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Hiding Miss Peaches

By: Joannie Kay
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: ©2018 by Blushing Books® and Joannie Kay
21 chapters / 105,000 words
Heat Level:
4.7 Out Of 5 (4.7 on 17)   |  Write a review
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Judge Wilson Dunn has an extremely bad heart, and the people who know the Dunns claim that its Keely who has kept him alive this long. Keely loves her father, and she isnt about to tell him that their cattle are being systematically rustled; their hired hands murdered. On top of that, someone is blackmailing her  threatening to tell her father that she is the notorious Miss Peaches.  

Lucas Mackenzies granddad, Bulldog, recently passed away, and Lucas is making a trip to see Wilson Dunn to tell him in person. He has questions he wants to ask of the man, in order to learn of Bulldogs past. Lucas knows something caused his gramps great pain, but he has no clue what, and he hopes Wilson can tell him.  

While hes talking to the judges neighbor, shots are fired, and the stage coach driver stops the horses. Lucas wants to fight. Elderly Mrs. Murphy advises against it, stating it must be Miss Peaches, and they wont be harmed if they dont resist.  

Keely nearly passes out when she set eyes on Lucas. Shes positive hell recognize her from the robbery  and when he doesnt, she warns herself not to fall in love with the handsome man. If he does learn she is Miss Peaches, he might tell her father. The shock of that would kill her completely honest papa, who served on the bench for many years, sending many people like her to prison! 

Lucas isnt about to let Mr. and Mrs. Murphy do their best at matchmaking, even though Keely is beautiful. She has a sharp tongue and a quick temper. Besides, he needs to find that hellion, Miss Peaches. He owes that female a hiding shell never forget for taking her whip to him during the robbery. He intends to enjoy every second of his retaliation 

Publishers Note: This historical romance contains elements of power exchange and domestic discipline. 

 

Prologue 

 

Keep your mouth shut and dont turn around! the menacing, muffled voice ordered harshly. 

Keely felt the cold steel of the gun barrel pressed against her temple and realized it would be foolish to try anything while her assailant had the advantage.  

Youre going to do a little job for me, Keely, the voice declared. In two weeks time you and your father will be entertaining a houseguest. He has something I want. You are going to search his rooms and find it for me. 

Keely knew the man referred to Lucas Bulldog Mackenzie, an old friend of her father. She tried to turn to face the man, but he quickly moved to the side. Dont look at me unless you want to die, Keely. This isnt a game. 

I dont care who you are, she rashly declared, her ever-present quick temper showing itself. I am not about to help you steal from old Mr. Mackenzie. 

You will do exactly as I say, Keely, the voice said with absolute certainty, or your father will learn the truth about his precious daughter. 

Keely breathed in sharply, and then exhaled slowly. There was no way this stranger could know. Could he? 

Youll do exactly as I say, Keely, he repeated in his ominous voice. Do you understand? 

I dont take orders from the likes of you, she retorted. 

No, not usually. He surprised her by agreeing. But this time, Miss Peaches, you will. 

My God, he did know! Keely reeled with the revelation, and if he told her father, the shock would kill him. She swallowed hard, and then asked in a small voice, What is it you want me to find? 

 

 

Chapter One 

 

Lucas Mackenzie shifted around on the uncomfortable seat, wishing he dared to stretch his long legs out in front of him. But that would be impossible, given the cramped conditions inside the small coach filled to overflowing with people. 

I am sure you must be very uncomfortable, young man, the elderly woman sitting directly across from him remarked in sympathy. Mrs. Murphy was at least seventy-five, and dressed entirely in black, despite the heat. 

We are all uncomfortable, Mrs. Murphy, the portly gentleman sitting next to her commented as he wiped his damp face with his kerchief. I wish Id remained another day or two in Cedar Falls, at least until this warm spell passes.  

Some of us dont have that option, Mr. Clayton, Mrs. Murphy said tartly. You know very well I need to get home to my Edward. 

Yes, maam, of course, Seymour Clayton had the grace to acknowledge, unwilling to put up with a lashing from her razor-sharp tongue. 

How much further is it? the young boy traveling with his mother asked petulantly. 

Not much further, William, now hush up, his mother scolded, embarrassed. 

Is this your first trip on a stage, William? Mrs. Murphy smiled at the youngster. 

No, maam, he dutifully replied. 

I will just bet your pa will be happy to see you and your ma home safe, Mrs. Murphy predicted. 

We will certainly be glad to be home too, maam, Cynthia Fredericks spoke shyly to the other woman. 

What about you, young man? What brings you to Silver Flats? Mrs. Murphy questioned Lucas. 

Im visiting an old friend of my grandfather. Lucas smiled, willing to divulge the harmless information. Talking seemed to help pass the time. Perhaps you know him? Judge Wilson Dunn? 

Why, yes. The judge and I are old, dear friends, she said with a smile. Oh, dear. You do know he isnt well, dont you? Why, Doc says its a miracle he has lived this long, and we all know if it werent for that sweet little Keely, the judge would have given up long ago. But she just fusses over her papa and cares for him like the angel she is, with not a thought to her own happiness or future. Why, the child must be going on twenty-two years of age, and not keeping steady company with anyone. With those final words, Mrs. Murphy flashed the tall man a speculative look. 

Lucas was hard pressed not to laugh when he realized that the elderly woman was sizing him up as prospective husband material. The last thing he needed or wanted was a wife. He didnt trust women and he never would. There was no way in this lifetime he would ever let himself be roped into marriage with one of the selfish creatures. 

Are you a businessman, Mr. Mackenzie? Mrs. Murphy asked curiously, taking her role as matchmaker quite seriously. 

I am a lawyer, Mrs. Murphy, Lucas replied politely. 

I see, and a good friend of the judge, no doubt? She nodded, pleased by the information. 

Actually, I have never met the judge, even though Gramps talked about him all the time, Lucas replied with a smile. I have heard so many stories, I feel as though I know the man. 

Well, I certainly dont want to disappoint you, Mr. Mackenzie, but dear Wilson barely resembles the man your grandfather knew years ago. He has such a bad heart. She clicked her tongue sympathetically. Perhaps your grandfather should be told so he could visit? she suggested. 

Gramps passed away a few weeks ago, maam, Lucas revealed, feeling the tightness in his chest that simply refused to go away every time he thought of the irascible old man he had loved with all his heart. Gramps had raised him after his parents died in a flash flood. 

Oh my, I am so sorry, young man. Please accept my condolences. 

Thank you, Mrs. Murphy. 

Was he ill? she asked kindly, sensing Lucass need to talk. 

No, maam. He was splitting wood, and his heart gave out. Gramps didnt believe in asking the hired hands to do anything he wasnt willing or able to do himself. He smiled at the memory of his grandfather insisting just that. He died with his boots on, and thats all any man can ask, he added, recalling another of his grandfathers favorite sayings. 

And youre coming to tell Wilson in person? Thats very commendable, Mr. Mackenzie. Mrs. Murphy nodded her approval. Your grandfather would be proud of you. She looked out the window when the coach started slowing down and finally stopped. Oh my goodness. What is going on? 

Its a robbery! ten-year-old William declared in excitement mingled with a touch of fear. 

Get away from that window, William. Cynthia Fredericks practically threw the boy on the floor of the coach. 

I am carrying over three thousand dollars, Seymour Clayton complained. Where can I hide it? 

Money isnt worth getting killed over. Edna Murphy straightened her back, then thrust her chin up and out. Cynthia, dear, please calm yourself. We will give them what they ask for, and no heroics, gentlemen, she ordered sternly, her brown eyes settling on Lucas. Kindly remember that there are ladies and a child present. 

Step out of the coach, a deep voice boomed from outside. 

Were coming, Edna called out in a suspiciously frail voice, and then she whispered, I will go first. They wont shoot an old lady. 

Mrs. Murphy, I will go first. Lucas gently reseated her, then opened the door to the coach and stepped out into the bright sunlight, his alert eyes taking in the scene at once. There were three of them, two fully grown men and a youth, all of them pointing guns. Their faces were covered, and all he could see were eyes, eyes that were watching him warily. 

Dont try anything youll regret, the youth warned in a low, husky growl, and Lucas nodded in tight-lipped disapproval. He wasnt a man to do nothing, but he couldnt very well risk putting the others in danger simply because he was disgruntled and wanted to punch someone. 

Ill help the others outside, he said with forced calm, then turned to find Mrs. Murphy framed in the doorway. He could have sworn later that he heard one of the robbers gasp, but when he turned to look at them, they were all watching him, and the driver, who sat with his arms up in the air, afraid to move for fear of losing his life. 

One by one the passengers dismounted. Theres no one else? the youth questioned sharply. 

No, there isnt. Were you expecting someone? Mrs. Murphy asked tartly. 

Keep your mouth shut, Grandma, one of the men growled a warning, only to be silenced by something the youth said in rebuke. Aw, Peaches.  

You are Miss Peaches? Edna Murphy gasped in shocked surprise. Why, I thought you were just a bunch of lies. 

Miss Peaches is for real, lady, the other man chuckled. Who is it, Peaches?  

Him. Miss Peaches pointed toward Seymour Clayton. 

You heard Miss Peaches, fat boy. Hand over your money. 

No. You cant be serious? This is— All right. All right! Here, take my wallet, he capitulated when Edna smacked him sharply with her parasol. 

Foolish man, she muttered. 

Thats right, Grandma. Now give me your rings. 

No, Miss Peaches declared. Leave her alone. Get the other gentlemans wallet and well be on our way. 

Lucas handed over his wallet, and then saw the man approach Cynthia. What about you, honey? What’ve you got under that dress worth— He never finished the sentence because Peaches struck out with her long, coiled whip, catching him across his backside. Ow. What did you do that for, Peaches? he wailed in genuine distress. 

Apologize to the lady, Peaches ordered sharply, and when he didnt immediately comply, she let loose with the whip once more. 

Damn it, Peaches. Im going to— Ouch! Stop it, will you?  

She whipped him again, causing him to drop his gun. 

Lucas didnt give it conscious thought. While the blubbering robber was apologizing to Cynthia, Lucas dove for the gun. He nearly had it in his grasp when the whip caught the gun and threw it into the air, out of his reach. That was stupid, mister. Peaches sailed the whip again and caught Lucas across the back of his thighs. Help the others into the coach. 

You do as she says, young man. Edna Murphy reached down to pull him to his feet. I mean it now. I wont have you getting yourself killed. 

Lucas could swear he saw a smirk in the green eyes watching him with pure amusement. He vowed he was going to find out Miss Peaches identity, and then they would see who laughed at whom. He wasnt Bulldog Mackenzies grandson for nothing. 

Lucas reined in his temper to help Cynthia and Mrs. Murphy into the coach. Once William and Seymour were seated, he climbed inside and shut the door, unable to resist glaring at the woman who still had her gun trained on him through the window. Once the driver was reseated, Peaches nodded, and the man wasted no time in getting them out of there. 

Dont cry, Ma. You aint hurt none, ten-year-old William looked at his mother in helpless distress when she burst into tears and hugged him tightly. 

Its all right, William. Your ma was frightened. Seymour tried to comfort the child while gallantly offering Cynthia a clean handkerchief, which he produced from another pocket of his coat. 

Are you in much pain, young man? Edna Murphy asked Lucas. 

Im fine, he answered shortly, the sting to his pride much worse than the one to his legs. 

I wish I would have had the time to tell you that we werent in any real danger from Miss Peaches, Edna said contritely, having raised six sons and understanding how fragile male egos are. Peaches isnt a killer. 

Just a thief, he said darkly. 

Yes, but, she is a thief with a heart, Edna said. She never robs women or children, and she never allows anyone to be harmed in any way. Truth to tell, I think shes playing a very dangerous game. 

I cant believe you are defending her, Mrs. Murphy, Cynthia said softly, wiping her reddened eyes. 

I am not defending her, dear. In fact, I dont condone her actions at all. But, I dont actually consider her a dangerous criminal either. I think shes simply a misguided young girl who doesnt have anything better to occupy her time. Someone needs to find out who she is, paddle the daylights out of her, then give her some decent, honest work to keep her busy and out of mischief. I cannot fathom anyone permitting a female to wear pants, a gun, and that whip! Why, who would teach a girl to do something so… manly? I certainly wouldnt permit any daughter of mine, if I had one, to act the way Peaches does, and neither would my Edward. He would cut a switch. And, as for those friends of hers, give them to me for a week or two; I would soon teach them a thing or two, she promised. 

Lucas resisted the urge to smile, asking instead, Do you have any idea at all who she is, Mrs. Murphy? 

Why, no. Of course not, the elderly woman quickly denied. If I did, I would certainly do something about it, I assure you. 

Yes, maam. Lucas did smile this time. 

* * * 

Did I hear Charles voice, daughter? Judge Wilson Dunn asked weakly from his bed. 

Yes, you did, Papa. He dropped by to inquire about you. 

Thats nice of him, daughter. Did you invite him to supper?  

No. Papa, its only three oclock. 

You shouldnt be so mean to Charles, daughter. He cares for you, and when Im gone… 

I dont want to hear that, Papa, Keely said firmly, leaning over to kiss the judges cheek. Would you like for me to open the drapes and let in some light, or do you want to sleep some more? 

I think some fresh air sounds good. He smiled. He waited until Keely was in front of the window to say gently, Keely, honey, I cant help but worry about you. This isnt the type of place where a woman can get by all alone, especially on a ranch the size of this one. It takes a man to run a spread this large. I really wish you would pay some attention to Charles. With just a smile or two from you, he— 

Papa, I have turned Charles down twelve times now. I am not going to change my mind. I dont love him and I never will. She smiled to lessen the sting of her words, and then fluffed the pillows behind her father. 

You are only saying that because of me, he told her with a frown. 

Papa, please dont worry about me. We have been through this before. I dont plan to marry anyone, but never, ever, will I marry Charles. I consider him a friend, thats all. 

Keely— The judge was prevented from saying what hed planned to say by a fit of coughing that lasted several minutes, leaving him too weak and too tired to speak. 

You just rest now, Papa. Keely kissed him when he quieted, then waited until he was sleeping before she slipped from the room. 

Is he asleep? Mary Larson whispered as she dusted a table in the hallway outside the judges bedroom. 

Yes, Keely answered in a soft voice. Oh Mary. She shook her head as the silent tears streamed down her cheeks. I just wish there was something I could do to make him well. 

Child, youve kept that man going for years now. Mary put down the rag to hug the girl shed helped raise after her mama was thrown from a horse and killed. 

Miss Keely, Im sorry to bust in on you, but… well, some of the hands are waitin for their pay, the foreman, Zeke Winters, said self-consciously. 

I have it downstairs in the study, Zeke. Come with me, Keely said quietly, leading the way down the carpeted hallway and winding staircase to the foyer below. Come in. She pushed open the heavy door to her fathers office and went over to his desk. She unlocked the top right drawer with the key from her pocket, and then produced the payroll. Here you go. 

I sure dont know how youre managing to hang on, Miss Keely, with things going so bad, and all, Zeke said, scratching his head. 

How soon do you think well have those horses ready to sell? Keely questioned, all business. 

In about six more weeks, if were lucky and no one else gets busted up. Curly aint going to be able to help none. 

You tell him not to worry about it, Zeke. He was injured on the job, and well see him through this, she said firmly. 

I still think we need to try and catch them rustlers ourselves, Miss Keely. Zeke knew this was a sore subject. 

I think we will leave the job to the sheriff, Zeke, she responded. 

Miss Keely, I know you feel bad about Smitty getting killed, but he sure as shooting wouldnt want you to let them varmints get away with what theyre doing to you. 

I will deal with it in time, Zeke. Right now, I dont want to risk any more lives, and I dont want Papa upset. He was beside himself when I told him that Smitty was killed in an accident. If he knew those rustlers murdered him, why— 

Hiding things from the judge aint going to help none, specially if he learns about it somehow. Then hes gonna get mad at you, and you may find out you aint too big for a spanking. 

Keely felt the guilty flush stain her cheeks and she looked at the older man suspiciously. No, not Zeke. Hed never in a million years blackmail her. Hed be more apt to put her over his knee himself if he knew about Peaches. No, he was just scolding her for hiding the true state of things from her father. She forced herself to relax, and then said softly, I would gladly suffer a spanking if Papa was well enough to administer it. 

Well, he isnt, but I sure am. I dont mind telling you, Miss Keely, Ive considered it a time or two. You need to talk honest with your pa, and let us do something about them rustlers. This ranch is gonna go bust if we dont catch whoevers stealing from you. Tell your pa, he urged. 

I am afraid it would kill him, Zeke. Doc says any shock could cause him to suffer a fatal attack, she explained her reasoning once again, her eyes filling with tears she refused to shed. She would like nothing better than go after the men who were stealing her cattle and horses. The rustlers were also killing and beating her hired hands. 

Zekes fierce scowl softened. I know that, honey. You do what you think is best and Ill stand with you, he offered his support, then left the study. 

Keely sank into her fathers chair and wrapped her arms around herself, rocking back and forth. Theyd been doing just fine until a few months ago; then the trouble started. At first, it was only a few head of cattle. Then it was a horse or two. Her men had been infuriated, and shed given them permission to set up a trap to catch the thieves. Only the trap had backfired, and one of her longtime hands had been murdered while he stood guard. Fearing her fathers reaction, Keely had pulled her hands, not willing to risk any more lives, and had kept any news of the thefts from reaching his sickroom. The only one who knew of the thefts was the sheriff, and he certainly wasnt doing a thing to help. If it werent for her papa, she would find the culprit and make him wish hed never been born. 

Now, wondering who was trying to blackmail her was making her crazy. The only two people shed completely dismissed from suspicion were her father and Mary. Both of them would have a regular fit if they knew she was the infamous Miss Peaches. The knowledge of his daughters crimes would surely kill the judge, and Mary would be so disappointed in her charge that Keely didnt think she could stand the shame. 

Shed been so careful to keep her true identity a secret from everyone but the men she rode with. Actually, they were only boys. Boys, who like her, were in financial difficulty. They truly needed the money they took, which didnt make it right. But Keely knew shed rather face prison than put her father out of his home. She would do whatever she had to do, short of killing anyone, to protect her ailing parent. 

Today was the first time that things got a bit out of hand. Tommy was in an ornery mood; his girlfriend had left him for a boy with more money, and hed shamefully admitted that hed wanted to punish Cynthia because she looked a bit like her. Keely chewed him out thoroughly and told him that if he wanted to be included in future business deals, he would have to promise that he would never threaten another woman with sexual violation. Tommy had hung his head and promised; Keely vowed she would whip him raw if he ever tried it again. 

And, Mrs. Murphy… Keely had had no idea that the elderly matron would be on the stage. The only two people theyd been expecting were Seymour and old Mr. Mackenzie. Keely had hoped to get enough money to run the ranch for a while from the wealthy Seymour, and shed wanted to get the map from the elderly Mackenzie before he arrived at the ranch. That way Peaches would be blamed, and Keely wouldnt have to run the risk of being caught searching the elderly mans room. The judge would be distressed if a robbery were to occur in his own home, but now she would have no choice. Since the elderly Mackenzie wasnt on the stage, she couldnt get the map, and it would be too dangerous to attempt another holdup for quite a while. 

Keely took a deep breath, deciding that she had to face up to what was really bothering her – the handsome stranger. She still couldnt believe shed struck the big man, and she would never forget the warlike look in his blue eyes. Peaches had made an enemy in the stranger, and for some reason that she couldnt identify, it upset her. 

Miss Keely, your papa is coughing again, Mary rushed into the study to tell her. 

* * * 

Thank you for trying to protect my wife, Mr. Mackenzie. Allen Fredericks offered his hand. 

Im afraid I didnt do much, Lucas said self-consciously. Peaches was the one who defended Cynthia, he added silently, renewing his determination to find the young woman and bring her before a court of law. 

Cyn said you tried, and I am very grateful, Allen earnestly continued. This woman is my whole life. 

Allen, that is so sweet. Cynthias eyes shone, and Lucas was fairly certain that she was secretly pleased that the Peaches Gang had robbed the stage. 

I mean it, Cyn. These last couple of weeks have been awful. I missed you and Will something terrible. And then to hear about this? Woman, you arent ever going anywhere without me again. I forbid it, he ordered. 

Far from being offended, Cynthia giggled, then nodded in agreement, only too happy to be home safe and sound. They walked off arm in arm, and Edna Murphy chuckled quietly. It will do that young man some good to spend some time with that young wife of his. He wasnt treating her nicely at all, she confided in Lucas, and then smiled when she spotted an old buggy coming up the street. 

Edward, dear, where have you been? she asked, happy to see the elderly man. 

Trying to remember if you said today or tomorrow, Edward confessed with a toothless grin. Im getting old, sweetie, but not so old I cant give you a welcome home kiss, he declared. The one he gave Edna made Allen and Cynthias pale in comparison. 

You old goat. Edna laughed, swatting him lightly with her parasol. 

Have any trouble, sweetie? 

We were robbed, Edward, she replied with a touch of spirit. Or rather, this young man and Seymour Clayton were robbed. 

Did anyone touch you, Eddy? If they did, Ill get my gun and blow them sumbitches clear to hell! Edward promised, and Lucas had no doubt in his mind that the elderly man would do just as he said. 

I am perfectly fine, Edward, Edna said truthfully. I was never in any danger. It was the Peaches Gang again, and you know they dont rob females or children. Husband, this young man is Lucas Mackenzie. Mr. Mackenzie, my husband, Edward Murphy. 

Mr. Murphy. Lucas shook the mans hand and was surprised by the strength in his grip. 

Mr. Mackenzie bravely tried to defend us, Edward, the elderly woman praised the younger man. 

Well, I should hope so. Edward openly appraised the younger man. Are you related to Bulldog? 

He was my grandfather, Lucas said. 

Was? Hes gone now? Edward demanded. When Lucas nodded wordlessly, he said, Sorry to hear that. Bulldog was a good man, a fair man. The judge is going to be mighty sorry to hear about this. Eddy, sweetie, Wilson is much worse. I passed Doc on his way out there again. 

Oh dear. 

No, the elderly man said firmly, shaking his finger at his wife. Youre going home and get some rest before I have to call Doc for you. Edward has anticipated his wife’s response. Mary is there to take care of little Keely, and we know Wilsons been bad before but pulled through. 

But, Edward, Keely may need me. 

And she may need you more tomorrow. Were going home, woman, and with no fuss. You hear me? 

You’re as stubborn and bullheaded as ever, Edward Murphy, the proud woman declared with a flash of temper. 

The only kind of man who could handle a sassy, feisty woman like you, sweetie. He winked at Lucas, then took his wifes arm and led her toward the buggy.  

You could at least be polite enough to offer Lucas a ride to the Dunn Ranch, since he is expected there today, Edna fussed at her husband. 

Well, I am a polite man, Edward said graciously. Come on, young fellow. But Ill tell you right now, Ill tell you to get out and walk if you dont like the way I drive. 

Edward! Edna was scandalized. 

Ive missed your scolding ways, Eddy, he teased. Once they were all loaded in the buggy, he asked seriously, Did anyone report this to the sheriff? 

Yes, dear. We all told Sheriff Jenkins what we knew. He said hed see what he could do, but you know as well as I do that he wont do anything but sit in his comfy office and smoke those stinking cigars of his. 

Hmm.  

No, Edward. You arent going to do any such thing. Edna had no trouble reading his mind after sixty years of marriage. 

You dont know what I was thinking.  

Yes, I do, and the answer is no, she fumed. 

Well, I could do it, and a heap better than Jenkins, Edward announced. 

I agree. But its a younger mans job, dear. Youve brought in your share of the bad guys. 

This is a darn girl, Eddy. Shes going to fool around and get herself killed. What is she thinking of? I can see where a man goes bad or gets desperate, but a girl? 

She carries a whip, Edward, and shes not afraid to use it. 

How old would you say this Peaches is, young man? Edward turned his attention to their passenger in the back seat whod done his best not to snicker out loud at the couples fussing. 

I am not sure, sir, Lucas replied politely. Not very old, but not a youngster either. 

She still needs a good switching, I dont care how old she is, Edward declared firmly. Back when I was sheriff, I took the time to keep tabs on the kids, and when they got out of line, I either tanned them myself or took them home to their pas for a trip to the woodshed. Never once sent a female to prison either. 

Peaches is certainly headed for jail, Lucas said calmly. 

Thinking of going after her yourself, are you? The old man was uncanny. 

She really got under my skin, Lucas found himself admitting. 

Forget it, son. Shell just give you a sad story, youll fall for it, shell rob you again, and take your pride while shes at it. 

Edward, I am sure Lucas can take care of himself. 

Thats Eddys way of telling me to mind my own business. He winked, then chuckled when Edna gently hit him with her parasol. 

Isnt that Doc coming this way? Edward asked. 

Yes, I believe it is. Stop him and ask about Wilson, Edna bossed. 

Doc! Edward dutifully did as he was told. Hows Wilson? 

Not too good, Ed. Miss Keely is keeping him quiet. 

This young fellow has some bad news for him; one of our friends has passed on. Do you think Wilson can handle it? 

That will be up to Miss Keely. She knows him better than anyone, but if its that Mackenzie fellow hes been expecting, then she will have no choice but tell Wilson the truth. 

Bulldog was this young mans grandfather. Doc Adams, this is Lucas Mackenzie. Lucas, Doc. Edward wasnt big on fancy introductions. 

Sorry to hear about your granddad. He was a good man, Lucas. Welcome home, Edna. Cant talk now. Sheila Morris is delivering today. Got to get over there. He clucked at his horse and hurried off. 

The rest of the ride to the Dunn Ranch didnt take very long. Lucas entertained himself by alternately listening to the elderly couple fuss lovingly at each other and watching the countryside go by. It was a beautiful ranch, and he could see why the judge had chosen to settle here. The buildings surrounding the centrally located house were in excellent condition, and the house was huge – more what one would expect in the city. 

Hello, Mary. Weve heard the judge is very ill, but we need to see Keely. Edna was forthright. 

Certainly, Edna. You and Edward have a seat in the parlor. I will go and tell Miss Keely youre here. 

Thank you, dear. 

Lucas used the opportunity to look around the house, and was impressed by what he saw. The parlor was tastefully decorated, yet it seemed comfortable. There were knickknacks sitting everywhere, and the piano in the corner looked like it was put to use, rather than just being for show. There were photographs sitting on the table in front of the window; he was ready to cross the room and look at them when he heard the soft rustling of skirts behind him. 

Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, hello. It is so good to see you. 

Lucas listened patiently while the three exchanged polite greetings, more than content to stand there and observe the petite redhead. She was simply beautiful, he acknowledged to himself, and he felt as though he should know her. 

I am so sorry, dear, to hear about your papa. Is there anything at all Edward and I can do? Edna offered. 

No, maam. Hes resting comfortably, and thats all we can do. 

Im afraid we have bad news, honey. Edward saw no reason to stall. Bulldog Mackenzie has passed on; this young man is his grandson, Lucas Mackenzie. Hes come to see Wilson.  

Keely turned to face the man standing across the room, and had to grab the back of a straight chair for support. It was the handsome stranger from the stage! 

 

 

Susan Kirkland on 09/15/2018 08:29am
Keeley starts out her relationship with Lucas the wrong way when she steels from him as he is coming in on the stagecoach. She is having a heap of trouble on her ranch and looking for a map. An enjoyable read with mystery, intrigue and spankings.
Sam on 04/02/2018 05:36pm
The author did a great job with this book. It has a great variety of characters all with interesting personalities. The plot is engaging and full of action. The author does a great job of balancing romance and suspense. The book is nice and long which makes for a very well developed story.
Etta Stark on 03/24/2018 11:28am
A great dense story with plenty of pages and plot and a whole host of subsidiary characters in addition to its two main heroes, Lucas and Keeley.

To be honest, I could have probably done with a few more spankings. Sure, Lucas threatens plenty of spankings but he really doesn't deliver that many. I don't think we got a single swat until about a third of the way through the book. Admittedly, Lucas does deliver two hefty spankings with only a day between them so I sort of forgave him.

There's a great plot here involving stagecoach robbery, blackmail, rustlers and a surprise supernatural element - all set in the wonderfully evoked Wild West.

My one tiny criticism is that the book is a bit too long. Particularly in the earlier part of the book before Lucas and Deeley head off into Apache country. There are chunks where nothing much seems to happen and it drags a bit. But overall, I really enjoyed this book. Looking forward to reading more from Joannie Kay.
Good bedtime reading on 03/22/2018 09:06am
Miss Peaches robs from the rich (but only the men, she leaves women and children out of it).and gives to the poor.or in this case herself. She's fast with a gun and quick with a whip when holding up the stagecoaches. Miss peaches is in reality Keely Dunn, the daughter of retired Judge Dunn.
Their ranch is in dire straits, someone is killing their cattle, murdering hands and she needs to make payments on the mortgage. Add to the mixture the unwanted attentions of a neighbour, the monies she 'collects' help her keep afloat. Luckily, Lucas Mackenzie visits bringing a treasure map. But they strike sparks from each other as Lucas believes he is in that right and Keely fights her attraction.
Redrabbitt on 03/09/2018 08:48pm
The story is a mystery, suspense, and historical romance with plenty of angst, anger, a little bit paranormal, righting a wrong and new beginnings. With dominant men, feisty women, cattle rustlers, bandits, hired guns, Indians, and so much more. It will have the good, the bad, and the ugly that keep the pages turning with a large cast of characters.

Once again, the stagecoach is held up, and only the men are robbed of their possessions. With Mrs. Edna Murphy as one of the passengers, she warns everyone, do what they say, and no one will be hurt, it is Miss Peaches. Attorney Lucas Mackenzie is traveling to visit Judge Wilson Dunn and is on that stagecoach; he will be the barrier of bad news, needing to tell the Judge that his own grandfather, Bulldog Mackenzie has passed away. But he is also on a mission to learn more about an old map that was in his late grandfather%u2019s possession.

The Murphy%u2019s will give Lucas a ride out to the Dunn ranch and for propriety sake, stay in the home because of both Keely Dunn and Lucas Mackenzie being single so that no one can say anything. It will come to the attention of Ed Murphy, a retired sheriff, that they have been issues at the ranch that Keely has kept hidden, including cattle rustling.

The plot will have Keely, aka Miss Peaches, robbing Peter to pay Paul. She is upset when the last stage also had her friend, Edna Murphy, and feels guilty. Expecting an elderly gentleman to arrive, she is shocked to learn Bulldog has passed away and in his place, his grandson, Lucas Mackenzie will show. While there is an attraction, there is also plenty of angst between them. He is angry about what happened on the stage with Miss Peaches and her taking her whip to his leg. She is being blackmailed for an old map that she was counting on obtaining.

Keely is hotheaded, strong-willed, sometimes to the point of seeming bratty. She can shoot a gun and handle a bull-whip. What she doesn%u2019t have time for are cattle rustlers who have already killed one ranch hand, stolen so many cattle and now slattering others. Then to deal with Lucas and the ever-present Murphys, and obnoxious neighbor, Charles Bannister, who wants to marry Keely and she has turned him down repeatedly. Then she is overcome with the failing health of her father, and eventually his death.

The story is a journey of right and wrong, good and bad, and determination to correct bad mistakes. For Keely to take off after the person blackmailing her for the map after she learned the story behind it would have Lucas following her. It will take them on a journey into Indian territory and have one man dying, while Lucas and Keely confront her misdeeds and future. If finding the buried treasure worth the risk?

The story will have many spankings, and intimacy, but not overly explicit. While Keely and Lucas do some heavy petting, he won%u2019t claim her until marriage. The mystery will be solved, and the story will end with a happy ending.
lani on 03/02/2018 06:21pm
I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy for an honest review. This was a nice, long read. It has mystery, romance, intrigue, twists and turns. The characters are interesting, enjoyable to read about and the romance happens in a realistic way. I appreciated that they didn't fall in love over night and that they actually interacted quite a bit before becoming romantic. It is historically set in the (I assume) 1800s. the male characters are very realistic of men from that era, to the point of being annoyingly chauvinistic. The writing was ok, although a bit tiresome by the end. If you like this author, you'll like this book.
DB on 03/01/2018 05:46pm
WOW! what a great western dd book! The length is amazing! This book had several stories/issues in it, all were resolved and kept you turning the pages! Keely and Lucas were just made for each other! Lucas falls for the green eyed beauty and has his work cut out for him trying to get her to mind him! Keely is just as head strong as she can be and keeps Lucas on his toes! This book had, mystery, ghosts, many many spankings, lots of funny moments, great witty dialogue, a great older couple, danger, kidnapping, grief, loving friends and a epilogue that finishes the book. LOVED IT! Love all of Joannie Kay's books! 5 Big Western Stars
Liv on 02/28/2018 11:30am
Was going to buy this book when I realised I already have it in my library. I think we readers should be told when a book is a reissue,apart from that it's a great read.
Jf12574 on 02/26/2018 11:42pm
I read an advanced copy of this book and loved it. A great cast of characters and a strong loving plot make this book an exciting read. No cliff hangers and it is comical at times, as well as serious. An enjoyable read. This is my honest review! I loved it!!!
lillie322 on 02/26/2018 07:45pm
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. This is the story of Keely, Lucas and Miss Peaches. A nice long historical western story with spanking, mystery, danger, and love. Joannie Kay always delivers so you can't go wrong if you are looking for a spanking story with a real plot. Hand, switch, belt.
Dyane on 02/26/2018 01:08pm
This was a full-length novel, a spirited adventure with plenty of humor, fun, and good old fashioned spankings. The heroine is sweet, sassy, mischievous and headstrong, while the hero is protective, loyal, strong and handsome. I especially loved that even the minor characters were fully developed and interesting. The plot was excellent, with danger, passion and revenge, and there was plenty of witty dialogue. The heroine was so well loved and protected by all the men in her life that I could not put the book down. It exceeded my expectations, and I eagerly anticipate Joannie Kay%u2019s next book. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Hope W on 02/26/2018 10:55am
Joannie Kay does it again with another hit book! The storyline is filled with action, crime, mystery, Indians, and rustlers to keep your attention from the minute the story begins. The main characters, Keely and Lucus, have chemistry and the fireworks start even before they have been introduced. With many secondary characters to fill the pages, I believe that Ed and Edna brought almost as many laughs as Keely and Lucus. When you add in the action, drama, sadness, loss, love, friendships, laughs, passion, and spankings, I could not have asked for more in a book. Way to go! I highly recommend this five star read. I voluntarily received an arc copy of this book.
charlotte Huelsemann on 02/25/2018 05:55am
Hidding miss peaches by Jonnie Kay
This is a story of a feisty Keely, who robs stages to get money to keep her ranch so her father can die in peace. And Lukas the grandson of Bull Mackenzie and a lawyer that is coming to tell Keely%u2019s father who is a judge . that Bull has passed on.Lukas grandfather and Keeleys were great friends. Lukas gets robbed before he even gets to town by Peaches a notorious stage robber that doesn%u2019t rob laidies or hurt children. AKA Keely. This is a really fun book to read. It is full of feisty female and her dying father whom she very much loves and a man who is determined to keep her safe. It has mystery and excitement and of course spankings. Loving discipline by a man who will tame his little love and keep her safe. I really enjoyed this book

JigsawGirl on 02/23/2018 11:46pm
rather long romantic suspense that is full of intrigue and mystery. There is also a bit of the ghostly.

Keely is strong, independent, and fiesty. She finally encounters someone who is alpha enough, and willing to take her on. To be honest, more than once, Keely ran right over Lucas. She truly did not listen to anyone for the most part.

Miss Peaches runs Lucas and Ed on a merry chase, along with the blackmailer and cattle rustlers. Eventually, Lucas and Keely reach their HEA.

I voluntarily read and reviewed the Advanced Reader Copy.
Julie Clark on 02/23/2018 07:40pm
Don%u2019t Upset Papa!

Joannie kay is one of my favorite authors, and she did not disappoint with Hiding Miss Peaches either.

It is filled with surprising attraction while they are drawn to each surprising them both. No one has ever made Keely or Lucas feel that way about another.

Keely will do anything to prevent upsetting her father the retired judged and rancher. Plus this girl is not used to asking anyone for help determined to do everything herself gets her in a pack of trouble.

Another fantastic descriptive page turner until the end.
Ajjmb on 02/23/2018 06:10pm
Hiding Miss Peaches is one of Joannie Kay%u2019s longer stories. I really enjoyed the long plot and character development that went into this story. Keely has so much going on in her life and meeting Lucas is one of the best things that can happen for her. This story has one adventure after another in it. There are the sad moments when loved ones%u2019s die, the lost buried treasure, kidnappings, robberies, cattle rustlers, and let%u2019s not forget one young lady who is constantly getting in trouble with her new husband. The Murphy%u2019s bring an added humorous element to the story. Their antics kept me rolling in laughter. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
Tami on 02/22/2018 09:45am
Hiding Miss Peaches is another sweet spanking romance from Joannie Kay. Though there is little to no intimacy, there are plenty of spankings. The characters were interesting and there was a lot of chemistry between Keely and Lucas. I also adored Ed and Edna. The story is a long read, there is action, heartache, kidnapping and so much more. I enjoyed reading the story very much.

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