Authors: Kathy Carmichael
The Texas Two-Step Series
Bestselling Author of Hot Flash
Previously Titled: Kissing Kelli
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Copyright © 2011, 2013 by Kathy Lynch Carmichael. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
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To my soul-friend, Vicki Hinze, with much love and admiration. The writer's voyage is filled with storms, but thanks to you I'm better able to weather them.
To Alison Cunliffe, who made the revision process so much fun.
To Joe Konrath. When he speaks, authors everywhere listen. Please know I paid attention and value your good sense and advice.
To my son Ian, who is poised to embark on the same journey. May it be a peaceful and successful one.
It's impossible to dedicate this book to just a few people, when so many have been there with me all the way. I value your friendship.
Great books are an invaluable resource. The information I gleaned from
The Veterinary Guide to Horse Breeding
by James M. Giffin, M.D. and Kjersten Darling, D.V.M. helped make this a better story.
My sister, Terri West, helped with some of the technical horsey details and I appreciate her expertise greatly.
Any mistakes are all my own.
Even barn cats deserve love—and medical care. Veterinarian Kelli Palmer entered the barn at her family's home with her medical bag in one hand and a large can of tuna in the other.
The stable manager, Fred, greeted her. He was nearing seventy, but no one would have suspected it by the way he moved. He was more physically fit than most men half his age. "Want me to saddle up Bronc for you? Lori is out on Felix right now."
"No, thanks." Kelli hadn't seen her sister Lori in a couple of weeks and hoped they'd meet up before she left. Maybe they could even do lunch. "I'm not here to ride today, Fred."
He looked at the bag in her hand. "None of the horses are sick."
"It's not that. The mama cat kitten's are now old enough for their vaccines."
His brow shot up, but he didn't say a word.
He didn't have to. She'd heard it all before. But she was a veterinarian for a reason. She loved animals. All animals. Even barn cats. "I know what you're thinking, but they deserve to be looked after. They look after us and the horses by making sure we don't have any rodents."
He smiled. "The fact you care is one of the things we all love about you, Kelli. I'll leave you to it."