The Wannabe Cowboy
The last thing he needs is another person he has to protect…
Zack Baker is down to his last chance and the only person who can help him is Samantha Kenady, owner of the L/C Ranch. He’s hoping to use his good looks and charm to convince her to let him finish the zoological study he needs to complete his Ph.D. He needs to get the permission of Ms. Kenady because her land is one of the few places where the foxes he’s studying live. He’ll do whatever it takes to finish his thesis.
Things get off to a rocky start when he has a run-in with a cowboy—except it’s not a cowboy. It’s a cowgirl—Sam. Scarred by an attack that happened when she was a teenager, Sam finds a measure of redemption in taking in cast-offs and strays. She may not be able to erase her own past, but she can help others start over. Sam runs her ranch with an iron hand. Her rules are nonnegotiable, and rule #1 is no men.
But some rules can be bent—and others can be broken. Does Sam dare risk it all on a wannabe cowboy, or will their attraction cause everything she’s worked so hard to protect to go up in smoke?
Warning: This book features academics on horseback, tough cowgirls, poverty issues, sexual assault survivors, lesbians in love, wise grannys, former sex workers and adorable foxes. Plan accordingly!
Men of the White Sandy #6
EBook ISBN: 9781941097588
Print IBSN: 9781941097595
A man came out of the tent wearing nothing but a pair of boxers. Plaid, she guessed. He stood up and stretched in the early morning light. His bare chest was right at eye level.
Whoa. Maybe she did need to get out more, because the prospect of a mostly naked man was making her a little lightheaded. It’s not that she didn’t see shirtless men—Heaven kept her all up-to-date on what the latest Hollywood hunks were doing—but this was different. When she saw a hot dude shirtless on the TV, she didn’t think much of it. Now, here, face to face with a real man’s real chest, she felt…funny.
She blinked against the brightening light, but the image didn’t change. Broad shoulders led to long arms. His chest was smooth but he had more than enough muscles. The sight of that chest made her own tighten. The legs weren’t bad, either. Not scrawny chicken legs, but not the tree trunks that came on some of the local cowboys. No, he was well-proportioned. Good looking. He was—
Shucking his shorts.
Her mouth dropped open at the sight before her. Whoa.
Good morning, sunshine, was all she could think. Then the guy pivoted. Hell.
Sam flattened herself against the ground. What would he do if he caught her watching? She had no idea what kind of man was squatting on her land. Not a Gunderson, that much she was pretty sure about. Gundersons didn’t make her feel all funny, shorts or no shorts. But that left the field wide open between tree-hugger and psychopath.
She hugged her rifle, waiting. Agonizingly long seconds passed as she wondered whether or not a naked man was about to jump her.
The grass was quiet, but the water started talking to her. She heard the splash of the creek. He was swimming?
She leaned up. He was swimming, all right. She could just see a curved set of cheeks disappear in her creek. He ducked his head under the water and then began to…shampoo? Really?
He was taking a bath at, what? Six in morning? That creek couldn’t be much above sixty-five degrees. She was staring. But he was naked in her water. Staring seemed like an even trade-off.
His back matched his front, strong without being muscle-bound. And she’d already gotten a good look at everything else. A well-built man, no doubt about it.
He started out of the water, and she couldn’t help but look. How cold had that water been?
Cold. But he was still impressive.
She shook her head. She was staring at a naked man, and she hadn’t even had her coffee yet.
He wrapped a towel around his waist, shook the water from his hair, and lifted his face to the sun.
She gaped in silent shock.
Baker. Zack Baker was naked. In her creek. On her land.
Was she seriously crouched in the grass, getting kind of hot for the fox guy? The one who hadn’t even realized she was a woman?
He may not have figured she was a female, but damned if Sam wasn’t aware of him as a man. And it wasn’t just because she’d gotten a full look at him. It’d been a long time since anyone had made her stare.
Nope. She was not going to stare at him as he dried off. She was absolutely not going to get the hots for him.
Except she was, damn it, and that shouldn’t happen. She was the boss around here. She did what had to be done. Which was not gawking at a hot guy skinny-dipping. She had to get this guy off her land. It didn’t matter how hot—or naked—he was.
Baker slipped his shorts back on, checked the coffee and disappeared back into the tent.
he put the safety on the rifle and crept down the hill. She could hear him rattling around in his tent. At least he kept a neat site, she thought as she crouched down in front of the fire. The fire was in a pit lined with river stones and the coffee perking away on a grate. He’d hung his food in a bear bag on one of the pines near the water. She couldn’t smell the latrine and she didn’t see any garbage, just a clothesline strung between the tent and the tree.
He’d been here a while—long enough to do laundry.
He was humming what sounded like “Rocky Mountain High.” Sitting on her heels, she kept the rifle on her lap and poured herself a cup of coffee. Tasted like brown water. Good. She needed to stay focused.
Zack Baker came out of the tent, t-shirt in hand, jeans up but not buttoned, still humming.
Awareness hit her again. When was the last time she’d been this close to a half-dressed man with a good chest? The better question was, when was the last time she’d wanted to be this close to a half-dressed man?
He hadn’t seen her yet. She almost smiled as she said, “You make lousy coffee.”
At the sound of her voice, he froze, one arm in a sleeve. Sam let her eyes take in all of that chest. Good? Hell, it bordered on amazing. Wasn’t her fault it was just about at eye level.
A moment of stillness followed while she waited for him to make his play. She took another sip of the coffee. At least it was hot.
He seemed to notice she was staring. His gaze caught hers and dragged it up to his face. One eyebrow notched up while half of that charming grin she’d seen two weeks ago took up residence on his face. Moving real slow, he pulled the shirt over his head and found her eyes again as he ran his fingers through his hair. Finally, he spoke. “I didn’t hear you get here.”
“I expect not, what with all the humming.” She managed to break his gaze, but found herself staring at his open fly. Plaid boxers, red and blue. They matched his reddish curls pretty well. “You want to button up there?”
She should not be staring as a man—a stranger—closed a five-button fly with one hand, but she couldn’t help it. Baker’s fingers worked with a speed that was both nimble and surprising. If Heaven were here, Sam knew she’d make some comment about how he was good with his hands. But Heaven wasn’t here and Sam kept her thoughts to herself.
When he was done, she looked up and saw the full-on smolder. That smolder seemed to say “good with my hands” and a whole hell of a lot more.
“I suppose you’re wondering what I’m doing here.”
Interesting. Whereas his eyes were all confidence, his voice sounded more like he knew exactly how shaky his position was.
If he had his shirt on, she didn’t feel like she was peeping. Right? “As a matter of fact, I am, being as I’m certain I told you to leave.”
He swallowed again, his eyes cutting down to the rifle in her lap. “You did.”
“And yet here we are.”
Buy the book!
Men of the White Sandy #6
EBook ISBN: 9781941097588
Print IBSN: 9781941097595