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Feel-Good Fiction Books

Book 4: Jeremiah (Seven Sons Ranch in Three Rivers Romance™)

Book 4: Jeremiah (Seven Sons Ranch in Three Rivers Romance™)

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Meet the Walker brothers at Seven Sons Ranch!

About JEREMIAH: He wants to prove to his brothers that he's not broken. She just wants him. Will a fake marriage be the thing to heal his heart and bring them closer together? Or will he be left at the proverbial altar again?

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Read Chapter 1 Now!

Jeremiah Walker ignored Stony’s snuffle of displeasure as he strode past. “I have to get to town, Stony,” he said over his shoulder, wondering when his life had been reduced to talking to horses.

Oh, that was right. When Whitney had gone completely cold and silent on him. When Liam had moved in with his wife next-door. When Micah had gone back to Temple and was still tying up loose ends.

“Skyler’s coming home in a couple of days,” Jeremiah yelled to the horse, happier about his brother returning to Seven Sons than he dared to admit. Wyatt had gone back to normal, and he still hadn’t told anyone who he’d been sneaking off to see in the evenings. Jeremiah, of course, didn’t ask. He was just glad he didn’t have to spend his evenings alone anymore. Those couple of weeks in January had been dark, dark days for him.

But with Skyler home, and Wyatt, Jeremiah had something to look forward to again. Rhett and Evelyn had taken a springtime trip to the Texas Hill Country to see the wildflowers bloom, and they’d be home by the time Skyler was too.

Jeremiah had been planning a feast for the past week, and he needed to get to town to get the groceries. Orion and Dicky, Simon and Wallace, would handle all the chores on Wednesday, and Jeremiah would spend the day in the kitchen.

Excitement ran through him—another indicator that his life had reached a low point. Who was actually excited to spend the day laboring in the kitchen?

It wasn’t his lowest point ever, and for that, he was grateful.

He showered quickly and swiped his truck keys from the peg by the door leading to the garage. He was the only one who parked in the garage, as he seemed to be the only permanent resident at the homestead. Wyatt had been there for a year and a half now, though. Jeremiah wondered if he’d spend the rest of his life alone. When Laura Ann had left, he’d thought he would.

But now, with some time and distance between where he was now and that terrible moment when he realized his fiancée wasn’t going to come out and become his wife, he’d changed. Healed. Well, at least a little bit.

His thoughts automatically betrayed him and went to Whitney Wilde. He may have put the truck into gear a little bit too hard with that woman on his mind, and he pressed his teeth together to get her to leave.

Four months. That was how long it had been since he’d heard from her. And her sudden disappearance from his life made no sense. She’d called him for a solid six months before he’d allowed her onto the ranch to shoot.

“She was using you,” he told himself for probably the hundredth time. But she hadn’t ever brought one of her brides. Or a family. Or anyone. She’d merely wandered the ranch with him, taking a picture for Liam, and poof. Disappeared.

Jeremiah was still trying to figure out what he’d done wrong. He’d held her hand that night. Bought her dinner. Been a perfect gentleman, with great conversation, and laughter, and he’d even thought about kissing her.

A scoff came out of his mouth, and he really wished he could get Whitney out of his mind. Funnily enough, when she’d been harassing him about shooting at the ranch, he never gave her a second thought. Even after he’d hung up on her.

But now?

Now she tormented him in his quiet moments and haunted him at other times. Even after four months, Jeremiah was still hung up on her.

“That’s because you fall too hard, too fast,” he told himself as he caught sight of the outskirts of Three Rivers. He’d just get to Wilde & Organic before they closed, get everything he needed for the feast, and get back to the ranch.

He went to town quite a bit, actually. Out of everyone, he was probably considered the most social. He was the public face of the ranch, and he went to ranch ownership meetings every other week. He attended church, though he still felt somewhat removed from the Lord. He did the shopping. He went to all the town celebrations. In fact, attending them had become somewhat of a family tradition.

No, he didn’t go to the summer dances, which would be starting up again in about a month.

“Maybe you should,” he told himself. But he couldn’t imagine finding someone his age at a dance in the park. That felt more like something people in their twenties did, and Jeremiah would be forty-three in August.

Nope, he wasn’t going to go to the summer dances.

He pulled into the parking lot at Wilde & Organic, thinking it would be darker than it was. He reminded himself that May had dawned last week, and maybe he hadn’t had to rush into town so quickly.

Wilde & Organic was only open until eight o’clock, though, and he’d taken to shopping in the late afternoon or evenings to make sure he wouldn’t run into Whitney. She’d told him once that she worked in the morning, stocking the produce before the store opened, so he wouldn’t see her if he shopped later in the day.

Plus, he knew this was the perfect light she liked for shoots. “Golden hour,” he muttered to himself, sick of talking to horses or thin air.

Determined not to say another word unless it was to a human, he headed for the store. He had a long list that included premium cuts of meat and at least twenty produce items. He loved everything about Wilde & Organic, and he wasn’t surprised to see Molly, Whitney’s mother, working the only register open. She didn’t look toward Jeremiah, but she’d chat him up as she rang him out.

He liked Molly a lot, and she hadn’t acted differently toward Jeremiah in the last four months. Of course, no one had known about his relationship with Whitney, if it could even be classified as such.

He selected his honey whole wheat bread, a round of sourdough, plenty of cheese and lunch meat, a huge rack of lamb, pounds and pounds of organic chicken and ground beef, and then moved over to the produce section.

“Shoppers, Wilde & Organic will be closing in fifteen minutes. Please make your final selections and make your way to check out four.”

Jeremiah glanced up at the sound of the female voice, and he wondered how many people were still in the store. He hadn’t seen many people, and he was the only one left in the produce section.

Working quickly now, he finished up his list, adding a bottle of mayonnaise last, and heading for the check out.

“Jeremiah,” Molly said, that warm smile on her face. “How are you, darlin’?”

“Just fine, ma’am.” To his surprise, he found himself smiling. He supposed Molly couldn’t control her daughter any more than Jeremiah could.

“Looks like you’re planning a big meal.”

“Yeah,” Jeremiah said. “Skyler’s coming home from college on Wednesday. Everyone’s coming for dinner.”

“I hear you’re a good cook,” she said.

“I’m decent,” he said, though he knew he was a good cook. Movement caught his eye near the automatic doors. A dark-haired woman entered, and it took Jeremiah less than a blink to realize it was Whitney.

He sucked in a breath. Molly said something, but he had no idea what. White noise sounded in his ears, and all he could do was stare.

As if in slow motion, Whitney glanced in his direction. She didn’t look long enough to truly see him, and she turned away a moment later, clearly not recognizing him. She set a basket on the ground and reached for a poster on the bulletin board near the exit.

Somehow, without even knowing it, Jeremiah had walked away from Molly and toward Whitney. He breathed, and he got a nose full of Whitney’s perfume. “Hey,” he said.

Whitney turned, barely looking at him. She jerked back to him, her eyes widening. “Jeremiah.”

Even with the shock in her tone, he wanted to hear her say his name over and over again. “What are you doing?”

She just stared at him, almost like he was the one who’d gone silent four months ago.

“Jeremiah?” Molly said, and he turned back to her mother. She’d finished with his groceries, and he wanted to pull out his wallet and toss it at her. Instead, he looked back at Whitney.

“Don’t disappear, okay?” He backed up a couple of steps, just making sure she didn’t bolt for the door the moment he’d finished talking. She didn’t, and he returned to the check out counter to pay for his cart full of groceries. “Thank you, Molly,” he said as she flipped off the light on her check out station.

Jeremiah pushed his cart toward Whitney and watched as she stapled a new poster to the board. This one was the usual newborn picture. A darling, sleeping baby, probably only five or six days old, this one nestled among bright flowers—tulips, crocus, and bluebonnets—and tons of greenery. Vegetable greenery—kale, cabbage, and butter lettuce.

“Do you know Lake Winters?” he asked, indicating the poster.

“Not well,” she said evasively.

“Why would anyone want a picture like that?”

Whitney stood back and looked at the poster. She stepped down the bulletin board a few feet and took down a flyer for a cooking class that had happened last weekend. If Jeremiah had known she’d be there, cleaning up the bulletin board, he wouldn’t have come. Or maybe he would’ve made sure to come tonight.

He honestly didn’t know.

“I think they’re sweet,” she said. “The baby photos.”

“I guess,” Jeremiah said. “I think they’re weird.” He wished he could bite back the words. He didn’t want to argue with her. Or even disagree. He had so many questions for her, but he couldn’t ask any of them, with her mother only a few feet away, and the store about to close.

He pushed his cart behind her and leaned closer to her. “If I called, would you answer?”

Before she could answer, the main lights in the store went out, leaving only the glowing light of emergency lights. “You should go,” she said, which wasn’t the answer he wanted.

He had so much more to say, but he simply did what she wanted. He left the store, holding his head high as he marched away from her.

Every step tore at him a little more, but he clenched the pain tightly inside him. Cinched it close to his heart as a reminder that he couldn’t trust women and that he would be just fine with only ranching and cooking in his life.

He would.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “The love and family in the seven sons ranch is unbelievable. As you read the books you feel the emotions they are going through, as if you were with your own family. They are a testimony that love can heal even the hardest hearts, and shine light into the darkest places. Especially when you include God.” ~Charlotte

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I really loved Jeremiah Walker and his lovely Whitney Wilde. Watching each of them winning over the other over was wondrous to watch. Seeing the isolated, lonely and pained Jeremiah become the loving family man he's meant to be is a delight. Reading about all the interactions, mischief and love shared between the Walker brothers and Foster sisters is delightful. Although this is meant to be a fake marriage story, that is truly secondary to the true love that permeates this book.” ~Busybeth72

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The Walker Brothers have moved to small-town Three Rivers...and refused to date.

Oh, boy, do the women of this town want a piece of these cowboy billionaire brothers! And you can read all about it in the Seven Sons Ranch in Three Rivers Romance books!