Marine Logan Hughes uses humor like a shield because the twists and turns his life has taken have led him far from the path he was supposed to tread. He’s no priest, and despite his parents’ continued hope, he has no desire to become one. Still, he’s no devil, either. So when his attempt to protect an innocent person lands him with two choices—the brig or marriage to a woman he doesn’t know—he chooses marriage. Which means denying his family’s plans for him once and for all.
Lena Reed doesn’t find it funny at all that three times her father has sent a man to help with her ranch, and three times one of her sisters has married him. She’s not falling for that trick. She was born to run the cattle operation at Two Willows, and no man is going to take that away from her. So when Logan arrives, she’ll do whatever she can to keep him at arm’s length. Only problem is the marine refuses to stay there. Bit by bit, he’s wearing down her resistance to him. But will giving into her feelings mean giving up her dreams?
Lena wants nothing to do with Logan, the cattle operation has been hers and she runs it the way it should be run. No man is going to tell her how to run it or take it from her.
The other men her father sent are now her brothers-in-law and have been following her lead. But will this one? Lena doesn’t want or need a husband.
Logan has admired Lena from afar through the photos surrounding him in his office. Seeing her in person shows him what a photo can’t, she is beautiful, determined and not about to give up her part of the ranch.
This is a favorite scene as Logan hands her the reins so to speak.
Someone was coming down the track from the house, waving a white handkerchief at the end of a long stick, a couple of dogs following briskly at his heels.
Logan—with Champ and Isobel.
Lena sighed. Who else?
With her hands braced on her hips, Lena waited for him.
“Make it fast.”
“I come in peace,” he told her when he approached, Champ and Isobel running circles around him, sniffing and investigating their surroundings. “With a message from Brian and Connor, as well as myself.”
“Spit it out. I’ve got work to do.” He was handsome; she’d give him that. An intelligence lurked in his eyes despite his joking manner. Lena wondered what he was like when he stopped messing around, then nearly groaned. She didn’t care if Logan was smart or as dumb as a stump. Either way, he was far too dangerous to let past her guard.
“You didn’t ask us to come here. Your father sent us without consulting you. We get that—and we wish it was different.”
“So?” If he thought he was scoring points, he wasn’t. He was right; she didn’t want him here.
“So, Brian loves Cass, and Connor loves Sadie—and you know Hunter loves Jo. Anyone could see that last night. They aren’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean we have to be your enemies. None of us want that.”
“No, you just want to run the show and boss me around—”
“You’re wrong. We want the opposite of that.”
“You want me to run the show and boss you around?” she asked sarcastically. Did he think she was stupid? She bent down absently to give Isobel a pat.
When he didn’t elucidate further, Lena let out a huff of exasperation. “I told you not to waste my time.” She stood up again, and Isobel wandered off.
“You know Two Willows. You grew up here. This is your mother’s ranch. You should be the boss. None of us is clamoring for the job.”
“And you’ll what—follow orders?” She wasn’t buying it.
He flashed a grin that made her swallow. Hell, he was handsome, wasn’t he? “Yes, we will. All of us have made careers out of following orders. You might not believe this, baby girl, but we’re just happy to be here. Alive. Working. With a chance to make a home for ourselves here. All of us love ranching. We’ve got it made at Two Willows. So, boss us the fuck around. We’ll do our best.”
“What if your best isn’t good enough?” This had to be a trick, and Lena hated tricks. Hated the hope that coursed through her veins at his words. Scott had fooled her, too, she reminded herself. Pretended to care for her when he was using her all along.
“Then shit-can us and kick us to the curb,” Logan told her. “Come on—we’ll be a kick-ass crew of hired hands. The best you ever had.”
“Hired hands? What does that mean? You’ll want to be paid?” Logan thought about it.
“Guess we will. Fair wages. We’ve got to be able to take our wives out to dinner now and then, don’t you think?”
“You have a wife?” Somehow the thought of it twisted her gut.
“Not yet.” And before she could stop him, Logan took two steps forward, bent down and snatched a kiss, jerking back out of the way again before she could slug him. “I’d say that’s a start,” he added and walked away jauntily, whistling for Isobel and Champ to follow him. The little furry traitors did. “We’ll look for a roster of chores in the kitchen at lunchtime,” he called over his shoulder.
Seton, Cora. Issued to the Bride One Marine (Brides of Chance Creek Book 4) (Kindle Locations 586-615). One Acre Press. Kindle Edition.
There’s more trouble brewing even as the men rebuild the stables.
A drone that keeps showing up around the maze has Alice up in arms. Hmm wonder who that could be.
Then there is the moment that has never happened before, all the girls off the ranch.
Funny, sassy, hold your breath suspense and plenty of surprises in this one!
5 Contented Purrs for Cora!
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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.