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Beverly J Scott

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Books by Beverly J Scott
Jena's Choice
by Beverly J Scott   

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Books by Beverly J Scott - View all
· White Nigger
· Righteous Revenge
· Ruth Fever


Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Bookman Marketing ISBN-10:  1594533318 Type:  Fiction


Copyright:  May 23, 2004

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Jared's murder leaves Jena in charge of her younger brother, Randy, and the family ranch. When Everett Walker, their power hungry neighbor, demands that Jena sell the ranch or marry one of his sons her anger over rides her grief and she commits a rash act that will forever change their lives. Travel back in time to Texas in 1869 and discover the repercussions of "Jena's Choice."

     Early the next morning Jena, Randy, and Luis sat at the kitchen table making a list of needed supplies, sugar, flour, coffee and other necessities. Jena penciled in several more items while she told Randy and Luis about the episode at the corral. Her account was interrupted by the clatter of horses' hooves entering the yard. Randy pulled back the curtain covering the window.

   "It's the Walkers," he snapped and rushed out to the back stoop.

   "What could they want this early in the morning?" Jena muttered. She hurriedly stuffed the list into her skirt pocket before going out to join Randy.

   Luis grabbed her arm and handed her the rifle. "You take. I get shotgun," he said.

   Gripped with tension, Jena stepped out onto the porch. The sunshine highlighted Carl's twisted leer. He tightened the rope that had settled around Randy's shoulders and yanked him off the porch, gleefully dragging him about the yard. Everett, ignoring his son's antics, was intent on counting the horses shifting restlessly in the corral.

   Jena jumped down into the yard, set the rifle's hilt against her shoulder and trained it on Carl. "Let him go!" Her loud, demanding tone attracted Everett's attention.

   He leaned from his horse and snatched the weapon from her hands. "Don't point that gun at Carl. Foolish girl, ya could hurt someone." His eyes blazed with fury, his lips thinned to an angry gash as he glared down at her. "Carl, leave the boy alone." Everett did not once look away to make sure Carl did as he commanded.

   Walker's gray hair was barely visible beneath his huge black hat, the shadow of a beard showed on his weathered cheeks. He held Jena's gaze. His tone rumbled harsh and threatening through the cool early-morning air. "Miss Grant, ya'll cain't run this ranch. You two cain't even take care o' yurself."

   Everett glared down at her, eyed every inch of her body making her feel unclean. Fear rose up in her throat lodging against the breakfast she'd just eaten.

   "I bet ya cain't even make yur next payment." He paused as if waiting for her to admit the truth of his taunt. With the motions of an expert, he opened her rifle removed and pocketed the ammunition snapped the rifle shut and tossed the weapon down at her feet.

   "I'll give ya a fair price." He looked from Jena to Randy then back at Jena. "Y'all can go back east where ya belong." Arrogance dripped from his tone.

   "Go to hell," Randy said, untangling himself from Carl's lariat.

   Jena glared back at the elder Walker. The fear she felt had dissolved leaving a pebble of anger in its wake. The more Everett talked the more her anger grew. "This is our home! This is where our family is buried and this is where we intend to stay," Jena said, putting emphasis on each word.

   "Y'all could git dead," Carl said. He spat on the ground in front of Randy; then, ever so slowly he coiled his rope, a cocksure grin on his face.

   Everett Walker edged his horse closer to Jena, backing her against the porch. He studied her from head to foot until she flushed indignantly.

  "Ya got another choice, girl. One of my boys would marry ya. Ya ain't ugly. Got a good piece of land here to seal the bargain." A smirk contorted Everett's mouth and he looked incredibly pleased with his suggestion.

   "Choose, they is both willing. Y'all can speak the words tomorrow."

   "Never! I...I don't want to marry anyone," Jena said. She slid along the edge of the porch trying to put room between herself and Everett.

   "Hey, pa, maybe she'd rather have you." Case chided in an attempt to diffuse the tension.

   Carl shot his brother a dirty look. "She's mine! You git the preacher. I'll stay here and get better acquainted." His cocky leer froze Jena's backward motion.

   Carl steadied his horse, prepared to dismount. He was already lightheaded with lust.

   His expression jolted Jena back into action and she continued to back along the porch toward the steps. "Never. You can't make me marry anyone."

   "An you could have another dead brother," Carl said, leaning from his horse to catch her attention.

   Color drained from her face. She was terrified of Everett and his sons, and of the power they wielded in the area. No one ever tried to stop the Walkers from doing or taking what they pleased. Her anger exploded from rock to boulder shoving her fear to the back of her mind. She lifted her chin a notch and stared back at Carl and at Everett. I need time to think. Time to figure a way out of this dilemma. I'm lost if I back down.

   The door slammed shut behind her. She turned her head and there stood Luis, a double barrel shotgun pointed straight at Everett Walker's head. Without saying a word, the short wiry cook walked down the steps and moved to Jena's side. Everett's hand snaked toward the gun resting on his hip.

   "I wouldn't," Luis said, not once betraying the tension he felt.

   There was no doubt in Jena's mind that Walker longed to regain control of the situation. Luis's steady aim, his steely gaze, stayed Everett's hand movements.

   "I just buried my brother. None of this is proper," she said, using the only tactic that came to mind. She covered her anger, kept it out of her voice. "Even here in Texas I'm sure proper mourning periods are observed."

   Everett Walker considered her response then grinned, convinced he'd won. "Carl will make ya a good husband. Time he settled down." Everett eased his hand away from his weapon.

   "I ain't waiting. Ta hell with proper," Carl said his tone belligerent.

   "She's right, boy. Give her some time." Everett backed his horse away from Jena, his eyes never leaving her face.

   "October first, young Lady. Forty-five days to get over yur grief and git ready fur a weddin. We'll bring preacher." He patted the gun at his side, an unspoken reminder. "Y'all be a Walker and we'll be a family."





Professional Reviews
Jena's Choice
Jena Grant finds herself in dire circumstances after her brother, Jarred, is murdered by an unknown gunman. Her parents having previously died in a mysterious buggy incident, she and her brother, Randy, are the only two left in their family. Everett Walker is a man of power and intimidation who has been after the Grants' land for years. He and his two sons, Carl and Chase, have embarked on a plan of harassment toward the Grants and have threatened harm to any ranch hand that works for them. In an effort to gain control of the ranch, Everett Walker demands that Jena marry his son, Carl. Fearing the Walkers will force her to marry into their family; she runs an ad in the newspaper for a husband, someone to help run the ranch.

Flint McKay is half-white and half-Apache, a man who is shunned by the local townsfolk and who has grown up with prejudice. Flint was Jared's best friend and has known Jena for years. Concerned for Jena's welfare, he asks her to marry him after he learns of Jena's search for a husband. Unknown to Jena, Flint has begun a horse breeding business and has been steadily building a good reputation. When he learns that Jena does not have enough money to make the mortgage payment, Flint pays off the balance of the ranch, thereby ensuring it will not be lost to the Walkers.

Jena and Flint marry in haste in order to escape Carl Walker's demands on Jena. When Everett and Carl Walker learn that the two are married, they become enraged and vow to seek revenge.

Jena makes it clear to Flint that their marriage is a business arrangement only but Flint has other plans. He is attracted to the independent, fiery Jena and begins a strategy of seduction. The two face numerous challenges by the Walkers while growing more attracted to one another. However, Jena has lost too many people she has loved in the past and is determined she will not love another.

Beverly Scott has written a compelling romance nicely meshed with mystery and adventure. Interwoven throughout are bits of history involving the Apache nation and the government's efforts to force them onto a reservation? The dialogue is fitting of the locale and time frame with characterization masterfully portrayed. The story is filled with intrigue, romance, mystery, and suspense with nonstop action. This is one mesmerizing book that will have readers quickly turning pages, anxious to read what happens next. Ms. Scott's style is unique and refreshing; she is an extremely talented author who belongs on the bestseller list. I highly recommend her.

Christy Tillery French

Reader Reviews for "Jena's Choice"

Reviewed by Beverly Scott
I gave a copy of Jena's Choice in manuscript form to my oldest daughter - one of my readers - She has read all of my novels and she claims that this is historical is her favorite. Lois Barrow, friend from The International Edsel Club, said that Jena's Choice is the best of the three. I hope you will buy a copy and discover if they speak the truth. Beverly J Scott

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