There were two things Jonas Monroe loved above all else - horses and Tyler’s mother.
“A horse is like a woman, son. Treat them with a firm but gentle hand, respect them for who they are and see to their needs, and they pay you back with undying devotion.” His father’s words echoed in his mind. That had been Jonas’ favorite saying, up until Tyler was twelve years old.
One fateful day changed all that, the day his mother left the ranch and didn’t return. Jonas never uttered those words again. Instead, he would say, “Earn a horse’s respect and they will never betray your trust. Horses are all that matter, son. Don’t ever let anyone or anything, least of all a woman, come between you and the horses.”
For years, his father had hoped and waited for his wife to return. Slowly, he’d become an embittered man, and no matter how much Tyler coaxed him to rejuvenate his interest in the horses, his father slipped more and more inside himself. He’d changed from being a respected member of the community, a man of integrity and values, into someone to stay away from. Friends and neighbors avoided him because of his cantankerous behavior, and the running of the ranch soon fell solely on Tyler’s shoulders. Three years ago, he’d found his father dead in the barn, hung from the ceiling rafters. His father’s misery was all because of her . . .
Tyler vowed he would never let that happen to him.