A STOLEN HEART
Cimarron Creek Trilogy #1
by AMANDA CABOT
Genre: Historical Romance / Christian
Publisher: Revell / Baker Publishing Group
Date of Publication: March, 2017
Number of Pages: 352
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“Endearing characters, a tender love story, and intriguing mystery all work together to make Amanda Cabot’s A Stolen Heart a compelling and enjoyable read.”—Margaret Brownley, author of Left at the Altar
Bestselling author Amanda Cabot takes readers back in time to the 1880s Texas Hill Country in her new historical romance novel, A Stolen Heart. This is the first book in a brand-new series packed with tension, mystery, and a tender love story that readers won’t soon forget.
Cimarron Creek seemed like an idyllic Texas town. But as soon as former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford stepped onto its dusty streets, she noticed a deep-seated resentment of Northerners—like her.
That won’t get Lydia down, though. She looks forward to the day when she reunites with her fiancé—until she discovers her fiancé has disappeared without a trace and has left behind a pregnant wife. The handsome Cimarron Creek sheriff urges Lydia to trust him, but she is having a hard time trusting anyone in a town where secrets and suspense prevail.
Cabot weaves an elegant tale of pure love amidst heartache. With an absorbing plot and engaging characters, A Stolen Heart is a springtime showstopper fit for every historical romance reader.
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Excerpt from A Stolen Heart
Chapter 1, Part 2
Trouble was coming. Travis Whitfield could feel it in the air as he strode toward the mercantile. The stagecoach was due in ten minutes. As it did each weekday, it would bring mail. Today it would also bring Travis’s father, the source of the impending trouble.
Travis tried not to frown, but the fact was, with Pa in Austin, this last month had been more peaceful than any he could recall since the town had asked him to wear the sheriff’s badge. Wasn’t that a sad commentary? Though he wasn’t satisfied with Doc’s verdict that Sheriff Allen’s death had been an accident and though a man had gone missing, Travis was calling it a peaceful month.
The peace was about to end. Dorcas’s latest letter had warned him that not even the sight of his first grandchild had mellowed Pa’s temper. He was still telling anyone who’d listen—and even those who wouldn’t—that his son had no business accepting the appointment as Cimarron Creek’s sheriff when he was already serving the town as a lawyer. Never mind that Travis was doing both. Once Pa stepped off the stagecoach, he’d start haranguing him again.
Tipping his hat to a woman whose overflowing bag indicated she’d found several garments to her liking at the dressmaker’s shop, Travis had to admit there were days when he agreed with Pa. He’d known being sheriff wouldn’t be easy, but it had proven to be more difficult than he’d expected. For a town of barely a hundred and sixty, Cimarron Creek seemed to have more than its share of problems.
Travis looked down the street. Perhaps he was prejudiced, but he believed his grandfather and great-uncles had chosen wisely when they’d laid out the town. They’d insisted that trees be cut only if absolutely necessary, with the result that the stores on Main Street were shaded by live oaks. He’d seen other towns where residents had to contend with the blazing sun, and the sheriffs of those towns had admitted that tempers frequently flared when the mercury rose.
Travis couldn’t blame heat for the latest problem. It hadn’t been hot the night the town’s newest resident had disappeared. There hadn’t even been a full moon. Some folks—his own father among them—claimed mischief was more likely when the moon was full. That hadn’t been the case last week. No heat, no moon, just one missing man.
Opal Ellis wasn’t going to be happy that Travis had nothing new to report, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. When his own search had turned up no clues to the whereabouts of Opal’s missing husband, Travis had sent telegrams to the sheriffs of all the surrounding towns. They’d had no more success than he had.
Travis nodded at the trio of schoolboys lounging against the one empty store on Main Street. With school over for the summer and crops not ready for harvest, they had little to occupy their time. Fortunately, they hadn’t gotten into trouble. Not yet. But they would. Remembering his own boyhood shenanigans, Travis knew that was inevitable. He only hoped the antics wouldn’t be too serious and that no one would ask him to intervene. He had enough work already, with the missing Edgar Ellis on top of his list.
Travis didn’t like unsolved mysteries. That was the reason he’d asked for his cousins’ opinions. The three of them had been playing horseshoes in Porter’s yard when he’d brought up the subject. As he’d expected, neither man was reticent about expressing his beliefs. What he hadn’t expected was that the men who were as close to him as brothers had disagreed.
Porter claimed Edgar had left town of his own volition once he’d learned he was going to be a father.
“Babies are a lot of work,” he declared. “I ought to know.” As the youngest of what some townspeople called the Three Musketeers but the only one who was married and had a child, Porter liked to boast about his status.
Wrinkling his nose as if he were tired of listening to his brother’s tales of fatherhood, Warner disagreed with Porter’s assessment. Instead, he speculated Edgar had been run out of town—or worse—by someone still fighting the war. If Pa had been in Cimarron Creek at the time, he might have been Warner’s primary suspect, but Pa was in Austin, making Dorcas’s life miserable.
Though he’d done everything he could, Travis had no idea where Opal’s husband had gone. As much as he wished it were otherwise, that was one mystery he was unlikely to solve today or anytime soon.
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of At Bluebonnet Lake, In Firefly Valley, and On Lone Star Trail, as well as the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.
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