Finding Rose Rocks

Published: 05/20/2016

ISBN Digital: 9781509207381
ISBN Print: 9781509207374
Page Count: 372
Word Count: 86065
Rating: Sensual

When Jennifer Ellis’s business fails, she decides to leave Oklahoma in a cloud of red dust and return to her San Diego roots. Then Troy Stanhope comes along with a solution to her company’s woes, and she falls for his velvety voice and appealing confidence. As their relationship deepens, she is called to the west coast on a family matter and decides to stay for the summer. She meets a new man and is drawn to his irresistible charm. Her newfound self-awareness mingles with salty ocean breezes and eucalyptus-scented air to place her in his arms. Their liaison is heartfelt but brief, mid-life’s last hurrah. Jennifer realizes her heart is back on the southern prairie, but she may be one adventure too late.


Troy’s house had been built on a rise. From the deck, visitors in cars and trucks were mere puffs of dust as they started up the road. Sounds carried with ease. Vehicles reached the wide arc of the road’s mid-way point with their engines droning like horse flies. As they drew near Jennifer could distinguish the blue of Delia’s sedan and the red truck of Dan the Pool Man. Her heart quickened each time Troy’s brown pickup came into view. The crunch of gravel replaced flying dust when the vehicles pulled into the driveway.

Sometimes Jennifer spotted roadrunners, so similar to their cartoon counterparts. Scissor-tailed flycatchers had a set of long graceful tail feathers. She heard the pleasant coo of wild turkeys, so unlike the raucous honks of geese that flew low toward nearby ponds. Small bats took wing and sliced through the dusk in pursuit of insects before the start of an owl’s deep nighttime hoots. A bobcat’s yellow eyes reflected in Jennifer’s headlights one night as it ran in front of her car. She heard the howl of coyotes and watched one cross a field with a rabbit in its mouth, the likeliest fate of poor Fuego.

The prairie met the edge of the deck with no yard to serve as a buffer. Jennifer liked it that way. On the west side of the house, a thick row of junipers had been planted ages ago as a shelter belt to block strong spring winds and dust that churned up at planting time. Other than a grove of mature oaks off to the east, this side of the property remained the windswept expanse it had always been.

With the aid of a wheelbarrow and thick leather gloves, Jennifer retrieved her gnarled driftwood from its storage place in the barn. She set it on the edge of the wide deck steps. In an instant, the weathered wood ceased to belong to the coast and transformed itself into a sun-bleached piece of the prairie. Her former beach combing expeditions became a search of the fields for interesting rocks to arrange on the steps, just so.

Troy joined her outside one day. He handed her half a geode the size of an abalone shell. “For your collection.”

She cupped it in her hands. “It’s lovely. The color reminds me of a ring I’ve had my eye on in Chester’s shop.”

She tucked the geode in among the other rocks as he watched. Its presence suggested their flinty outsides also beheld these lavender gems. It caught the sun’s rays. Jennifer turned and looked up at Troy. Was that a trick of the light or a spark of love in his eyes?

Copyright © 2017 The Wild Rose Press, Inc.