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The Keeneston Roses
SERIES: Bluegrass Singles, Book 4
GENRE: Second Chance/Divorced/Widows, Small Town
ENDING: HEA (They’re a couple and live Happily Ever After)
WORD COUNT: 75,000 to 99,999 (large book)
HERO’S AGE: Over 50
HEROINE’S AGE: Over 50
HEAT LEVEL: Mostly Sweet (Shut The Door, Honey)
GRAPHIC LANGUAGE: Just a little (No “F” Bombs, but a little other stuff, no explicit sex)
In spite of heartache, the Rose sisters have learned there is no expiration date on love.
Lily Rae Rose has been headstrong since she was a child. She was the oldest, after all. Maybe that’s why she fell for the bad boy next door. But Lily learns that not all bad boys can be reformed. After suffering the pain of a broken heart, Lily dedicated herself to finding the perfect match for her friends. This lets her enjoy the benefits of love without the pain. Until town gossip John Wolfe forced her to confront the pain of the past.
Daisy Mae Rose may only be minutes apart from her two sisters, but she always felt invisible as the middle sister. When a man makes her the center of attention, Daisy blooms under his loving care. That is until he joins the war effort and leaves her behind forever. But there was someone else who had loved Daisy in high school, and now he has returned. At their 70th high school reunion, he decides to see if there’s a reason to move back to Keeneston.
Violet Fae Rose was always the wild one. After high school, she did the unthinkable for a single woman in the early 1960s . . . she left the small town of Keeneston and went to culinary school in France. While in the City of Love, Violet falls madly in love with the one person she shouldn’t. Violet quickly finds out the downside of a forbidden romance and runs away to the French countryside to lose herself in her cooking. But sometimes it takes returning home to fully put things back together. Violet finds peace in playing matchmaker with her sisters for many years. And then one day, Violet finds herself on the receiving end of someone else’s matchmaking.
Time can heal many wounds, but the Rose sisters’ wounds run very deep. Will the three sisters finally find true love during their golden years? And better yet, can Keeneston even handle three Rose sisters in love?
READ AN EXCERPT
Keeneston, 37 years, 99 marriages, and 246 babies later . . .
Miss Lily sat on the front porch swing at her bed-and-breakfast and gave a disgruntled sigh. She looked down at the notebook in her hand, her fortieth, and stuck her tongue out at it. Darn that Morgan Hamilton for coming back to town and messing everything up. How can the town’s reverend have a pair of daughters that differed so much? Pam was an angel; Morgan was not. Written at the top of the page was the name Miles Davies. It was about time Marcy and Jake’s oldest son found love.
Flipping back through the notebook, Lily’s smile returned as she stared at her accomplishments. Little Will had grown into a strapping young man who played in the NFL for years before coming back to Keeneston to take over his parents’ horse farm. He’d even bred and raced a Kentucky Derby winner. He also fell in line and got married to McKenna Mason, or Kenna as she was commonly known. She was a bright lawyer from New York City . . . bless her Yankee heart.
After that, Kenna’s best friend, Danielle, or Dani as she insisted on being called, followed her from New York. It just went to show that she too had good sense. Lily smiled as she looked at the earlier pages in her notebook. She ignored the fact that Kenna and Dani were on the run from dangerously powerful men. They had found their way home to Keeneston, and Dani had found love with a sheik. Mo was the prince of the island country of Rahmi and had come to Keeneston to raise racehorses.
And bless that sweet girl, Kenna had already given birth to a bouncing baby girl, Sienna. Some day, God willing, she’d find the perfect match for her like she had for her father. Lily turned the page and looked at Paige Davies’s name. She was Jake and Marcy’s only girl. Five boys and beautiful, talented Paige rounded out the Davies family. Paige had helped Kenna and Dani and, in turn, found love with FBI Agent Cole Parker. She had just given birth over Christmas to a handsome baby boy, Ryan. Hmm, that gave Lily an idea for Sienna.
Turning another page in her notebook, she came to Cade Davies and DEA Agent Annie Blake. Annie had come to Keeneston as an undercover agent and with Cade’s help stopped a drug ring targeting teenagers. Annie had since left the DEA to work at the Keeneston sheriff’s office. She, too, had taken the long road home, but home was here now in Keeneston with Cade and their baby girl, Sophie.
Lily flipped to the next section and traced her fingers over the names of Marshall Davies and Katelyn Jacks. Katelyn’s grandparents, the Wyatts, had raised her in Keeneston, but she had gone off and had seen the world as a model. She had just recently come back to start a career as a veterinarian. Marshall had found peace as the new sheriff after coming back from Special Forces with his brothers, Miles and Cade. They had been a tricky match, and Lily and her sisters had to resort to giving Katelyn a glass too many . . . okay, three or four glasses too many . . . of their special drink. But it had worked out in the end, and they were now happily together.
In between the Davies pages, she smiled at she passed the deputy sheriffs’ pages—Noodle and Dr. Emma, Dinky and Chrystal. That led her to her current page. Miles Davies and Julie Bryant. Julie was from the next town over, was four years younger than Miles’s thirty-six years, and was as sweet as could be. She would have been perfect for Miles until the bad girl of Keeneston showed back up. Morgan Hamilton was darker than Miles, and Miles hid a lot of darkness from his time in Special Forces. That’s why he needed someone sweet like Julie. But no, Morgan drew him in with her violet eyes and a take-no-crap attitude.
The screen door opened and Daisy and Violet came out carrying glasses of iced tea and a plate of brownies. “How’s it coming?” Violet asked.
Lily blew out a breath and pushed back her now-white hair. “Not good. I just know that bad seed, Morgan Hamilton, has her claws in our Miles. This is my one-hundredth match, and she’s going to ruin it just like she did my rose bushes when she was a teenager.”
Daisy handed her a glass of tea and took a seat. “Lil, for one night let’s just not worry about it. This has stressed you out so much, your muffins this morning were dry. Dry!”
Lily sneered at her sister and thought about sticking her tongue out, but Violet stopped her. “Tonight is Marshall and Katelyn’s wedding. Let’s just go and have a good time.”
“But if John beats me to this mystery, I don’t know what I’ll do.” Lily slammed her hand onto the swing’s cushion.
“Ever since Rhonda passed away, you two have been at it. For years now, we’ve watched you two play this gossip game. I think y’all are hot to trot for each other,” Violet said, taking a giant step away from the daggers Lily was shooting her.
“You think I like John Wolfe?” Lily cried out.
“I think so, too,” Daisy said softly before leaning back in her chair. Lily jumped to her feet and began to pace the verandah.
“You two are crazy. If anyone in this town understands why that is impossible, it should be you two.”
“Lil,” Violet started, “it’s been decades and decades since Frank. I’ve longed to move on—to find love again. But I know it’s not a probability for me. Look at us. We’re not twenty-five anymore.”
“Shoot, we’re not even fifty-five anymore,” Daisy said under her breath.
“And you have a shot at it. John has known you your whole life. He was the one who rescued you that night. He knows all about your secret pain. If he loves you, then why not give him a chance? You have always spoken so highly of him,” Violet took a deep breath, “and I think you love him, too.”
Lily gasped and Daisy raised the brownie plate to hide her face. “How dare you say that?”
Violet put her hands on her still curvaceous hips. “Because you do. Mark my word; this isn’t over yet. You will have to face your feelings someday, Lily Rae.”
“We’ll just see about that,” Lily stormed into the house. “I have a wedding to get ready for.
Meet Kathleen Brooks
Kathleen Brooks is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Kathleen’s stories are romantic suspense featuring strong female heroines, humor, and happily-ever-afters.
Her BLUEGRASS Series and follow-up Bluegrass Brothers, Bluegrass Singles and Forever Bluegrass Series feature small-town charm with quirky characters that have captured the hearts of readers around the world. Her WOMEN OF POWER Series features women who don’t need a billionaire lover. They are the billionaires. Plus a dirty-minded old lady we all wish we could be when we grow up. Her latest series, WEB OF LIES, is a mystery that will leave you tangled in the lies as a small shadow group races to untangle the web before it’s too late.
Kathleen is an animal lover who supports rescue organizations and other non-profit organizations, such as Friends and Vets Helping Pets, whose goals are to protect and save our four-legged family members.