Isn’t he a beauty? Dark chestnut with flaxen mane and sorrel-mix tail. For my purposes, his name is CC’s Winner, Winner for short. He belongs to Kayla Mullins, of Savannah, Georgia, who won him with a plate full of brownies and some smooth negotiations.
Who is Kayla Mullins?
She’s the heroine of Southern Challenge, my work in progress (which would progress a whole lot faster if real life would leave me alone for a while). Kayla narrowly escaped marriage–just by the pearl beads on her fancy white gown–and headed west with all her stuff packed into brother’s pickup and horse trailer, and not a single plan in her head of where she was going or what she’d do when she got there.
She drove as far as Austin, Texas, where she had breakfast at an IHOP, served with hot coffee and the local real estate magazine, which touted fifty-acre ranchettes in the beautiful and rugged Hill Country.
How could she resist? After all, she’s got a sizable chunk o’ money from her grandmother’s estate just itchin’ to be put to good use. And since her twin, Kade, is living her dream of having a horse ranch in Georgia–something her father would never let her do–she could plant roots in Texas and raise her own horses far from Daddy’s control.
Now all she needs is to figure out what to do with them.
Which is where Jared Carmichael comes in.
As the eldest son of Keith Carmichael, Jared has his own problems. Someday, the bulk of the seven-thousand-acre Dewberry Creek Ranch that has been in his family for three generations will belong to him–and he wants to keep every square inch of it intact, something that may not be possible if the seven-year drought doesn’t end. The last thing he wants is to have to carve portions of the Dewberry Creek into fifty-acre ranchettes so city folks can pretend they’re ranchers.
He has a plan, one guaranteed to cause a rift between himself and his father, but it will work if he could just get Dad to listen.
When Kayla asks him to help train Winner, he comes up with another plan–one that will win his dad’s attention.
Kayla comes up with a plan of her own–one to win Jared’s attention, and hers is guaranteed to work. As she says, “With a little charm and a well-aimed smile, a girl can manage just about anything.”
Both plans ride on Winner’s shoulders. How much weight can a quarter horse carry?