Title: Billionaire Cowboy’s Conquest
Author: Marie Tuhart
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance
Sidelined from his rodeo career by an injury, billionaire Texas rancher Hunter Knight returns to home to find the staff overworked and the office a mess. He hates paperwork, so he's pleased to hear his sister has hired an office manager. But when he finds out it's Jessica Sinclair, his sister's party-girl best friend from college, he's not happy and wants her fired. Even worse than her partying past, he's attracted to her. Burned once by his gold-digging, city woman of an ex-wife, he has no interest in playing with fire. Dogged by a past that won’t let her go, Jessica arrives at the ranch with a plan: excel as an office manager, stay away from the bulls, and no cowboys. Her father died when thrown from a bull when she was a kid, so avoiding them is key. Cowboys, well, they're just as dangerous as the bulls. Then there's Hunter Knight, part owner of the Double K ranch. This stubborn cowboy can ruin everything by sending her away before she can earn a single penny. Buying time with a proposal solves one problem but leads her straight into riskier territory, fighting an attraction to the bull-riding billionaire boss. Can this city girl and cowboy survive the wildest ride of their lives?
“I’m Jessica Sinclair, the new office manager.”
“Hell no.” What was his sister thinking? Yes, he agreed they needed help in the office. Yes, he told his sister to take care of it. But...this woman had city girl written all over her. She wouldn’t last a day in the Texas summer heat.
Jessica...wait a second. “Jessica Sinclair? As in my sister’s college roommate and party girl?” He’d heard about Jessica’s college exploits from his sister. Although he’d only met her briefly at graduation, he knew she was the last thing the Double K Ranch needed.
“I’m sorry?” A tiny frown appeared on her forehead, then her eyes widened with recognition.
“I can’t believe Susan would hire you. I don’t have time for amateurs.”
Her lashes whisked down concealing her amber eyes, then lifted. Fire brewed in her gaze. Her shoulders stiffened. “I can assure you, Mr. Knight, I am a professional and I can run an office.”
“Oh really.” His gaze swept from those dainty feet, up her amazing body to her rosy face. “High heels have no place on my ranch.”
Her lips pressed together. Damn if his groin didn’t tighten as he wondered how she would taste. Cut it out, Knight. You don’t need the complication a city woman would offer. But play time might be worth the headache, if she wasn’t off-limits.
“I talked to Susan last night. She assured me the office manager job was available and mine.” She lifted her hand, shading her face from the hot Texas sun.
“It is.” He wouldn’t lie. He needed an office manager. “Come in out of the sun.” The last thing he needed was her passing out from sun stroke. He turned and sauntered back to where he’d been sitting. A second later he heard the click, click, click of her heels on the floor. “Have a seat.” He dropped down onto the leather chair.
Jessica glided over to the chair in front of the desk. The sunlight streaming through the window intertwined with her hair. Not red hair, but chestnut, almost a cinnamon color. Would it smell like his favorite scent?
Get a grip. City girls and country cowboys didn’t mix. Hadn’t his ex-wife proved that to him? His ex cared more about his money than him. He shook his head to clear away his morose thoughts and leaned back in the chair as she settled down onto hers.
“If the job is still available, then what is the problem?” Her tone was questioning, but firm.
“As I said, I need someone who can run this office.” He ignored the way his blood heated as he stared at her.
“I assure you, I can handle the job.” She sat with her back straight, shoulders tight, and fingers tangled in her lap.
“Which end of a horse do you keep clear of?” He tossed the question out.
“Both ends.” Confidence oozed from her silky voice, and his annoyance level rose along with his awareness of her.
“What is an Angus?”
“What do you do if a horse has colic?”
“Call a vet.” She let out a sigh. “My understanding is I’m going to run the office, not be a ranch hand.”
Hunter liked her spunk, but he didn’t need a party girl distracting his workers. He leaned forward, forearms on the wooden desk. “Dallas is over a two-hour drive.”
“And?” A note of impatience crept into her voice, and he bit back a grin.
“Longville doesn’t have a mall, or a movie theater. Just a general store which is attached to the feed store. You’ll be bored in a week.”
Her head snapped up and fire flashed again in those amber eyes.
“Don’t presume to tell me how I would feel.” Her voice was tight, controlled as if she was holding onto her temper by a thread.
Let’s see if he could break that thread and prove a city girl doesn’t belong. “You’re a city girl. You don’t belong on my ranch.” His gazed raked over her body, lingering at her breasts straining against the fabric of her blouse.
“You know nothing about me, Mr. Knight.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Ms. Sinclair.” He had her now. “Were you not the one who caused a riot at Alpha Delta House on the campus of Arizona University?”
She squirmed in her seat as a slight blush filled her cheeks. “That wasn’t my fault.” Her voice was faint.
“And were you not the one who snuck into the boy’s campus housing and stole the quarterback’s jersey, which you then wore to the big game?”
Her chin dipped. “That was a long time ago. I’m a different person now.”
He shook his head. “Tell me, what would you do if the barn was on fire?” He forced himself not to give into the haunted look on her face.
“Call the fire department.”
“Wrong.” He slapped his hand on the desk. Victory soared through is veins. “You’d get the horses out first, then call the fire department. You’re unsuitable for this position.”
Her shoulders slumped. Hunter sat waiting for her to either cry or storm out. The seconds ticked by, nothing happened. She took a deep breath. Her head rose, her spine stiffened, and she stared straight at him with fire blazing in her eyes.
“None of this has to do with an office job. I’m a darn good office manager. And from what Susan told me, you’re desperate for help.” She glanced around the room, noting the stacks of filing and overflowing paperwork on the desks, before her gaze settled back on him. “Frankly, Mr. Knight, I don’t see applicants lined up for this job.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/BillionaireCowboysConquest
What makes your featured book a must-read?
A cowboy, what else needs to be said (LOL)? I’ve always loved cowboys and this is story is close to my heart. Jessica needs a fresh start and getting a job at the ranch will help her. Tyler’s ex did a number on him and he has to learn to trust again. The book is filled with romance, cowboys, twists and turns, but lots of fun.
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