Ride the River

by Patricia McLinn

Regina’s cousin works at a bank that’s held up. Researching bank robberies to help her cousin cope, Reggie spots a potential pattern connecting the robberies to WRC events. She persuades Michael to let her look into it, attending several rodeos “undercover” as a trainee assisting the rodeo secretary. The first day of the first rodeo she runs into – literally – her childhood sweetheart, Chapin.

And has the sudden, horrifying realization that W. Johnson, one of 3 prime suspects who fit the pattern, is actually her William Chapin Johnson.

To keep Reggie from blabbing his name in that first instant, Chapin grabs her and kisses her. All the memories – the good ones and the bad breakup ones come flooding back.

Chapin is trying to make a comeback on the QT. He’d been on the cusp of becoming a star of the WRC as a bronc rider when a truly nasty rotator cuff injury knocked him out. Bad surgery, infection, and a second round of surgery left all the experts telling him he’s done. As far as the rodeo world’s concerned he’s retired and living happily on his ranch. But he can’t let it go. He needs time to work his way back in, so he’s been rodeoing far from home, in unfamiliar events, and under the name of Bill Johnson.

Now, to keep from being outed just as he’s making progress, he has to take Reggie into his confidence. But even after all these years he knows her too well not to realize she’s keeping a secret from him. What on earth is she up to?

Will Chapin find out what Reggie’s doing?  Does Reggie need proof that the bank robber’s not Chapin before she’ll trust him? How will Chapin react if he finds out he’s a suspect? Can they overcome the issues that drove them apart? Who the heck is robbing banks on the WRC circuit and can he (or she!) be stopped?

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