Caroline had faced many challenges in her life. Sheâ€™d tackled
some serious life-and-death trials. Sheâ€™d persevered. Sheâ€™d emerged if not victorious, then at
least still standing.
So why was she trembling in fear at this relatively minor task
laid before her? Itâ€™s ridiculous. It made no sense whatsoever.
â€śAre you ready?â€ť Jackson asked.
inner self screamed.
â€śSure,â€ť she said, lifting her chin.
The music started. He emerged from behind the stage onto
the empty dance floor at the Last Chance Hall. It is my last chance,
Caroline thought. My last chance to bolt for the door.
As a native Texan, it had been her biggest secret, her
greatest shame. She didnâ€™t know how to two-step. Sheâ€™d never learned. Sheâ€™d listened to pop
music in high school and college. Robert introduced her to classical music, but he didnâ€™t like
to dance. So, sheâ€™d never learned. That, apparently, was about to change.
Keen-eyed Jackson had noticed that she always made
excuses not to dance at the Last Chance and called her on it. When she finally fessed up to
her lack of skill, heâ€™d declared himself her teacher.
She wanted to learn. She did. So why was she so
embarrassed about this? â€śI just donâ€™t want to hear any whining when you are nursing your
bruised and battered toes.â€ť
â€śHey, why do you think I wore my steel-toe boots?â€ť
Her eyes went wide as she glanced down at his feet. He
laughed. He wore his usual everyday Ropers.
â€śWhile youâ€™ll looking down there, Iâ€™m going to show you my
footwork so youâ€™ll have an idea of what Iâ€™m talking about when I say it. Watch now, darlinâ€™.
Basic two-step. Itâ€™s very simple. Iâ€™ll start with my left leg firstâ€”guys always start with their left
â€”and Iâ€™ll take a half step, one, and two. Half step, one, two. Itâ€™s quick quick, slow, slow. Quick
quick, slow, slow. Thatâ€™s it. Okay?â€ť
He grinned, grabbed her hand, brought it to his mouth, and
kissed it. â€śYou learn to two-step, youâ€™ll be dancing all night long, every time you visit the Last
Chance. Now, put your hand on the fellaâ€™s arm here just below his shoulder.â€ť He placed it
where he wanted it. â€śKind of cup it around. Like that. Perfect. The guy places his hand on your
shoulder blade like this. Now, see how far apart weâ€™re standing?â€ť
She looked down, concentrating hard. How far was that? A
foot? Ten inches?
â€śThatâ€™s about right unless itâ€™s you and me. If itâ€™s you and
meâ€ťâ€”he yanked her tight against him and murmured against her earâ€”â€śweâ€™ll dance like this.
But thatâ€™s only you and me.â€ť
Again, he laughed. â€śRelax, honey. You have this. I am an
excellent teacher. Now, the guy always starts with his left leg first. Lady starts with her right
leg first. Remember it was a half step first, then a one, two. Quick quick slow, slow. Letâ€™s wait
for the music. . . coming up . . .ready? Here we go. Quick quick, slow, slow. Quick quick, slow,
She was terrible. Stiff and awkward. She froze up the same
way she did like when she needed to do math in public. She got the choreography of the
dance step down, but it wasnâ€™t pretty. It wasnâ€™t dance. It was more Frankenstein stumbling out
of the castle. She despaired ever feeling comfortable to go public at the Last Chance. â€śI canâ€™t
â€śSure you can.â€ť
But then, Jackson fixed the problem. He distracted her by
doing something sheâ€™d never heard him do before.
Jackson McBride sang. To her.
Caroline lost herself in the rhythm and the rhyme and the
timbre, in the sheer masculine beauty of his voice. She followed him effortlessly, in the half
turns, and even in the full turns, and the dance steps became imprinted in her memory. In fact,
she knew sheâ€™d remember this moment, this dance, for the rest of her life.
Because when the lesson finally ended, when he smiled
down into her smiling face and kissed her sweetly on the lips, he said, â€śSee? Ainâ€™t no step for
a stepper. Or, I guess I should say, a two-stepper.â€ť
â€śI did it.â€ť
â€śYes, you did. You always do. You have no quit in you,
Caroline Carruthers. I love that about you.â€ť He cupped her cheek, gazed tenderly down into
her eyes, and declared, â€śI love you. Iâ€™m in love with you.â€ť
â€śOh, Jackson. Me too. I mean I love you too. I love
His eyes smiled at her. â€śBecause I taught you to two-
â€śOf course not. Do you think Iâ€™m easy?â€ť She wrapped her
hands around his neck and pulled his face down to hers. â€śYou seduced me with song. Sing to
me some more, why donâ€™t you? Next I want to learn how to waltz.â€ť
That Saturday night, Jackson McBride took the stage at the
Last Chance Hall for the first time and debuted a new song, a ballad, titled â€śSee That
The audience went wild.
Â©Â 2019 byÂ Emily March,Â St. Martinâ€™s Paperbacks
Eternity Springs: McBrides of
A brand new arc set in Texas that features a family-linked trilogy set within the Eternity
Sometimes it takes a new beginning...
Caroline Carruthers married young to a much-older man. Now that he's gone, she's lostâ€¦until
she dares to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in
Caroline's new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her
mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful
man who's also starting over, all bets are off.
...to reach a happily-ever-after
Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever
since his marriage ended, he's been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in loveâ€”he even has the
old song lyrics to prove itâ€”but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful
young widow who's moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of
Redemption's healing magic is trueâ€¦and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a
happy ending after all?
Romance Contemporary [St. Martin's
Paperbacks, On Sale: June 25, 2019, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781250314918
/ eISBN: 9781250314925]
Like thousands of other Texans, author Emily March
grew up fleeing the
summertime heat at home for the beautiful Colorado Rockies.Â The daughter of Colorado
natives, Emily spent her summers at the rustic, 1930's era family cabin in the mountains west
of Denver, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and availing herself of the facilities (an outhouse)
only when she could no longer avoid it.
As an adult with a family of her own, Emily continued the tradition of spending summers in the
Rockies, and she insists that her sons were not permanently damaged when she made them
wear matching Oshkosh red-and-white-striped overalls with coordinating caps to ride the
narrow-gauge train from Durango to Silverton at ages 6 and 3, respectively.Â Emily still visits
the mountains every chance she gets, and she's happy to announce that the family cabin now
sports indoor plumbing.
Writing as Geralyn Dawson, Emily is the USA Today bestselling
author of over twenty novels.Â She is a three-time finalist for the prestigious Romance Writers'
of America's RITA award and a recipient of their Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year award.Â
She received Romantic Times magazine's Career Achievement award and its
Reviewer's Choice award.Â In 2009, the American Library Association named her romantic
suspense novel, ALWAYS LOOK TWICE, as one of the top ten romances of the year.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe
for jalapeno relish has made her a tailgating legend.
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