Release date: August 18, 2014
A romantic hardened by reality…
Evelyn Lancaster turned her back on her love for ranch hand Jesse Greenwood when she was sixteen to pursue a career and marry into wealth that could save her father’s struggling ranch. Now twenty-three, she works hard to keep the property afloat, but no suitor has stirred her heart the way Jesse did. After her father falls ill, she needs all the help she can get to keep the ranch running.
A cowboy returning to what he left behind…
After making his fortune, a newly wealthy Jesse has returned home to see his younger sister married. Still smarting from Evelyn’s rejection, he finds the tables have turned, and now only his investment could save the ranch that he vowed to never step foot on again.
When he agrees to help her salvage her family legacy, they must overcome their pride and painful past to work together. As long-held emotions rekindle, Jesse pretends indifference, only to admit his true feelings in an unsigned letter left on Evelyn’s porch.
Evelyn finds the missive and writes back, beginning a furtive correspondence. She dares to hope her mystery admirer is Jesse, but then another man comes forward to claim the letters as his own. Will one last letter give them the courage to say yes to love on the wild Texas plains?
by Pema Donyo
Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors
Pema Donyo lives in sunny Southern California, where people wear flip-flops instead of Stetsons and ride in cars instead of carriages. Find Pema Donyo at www.pemadonyo.wordpress.com.
An excerpt from One Last Letter:
Jesse Greenwood looked up from the paper he was writing on to the blue sky in front of him. A year. A whole year since he’d seen her long black hair flying behind her as she raced across the field on the back of a horse, challenging her mount with verbal commands and physical kicks every chance she found. A whole year since she’d made him promise he would keep writing to her while she was away. A year since he’d spoken to her at all.
Maybe she didn’t receive his letters. The idea had dawned on him before, especially when he was all by himself out on the ranch. Maybe her father kept the letters from him. Maybe someone at that fancy school of hers burned them before they could reach her hands.
He watched the herd of cattle graze on the pasture. The cattle were lazy, chewing cud all day and staring blankly at any lone cowboy who tried to herd them. They didn’t worry about not receiving letters.
One letter out of—how many was it now? Thirty? Forty? Every spare moment he had ended up filled with writing to her. Maybe it was time to give up. He swallowed feelings of surrender. No, he’d promised to write.
Jesse sighed. After putting away the paper, he headed back toward his horse. Promises sure were hard to keep when you didn’t know if the other person gave a damn. As he herded the cattle to head back to the ranch, the sun began to set. The fading light filled the sky with deep purple and orange hues. There was no way Eve could see that sunset off on the East Coast, where the sun probably never shined and children probably never learned how to race horses.
He turned his head at the call of his name. Another one of the ranch hands, Preston, rode up next to him. The beginnings of a beard peppered Preston’s jawline, reminding Jesse that he hadn’t shaved in days. He didn’t really shave anymore, ever. There didn’t seem much incentive when Evelyn wasn’t around.
As if reading his mind, Preston slapped Jesse’s back and whistled low. “Your girl’s coming home.”
Jesse nearly dropped the folded letter in his hand. He tucked it into his pocket instead and tightened his hands on his reins for a better grip. “What did you just say?”
Preston arched an eyebrow and grinned. “You heard me, all right. Evelyn Lancaster’s headed back to Hamilton.”