Title: All Cowboy and Rough Rider
Author: Rhonda Lee Carver
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Forbidden love with an ex-fiancé’s brother will have townsfolk of Dove Grey talking. But she either went rogue or lost her heart again. It had been two years since Cade Dawson passed away from leukemia, but his presence remained strong in small town Dove Grey, Texas. Coming home was probably too soon for many folks, but Annika Tinder hoped people could put the rumors and assumptions aside so that she could open her dream spa in her childhood Victorian home. She’d grown a lot since she first left—had a thicker skin. So what if people thought she had a sex-capade with the sexiest Dawson brother? It was true and she was willing to face the fire to get what she wanted. Cross Dawson had a plan. He’d steer clear of Annika so that townsfolk wouldn’t target her with their harsh speculations, but the task proved harder than he anticipated. He’d lost himself once—twice, three times—with her, but he couldn’t do it again, not when he had to honor his late brother’s memory. That was the respectable thing to do, right? So then why did every path and sign lead back to her? Will Annika’s desire for an old flame, and new start, keep her in town? Or will she be chased off a second time? The sexy Dawson brothers and their wild romances keep the townsfolk of Dove Grey, Texas talking. From secret babies, forbidden love, to broken hearts…they’ll keep readers talking too.
“What? Do you think this is funny?”
She squinted at the harshness in his words. “Are you insinuating that I did something wrong? If I remember, and trust me I do, I wasn’t the only one in the barn that afternoon.” At the mere mention of what they’d shared—every hot, sexy minute—made her body flush. They’d both been full of grief over Cade’s death. She’d walked down to the barn, needing a moment to catch her breath, and Cross had followed. Neither had meant for things to get out of control—neither had meant for the pain, sadness, desire to manifest itself into a need so strong that they couldn’t fight it. One kiss had turned into them going at each other in a whirlwind of desire. If Serena hadn’t shown up…
He dragged off his hat and gave it a toss onto the counter. He had more greys at the temples, but age had been very kind to him. He was more handsome, distinguished. “And trust me, I remind myself every minute that you weren’t the only one there that day.”
Hearing sadness in his tone, she reached out to touch him but pulled back. She had to be strong. This time she wouldn’t run, and she wouldn’t forget what she wanted. “Don’t worry, Cross. You’re a Dawson. Who would dare make a hero of Dove Grey feel responsible for anything?”
This softened the creases around his eyes some. “I’m not worried what people say about me, or what they think.”
“Really? And you think I do?” She held his gaze for a heated second then turned away, putting the package of chicken in the refrigerator.
“Damn, Annika. Why are you back? What’s in this town that would make you come back and face a fire?”
She crossed her arms over her waist, keeping her chin angled. “I shouldn’t have been there, in the barn, with you, but I refuse to allow anyone in this town to run me off again. This place, this house, it’s my home. If you, or anyone else for that matter, can’t handle seeing me then I suggest you don’t look or leave yourselves.”
He swiped his palm down his jaw. Some of the tightness had returned. “Can’t you see that I’m…”
“You’re what? Doing me a civil duty by warning me what people think of me? That two years have come and passed but one look at me and people still see the daughter of Gracie Tinder who broke the heart of Cade Dawson then had sex with his brother. And yet, we didn’t have sex, did we? We never quite gotten that far ever, did we? I’m stronger than this, Cross. I can handle what they throw at me.”
“I’m sorry,” he said quietly.
She laughed but it came out as a snort. “Sorry? For losing ourselves in a moment of passion or that people hate me because I was born in the wrong bloodline?”
“No one hates you.”
“Do you hate me?” she said quietly.
“No. Of course not.”
“Cade loved you.”
“Cade is gone.”
“He’ll never truly be gone.”
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Rhonda Lee Carver is a bestselling author of contemporary western and romantic suspense, but she loves to write other genres too. She's known for writing stories that keep readers laughing, crying, gripping the edge of their seats, and screaming all in one book...like riding a virtual roller coaster. Whether she's creating sexy cowboys or tough guys, or sassy, independent heroines, readers are sure to find strong, powerful, memorable characters that are relatable. By day, she taps into her creative, fictional world but at some point she transitions back into reality where she's a volleyball-stands cheerleader, homework virtuoso (at least she thinks so), amateur nurse to skinned knees, mediocre chef with some awesome microwave skills, pet-guru (all the strays show up at her house), and a Jackie of all trades for her kids who are the loves of her life. Yoga and chocolate keep her sane. Hallmark movies require cuddling up with tissues because she can be emotional. She adds a sprinkle of her own real-life adventures in each story she spins because a little truth never hurt anyone. She wouldn't give up one thing in her crazy, chaotic, ever-amusing life, except, she might do magic tricks for the bungalow on the beach she's had her eye on (GOALS). Writing for Rhonda is like falling in love and finding a new best friend over and over again. Her characters will find a place inside your heart too. (less)
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