleased about something. The wrangler patted the horse’s neck, then ducked between two of the fence planks and stepped out of the pen. He removed his hat from his head, revealing a mop of trimmed, raven black hair. Standing next to Uncle John and the other man, it became apparent even from a distance that his skin was a shade darker.
Ellie’s heart picked up its pace a second time. A slight gasp escaped her mouth. Was he Indian? She shook her head. His hair was short. No Indian she’d ever encountered wore his hair short. From what she knew about them, it was an insult for a man to cut his hair. Perhaps his skin was merely darker from hours spent in the sun and, combined with his dark hair, gave him the appearance of an Indian. It was too far to see to know for sure.
Ellie inhaled a deep breath to calm the sudden unease that flowed through her body. She was about to step away from the window when the wrangler lifted his hat back to his head. Before he put it on, he looked toward the house. His head raised to the upper story. Ellie stumbled backward. Before she’d moved away from the window and out of sight, the man had stared directly at her.
Hey friends! I've been really scarce on my blog, and I apologize. Too many things happening all at once. In September, I was on the road for three weeks, camping at many national parks along the west coast, and coming home to catch up on writing. I didn't even announce my latest release, RETURN TO YELLOWSTONE, which is a sequel novella to Yellowstone Heart Song, and came out last month.
If you haven't picked it up, here are the links to the various retailers:
On to today's announcement: I'm bringing a monthly feature to my newsletter called "Aimee's Journal Entries." Once a month, I will send out my newsletter with a specially-selected journal entry. Many fans have told me that they wanted to keep tabs on the characters, and would I please write more books in the Yellowstone Series. I plan to finish off the main series arc with YELLOWSTONE LEGENDS, which will be out sometime in 2017, and I won't rule out some shorter stories to accompany the series, but by bringing you some journal entries, it would let you stay connected with the Yellowstone characters in a small way.
Don't forget, too, that the Teton Romance Trilogy, and also my newest series, Wilderness Brides, are all interconnected with the Yellowstone Series in a small way. I try as much as I can to bring characters from all the series together in a small way.
a long winter in the remote Teton Mountains, Anna Porter is convinced that
she’s not cut out for wilderness living. Her heart yearns for a place where
she’ll feel at home, and she’s ready to continue the journey she started a year
ago along the Oregon Trail. Without an escort, she may be forced to marry a
stranger out of necessity . . . until the least likely man agrees to accompany
Wilder has spent the last twelve years living with guilt and painful memories.
Determined to prevent anyone from getting through his angry exterior, he
remains distant and callous, even with those closest to him. When a series of
mishaps brings him in close contact with the quiet woman who has spent the
winter on his homestead, he believes the only way to get her out of his
thoughts is to take her as far away as possible.
best laid plans don't always work out as expected, as Ethan and Anna soon
discover. Traveling to a new land brings two hurt and lonely people together in
the most unexpected way. If Anna can chisel through the granite wall Ethan has
built around his heart, home might be closer than she ever imagined.
***Content: mild language, mild violence,
intimacy (non-descriptive) between married adults. Heat rating: 2-3 out of 5,
RELATED SERIES (cross
over characters and story lines with Wilderness Brides)
screeched on its hinges as Patrick Hudson stormed into the cabin. Several
pheasants, tied by their legs on a strip of rawhide, were slung over his
shoulder. The boy dropped them on the table in the center of the room with a
thud. He glanced around, clearly looking to see if someone had heard his loud
straightened and swiped the back of her hand across her damp forehead. She
faced the boy. Her eyes narrowed, glaring at Patrick. When his gaze met hers,
he stopped in his tracks. The smile on his face turned into an open-mouthed
gape. He looked from her to the dirty rag in her hand, his eyes filling with
growing trepidation. Water dripped from the rag onto the wooden floor.
gulped visibly. He shot a quick glance over his shoulder at the floorboards,
then offered a tentative smile. His youthful eyes turned apologetic at the same
time that they showed fear of reprimand.
the rag into the bucket at her feet. The brown water sloshed over the sides,
leaving small puddles on the already-wet floor. She expelled air from her lungs
through her mouth and her shoulders slumped, glancing from Patrick to the floor
to the muddy footprints the boy had left behind.
sorry,” Patrick stammered. “I didn’t know you were washing floors. I thought
Caroline was here. I wanted to tell her Trevor just returned, and he brought
news of visitors that’ll be arriving soon.” He spoke fast, his words slurring
together in his haste to expel his apology.
one hand to her hip while pushing the kerchief that covered her hair further
back on her head. She stretched her sore back.
Her forehead scrunched. “Lucas Walker left a few days ago, and now there will
be more visitors?”
Patrick nodded enthusiastically. Like almost everyone else, spring fever had
clearly gripped the boy.
unexpected visit from one of the closest neighbors to Harley’s Hole had been a
sure sign that spring was here to stay in these remote mountains. Snow still
covered the tall peaks of the Teton Mountains to the east, but the meadows in
the valley were already green and starting to burst with a multitude of colors
as wildflowers emerged among the grasses. Although it was already May, spring
came later in these mountains than Anna was accustomed to in Ohio.
we get snow well into June,” Harley Buchanan, the old trapper for whom this
small valley had been christened, had told her one morning several weeks ago
when she’d let slip that she was longing for some warmer weather after the long
She shot another glance at the mud on her clean floor.
down by the creek with Cora, doing laundry.” Her lips softened in a faint smile.
She couldn’t be mad at the boy for tracking dirt into the cabin, even though
now she had to start all over with scrubbing the affected floorboards.
shrugged. What good was it to try and maintain cleanliness inside this cabin?
Her efforts to keep some semblance of order and neatness in this wilderness
seemed futile. The men who lived here had no appreciation for a tidy home and
were as wild as their surroundings. Old Harley was the only man who respected
her attempts. He’d scold the three brothers he considered his sons whenever
they walked in with muddy boots, which had been quite frequently lately with
the spring thaw and rains.
At least she
didn’t have to live in the same dwelling as the men. The cabin she shared with
Caroline and Josie Hudson was kept neat and clean to her liking, and the men
weren’t allowed to set foot through the door. In order to keep her hands and
mind busy over the long months of winter and spring, keeping the men’s cabin
orderly had become her personal crusade. Not that any of them who occupied it
showed even the slightest amount of gratitude, aside from Harley.
“I can clean
her eyes to Patrick’s contrite voice. She shook her head. How could she be
angry with the boy, who showed more remorse than three grown men would have
“It’s all right, Patrick. I know the ground is
muddy outside after the rains. Next time, remember not to barge in, and at
least take your boots off first.”
boy hung his head, then raised his chin to look at her with a smile. “I can
fetch more water.”
be nice. There’s another bucket just outside the door. I could use some clean
rinse water.” She eyed the pail at her feet. The water was so brown and dirty,
the cloth she’d used for scrubbing the floor had all but disappeared from view.
nodded, then headed for the door. Anna stared after him. She gave a quick laugh
with a shake of her head, then reached into the bucket to fish out the
rag.She wrung the excess water from it,
then dropped it to the ground and used her old broom handle to push the rag
around the floor.
“I might as well wait for Patrick to return
from the creek.” Anna brushed some hair that had come loose from her braid out
of her face, tucking it under the kerchief. She glanced around the simple
room served as both the dining area and the kitchen. The stone hearth and
fireplace used up much of the wall opposite the door, and Harley’s bunk, piled
high with various animal furs, stood against the wall to the right.Anna’s lips twitched in a slight smile. The
old trapper preferred beaver pelts and buffalo hides to wool blankets.
The rest of
the beds in the cabin weren’t any different. Two small rooms had been added on
six months ago before winter had settled into the valley, in order to
accommodate the three other men who inhabited this cabin.
Travis and Trevor Wilder, were only eighteen years old. They might be
fully-grown men in stature, but they certainly acted no better than adolescent
boys most of the time.They were
certainly nothing like their older brother, Ethan. Anna’s eyes drifted to the
other room, partitioned off by a curtain she and Caroline had sewn months ago
using old pieces of cloth to give the area some privacy.
kept the main part of the cabin clean, and even Travis’ and Trevor’s sleeping
area, Anna dared not move past that curtain that led to Ethan’s personal space.
She’d made the mistake of crossing past that curtain only once with the intent
to air out the bunk and perhaps collect some laundry. Ethan had walked into the
cabin at that moment, glared at her with a dark scowl his brothers always
teased him about, and had told her in no uncertain terms to mind her own
business and to stay away from his belongings.
As wild as
the Wilder men could be, none of them were as intimidating as the oldest of the
four brothers. Nathaniel, the second-oldest and husband to her best friend, had
been likable from the moment she’d met him. Even the twins could be forgiven
for their uncivilized antics, but Ethan Wilder was simply callous and rude.
stammered a quick apology that day and left the cabin in a hurry, Ethan’s stare
following her all the way to the smaller cabin she shared with Caroline and
Josie. Anger had overtaken the embarrassment she’d felt at the time. Ethan
Wilder was an oaf, reacting with anger or a sullen demeanor rather than holding
a civil conversation.
avoided him even more since that unpleasant encounter. During the long winter
months, she’d tried to make the best of her situation. She didn’t want to be
here in this remote valley, so far removed from civilized society, and as soon
as the weather turned warm enough, she’d finally bring up the subject of
as it was to think about leaving her friend, Cora Hudson Wilder, and the other
girls she’d considered her sisters, there was nothing for her in the
wilderness.This was not a life she
wanted, and more often than not over the last six months, she’d felt more like
an outsider than part of a family. The other Hudson sisters had adapted well to
living in the valley and got along with the Wilder men, but something was amiss
as far as Anna was concerned. Even quiet and shy Josie had taken well to life
in the woods, dressing in britches and going off hunting with Harley. Why had
it been so difficult to make a home here?
Anna had been full of hope at a new life in Oregon. It seemed like a lifetime
ago. When Cora had told her she was planning to sell her farm in Ohio and move
her three sisters and little brother to Oregon, Anna had gladly joined them.
The idea of traveling cross-country by wagon
into the unknown had seemed worrisome at the time, but it hadn’t been as
terrifying as staying in Ohio with no family. She’d gladly left her painful
memories and shattered dreams behind. Making a brand new start in Oregon had
seemed like the right thing to do.
hadn’t quite worked out the way they’d all planned, and the journey along the
Oregon Trail had proven far from easy. When Cora had met Nathaniel Wilder,
she’d had no choice but to put her trust in him to get them out of danger.
There had been no other recourse for Anna but to go along, with the understanding
that they would continue on their journey to Oregon come spring.
and Nathaniel had announced that they had gotten married, Anna couldn’t have
been happier for her friend. Cora had suffered enough loss and hardship of her
own, and deserved a good man. Nathaniel adored her. That had been obvious even
from their tumultuous first encounter.
spring had fully arrived, it might be time to approach Cora and Nathaniel about
taking her to Fort Hall, just as Nathaniel had promised to do when he’d brought
them to Harley’s Hole. He’d said he’d take her all the way to Oregon, but perhaps
he could find her passage with someone on a wagon train heading west. All she
needed was for him to get her to the trading outpost.
bring it up later today,” she muttered. There was no reason to delay her
decision any longer. If Nathaniel was agreeable to take her, she’d make
preparations to leave, and they could be at Fort Hall within a month. That
might be around the time the first wagon trains heading west would arrive.
and reached for the dirty rag on the ground. She dipped it in the equally dirty
water, and wrung it out. She’d wiped up most of the mud Patrick had brought
into the cabin, but another good scrubbing with some clean water wouldn’t hurt.
She hung the rag on her pole which she then propped against the wall, and eyed
the pheasants. When Patrick returned from the creek, he could de-feather the
birds and she’d start on supper.
hold of the rope and lifted the bucket. Brown brew sloshed out the sides. She
opened the cabin door and took a step outside, squinting into the bright
sunlight that entered the room. Her arms trembled from the effort of holding up
the heavy bucket and, taking hold of the bottom with one hand, she swung her
arms back and tossed the dirty contents as far as possible into the yard. A
stream of loud curse words followed instantly.
“What in the
blazes has gotten into you, woman?” a man roared.
sank to the pit of her stomach. She stumbled backward. A dark, imposing outline
followed. Anna dropped the bucket and her hand flew to her mouth.
goodness, I’m so sorry,” she stammered. Her eyes widened, staring up at Ethan
Wilder. He swiped a hand across his wet face while glaring at her. He looked
ready to murder someone. Muddy water dripped from his face to the ground. His
shirt and britches were soaked.
hell do you think you’re doing?” He advanced on her some more, his tone more
furious than a second ago.
“I . . . I
didn’t see you.” Anna clutched at the high collar of her dress in case Ethan
reached out to strangle her.
pay better attention to what you’re doing, woman? I ain’t that small not to be
seen walking up to the door.”
He did have
a point. Ethan Wilder wasn’t a small man. He wasn’t overly large, either, but
at this moment, he may as well have been a giant, the way he towered over her
in his rage. His dark scowl increased as the seconds ticked by.
look before you do something as witless as tossing a bucket of water at a man,”
he growled. The cords along his neck were strung tighter than a drum.
stiffened. Her mouth pulled in a thin line and she squared her shoulders.
“I told you
I was sorry, Mr. Wilder,” she said in a firm voice, emphasizing the mister. “It
was an honest mistake, and I truly apologize for tossing the water out the door
at the exact moment you decided to waltz into the cabin.” Her voice rose with
each word. She’d just about had it with his rude behavior. It wasn’t as if
she’d thrown the water at him on purpose, but he sure deserved it.
ever say anything nice rather than throwing insults at a person?” she
continued. “I’d be more than happy to wash your soiled clothes to make amends
for what I did. I doubt you would have apologized for tracking mud into the
cabin that I just spent hours cleaning.” To make her point, she directed her
eyes to his dirty boots.
pounded so loud, her ears rang. If Ethan said anything else, she didn’t hear
it. Abruptly, he turned on his heels and strode off toward the horse corrals
and barn. On weak and shaky legs, Anna leaned against the cabin door. She
swiped a trembling hand across her face and sucked in several breaths of air to
calm her nerves.
anger surged through her. How dare he speak to her in such a rude manner? She’d
made an honest mistake. Granted, getting doused with dirty water couldn’t have
been a pleasant experience, but he didn’t have to continue acting in such a
hard-headed fashion, especially since she’d apologized.
her head. Her limbs were still shaky as she made her way from the main cabin to
the one she’d called home since last autumn. She scoffed. Home? Nothing
could be further from the truth.
She fumbled with the latch on the cabin door and
stumbled into the dark interior. Tears blurred her vision. She didn’t bother to
light a lantern, and sank onto her bunk. For all the beauty to be found in this
wilderness valley, there was no feeling of home here. An overwhelming sense of
loneliness gripped her and she curled into a ball, allowing her emotions to get
the better of her.
(copyright 2016Peggy L HendersonNo part of this excerpt may be
reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including
information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the