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Courtney Rice Gager: Tess in Boots

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About Tess in Boots

Tess Dougherty plans every aspect of her life right down to the last detail. But she doesn’t plan on running her boyfriend off by bringing up the topic of marriage before he’s ready. And she doesn’t plan to lose her job on the day she’s set to receive a huge promotion. So when her perfect world unravels, Tess makes a new plan: disappear.

Tess packs her bags and leaves her city apartment for a remote vineyard in North Carolina. At first, she’s put off by the slow pace of small-town life in the South. She’s especially irritated by Thatcher, the vineyard’s smart-mouth, dimple-faced farmhand. But she soon begins to appreciate the area’s charm, and Thatcher’s charm, too. She even swaps her trademark heels for a pair of cowboy boots. As Tess spends more time getting to know Thatcher, she finds herself loosening her grip on her old life little by little. Unfortunately, things on the vineyard aren’t as simple as they seem. There’s a secret here, and when the truth comes to light, Tess is forced to reconsider every plan she’s ever made.

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Excerpt

I heard the sound of tires on the wet road, and looked up in time to see another truck slowing down to avoid crashing into the cow. The truck pulled around the cow and stopped alongside where I stood on the side of the road. The driver rolled the window down, and when I saw his face, I wanted to cry.

Tess in Boots Cover copyThatcher.

It was not my day.

“You all right?”

I crossed my arms. “I’m fine!”

“Guess your GPS didn’t tell you to go around the cow, did it, Heels?”

I turned away from him and pulled my phone out of my pocket.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m calling for roadside assistance.”

“Good luck. Cell phones don’t work on this stretch of road.”

I turned around and glared at him. “What?”

“I said cell phones don’t work on this stretch of road.”

“I heard you. That’s insane.”

“Go ahead and try. Maybe you have some fancy magical cell phone.”

I rolled my eyes and turned away again, attempting to place a call. He was right. Nothing.

“Get in the truck, Heels.”

I didn’t budge.

“Come on, now. Get in.”

I turned around to see him hop out of the truck, walk around to the passenger side, and open the door.

There was no way I was getting in his truck.

“You gonna make me stay out in the rain all night?” he asked.

I put my hands on my hips.

“You know,” he said, “it ain’t right for a cow to stand in the road like that. You ever heard of Mad Cow Disease?”

I looked at the cow, then back at Thatcher, then back at the cow.

Was he kidding? I couldn’t tell. What choice did I have anyway? I was soaking wet, freezing, and miles from the vineyard.

I balled my hands into fists and took several strides toward the truck. “Fine. But I’m only coming with you because you look like an idiot standing out here in the pouring rain.” I got in the truck, and he shut the door behind me.

“Well, so do you, Heels.”

About the Author

Courtney Rice Gager copyCourtney Rice Gager graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in creative writing. Courtney is also the author of The Buggy List. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

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