Synopsis: The Wedding Rescue
By: Dianne Castell
Horse farm owner Charity MacKay is thrilled her much loved but devil-may-care sister is marrying a successful, dependable man. Too bad his Alaskan bush pilot brother, Tanner Davenport, doesn't agree and has flown in to stop the wedding. Will there be a wedding, will Tanner realize Charity is the adventure he truly seeks and the unconditional love he’s always wanted, and will Charity realize there is life beyond the farm and Tanner is her true love?
Charity: external—goals restore family horse farm and get sister married; motivation love of family; conflicts horses are getting sick, Tanner doesn’t want the wedding.
of others; conflict sacrificed personal life to get her goal.
Tanner: external—goals get back to Alaska asap, stop the wedding; motivation—loves adventure and loves his brother; conflict—the wedding is charging forward
internal—goal be accepted for who he is; motivation must be true to himself; conflict—father never accepted him for
who he is
Their conflicts: external the wedding and Kentucky vs Alaska; internal family responsibility vs love of adventure.
The story opens as Charity MacKay watches Tanner Davenport land his plane in her horse pasture. Terrific. Couldn't that adventure-seeking bush pilot stay in Alaska where he's lived for the last seven years? Did he have to return to Bluegrass Ridge, Kentucky now? Just because his brother is marrying her middle sister doesn’t mean Tanner has to show up two weeks before the event. With a little bad luck his carefree lifestyle will remind her sister of her own old devil-may-care days, the ones she's giving up to get married, the ones that drove Charity crazy.
Her sister's already made one bad marriage that cost much heartache and the teetering-on-ruin MacKay farm precious acres in a rotten divorce settlement. This pending marriage to the responsible, settled, successful and extremely kind-and-generous-to-her-sister Davenport brother couldn't make Charity happier. Charity plans to keep Tanner and his adventure stories away from her sister and make sure the wedding goes off without a hitch.
Charity decides to woo Tanner. Keep him busy. Trouble is, when most girls were honing their wooing skills she was mucking stalls and memorizing bloodlines of every horse in the area. Men have not been a focal point of her life—what life?--saving the rundown MacKay farm has. She has a few horses and pregnant mares who could do that very thing.
To woo Tanner, Charity asks him to dinner at the MacKay farm. This is strictly business...until she realizes she’s attracted to him. Been a long time since she was attracted to a man. Once, ten years ago. Was Tanner’s hair always rich chestnut brown? His blue eyes so mysterious?
Tanner's sure his level-headed brother has clearly lost his mind. Marry that wild MacKay sister? Heck, they were once friends. She got into more trouble than he did, and that’s going some. She’s a fun person but more into excitement than responsibility, the exact opposite of his nose-to-the-grindstone brother. Tanner didn’t want to come back home because of bad memories of his dad throwing him out for his fly-boy ideas. Raising thoroughbreds was his life and he couldn’t understand Tanner’s dream to fly.
But Tanner knows he must help his misguided brother now. He always supported him in family squabbles and Tanner is determined to save him from certain mayhem and heartache.
Break the engagement, that’s what he’ll do, and that’s what he intends to tell Charity when he goes for dinner... Except he’s stunned by her rich red hair and green eyes. Was she always so beautiful? The Charity MacKay he remembers was the older sister, the responsible one, the no-fun sister who kept the family going.
Charity’s flabbergasted by Tanner’s idea of the wedding being a bad thing. She never expected this since he and her sister were good friends. Charity now has to keep Tanner from her sister for two reasons--so his tales of daring-and-do won’t tempt her back to her old ways and to keep Tanner from breaking up the engagement. Charity decides the best way to keep Tanner from breaking up the engagement is to know how he plans to do it. Since she’s not good at mind-reading, she tells Tanner she’ll help him. She lies and tells him he’s right as rain about the wedding and they should make plans together to break it up. This way she’ll know what plans he makes and can thwart them before they happen. Ta da! Brilliant!
Trouble is, now she’ll spend more time with Tanner and she’s already attracted to him more than she should be.
Not that it matters. Nothing can come of it. Her life is her horse farm; his life is in Alaska. His goal is to lead an adventurous life; her goal is to raise a Derby contender. Besides, how could he ever be attracted to her? What does she have to offer a hunk like Tanner Davenport? She’s even three years older than he is.
At dinner Tanner sees how Charity has rebuilt and he admires her to no end. Not only is she beautiful, she’d determined and dedicated and hardworking. He admires her for that. He also learns she’s trying to buy back the acreage she lost in her sister’s divorce settlement. The farm means everything to Charity. He realizes she’s following her dreams just as he follows his. He admires her for that as well. Following their dreams is the one thing they have in common.
The next day Tanner returns to the MacKay farm. He can’t get over the fact that his brother is captivated with the charms of his almost bride. Has he forgotten the stores of her escapades? Is love really that blind? Tanner decides he'll have to show his brother and Charity’s sister why they aren’t suited for each other. Remind them they are completely mismatch and their marriage is doomed. Tanner tells Charity his first plan is to invite her sister to go flying in his biplane that’s still at his brother’s farm. She loves to fly and that will remind her she loves adventure and not being stuck on the Ridge all her life.
Charity tells Tanner her sister is working in town and Tanner says he’ll go there. Charity panics and insists she go with Tanner and arranges for him to speak at the school and library about Alaska. With a little luck he’ll miss speaking to her sister. A temporary fix but the best Charity can come up with on the spur of the moment. As Charity listens to Tanner speak she learns about what he does in Alaska and respects him for his work. He’s not just some jet-jockey. All seems to work out until they run into Charity’s sister. She drags them into a perfume shop and realizes there’s an attraction between Tanner and Charity.
Tanner didn’t get a chance to get the sister flying but he has another plan. At a barn dance to celebrate the happy couple’s engagement he plans to get Charity’ sister to revert back to her party-hearty ways and his brother will see the light and understand this gal is not for him.
Great! A dance is the last place Charity wants to be. She's got a mare ready to foal, and this foal could be the very one that puts the MacKay farm back on top, something she’s worked for years. Also, one of her other horses is off his feed. She’ll have to spare a few hours because Charity can't let Tanner get to her sister. Since faded jeans and worn T-shirt won't beguile anyone and Charity will have to attract Tanner some way, she raids her engaged sister's clothes—fashion central--pours a glass of wine to relax and practices being sexy and dancing in front of a mirror. She hasn't had cause to feel sexy or dance or beguile a man for some time.
When Charity doesn’t show up for the dance on time, her sister sends Tanner for Charity instructing him to get her to the dance. When she doesn’t answer the door—due to loud music—he goes inside and finds her dancing in her underwear in front of the mirror. Charity MacKay dancing? Since when? And where'd that sexy little shape come from? The Charity MacKay he knew wore straw in her hair and horse drool.
When they get to the party Tanner’s plan backfires. His brother joins his fiancée in her wild dancing and Tanner realizes Charity is the loveliest woman there. Cupid is working overtime and it’s all his fault.
The next morning he needs to see Charity to formulate another plan. Least that’s what he tells himself. Truth is, he’s likes being with her. He finds her returning from her sister's ex-husband's house. She tried to buy back the lost acres before he sells them to someone else. She wants nothing more than to have the MacKay ranch the way it once was--before her sister's divorce and her step-father ran the farm into the ground. Tanner admires her drive and tenacity to rebuild the farm but realizes she’s sacrificing her whole life for the cause.
Charity tries to subtly point out to Tanner how good her sister and his brother are together. Her sister’s given his brother a life beyond the farm and she’s truly attracted to him. Her sister then drives up in a new BMW and Tanner says it sure is a move up from her old Chevy and his brother is spoiling her. No wonder she’s attracted to him. Charity tells Tanner his problem is he doesn’t think the MacKay’s are good enough for the wealthy Davenports and he’s a snob and can eat dirt and die.
Tanner declares he said no such thing and when Charity keeps at it he tells her she needs to cool off and drops her in the water trough. He realizes he needs a dunking in water too because he wants to kiss Charity so badly he aches. Tanner also realizes why Charity is working so hard to rebuild the farm, pride. He can relate to that because personal pride in his capabilities is what made him follow his own heart and be a pilot and not cave into the demands of his father and raise horses.
Tanner has invited Charity’s sister to go flying. When Charity learns of it she sends her sister on an errand and gets Tanner to take her flying to deliver medicine to a friend with ailing horses. Charity gets airsick and Tanner lands. She’s so thankful to be back on ground she hugs him. This was not part of the plan to keep her sister from Tanner. The more she’s with Tanner the more she’s attracted to him.
While on the ground a storm blows in and when she helps him save his plane their joy, relief and simmering attraction lead to a kiss. They spend the night alone in a cabin and Charity decides that's good because it keeps Tanner and her sister apart. Then again, it's bad because she’s alone with Tanner and they share another kiss. They both decide this is a bad idea since he's going back to Alaska where he’s accepted for who he is and not be reminded at every turn that his father saw him as a failure.
When they get back to the farm, they learn more horses are getting sick. Tanner helps keep watch at his brother’s farm while he takes time off to visit his fiancée for an hour. Tanner realizes that Charity’s sister has given his brother a life and makes him happy. He envies his brother and realizes how much he is attracted to Charity. He visits her to check on her horses. The attraction from the cabin escalates and they make love in the barn.
Tanner knows this is a bad situation. Neither of them can give up their dreams so he tells Charity their lovemaking was great sex, nothing more.
Charity’s pissed. Great sex? It was more than that to her.
More horses are getting sick and the situation on the Ridge is dire. Tanner flies medicine to outlying farms and helps with sick foals. Charity’s impressed and touched with his willingness to help out. She’s never met a man like him and she’s falling in love with him. It may not be a great idea but some things just happen.
While in the air Tanner realizes there are silver patches in the trees, more than he ever remembered seeing before and something that wouldn’t seem exceptional from the ground in less they were seen in mass from the air. Tanner and Charity ride into the pastures and find caterpillars. Lots of them and the vets realize they are responsible for the sick horses. Charity is thrilled. Her farm and dreams are saved and she and Tanner make love again.
They are more attracted than ever and Tanner tells Charity they will just have to get over it. Charity asks him what does he mean since it was just sex between them. Whoops. Tanner realizes he let his feeling slip but that doesn’t change anything. They cannot do this again.
The wedding is fast approaching and Tanner tells Charity he has one more idea about splitting up the wedding. He’ll throw his brother the bachelor party of all bachelor parties and his brother will realize what he’s missing by getting married. His brother hasn’t dated all that much and this will clue him in to the other fish in she sea.
She’s not been successful in making Tanner give up his quest to split up the engagement and now he’s going to be ogling other women. She confesses all to her sister and together with her other sister and mother they go to break up the party. When they get there, Tanner and his brother are gone but Charity and the MacKay clan track them down at a diner. She tells Tanner the jig’s up and he’s not breaking up the wedding because the MacKay women won’t let him. Charity’s sister’s ex is there and makes a disparaging remark about Charity’s sister and Tanner’s brother flattens him.
Tanner’s never seen his brother act this way before. He’s a controlled, rational man. Not the kind to brawl in a diner. Tanner confesses to his brother about trying to beak up the engagement and apologizes. Until now he didn’t realize just how strong his brother’s love for his fiancée is.
At the picture-perfect wedding Tanner says good-by to everyone as he’s leaving for Alaska the next day. When he left seven years ago he was anxious to get out but now not only is he leaving Charity, but he feels a part of the town. They accept him for who he is and what he did to save the horses. He spends the night with Charity in the barn and together they deliver a foal that Charity is sure will be a winner. She names him Tanner’s Pride.
Charity can’t believe Tanner is going but what else can they do? She watches him leave, her heart breaking. But a few hours later he returns and gives her the deed to the fifty acres. He wants her to remember him and he traded his biplane for the land. Charity’s touched beyond words and gives the deed back to Tanner. She tells him she loves him and she wants him to have the fifty acres so he can fly back whenever he wants, no strings attached. She wants to be with him but doesn’t want him to give up his dreams. She'll take him any way she can get him.
He tells her there is a string, her. He loves her and wants to marry her. His dad didn't accept him for who he was and that’s what drove him away. Charity's acceptance is what will keep him in here. He feels a part of the land now, as if he's truly home, and being with her is the best adventure of all.