Sit Down Saturday with Leigh Riker

I can’t believe summer’s already half gone, but July brings us four more Heartwarming titles to enjoy while we settle on the front porch with an ice-cold glass of lemonade. In my own latest Kansas Cowboys release (#7 in the series), my hero and heroine struggle against all obstacles (of course) to reach their happy ending. And boy, do we need those right now!

He’s a temporary neighbor…But will her surprise make him stay?

Single mom of three Elizabeth Barnes has reason to avoid her rodeo star neighbor. She needs to protect her family after her ex’s public scandal, and charismatic Dallas Maguire is only passing through. Turning to him for comfort was a onetime lapse—with unexpected consequences! Though Elizabeth can’t keep hiding the truth—or her feelings—can a bachelor cowboy transform into a family man?

In this (heavily edited for space) scene of his, they’re supposed to be talking about the local rodeo he plans to put on with Elizabeth's help. But instead, she has just told him about a worrisome phone call with her three kids who are away for the summer with their dad.

She rubbed the frown line between her brows. “Why am I telling you my troubles? I could have handled the call better, but I don’t feel that well today, which put me off my game and—” She inhaled sharply. “Dallas, there’s, um, something I do need to tell you.”

His gut churned. “I can guess you’re about to say you can’t help with my rodeo after all. Don’t. We still need to designate a charity,” he rushed on so she wouldn’t get the chance to pull out, “and everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Her shoulders slumped. “Do you ever get discouraged? You must be the sunniest person I’ve ever known.” She gazed at him for a long moment. “Why aren’t you married? You’d make someone the best husband. And a good father—”

“Husband? Father? Me? I’m not married because I had a lousy set of parents before I went to live with the Maguires.” He couldn’t seem to help the flat tone of his voice. “I’m fine the way I am. Single. No dependents.”

Lizzie only stared at him until he had to blink. “I understand about your birth family—but don’t you want a good relationship? For yourself? With or without children?”

He wondered where this was going. He’d never been serious about a woman, even if the one sitting across from him appealed to him. More than she should. “I thought we were talking about this rodeo. You in or out, Lizzie?”

“In,” she said, and his bones turned to water. “You need me more than I imagined.”

I had such fun writing about Dallas and Lizzie. I hope you like them too—along with the other three Heartwarming titles this month—while reading on your porch or patio until the sun goes down. That's what I'm going to do!

In November, look for the next book in this series, MISTLETOE COWBOY.

As always, Happy Reading!


  1. I love this scene Leigh, with their two very different conversations happening simultaneously! And what a got me at the cover alone! :)

    1. Thank you, Janice! I'm glad you liked the scene--and the cover.

  2. You're right. We need happy endings, beginnings and middles right now! Looks like a terrific read.

    1. Isn't that so true! I always love a happy ending but even more so during this pandemic. I hope you enjoy the new book.

  3. Can't wait! And I love the cover. I've always been a sucker for windmills.

    1. I'm not sure why the windmill ended up on this cover, but I like it too. And thanks again, Beth, for your retweet of Darlene's post about this series. She is a great supporter of Heartwarming, isn't she?

  4. Love the scene! And yes, how is summer half way over? Substitute a ginger ale for that lemonade on the porch and I'm right there with you!


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