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Eden
Carolyn Davidson

Eden
Carolyn Davidson

Something about the woman hit John Roper hard, right in the gut. She was frightened, her face bruised, yet her inner beauty and bravery were immediately apparent. And there was no way in hell he was leaving her alone to face a roomful of rowdy cowboys and whatever desperate circumstances had brought her there in the first place.But how he got from those first thoughts to making her his wife was something he was still wrestling with the next day…. He knew he'd put his life on the line to protect her. But would a man who knew nothing about being a husband ever be able to give Katie the happy ending she so deserved?

Praise for the novels of

CAROLYN DAVIDSON

“Carolyn Davidson creates such vivid images, you’d think she was using paints instead of words.”

—Bestselling author Pamela Morsi

“Davidson wonderfully captures gentleness in the midst of heart-wrenching challenges.”

—Publishers Weekly on Haven

“Readers are in for a treat.”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews on The Bride

“For romance centering on the joys and sorrows of married life, readers can’t do much better than Davidson…. This is a sweet and sensitive novel that fulfills an evening’s dreams.”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews on Nightsong

“[An] unflinching inquiry into the serious issues of the day.”

—Booklist on Redemption

“Davidson’s touching western romance delivers what readers expect from a writer who strives to understand the deepest feeling and dreams of our hearts.”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews on Haven

Carolyn Davidson

Eden

Dear Reader,

I love to write of days long ago when the world as we know it was a perfect place to live, filled with men and women of good character, children who thrived and flourished within the arms of family and friends, and homes where love and affection was widely disbursed among those who were fortunate enough to live there. Alas, there were also places, perhaps not too far from those happy families, where children were abused and sometimes brutalized, not given the opportunities to thrive as was their right.

Katie was such a child, and her story lived in my mind and heart for months before I sat down to write it. It made me look around me, perhaps seeking out children in my vicinity who face similar problems. For they are out there, and they are victims, as was Katie. My heroine was fortunate to find a man who would understand her and love her enough to face her fears with her. And so I offer you Eden, a place designated for love and happiness, with two lovers who deserve only the best that love can offer.

This story is dedicated to those victims of abuse by an adult in their lives. Such actions still remain as a painful memory in these men and women. Child abuse is not a thing of modern times, but has existed for centuries in our world. Today it is still an issue that must be faced and obliterated. May each of you find joy, as did Katie in my story.

And most of all, this book is dedicated, as is everything I accomplish, to the man in my life, Mr. Ed, who loves me.

Eden

CONTENTS

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

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

EPILOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

Eden, The Dakota Territory

February, 1890

SURELY HER OWN MOTHER had not lived such a life. Through the window of the Dogleg Saloon, Katie watched the women who roamed the smoke-filled area, seeking out men upon which to try their skills. Hair upswept, makeup all too obvious and dresses too gaudy to be believed all added to their allure.
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