Navy SEAL Brian Lake is out of luck. Going rogue on his last mission landed him on a fast track out of the Navy—years too soon to have saved up enough money to buy the ranch he’s always wanted. Without a career—or the cash to start over—Brian’s options are few, until Army general Augustus Reed steps in with an intriguing new mission—a permanent one.
Ignored by her absentee father, duped by thief he appointed to oversee her family’s ranch, Cass Reed is done with men for good. From now on she’s determined to run Two Willows herself, so when her father sends a Navy SEAL to fix up her house, she vows to run him off her land as soon as possible. But Brian’s just as determined to stay, and he’s in a far different league than the men she’s met before.
Brian’s ready to do anything that will earn him a share of a prosperous ranch—even take a chance on marrying the General’s daughter. And he soon realizes it won’t be a hardship to marry Cass. She’s everything he’s ever dreamed of in a woman—and Two Willows is everything he wanted in a ranch.
But he’s not the only one who wants Two Willows—and Cass.
Will falling in love be the most dangerous mission of all?
I have to admit when I read this title I was a little more than intrigued. After reading the blurb I was hooked. I’ve heard of manipulating fathers, but the General really takes the prize. Although he has his reasons for doing it and the timing is just about perfect.
Now the General’s five daughters are not happy with him and this latest ‘stunt’ by him has them all fuming.
This is a favorite scene when Brian arrives at the ranch.
“You’re right.” He removed his hat, shifted it to the hand that held his bag and pushed inside without waiting for an invitation. “I’m here for Cass.”
“That’s me.” Cass held out a hand and looked him over curiously as he shook it firmly.
“I’m Brian Lake.” He found himself loath to let her go. But he did. Last thing he wanted was to scare her off before he’d even started. “The General sent me. I’m here to fix the house.”
“The house?” Lena said. “Aren’t you here to take over the overseer position?”
“No. Just here to fix the house,” Brian told her. The General had prepared him for this line of questioning. If I start by sending another overseer they’ll never go for it, he’d told Brian back at USSOCOM. They’ll foment a rebellion the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the Civil War. We’ve got to be sneakier than that. I’ve got friends who drive by from time to time. They say the place is going to the dogs.”
Cass’s expression hardened. “I see. I’m sorry he sent you all this way for nothing. As you can see, the house is fine.”
The General had told him to expect this. “Beg pardon, ma’am, but I’m not asking. I’m telling. The General sent me here to fix the place up, and I’m not leaving until this house is shipshape.”
There was a pause as the women took this in.
“You’re in the Army?” Lena asked, not bothering to get up.
“No, the Navy. I’m a SEAL.”
If he’d hoped that would garner him some respect he was wrong.
“How’d you get mixed up with the General?” Sadie asked suspiciously.
“USSOCOM business.” He hoped that stifled any further interest.
“USSOCOM’s business is fixing my house?” Cass asked.
“It is for now.” Brian dropped his bag on the floor. “I’ll be staying awhile.” The General had told him to go in guns blazing. Don’t give them an inch. They’ll tear you apart, he’d warned Brian.
“Like hell,” Lena said.
“You’re not staying here,” Cass added.
“Yes, I am.” Brian didn’t budge, and he made use of every inch of his height to tower over Cass. She glared back at him. “He said if you don’t like it, you all can move out.”
Just as the General had predicted, that sent a shock wave through them. They’re attached to the ranch, the General had said. Wait and see. They stick close to home, just like their mother used to.
Cass studied him a moment longer, but she must have seen he couldn’t be budged. “Fine. You can stay in the guest room—after I call my father to make sure you are who you say you are.”
“I’ll ring him myself.” The General had predicted this, too. He pulled out his phone, tapped on it a few times and handed it to Cass. She took it with a frown.
“It’s me,” she said into the phone after a moment. “There’s a man here.” She hesitated. “Yes. Yes. That’s right. I’ve got it all under control, you know—” Another pause. “Fine. But the minute the repairs are done, he’s out. Got it?”
She handed the phone back without cutting the connection. Brian lifted it to his ear. “Lake here, General.”
“Don’t let those girls of mine scare you off. Eyes on the prize. That’s some mighty fine ranch land, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is.” A mighty fine woman, too, he thought, looking Cass over again. A mighty pissed off one, by the looks of things. “You sure this is where you want me?”
“Don’t get all mealy-mouthed, Lake. You don’t like Cass, you tell me straight out.”
“It’s not that,” Brian rushed to tell him.
The General chuckled, letting him know he’d betrayed far too much. “Yeah, I thought you might see something you liked there. Make sure she finds you interesting, too. No marriage, no share in the ranch. Got it?”
“Yeah, I got it.” Brian hung up on him, disconcerted by the way the General had seen through him. “We good here?” he asked Cass.
She blinked. “That’s not the way I would phrase it, but I’m satisfied you’re the minion my father meant to send to annoy me. I don’t know why I bothered to check. He does this all the time.” She turned on her heel and led the way to the staircase.
Seton, Cora. Issued to the Bride One Navy SEAL (Brides of Chance Creek Book 1) (Kindle Locations 534-569). One Acre Press. Kindle Edition.
Not a very auspicious beginning, but right in line with what he was expecting. Now he has to win Cass over.
Of course there has to be more than just fixing up the house, there are men involved with the other girls and they are trouble. Unfortunately they don’t realize it and things get interesting really fast.
Fun, flirty, sexy and plenty of drama to keep you turning the pages. I have read the others in this series and I am waiting patiently for the next one coming in July.
5 Contented Purrs for Cora!
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Coming July 10th
USA Today and NYT Times bestselling author Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.
Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini.