When Love is Meant to Be (Preview)


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April 1875

Dust motes hung in the air as Amelia Harrington held her father Robert’s hand. She couldn’t look at him now, and yet she also couldn’t look away. His skin had pulled tight over his bones, and his once playful, grey eyes were dull and bloodshot. He was dying and there was nothing she could do about it. There had never been anything. The wasting sickness had no cure she nor any of the doctors she’d pleaded with over the last few months knew of, and time was running out.

“Amelia.” His voice was a rasp, a slight movement of air in the room that despite her bringing roses in each day, still smelled of illness and death.

“I’m here, Father,” she said, her robust voice sounding alien in this place. She should speak softer, but it wasn’t in her nature to whisper. Her father had always told her to be proud, to stand tall, and make her voice heard.

“I fear I’m running out of time…I must tell you,” he said.

She turned to him, meeting his eyes now and shaking her head. “No, don’t. Don’t talk. Save your strength.”

“What for?” he asked. Was that a laugh she heard in his throat? She suspected it was. He was smiling. “I’m dying anyway and you, my darling, deserve to know.”

“Know what?” Amelia asked. Her heart was breaking. The only parent she had ever known was leaving this earth and here he was wanting to teach her something. It was typical of Robert Harrington. She’d always said he should’ve been a teacher, even though sometimes she’d meant it sarcastically.

The memory of hours spent with her father, him trying to explain concepts from her schoolbooks to her, and her simply enjoying hearing his thoughts flitted through her mind. How she’d loved it. Except for the days when the sun was shining and the breeze off the Potomac brought an air of adventure. Then she’d hated listening to him. Soon she’d never hear him again.

Perhaps she had it in her to listen to one last lecture. One last lesson her father could teach her.

“I wasn’t always a cobbler,” Robert said. “Once, I was a sheriff in a little town in Arizona called Macon.”

“Really?” Amelia asked skepticism heavy in her voice. “What made you move?”

Robert held her gaze steadily as he lay back on the white pillows of his bed. “You did.”


“You, Amelia, my lovely daughter, you are the one who made me move,” Robert said. His voice was coming stronger, there seemed to be more life in him. “I am afraid I have been less than honest with you all these years, but you need to know the truth…”

“What truth?”

“On my nightstand,” he said. “Hand me the journal.”

Amelia reached out for the leather-bound book and handed it to him. He held it to his chest. “Promise me you’ll read this. Cover to cover.”

“What is it?” she asked.

“It’s your story,” he said. “The truth about it. You see, I am not your father in any way other than that I raised you with all the love I could.”

“Father,” she said, not believing him. “Come on. This is no time for jokes.”

“You’re right. This isn’t a joke. Amelia, you were born in Macon in the territory of Arizona to a woman who was not my wife,” Robert said. He held her gaze again. “I took you from your family and brought you east to raise you. You see, your family was…well…your parents made bad decisions, and I was afraid for you and your sister. But it’s all in here. Read it, please. And please forgive me. I felt it in my heart that I had to save you from them.”

Shocked, Amelia didn’t know what to say. She took the book he handed to her and sat staring at him and it. “Father…”

He sighed. “I should have told you before. This is a bad time. You have so many questions, I’m sure. And I am out of time.”

With the words still hanging in the air he seemed to shrink, his pillows enveloping him. Amelia cried out, letting the book fall to the polished wooden floor with a muffled clatter. “Father, no! No! Don’t go!”

But it was too late. She could feel that he had left her. There was nothing in the bed now but a decaying body, the husk that had once been her father, her entire world.

Amelia placed a last kiss on his forehead and turned from him. She had things to do now. With great care, she washed and dressed him in his best suit so that when the undertaker came there was nothing left undone, not a hair out of place on his grey head. All that was left was for his earthly remains to leave and that was done with great solemnity. He would be buried in a day or two, and she would be alone in the world.

The realization hurt. She was alone.

The house felt oddly empty and silent that night and even the raindrops tapping on the window were muted out of respect for her grief. Amelia spent a good deal of the evening crying, but by morning she knew she had to get up and face the day.

With a cup of coffee, she took her father’s journal into his study which smelled of his cherry tobacco. His blotter and the last pages of the novel he was working on were still on the desk. Would anyone finish the tales of Sylfie the wood elf now? Amelia didn’t know. She didn’t fancy herself an author, yet, the idea of the book remaining unfinished hurt her heart. But so did picking it up.

She settled herself, not in his chair, but in one of the reading chairs before the large window where she had a view of the street. The day was grey and there was the possibility of more rain. So far, the spring blooms only had a light breeze to contend with.

With shaking fingers, wondering what her father had meant the day before and honestly not really believing much of what he said, she opened his journal and began to read.

Monday, August 21st, 1854

A new couple came to town today, Mr. Elias Brown with his wife, Layla. He’s a large man, hands in fists mostly while I spoke to them. She’s a little thing, blonde hair running into red and heavily pregnant. Their little daughter looks to be about four years old, hair as golden as the sunshine. She hid behind her mother’s skirt mostly, but I got a little smile.

They took rooms at the Lucky Star Saloon, Jed Moore’s place. There is something about them I don’t trust. Better keep an eye on them. Their little daughter looks too skinny by half. Perhaps Molly can feed her up with her delicious cooking.

Gretta says I’d better keep my nose out of it all and rather look to Harvey’s birthday tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 23rd, 1854

I was right to keep an eye on the Browns. Mr. Brown is proving problematic. He has a temper and threatened old Merriweather in his store. Luckily, Thomas Grant was there and put him on his back. I fear he will spend quite some time in my jail cell before long.

Mrs. Brown went into labor around 2 am this morning and screamed the town down. Something had to be wrong. When I went to ask Mr. Brown, he was hostile and wanted to hit me. He was drunk. Very drunk. Jed said he’d been hitting the bottle all day and refused to call anyone to help his wife. Wouldn’t even let Jed’s wife Molly take a look and she’s a really good midwife.

That settled it. I had to do something, or I would have a dead woman and baby on my hands. I arrested Mr. Brown and put him in the cells to sober up. He’s a danger to himself, his wife, and his little daughter.

Jed got Doc Faraday to come and I think between him and Molly, we might have no deaths tonight. I’m hopeful.

Watching Mr. Brown sleeping off the drink in the cell I find my heart very unsettled. It’s as though some darkness has come to town and I am powerless to stop it infecting everyone just a little. As it is, things are starting to go missing all over. There is no proof of one or the other though it does seem odd that it should happen now. I could really use a deputy. Harvey has offered. Though at nine years, I think he may need to mature some before he takes up the badge.

Thursday, August 24th, 1854

She’s born. The little Brown baby is another girl. Neither parent seems terribly happy about the birth. I stopped by to see how mother and child were doing before considering letting Mr. Brown out of the cell.

She has no name yet, but she’s the prettiest little thing, and her sister seems very taken. Although it’s strange, the mother seems less so. Perhaps, she’s just tired. From the looks on Molly and Doc Faraday’s faces, it was a troubled birth.

I’ll keep Mr. Brown in the cell a while longer, I think, until I’m certain he’s safe to have around his family and everyone else.

Gretta and Harvey brought me lunch today since I couldn’t leave Mr. Brown for long. My son is shaping up well. He will make a fine man someday. And his mother is as lovely as ever.

Friday, August 25th, 1854

More visitors to Macon. Three men and two women traveling together. Only the large one they call Harry does the talking. I find their attitude odd, and any inquiry as to what their business is in Macon doesn’t get much of a reply. They have also taken rooms at Jed’s. More people for me to keep my eye on. At this rate, I will need more eyes.

Harvey drew me a few extra eyes on pages from his schoolbooks. Gretta lost her temper entirely with the boy, but I think it’s sweet. They are used books anyway from the previous grade. He is progressing at such a swift pace I fear I will have to send my son to college before his sixteenth birthday. I couldn’t be more proud.

Monday, August 28th, 1854

These new additions to the town have not been a welcome one. I’ve had more calls about brawls and drunken disturbances than I ever have and it’s always them. There was a shootout in the middle of Main Street yesterday when one thought the other cheated at cards. I think it’s about time these people leave.

The little Brown girl and her sister aren’t doing well either. The baby still has no name and Molly is concerned. She came to see me yesterday evening. She said Mrs. Brown isn’t interested in feeding the poor little girl. She’s not sure what to do.

Friday, September 1, 1854

It’s become clear that the newcomers to town are not decent people at all. They attacked Molly yesterday, left her with a black eye, but otherwise she wasn’t hurt. Jed almost killed the man who hit her and frankly I don’t blame him. I’ve got the scoundrel in my cells, but I had to bring Jed in too. It’s the law. I don’t know what to do. We have to get these people out.

I caught Mr. Brown, Elias, hitting his four-year-old for talking to some of the other kids in town. He beat her so bad I had to call in Doc Faraday. He said she will be all right but still. I know he didn’t break the law, but once again, he was drunk as a lord, so he’s in my cells again too. I can’t keep doing this.

As for the baby, the little one with no name. Molly took her to Mrs. Findlay out at the Hills Cattle ranch. She had her little boy a couple of weeks ago. At least now she’s being fed regularly. Deep in my heart, I find I’m torn. I know that people’s business is their own, but this is…it’s more than a good Christian man can handle.

I’ve spoken to Gretta about it and she agrees it’s not right. But that’s where our accord ends. She feels I’m neglecting her and Harvey. I love them, my wife and son, but I can’t stand by while two little girls are beaten and neglected. I can’t do it. I worry that unless things change dramatically, I’ll have to do something.

Saturday, September 16, 1854

It happened again. This will be the fourth time Elias has tried to kill his baby girl. He rode out to the Findlay farm and tried to smother the little girl with a pillow in the night.

By the time I got out there, Mr. Findlay had Elias hogtied and ready to go. Drunk again he’s in my cells. I don’t know what to do. I could send him to Tucson to stand before a judge, but I doubt anyone will take notice until poor little Amelia, as Mrs. Findlay named her, is dead.

I’ve spoken to Gretta again. She, Harvey, and I can take Amelia out of Macon. She’ll be safe away from her parents and since her mother pretty much gave her up, I’m not breaking the law proposing this. The other little girl, Martha, will be safe enough with Molly looking out for her. She doesn’t let the little thing out of her sight now but that doesn’t help much either. We’ll have to make a plan to save her too.

Gretta says she doesn’t care. She doesn’t understand that I feel some sort of connection with Amelia. I don’t know why, but I’m invested in the little girl’s life. It doesn’t mean I don’t love her or Harvey. I do. It’s because I love them and am so proud of the boy Harvey is right now that I can’t let evil stand in my sight. I can’t let the Browns and their friends ruin this town and kill this baby girl. Because that is how I fear this will end.

I am leaving Macon, forever and I’m taking both Brown girls with me. If I can convince Gretta to come with me, I would be the happiest man alive.

Tuesday, September 18, 1854

I left Macon today. I have only half succeeded in my mission to save the Brown girls. I only have baby Amelia with me. Though I tried, I couldn’t get Martha away from her mother and by law, unless she gives the child up like she did Amelia, I can’t do anything. It’s sad but I will never stop trying to get that little girl to come back East.

Gretta has agreed to come East, but she will follow in a few days’ time and bring Harvey with her. I think they will like it in Virginia. My father sent me a telegram saying I am welcome to rejoin the family shoemaking business. I think we can have a great life together, raising our son and adopted daughters. I pray I’ve made the right decision.

It read like a novel. Her father, Robert, had a wonderful turn of phrase. Amelia wiped a stray tear from her cheek as she stared at the last entry. Well, she could guess the rest of it. Clearly, Gretta had decided not to come or had been prevented from doing so.

The surprising news was that she had an adopted brother named Harvey and a full blood sister all in some small town in Arizona. Who would have thought? Certainly, she would never have. So, Robert Harrington had taken her from her birth parents when she was a baby and fled his home, leaving his own family behind. From the account he’d left her, there was nothing to forgive. Still, Amelia wished she could find out more.

Perhaps she could. All she’d have to do was accept the adventure and travel out West.

Chapter One

April 1875

The earth swallowed Robert Harrington’s casket with very little fuss. Amelia watched as he was lowered into the rich ground and said her final goodbyes. She was tearful and spent a large part of the ceremony watching a butterfly flitting to and fro over the flowers that bordered the row of graves. With their bright-colored petals, the early blooms looked so happy in the patchy sunshine. She wished she was a butterfly with no sadness to weigh her down.

Family and close friends came to the house for tea after. In all honestly, although everyone meant well, Amelia found the whole thing tiring. She had so much to do and she felt an urgency boiling deep in her belly that she needed to get moving. If she didn’t, her whole being would explode.

“What will you do now?”

It was Aunt Rosy. She was Robert’s sister. A thin woman with Robert’s angular features and large green eyes, she was pretty in a severe way. Always with her dark hair pulled back into a tight bun on her head, Aunt Rosy looked intimidating, but Amelia had only ever found her to be warm, loving, and a little mischievous.

She had helped to raise Amelia and there was a deep fondness between them. With her, Amelia felt comfortable talking about her plans, no matter how crazy they sounded. Only Aunt Rosy would understand Amelia’s longing to find her sister and brother and return to her birth town.

More than ever, Amelia felt she needed to get back to her roots, find her grounding, and learn who she was. There was only one place on earth that she could do that, and it wasn’t Virginia.

“I want to go to Macon,” she said. “Father told me the truth.”

“Oh, I see,” Aunt Rosy said. She was forty-nine years old, seven years her brother’s junior, and still quite feisty. She’d lost her husband in the war and never really saw any need to find another one. Aunt Rosy carved her own path in the world. “So, you know…”

Amelia nodded.

“Are you all right?”

“I’m fine,” Amelia said. “I love my father and now that I know what he went through to try and give me a better life, I’m even more grateful to him than I was before. I think he was the most amazing…” her voice hitched in her throat.

Aunt Rosy wrapped her in her arms and held her. “He was. And he did a superb job raising you. You are the apple of his eye. Robert always said that if he achieved nothing else on this earth, watching you grow into such a fine young lady was more than enough for him.”

This only made Amelia sob all the harder for she could feel the love in the words. For a while she let her grief flow, knowing it had to come out or it would drown her. When she was done crying, Aunt Rosy asked her question again.

“What are your plans? What do you hope to do in Macon? You do know it’s a tiny little spit of a town on the cusp of the desert?”

They were sitting on a bench in the garden listening to the birds singing. Despite everything, the day had turned out nice and clear.

“I didn’t know that,” Amelia confessed, wiping her eyes with her handkerchief. “I know almost nothing about the town, but I want to find my family anyway.”

Aunt Rosy nodded. “Understandable. Tell you what…I’ll make sure your house is fine and looked after while you’re gone. Then when you come back, we can talk about what’s next.”

Amelia smiled and hugged her aunt. “Thank you so much. That is wonderful!”

And just like that, things began to fall into place.

Over the next few days, Amelia made arrangements to travel across the country to the territory of Arizona. She would have to cross eight states to reach her destination and it would take just over two weeks. It was an epic journey with the train scheduled to stop in a great many towns along the way. It was to be an adventure for sure.

There were so many things to consider. What to take, what to leave behind, and what to buy that she would need? So many considerations, Amelia felt her head might explode. It turned out that Aunt Rosy was a dab hand at this sort of thing, and she knew exactly what Amelia should take.

“Be practical,” she said. “Take a good broad-brimmed hat, a jacket or two, and some light summer clothes. It will be hot. And take a riding skirt or two and these.” She held out something brown.

“Trousers?” Amelia asked feeling her aunt must be joking with her. “Men’s trousers no less.”

“Yes,” Rosy said nodding. She peered at Amelia through her large spectacles. “You have to stop thinking of Macon as another Alexandria. It will be utterly different and things that are not done here will be perfectly acceptable there. Take the trousers.”

This more than anything, Amelia felt gave her some perspective on what to expect. Women walking around in men’s trousers was unheard of in Virginia. Even during the war there had been clear cut boundaries in fashion. It seemed this rigid adherence to social norms wasn’t common out West.

“How do you know all of this?” Amelia asked.

Aunt Rosy beamed and straightened her jacket. “When I was much younger, I took a train and then a stagecoach out West to visit Robert. I stayed for three months and then came home.”

“Why didn’t you stay?” Amelia asked.

Aunt Rosy’s smile turned sad. “The West was not for me. But it might be for you. Send me telegrams. I will be waiting for them with bated breath.”

Amelia agreed.

With her suitcases packed and some of her father’s most favorite books tucked in for good measure, his unfinished manuscript among them, Amelia felt she was ready and there was nothing left to do but board the train.

The morning of her departure was misty and cool. Spring seemed reluctant to stay giving winter a few last hurrahs. Oh well, soon she’d be in the warmth of Arizona and Amelia was looking forward to it.

The station was packed as it always was and it took a while for Amelia to find her way to the women’s sleeping car where she would while away her time on the train.

She had never been in a Pullman sleeping car before and found it luxurious with the dark walnut covered walls, the rich upholstery, and the seats that folded out into beds. There was even a chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

Robert had been well off supplying footwear to a large portion of both Washington DC on the other side of the Potomac River and Alexandria, but he hadn’t been rich. At least, Amelia didn’t think he had been, but then Aunt Rosy had encouraged her to buy a sleeper car ticket. She had to say she was impressed and a little gob-smacked at the car and that she could afford such luxury.

Finding her berth near the far end of the compartment Amelia set about stowing her luggage in the rack provided. This was it, the beginning of her adventure. Her pulse racing, she leaned out of the window.

It took a moment to find her aunt on the platform amidst the crowds of people. Dressed in black and looking as severe as ever, an ivory-handled walking stick in her hand, Aunt Rosy held her gaze.

“Enjoy the adventure,” she said.

“I will,” Amelia replied and waved.

Aunt Rosy gave a quick nod of the head, and then she was engulfed by the crowd on the platform. The train gave a huff and a puff, and a shrill whistle, and then it began to pull out of the station.

Amelia felt her nerves rise like bile in the back of her throat and she fought the urge to be sick. It was all so much, so overwhelming to be setting off on her own like this. She knew no one on this train and suspected it might be a very lonely two weeks or so.

It didn’t matter. She was on this journey to find her roots and that was the important part. Not that that didn’t scare her most of all.

“Hello, there!”

Turning she found a fresh-faced young woman looking at her.

“I’m not sure I’m in the right place,” the woman said. She held out her ticket to Amelia. “Could you help me?”

“Sure,” Amelia said turning all the way back into the car. “Though I’m no expert on train travel.” She took the ticket and read it. “You’re in the right place. In fact, that is your seat there, next to mine. I’m Amelia, by the way.”

“Ophelia,” the woman said. “And yes, the tragedy isn’t lost on me, although, it was on my mother when she named me.”

“Shakespeare…” Amelia said. “It’s still a lovely name, even if she ends up mad and drowned.”

Ophelia grinned and it was positively impish. “And people wonder why I don’t like the water,” she said. “Or Hamlet. So, Amelia, what brings you here? Where are you headed?”

“Arizona,” Amelia said taking her seat and inspecting her new acquaintance.

Ophelia nodded. “Me too. Which town?”

“Macon. And You?”

“Yuma and then I might go on to California, I haven’t decided yet. Depends a lot on what happens in Yuma,” Ophelia said.

She was a slight woman with large hazel eyes and an upturned nose. Her deep-red hair fell in perfect ringlets around her face drawing out the light freckles on her cheeks. Amelia thought she was quite stunning. A red-haired Venus rising from the ocean she disliked.

“What’s supposed to happen in Yuma?” Amelia asked.

Ophelia flushed slightly, her cheeks turning a rose pink. “My fiancé is there,” she said. “He’s a marshal and he’s stationed out in Yuma. It looks like he might be there for years, so I decided to surprise him.”

“I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to see you,” Amelia said.

Ophelia shrugged and let out a long-held sigh. “We’ll find out. Patrick is the only man I’ve met who could look past the unfortunate name and hair.” She tugged at a curl.

“I think it’s lovely,” Amelia said. “You should try having sandy hair like mine. It is truly the worst. It’s so close to that orange-red as to be its cousin and it’s not flattering.”

“Oh, I think it’s lovely,” Ophelia said, and in that moment, Amelia knew she’d found a friend.

As the train took them further and further from the world they knew, Amelia and Ophelia found a kind of comfort in their friendship. When the train stopped to pick up fuel and new passengers at little towns along the way in Alabama or Mississippi, they would take a walk around the town, taking in the sights and sounds.

It was amazing to them how the country changed and got warmer as they went south. Spanish moss hung from trees and the full summer bloom had taken the southern states by storm already. They sat in the shade of enormous trees eating local delicacies. The best being the beignets in Louisiana. Amelia was certain she could eat them every day and never grow tired of them.

When not exploring new towns together, the women would read and talk, eating their meals in the dining car together. It turned out that having a traveling companion was a wonderful way to keep men from making nuisances of themselves. They largely left Amelia and Ophelia alone, and their time on the train was peaceful.

The only fly in the ointment was Mrs. Hackett. A large woman with a severely straining corset, pudgy fingers, and the sharpest blue eyes Amelia had ever seen, took it upon herself to comment on everything everyone did. She especially loved to ridicule what she called her two unfortunate girls. Having boarded the train in Texas, they didn’t have to suffer her long, but how they did suffer nonetheless.

“Both of you must consider yourselves lucky to find a man,” she said. “With your plain features and that almost red hair,” she turned from Amelia to Ophelia, “and you, you poor thing. Well… there is nothing that can be done.”

At first, Amelia was annoyed and upset, but Ophelia shook her head and ignored her. “She’s just a walking bag of unhappiness with a shovel. Let her spread it around and we’ll just skate over it.”

Amelia loved that image and tried her best to do it.

All too soon they crossed over from Texas through New Mexico and into Arizona, and then it seemed like no time at all when they arrived in Yuma.

“I’m going to miss you something fierce,” Ophelia said not managing to hold back her tears. “You’ve made this whole journey a wonderful time. I’d say the best time of my life.”

“Mine too,” Amelia said throwing herself at her friend and wrapping her arms around her. “We must write.”

“Do they have post in Macon?” Ophelia asked.

“They must,” Amelia said.

“Then look out for my letters,” Ophelia said, and hugged her back.

She took her things and stepped off the train and soon she was nothing but a memory in the dust.

The last portion of the journey to Macon was not pleasant. Without Ophelia, Mrs. Hackett redoubled her efforts to make Amelia feel terrible, and it took all of Amelia’s considerable manners not to slap the horrible creature across the face.

The station at which Amelia would change trains to catch the local line that led up to the Opperman Silver Mine in the hills north of Macon couldn’t come soon enough. When it did, Amelia was packed, and without a word to Mrs. Hackett, she left the sleeping car, her chin tilted to the sky and her backbone straight.

This second train was somewhat less luxurious. There were only seats and Amelia soon found that she was the only woman on board.

“You might want to come sit up front with me Miss,” the conductor said as he clipped her ticket. “You’ll find the company back here a little rough around the edges, if you know what I mean.”

Amelia, having no idea what he meant, refused saying that she would be fine reading her book. It was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and in truth, Amelia was loving it. She’d always longed to have sisters, seeing a mixture of Meg and Beth in herself, but suspecting there was a fair amount of Jo and Amy in her too.

By the time the fourth man had made a pass at her, Amelia decided to find the conductor and spend the next two hours up front. It wasn’t possible to read up there, but since she was in the cab, watching the driver drive the train, she didn’t care. It was a singularly exciting experience, and she wished she could tell her father about it. He would have loved it.

After the train ride came the coach that took another three hours. Packed with miners picked up at the mine where the train came into the station, Amelia found herself thrown into their midst. In the end, she decided to sit up front with the driver.

This proved a wise plan, and she spent a few pleasant hours in the company of a man who never said a word. It was lovely. By the time she reached Macon, the sun was setting in the west at great speed. The day had been hot and uncomfortable, and all Amelia really wanted was a bath and something to eat. However, she realized that in all her planning to come out West, she’d never thought to telegram ahead and book accommodation. She’d simply assumed there would be some and that she’d find it.

Now she found herself lost and alone in this strange town.

“When Love is Meant to Be” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

When Amelia Harrington’s father shares a terrible secret with her in his final moments, her entire world turns upside down. The stunning revelation that her father abandoned his own wife and child fills her mind with questions. Hoping to shed light on the mysterious circumstances that lead to this, she travels to the small town of Macon, Arizona. Seeking answers about her true origins, she is blindsided by the immediate attraction she feels towards the handsome local sheriff. As more clues are uncovered and she is reunited with people from a past she never knew, will Amelia also find a miraculous future with this kind and charming man?

Luke Johnson isn’t sure he is meant to ever love again. After losing his wife at a young age, he spends his days helping the people in Macon as their sheriff. Born and raised in the area, he knows everyone around and has their respect. When an enigmatic and witty young woman arrives in town asking questions, he finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her. While he struggles to overcome his grief over his past, will he allow himself to give in to the hope these exciting new feelings bring and learn to love again?

As Luke and Amelia try to figure out their place in each other’s life, they are unaware that trouble is brewing in town. While they try to come to terms with their developing feelings, there are forces at work that would destroy their chance at happiness and threaten Amelia’s life. Will Luke be able to save her in time and bring the culprits to justice? With friends and unlikely allies in their corner, will Luke and Amelia’s love stand the test and conquer all?

“When Love is Meant to Be” is a historical western romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

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