Three Sacred Words (Golden Arrow #2) - Christina Lee

Three Sacred Words

Golden Arrow #2

Christina Lee

Dear Reader:

We can probably all agree that there needs to be more diversity in romance novels. Probably all novels in general. Having said that, writing about diverse characters in books can feel daunting for an author. It can be tricky and scary to take on the challenge, because we desperately want to get it right.

This is my third time writing about this Native American community. The first time was in WHISPER TO ME, a book in my New Adult series. The second time was in book one of the Golden Arrow series, TWO OF HEARTS.

In this companion novel, I wanted to show the reservation from a singular perspective—through Meadow’s eyes. Her experiences growing up on the same land as Dakota, from book one, were vastly different.

As this book goes out into the world, I again remember what one of my sources said from my hours of research. That within each culture, gender, age, or socioeconomic status, there are variances—in opinions and traditions and mindsets. And unless you’ve actually lived in the community or culture you are writing about, you won’t inherently know it. You can only try your best in your interpretation of it. That’s what I’ve aimed to do here.

Still, any mistakes or misinterpretations are my own. I painstakingly tried my best to create a story that I hope you will enjoy.

This is for the Two of Hearts readers who had puffy heart eyes for Shane’s co-worker, Alex. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

1

Meadow

At my table beneath the roadside tent, I punched at the calculator on my phone to tabulate some unpaid expenses in my head. My job in housekeeping at the Golden Arrow Casino was certainly steady work but it didn’t always pay the bills, not when you were a single mother.

And my ex hadn’t exactly surfaced recently to help with child support. His envelope of cash always arrived late—when it arrived at all. Last time, I could actually buy decent shoes for Joaquin, who was growing at the rate of a Cherokee warrior.

Shaking my head, I banished that negative thought. There was no room for self-pity. We did what we needed to get by. We always had on the reservation, which had seen it’s dismal days, the worst being when my parents were alive. I wished they could see how we had turned it around, how the casino had been profitable, even if many in our tribe disagreed with the methods.

A group of boisterous older ladies entered the tent from a limo bus. They must’ve been celebrating something. A birthday, a promotion, or a second marriage. Regardless, they were here to have a good time. I’d probably see them later at the casino getting rowdy at the roulette table, throwing around their cash.

A customer with fluffy blond hair approached the table and drew my thoughts back to the task at hand. I needed to sell some jewelry to keep my family afloat. Jayden, my neighbor from the same trailer park, was keeping an eye on my six-year-old today because child care was expensive.

This was why I never questioned where the support money was coming from; I had long ago given up that right. It was my ex-boyfriend’s business now, and since our messy separation, and his retreat from this town, I was simply grateful for any help.

Though I realized the other shoe was bound to drop. We’d already had one unsavory visitor on our property asking where Frankie Sparrino, or Sparrow, as my ex was known, had been hiding out. I figured more trouble was on its way.

“Are these hand made by you?” The customer asked. She had pale skin and based on her rhinestone-encrusted outfit, looked to be from middle-class suburbia.

“Yes, ma’am.” I tucked away my phone and straightened the handmade bracelets in front of me. I had stayed up late to finish the one with the pink and jade rhinestones. I imagined it would sell well here today to the tourists passing through town to gamble or commemorate some occasion or another at the casino.

I couldn’t fathom a weekend getaway at this stage in my life, let alone afford one. My escape came in the form of the creations I’d made at my worn kitchen table after Joaquin was tucked safely in bed.

As the woman’s manicured nails trailed over my wares, I could picture her in a cushy home with her Lexus and pearl necklace throwing extravagant dinner parties.

Not that I’d ever want that life for myself. I had always been proud of