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The Ranchers' Daughters

465 pages6 hours


"I killed him because the voices told me to. They keep me up most nights and I can’t sleep because of them. There is only one way to make them stop and that is to end his life and mine because the voices tell me he must die." Lucy St. James writes these cryptic words in her suicide letter minutes before killing her son, Tom, and then herself. The murder-suicide of this ranching family shocks everyone except Kevin McAllister, the ranch’s foreman who knows why it happened. Kevin plans to destroy Lucy’s journal, handed down by four generations of women who owned and operated the family ranch. He would be suspected in Tom’s murder if anyone read it—and he has secrets of his own.
Forgiveness has never come easy for Teagan St. James, Tom’s daughter who has been estranged from Tom and Lucy after they once accused her of being an alcoholic. The single mom works as a model but longs to stay at home with daughter Haley. She agrees to a shoot in her hometown and takes Haley with her but gets in a car accident.
Dinah St. James is Teagan’s mother. Divorced from Tom and once an aspiring model herself, she rushes to the hospital where she learns the truth: Teagan was drunk behind the wheel and Haley is being removed from her care. Dinah agrees to take temporary custody—something Teagan will regret later. Teagan learns about the murder-suicide and that she now owns the ranch where she returns while she works to regain custody of Haley. There, she meets Kevin and their friendship develops into something more. Meanwhile, Teagan is alarmed to discover that her mother has ulterior motives regarding Haley. As she struggles with her alcoholism, guilt and ability to regain custody of Haley, she finds the family journal and begins to read it. As she delves deeper into the journal, she realizes her troubles are only beginning when she learns the truth about Kevin, her father's death and the role her grandmother played in it, further testing her sobriety, happiness and ability to forgive.

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