A BORROWED DREAM
The Cimarron Creek Trilogy,
by Amanda Cabot
Genre: Historical Romance / Inspirational
Date of Publication: March 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 352
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Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.
With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.
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PRAISE FOR A BORROWED DREAM:
“Cabot’s sweet love story will appeal to readers of gentle romances. . .Although this title stands on its own, readers of A Stolen Heart (2017), the first in Cabot’s place-based trilogy, will be happy to revisit the folks of Cimarron Creek.” -- Booklist
“The second book in Cabot’s Cimarron Creek trilogy is even better than the first, with a dash of suspense, an intriguing bit of medical history and a host of enjoyable characters.” -- RT Book Reviews
PRAISE FOR A STOLEN HEART, BOOK ONE IN THE CIMARRON CREEK TRILOGY:
“Readers will enjoy the surprising ending as well as the romance always found in Cabot’s books.”--Publishers Weekly
“Moments of humor provide a nice balance to the heartwarming scenes and the mild suspense thread.”--RT Book Reviews
“Cabot’s nonpreachy inspirational romance features characters who genuinely try to live honorable lives, and their story has broad appeal for readers of gentle fiction and historical romance as well as for readers of Christian fiction.”--Booklist
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CHAPTER ONE, PART TWO
EXCERPT FROM A BORROWED DREAM
By Amanda Cabot
Click to read Chapter One, Part One on Hall Ways Blog’s stop
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January 3, 1881
Though she’d told herself she was going to put the dream out of her mind, Catherine had been unable to do that. While she’d ground the coffee and boiled water, the memory of the desperate woman had haunted her. She’d never before had a dream like this, one that lingered in her mind once she wakened. Memories of happy dreams would flit in and out, making her smile, but this one hovered, filling her with a sense of dread.
“Maybe this is God’s way of telling me I should give up my dream of visiting Europe.”
“And maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just a dream.” Lydia was
silent for a moment, sipping her coffee with a contemplative expression. “I know you’re upset, but I think you need to focus on happier things. Promise me you’ll try.”
When Catherine nodded, Lydia said, “It seems we missed a big event at church yesterday.”
“You mean Reverend Dunn didn’t give his normal a-new-year-means-new-beginnings sermon?”
“Oh, he did, but I’m not sure how many people listened.” Lydia’s lips curved in a smile. “Opal was bursting with the news that we have a new family in the area. She didn’t get to meet them, but Mrs. Moore stopped her after the service to say she was hired to keep house for them. It seems the man bought the Saylor ranch. The way Mrs. Moore tells the story, he’s from Oklahoma and wanted a ranch of his own. Apparently, he’s a widower.”
Catherine couldn’t help smiling at her friend’s eager recounting of the news. “You’re starting to sound like Aunt Bertha with her long stories.” The woman who’d been Catherine’s great-aunt had been famous for her monologues. “Is there a special reason I need to know about this rancher?”
Lydia nodded. “According to Opal, he’s a good-looking young man. She’s sure every mother with a single daughter will be inviting him to supper.”
But Catherine no longer had a mother, and even if Mama were alive, she wouldn’t have engaged in such blatant matchmaking. “At least he won’t go hungry.”
“Catherine.” Lydia gave her a reproving look. “Don’t dismiss the man sight unseen. He might be almost as wonderful as Travis.” A sweet smile crossed Lydia’s face as she pronounced her husband’s name.
Travis Whitfield, the town’s sheriff and Catherine’s cousin, was a fine man and the perfect husband for Lydia. The new rancher was another story. Even if he were as wonderful as Travis, he was a widower. That meant that whoever he married—assuming, of course, that he was interested in marrying again—would be his second wife.
Catherine took another sip of coffee, hoping the strong brew would clear her head. There was no point in arguing with Lydia. As a happy newlywed, Lydia believed every woman should be married. She wouldn’t understand that Catherine had no intention of becoming the rancher’s or any man’s second anything. She’d learned that lesson last summer when Nate, the man she had expected to marry, had fallen in love with Lydia. Even though Lydia had done her best to discourage him, the damage had been done. Catherine would rather remain a spinster than be some man’s second choice.
“Unless the widower comes to church, I doubt I’ll ever meet him.”
Lydia shook her head. “Oh, but you will. He has a school-age daughter.”
Austin Goddard tried to ignore the anxiety that had been his constant companion from the moment he’d opened his eyes. There was no reason to worry, he told himself. Hannah would be safe. Of course, she would. That was why they’d come to Texas.
Forcing a smile, he looked at his daughter as she slid into the chair across the breakfast table from him. “You look nice this morning.” Mrs. Moore had taken special pains with Hannah’s hair, securing the ends of the braids with bright red bows that matched one of the colors in her plaid dress.
Though Hannah glanced at him, she remained silent, her expression more eloquent than words. Whatever Austin thought about school, his daughter did not agree.
When the three of them were seated, he closed his eyes and thanked the Lord for the food, adding a silent prayer for his daughter. Mrs. Moore was right. School would be good for Hannah. He didn’t need the housekeeper to tell him his daughter needed to leave the ranch and be around other children, that she needed to laugh and play. Austin knew it wasn’t normal for a child to be so quiet, but then again, it wasn’t normal for a child to be forced to leave everything familiar not once but twice.
Hannah didn’t remember her birthplace any more than she remembered her mother, for she’d been less than a year old when the two of them had left Paris, but there was no doubt that she remembered their last home, even though she’d obeyed Austin’s command and never spoke of it. Perhaps that was part of the problem. Perhaps he should have allowed her to talk about their former life, but he couldn’t take that risk.
Though Austin tried to smile at his too silent, too thin daughter, his heart yearned for the girl who’d once giggled as she tried to convince him to let her have at least a spoonful of coffee in her milk. Now she accepted the glass of plain milk without comment, deepening Austin’s distress. He could run the ranch. He was confident of that. He only wished he were confident that he could restore his daughter’s happiness.
Almost as if she’d read Austin’s thoughts, Mrs. Moore addressed Hannah. “You’ll like school,” she said as she poured syrup over her pancakes. The woman who’d become Austin’s housekeeper as well as Hannah’s nanny liked her sweets, a fact reflected in her plump hands and the extra rolls of flesh around her neck. Though she was in her early fifties, her light brown hair held only a few threads of silver, and her eyes had not lost their sharpness. Most importantly, she seemed genuinely fond of Hannah.
“Miss Whitfield is a good teacher,” Mrs. Moore continued. “Firm but fair, or so I’ve heard. My boys were out of school long before she took over.”
Hannah looked up from the piece of pancake she’d been chasing around her plate. “I don’t want to go.”
Continue reading on 4/14/18!
Click to read Chapter One, Part Three on Books in the Garden blog’s stop
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