Lori King

Crawley Creek Series
By: Lori King

In a small town in North Dakota there resides a family of misfits on the Crawley Creek
Ranch. Brought together by hardship, and heartache they’ve bonded without blood ties, and seek
to help others. Four brothers who’ve walked both sides of the line, and come out stronger for it,
but will they survive love, loss, and the law?

Beginnings (Prequel)

Forget Me Knot (Book 1)

Rough Ride Romeo (Book 2)

Claiming His Cowgirl (Book 3)


Crawley Creek Prequel

Abraham and Seraphina Crawley have loved each other since they were fifteen years old.
Abe has never doubted the strength of their bond, and together they’ve planted roots and built a
successful ranch. But when Seraphina receives disturbing news that will impact the rest of their
lives, she finds herself unable to tell the man she loves. Their decade-long marriage has been
blighted by their lack of children, and now secrets could tear this couple apart. Follow their
journey from heartbroken to houseful, and experience how Crawley Creek Ranch became a
refuge for those who needed a place to plant roots. Second chances and new beginnings are a
way of life at Crawley Creek. Everyone is welcome.

*Note from the author: This is a short prequel to the Crawley Creek Series. It can be read as a
standalone, but you will enjoy it more if you read the other books in the series as well.

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Chapter 1

“I’m sorry Mrs. Crawley, but the news isn’t good.” The doctor’s kind face had deep-set
wrinkles bracketing his thin lips and framed a smile, but today they made his tipped frown seem
pitifully sad. “It seems you have a hostile uterus.”
Sera stared at him trying to absorb his words, but all she heard was “hostile”.
“Yes. Basically your womb isn’t an ideal place for the implantation of a fertilized embryo.
The likelihood of you ever conceiving is slim, and even if you did conceive, the chances that the
pregnancy would be supported longer than the first trimester are extremely improbable. I’m
sorry. I know that’s not what you were hoping to hear—”
“Not what I was hoping to hear?” She knew she was in shock, and that made it all the easier
to blast her disappointment with anger. “I think that’s putting it rather mildly Martin, don’t you?
And why are you calling me Mrs. Crawley? My name is Sera, and I’ve been coming to you for
almost fifteen years. You know everything there is to know about my physical health, and
you’ve never once mentioned that I had a hostile womb.”
“Seraphina it’s not something I could have known based on the standard pelvic tests we do
annually. The fertility testing you had in Grand Forks highlighted some disturbing
inconsistencies. As you know fertility science is still in its infancy. We only know so much about
why the female reproductive organs are sometimes lacking. I’ve reviewed your tests extensively,
and I even had a colleague of mine review them for a second opinion. Unfortunately, he agreed
with my results. You’re barren.” Martin Warburg took off his glasses and set them on the desk in
front of him, his gaze sympathetic. After several moments of tense silence, he sighed and
gestured to the phone on his desk. “Would you like me to call Abe for you?”
Abe. Her husband. The man who’d loved her for the last fifteen years unconditionally. The
sweetest, kindest soul on the planet. He’d supported her through month after month of negative
pregnancy tests, and ten years of disappointment. Now she had to tell him that she was a
defective wife. Unable to give him the children he so badly wanted. The family they’d dreamed
of creating together.
“No. Thank you, but I need some time to...um...digest this information. I’ll talk to him
soon.” Rising from the hard wooden chair where all of her dreams had been dashed, Seraphina
Crawley brushed her braid behind her shoulder, and picked up her pocketbook. “Thank you,
Martin rose to his feet quickly, and began to move her way. “Sera, you shouldn’t be alone to
process this news. Let me call Abe and have him come collect you. Your car will be fine here in
“I said, no thank you. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and all the time you’ve
devoted to this, but now that we know how futile it is... Well, I suppose it’s best to just let the
things that are out of our control, go. Tell Lenora that I said hello.” Reaching for the handle on
the door, she hurried to put as much distance as possible between herself and the terrible news.
The sunshine was dimmer, and the day seemed significantly drearier as she stepped out of
the office onto the sidewalk. Montford was a very small town, so there was no one on the street
to see her sorrow as tears began to fall from her eyes. By the time she’d settled in behind the
wheel of her car, she was gasping for air around the sobs of pain that echoed around her.
Logically, she knew they were from her own throat, but somehow it seemed she was completely
separate from the emotional response. She could feel herself trembling, hear the sniffles, and
taste the vomit on the back of her tongue, but she still wasn’t ready to accept it was real. No
matter what she did, or how healthy she lived her life, she’d never be a mother.
She’d known instinctively for a while that something was wrong. She was an only child, but
not for lack of trying. Her parents had always wanted more children, but medical science wasn’t
as good in the forties and fifties. Nowadays they were able to give women more of an idea of
what was wrong…in most cases.
Struggling to calm her raging emotions, she closed her eyes and focused her energies on
slowing the tears. Once her breathing eased back to a normal rhythm, she reached for the keys
and shoved them into the ignition with a silent prayer that her old clunker would start today. The
last thing she needed was more to deal with. Between Montford and Crawley Creek she would
have twenty minutes to figure out how she was going to tell her husband the bad news.
At thirty years old, she felt like her life had just ended.

Lori’s Bio

Best-selling author, Lori King, is also a full-time wife and mother of three boys. Although she
rarely has time to just enjoy feminine pursuits; at heart she is a hopeless romantic. She spends
her days dreaming up Alpha men, and her nights telling their stories. An admitted TV and book
junkie, she can be found relaxing with a steamy story, or binging in an entire season of some
show online. She gives her parents all the credit for her unique sense of humor and acceptance of
all forms of love. There are no two loves alike, but you can love more than one with your whole
With the motto: Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance, she will continue to write
as long as you continue to read. Thank you for taking the time to indulge in a good Happily Ever
After with her. Find out more about her current projects at http://lorikingbooks.com, or look her
up on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LoriKingBooks or Twitter:

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