Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pick up your copy of Bridled and Branded this Weekend

Bridled and Branded by Natalie Acres

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Lynlee Lewis is an old-fashioned girl who might as well take the lead in a modern day romance. She met a boy, when he was just a boy. She fell in love, but he barely noticed. Now, Lynlee wants to place a woman’s brand on Blaine McCain, but will his past prevent her from staking a claim?

Lynlee’s storybook romance isn’t without its villains and obstacles. Add in the fact that Blaine rarely travels behind a bedroom door without company and Lynlee wonders why she’s so taken by the cowboy in the first place.

Throw in a deadly situation and Lynlee finds herself in the midst of danger when a knife is shoved against her throat. Worse still, the man behind the blade is traveling with a wife who is no stranger to Blaine McCain. And someone wants to turn Blaine's life upside down with a package full of problems.


Copyright © 2010

The following excerpt is suitable for all audiences

Chapter One

Lynlee’s gaze darted around the crowded equestrian center as the riding groom led her to the show ring. Prancer danced underneath her, but Lynlee used her leg muscles to grip tighter, determined to drive the feisty mare forward.

Even with a large purse and a grand championship at stake, only one thought crossed her mind.

Where is he?

The announcer welcomed the new competitors. The Five-Gaited Open Division was full of trainers, not amateurs, but Lynlee had the horse for show and the skills to guide Prancer straight into the winner’s circle and claim the coveted victory.

Entering the class with a good first pass, Prancer moved to the outside and struck a gait with an aim to please. The sensational feeling of gaining one of the judge’s attentive gazes washed over Lynlee upon entry. She resisted the urge to look over her shoulder and see if the judge made a mark on his score card.

Around and around, she met up to the challenge of being in a class some might consider out of her league. She didn’t share those sentiments, and besides, Lynlee only had one reason for being there, and she hadn’t spotted him yet.

Blaine McCain never missed the Annual Carolina Showplace Horse Show in Asheville, North Carolina. And when he arrived, Blaine put forth a lot of effort in order to command center stage. His entourage, a pack of pretty boys, gained every woman’s undivided attention. If he walked into the facility, Lynlee would see him.

“Rack ’em on!” The announcer called out. Prancer’s hooves plodded against the ground, and by the time Lynlee returned her focus to the horse under hand, the crowd hummed with plenty of praise.

Glancing out of her peripheral vision, she made a beautiful pass in front of the judges, and in Lynlee-style, she flipped her wrist and gave Prancer the signal her mounts recognized. The gesture was a simple movement to warn of a nearby crop she never used, but the horses she trained responded to the caution and let their legs work for the money.

A few minutes later, the crowd took to their feet and palms came together as they cheered for Lynlee and Prancer, the champions of the hour. With her number called and then her name, she relied on her loyal companion to march toward the gate. She waited for the roses, smiled for the cameras, accepted her blue ribbon, and then enjoyed a coveted victorious finish, which was all the sweeter when she spotted Blaine.

With a standing ovation and many admirers, Lynlee savored everything about her ten seconds of glory. The relished championship made the moment priceless, but Blaine gave her something more. He nodded his head in her direction and nudged one of his buddies in the process.

Life was never sweeter until she went one way, and Prancer went the other......

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