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Book 12: Lucky Number Thirteen (Three Rivers Ranch Romance™)

Book 12: Lucky Number Thirteen (Three Rivers Ranch Romance™)

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Escape to Three Rivers, Texas for small-town charm, sweet and sexy cowboys, and faith and family centered romance. 

About LUCKY NUMBER THIRTEEN: A wounded rodeo champion and a tender-hearted nurse find healing and love where they least expect it—with each other. In this inspiring Christian cowboy romance, these two opposites find solace, redemption, and the chance to build a future together on the sun-drenched plains of Three Rivers Ranch.

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Read Chapter 1 Now!

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“Tanner!”

Tanner Wolf turned at the sound of his name in a female voice. A blond man strode toward him, his hand secured in a dark haired woman’s.

A smile warmed his soul. “Brynn.”

She laughed as he embraced her, and Ethan’s grin seemed as wide as the sky over Montana. “Hey, Tanner.” He slapped Tanner on the back. “That was some impressive roping.”

“Thanks.” He brushed some invisible dust from his hands and a lot of very visible dirt from his chaps. “Nothin’ like me and you, but Dallas does all right.”

“All right?” Brynn scoffed. “You’ll take first with that, and from what I hear, you guys won’t be beat this year.”

Tanner tried to shrug off their compliments. Since Ethan had chosen Brynn over rodeo, chosen Three Rivers over Colorado, chosen his faith over everything, Tanner had searched his soul. It wasn’t easy, and he’d found a lot of darkness inside. He still wasn’t all the way where he wanted to be, and being humble didn’t come naturally to him.

After all, he’d spent the last thirty years of his life trying to be the best and celebrating when he was.

“You’re comin’ out to the ranch for the picnic, right?” Ethan asked. Tanner had been in touch with him over the past couple of years, and when his manager had added the Three Rivers rodeo to his schedule, Tanner had called Ethan first.

“Yeah, of course. Tomorrow at four. I’ve been to the ranch before.”

“You haven’t seen my training facilities,” Brynn said as a group of cowgirls walked by. Her gaze followed them, and Tanner wondered if she missed the rodeo circuit. She’d quit and never looked back, but a glint rode in her eye that Tanner recognized.

“I’ll come early,” Tanner said. “Will you guys be out there?”

“We can go out whenever we want,” Brynn said.

“I want to see your place too,” Tanner said. “Ethan’s been bragging about how he built it from the ground up.”

“I haven’t been bragging.”

“I believe you said, ‘with my bare hands, Tanner. I built a whole house with my bare hands.’”

Ethan chuckled, and a wave of gratitude washed over Tanner. He couldn’t believe Ethan’s forgiveness had come so quickly, had healed him so completely. But it had done both, and though he’d never told Ethan, it was his forgiveness that had set Tanner down the path toward a relationship with God.

Of course, that had meant his relationships with women had cooled considerably as he navigated his way toward becoming the kind of man he wanted to be. In fact, his last date had been over a year ago, and that relationship had fizzled before the end of the evening.

“Mister Wolf, you’re up in twenty,” a rodeo volunteer said, stepping into their conversation.

Tanner took a deep breath, his nerves blossoming into a hill of ants. “All right, wish me luck.”

“Who’d you draw?” Ethan asked.

“Lucky Number Thirteen,” Tanner said, his voice a note higher than normal. “I’ve never ridden him to the bell.”

Brynn’s dark eyes caught on his and her hand landed on his forearm. “You’ll get ’im this time.” She added a smile to her statement, and Tanner couldn’t detect a hint of falseness in her voice.

He managed to smile, mash his cowboy hat further down on his head, and follow the volunteer to the loading chutes.

He’d ridden hundreds of bulls over his twelve-year career. He’d drawn easy wins and nasty animals. He’d never had a bull he hadn’t been able to ride. Eventually, they all succumbed to Tanner and the eight-second bell.

He eyed Lucky Number Thirteen, the black and white bull he’d come up against in San Antonio earlier this year. He’d only made it three seconds on the animal, and that disastrous ride played through his mind as the other riders took their turns.

Finally, he sat on the bull’s back. He pulled the rope across his palm tight, tight. He drew breath after breath to calm his heart, relax his muscles. None of the calming techniques worked, and he had a brief second to wonder if he should’ve asked for a helmet before the bell rang and the gate opened.

The crowd blurred as it always did while he rode. He only felt the bull’s muscles beneath his body. Only listened for the alarm signaling he’d made it to eight seconds. Only breathed once the ride ended.

Lucky Number Thirteen reared, driving right back into Tanner’s chest. He slipped, and he knew he was going off despite his strong muscles and iron will trying to hold him on the bull’s back.

His feet didn’t hit the dirt first; his back did. Hard. The air in his lungs seized, and he couldn’t take another breath. The bright lights in the arena went dark as the bull kicked, loomed above him, and all Tanner saw was dark sky and dark animal flesh, and a horrifying dark hoof as it crashed into his ribs.

He instinctively curled into himself, protecting his most vital organs. Around him, he heard shouts, silence, the announcers, the snuffling of the bull, the call of the clowns. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t breathe, and pressed his chin to his chest and kept his elbows up as another lightning hot pain shot through his back, down into both his legs.

Time seemed to slow and everything felt shrouded in darkness.

Finally, everything brightened again, and Tanner relaxed. His brain seemed to be working just fine, but every cell in his body screamed in pain. He groaned as he started to uncurl.

“Don’t move,” someone said, his hand landing lightly on Tanner’s forehead. He said something else, his gaze darting away, but Tanner closed his eyes and focused on breathing. Breathing was good. Breathing was necessary.

Movement happened around him. Men spoke in calm voices. Tanner felt the summer air turn cold as something pooled beneath his head. He tried to reach for it, but someone stopped him.

“Lie still, Tanner.” A familiar face, with bright green eyes and that shock of blond hair, filled his vision.

“Ethan,” Tanner moaned. Help me, he prayed, and though he was new to the whole communicating with God idea, the thought felt natural.

“You’re fine, cowboy.” Ethan’s eyes said otherwise, and Tanner tried to focus on them. But they turned lighter and lighter, going into seafoam and mint before they faded into whiteness.

“Stay with me,” Ethan commanded, but Tanner couldn’t. He closed his eyes against the pain and let unconsciousness take him somewhere where he wasn’t lying in his own blood in the middle of the rodeo arena.

* * *

When he woke, a pair of eyes the color of the ocean blinked at him. “There you are, Mister Wolf.” The woman spoke in a slow cadence, her accent Texan and sweet. She glanced down at his chart, wrote something, and looked at him again. “How are you feeling?”

He couldn’t vocalize the words he used to, and his back and arm muscles seemed to have forgotten how to shrug.

“My name’s Summer, and I’ll be your nurse today. Now Jean said you slept all night, and came through your surgery just fine.”

He blinked at her, a searing pain in his throat. He could only think, Surgery?

“Now, you’ll have to get up in a few hours and take a walk around.” She grinned at him, and he thought she had the most wonderful pink lips, the most beautiful white teeth. His first instinct was to smile back, and he tried, but something seemed to be wrong with his mouth.

“I don’t want any complaints when I come back,” she said, her eyes dipping to his lips. “I’ll go get Margie, and we’ll get that tube out of your throat.” She disappeared from his line of sight, and Tanner found pain in every part of his body. How Summer thought he could answer her questions with a tube down his throat, he didn’t know.

She returned lickety split, and before he knew it, the two nurses had removed the tube from his throat.

“He’s making urine,” the other nurse said. She beamed at him, and he’d never been prouder of his body for functioning the way it should. She was closer to his mother’s age, and panic pounded through him.

“My…mom?” His throat hurt, and Summer was there, holding out a glass of water. He gulped it greedily as Margie explained that she’d been notified and that she should be here soon.

“There’s a couple of friends out in the waiting room,” she said. “Should I send them in?”

“How much pain are you in?” Summer asked before Tanner could answer Margie.

“Is ‘about to die’ on your chart?” he croaked.

She grinned. “Yes, we call that a ten. I’ll bring you something.”

“A lot of something,” he said as a pain in his leg fired on all cylinders. “Something strong.”

Margie met Summer’s eye and the two nurses exchanged a glance. “Something strong, Mister Wolf,” Summer said, her voice full of fun and flirtation.

Tanner sat back in bed as they left, warning himself to maintain distance from Summer. He didn’t live in Three Rivers, and she’d go home—maybe to a husband and a family—later that day.

She sure is pretty though, he thought as he waited for his medicine and his friends. The friends came first, and Ethan and Brynn looked like they hadn’t gone home to sleep.

Tears tracked down Brynn’s cheeks as she leaned over and gave Tanner a light hug. He couldn’t help the groan of pain from the movement and she jerked back. “Sorry.”

“I’m fine.” He pushed himself up in bed, a flash of discomfort spreading through his right leg. “Aren’t I fine, Ethan?”

He watched his friend for the signs he needed. Ethan kept his face a blank slate, but the intensity of his swallow told Tanner everything.

“Yeah,” Ethan said. “You’re going to be just fine, Tanner.”

Tanner looked away as emotion surged up his throat. He knew by Ethan’s reaction that he’d never ride bulls again.

With that swallow, Tanner knew his rodeo career had ended, right there in the Three Rivers arena.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I have enjoyed each book in this series so far and eagerly look forward to the next. The cowboys and their various trials are believable as well as the women they fall in love with. I appreciate the values expressed and shared between characters and how they affect other story people by their faith in God. It's so refreshing to read about men and women relating to one another in loving ways without jumping into bed!” ~Donna N.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I enjoy all of Liz Isaacson books immensely. I am not afraid if my great granddaughters happen to see a few sentences, when they pick up my kindle to read their books, as Liz writes clean romance novels. She makes the characters come alive and you feel you know them. This one was no exception.” ~Majorie

View full details

Escape to Three Rivers, Texas for small-town charm, sweet and sexy cowboys, and faith and family centered romance. 

This is the series that started it all, and the world continues to grow in other cowboy romance series by USA Today bestselling and Top 10 Kindle All-Star Author, Liz Isaacson. You'll get second chance romance, friends to lovers. older brother's best friend, military romance, secret babies, and more! The Three Rivers cowboys and the women who rope their hearts are waiting for you, so start reading today!

  • Book 1: Second Chance Ranch

    A wounded Army cowboy, a divorcée with a child, and their second chance to heal old hurts...As Squire and Kelly work to save the ranch and navigate their complicated relationship, can they also give love a second chance, follow God’s plan for them, and build a family out of heartache?

  • Book 2: Third Time's the Charm

    He’s her brother’s best friend, and she’s so broken she’s sure not even the strong Army cowboy and his therapeutic riding program can help her… Can Pete and Chelsea confront their insecurities and learn to trust in love, acceptance, and the promise of a brighter future together?

  • Book 3: Fourth and Long

    A cowboy contractor, his ex-wife, and the son he never knew he had… Will their love be enough to heal the wounds they've inflicted on one another? Or will they allow the bitterness of their past to tear their family apart forever?

  • Book 4: Fifth Generation Cowboy

    A shy cowboy, a single mother, and their journey out of the friend zone. Can they face the challenges of single parenthood, past traumas, and societal expectations to build a life together? Or will their leap of faith leave them all broken-hearted?

  • Book 5: Sixth Street Love Affair

    In the heart of Texas, where the sunsets paint the sky with fiery passion, a rugged ranch foreman and a courageous veterinary technician find themselves entwined in a tale of second chances, faith, and unyielding love—even in the face of danger. Can these two wounded souls discover that love and redemption are within reach, but if only they dare to take the leap of faith…together?

  • Book 6: The Seventh Sergeant

    A veteran cowboy, his care coordinator, and the chance to heal their hearts together. Will Reese allow Carly into his guarded heart so they can build a happily-ever-after together?

  • Book 7: Eight Second Ride

    A champion bull rider, a barrel racing winner, and the ride of a lifetime as these enemies attempt to become lovers. Torn between their familial obligations and their hearts, can Ethan and Brynn embrace a different future together? Or will their hearts be broken on the rodeo circuit the way they have been before?

  • Book 8: The Ninth Inning

    The Christmas season has never felt like such a burden to boutique owner Andrea Larsen. But with Mama gone and the holidays upon her, Andy finds herself wishing she hadn't been so quick to judge her former boyfriend, cowboy Lawrence Collins. Well, Lawrence hasn't forgotten about Andy either, and he devises a plan to get her out to the ranch so they can reconnect. Do they have the faith and humility to patch things up and start a new relationship?

  • Book 9: Ten Days in Town

    Sandy Keller is tired of the dating scene in Three Rivers. Though she owns the pancake house, she's looking for a fresh start, which means an escape from the town where she grew up. When her older brother's best friend, Tad Jorgensen, comes to town for the holidays, it is a balm to his weary soul. A helicopter tour guide who experienced a near-death experience, he's looking to start over too--but in Three Rivers. Can Sandy and Tad navigate their troubles to find the path God wants them to take--and discover true love--in only ten days?

  • Book 10: Eleven Year Reunion

    Pastry chef extraordinaire, Grace Lewis has moved to Three Rivers to help Heidi Ackerman open a bakery in Three Rivers. Grace relishes the idea of starting over in a town where no one knows about her failed cupcakery. She doesn't expect to run into her old high school boyfriend, Jonathan Carver. A carpenter working at Three Rivers Ranch, Jon's in town against his will. But with Grace now on the scene, Jon's thinking life in Three Rivers is suddenly looking up. But with her focus on baking and his disdain for small towns, can they make their eleven year reunion stick?

  • Book 11: The Twelfth Town

    Newscaster Taryn Tucker has had enough of life on-screen. She's bounced from town to town before arriving in Three Rivers, completely alone and completely anonymous--just the way she now likes it. She takes a job cleaning at Three Rivers Ranch, hoping for a chance to figure out who she is and where God wants her. When she meets happy-go-lucky cowhand Kenny Stockton, she doesn't expect sparks to fly. Kenny's always been "the best friend" for his female friends, but the pull between him and Taryn can't be denied. Will they have the courage and faith necessary to make their opposite worlds mesh?

  • Book 12: Lucky Number Thirteen

    A wounded rodeo champion and a tender-hearted nurse find healing and love where they least expect it—with each other. Has God put him in Three Rivers for a reason, and is this the divine plan that will finally lead him to happiness and love?

  • Book 13: The Curse of February Fourteenth

    A runaway tennis star with a secret identity, a single dad cowboy, and the Cinderellaesque fairy tale romance that changes their hearts. Will she take a leap of faith and embrace her role as Cal's Cinderella no matter the cost, or will she continue to run from the shadows of her former life?

  • Book 14: Fifteen Minutes of Fame

    A nurse seeking for answers, a skeptical cowboy, and the legends of Three Rivers that help them see past their differences to the possibility of true love. Can love and legend come together for Gavin and Navy to create a tale of true love? Or will the walls around Gavin’s heart be too strong for Navy to break down?

  • Book 15: Sixteen Steps to Fall in Love

    A cowboy veterinarian who works sixteen steps from the woman of his dreams...and doesn't even know she's there. Can a chance meeting in a different location open his eyes to happily-ever-after?

  • Book 16: The Sleigh on Seventeenth Street

    When sparks fly in Three Rivers, can love light up the Christmas season for these two opposites? Can Camila and Dylan finish the build without breaking up or losing their shirts? Will they be able to traverse the delicate balance of water and electricity, the spell of mistletoe and Santa’s sleigh versus reality, without losing their hearts?

  • Book 17: The First Lady of Three Rivers Ranch

    A dance with destiny at Three Rivers Ranch between the sexy cowboy owner and the woman he hires to clean the cabins…who ends up stealing his heart. Will she return to school to fulfill her dreams or follow her heart and stay in Three Rivers with Frank?Can their faith in God and each other guide them to the sweetest of happy endings?

  • Coming Soon! Book 18: Eighteen Bow Ties and Counting

    Coming soon - summer 2024!

Escape to Montana with more sweet & swoony cowboys!

Embark on an unforgettable journey when you visit Horseshoe Home Ranch, where faith, love, and second chances abound. In this heartwarming series of Christian cowboy romance novels by USA Today bestselling author Liz Isaacson, each standalone tale is an invitation to explore the intertwined lives of rugged cowboys and the resilient women who win their hearts.

 

From the rolling ranchlands to the intimate corners of small-town life, these stirring stories are filled with emotional trials, inspirational transformations, and love's redeeming power. Whether it's a chance encounter, a second chance at love, or an unexpected competition, these tales of faith, hope, and love highlight the enduring bonds of community, the healing power of forgiveness, and the irresistible pull of the heart.

 

"Isaacson artfully combines disparate threads in her contemporary Western Christian romance…in her Three Rivers Ranch series." ~BookLife, Publisher's Weekly

 

Inspirational tales of love, faith, and second chances in the heart of Montana. Come fall in love with your next cowboy boyfriend!

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