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Excerpt and Giveaway: The One by Lorhainne Eckhart


Title: The One
Author: Lorhainne Eckhart
Genre: Adult Romance
Publication: December 23, 2013
Margaret Gordon was once a prominent  Seattle surgeon, until a slip of the knife leaves a young boy without a future. Margaret is fired and returns to her hometown, the perfect spot to hide out from everyone and to lick her wounds, with no one around but her horse.
Margaret never considered herself a horse person. In truth, she understands horses better than people. And when the now-widowed Joe Wilde drives in one morning with a teenage boy and a horse with a problem, Margaret turns into that klutzy teenage misfit that silently carried a torch for Joe all through school. But when smooth-talking Joe convinces Margaret into working with the temperamental horse, she grows closer to his son Ryan, and soon learns the horse’s issues have more to do with father and son, and Ryan’s anxiety over the fact his father is now dating a woman who is only interested in the sexy Joe Wilde, and not his misfit of a son.
The only problem is Ryan wants Margaret to be his mother, so he takes matters into his own hands setting Margaret in his father’s path, every chance he gets. Even though sparks fly and sizzle between them Joe believes Margaret has despised him all his life, and decides all his  rebellious son needs is a mother. But when Joe proposes marriage to the wrong woman, his son takes off with a backpack and a feisty horse, into the Backcountry.
Except to Joe’s surprise, it’s Margaret who saddles up her horse,  and heads off alone with him in over a hundred of miles of wilderness in a race against time and the elements to find his son. And with his son’s life in jeopardy will that be enough for Joe and Margaret to put aside their differences and realize that the other is, The One?
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The five-mile drive to Joe’s farm down the backcountry gravel road added a few more nicks to the midnight black of her sports car. The entire way, her foot trembled on the gas pedal as she argued with herself to turn around, go home, and lock the door. She swore and told herself to suck it up and get the meeting over with. Don’t agree to anything he asks, she warned herself. She slowed and pressed the brake as she rounded a bend in a cloud of dust, stomping the clutch and throwing the gear into neutral when she saw the house number staked at the side of the tree-lined road. Tiny branches and early spring leaves hid a portion of the rotted sign, which seemed to have been painted in red by a two-year-old. The narrow driveway flanked by heavy brush resembled a mud bog similar to those from monster truck shows. She would need a four by four to get through, but where could she leave her car on this narrow gravel road, and how far up was the house? In this part of the country, people had large spreads and mile-long driveways, houses always hidden way out back. She pressed her head back against the headrest. If she turned around and went home, Joe would just show up again and catch her off guard, and she didn’t want that. No, she needed to get rid of him once and for all, set him straight. She didn’t work with horses. She couldn’t and wouldn’t help him, and she planned to say just that, telling him to leave her the hell alone. Margaret stomped the clutch and backed up, the wheels scraping the gravel. She gave herself a quick pep talk, because she would need to get enough speed to sail through the mud. She was determined not to think of the worst-case scenario: If she took it slow and easy, she’d sink faster than a rock in water and would be spinning her wheels to the end of time. The thought of being stuck anywhere in Joe Wilde’s clutches was enough of an incentive for her to rev the engine a couple of times, her foot hitting the accelerator as if she were at the starting line of the Kootenai County stock-car races, with testosterone pulsing all around her. “Well, here goes,” she muttered. She stomped the clutch, slipped the gear into second, and pressed the gas. The car jolted forward, the wheels grinding into the slick muck. It skidded sideways, and, in a panic, Margaret cranked the wheel hard to the right and slid the other way. The radials spewed clumps of mud onto the windshield. Out of nowhere flashed a metal post, and she screamed, twisting the wheel, giving the car more gas. The car whipped around like a Tilt-A-Whirl, the front dipping down as the back end hit the post with the sound of grinding metal, jolting the car to a standstill. The shoulder strap dug into her shoulder, and Margaret gripped the leather steering wheel, sitting in a daze, her ears still ringing from the sharp sound of bent metal. The engine sputtered before her foot slipped off the clutch, and the car jerked forward and stalled. “Well, that’s just great.” She yanked the handle and pushed open the door before thinking twice about stepping into the mud, which was now level with the floorboards. She crawled over the center console to the passenger side and slid down the window. The metal post was surrounded by the back panel of her car. Thick mud splattered the sides, and more paint had chipped away. She had almost made it another few feet to where the mud ended and the rest of the driveway began. Margaret scooted back in her seat and slammed her door shut. She thought she could make it, so she cranked the engine and shifted into first, but the tires spun. She reversed, and the same thing happened, the wheels spinning her sideways and deeper into the mud. Just the thought of being found here had her jamming the stick shift again into first, then second, giving it plenty of gas. Mud splattered her face and inside the car from the open passenger window, and she stopped again. “No!” she cried, taking in the mud everywhere, over the seat and the places on her white shirt where her brown sweater hung open. “Hey, what the hell are you doing?” a man shouted. Her driver’s door was jerked open, and she glanced over all the mud and up into the questioning blue eyes of Joe Wilde. She didn’t know how she did it, but her foot somehow slipped on the clutch, and the car jerked forward, knocking Joe on the shoulder. All six feet of solid muscle landed on top of her.

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About Lorhainne

2012 was an amazing year in the publishing world for me, and it started with The Forgotten Child, which landed on the Amazon bestseller list for western romance and romance series. 2013 has seen me posted in the top 100 authors on Amazon for romantic suspense, mystery/thrillers, and police procedurals.
Where did it all begin? In 2008, I published my first novel, The Captain’s Lady, a contemporary military romance, through The Wild Rose Press. I’ve since received the rights back from my publisher, and I rewrote the book and republished it with a brand new title, Saved.
I write edgy romantic suspense (Walk the Right Road Series), western romance (Finding Love ~ The Outsider Series), and young adult mystery, and I warn my readers to expect the unexpected. I’m a mother of three children and we live on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. I encourage you to contact me by email; I do answer every email I receive.
Stay tuned. There is more to come from the Walk the Right Road Series and Finding Love ~ The Outsider Series, as well as a brand new western romance series coming later this fall, The One.
And to my readers and all of you who have shared my stories with your family and friends, a big, heartfelt thank-you.
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