Angie Cole

Heroes with hearts as big as Texas

Book cover image of a horse running in front of a red barn. Quilts hang on fence and barn.

Their Shattered Hearts

In the rustic charm of Cardinal Creek, Texas, a story of love, loss, and redemption unfolds. Will Deluca, a stoic firefighter and ranch owner, bears the weight of his wife's untimely demise. His world, once filled with warmth, now echoes with the silent grief of his two children and the unyielding Texas plains.Enter Anna Samuels, a heart that's seen its share of sorrow. Leaving Missouri's memories behind, she hopes to find solace and new beginnings in the small Texas town. As a dedicated palliative care nurse, she embarks on a mission to bring comfort to families grappling with illness. Destiny leads her to Rockin' D Ranch, where her path crosses with Will, a man whose rugged charm and piercing blue eyes hide a world of pain.Amidst the rolling hills of Cardinal Creek, Will and Anna find their lives intricately entwined, linked by a forgotten encounter from their youth. Anna's arrival sparks a glimmer of hope in Will's heart, inspiring him to fulfill a promise to his late wife: to create a sanctuary for children with autism. Together, they begin to weave dreams of a brighter future.But shadows linger in the corners of their newfound happiness. Anna grapples with a dark secret that threatens to destroy the life she has built in Cardinal Creek. As Will confronts his own fears, he risks losing the one person who could help him heal. In the face of adversity, will they find the strength to conquer their demons and embrace a second chance at love?In Their Shattered Hearts fate, passion, and dark secrets collide. Join Will and Anna as they journey through the complexities of the heart, learning that sometimes, the path to happiness is paved with the courage to face the ghosts of the past.

Introducing Anna, a compassionate palliative care nurse, and Will, a brave cowboy who also fights fires. When their paths cross, sparks fly.Get the first two chapters of Their Shattered Hearts by joining my list and be the first to know when the full story is available.

About my stories

Their Shattered Hearts is a poignant tale of love, loss, and the journey towards healing. At their core, my stories explore the themes of overcoming personal tragedies and the power of love to heal and transform.As my heroes and heroines navigate their grief and search for meaning, their paths intertwine, leading to an unexpected and transformative love.The stories I'm drawn to write delve into the importance of family, the longing for connection, and the resilience of the human spirit. My goal is to tell stories that are both heart-wrenching and uplifting, reminding readers that even in the face of profound loss, love can offer a path to healing and hope.


About Angie

My journey as a romance author is deeply rooted in my personal experiences of love, loss, and resilience. The profound impact of the losses I have endured, including the passing of my grandparents and my mother, has shaped my perspective on life and love.My own love story is one of healing and finding joy after heartache, and it mirrors the themes I explore in my novels.As a survivor of grief and a believer in the power of love, I channel my experiences into crafting stories that resonate with the complexities and triumphs of the human heart. My writing is a testament to the idea that love can emerge from the most unexpected places, offering hope and healing.

Where to find me

Will and Anna cover

Two months later

Since the fundraiser, a whirlwind of work went into getting the equine center opened on time. Will continued his therapy visits while rejoining the fire department, fully fit for duty. He was delighted that Anna was reinstated as Director of Palliative Care, and he was proud of her and Kati for standing up against workplace harassment.With his anxiety at bay, he carried on with shifts in the ambulance and hospital visits. Overseeing renovations with Anna’s help, they worked hard to have a successful launch day. Additionally, Jenny and Maggie came to lend their assistance and returned for the grand opening. Watching everything come together made Will blissfully happy, and fully alive.Will stared at himself in the mirror. Sweat trickled down his neck, and his pulse was racing. His starched sky-blue button-up shirt and dark Wranglers were pristinely pressed. He opened the black velvet case, revealing a vintage pear emerald ring with rose gold twig leaf floral setting, diamond and emerald accents shimmering in the light. His hands trembled as he placed the box into his front pocket. Taking a deep breath, Will stepped out of the room and headed toward the grand opening, hoping and praying that Anna would say yes. He smiled as he realized the night may end much better than he had imagined.He was pleased with the restored rustic appeal when he entered the newly decorated lodge dining hall. The dining hall had large, sturdy tables with turquoise-and-brown couches, chairs, and cowhide rugs. The walls were decorated with rustic steel stars and old rodeo pictures they had acquired. Will smiled at the accomplishments that resulted from the fundraiser.Just then, Anna entered. Will gasped at the sight. She wore jeans that clung to her curves, a bleached-out blue button-down, a brown T-shirt, brown boots with turquoise accents, and a Stetson. He quickly embraced and kissed her softly, inhaling her sweet scent.“Hey, darlin’,” he said huskily, “you look beautiful.”“Cowboy, you look great and smell even better,” she said playfully before kissing his neck.“Darlin’, you better stop, or we won’t get to breakfast,” he teased.“Wouldn’t that be awful?” Her silky voice held a challenge.Will smiled coyly. “Not at all, but we have an opening, and I think we need . . .” He could almost read her mind, or was it just the lustful sparkle in her eyes that sent chills down his spine?She giggled. “You are so right.”Liz stepped out of the kitchen with a beaming smile in her Kiss the Cook apron. “Breakfast is ready!” she exclaimed.Everyone moved to their seats as the delicious smells reached their noses—scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, pancakes, and biscuits smothered in gravy. Will surveyed the table, filled with his closest friends and family who had supported him through the turbulent past four years. He was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of this moment. His family had forgiven him for past mistakes, and Anna had worked tirelessly to ensure Shelly’s memory lived through this center. It was a day of grace and peace, and he could hardly believe it.Will kissed Anna. “You are why this day is happening.”“It’s very much a community effort. They prove love never dies.”When the ranch gates opened to let those invited to the grand opening inside, beads of sweat popped out on Will’s forehead. Anna squeezed his hand like she sensed he was nervous, or maybe it was the sweat beading on his lip and brow.“Cowboy, it’s okay. We’re in this together,” Anna said.Will chuckled. “How did you know?”“Your eyes are like saucers.”He furrowed his brow. “No, they aren’t.”“Now that you’re relaxed, let’s have fun. Look around this place. Maybe we can dance.” She wiggled her eyebrows.He gently held her face in his calloused hand. “Ginger, you’re right. Let’s have fun.”Will surveyed the property in awe. Three cabins had been freshly renovated, and Anna’s team of Liz, Kati, and the Quiltin’ Bees had brightened up the exteriors with colorful potted plants. There was a wooden dance floor surrounded by gingham-draped tables adorned with Mason jars filled with wildflowers that seemed to have sprouted from nowhere in the Texas heat, and vintage lights twinkled from the trees like stars. In addition, Garrett, Jon, and JW had built new fences for the arena, while Jenny had taken on setting up activities for children.Will hoped he could convince Jenny to manage the physical therapy department. Every time Anna spoke about her friend, she lit up, and Jenny joining their team would make them both happy. Will loved the sparkle in Anna’s eyes when they all worked together.The smell of slow-cooked brisket and sweet, smoky baked beans wafted around the picnic tables as friends and family gathered for the equine center grand opening. Will stood apart from the crowd, admiring a golden orange sunset on the horizon. He uttered a silent thanks to whatever forces may have been at work in helping make the grand opening a reality. The particular force had arrived from out of town, and he knew it was Shelly’s handiwork.The sun sank behind the hills, its golden rays fading as sparkling stars illuminated the night sky. Will watched the glimmering lights cast their magical glow onto the dance floor, where he planned to ask Anna to marry him—a fitting finale to a beautiful day.Will nervously marched into the lodge in search of Liz, who was helping Eva and Caden get ready for the big moment.He paused when he heard Jenny’s voice calling out his name. She arrived at his side and gave him an encouraging smile. “We’re ready. I’ve got your back, Will. I’ll get her to the dance floor.” Her warm eyes met his, and she gave him a reassuring touch. “Hey, she loves you. Don’t be nervous.”Will nodded silently, and Jenny rushed off full of purpose.
Liz arrived, her face beaming with joy as she held Eva’s and Caden’s hands. “You ready?”
“More than you know,” he said.Eva had a tight grip on a bundle of roses wrapped in white paper.Will’s heart raced with anticipation. “Y’all ready?”Caden nodded eagerly, his short brown hair combed back neatly and
boots polished until they shone. He put a reassuring hand on Will’s shoulder. “We got this, Daddy. Right, Eva?”
Eva stepped forward in her crisp new denim jeans and a tan T-shirt with horses galloping across the front. On top of her head was a brown straw hat with a turquoise-and-silver medallion pinned to it. She glanced up at Will with a warm smile, her presence enough to ease his nerves.“Daddy, what do you think of my outfit? Nana got it for me.”Will smiled at Eva. “Eva, you are beautiful as always.”The trio then moved toward the dance floor, Will taking their hands in each of his own to steady himself against the thundering beat inside his chest. Caden and Eva gave him strength, and they both had carefree smiles. As soon as Will saw Anna, everyone else faded away.She smiled. “Hey, Cowboy, I was looking for you.”“You were?” he said. “I was looking for you too.” Their gazes locked.Caden grabbed Anna’s hand excitedly. “He was looking for us! Don’t we look nice? I took a bath!”Anna laughed as she looked down at him. “You look handsome.” She hugged him sweetly before gazing at Will as if they shared a secret bond.Eva handed Anna roses and explained shyly that they were for helping them so much. Tears glistened in Anna’s eyes as she thanked them both, pausing to remark how beautiful Eva looked in her special outfit. Will could only stare in silent admiration, wondering what he’d done in life to deserve her kind heart.Anna was talking with Eva and Caden when she realized the group was standing around them. “Is everything okay?” she asked Will.He went down on one knee. “It’s more than okay. Darlin’, I would love it if you would become my wife.” Waiting for her answer, the air seemed to be sucked out of Will’s lungs. Please let her say yes.Tears trickled down Anna’s cheeks, and her hand went over her mouth. She gave Will a slow nod. “Yes,” she whispered.He stood, taking her in his arms, picking her up, and twirling her around. “I love you.”“I love you too,” Anna said. Then she looked at their family and friends. “I need to borrow Will for ten minutes, then ya’ll better cue up some King George so I can dance with”—she motioned to Will—“this guy.”Anna grabbed Will’s hand and pulled him into a shadowy alcove. Two chairs faced a field, and she pointed to one of them. “Sit,” she said as she sat beside him. A couple seconds later, Anna turned to Will with a cupcake on her lap, and a single flickering candle illuminated her face. “Look up at the stars. There are a billion of them, I think. One of them is Shelly. Wish her a happy birthday.”Will closed his eyes and blew out the candle, silently wishing that someday he’d get married and have a baby with Anna.“What did you wish for?” Anna asked when he opened his eyes.With a teasing smile, Will replied, “A baby!” before quickly adding that he was only joking.“That wouldn’t be so bad,” she said, poking his side. “And we’d have fun making it.”Laughter bubbled between them as the familiar notes of George Strait’s “Carrying Your Love with Me” began to play. Without hesitation, Will grabbed her hand and pulled Anna onto the dance floor, where they swayed under an impossibly starry sky.The End