Council Grove, Kansas. May 1863. An icy cold river. A near drowning. Bandits. Horses. Wagons. A brilliant Botanist. A brave Cowboy. A Bodyguard. Get ready – this new historical romance literally starts off with a splash! As in the rushing water splash … of the unforgiving Neosho River.
I couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate the audiobook release of Book 2 of the Colorado Cowboys: The Heart of A Cowboy, written by the extraordinary Jody Hedlund, and published by the wonderful team at Tantor Audio.
We first meet botanist Linnea Newberry in the river. Drowning. Literally. She’d been perched on the back of a covered wagon headed for Colorado Territory, completely immersed in her study of a southern cattail, Typha domingensis. In the midst of her analysis, her wagon hits a large stone in the river bed and she is unceremoniously thrown into the rushing water of the Neosho River. The current is strong from recent rains, and the muddy water immediately drags her under, aided by the weight of her heavy muslin skirt and petticoats. Luckily for her, a lone rider is nearby and he and his sorrel horse waste no time, plunging into the river, in an attempt to pluck her from the river’s cold claws.
The lone rider is a cowboy by the name of Flynn McQuaid. We’ve met Flynn before. He made his first entrance at the end of Colorado Cowboys, Book 1: A Cowboy for Keeps, when he receives a letter from our hero in the first book, Wyatt McQuaid, pleading for his brother to come out west with their younger siblings, to where Wyatt promises them a new life.
Back at the river, once Linnea is rescued from the brink of death by Flynn, Linnea’s grandfather, who is lead scientist, hires Flynn to act as his granddaughter’s bodyguard, unbeknownst to Linnea, for the rest of their botanical expedition in order to ensure her safety. Flynn is on his own expedition, albeit begrudgingly, driving Wyatt’s cattle across the Sante Fe trail. He is desperate to provide a better life for his younger siblings and even though the last thing he wants is Wyatt’s help, he knows he needs to do something to start over and maybe, hopefully, he can finally start to dislodge the oppressive load of guilt that hangs heavy on his shoulders. He needs to get his life together and the last thing he wants, or has any time for, is romance.
But hey, that’s perfectly fine because Linnea doesn’t have romance on her mind, either! Not in the least. Linnea is desperately trying to make a name for herself as a respected and revered botanist, in a time where women were still not being taken seriously in the science world. The last thing she wants to do is get sent back home, or worse – fall in love and get off track. Oh no. Her career is the only thing on her mind.
However, sometimes our minds and our hearts aren’t always in agreement and when Flynn reluctantly accepts the charge to become Linnea’s bodyguard, an entirely new expedition … of the heart, ensues.