by Robyn Carr
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From the book
A fierce and unseasonably cold September wind blew chilly rain against the windows. Preacher wiped down the bar, and while it was only seven-thirty, it was already dark. No one in Virgin River would be out on a night like this. After the dinner hour was past, people tended to stay in on cold, wet nights. The campers and fishermen in the area would be locked down tight against the storm. It was bear-and-deer-hunting season, but it was unlikely any hunters would pass en route to or from lodges and blinds at this hour in such weather. Jack, his partner and the owner of the bar and grill, knowing there would be little if any business, was tucked away with his new wife at their cabin in the woods. Preacher had also sent home their seventeen-year-old helper, Rick. As soon as the fire burned down a little more, Preacher planned to switch off the Open sign and lock the door.
He poured himself a shot of whiskey and took it over to the table nearest the fire, then turned a chair toward the hearth and propped up his feet. Quiet nights like this were to his liking. He was a solitary kind of guy.
But the peace was not to be. Someone pulled on the door, causing him to frown. It opened a little bit. The wind caught the door and it flew open with a bang, bringing him instantly to his feet. Entering and then struggling to close the door was a young woman holding a child. The woman wore a ball cap and had a heavy quilted bag slung over her shoulder. Preacher went to get the door. She turned, looked up at him, and they both jumped back in surprise. She was likely startled because Preacher looked intimidating--he was six foot four, bald with bushy black eyebrows, a diamond stud earring and shoulders about as broad as an ax handle was long.
Under the bill of the baseball cap, Preacher saw a pretty young woman's face bearing a bruise on her cheek and a split lower lip.
"I'm... I'm sorry. I saw the sign...."
"Yeah, come on in. I wasn't expecting anyone to be out tonight."
"Are you closing?" she asked, hoisting up her burden, a little boy, not more than three or four years old. He was asleep on her shoulder, his long legs dangling limply. "Because I... Are you closing?"
"Come on," he said, stepping back for her to pass. "It's okay. I don't have anyplace better to go." He extended an arm toward a table. "Sit by the fire there. Warm up. Dry off."
"Thanks," she said meekly. She went to the table by the fire, and when she saw the drink, said, "Is this where you're sitting?"
"Go ahead. Take it," he said. "I was having a shot before calling it a night. But there's no hurry. We don't usually close this early, anyway, but with the rain..."
"Did you want to get home?" she asked him.
He smiled at her. "I live here. Makes me real flexible on the hours."
"If you're sure..."
"I'm sure," he said. "If the weather's decent, we usually stay open till at least nine."
She took the chair facing the fire, the boy's gangly legs straddling her lap. She let her quilted shoulder bag drop to the floor and pulled the child closer, hugging him tight, stroking his back.
Preacher disappeared into the back, leaving her to warm herself for a minute. He came back with a couple of pillows from his bed and the throw from his couch. He put the pillows on the table next to her and said, "Here. Lay the kid down. He's probably heavy."
She looked up at him with eyes that seemed to want to cry. Oh, he hoped she wouldn't do that. He hated when women cried. He had no idea what to do....
About the Author-
Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr's website at www.RobynCarr.com.
- RT Book Reviews on Moonlight Road "This book is an utter delight."
- RT Book Reviews on Angel's Peak "Strong conflict, humor and well-written characters are Carr's calling cards, and they're all present here....You won't want to put this one down."
- RT Book Reviews on Forbidden Falls "This story has everything: a courageous, outspoken heroine, a to-die-for hero and a plot that will touch readers' hearts on several different levels. Truly excellent."
- RT Book Reviews on Paradise Valley "An intensely satisfying read. By turns humorous and gut-wrenchingly emotional, it won't soon be forgotten."
- Library Journal on the Virgin River series "Carr has hit her stride with this captivating series."
- #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber "The Virgin River books are so compelling-I connected instantly with the characters and just wanted more and more and more."
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