Read Texas Blue Online

Authors: Jodi Thomas

Texas Blue

Table of Contents
 
 
Praise for
THE LONE TEXAN
 
“A real page-turner . . . I haven’t had a chance to read the first two books in this current series, but I enjoyed
The Lone Texan so
much that I intend to remedy this oversight as soon as possible.”
—The Romance Reader
 
“To say I enjoyed Jodi Thomas’s
The Lone Texan
would be an understatement. No one writes better Westerns than she.”
—TwoLips Reviews
 
“Jodi Thomas has woven an interesting tale with characters that are intelligent and passionate about what they think.
The Lone Texan
flows smoothly from beginning to the end.”
—Night Owl Romance
 
“The Queen of Texas romance does it again, sweeping readers back to Whispering Mountain for another tale rife with drama, action, and passion. No one makes Texas seem more exciting, romantic, and alive than Thomas. Here’s a surefire hit for Western fans to savor.”
—Romantic Times
(★★★★★)
 
 
TALL, DARK, AND TEXAN
 
“A gripping, emotional read . . . [I] was left wondering why I haven’t read more historical romances set in the American West.”
—All About Romance
 
“Wonderfully written, romantic, and delightful.”
—The Romance Reader
 
“An enjoyable read from start to finish. I read the book over the holidays and found myself stealing away at odd moments from the family in order to sneak in a chapter or two.”
—Reading Romance Books
 
“I loved these characters. I cared about them throughout their hardships, and cheered for them when they found their happiness. Her descriptive passages are silky smooth, her dialogue is believable, and she puts the reader right in the middle of the open plains of Texas so you can almost hear the grass rustle in the wind.”
—Ezine Articles
 
 
Praise for the novels of
JODI THOMAS
 
“One of my favorites.”
—Debbie Macomber
 
“Packs a powerful emotional punch . . . [Thomas’s] latest Western historical romance highlights the author’s talent for creating genuinely real characters . . . Exceptional.”
—Booklist
 
“Jodi Thomas is a masterful storyteller. She grabs your attention on the first page, captures your heart, and then makes you sad when it is time to bid her wonderful characters farewell. You can count on Jodi Thomas to give you a satisfying and memorable read.”
—Catherine Anderson
 
“Fantastic . . . A keeper! . . . A beautiful story about unexpected love. An exceptional storyteller, Thomas has found the perfect venue for her talent, which is as big—and as awe-inspiring—as Texas. Her emotionally moving stories are the kind you want to go on forever.”
—Romantic Times
 
“Jodi Thomas’s Whispering Mountain Series is the perfect blend of rough and tumble cowboys, and women who command their respect and love. The reader has only to turn a page to find themselves in waist-high grass with a gentle breeze, and a majestic view of the mountains that surround the ranch. I am ready to saddle up and take a ride!”
—Coffee Time Romance
 
“A fun read.”
—Fresh Fiction
Titles by Jodi Thomas
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY
WELCOME TO HARMONY
REWRITING MONDAY
TWISTED CREEK
TEXAS BLUE
THE LONE TEXAN
TALL, DARK, AND TEXAN
TEXAS PRINCESS
TEXAS RAIN
THE TEXAN’S REWARD
A TEXAN’S LUCK
WHEN A TEXAN GAMBLES
THE TEXAN’S WAGER
TO WED IN TEXAS
TO KISS A TEXAN
THE TENDER TEXAN
PRAIRIE SONG
THE TEXAN AND THE LADY
TO TAME A TEXAN’S HEART
FOREVER IN TEXAS
TEXAS LOVE SONG
TWO TEXAS HEARTS
THE TEXAN’S TOUCH
TWILIGHT IN TEXAS
THE TEXAN’S DREAM
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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USA
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
TEXAS BLUE
 
A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley mass-market edition / April 2011
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-47769-4
 
BERKLEY
®
Berkley Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY
®
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
 

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CHAPTER 1
November 19, 1875
South of Austin, Texas
 
D
UST CIRCLED LIKE TINY WHIRLWINDS IN THE SHADOWY barn as a dozen Texas Rangers saddled horses and prepared to ride.
Lewton Paterson, dressed in his best white suit, moved among them, a stranger amid these heroes. As always, he felt alone no matter how many surrounded him, but tonight his solitude was almost suffocating. He told himself he was never brave and had no desire to risk his life for any cause, yet the excitement around him seemed contagious.
Rangers were just normal men, he reminded himself. They didn’t even wear a uniform, only the dusty weathered clothes of men born to the wilderness. Lewton matched their height and probably most of their skills, but he wasn’t one of them. He never would be.
For Lewt knew his heart. He had never been, nor would ever be, daring. In twenty-eight years he’d seen nothing worth risking his life for, nothing he loved worth dying to protect. If he hadn’t found it by now, he never would. For him, life was a game and the man leaving the table with the most chips won.
“Lewt!” Duncan McMurray yelled from ten feet away. His half-wild horse stomped around the ranger and snorted as Duncan saddled the mount as casually as if they were dancing. “You decide to give up gambling and join us on our quest?”
Lewt slipped between two horses and joined his friend. “Compared to rangering, gambling seems like a peaceful profession. Where are you men headed tonight?”
“The border.” Duncan pulled the cinch tight across the mare’s belly before he added, “Chasing cattle rustlers. Captain McNelly says we’ll cross the river tracking them down even if the army won’t. Ranches have lost enough cattle to cowards who run across the border to hide.”
Lewt shook his head. He’d met the tall, bone-thin Leander McNelly. He was just crazy enough to follow outlaws straight into hell, and these men—including Duncan—would ride right beside him. Duncan McMurray was a successful lawyer, like his father, by trade, but a wild kid ran in his blood. “Maybe you should sit this one out, Duncan. You’re due to leave at dawn with that load of potential husbands for your cousins. No one expects you to ride with the rangers every time.”

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