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When help arrives in the form of a spoiled, rich girl from New York City, cowboy Justin Olsen is afraid his burden just got heavier. He’s been working and caring for his aunt Velma on his own.
Stormy is heiress to the Towne family fortune. Living in posh hotels and partying at the hottest New York City night clubs is part of her glamorous life. That is, until her grandmother banishes her to Apple Bottom, Texas with a mandate to aid an old family friend.
God surely hasn’t wrought these two hearts for each other, opposites to their very core. But what’s a vegetarian and a ranch hand to do when the failing town of Apple Bottom and Aunt Velma may need both of their help to survive?
The second book in the Faith & Fame series.
Short and Sweets - Cozy Afternoon Reads. Christian Romance.
Lainey Sparks - Lead Singer of Christian Band, Depth
Stormy Towne - Heiress to the Towne Fortune
Red Walker - Executive Officer of MacKenzie Oil
Willing himself to remain calm, Justin stood, waiting patiently for her to make up her mind. When she made no move, he walked to his side of the truck and slid behind the wheel, starting the engine. To say it purred like a kitten would have been a gross understatement, but it ran and was reliable. A cloud of dark smoke choked from the engine a moment later. He couldn’t help but split a grin when he heard Stormy shriek and rush to get into her side of the truck.
“Yes, ma’am. That’s what we grow here in Texas.” He put the truck in gear and proceeded from the parking spot. In minutes, he was out on route six and headed towards the highway.
“You hungry?” he asked into the silence.
“No,” Stormy said in muffled reply, her chin resting on a delicate hand perched near the window.
“Okay, but dinner might be long in coming, especially if Velma’s lost track of time again. I’m stopping for a burger. You want one?”
“A burger? Um, no. I don’t eat meat.”
Justin’s jaw worked, but no words came out. He glanced at her full on for thirty seconds before the road called his attention back.
“Don’t eat meat? Good Lord, woman. Whatcha goin’ to eat then?”
“Fruit and vegetables.”
“There’s no accounting for taste, I guess.” Justin pulled the truck into the drive through lane. “You want fries?”
Stormy looked at him and wrinkled her nose. “Fried in what kind of oil?”
“Lady, I have no idea. Does it matter?”
“I guess not. I don’t eat fried things. No, thank you.”
Justin placed his order, paid, and collected his food. He swung into an empty parking space and let the truck idle. Rummaging through the bag, he pulled out the double cheeseburger, conscious he was being watched. His eyes slid to Stormy’s. “What’s the matter?”
“I – I just …” she stuttered, “You’re so callous about eating meat. Do you know where that comes from?”
“Yes, ma’am. A cow. We’ll see plenty on the way to Apple Bottom and on the ranch.”
“Ranch?” Her nose wrinkled, which would have been pretty if she wasn’t so full of herself.
Justin looked down at his now unwrapped burger, turning it over in his hand before taking a huge bite. “Double-Y, yes ma’am. Then you’ll really appreciate your meat.”
Stormy shook her head in disgust at him and turned back to the window. Justin finished the burger in two bites and gulped down half of his soda. He jumped from the truck cab and threw the trash away. Within minutes they were back on the road and headed to the highway.
However long this girl was here, it would be too long. How could he cook for someone who didn’t eat meat? He ran the ranch as best he could, and most nights, he was so tired he couldn’t see straight. He didn’t have time to coddle a spoiled brat of a girl who never grew up.
The Good Lord knew how much they’d struggled this year with steer prices down and feed climbing higher and higher. You raised the animals, and they became your food. You didn’t get attached. They had a good life on the farm, in the fields, until it was time to send them for slaughtering. That was the circle of life.
Stormy, she had a strange way of thinking. She must be from a city with so much concrete between her and the dirt, it had affected her brain.
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Check out Laura's other books on her website at www.LauraJMarshall.com