Welcome to Excerpt Friday! Each Friday we’ll be featuring excerpts from recent releases by our very own Fillies. So grab a cup of coffee and read on. And if you find you’re hooked by what you read (and we know you will be!) just click on the book cover to purchase the entire book. Or click HERE.
From Author Tanya Hanson – HEARTS AND SPURS ANTHOLOGY: OPEN HEARTS
How can a woman living a lie open her heart to an honest lawman?
A woman living as a man to practice the law she loves must guard her identity–and her heart–from a handsome sheriff, who discovers just who she is and must decide whether to turn her in or fall in love.
Barbara snorted the whole way to the Eagle River. Good heavens, how barbaric they grew men in the Wild West. Quicksilver was bad enough.
But the sheriff, imagining she needed a keeper. Who imagined Badge Audiss needed a keeper, that is. Didn’t men have a mutual admiration society? And weren’t they both on the same side of the law?
She couldn’t stop her next question. Would Keith Rakestraw have liked her if she’d allowed herself to be a woman? The thought blossomed in her mind for a quick second before withering like a weed. Mama had always declared any man in Philadelphia would have courted Barbara in a second if only she hadn’t ruined her prospects by battling to attend Union College of Law. Papa had pooh-poohed her ambition, too, patted her head like a puppy.
But her great-aunt Henrietta had left Barbara her very own trust fund. To do with as she chose.
Regret slid across her while a chill wind lifted the edges of Badge’s long coat. Not at matriculating UnionCollege, not at the law, but regret at the masquerade. Regret that her attraction for the tantalizing sheriff could never bear fruit. And guilt, oh goodness, guilt raged worse than regret. She was a fraud, that’s what she was. Indeed, she upheld the letter of the law.
Except the law that said females couldn’t be judges, a law she broke every single day. Sometimes the hypocrisy, righteous though she might be, took her breath away.
If she was found out, wouldn’t all her verdicts be laid invalid?
And wouldn’t she spend the rest of her life in jail?
Sheriff Rakestraw already loathed her. It wouldn’t take much at all for him to drag her to retribution if he found her out.
Oh, Badge. What have we done? What have I done?
Yet a deathbed promise was an impossible vow to break.