July 23, 2008
Title: HER RELUCTANT RANCHER
By: Anne Marie Novark
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Western
Heat Rating: Spicy
Construction tycoon Trevor Callahan returns to Stone Creek, Texas, to settle his grandfather’s estate. He wants to sell the Rocking C Ranch so he can put his unhappy past behind him and move on. Living with his stern grandfather taught Trev an important lesson: Caring makes a man weak.
Single-mom Beth Evans once confused lust for love and will never let it happen again. She drives the Stone Creek bookmobile and is trying to raise funds to build a new library. In his will, Hank Callahan bequeathed a million dollars for the project, but attached one stipulation: Do not let his grandson sell the ranch.
“So, you moved in?” He made it sound like she was going to use squatter’s rights to take control of the Rocking C Ranch.
“Only temporarily,” she said. “To help Bonita. Now that you’re here, of course I’ll leave.” No way could she stay in the house with Trevor in residence. She felt dizzy just thinking about it. Her hormones had awakened from a long dormant sleep and Beth didn’t trust the little suckers. Not one bit. They’d gotten her into trouble once and she didn’t want that to happen again. When it came to men, Beth knew she was a walking disaster.
She picked up her sandwich and bit into it. What with talking so much, she’d neglected her food. And she was hungry. She and Mags had worked all morning sorting books.
Trevor poured more iced tea in his glass. Beth felt his eyes on her as she ate. Her stomach flip-flopped again. Oh no, she couldn’t stay.
“You don’t have to leave,” he said, breaking the awkward silence.
Beth jerked her head up and stared at him. “Excuse me? Yes, I do. I’m leaving.”
“No, you’re not. There’s no reason for you to go. I’ll be in and out a lot while I’m in Stone Creek. You obviously have a big job to do with the books. We won’t get in each other’s way. And I’ll make it worth your while.”
Beth frowned. Surely the man didn’t mean that like it sounded. “Make it worth my while?”
He shrugged. “Pay for your services.”
“My services?” She knew she sounded like a parrot, but she couldn’t help it. The man had her flustered.
“Cooking, cleaning, looking after the place. Like you’re doing now. Only you’d get compensated.”
“I don’t want your money.”
“What do you want?” he asked softly.
Posted by Anne Marie Novark at 9:25 AM