July 23, 2008


Title: HER RELUCTANT RANCHER
By: Anne Marie Novark
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Western
Heat Rating: Spicy

Blurb:

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.


Excerpt #1:

“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.

15 comments:

ddurance said...

Okay....I'm intrigued. What does she want? LOL

Deidre
deidre_durance@hotmail.com

BethRe said...

Sounds good, and what does she want?

Anne Marie said...

Hey Deidre and Bethre,

Beth wants a lot from Trevor. She can't let him sell the ranch. She needs his cooperation.

Here's how that scene ends:

“Look,” he said. “I thought you could continue like you’ve been doing and the arrangement would benefit us both.”

“Well…” Beth sighed. She never could resist anyone who needed help.

“I won’t be here for long,” he continued. “And I’m not going to jump your bones, if that’s what you’re afraid of.”

“Certainly not! I didn’t mean—” But that was exactly what she was afraid of. She hadn’t felt this kind of attraction since Matt Evans. The father of her child. The husband who’d left her high and dry.

“Maggie will be the perfect chaperone.” Trevor seemed amused by the situation, but the gleam in his eyes issued a dare.

“That’s true,” Beth said, rising to the challenge. “And it would be more convenient for me. The next couple of weeks are going to be hectic, what with school coming to a close.” And she really needed to get those books organized.

Plus there was a decided advantage to staying at the ranch. Without his cooperation, she was doomed. That settled it.

“I’ll stay,” she said.

“Good. You won’t even know I’m here.” Trevor leaned back again and crossed his arms over his broad chest. The top two buttons of his black knit shirt were undone revealing a dark hairy chest. Black hair covered his sinewy arms.

Beth’s throat went dry. The man was dangerous. Could she actually live in the same house with him, day in and day out, without giving in to her hormones? Of course she could. She was older now, wasn’t she? A mother, for heaven’s sake. And she’d learned her lesson the hard way.

Besides, Trevor Callahan couldn’t possibly be interested in Beth Evans. They were from totally different worlds. And she couldn’t really be interested in a man like him anyway. Look what he’d done to Hank, she reminded herself. Besides, the man wasn’t looking for a relationship, for crying out loud. He wanted a housekeeper, so a housekeeper she would be.

Nothing more, nothing less.

***

Just a little more to whet your reading appetite.

Glad you're here today.

Anne Marie

Jane said...

Thanks for the extended excerpt.

Anne Marie said...

Jane,

Your welcome!!! Glad you liked it.

AM :)

Cherie J said...

Sounds really good. Nice cover for this book as well.

Anne Marie said...

Thanks, Cherie.

My cover won the New Covey Cover Award in January 2008, for the most Eye-catching cover. My awesome cover-artist is the talented Kim Mendoza.

AM :)

CrystalGB said...

Sounds great. :)

Estella said...

Great excerpt. Thanks for the extension.

Zulmara said...

I think we know what she wants...question is...does she get it...love and not lust...

ADELANTE!!!

Zulmara

Anne Marie said...

Zulmara,

You could read the book to find out. *g*

AM :)

Drea said...

I like, I like!!! Thank you.
~Drea
slyiare@yahoo.com

Anne Marie said...

Glad you liked it, Drea!

AM :)

Virginia said...

Loved the excerpt. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading.

Anne Marie said...

Thanks, Virginia!

AM :)