NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Sex in a faux marriage can make things oh so real.
Dr. Caroline Graham is happy with her nomadic lifestyle fulfilling short-term medical contracts. No emotional commitments, no disappointments. She’s always the one to walk away, never the one left behind. But now her great-uncle is gone and her grandmother is on her deathbed, more concerned about Caroline’s lack of a husband than her own demise. What’s the harm in a little white lie? If a wedding will give her grandmother peace, then a wedding she shall have.
Widower Travis Montgomery devotes his days to building the ranch he and his late wife planned before he lost her to breast cancer. The last piece of acreage he needs is controlled by a lady with a pesky need of her own. Do her a favor and he can have the land. She needs a quick, temporary, faux marriage in exchange for the acreage.
It’s a total win-win situation until events begin to snowball and they find, instead of playacting, they’ve put their hearts at risk.
When Dr. Caroline Graham’s great uncle James dies, he leaves her the Singing Spring Ranch. The will also stipulates that it cannot be sold to a Montgomery. Not sure about selling, she has the land appraised. She also has worries about her grandmother Mamie with her health failing rapidly. Every time they speak, her grandmother pushes for her to find a good man.
Unfortunately during one conversation, a good man was standing outside her office talking to Lydia, her partner in the clinic, and Travis’ brother Jason’s fiancé. That’s when all the trouble begins.
Travis Montgomery Lost his wife to breast cancer ten years ago, he doesn’t want a relationship and has made it clear he will not marry again. Not that it stops some women, especially twice divorced Elsie Belle, she has decided he will be her next husband.
Now Travis has always had his sights set on owning Singing Springs and is trying to give Caroline the time to decide if she’s going to sell. When she calls and asks him to talk, he assumes it’s about the ranch. Boy is he in for a surprise.
This is a favorite scene.
She traced a finger along one of the carved designs in the mask. She cut a quick glance his way then whipped it away. “Don’t kill me when I tell you this next part.”
He’d been listening and had enjoyed watching the tensing and relaxing of her thigh muscles while she walked, but now she had his undivided attention. Kill her? What had she done?
“One night…” She slanted another look his way. “I swear I don’t know what came over me. One night when Mamie kept going on about me being alone and she sounded so sorry for me and—” The muscles in her face bunched and her lips pulled tight. “I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me…ever. That night I just blurted out that I was dating you. I am so sorry. I swear I didn’t do it on purpose.” A frown creased her brow. “I am so sorry, Travis.”
He’d been confused at the beginning of the conversation, now he was truly baffled.
Her cheeks took on a rosy color. “You happened to be standing outside my office door that day talking to Lydia. You were handy. That’s all.”
He shrugged. Made sense. “Okay. You lied to your grandmother. Told her we were dating. Got it.” When she couldn’t meet his gaze, an acid bomb exploded in his gut. “What is it, Caroline? What haven’t you told me?”
Caroline murmured a very unladylike cussword. “I sort of said a little more than dating.”
An inconceivable thought formed. A sharp cold ran through him, followed by a flash of red-hot fury. “You told her we were married, didn’t you?” He slapped his thigh.
“No. I didn’t. I, um…” She hurried back to the couch and sat. “No, I didn’t. But maybe I exaggerated our relationship a little more than I’d intended.”
“Exaggerated?” Disbelief and amazement flowed like beer at a frat party. His left eyebrow arched. “What the hell are you talking about? You’re a friend of my family’s, but we—you and I—don’t have a relationship beyond that. What were you thinking?” He ran his hand across his short cropped hair. “Hell’s bells, Caroline.”
She flinched. “It gets worse. I, um, oh God, Travis, I told her we were getting married, and now she wants us to get married before she dies.” She shut her eyes and hung her head. “I am so sorry. I just don’t have the heart to tell her I was lying, or even that we broke up. She’ll just feel sorry for me that another guy dumped me, no matter how I try to spin the break-up.” Speaking directly to the floor, she added, “What can I do to get you to pretend?”
“Pretend what? To be in love with you?”
She shook her head. “Pretend to marry me.”
“Are you crazy?”
“Maybe, but…” She dropped her hands on the sofa cushions and stared him straight in the eye. “Hear me out. If you say no, fine, but at least listen to what I have to say.”
He waved her on and leaned back.
“Here’s what I was thinking. We fly to Waterton, Arkansas. There’s a direct flight from Dallas to the local airport there. We take out a marriage license, go to the hospital, let Mamie watch us go through a wedding ceremony, she can sign the danged thing and then we fly back to Whispering Whispering Springs. We’ll never file the license, so there’ll be no marriage. I mean, think of all the times people get a marriage license and never go through with the wedding. That’s what the clerk’s office will think. This would give Mamie so much peace.” She leaned forward and placed her hand on his knee. “Please, Travis.”
The palm of her hand heated his flesh, even through the thick denim of jeans. He’d never noticed how long her fingers were, or that her nails bore a professional-looking manicure.
He mentally thumped his head. Get your head in the game.
“Forget it, Caroline. That’s nuts. No way am I going to con what is probably a nice old woman. First, it’s beyond dishonest, and second, I believe in marriage.”
She dropped her head heavily against the back of the sofa and pulled her hand away from his knee. The heat from her touch quickly dissipated in the air-conditioned room. He immediately missed her touch.
“Will you at least think about it?” She looked at him with pleading eyes and he felt his firm resolve faltering.
D’Alba, Cynthia. Texas Tango (Whispering Springs, Tx Book 2). (Kindle Locations 648-683). Riante Romance, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Oh the tangled web. Noah is Caroline’s younger brother, he also was being raised by Mamie, and with her passing he is left with their Aunt Leslie and Uncle Patrick. Their parents off doing their missionary work in Rwanda, it was always somewhere, that’s why they were with Mamie to begin with.
Noah shows up at the most inopportune time and blows their secret out of the water in front of the whole Montgomery clan.
It just keeps getting better and better, did I mention Elsie Belle? I laughed a lot throughout this book. The situations are so realistic, well except for the fake marriage thing, bringing drama, love, and family to the surface on every page.
A romance that maybe shouldn’t have blossomed indeed does, and the heat turns up exponentially.
I just can’t get enough of this family!
5 Contented Purrs for Cynthia!
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Hi Y’All! I’m Cynthia D’Alba from Arkansas.Here’s a little about me…New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia D’Alba started writing on a challenge from her husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun.
She was born and raised in a small Arkansas town. After being gone for a number of years, she’s thrilled to be making her home back in Arkansas living in a vine-covered cottage on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake. When she’s not reading or writing or plotting, she’s doorman for her two dogs, cook, housekeeper and chief bottle washer for her husband and slave to a noisy, messy parrot. She loves to chat online with friends and fans.