Once Upon a Time in Tarrula / To Wed a Rancher. Myrna Mackenzie

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Once Upon a Time in Tarrula / To Wed a Rancher - Myrna Mackenzie

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      Once Upon a Time

       in Tarrula

      Jennie Adams

      To Wed

      a Rancher

      Myrna Mackenzie



      MILLS & BOON

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      Dear Reader,

      Sometimes when a man seems so strong, we wonder if he’s invincible. But then we get to know him and realise that somewhere underneath the strength and determination there are emotions and tender feelings that are perhaps even harder for him to acknowledge because it’s his job to be self-contained and in control.

      This is how I feel about my hero, Troy Rushton. He’s lost the army career that defined so much of who he is. He’s starting over, and not too keen to let others in as he does that, yet Stacie Wakefield doesn’t seem to focus on his limp, or the things that Troy can’t do.

      In fact, Troy wonders if anything would stop this intrepid, determined girl in her own life. She sews her dog clothes and carries out her DIY projects on her cottage outside of town and seems determined to forge a life by herself—and Troy can’t help admiring her. Stacie has been hurt, too. Someone very close to her found happiness at the expense of Stacie’s own. It’s hard for her to accept that, but Stacie hopes that starting over in a new town will help.

      Though Tarrula is a fictitious town, it has a lot in common with many of the rural New South Wales towns I’ve lived in and visited. There is peace to be found in this small community town, if Troy and Stacie can open up to each other and allow that to happen.

      I hope you enjoy Troy and Stacie’s journey as they find their ‘Once Upon a Time’ happy ending, right in the heart of Tarrula.

      Please visit my website for further information about all of my stories.

      With love from Australia.


      Once Upon a

       Time in Tarrula

      Jennie Adams

      About the Author

      Australian author JENNIE ADAMS grew up in a rambling farmhouse surrounded by books, and by people who loved reading them. She decided at a young age to be a writer, but it took many years and a lot of scenic detours before she sat down to pen her first romance novel. Jennie has worked in a number of careers and voluntary positions, including transcription typist and pre-school assistant. She is the proud mother of three fabulous adult children, and makes her home in a small inland city in New South Wales. In her leisure time Jennie loves long, rambling walks, discovering new music, starting knitting projects that she rarely finishes, chatting with friends, trips to the movies, and new dining experiences.

      Jennie loves to hear from her readers, and can be contacted via her website at www.jennieadams.net.

      For my girls. Special mention must be made of such bald-faced justifications as: “I know you warned me about those dips in the road but I forgot again.”

      For Valerie, for the brainstorming that resulted in the Bow-wow-tique.

      And for my editor Joanne Grant, with thanks for helping me to find the greater strength in each and every book.


      ‘LISTEN, Stace, I don’t know how this happened. I only turned my back for a minute.’

      ‘You were discussing football scores and you stopped watching what was happening on the floor. You can’t do that when you’re in charge, Gary.’ Stacie Wakefield cut off the words of the assistant floor-boss of the hulling section of the almond-processing plant. ‘Carl’s not here. That means you’re in charge!’

      They stood ankle-deep in spilled harvested almonds. Stacie had spotted the problem from the office upstairs and rushed down in time for the overload to pour onto the floor. ‘You may have stopped the spillage but look at it, Gary. Another five minutes and this section will be so far behind that the rest of the plant will have to wait for product. Just because Carl isn’t here today, doesn’t mean—’

      ‘All right, maybe I did get distracted.’ The words were mumbled before he shook his head. ‘Look, I’ll get it sorted out, so don’t stress, okay? I’d noticed the problem by the time you got down here, hadn’t I?’ Gary gave her a wink and a nudge as though to convince her he was quite calm about this glitch, and that she should be too.

      ‘You noticed too late.’ Stacie muttered the words, and added more loudly, ‘I hope you can get it sorted out.’

      ‘It’ll be all right. Well, gotta get moving.’ Gary’s gaze shifted behind her left shoulder. ‘Time’s money.’

      With these words, he strode away.

      Why had he done that all of a sudden after standing about, wasting time, playing down the mess to Stacie first? Because the new owner was approaching from behind her, that was why!

      If that weren’t the case, Stacie would eat the latest doggy coat she’d created for her home-based business, the Bow-wow-tique. Well, maybe not the dark-green one she’d made last week, but she’d added that to Fang’s winter collection so it didn’t really count.

       New owner, Stacie.

       He’s not going to go away and come back at a more convenient time just because you don’t want him to see this spill on the floor—or because none of this is your responsibility but Carl’s asked you to take care of the new boss.

      In the end it was only a meet and greet. If the owner needed anything outside of Stacie’s knowledge or authority, she’d let him know what she could and couldn’t do and manage.

      Stacie pinned on what she hoped was a calm, helpful expression, and turned to face …

      Six foot of sandy-haired, muscular man who was indeed headed her way. In fact, he was only a couple of steps from reaching her.

      She fought for control against a widening of her eyes as she took in a broad chest that seemed to fill her vision: shoulders encased in a fitted white T-shirt with a corduroy tan jacket pulled over the top; blue jeans; work boots.

      He had a square jaw, straight nose. His features and his attitude denoted strength, presence.

      Her gaze shifted to his mouth, to a set of lips that could only have been made for long, slow kisses. His eyes were a deep hazel, green, blue and grey fringed with sooty lashes. At the moment, they were examining her with focused attention.

      This was a man who would not turn his back on a challenge, nor step away if things became difficult.


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