TITLE: The Woodsman's Rose
GENRE: Adult Historical Romance
1882, Arizona Territory. The setting is the wedding supper for Adam Donovan and Jesse Travers. Annie has just realized that the man she's loved all her life, Adam's twin brother Brian, is deeply in love with his twin's wife. The Donovans' younger brother Daniel attempts to comfort her.
He led her down the slope into the orchard, where benches were arranged among the trees. He sat beside her and did not let go of her hand.
“It's hopeless. I know. I guess I've known all along.” Annie's voice trailed off in a whisper. She knew now that Brian wouldn't love her, and there was nothing that would change his heart.
Suppressing a sigh, she stood to go, but Daniel stepped in front of her. “Annie, there is a man who loves you.”
She listened in growing confusion as he told her of his love. Listened to the voice a childhood accident made sound like emery on slate, listened for the first time to the Irish lilt twining around the southern drawl. And heard a music she'd never heard before.
“Aroon, I love you.” He raised her face to his and kissed her with a tender passion she'd never dreamed him capable of. “Please give me a chance.”
Her tears fell, splashing on his hands. She heard him groan as he pulled her into his arms. The muscles rippled under his soft buckskin shirt. One part of her marveled at the way her head fit into the hollow between his shoulder and throat; another wondered at the tenderness of the hand that cradled her head, of the strong fingers that lost themselves in her long fine hair. A third part of her protested her fickleness―she'd always wanted Brian. What was she doing now in his brother's arms?