The passion that started it all. The love that lasted a lifetime.
The Twelve Horseshoes Ranch is getting ready for a joyous event, the double wedding of sons Tyler and Channing to their beautiful fiancées Michelle and Cassidy. John Jacob and Teri-Lyn are determined to make it an affair to remember.
As the Blakes prepare for the double wedding, John Jacob and Teri-Lyn reminisce about how they fell in love. Turns out it wasn’t always a smooth ride for the handsome, brooding, driven cowboy who was out to right a wrong done to his family. And things were certainly not easy for the beautiful and strong-willed redhead who knew exactly what she wanted out of life, and it certainly wasn’t a man who couldn’t stay put.
As the entire family gathers for activities and fun the week of the wedding, secrets are revealed and past history comes to light. The Blakes have a few things to contend with for the big day, but they do it the only way they know how—as a family.
John Jacob knew the clamor coming from downstairs as he got dressed could only be his wife Teri-Lyn getting ready for the party. She’d been running around like a mad woman since their sons Tyler and Channing announced they were getting married in a double ceremony. It was sure to be a spectacular event on the ranch, family and friends were coming from all over to attend. They were in the final stretch of the planning, and Teri-Lyn wanted everything to be just so for the couples’ perfect day.She’d been a beautiful, fiery ball of energy since the day he met her. Never content to accept help, she’d whip herself into a frenzy trying to do everything on her own. Over the years he’d learned when to let her be, but this wasn’t one of those times. There was a catering staff downstairs, but he’d put money on the fact that she was working harder than they were. Tonight’s party was going to be a casual yet elegant get-together to review the action plan for the next couple of weeks. All of his brood would be in attendance except Seth, Morgan, and their boys. Seth had some professional commitments in Philadelphia he couldn’t get out of, so they would be joining the party via video chat.John Jacob finished buttoning the shirt his wife had laid out for him, slapped on some cologne, and strapped his watch on his wrist. He took a look in the standing oval mirror in their walk-in closet and ran his hand through his hair. Not bad for an old cowboy who was marrying off the last of his sons. Funny, he didn’t feel like a man who had grandkids. He felt just as spry as he did when he was a young man building his empire and raising a family with the woman he adored.He’d always thought it was the state of mind that dictated the concept of a person’s age. Keeping up with very active grandchildren had something to do with it too. Jake, Connor, Colby, Matt, and Jack kept the whole family on their toes. They were full of energy and wonder, just like their fathers were at that age. And of course his wife, Teri-Lyn, made him feel eternally youthful, even when she was complaining that old age was creeping up on her.She’d been crying tears of joy for weeks and tonight would be no exception. Tyler and Channing were the babies, after all.He went over to the dresser where she kept the accessories in search of a handkerchief. She was always storing away mementos, so it was no surprise there were little trinkets scattered about. Each drawer he opened held some remnant of their lives together. He loved that about her. A linen napkin from their first date or a barrette she wore on the day he professed his love to her held as much value as the expensive jewels they kept in the wall safe. But he’d never seen the pink satin pouch that lay in the open drawer before him. He picked it up. It felt heavy and its contents clanged about. He hoped it wasn’t a collection of the boys’ old baby teeth, but he wouldn’t put it past her. His curiosity piqued, he opened it up and poured the contents into his hand.Seashells. He smiled. She loved the beach, so he’d collect seashells for her during his travels when they were courting and would bring them back to her. He carefully put them back and closed the drawer. It was time to go convince his wife that she should leave the details to the preparers and enjoy the evening.When he got downstairs, she was flitting about the room straightening things and sampling the food. John Jacob stopped her in her tracks and planted a smooch on her. “How’s my beautiful wife doing?”“A nervous wreck. The bridal consultant got a flat tire, but she should be here any minute. Try this.” She lifted a fancy-looking deviled egg to his lips.He took a bite. “That’s not bad. You promised me you wouldn’t run yourself ragged.”“Keeping busy is good for me. You know if I slow down I’ll start crying again.”“Woman, we’ve married off three sons. This is nothing new.” John Jacob raised an eyebrow.“This is different. Ty and C.J. are my babies.” She played with a button his shirt.“I know it’s hard, but your babies are grown men who have careers and are getting ready to start their own families. That means more grandkids. I thought you’d be happy about that.” He went for another deviled egg, but this time she swatted his hand away.“That was just a taste test. You can eat when the kids get here.” She rubbed his stomach. “I’m extremely happy. But weddings are a lot more complicated than when we walked down the aisle a hundred years ago.”“Oh, it wasn’t that long ago.” He smiled and caressed her cheek. That old age talk was cropping up again.“It feels like it.” She sighed.“We’re just as young as the day we wed. As a matter of fact, I think we have a little time for me to prove that up in the bedroom.” He trailed kisses down her neck.She giggled. “No canoodling over the food. House rules. And we don’t have time for that.”“The hell we don’t. If we hadn’t made time for it in the past you wouldn’t be marrying off two more sons.”“The kids will be arriving any minute.” She ran her hand through his thick, dark wavy hair. “Thank you for wearing the shirt I picked out for you.”“Looks like something Seth would wear.” He played with the cuffs. It did make him feel glamorous when he put it on. He wondered how his son made it look so easy posing for those magazine covers.“I thought it would be a nice change.”Like his shirt, her blue dress was snazzier than her usual duds. “I like that dress. Give me a twirl.” She giggled and did a half turn. “There’s going to be a photographer here to take pictures.”“I thought there was a photographer at the engagement party?”“Yes. He made us a beautiful album. But I thought it would be nice to get photos here and at some of the activities. We can never have too many family photos.”“You mean more pictures to cry over when you get out the albums every Sunday afternoon?” He smiled. He kidded her about it, but he loved how sentimental she was about the moments they shared as a family.