Monday, 16 April 2018

Lawfully Justified: A #Christian #Fiction #Novel by Lorana Hoopes

Lorana Hoopes is a Christian romance and children's author who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three children. When not writing, she can be seen kickboxing at her gym, acting on stage, or singing at her church.

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About the Book

William Cook enjoyed serving the town as a lawman until a tragic accident took everything he loved. Wanting to leave his past behind, he turns to bounty hunting, enjoying the constant distraction—and the money isn’t too bad either. When he suffers a life-threatening injury, he is forced to stay put for longer than he is used to doing. The woman who tends his wounds intrigues him, but he isn’t looking for love after what happened the first time.

Emma Stewart recently lost her husband and has moved back in with her widowed father, the town doctor. While she likes helping him heal the sick, she still longs for a family of her own, so no one is more surprised than she is when she starts to develop feeling for the bounty hunter, who hides his heart of gold behind a rugged exterior.

Can Emma offer William a reason to stay? Can William find a way to heal from his broken past to start a future with Emma? Or will a haunting secret take away all the possibilities of this budding romance?

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

1883 Sage Creek, Texas

William “Wild Bill” Cook smoothed his black duster and stepped through the swinging batwing doors into the saloon. His eyes scanned the bustling, noisy room, but the slim, bearded man whose face he had memorized from the Wanted Poster didn’t appear to be in the room. Of course, that meant nothing. Sometimes the men tried to disguise themselves or hide in low-lit corners. Occasionally, he even found them upstairs with one of the saloon girls, if they had the money. Once he had even found a mark upstairs pretending to be a saloon girl. He hadn’t been the brightest one, not realizing his full beard was a dead giveaway. It didn’t matter. Wild Bill Cook always got his man.

He sidled up to the bar, pulled his black hat low on his eyes, and ordered a Whiskey. He wasn’t a big drinker - his wife had hated the stuff - but he found one drink honed his senses and allowed him to survey the room without standing out too much. The last thing he needed was someone recognizing he didn’t belong and warning Frank Malone. The man was merely a cattle thief, but no man liked the prospect of jail time and most fought tooth and nail not to go.

When the drink slid his way, William picked it up, trying to ignore the cloudy film on it - Catherine would roll over in her grave if she saw him drinking from such a cup - and adjusted his position so that his back was to the bar.

A heated poker game was taking place at a table across the room, but a closer look ruled out any of those men. Another few men sat at a table closer to his position, tossing back beers, but they were all too large to be his mark. His eyes continued to scan left, but after coming up empty, he finished his drink and turned back to the bartender. Malone must be hiding out upstairs then.

“Who do you have working tonight?” William asked the bartender. “It’s been a long ride, and I’d like to unwind.”

The long-haired bartender smiled at him, revealing a bottom row of crooked teeth. “What’s your flavor?”

William shook his head as he spun the glass on the counter. “I’m not particular. What are my choices?”

The bartender scanned the room. “Looks like we have two blonds, Nellie and Lizzie, down here which means Minnie, my brunette is upstairs, engaged in other business.”

“I guess I’ll take a blond then,” William said.

“Nellie,” the bartender hollered across the noisy room. He cocked his head in a “come here” gesture, and a moment later, a plump blond appeared at William’s side.

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