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Brody: Dawsons of Montana by @romancerider is a Book Series Starter pick #99c #westernromance
Brody: Dawsons of Montana
Contemporary Western Romance
When champion bull rider Brody Caldera learns his stepfather has suffered a serious accident, he heads home to the ranch he’d left behind years before. Maybe the clean Montana air of the Six Buckles Ranch, near Yellowstone Park, will help him forget his cheating ex-girlfriend. But returning will also force him to confront another woman, the one he deserted when she needed him most.
Ten years ago, Brody had chosen bucking bulls over booties and bottles, leaving ranch worker Stef Chambers to raise their daughter alone. She’s done her best to cowboy up for the sake of her daughter and build a good life for them. She can’t let Brody’s return change that. Damn the man for breaking her heart once. It won’t happen again. But Stef’s hero-worshipping ten-year-old is enamored by the famous cowboy, and Stef’s best intentions are side-tracked from day one.
Is Brody ready to be the man Stef needs, or is he just taking her for a ride? Brody has troubles of his own, dealing with his injured stepfather and a stepbrother enraged that the family cattle ranch is now a dude ranch. Is he ready to settle down and trade bull riding for a bride?
Two o’clock a.m.
He was home.
Brody Caldera’s heart quickened as he turned the key to the door of his high-rise apartment on North Sheridan Road. When his girlfriend Lori Ann helped him pick it out soon after they met two years ago, she’d loved the apartment’s million-dollar view of Lake Michigan. The location was trendy and close to downtown and her job at an up-and-coming ad agency. The apartment was to-die-for, and she said she’d be very happy living there alone between Brody’s business trips.
Yeah, Lori Ann was spoiled, all right. He gave her anything and everything she wanted. But why not? He could afford it. What else did he have to spend his money on but the woman he loved? Since the day he met her at a promotional event for his professional bull riders’ organization, he’d been head-over-heels in love with her. And she with him. They were a perfect match for each other. He was athletic, craved excitement, and took chances. She was sweet and calm, a great grounding rock for him. There was just something right about them together. And one day they’d get married and make beautiful blond babies together. Maybe sooner than she thought.
Even after all this time, he adored her. Still bought her clothes and jewelry. Still had hot sex with her. That’s why he’d caught an early plane home. He wanted to surprise her this morning and kiss her awake. And give her the ring he carried in his pocket.
His adrenalin surged just like it did when he was about to climb down on the back of a seventeen-hundred-pound bull. Brody slowly turned the doorknob, so he wouldn’t make noise and wake Lori Ann. She wasn’t expecting him.
What the hell?
Every light in the place was on. He blinked his eyes against the glare reflected off the bank of windows that faced the lake.
Cocking his head to the side, Brody stood at the threshold and surveyed the strange sight in the fashionable, black-and-white living room Lori Ann had decorated. It didn’t look like their peaceful living space with everything neat and in its place. It looked like a scene from a college frat party. Not that he would know firsthand, of course. He’d never gone to college and never been to a frat party, but he’d listened to a lot of stories.
Furniture was shoved back against the walls. Empty glasses and plates littered the glass table tops. Cigarette butts filled several ash trays. He’d never had an ash tray in the apartment in his whole time living there.
Lori Ann didn’t smoke. And folks didn’t smoke in Montana where he came from. He’d learned his lesson the hard way. He’d tried it once out behind the barn. His stepfather had caught him and tanned his hide. His mom had given him the what-for too. Told him smoking interfered with drawing in the clean mountain air. It made riding and roping harder work with lungs full of crap. They were right.
Tightening his jaw, Brody took a step inside, dropped his duffle bag by the entrance, and shut the door behind him. He turned slowly, absorbing the dead silence of the place and drawing in a pungent scent of skunk.
He’d smelled it before on the streets of Chicago as he biked. He’d smelled it on sidewalks in the Loop and on the L.
Brody walked over to the glass coffee table and looked down at the ashtrays, which weren’t filled with only cigarette butts, but the damp, wrinkled nubs of paper-wrapped joints.
Someone had been smoking marijuana. And by the looks of the debris, a lot of it.
So that explained why Lori Ann had been acting strange for six months. He’d overlooked red flags because he’d wanted to. But now he couldn’t. The tightening of his gut told him he’d been a fool.
A damn fool.
A pair of man’s, black leather loafers kicked off by the black leather sofa told him the same thing.
Brody strode toward his bedroom, the one he shared with Lori Ann, and turned on the light switch beside the door. The overhead chandelier illuminated the king-size bed beneath it.
The spectacle rocked him. Another man had enjoyed the fruits of his labor.
Brody planted his legs wide for balance, anger rolling through the length of his slim, muscular body. So, this is what betrayal feels like.
He reached the side of the bed in two strides and grasped the edge of the red satin sheet covering Lori Ann and another body. He tore the covering off her with a quick snap of his wrist.
“Who’s he?” he asked between clenched teeth.
Lori Ann sat bolt upright pulling the red satin sheet back over her breasts.
“Brody! What are you doing here?”
“Seems you’ve been taking me for a ride,” he said in his quiet cowboy way.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
Brody is the first book in a happily-ever-after series of romances, The Dawsons of Montana. These books tell the stories of rancher Jim Dawson’s widow Liz, and his children Brody, Mercer, and Ben. Can they find happiness and love in the aftermath of the patriarch’s untimely death.
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The author of two popular Bluegrass romance series, Jan Scarbrough writes heartwarming contemporary stories about home and family, single moms, and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books and the excitement of a Bluegrass horse race or a competitive horse show.
The Ghost Mountain Ranch series is a contemporary western series with a good blend of mystery and happily-ever-after romance. The Dawsons of Montana is another four-book contemporary western series.
Jan leaves her contemporary voice behind with two paranormal gothic romances, Timeless and Tangled Memories, a Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart finalist. Her historical romance, My Lord Raven, is a medieval story of honor and betrayal.
A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan self-publishes her books with her husband’s help.
Jan lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with one rescued dog, one rescued cat, and a husband she rescued twenty-three years ago.
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