Whiskey Ryder's Second Chance by Rhonda Lee Carver is a BHW pick #westernromance #romance #bookboost
Title: Whiskey Ryder's Second Chance
Author: Rhonda Lee Carver
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
A single father is looking for a nanny, but what he gets is an old flame. Whiskey Ryder spends most of his time on the back of a horse on a mountain. Whether it’s on a search and rescue mission, or on the Ryde Hard Ranch working the land with his brothers. He’s all about being a cowboy…and a single father of a preteen who woke up one morning hating him. He’s been told it’s a normal phase for all kids, but he’s like a parenting fish out of water. He’s a millisecond away from chewing leather but his stunning first love comes back to town and, to his relief, has a way with his daughter...and his heart. They are better together than whiskey and cola but claiming a second chance won’t be easy because someone sees her as a threat and wants her to leave town…dead or alive. Codee Fields finds herself helping an old friend—old friend as in the cowboy who was her first love, first kiss, first everything. She’s had a couple of failed relationships, but Whiskey is “the one who got away”. Her priority is to solve the mystery of her sister’s death now that she knows the truth. Whiskey will protect her at all costs, but will it be enough for a second chance at romance? Or will tragedy strike and everything he’s wanted disappear? If small town romances with lots of emotion and adventures in the mountains, and sweltering chemistry between the lead characters, are what you crave then grab books by Rhonda Lee Carver.
“I can’t say I mind the skirt. It brings out…the color of your eyes.” He removed one hand from the steering wheel and laid it across the armrest. He didn’t take his eyes off the road.
She took a moment to examine his hand. He had long, wide fingers with flat nails that were surprisingly clean for a man who worked in the dirt. Back at the bar she’d been reintroduced to his calloused palms and how good they felt on her sensitive skin. Clearing her throat, she touched the scrap of cotton on her knee. “I hope that isn’t your favorite shirt.”
“All three of the shirts I own are my favorite. Good thing it wasn’t my hat.” A smile burst over his expression. “Thea tells me nearly every day that I need to get rid of these old rags and buy a new wardrobe. Why buy something new when the old is working just fine?”
Codee clung to one word in that entire statement. “Thea?” She wasn’t sure what the heavy feeling was swirling around in her chest, but she slightly suspected it could be something akin to jealousy.
“She’s a spitfire that loves to give me a hard time, but she has me wrapped around her little finger.” He shifted his broad shoulders as if suddenly the leather became sandpaper.
Twisting a bit in the seat, she narrowed her gaze on his profile as several emotions flitted through her. “What would Thea have to say about the kiss we shared earlier?”
His smile grew in the pale light of the dashboard. “I’m guessing she’d say, “You found a woman who wanted to kiss you, Dad?’.”
“D-Dad?” she sputtered. “Is that daddy as in a naughty nickname?”
“Does that happen often? You skip right to dirty thoughts?”
“You have a child?”
“There are words she despises, and child is definitely one of them.”
“How old is she?” Her head was spinning.
“Twelve going on twenty.”
She did the mental calculations. “You and Theresa had a child together?”
He nodded as he glanced over. “You didn’t know? I wasn’t hiding her, and you were here for a brief time after Everett died.”
“You didn’t bring her to the funeral and I haven’t spoken to anyone in town, except for Wendy on rare occasion. Mom and I had agreed a long time ago that we wouldn’t mention you. There were slips over the years, but after she moved it got better.”
“That bad, huh?”
“No one likes to talk about their mistakes.” Did she see a glimpse of hurt in his expression? She turned and watched the snow hit the windshield and instantly melt before getting swept away by the wipers.
“Is it that surprising that I’m a father?”
Why hadn’t she even thought of the possibility? “It’s more surprising that she was pregnant when you married.”
His long pause ended with a sigh. “Yeah. Now that we have that covered…”
“If your daughter is twelve, that’d mean Theresa was pregnant when we broke up.” Codee cursed herself for saying the words aloud. She should have ignored the facts and the hurt building in her chest.
“The anger is coming back in your tone. I thought we called a truce?”
She twirled a strand of her hair around her finger. “It was a temporary truce. She was one of my best friends, Whiskey. One would think you could have broadened your perimeter just a bit more.”
“No, please don’t. I don’t want, or need, an explanation. That is all history, and we should leave it there.” And honestly, the last thing she wanted was to add another layer to the night’s troubles.
“I don’t believe you, and it’s not so black and white,” he said quietly.
“Nothing ever is, is it?” She continued to stare through the window, wishing she could have him stop the truck so she could walk the rest of the way to the ranch. Her heart ached although she felt betrayed for feeling any emotion. She’d once loved Whiskey with all her heart. Breaking up with him had been the hardest thing she’d ever done, but after Paige’s death Codee had changed, needed something that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. It had been like everyone had moved on except for her.
“Looks like we’re in the same divorce club. What brought the end for you and that rich-doctor-ex of yours?”
“I don’t think we have all day.” She was glad to change the subject even if she hated talking about her ex-husband too. “He does have a name and it isn’t rich-doctor-ex. It’s Ryan.”
“So, how long were you and your rich-doctor-ex married?”
“The length of time it took me to figure out he didn’t want to give up his extracurricular activities, or should I call them side hustles?” She laughed but nothing about the marriage was humorous or fun. “I consider myself foolish that I didn’t see the red flags. Anyway, a daughter, huh?” Curiosity got the better of her.
“A strong willed, stubborn daughter.”
“Have you forgotten all those times you made your mom and dad worry? It’s some kind of cosmic payback.”
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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.
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