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Golden Valley, Colorado
Ruth Willows is intelligent and beautiful and taking a summer class at the local university, even though she’s only a high school senior. She can’t help it, but she falls head over heels for Ken, a drop-dead gorgeous cowboy, with a killer smile, while riding with the university’s rodeo team. Ruth and Ken share a passion for horses, but they don’t know each other as well as they think they do.Life doesn’t get any easier when Ruth returns to high school. She not only learns secrets about Ken but she also discovers a dead body in the school’s abandoned darkroom. The more she tries to forget about the dead man, the more she becomes entangled in a killing spree.
Classes are the easiest aspect of college life for Ruth Willows. Warding off a stalker and trying to keep it together emotionally while being away from family and friends is a whole other story.
Tension on campus rises as women from the college town are found beaten and raped. Ruth’s encounters Detective Ramos who is in town investigating a cold case she believes is related to the local attacks.
Ruth has to decide which of her new friends are trustworthy and who is not.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Ruth has spent two happy years in the University program she’s always desired. As her final year in undergrad begins, Ruth discovers that higher education is sometimes more about politics than learning. Trying to appease her advisor, she stumbles into a smuggling ring run by one of the university’s most esteemed donors. Ruth strives to find a balance between doing herjob, completing her degree and staying alive.
Ruth, continuing with her masters degree, finds herself doing research in the African Savannah. She’s older, wiser, and thinks she knows how to handle the older, rugged research scientist heading her project.
Once a week, Ruth gets to spend a night in a town (somewhat) close to the research camp. In town there’s running water, flushing toilets, internet service, cafes, and a handsome singer she can’t help but to be drawn too.
Truly on her own for the first time in her life, can Ruth avoid getting caught up in the local politics and possibly ending the research project for everyone?
Post grad, Ruth is back on American soil. She’s working in the education department in a small zoo in NY. Her coworkers are good people, for the most part. But there’s a lot of history between them, and she’s the new kid in town. After the new curator’s engagement party, Ruth finds her boss dead in the piranha tank. Newly promoted Detective Dom Scarpaci lands the case. Ruth finds it’s a nasty web which entangles the zoo, her coworkers, Dom’s family, and his Aunt Lucia’s spiritual guide.
Ruth returns homes to tall Willows Ranch to celebrate Grand-daddy’s 80th birthday. On paper, Ruth has it all, but in her heart she misses her family, the ranch, her horse, and in a way - her old life.
The Scarpaci family has a longer reach than Ruth and Dom Scarpaci, ever realized. Just because Dom lives on the right side of the law, doesn’t mean everyone he’s related to does the same.
Will Ruth’s new life collide with her old life without leaving too many casualties in the wake?
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