Home To Copper Mountain

Home To Copper Mountain
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Wealthy, womanless and temporarily at loose ends, Formula One race-car driver Rick Hawkins finds himself in Texas visiting his newly married father.While he's there, he becomes involved with his stepmother's family - especially her twenty-eight-year-old cousin Audra Jarrett. She's beautiful, talented, loyal and kind - qualities that attract Rick. In fact, she attracts him as no woman ever has. While Audra is drawn to Rick, she's afraid of starting a relationship with him.She's suffered tragic losses in her life. So how could she allow herself to love a man with such a dangerous job? If anything ever happened to him, she's not sure she'd be able to pick up the pieces. Then again, Rick's nickname is Lucky….

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What on earth?

Something had happened to her pillow.

Audra turned her head. It felt as if she was lying against someone’s shoulder.

Her eyelids flew open to discover a pair of gray eyes only inches away from hers. They were studying her features intently.

“Don’t scream and spoil the moment. It’s only 11:00 a.m. I’m not ready to get up yet.”

She swallowed hard. They were lying side by side. “I must have had a terrible nightmare.”

“Yes. You asked me not to leave you.”

“I’m sorry you had to come to my rescue again.”

“I’m not. When I told you I’d stay right here, you went back to sleep—and you’ve been peaceful ever since.”

Audra forced herself to sit up and reach for her crutches. Without looking at him, she said, “If I’m hungry, you must be starving.”

“Frankly, food’s the last thing on my mind. It would be nice just to lie here and talk.”

Too nice, Audra’s heart cried. I could make it a habit. A minute-by-minute, by hour, by week, by month, by year, by lifetime habit!

Dear Reader,

I went to school in Switzerland and France between the ages of seventeen and twenty-two. I remember one year in particular, when I returned home for Christmas. I walked into my family house in Salt Lake City, a place of love and familiarity. One of my favorite Christmas songs was playing on the stereo, the smell of cloves and cinnamon wafted through the air and the Christmas tree held the same ornaments I’d loved as a child. Mother looked so beautiful, and Dad so handsome. Everything was perfect.

It suddenly hit me how blessed I was to be able to return home year after year and find everything the same. I was thinking about this when the stories of the Hawkins brothers came to me.

Their dangerous careers have sent them around the world, yet (like me) they take for granted their wonderful, loving parents and their home in Colorado full of cherished memories. They assume that home and those people will always be there waiting. I wondered what would happen to them if tragedy struck at home while they were away. How would they handle it?

I searched my soul to write their stories. Home to Copper Mountain is Rick’s story; you’ll find Nate’s story in Another Man’s Wife, released in February 2003. Get inside their skins as they deal with their grief and find enduring love with the strong women who come into their lives at exactly the right time.


Rebecca Winters

P.S. If you have access to the Internet, please check out my Web site at http://www.rebeccawinters-author.com.

Home to Copper Mountain

Rebecca Winters

Home to Copper Mountain



















“SHALL WE GO over to my desk and get the paperwork done so we can put you behind the wheel today?”

Until early this morning, Rick Hawkins hadn’t intended to buy a car. But an unexpected phone call from his father, who knew that Rick was on his way to Arizona to sign some racing contracts, had been the lifeline Rick was looking for. He had grabbed for it with both hands. It was decided—he would visit his father in Texas on his way west.

Loath to suffer through hours of airport lines, security checks, plane changes and rental cars, he decided to do himself a favor and arrive at the Jarrett Ranch outside Austin on his own power.

The black BMW M3 two-door coupe with the eighteen-inch wheels, 350-horsepower engine and six-speed manual transmission sitting in the middle of the showroom floor would do fine.

He turned to the young salesman. “If you can put me behind it in ten minutes, I’ll take it.”

“I think we could manage that. My name’s John Dunn, by the way.”

“John.” Rick shook his hand, then followed him inside his office to answer the inevitable series of questions about his finances.

“Who’s your employer?”

“I’m out of work at the moment, but don’t be alarmed. I plan to pay cash for the car. Check with my bank.”

The salesman blinked before getting up from the desk. He handed him a brochure from a pile sitting next to a desk calendar.

May eighth. Spring had been here for a while. Rick hadn’t noticed its arrival.

“While you’re waiting, you might want to look through it. I’ll be right back.”

Rick didn’t need to see any literature. If he hadn’t felt such a strong loyalty to Mayada for signing him at nineteen, he would have switched to BMW when they’d offered him a racing contract two years later. Their engineering was unequaled.

But his drive to Texas wouldn’t be like circling the track. This trip would be open-ended. And he would be driving his own car.

After another hellish night like last night, he decided to leave immediately and drive the whole distance in one shot. It would be a different race than any he’d run before.

Instead of outdriving the competition, he’d be facing his own worst enemy—an enemy chiseling away at his sense of self, his confidence, his happiness, his virtual raison d’être. Himself.

Many times in his racing career he’d been subjected to near-death experiences that had tested his grit and resilience.

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