A Place to Belong
As winter settles over the ranch, the Engstrom brothers are much on the mind of Cassie Lockwood. The way Lucas smiles at her should set her heart to tripping. But it doesn’t. Shouldn’t there be some attraction to him if they are going to be married? His vow to make her love him does not seem to be working, no matter how considerate and charming he is.
Ransom Engstrom is another matter. After Cassie’s train trip to a shooting competition, she realizes she misses Ransom more than Lucas. And then there’s the look she caught Lucas sending Betsy Hudson at church one Sunday. Are she and Lucas drifting apart?
Meanwhile, Ransom has discovered that he cares for Cassie but can’t bring himself to express his true feelings to her. When she leaves to join a Wild West show for the summer, will Ransom summon the courage to go after her?
Enjoy meeting Cassie & Ransom
Brief physical description
As a Wild West show star in both shooting and trick riding, Cassie Lockwood has poise beyond her age—in the ring, before a crowd. She and her black and white paint are reknowned for their performances. Cassie is tall for a woman at 5’7”, not willowy and thin, but solid and muscled as a trick rider needs to be. She wears her sun stripped walnut hair off her face, often tied back to keep it out of her way. Her piercing hazel eyes and even features are not remarkable, until she smiles and then one never forgets her. Her normal look is a bit pensive as one who can see far distances. Some would call her chin determined, a direct clue to her character. The cover art on A Place to Belong is a good picture of Cassie Lockwood.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Determination is a strength and the other side of that is bull headed, the weakness that keeps her a private person. Strong people can be intimidating, again both the strength and weakness. Cassie struggles with believing God really cares enough about her to want to help her, so I will do it myself is her battle cry. Cassie is based loosely on my daughter Marie who has already gone on home.
Brief physical description
Ransom Engstrom thinks his life on the Bar E Ranch is exactly what he was meant to be, and an upstart show star should not be allowed to join, no matter what that legal document says.
He talks and moves like a rancher, tall at six foot, broad of shoulder and slim waisted, his hat is part of his head. He does not believe in wasting words, especially with women who make him stumble on the dance floor when they want him to talk. But he catches the eye in a crowd because of his height for the day and the way he holds himself. He wears the look of assurance as naturally as his father did, but as so often happens, hides a tender heart that does not want to take chances on getting close to the opposite sex. When he learns his mother has kept a secret all these years, he has a hard time forgiving the error. Straight eyebrows that shade dark, far seeing eyes, and a mouth that is not used to smiling a whole lot, let others know his opinion without his having to say much. Versatile with hands and mind, he dreams of building furniture like his father did, reopening the mine that paid for the ranch in the first place and providing for his family so they can continue to live on the land he loves.
The actor Sam Elliot, but without the mustache and with lighter hair, might be a bit of the idea of Ransom Engstrom.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ransom fits my head picture of a cowboy, a man who grew up ranching and isn’t ashamed to say so. Fiercely proud and fiercely loyal, he comes with a strong sense of responsibility that some times can become over bearing. He has a hard time forgiving others for he has to learn how to forgive himself at the same time. Why is it so much easier to communicate with cows and horses and the pine wood that becomes western furniture than the humans around him?
Background to the story
Since A Place to Belong is book three in the Wild West Wind series, the background is really set for this book in the two before. Cassie grew up in a wild west show, became a star performer, lost both show star parents early and when the show goes bankrupt, Cassie’s only choice is to take the show wagon, a few of her friends both human and animal, and head south to try and find her father’s dream valley. Cassie so wants a real home, besides the one she’s always lived, on wheels. Learning her father had half ownership in the Bar E Ranch is scary stuff, as now she has ownership and the Engstrom men are not happy with that idea. Mavis, the mother, welcomes Cassie home but will she be able to fit in or be forced to keep on travelling? In A Place to Belong, Cassie returns to the shooting circuit to earn money for the ranch and along with her struggles with the brothers, helps produce and star in a wild west show and rodeo combination in Hill City, South Dakota.