Single father Duel McClain has more than enough on his plate when woman-on-the-run Jessie Foltry stumbles into his life…and into his heart.
Duel McClain has lost everything he's ever loved: his wife, his son, his sense of self. But when a strange twist of fate—and a poker game he'll never forget—leaves an innocent little girl in his care, Duel vows to defend his new family to his very last breath. If only he knew a single thing about taking care of babies…
Just as Duel swears his life can't get any more complicated, a beautiful woman stumbles into the light of his campfire, desperate for help. Jessie Foltry is hungry, tired, and running for her life. She agrees to help care for the rancher's baby in exchange for this Texas hero's protection, even as she fights to guard her broken heart. But Duel will do whatever it takes to make Jessie see that the Texas plains have more than one kind of knight, and perhaps the end of loneliness is closer than either of them could have dreamed…
"Linda Broday's heroes step right out of her books and into your heart."—JODI THOMAS, New York Times bestselling author
In Broday's strong first Texas Heroes historical romance, a marriage of necessity develops into genuine love in 19th-century Texas. Duel McClain has little to live for until he wins a baby girl in a poker game. The same night, a blooded, bruised, frantic woman, Jessie Foltry, rushes into his camp and begs for help. Duel pledges his protection and offers to take her back home to his family's ranch in Tranquility if she'll help raise his unexpected daughter. Once settled, she admits to having killed her abusive husband. To help keep her past a secret, Jessie and Duel stage a quickie marriage, but hiding her crime gets more complicated when Duel's younger brother, Texas Ranger Luke, comes looking for the fugitive husband-killer. Broday (the Men of Legend series) has a knack for capturing the hesitations of both Duel and Jessie and unfurling a twisting plot without resorting to melodrama. Through carefully deployed flashbacks, she slowly exposes the horrors of Jessie's marriage, culminating in a truly grisly image of depravity without overwhelming the tender love story. Fans of historical romances will be pleased.