Title: Cowboy Luke (Book 5, Cooper’s Hawke Landing Series)
Author: Rhonda Lee Carver
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Two stubborn firefighters are faced with an uncontainable blaze inside their hearts. Can they withstand the heat?
What’s a woman to do to get over a lying, cheating ex-husband? She finds a cowboy-firefighter like Luke “Mug” Foster to salve her open wounds. He’s exactly what the “heart” doctor ordered. He was tall, dark, handsome, and eager to stoke her fire. But what happens when Jady Pierce starts to have feelings for him? She runs before she loses herself to another heartbreak. People couldn’t be trusted, and she’d learned that lesson through a long list of men who’d done her dirty. Jady was back in Cooper’s Hawk. Last year, she’d swept in, turned Mug inside out, then disappeared without a word. Story of his life. He wouldn’t lose himself in her again, yet there was something about her that challenged and excited him. To get to the “real” Jady, he’d have to chisel through some tough layers. She was carrying around a lot of pain…and not just from a cheating ex and a bum childhood. So what made her tick? What made her hurt? She’d be sticking around town for a while when she accepted the Sheriff duties, but how would she keep her feelings for Mug in check? He had a hold over her and she could feel her walls crumbling. An abandoned baby, an unveiling of secrets from the past, and Mug will have Jady slowly gaining trust as she finds peace, emotion and joy in the small town that she’d once hated. However, she isn’t the only one with a few demons to exterminate.
Hearing the identifiable clicking of a gun hammer being cocked behind him, Mug stiffened and slowly lifted his hands. “I’m unarmed.”
A tense silence passed.
“I’ve met a few brave men in my life, Cowboy, but you’re not one of them,” came the soft, feminine voice. “You must have a death wish.”
He grinned and lowered his arms to his sides. “I’ve always been one to find trouble. Looks like I have again.”
“They say a man who finds trouble shouldn’t be trusted.”
“They do, do they? I should have a talk with these people.”
“Maybe you should right after you learn the definition of trespassing,” she said flatly.
Smiling, he took his time turning then settled his hungry eyes on the woman who’d burrowed her way under his skin. He’d meant only to drive by her house to check out the property, although it was too dark to see much. He’d wanted to ignore the light he saw on in the window from the road…to forget her. Forget that she’d used him.
Mug wished he could forget how good she smelled. How her taste lingered on his tongue, in his blood. How she’d given him two unforgettable weeks before she disappeared from his life and Cooper’s Hawk like a thief in the night. Now he understood how the women must have felt when he’d slunk out of their beds like a fox from the chicken coop.
Jady had ruined him. Since last year he hadn’t been able to look at another woman, let alone think of easing the strain behind his zipper. She’d left a hex on him and having her back in town felt like a vise was squeezing his balls.
Taking in her jewel-like blue eyes then the barrel of the pistol, he managed a tight chuckle. This wasn’t the greeting he’d hoped for. He wasn’t expecting a warm welcome or a rolling out of the red carpet but being held at gunpoint completely threw him for a loop. A visual stroll down her toned body told him she was still as active as ever.
Lifting his gaze, he noted a flicker of appreciation that fell over her heart-shaped face, just before her plush lips dipped at the corners, and so did the gun but only a mere few inches.
“You changed your hair color.” The last time he saw her she had red hair. Now the soft locks were raven and hung in untamed waves down her back. There was a glow about her olive skin but the dark circles under her glistening eyes warned him she hadn’t been sleeping. Insomnia was something they had in common—that and a few other things that triggered a familiar ache throughout his body.
“Your hair is longer.” Her hip slanted, showing a sliver of her sassiness. He saw a new tenderness in her expression, but it didn’t last long.
“And a few more grays too.”
“Age definitely isn’t making you any wiser.” Her jaw tightened some. “I could—would—have shot you.”
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Rhonda Lee Carver is a bestselling author of romance. Her first love was a cowboy she'd read in a novel and has been her inspiration ever since. Fun Fact: She wrote a rough draft of a story on a dirty napkin while sitting in a parking lot after buying diapers for her newborn. That was her first published story in 2010. She's written over eighty novels since. Her kids are the center of her world, her animals are her babies, and her fictional characters fill her heart. She has a soft spot for cowboys, small towns, and taking readers down an emotional journey that ends with a happily ever after. Writing for Rhonda is like falling in love and finding a new best friend over and over again. Allow her stories into your heart too.
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