Penelope Canby is happy with her life. Newly married to the man of her dreams, her world is comfortably predictable. Surrounded by familiar people and places, she can’t imagine living anywhere else—until the day her veterinarian husband decides to pursue his career halfway across the country. Thrust into life in the small town of Rio Milagro, Texas, Penelope risks losing her sense of self as she dutifully supports her husband’s dreams of life in the West. Fireworks loom on the horizon as the town prepares for its annual Fourth of July battle reenactment and barbecue. Disturbed by a local divorcee’s obvious attraction to her husband, Penelope is left to wonder whether Steve is really working late all those nights. Will she lose all she holds dear, or will Rio Milagro—Miracle River—prove to be a real home, a place of healing and new life?
Steve loved to tease her about that first date. He confessed he’d fallen in love with her the moment she’d stumbled in the door, breathless from her run, and trying unsuccessfully to look cool and composed. Within weeks, they’d settled into a comfortable routine. Either he’d make the trip up the interstate to Charlottesville, or she’d drive down to Blacksburg for the weekend.
Dad had sized him up quickly and had, somewhat grudgingly, admitted he approved. “Can’t say I expected you to pick a boy from New Jersey, but I ’spose he’ll keep,” he’d said.
“You didn’t expect me to fall in love with a damn Yankee,” she’d countered, laughing.
“I’m kidding, Dad. We all know damnyankee is one word around here.”
“Well, yes, but if he’s the one…”
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