Eighteen-year-old Jessie Donovan’s biggest secret is that she’s in love with her adopted older brother, but her father has a secret too—and it’s one that will force her to choose between her dreams and the happiness of everyone she cares about.
When twelve-year-old Jessie Donovan is viciously attacked by a German shepherd, her recently adopted brother, Ty, becomes her savior—and her secret crush. Now that she’s eighteen and graduated from high school, Jessie’s ready to see what their future might hold outside of the household. If Ty feels the same about her as she does about him, who cares what anyone thinks? Unfortunately, before she can tell Ty of her feelings, a stranger enters their lives and brings dark news of their father’s misdeeds. The repercussions spell the end of her world as she knows it. Jessie can either have the perfect life with the man of her dreams, or she can save the family ranch and horse-breeding business and the futures of all four of her beloved brothers. The only cost? Herself.
Ty ditched his shirt, shoes and watch in about ten seconds flat and proceeded to plow right into the stream all the way up to his chest. He ducked his head under and popped right up again, breathing heavily from the chill of the icy water. His hair and eye lashes sparkled right along with the creek that rushed past him.
He had a huge smile on his dripping face. “Come on, chickenshit. Get in here.”
I couldn’t help but smile, too. He was completely adorable—bold and fearless and showing the water who was boss.
“I’m coming.” I tiptoed in. “I’ll have my ankles acclimated in a minute.”
He put his hands in the water and aimed them at me. “Don’t make me do it.”
“You better move faster.”
I’d been swimming with him for years and I knew he wasn’t bluffing. I sucked in a deep breath and pushed in up to my knees. “Oh my God, it’s cold.”
“Don’t stop or I’m going to splash the shit out of you.”
“Give me a minute,” I panted.
As promised, he nailed me with a blast of water.
“I warned you. You better keep moving.”
I took another breath and forced myself in up to my waist. Ty floated himself back, leaving me more room to come in. His fingertips broke the surface of the water and he wiggled them toward himself.
“Come on,” he coaxed. “Keep coming.”
I moved in all the way up to my ribs, but based on how far he was and how high the water was on him, I wasn’t going to get much farther. “It’s too deep. In a few more steps, it’s going to be over my head.”
He floated back toward me and reached out both of his hands for mine. I stretched out to him and he gripped my hands and glided me toward him. I whined and panted and squealed the whole way.
“God, it’s cold. I can’t breathe.”
He laughed. “You’ll survive.”
He drew me all the way up against him, body to body, face to face. Then he repositioned his arms snugly around my ribs.
I found myself completely breathless. Not from the cold water. And not from how tightly he held me. I had never been this close to him. Never had such a view of his amazing chestnut eyes. He was so close, I could taste his breath in my mouth.
“It’s okay. Relax. I’ve got you.”
And to my astonishment, I relaxed. I released all the tension from inside me and allowed the current to mold my body to his. I allowed my fingers to explore his biceps and his shoulders, feeling every movement of every muscle. His eyes stayed on mine as I touched the rough stubble on his cheeks and jaw, then the smoothness of his lips. Then I slid my hands up into his hair. Soaking wet, it was pure onyx. I ran my hands through it, as I’d imagined for so long.
He shifted his mouth around to my ear. “Are you still cold?”
“I don’t know.”
Barnes and Noble
Jill Beck is a graduate of Purdue University and spent the first thirteen years of her career in manufacturing, before setting it aside to raise her children. Once the kids were in school, she opted to embark on Career 2.0 and try something more creative and intrinsically rewarding – no offense, manufacturing. Jill lives in Indiana with her three beautiful children, two awesome dogs and the most supportive husband in the universe.
Fun Fact about Legacy of the Dog
When I first wrote the book, it originally had a different title – Just the Beginning. It was my first-ever book of any sort and I dove into it with gusto. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. When it was finally finished, that sucker was five hundred fifty-two pages long. (Yes, you read that right.) And then I decided to take some writing classes. One of the important facts I learned from the writing classes was that five hundred fifty-two pages wasn’t a desirable length for a contemporary romance. I learned lots of other things, too, and I started over and rewrote the entire book. I scrapped everything except the main characters, the sense of love and family between them, and their profession – horse breeders. The outcome of that second effort is Legacy of the Dog.