For her twenty-fifth birthday, Nikki Wallace’s big brother Nick gets her a Mississippi River cruise on a paddle boat heading to New Orleans. When their parents died within three months of each other ten years ago, Nick was saddled with a fifteen-year-old teenager. Now, Nikki is a published author who is most content sitting at home writing, cooking for her big brother, and taking long trips into the mountains on the Wind River Reservation with Nick. She decides she will enjoy this cruise and maybe get some character ideas for her next novel.
Nikki makes the acquaintance of a tall Native American man named Chaz. They discover they both enjoy long walks around the decks after everyone else has retired to their beds. Chaz shares her love of the silence. She’s a bit suspicious when Nick gets her an Alaskan cruise, and she discovers Chaz on this cruise also. Chaz’s father has a heart attack, and Chaz abruptly leaves the cruise. Nikki gives her cell number to Chaz but doesn’t expect a call.
She returns home to discover no one at the airport to pick her up and that a woman has been living in her parents’ home. She realizes Nick gave up ten years of his own life to raise her, and she needs a place of her own. She gets a paper and finds an elderly couple who have a nice one-bedroom apartment over their two-car garage. Nick is a little upset to discover she has moved out but agrees with her reasoning and admits he’s serious with his lady friend.
Nikki contacts her editor, Tony, to schedule book signings for her newest novel. At her signing in Houston, Texas, one of the book purchasers is Chaz. She signs his copy and invites him to dinner. He takes her out to dinner and back to his hotel (which is also her hotel). He purchases a swimsuit that barely covers her. He pledges his love and makes love to her.
Back home from the tour, no calls from Chaz. She’s home for three weeks and not feeling well. A doctor visit reveals she’s pregnant. Chaz finally calls and comes for dinner. She tells him about the child, and he wants to marry her. She meets his parents and they plan a Christmas Day wedding.
She has on her wedding dress. The caterers have set up, and the guests have all arrived. The father of the groom goes down to get the groom and brings up a note. Chaz has changed his mind and fled. She leaves with her editor, Tony, who gets her an apartment in a nice woman’s rental home in Oklahoma. Tony schedules book signings up through the four weeks in April since she is due in May.
After the last signing, not wanting to face hours on a bus, she takes the rental car and ends up lost in New Mexico. She’s trying to get out her map and weaving all over the road as her water breaks. Lights and sirens behind her, she pulls over. She powers down the window, and Tribal Police Detective Nate Whitethorn spots her problem immediately. He transfers her to his vehicle to take her to the nearest birth clinic. Unfortunately, a lot of them have closed because it’s after six p.m. He ends up taking her to his home and delivering her son. A widower, he volunteers to be her son’s father. They are wed the following Saturday after Tony brings her belongings to Nate Whitethorn’s home.
Nick’s wedding is planned for the third Saturday in May. Nate purchases a newer vehicle for their 900-plus mile drive north to the wedding. Nikki lets Nick know that she is coming up for his wedding with her new husband and son. By the time they get there, the wedding is off. Nick is surprised that Nate is 44 years old, but they quickly become friends. Nick decides to head to New Mexico to visit with all the family he has left. There, Nick meets Wendy in the Walmart when she helps him purchase the correct baby items for his new nephew.
Nick marries Wendy in October and his old boss, Frank Dailey, comes to the wedding and catches the garter and the lady who caught the bouquet. Frank retires, sells his home in Wyoming and starts a life with his new wife, Bonnie Bluerock. Wendy wants a dozen children, and Nick wants Wendy happy. Chaz decides to kidnap his “son” Ryan from Nate’s home in New Mexico.
Nate gets his old Marine buddies together, and they all head to Wyoming to rescue his “son” Ryan. Ryan is safely returned to Nikki, who is now carrying Nate’s son. In April, Nikki and Nate welcome his blood son into his arms, Joseph Nathanial Whitethorn.
Nate goes undercover to catch grave robbers on the Reservation. A mole in their Police Department costs Nate his life on the very night his twin sons come into the world. Nate’s brother Ray steps up and marries Nikki because he is already in love with her and that is their tribal way. Two years later, Nikki gives Ray twin daughters, and they work to build a life together with the six Whitethorn children.
Meet the Characters ~
Nikki Wallace ~ At 25, she’s a published author and taking her first cruise, thanks to her brother’s generous birthday gift. She falls in love, gets pregnant and left at the altar. Getting lost in New Mexico and then going into labor brings a mature love into her life as well as a new baby son.
Nick Wallace ~ At 29, he’s a Game Warden on the Wind River Reservation who’s ready to get married and start a family of his own. Now his baby sister needs to find a life of her own. When Nikki’s life is now in New Mexico, and his own life here in Wyoming is falling to pieces, he heads south to be with his family. What he finds in a local Walmart is the chance for a family life of his own.
Chaz Washakie ~ At 31, he’s found a young woman he enjoys spending time with. He’s used to taking what he wants when he wants, and she isn’t going to be much different or is she? By the time he’s figured out what he’s missing, she’s in the arms of another man. So he’ll just take his son and raise him. Easier said than done . . .
Tony Alden ~ At 49, he’s Nikki’s editor and a recent widower. He’ll gladly rescue Nikki and even marry her, but that’s not what she wants. So he’ll find her a place to raise her son and find himself in love with an older more mature woman.
Nathaniel Ryan Whitethorn ~ At 44, he’s already lost his first wife to cancer. He decides to make one more sweep up a rarely-traveled road before heading to his empty home for the evening. This decision will change his life forever. There’s a rental car weaving all over the road. Inside is the surprise of his life, a beautiful woman about to give birth before he can get her to a hospital. Taking her home and birthing her child is the best decision he’s ever made. He gets everything he ever wished and dreamed for . . . until he makes that bad decision, that is.
Frank Dailey ~ At 50, he’ll attend Nick Wallace’s wedding in New Mexico. He’s always liked Nick. He’s a widower with two grown children and not looking for love at a wedding. He gets his hands on the garter off that pretty Wendy’s leg and ends up with his hands on a very pretty young Navajo maiden. Okay, so New Mexico has something to offer him in retirement – a new wife, more children, and plenty of happiness.
Joe Whitethorn ~ At 37, he’s younger than Nate but always happy to team up with big brother whenever he’s needed . . . like to rescue his nephew . . . or protect Nate.
Ray Whitethorn ~ At 32, another of Nate’s brothers, he’s part of the team that rescues Ryan for Nate, but he falls in love with Nikki before Nate’s demise . . . oh, boy.
Wendy Ouray Wallace ~ At 27, she doesn’t know what possesses her to approach the confused black-haired man in Walmart. But for the rest of her life, she’ll be happy she did.
Capt. Clint Brock and Cathy ~ He’s Nate’s boss and close friend. He’ll stand with Nate at his wedding and do what he can to support Nate with his new wife and son. However, he’s waiting on grandchildren and not planning on having any babies no matter how cute Nate’s son Ryan is.
Book Details ~
Format ~ Paperback, 217 pages
Publication Date ~ June 2019
ISBN-10 ~ 1099516838
ISBN-13 ~ 978-1099516832
Where to Purchase ~
Cruising to a True Love, by Marcia Oster, may be purchased online through these merchants. Click on any of these links to find out more.
You may also purchase a signed copy directly from the author.