Lynna Banning

The Hired Man

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      A home for the drifter

      Cordell Winterman is haunted by his mistakes—and the years spent paying for them. Broke and hungry, he takes a job as a hired man on Eleanor Malloy’s farm.

      Eleanor needs help. Desperately. Her kids are running wild and the place is held up by spit and rust. But as Cord helps her set her home to rights, Eleanor realizes she doesn’t just need this enigmatic drifter with hunger in his eyes...she wants him, too!

      “I’m sorry, Cord. Really sorry.”

      “For what?”

      “For everything. I’m sorry about Tom, and for being so weak after the pneumonia, and I’m sorry about your wife. I’m sorry you saw my apple trees in bloom on your way to California. I’m sorry you stopped.”

      He sucked in a breath and held it, eyeing the daisy things he’d laid on the quilt beside her. Then he exhaled in one long, slow stream.

      “Eleanor, I’m sorry about Tom, and about you being sick. But I’m not sorry about your apple trees, and I’m sure as hell not sorry I stopped at your farm.”

       Author Note

      My mother was raised on a ranch in Oregon, and she always spoke fondly of the hired men who came to help out. She remembered them as kindly, usually unmarried men, who moved from ranch to ranch in the summertime. She recalled one hired man in particular, by the name of Frank, who came every summer; he shared his cookies with her after supper and made her corncob dolls to play with.

      The Hired Man

      Lynna Banning

      LYNNA BANNING combines her lifelong love of history and literature in a satisfying career as a writer. Born in Oregon, she graduated from Scripps College and embarked on a career as an editor and technical writer, and later as a high school English teacher. She enjoys hearing from her readers. You may write to her directly at PO Box 324, Felton, CA 95018, USA, email her at or visit Lynna’s website at

      Books by Lynna Banning

      Mills & Boon Historical Romance

      One Starry Christmas

       ‘Hark the Harried Angels’ The Scout High Country Hero Smoke River Bride Templar Knight, Forbidden Bride The Lone Sheriff Wild West Christmas ‘Christmas in Smoke River’ Dreaming of a Western Christmas ‘His Christmas Belle’ Smoke River Family Western Spring Weddings ‘The City Girl and the Rancher’ Printer in Petticoats Her Sheriff Bodyguard Baby on the Oregon Trail The Hired Man

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      For hired men everywhere. And women.



       Back Cover Text


       Author Note

       Title Page

       About the Author


       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

       Chapter Twenty-One

       Chapter Twenty-Two

       Chapter Twenty-Three

       Chapter Twenty-Four

       Chapter Twenty-Five