It’s hard to resist a bad boy who’s a good man.
But that’s exactly what Malou Bullers, M.D. is trying to do. While working as the rodeo doc, she turns a blind eye to the bulging biceps and Wrangler butts that pass by. Except for one cowboy—and he’s worst of all. West Calhoun is a womanizer, plain and simple. The tie-down roper and reality TV star is never seen twice with the same woman.
When he’s not busy on his family’s growing ranch or trying to keep the TV cameras on his good side, West has his eyes on that big win. But he’s distracted by the eccentric new-age rodeo doctor. After a one-night stand with Malou, he’s hooked, but convincing her that he isn’t with a dozen other women might be more challenging than taking on a herd of angry bulls.
Meanwhile, a new TV producer is luring West with the promise of a spinoff show and big money that will help his family. But with Malou avoiding him, he’s got troubles that won’t be helped once her secret is revealed, sending West into a tailspin. Can she walk away from the best man she’s ever known?
West has wanted to be with Malou ever since he met her. Trying to have a relationship when the TV crews are following you around and people are expecting the worst from you just isn’t easy.
Ever since their one night together Malou can’t get West out of her mind. She doesn’t want to start a relationship with him because she is a doctor. The publicity would kill her career and Wade’s habits would more than likely destroy her heart.
A bar fight that was in effect a case of misunderstanding, leads to an apology date. One that West carefully orchestrates to avoid the camera crews. Unfortunately that doesn’t end well.
This is a favorite scene.
Watching Malou taste her very first bite of shepherd’s pie followed by a decadent coconut cream dessert was one of West’s high points of the day. Between the fans, the fights and the cameras, it was damn hard to stay centered on what was real in his life.
Lately, gathering in the Calhoun circle hadn’t delivered the peace it normally did, not with the production manager eyeing him. West wasn’t sure he wanted that spinoff show, but he wasn’t being left alone long enough to consider it.
But being with Malou—that was one-hundred-percent real. There was nothing affected about the way she brushed her dark ropes of hair over her shoulder or her rapt expression when she chewed and swallowed the rich, beefy bite on her fork.
She argued about letting him pay for her meal, but he wasn’t taking no for an answer. He gave the waitress a generous tip—mostly because she hadn’t asked for his autograph in the middle of his date. When he led Malou to the exit, placing a protective hand on her lower back, it felt like the most natural thing in the world.
As soon as the night air hit his face, so did a flashlight beam. “West Calhoun?” The rough, barking voice made him stop in his tracks. Malou gasped.
“What is this?” He looked between the two cops before him. Malou skittered to the side, and his heart squeezed in anguish.
“We need to take you down to the precinct for questioning about assault allegations,” the cop said.
“Ffffuck.” He was aware of a couple cameras pointed in his direction, and one of them was definitely from the show. Either way, he’d be all over the news.
His momma would hear of this. Buck would give him that disapproving glare.
I’ll get my spinoff.
He shot a glance at Malou, who was shaking her head and backing away.
“Miss, do you have a ride home?” one officer asked her, and she nodded.
“You need to come with us, Mr. Calhoun.” The cop gripped his shoulder, and he remembered Malou’s truck keys in his pocket.
“Just a second, I need to give her the keys.” He made to reach into his pocket, and the cops were instantly on guard. “I’m not carrying, officers. I just want to give her the truck keys.”
They patted him down and when they nodded, he slowly reached into his pocket to retrieve the keys. Malou came forward reluctantly to accept them. West stared down at her bowed head. She wouldn’t meet his gaze.
He’d fucked this up bad.
“I’m sorry,” he said quietly. She nodded but didn’t look up.
Then he was bundled away by the officers and put into the back of a police cruiser. He twisted his face away from the window, not wanting to add to the humiliation he faced by giving the cameras a great photo op.
But he did glance back in time to see Malou climbing into her truck, head still bowed. Fuck, he’d never get another chance with her. The only woman who hadn’t put on an act with him, who’d given him total honesty in and out of the bedroom, was lost to him.
Petrova, Em. West (Rope ‘n Ride Series Book 4) (Kindle Locations 707-736). Kindle Edition.
5 Contented Purrs for Em!
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Em Petrova lives in backwoods, Pennsylvania, where she raises four kids and a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff. Her dream is to buy an old pickup and travel small-town USA meeting people and hearing their stories. Her heroes are hardworking—in bed and out—and she is known for panty-scorching erotic romance.