Author: Kristina O'Grady
Published: 4th March 2016
Today brings my stop on the blog tour for Kristina O'Grady's book All for You. I am delighted to be hosting an extract of this book. Read on for more.
If possible, he’d gotten better looking with age. The cowboy hat on his head shaded his eyes but their blue intensity penetrated the shadow. There were lines on his face from years in the sun and whiskers darkened his jaw, but that just added to the fantasy. His jacket hung open, revealing a grey t-shirt pulling tight across his muscular chest. His blue jeans hugged his hips.
Lily’s mouth was suddenly very dry.
“What’re you doing in town again, Lily? I thought you said you were never coming back,” Wade looked down at her. He had always been a head taller than her growing up and the time hadn’t changed that.
“Never’s a long time Wade, I needed to come home.” The tension in the air between them was making her shoulders ache.
“Home?” He looked at her in surprise, “Lily, this isn’t your home. You’ve been away too long and you never did fit in here anyway. You’re not staying, are you?”
Well if she had any illusions that he was going to make her feel welcome, she was sadly mistaken. Anger flared in her chest, who did he think he was? “I can stay here as long as I like, thank you very much. And I may not have fit in when I was growing up, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t home.” Besides, she thought, I have nowhere else to go.
“Suit yourself.” His arm shot out and he caught Cody as he went flying by towards the edge of the street. “Hey you, where do you think you’re going?” He held Cody up in the air with one arm and looked at him intently. “Do you want another push on the swing?” Without waiting for an answer, he plopped Cody on the seat and started pushing.
Lily was still staring at Wade in confusion when Charmaine interrupted. “It sure is nice to see the sun after last week isn’t it, Wade?”
Wade turned his head towards Charmaine, completely ignoring Lily. She wasn’t sure why that upset her so much.
“Yes ma’am, it sure is,” he said.
Charmaine tipped her face up to the sun and let out a deep sigh, “Gorgeous,” she almost moaned.
Wade averted his gaze from the look of exultation on Charmaine’s face. Lily didn’t blame him, Char was nothing if not stunning. Her long hair reflected light, making it seem alive, and the look of sheer bliss on her friend’s face was uncomfortable to witness, as though sharing her most private intimate moment.
Lily cleared her throat, “Umm, any luck, Charmaine?”
“Sorry, no. I did ask Mrs Whitmore to keep a look out for you though. If anything comes up, she’ll be sure to know about it.”
“Have you lost something, Lily?” Wade asked her between pushes of the swing.
“She’s looking for a job,” Charmaine answered before Lily could even open her mouth. “Do you know of anyone needing help around here?”
“How long are we talking?”
“Lily’s moving back here. I imagine she’d take anything, long or short term.” Charmaine continued on as though Lily wasn’t even there. “She could always move to something better if something comes up, but you need something now, don’t you Lily?”
Lily opened her mouth to reply, but she was once again cut off; this time by Wade.
“She could work for me.”
“You?” Charmaine and Lily said at the same time, both of their mouths hanging open in shock.
“Sure, I need help on the ranch and there’s no one around here who knows what to do without being told ten times. I’ve made the mistake of hiring a novice before and it didn’t work out. You grew up on a ranch, Lily, and I remember you working while all your friends partied all summer. Uh, no offense Charmaine.”
“Haha, don’t worry about it Wade,” Charmaine smiled at him, “we were all young and I wouldn’t trade those summers for anything. I actually always felt guilty about having fun while you and Lily, and a few others, spent most of your school holidays working. Didn’t seem fair to me.”
Wade cleared his throat and turned back to the swing. “Besides,” he said, ignoring Charmaine’s comment about his childhood, “the place needs tidying up, it could do with a woman’s touch here and there.”
“That’s very kind of you Wade, but Lily’s…”
“When do you want me to start?” Lily cut off her friend and gave her a warning look.
“Come down the ranch tomorrow morning. You still remember how to get there?” Wade asked, looking her directly in the eye.
Kristina O’Grady has always loved telling a good story. She took up writing at a young age and spent many hours – when she should have been doing her math homework – scribbling romance stories in a book she hid in her sock drawer.
She grew up on a cattle ranch in Western Canada and loves reminiscing by writing about cowboys and their horses.
In 2000 Kristina met her own knight in shining armour/cowboy who swept her off her feet and across the world to New Zealand, where she now lives on a sheep and beef farm with her amazingly supportive husband, three gorgeous young kids, seven working dogs and one very needy cat.
All for You is her fifth book.