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Fall River Rancher...Lonely Too Long: Fall River Ranch, #1
Fall River Rancher...Lonely Too Long: Fall River Ranch, #1
Fall River Rancher...Lonely Too Long: Fall River Ranch, #1
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Fall River Rancher...Lonely Too Long: Fall River Ranch, #1

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After Mac lost his wife six years ago, he settled into his ranch and spent his time rescuing and breeding horses. Now, the loneliness was getting to him and he set out to find a good woman.

Annie was nearly perfect for him. She was more independent than he expected, but she was kind and caring. The fact that she was beautiful didn't hurt either. But, there were times when she bordered on being naive.

Mac was determined to keep Annie safe and help her become more responsible. Annie had an equal determination to remain the free spirit she'd become. Can they compromise and get through the conflict? Or, will one of them throw in the proverbial towel?

Come join them on their journey.

Release dateJul 17, 2017
Fall River Rancher...Lonely Too Long: Fall River Ranch, #1
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    Fall River Rancher...Lonely Too Long - Keriann McKenna



    Keriann McKenna



    A Note from the Author


    Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    Chapter Three

    Chapter Four

    Chapter Five

    Chapter Six

    Chapter Seven

    Chapter Eight

    Chapter Nine

    Chapter Ten

    Chapter Eleven

    Chapter Twelve

    Chapter Thirteen

    Chapter Fourteen

    Chapter Fifteen

    Chapter Sixteen

    Chapter Seventeen

    A Glimpse into Fall River Bride - by Keriann McKenna

    More Books by Keriann McKenna

    About the Author


    Fall River Rancher ...Lonely too long

    © 2017 Keriann McKenna and Ashlin Abbey Publishing, LLC.

    Published by Ashlin Abbey Publishing, LLC

    At the request of readers, Fall River Rancher...Lonely Too Long is the sweet version of The Key to Annie’s Heart, published in 2015. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, including electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the authors, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

    This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the authors’ imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

    This book may not be re-sold or shared with other people. If you would like to share this book with others, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or if it was not purchased for your use only, you should return it to the seller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.

    Published: Ashlin Abbey Publishing, LLC June 2017

    eBook Cover Design: Chsircat at https://selfpubbookcovers.com/


    Fall River Rancher...Lonely Too Long is a revision of The Key to Annie’s Heart. It has been revised as many readers asked for a sweet version of the original. So, here it is! There is no spanking, no elements of BSDM, and no graphic sex in this book. The love story and the humor remain. I hope you will enjoy it.

    Please note:

    Mac’s father has a very thick Scottish brogue. If written as he actually spoke, it would be difficult to read. I have taken the liberty of modifying it to simply reflect that his father never uses the word ‘not.’ If he could speak to readers now, he would say I’ll no have you thinkin’ the author has made a typo. His scenes do not take up the majority of the book.


    This was a big mistake! Annie gasped, her mouth falling open as she glanced at the nude photographs in the email she just opened. She slammed her laptop closed so fast the lid smashed her hand on the keys, and the next sound she heard was the email and the photographs rolling out of her wireless printer.

    Oh my God, she said as she jabbed her index finder against the display. Cancel! Cancel! she shouted at the printer that apparently had a mind of its own. As the naked photos floated to the floor, she reconsidered the idea of finding a man. Internet dating might be popular but it didn’t seem to be working for her. Once she calmed down, she deleted the email and blocked the idiot. If she stuck with the idea at all, just maybe she’d insist any interested man correspond with her via her real letters sent to a post office box—no, that wouldn’t work either. Pictures could be mailed almost as easily as they could be sent in an email.

    Shaking her head, she scooped up the printed pages from the floor and tossed them into the fireplace. She struck a match and watched them go up in flames.

    This was all new to Annie Campbell. There were two men she thought might have potential. She’d replied to one but he never responded. She was looking for a gentleman, and in this day and age that might be difficult to find. Annie began to think this dating thing was a total waste of her time.

    After her husband died six years ago, she threw herself into her work, sometimes pushing her tired body into 16 hour days. Annie never thought of herself as a submissive woman but it was easy to submit to a man who made her feel protected and safe. Prior to her husband’s death, he had taken very good care of her and she was comfortable letting him make most of the decisions. Once the chemo was over and his prognosis wasn’t good, their roles reversed. She became the caregiver, the decision maker, and did a damn good job of it.

    Annie grieved her loss deeply, eventually forcing herself to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams. Now, she was ready to move on. She couldn’t picture living alone for the rest of her life and more than anything she wanted to have a child. She didn’t want to give up her independence, but longed to come home to someone. Finding that ‘someone’ was no small task; her partying and bar-hopping days ended long ago. In fact, there was little time for anything except work and sleep. Staying busy didn’t make her less lonely, it just gave her less time to think about it.

    Exhausted, her vacation couldn’t come soon enough. Although it was still a month away, she was counting down the days. Every year Annie looked forward to her two weeks in the sun with absolutely nothing to worry about, no deadlines, and no pressure. At no one’s beck and call, she could wander the beach alone, sip a delicious drink in the tiki hut, and if it got too hot, retreat to the cottage and turn on the fan. She could get a massage every day and be completely pampered. For several years she had that attention and more, but he was gone now…too fast and too soon.

    Annie knew the next month would drag on painfully slow. She was already adding new outfits to her suitcase, and hoped her progress would make the time seem shorter and her getaway quicker. Her passport was in order, and she notified her credit card company of her travel dates.

    An event planner at a five-star hotel, she was accustomed to detail. Her schedule was full and three major events would take up most of her time; two elaborate wedding receptions and one testimonial dinner, after which she would literally race home and crash from sheer exhaustion. When her alarm went off at 5 a.m., she’d take a quick shower, catch a cab to the airport, and escape to her island retreat. She had her getaway planned down to the last minute.

    On Sunday night after a light dinner, she checked her messages on the dating site. Much to her surprise there was a message from the first man she contacted two weeks ago. Fearing another naked psycho, she debated whether or not to open it before she decided to take a chance. Annie was pleasantly surprised.

    He apologized for his delayed response, saying he had been away on business. Courteous and very much interested in talking with her after reading her delightful profile, he commented on how lovely her photos were.

    He went on to say he didn’t know how well suited they were, but he was very hopeful they would share some common interests. He closed, adding he hoped to hear from her soon and signed it C.M. (Strong Wolf.)

    Well, maybe there were a few good men left after all. She noticed the message had been sent earlier in the day, so she didn’t think she would appear too anxious if she answered right away.


    Thank you for your reply. I understand how it is with business trips so no need to apologize. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely, Annabell

    She stared at the screen on her laptop, and taking a deep breath, she hit send.

    Almost immediately a chat screen appeared.

    Annabell, Strong Wolf is interested in chatting with you.

    She didn’t know a chat option existed but she accepted his request.

    Strong Wolf: Hi Annabell, thanks for being such an understanding woman. It’s been a couple of weeks since you contacted me, so I have to ask if you’ve met anyone who has captured your interest or if you’re seeing anyone now.

    After the nude photos, Annie wasn’t pulling any punches.

    Annabell: No to both queries. I’m very new to all of this and to be honest, I was about ready to give up. I had the unpleasant experience of one man sending me his naked photos. Now, I have to ask if you really consider yourself a wolf. If so, I’ll save us both some time…I’m not interested.

    Strong Wolf: Not at all. That’s simply the meaning of my name. I’m glad you didn’t give up and I’m sorry someone was so crude as to send you naked photos. Did you look at them?

    Annie cringed. If she hadn’t looked, how would she have known the guy who sent them was naked?

    Annabell: It was hard not to—they were embedded into the email so I didn’t really have a choice. There they were, plastered all over the page.

    Strong Wolf: Annabell, never give your email to anyone you don’t know. Well, except me, eventually. I’d never do anything like that. I’m looking for a lasting relationship with a devoted woman, someone who will trust me. You seem to have many of the qualities I am looking for.

    Annabell: I didn’t realize I went into that much detail, how can you be sure I have many of the qualities you’re looking for?

    Strong Wolf: I’m very good at reading between the lines. Over the years, I’ve learned to read a person well by listening to what they say or write. I must admit, I have a good feeling about the kind of lady you are.

    Almost feeling a little transparent and wondering what he read between her lines, Annie changed the subject.

    Annabell: I apologize; it’s been a while since I read your profile. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

    Strong Wolf: Absolutely, I’m more than happy to tell you anything you want to know. Let me start by saying I’m a couple of years older than you. I am a widower; my wife died as a result of injuries she sustained in an auto accident. I’ve never looked for another partner until now. In fact, I never thought I would, but for the last year or so I have found myself desiring the company of a lady again. I’ve known something was missing from my life and I’ve finally decided to do something about it.

    Annie could relate as she sensed the honesty and tenderness in his message; it amazed her that his words mirrored exactly how she felt.

    Annabell: I completely understand how you feel. I had a certain magic with my husband and was convinced I’d never find it again. He went through many rounds of chemo and radiation without success. When he died I felt dead inside. Nothing could fill the void he left and if my friends hadn’t hounded me to try again, I never would have joined this dating site. I did it to get them off my back.

    Strong Wolf: Sounds like you can be a people pleaser; a very nice trait. Whatever the reason, I’m glad you did join and that we have finally connected. While away on business I only had limited internet access. When I returned and saw your message, I was afraid someone had won your heart before I had the chance to answer you.

    Annabell: I don’t move that fast. As for pleasing people, that’s what I do. I am an event planner and I will bend over backwards to make people happy – my reputation depends on it.

    Strong Wolf: Sounds like it can be a very stressful job.

    Annabell: You’re right about that. I’ve been waiting all year for my vacation. I’m leaving soon and I’ll be gone for two weeks. I’m afraid we won’t have much time to get to know each other until I return.

    Strong Wolf: Good for you; I’m sure you’ve earned every minute of it. Where are you going, if you don’t mind my asking?

    Annie thought before she answered. It was such a small place and so far away, she didn’t think telling him would be risky.

    Annabell: You probably aren’t familiar with it. I’m going to Pine Cay on the Turks and Caicos Islands. I rent a tiny private home there every year. I can be alone, away from other guests or hop in my golf cart and be at the main resort in a few minutes. In my profession, my life is so filled with people; I love the privacy and seclusion of the little house.

    She was so forthcoming, her honesty and openness drew him in. He’d spoken with other women who talked and revealed nothing about themselves. It’s a small world, he thought, she was going to a resort on Pine Cay. There was only one resort on the island and he owned it. He could easily find out her name, where she lived, and anything else he wanted to know. Although she sounded like a decent woman, he would take precautions to be sure he didn’t have a gold digger on his hands.

    Strong Wolf: That sounds wonderful, very relaxing and peaceful. This is the off season there so I’m sure you will have the privacy you desire. I don’t mean to sound forward or pushy, but I wonder if we might talk on the phone a few times and possibly meet before you leave. I can give you my number and you can block yours when you call. Would you be comfortable with that idea?

    She had to admit he was easy enough to talk to, at least via messages, and she was beginning to feel more at ease.

    Annabell: I think that would be fine. When is the best time to call?

    Strong Wolf: How about now? LOL.

    She laughed, flattered by his enthusiasm, but she wasn’t ready to call a stranger so soon.

    The emails and chats continued for several days, followed by phone conversations once Annie was finally comfortable enough to dial his number. Making the first call wasn’t easy for her; she had butterflies in her tummy, but on the third try she finally managed to punch in all his numbers. The phone rang only once before he answered.

    Hello. His rich, sexy voice was exactly what she hoped he would sound like.

    Hi, this is Annie. She shivered a little, afraid her voice sounded shaky.

    Annie! Hello, I’m so glad you called. I’ve been waiting to hear your voice for what seems like forever.

    I know…me too. I planned to call last night but something came up at work and I got home after nine. I didn’t know how late was too late to call you.

    No time is too late, Annie. Please, call me anytime you want to. He already loved the soft sound of her voice; not at all nasal, it was deeply feminine and a bit raspy.

    My other dilemma was that I wasn’t sure who to ask for. I didn’t know if you would answer the phone and to be honest, I felt a bit uneasy asking to speak with Mr. Strong Wolf. She realized both of them had been careful not to reveal their identities.

    He laughed, I hadn’t thought of that, I’m sorry. Call me Mac.

    Is Mac short for something? She was curious now.

    It is. My last name is MacDermot. I’ve been called Mac nearly all my life, except by my mother, who has always called me Conall.

    Conall, I like that name; it’s unique and somehow it seems to fit you.

    He had to agree and mentioned that it fit his father and his grandfather before him. As both of them became more at ease, he talked about his accomplishments and a bit about his ranch at Fall River.

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