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Feel-Good Fiction Books

Book 1: Brush Creek Cowboy (Brush Creek Cowboys Romance)

Book 1: Brush Creek Cowboy (Brush Creek Cowboys Romance)

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Go up the canyon to Brush Creek Ranch, where 6 retired rodeo cowboys are waiting to welcome you to their fold!

START HERE! This is the first book in the Brush Creek Cowboys Romance series.

About BRUSH CREEK COWBOY: He's a cowboy raising his son alone. She's a widow with a chocolate obsession. Can Brush Creek cowboy Walker get over his losses and fears in order to build a future with Tess?

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Read Chapter 1 Now!

Walker Thompson twisted the doorknob with care and stepped into the most glorious summer sunshine Utah had to offer. At least at six-thirty in the morning. He took a deep drag of the sagebrush-scented air and let the worries from the previous night drain from his muscles.

They rushed back within seconds, the way his concerns about his son’s night terrors always did. Michael had been particularly restless during the night, and Walker’s exhaustion felt like a yoke he couldn’t bear.

But bear it he did. Even managed to walk the circumference of his cabin, plucking weedlings from the flower beds that lined the house he shared with his nine-year-old son. It was a ritual he’d started the morning after his wife had passed away, six years ago. The calming, methodical way he could keep things beautiful, keep them uncluttered, allow the pretty flowers room to grow and breathe, had soothed him that day just as it did on this August morning.

Walker didn’t live in that house anymore, but in every successive place he’d moved, he took meticulous care of the yard. It was something he could control.

“Mornin’.”

Walker glanced up at the sound of his boss’s voice. Landon Edmunds leaned against the fence Walker had built with Michael over the summer, a long piece of straw extending from his mouth.

“Hey, Boss.” Walker had known Landon for at least fifteen years, dating all the way back to their rodeo days. Walker had quit the year before Landon had been injured, and he’d worked a couple of ranches in Wyoming before coming to Brush Creek five years ago, when Landon bought it and needed help to make it the premier horse ranch he wanted it to be.

“No one better at breaking horses than you,” Landon had told him when he’d called Walker.

Walker hadn’t been able to argue, so he’d packed up his son and everything he owned and moved to Utah. And if he was being honest with himself, he’d been happier here than anywhere since his wife had died.

“Goin’ to the festival today?” Landon asked.

Walker nodded, his cowboy hat swaying with the motion. He clapped a hand to the top of his head to seat the hat properly. “You?”

“Megan’s already got the twins in the tub.” Landon chuckled. “She wants you to come to breakfast.”

Walker’s stomach dropped and rebounded, all within the space of a second. “Tell her thanks, but Michael and I have to get down to town to pick up the cotton candy machine.” He wandered over to the fence line and gazed in the same direction as Landon. The red-rock butte in the morning light sent peace straight through his soul. Utah did have gorgeous countryside.

“She won’t like that answer,” Landon said.

“She just wants to lecture me about dating again,” Walker said. He swung his gaze to his long-time friend. “Right?”

“She’s worried about you.” Landon hooked his green-eyed gaze into Walker’s. “So am I.”

“I’m just fine.” Walker wanted to believe himself, but he’d been unsettled for the last six months—ever since Megan had started needling him about “putting himself out there.”

“How’s Michael?” Landon asked, going right for the jugular.

Walker exhaled and shuffled his feet. “He’s doin’ okay.” But the truth was, Michael was barely hanging on. Most nine-year-old boys in Brush Creek rode bikes with their friends and went fishing at the water hole on the east edge of town. They slept in tents in each other’s backyards and built fires to roast hot dogs.

They didn’t live with their widower father out in the middle of nowhere, with only twin two-year-old girls as options for playmates. Oh, and the horses. Michael did love the horses at Brush Creek.

“School starts soon,” Landon said, like that would solve the world’s problems. It would at least get Michael out of the cabin and into civilization.

Walker didn’t know how to answer, so he asked, “Who’s Megan got her eye on this time?”

“She didn’t say.” Landon adjusted his cowboy hat. “She did mention that ‘at least five women’ would jump at the chance to go out with you.” He smiled. “Maybe you can just let her know that she should spread the word that you’re available.”

“I’ve always been available,” Walker muttered. No one was looking in his direction.

“Not true.” Landon cuffed him on the bicep. “See you in town.” With that, he strode back toward the homestead calling, “Oh, and Megan’s throwing a pool party tomorrow night for everyone. Barbecue and everything.”

“Sounds great,” Walker yelled after him before turning back to his cabin. He’d helped Landon build the six cowboy cabins that lined the ridge directly across from the homestead. His was the largest, as he was the foreman and had a child. Each of the other cabins housed a single cowboy, all rodeo champions, all expert horsemen. None of them were married or had children.

Walker’s mind whirred as he went to wake up his son. Maybe he should open his heart and mind to dating again. Maybe it would be good for Michael to have a mother, be closer to other kids.

Walker didn’t want to admit that maybe it would be good for him if he found someone to share his life with. He’d loved his wife so much, he didn’t think it possible to feel something so profound again.

He pushed open the cabin door and let the light rush in. “Come on, Michael,” he called, noting the catch in his voice. After six years, he still missed Libby so deeply it brought his emotion right into his throat. He cleared everything away—his thoughts, his fears, his feelings—and added, “We’ve got to get down to the festival.”

* * *

An hour later, he pulled his truck into the parking lot at Oxbow Park. The place was already bustling with activity as vendors and volunteers set up booths, hung signs, and cleared pathways.

“I’ll grab the machine,” Walker said as he opened his door. “You grab the sacks and twist ties, all right?”

“All right.”

Walker took a moment to appreciate his son. He had Walker’s shock of black hair and his skin that seemed to soak up the sun’s rays. But he looked back at Walker with eyes the exact color of Libby’s—hazel, with more brown than green—and the shape of his nose mirrored hers as well. More rounded and flat, whereas Walker sported a long, straight nose.

“Will Tess have the sugar?” Michael asked as Walker lowered the tailgate.

“Supposed to.” For some reason, his heart kicked out an extra beat at the thought of Tess Wagner. He’d been friends with Tess since the day she moved to Brush Creek, four years ago. She’d shown up with a two-year-old son and a tragic story about her husband dying in a sheet metal accident, at the very salvage center that he’d owned.

They’d been selling cotton candy and donating the proceeds to the National Widow and Widowers Foundation for the past four summers.

Walker had never known Tess to be late, and she wasn’t today either. He found her in their usual location—right across from the lemonade stand—setting up the awning that would protect them from the worst of the sun.

His feet slowed when he saw her, allowing Michael to get ahead of him. Tess had a small flower pinned in her super short blonde hair. She wore a pair of dark blue shorts and a tank top that boasted her slender shoulders and the length of her neck.

Walker’s face heated, something that had decidedly never happened when he’d encountered Tess before. He wasn’t sure why he was reacting this way to a woman he’d been friends with for years.

Stupid Megan and her stupid insistence about dating, Walker thought as he finally got his feet moving again.

Although, if Walker were really being honest with himself, if he had to start dating again, Tess would be his first choice. He swallowed hard and hefted the cotton candy machine onto the table the town provided.

“Morning,” he said and turned his back on Tess so he could get control of himself. At thirty-six years old, he shouldn’t have to deal with raging hormones.

“Morning,” she chirped. “Michael, Graham’s over on the playground. You can go on over, if you want.”

Walker glanced up, because he knew his son would look to him for permission before running off. Sure enough, Michael was watching him. “Go on,” Walker said with a smile, thinking Tess’s seven-year-old son was the perfect friend for Michael.

Maybe he should just ask Tess out. He was grown-up. So was she. She’d been married before. They both had sons. They had a lot in common. Why shouldn’t he go out with her?

Why shouldn’t I? He tilted his head back and glanced into the sky, pleading with the Lord to give him a single reason to stay away from Tess Wagner.

Nothing came. Only the richest, bluest sky stared back.

At the very least, it would get Megan Edmunds off his back about “putting himself out there.”

Determined in his plan to leave the festival that evening with a date on the horizon, he was finally able to relax in Tess’s presence.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "This was probably one of the best novellas I've read. Isaacson in just a few short chapters pulls your heartstrings with every emotion it is possible to feel. Her characters are so realistic and believable, and she draws you into the small town of Brush Creek with all it wonderful residents. Touching and tender with a swoon worthy cowboy hero and a sweet, chocolate obsessed heroine who has fought cancer and won along with two typical boys and a couple of large lovable dogs, it was a wonderful short read. Top that off with a wonderful spiritual thread that has them leaning on their faith and learning God is in control, and it definitely becomes a 5 star read.” ~Loraine

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I enjoyed this story. It was a short , but good story it was about two people who had lost there spouses and each had a son. They had to take care of their sons and fall in love. This is not always an easy thing to do.” ~J. Ruud

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Go up the canyon to Brush Creek Ranch, where a community of retired rodeo cowboys are looking for love...

This series offers a heartwarming journey through a tapestry of stories that interweave the charm of sweet cowboy romance with the serenity of small-town life.