They are the women of Primrose Creek, and their strength and passion is a match for the Nevada frontier they call home. Linda Lael Miller masterfully captures the hardships and dangers of a country swept by the winds of war — and the daring and determination, the hopes and dreams of four unforgettable women — in a thrilling new series.
Skye McQuarry's heart belongs to one man — Primrose Creek's lumber baron, Jake Vigil. After a shattering heartbreak in his past, Jake vowed to never again take a chance on love — until he came to know beautiful Skye. But their delicate bond faces the ultimate test when a business deal threatens to tear them apart — and battle lines are drawn between two passionate hearts.
Skye is determined to stand her ground. Then a surprise from Jake's past unexpectedly comes to her — a discovery that may be just the key to unlocking the true, deep, and trusting love that she knows lives deep within Jake Vigil.
Be sure to read all of Linda Lael Miller's splendid Primrose Creek novels!
She stood facing him, hands on her hips, elbows jutting, feet firmly planted, as though to sprout roots and become a part of the landscape, like the giant pine trees around them. Her brown eyes flashed beneath the limp brim of that silly leather hat of hers, and tendrils of dark hair, its considerable length clasped at her nape with a gewgaw of some sort, danced against her smooth cheeks. In that moment, for all that she stood barely taller than his collarbone, Skye McQuarry seemed every bit as intractable to Jake Vigil as the Sierras themselves.
The last time they'd met, months before at a dance in town, she'd been a mite more gracious. Now, in her unwelcoming presence, Jake, well over six feet and brawny after years of swinging axes and working one end of a cross-cut saw fourteen hours a day, felt strangely like a schoolboy, hauled up in front of the class for some misdeed. It made him furious; he, too, set his feet, and he leaned in until their noses were only inches apart. He would have backed off if he hadn't been desperate, and never gone near her again, but there it was. He was fresh out of choices, or soon would be.
"Now, you listen to me, Miss McQuarry," he rasped, putting just the slightest emphasis on McQuarry, since the name alone, to him at least, conveyed volumes about ornery females. "I made you a reasonable offer. If you're holding out for more just because of that little bit of gold you've been panning out of the creek, you're making a foolish mistake."
Skye tilted her chin upward and held her ground. She couldn't have been more than eighteen, and though she was pretty as a primrose, she showed no signs of wilting, either from the unusually hot May sunshine or from the heat of his temper. "And if you think you're going to strip my land of timber -- for any price -- you are the one who's mistaken!" Amazingly, she stopped for a breath. "These trees haven't stood here for hundreds of years, Mr. Vigil, just so you can come along and whittle them to slivers for fancy houses and railroad ties and scatter the very dust of their bones across the floors of saloons -- "
Jake was at the far reaches of his patience. He'd already explained to this hardheaded little hoyden that the land was choked with Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, among other species, that thinning them would merely leave room for the others to thrive. He closed his eyes and searched his thoughts for an argument he hadn't already raised.
She took advantage of the brief silence and rushed on. "Furthermore, these are living things -- I won't allow you to murder them for money!"
They were standing in the middle of a small clearing -- Skye's portion of an enviable bequest -- with tender spring grass at their feet and Primrose Creek glittering in the sunlight as it tumbled past. In every direction, the timber seemed to go on and on, dense as the hairs on a horse's hide, skirting the Sierras in shades of blue and green. It was in that tenuous moment of reflective silence that Jake remembered his own lost timber and was inspired to take another tack.
"It's only May," he pointed out, "and we went all of April without rain." He jabbed a finger toward the thickest stand of timber, where the trees stood cheek-to-jowl, their roots intertwined, competing for soil and sun and water. It was a natural invitation to fire on a truly horrendous scale, and Jake had seen enough flaming mountainsides to last him until the third Sunday of Never. "What do you think is going to happen to those precious trees of yours if we get a lightning storm?"
She paled at that, and, though...