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A Soldier for Keeps

Cover of A Soldier for Keeps

A Soldier for Keeps

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Lexie Evans is not looking for a relationship with Pierce Granger. And that's just fine by the handsome soldier. Neither one has time for romance, but they can both commit to friendship, right? Then, after months as pen pals, Pierce visits Lexie's family ranch in Wyoming. Face-to-face with her friend, Lexie realizes her feelings toward him have changed. She's finally ready for love--but is Pierce ready to be hers for keeps?


Lexie Evans is not looking for a relationship with Pierce Granger. And that's just fine by the handsome soldier. Neither one has time for romance, but they can both commit to friendship, right? Then, after months as pen pals, Pierce visits Lexie's family ranch in Wyoming. Face-to-face with her friend, Lexie realizes her feelings toward him have changed. She's finally ready for love--but is Pierce ready to be hers for keeps?
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    "Make way! Comin' through!" A man's shout rang behind her on the mountainside.

    At the top of the run, Lexie Evans had just enough time to glance over her shoulder. A tall, muscled guy in black launched off the lift, dug in with his poles and flew toward her in a blur.

    "Banzai!" His shout pierced the serene mountain quiet like gunfire. He was little more than a streak of black winging past. She caught the impression of a handsome profile, a shock of dark hair and an athletic physique as he shot down the run.

    A daredevil type. She frowned, adjusting her goggles. She'd seen his kind before, sadly enough, and that made her raw heart ache. Romance had been hard on it. She thought she was over the strong burst of pain from her breakup with Kevin.

    Okay, so she'd thought wrong. She dug in with her poles, ready to tackle the advanced grade run.

    "Banzai!"

    Here comes another one, she thought, looking over her shoulder in time to see a second guy fly by in a blur of red. His cry was the same war note as the first dude's.

    Guys. She frowned. She was seriously done with the lot of them. There had been a time when she hadn't been so completely, one hundred percent distrustful of the gender--almost, but not totally. Until Kevin, that is. Pain filled her, and she did her best to keep it from showing. She'd been thoroughly crushed. Nothing in life could be worth risking that kind of hurt again.

    She pushed off with her poles, bending her knees and leaning forward to make the most of the slope's quick descent. Yep, she was totally done with romance and glad of it, too. Icy wind breezed against her face. She loved the speed and the freedom. Snow spewed from her edges as she worked to keep her skis parallel and together.

    Talk about exhilarating. The sky, woolly with gray-white clouds stretched out overhead. This was so much better than spending the afternoon studying in the library. Knees bent, she absorbed the shock of the groomed run, tucking her poles and preparing for the first curve. The snow was fast!

    Echoing sounds of another round of "banzai" rang through the mountain stillness. They were probably mowing down everyone on the run. Not that she was bitter, but who knew what was going through men's heads? She pulled out from the curve, her view limited by trees on one side and the cut slope of the mountainside on the other. Suddenly a gawky teenaged kid, who must have been taking a break at the side, chose that moment to slide directly into her path.

    "Hey, watch out!" She swished to one side, hoping he would go the other way, but did he? No. He panicked, his skis splayed and he wiped out directly in front of her.

    Impending disaster. She poled hard, twisting toward the tree line. Her tip hit the loose snow. The shock rattled through the ski and up her right leg. She fought to stay up, but her other tip caught, her bindings gave and she tumbled headfirst through the air. One pole went flying as she threw her hands up to break her fall. She hit hard. Icy cold snow slapped her face. Pain exploded up her right leg as she stopped, stomach down in the snow.

    "That hurt." The boy was struggling to get up. "You shouldn't have been going so fast."

    "Too fast?" She thought of the banzai guys. They had been speeding. She had been going at a sensible pace. As she struggled to turn over, sharp pain carved up her calf. She studied the kid covered with chunks of snow. "Are you all right?"

    "I think so. My wrist hurts a little and my face is real cold." He picked himself up, rubbed the ice chunks off his chin and handed her one of her lost poles. "You should be more careful,...

About the Author-
  • Jillian Hart grew up on the original homestead where her family still lives, went to high school where Twin Peaks was filmed, earned an English degree, and has traveled extensively. When Jillian's not writing her stories, she reads, stops for cafe mochas, and hikes with her husband in the pine forests near their home in Washington State.

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    Steeple Hill
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