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Authors: Dianne Venetta

Tags: #romance, #suspense, #drama, #mystery, #family saga, #series, #tennessee, #ladd springs

Ladd Fortune

BOOK: Ladd Fortune
4.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub









Dianne Venetta













BloominThyme Press



Ladd Fortune

Copyright 2013 by Dianne




License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your
personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away
to other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you
share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it,
or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return
it to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for
respecting the author’s work.











Ladd Springs Series:







Available October 2013




Other novels by Dianne


Romantic Women’s Fiction





Women’s Fiction








Ladd Fortune

Copyright 2013 by Dianne

ISBN: 978-0-9884871-4-7

Publisher: BloominThyme

Editor: Best Foot Forward

Cover Design: Jaxadora



This book is a work of fiction. Any
references to historical events, real people, or real locales are
used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents
are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to
actual events or persons, living or dead, is coincidental. This
ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights
reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved
above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or
introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or
by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or
otherwise) without prior written permission from the copyright








As anyone who’s ever visited Tennessee
can attest, it’s some beautiful countryside. From the hills and
streams to the trails and sky, Ladd Springs represents one of my
favorite summer destinations. But more than a beautiful setting,
Ladd Springs represents family and friends and good


While we can’t choose our family, we
are fortunate for the role they play in our lives. Family sticks to
you, whether you like it or not. They’re made from the same stuff,
see life much the same way...


Family is a part of you like nothing
else in this world. Family is more than blood. Family is love, and
Lacy and Annie are proof-positive that love can conquer








This book is dedicated to the Good

my friends, my family, a bond strong
enough to withstand

the test of trials, tribulations and






Book #2


Lacy Owens has come back to Tennessee
for a return to the fold, only she’s done so on the heels of
Jeremiah Ladd. The prodigal son of Ladd Springs, a mecca of natural
springs, streams and trails in the eastern Tennessee mountains,
he’s determined to reclaim the property as his rightful
inheritance. Lacy cares little about Jeremiah’s plan. She simply
yearns for the comfort of family.


Sister Annie Owens wants nothing to do
with Lacy, but sees opportunity in Jeremiah’s return. With him in
town she can finally prove paternity for her daughter Casey, and
ultimately stake her claim in Ladd Springs. Trouble is, Jeremiah’s
father has already willed the property to his granddaughter,
Felicity Wilkins. She’s away at college, but fighting for her
rights is Malcolm Ward, partner in Harris Hotels, and a man with a
financial stake in Ladd Springs. It’s his job to see the land
remains in Felicity’s possession.


But when Malcolm falls for Lacy without
realizing her hidden agenda, everything he’s worked so hard to
achieve is jeopardized. In these parts, blood runs thicker than
legalities and feuds aside, it’s a hard lesson to learn for a city
boy from California. Love and money are powerful forces but only
one can prevail when it comes to Ladd Springs. Which will it


Meet the cast of characters of Ladd


Ernie Ladd
- Owner of Ladd Springs


Albert Ladd
- Ernie’s brother


Susannah Ladd Wilkins
– Ernie’s sister (deceased)


Jeremiah Ladd
- Ernie’s forsaken son


Loretta Flynn
– Jeremiah’s girlfriend from Atlanta


Annie and Casey Owens
- Jeremiah’s ex-girlfriend and her


Lacy Owens
– Sister to Annie Owens


Malcolm Ward
– Hotel developer and partner to Nick


Delaney Wilkins
- Ernie’s niece, daughter to his deceased sister


Felicity Wilkins
- Delaney’s daughter


Nick Harris
- Hotel developer interested in developing Ladd


Candi Sweeney
- Annie’s best friend


Travis and Troy
- Neighbors and friends of


Fran Jones
- Owner of Fran’s Diner, aunt to Annie and


Ashley and Booker
- Ernie’s sister Susannah’s best
friend & her husband


Clem Sweeney
– Candi’s brother, jailed for kidnapping attempt
on Delaney Wilkins


- Cohort of Clem


Calvin Foster
– Brother to Jack Foster, Delaney’s







Chapter One


Lacy Owens tamped down the flutter of
pulse skirting through her chest. Parked across the street from the
salon, she stared at the day spa, the mirrored glass display window
splashed with fancy lettering. Trendz. Inserted between a sandwich
shop and an insurance office, it was painted glossy black and stood
out like a bald eagle in a blue sky. The hoagie shop to the right
had been there for as long as Lacy could remember, its exterior
faded to drab beige. The insurance agency was new and remarkably
boring, its window marked by white block letters spelling out the
company name and agent. Beyond the building, the green hills of
Tennessee rose into the sky, a batch of patchy white clouds
floating lazily in the distance.

Would Annie be happy to see her? Would
she be angry? Lacy’s breathing grew shallow. The temperature in the
car was rising, heat pressing in on her. Their reunion could go
either way. Knowing Annie, she’d try and toss her baby sister out
on the sidewalk with a kick to the rump—which would hurt, in more
ways than one.

While Annie might throw her
out on sight, Lacy had to try. It was meant to be. She knew it the
minute Jeremiah Ladd walked into the lounge, announcing to his
girlfriend, Loretta Flynn, they were headed for Ladd Springs. Ladd
Springs. Tennessee.

It was her opportunity. The stars were
in alignment. That very day her horoscope said it was time for a
return to the fold. Lacy nibbled at her lip, fiddled with the
steering wheel. Atlanta had never been home. Atlanta had been her

A woman pushed out through the front
door of Trendz, her brown hair straight and shiny in the midday
sun, her clothes fitted and chic. Lacy wondered if the woman had
had her nails done. Was Annie in there? Lacy glanced at the clock
on her dashboard. Three o’clock. She slid her gaze back to the
salon. Annie would have to be, wouldn’t she? She still worked
full-time, didn’t she?

Nerves sputtered and popped. Grabbing a
slim leather purse from the passenger seat, Lacy pushed opened her
car door and headed in. It was now or never. Hopefully, Annie would
understand. Hopefully, she’d forgive her. Hope was all she had. As
Lacy crossed the street, her legs felt boneless, like she’d
dissolve into a mess on the street, this instant. It was a wonder
she could even walk! But walk she would. She’d walk straight into
that salon and face her sister, once and for all. It was time. This
mess between them had gone on too long and it had to

Lacy opened the salon door and was
immediately sucked in by the strong scent of hair products, nail
polish and perfume. Her heart thudded as she scanned the salon’s
interior. A line of mirrored stations manned by a bevy of women
dressed in black created a corridor down the center. Each stood by
their chairs wielding blow dryers, flat irons and scissors over
their clients. From above, drips of blue hung down in the form of
ceramic lighting. Lacy thought the subtle hues very modern, very
sophisticated. Venturing in a few steps, she noticed the nail
station was empty. Her spirits fell. No Annie. She heaved a sigh,
eyeing the receptionist who sat smiling behind her check-in desk.
She was a perky young blonde who didn’t look a day over

May I help you?” the girl

Um...” Lacy hesitated. She
looped short curls of hair behind an ear. Should she ask about
Annie? Should she leave her name, thus warning her sister of her

Absolutely not. A surprise visit was
best, sort of a spontaneous reunion where she could gauge her
sister’s reaction on the spot and respond accordingly. “Well...”
Lacy paused, suddenly second-guessing her entire scheme. “I was
wondering about having my nails done.”

Great! We have a nail tech
who’s the best in the business.”

Lacy didn’t doubt it. When she and
Annie were kids, her older sister forever practiced on her nails,
creating stripes, polka dots—the works. Lacy had always been amazed
by her sister’s uncanny ability to “stay within the lines” as she
painted and wished she could have done as well, but she never
could. Polish forever smudged and dripped. Annie was good with
hair, too. Lacy could apply makeup, but hair and nails were Annie’s
area of expertise. “Hm,” she hedged, “do you happen to know her

The receptionist looked at her

—of course she did! She worked here, didn’t she? Flummoxed,
Lacy clarified, “I mean, I want to make sure it’s the same woman my
friend recommended.”

Annie Owens. Is that who
you were looking for?”

Lacy’s heart raced at the confirmation.
She nodded.

Flipping through pages in her
appointment book, the receptionist said, “She has availability
Friday afternoon, and then next week.” She dragged her pencil
lightly down the page and said, “Tuesday morning and Wednesday
afternoon.” Checking with Lacy, she asked, “Will any of those work
for you?”

But Lacy didn’t answer. In the back of
the salon, Annie had emerged and currently stood immobile in the
center aisle. Dryers whirred, conversation chattered, but Annie
only had eyes for Lacy.

BOOK: Ladd Fortune
4.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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