Savanna Brown returns to Wyoming to save the reputation of the cowboy she ran away from on their wedding night. She makes the ranch owner an offer he can’t refuse if he wants to hang onto his ranch. She’ll pretend to come back to him until the talk dies down, then she’ll be on her way.
Rafe Halliday is thrilled that his plan to lure his bride back to his place has worked. Now all he has to do is focus on getting sexy Savanna back into his bed where he figured their links of passion, love, and sex will complete their bond.
But will love happen with evil forces trying to tear them apart? To find out lasso a copy of, “Save a Horse; Ride a Cowboy,” today. It’s sure to singe your lariat.
“You’re going to do what?”
Savanna Brown gazed at the mutinous expression on her cousin’s pretty mahogany face, willing her to understand. “Rafe's reputation is in shreds since I left. I need, deep in my soul, to set things right. Please try to understand, Raven, I have to go back.”
“Back into the lion's den.” Raven shook her head her dark curls shaking as she closed the door of her at her law office. “Listen to me, cuz. You'll be going on a fool's errand. You don't think the man will actually take you back with open arms after you deserted him on your wedding night three weeks ago do you?”
“Rafe's housekeeper is going on a long deserved vacation. I'm all set to fill in for her at the ranch.”
“So she's the one who's been feeding you all these gloom and doom stories about him.” Raven scowled. “It could be a set up you know.”
“No, Rafe's not that devious.” Savanna added sadly, “He can't even tell a decent white lie. That's how I found out that he doesn't really love me. He only married me because of my family connections.”
Raven shook her head. “You, a housekeeper? I can't picture it.”
Savanna shrugged. “How hard can it be? You mop a few floors, open a few cans. I should even have enough spare time to finish the series of endangered species photos I was working on. It's the best work I've ever done and my editor said it could lead to some prestigious work.”
“That's just an excuse, Savanna, and you know it. You aren't responsible for ruining the cowboy any more than your mother was responsible for ruining your father. That was all our grumpy old grandfather's imagination. You can't fix the past by doing this.”
“That's not why.” Savanna noted Raven’s disbelief and sighed. “Maybe that's part of it, but the plain truth is I love the hardheaded, stubborn cowboy and I can't see his life ruined.”
“Somebody’s sure in an all fired hurry, boss.”
Rafe leaned forward in his rocker. His fatigue after a long dusty day on the range melted as he watched the silver Jeep Cherokee kick up a plume of dust in its wake. It sped toward them down the long ranch driveway. “It's the wife.”
“Wife.” Zeke Taylor, his ranch foreman, made the word sound like a curse. “I can't believe she has the guts to show her face around here after hightailing it on your wedding night.”
Rafe noted the sour expression on Zeke's wizened face, but ignored it. This wasn't up for debate. “I want you to spread the word. She's to be treated with respect.”
“I don't get it. The woman runs roughshod over you and you're going to lay out the red carpet for her.”
“Don't worry about it, Zeke.” Rafe smiled, adding confidently, “I've got everything under control this time around.”
“What you plannin' to do, sweet talk her into sticking around this time?” Zeke scowled and spat on the ground.
Rafe shook his head, his jaw tightening. “No, it'll take more than sweet talk to bind a fierce saddle shy filly like Savanna to my side. Don't you worry, I've got her figured out and before she knows it I'll have her tied to my side.”
Zeke slowly got up from the creaky rocker, slapping his battered Stetson against his leg. “I hope you know what you're doing, boy.”
“So do I,” Rafe said softly as he watched Zeke stomp toward the bunk house. He had to make this work. His future depended on it.
The Jeep came to a halt amid a cloud of dust. The inevitability of the moment hit him hard. He never doubted that one day Savanna would return, and when she did he would be the one in control. But first, he planned to extract a little payback before they settled down to domestic bliss. Savanna got out of the jeep and Rafe swallowed the lump in his throat. Dying embers of the sun caught the red highlights in her tawny dark hair turning it to molten fire and made her mocha skin look like the finest silk.
As she walked toward him, Rafe admired her ethnic beauty anew struck by the confident way she moved. That was what had attracted him in the first place six short weeks ago when she'd come to the area to shoot a series on the Grand Teton wildlife.
Rafe noted the proud angle of her chin and the keen intelligence in her sparkling golden eyes, passed down from her gypsy mother he’d heard her say. Dealing with her was going to be a challenge. And oh, how he loved challenges. The first moment they met, he'd known he had to have her and he almost had until she ran off on their wedding night. Three weeks later he still wasn't sure what spooked her, but he knew the best way to treat a spooked filly was put blinders on her. Instead, Rafe put up a blinder of a small white lie. Sure it was true that there'd been unmerciful gossip, but he could take it. And yes, his expansion loan had been turned down but there were ways to keep from selling up.
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