NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Wanted: one wife, one baby.
Love not required.
Navy SEAL Boone Rudman has six months to find a wife and get her pregnant or he’ll lose his chance to win 1500 acres of prime Montana ranch land. So when he discovers Riley Eaton living on his new ranch, all grown up from the tomboy she used to be, he decides she’ll do for his bride—whether or not she’s got other plans.
Riley Eaton quit her job, sold her car and moved to Chance Creek with her friends to pursue the dreams she’d put on hold for far too long. She has no idea her uncle sold the ranch out from under her—and has no plans to marry any time soon—but when Boone shows up, sexy as hell after fifteen years in the service, she begins to wonder if her priorities are all wrong.
When duty turns to desire, Boone launches a campaign to win Riley’s heart. But is it too little, too late? Or can he convince Riley to forget the past and create a future worth fighting for?
I had just finished the latest in this series when I realized that I’ve read all of these but haven’t reviewed them. So now I’m on a mission to re-read and review from book 1.
In this first book the stage is set. Boone Rudman and three of his friends have decided to build a sustainable community. One that is eco-friendly to show that you can live comfortably and save the planet. He had applied for a grant from the Fulsom Foundation and it was their impressive proposal that caught the attention of the Foundation’s director Martin Fulsom. Fulsom has the property they will need and the funds to achieve their goal. Unfortunately he also has a few things he insists on, a reality type show, women involved, a wedding and pregnancies.
Riley’s has just lost her job and with it the possibility of adopting a child. Her friends aren’t happy with their jobs and one of them has been receiving threats. Riley’s been thinking a lot about her family home in Chance Creek, her Uncle Ross owns it now, but one day it would be hers. She was the only one who ever spends time their. Now she comes up with an idea, throw off the shackles of this modern world and make a vow to live as Regency women for six months. During that time they would pursue their dreams. For Riley it would be painting, for Nora write her novel, for Avery write her screen-play and Savannah resume piano. Little did they know things were about to take a radical turn.
Apparently Riley’s Uncle Ross sold the property and the deal Boone made with Fulsom made him the next owner if the conditions are met.
This is a favorite scene.
Getting her to fall for him might prove more problematic, though.
“Go away,” Riley said. “It’s the middle of the freaking night.” She tried to shut the door again, but Boone muscled it open.
“The sun has been up for over two hours. Time to rise and shine.”
“What are you so cheerful about?”
“Getting to see you again.” It was true; there wasn’t anywhere he’d rather be than right here. “I’m glad you came to Westfield.”
“Glad enough to let me stay?”
“Of course. If you’ll marry me.”
“Boone.” Even disapproving, she looked so delicious in her old-fashioned getup.
“Are you really serious about that?”
“You have no idea.” He was afraid she’d close the door, so he steered the conversation to safer ground. “You four can have the manor and the two acres around it, including the gardens out back. The Horsemen and I won’t touch them. In fact, we won’t trespass without your invitation.”
Riley relaxed a little. “Okay.”
“Feel free to wander the rest of the ranch, of course; just be careful of our gardens and installations. If you want to learn more about our solar power system or anything else, just ask. I’d love to show them to you once they’re up and running.”
Riley nodded. “We’ll be careful.” She bit her lip and he had the feeling she was remembering that Russ had sold the place out from under her. Time to distract her again.
“My sustainable community will be off-grid. How about we get the manor off the grid, too?”
“That would be… interesting,” Riley said. She stifled a yawn. “Could you maybe come back later? Like, when I’m dressed?”
“I’d prefer to talk now. I’m kind of enjoying this,” he said.
Riley rolled her eyes, but color bloomed in her cheeks, and Boone’s pulse two-stepped in his veins. Without thinking, he leaned in closer, intent on stealing a kiss. Riley didn’t pull away. Instead, she watched him come toward her, and even lifted her chin as if to meet him halfway.
“Riley? What’s going on?” a voice called.
They sprang apart. Boone looked past Riley to see an ethereal blonde come down the stairs. A possible match for Clay, he thought.
“It’s our landlord.” Riley smoothed her dress. A blush tinged her cheeks.
“This early?” Another woman descended the stairs. A brunette. Boone paired her with Walker in his mind; she looked nearly as serious as he pretended to be. When a redhead joined the group, pattering down the steps so quickly her white nightgown billowed around her, he had to bite back a smile. Jericho would be pleased.
“Just had a few things to say. Riley, can you introduce me?”
“This is Savannah,” she said, indicating the blonde.
“Good morning, Lieutenant,” Savannah said with a little curtsy. “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”
“It sure is. But I’m not a lieutenant,” Boone said. “I enlisted in the Navy straight out of high school and—”
“We appreciate you letting us stay at the manor, Lieutenant,” the redhead interrupted. “I’m Avery, by the way. It’s a shame you aren’t wearing your uniform, you know.”
“I’m happy to have you here.” What was with the lieutenant bit?
“We’re very happy to be here, Lieutenant. And we’ll take care of the house as if it was our own,” the brunette said.
“Because it should be,” Riley added. “This is Nora, by the way. She’s a teacher.”
Boone forged ahead. “First things first. I’m not a lieutenant. I’m a non-commissioned officer and—”
“But lieutenant sounds so romantic,” Avery said. “They’re always lieutenants in Jane Austen novels.”
“That’s not even true,” Nora said. “There’s Colonel Brandon, Captain Wentworth…”
“Are you a colonel or a captain?” Savannah asked Boone.
“See, he’s a lieutenant,” Avery said.
“Of course, Jane Austen would have pronounced it lef-tenant, being British and all,” Nora pointed out.
“I’m damn well not a lef-anything,” Boone growled.
“That’s okay, we’re not British.” Avery shrugged. “Lieutenant it is.”
Boone gave up. “I was explaining to Riley that I want you all to feel at home here. Three friends will be joining me soon. Until then, please let me know how I can help make Westfield comfortable.”
“Lieutenant Rudman’s building a commune down by the barn,” Riley added sweetly.
“Community. A sustainable community.” If he thought he’d have the upper hand by coming early, he’d definitely been mistaken.
“When are your friends arriving?” Avery asked.
“A couple of weeks.”
“Weeks?” She sounded disappointed.
“Avery.” Nora looked reproving.
“That’s a long time. It’s not like I can head into town on Friday night and go to a bar dressed like this,” Avery said.
Boone suppressed a smile. He’d like to see that.
“We’re not here to meet men,” Nora said.
“Maybe you aren’t.”
“We swore an oath, remember?”
“There’ll be plenty of men to choose from in my community,” Boone interjected. He could handle them screwing up his rank if they’d agree to marry his friends. “Maybe you’ll find your Mr. Darcy there. Come on down whenever you get lonely. You can take your pick.”
Seton, Cora. A SEAL’s Oath (SEALs of Chance Creek Book 1) . One Acre Press. Kindle Locations (1117-1162). Kindle Edition.
With Riley and Boone getting reacquainted there’s still much for Boone to accomplish. Riley in her way helps to open his eyes about some of the design.
We meet a couple who also like to stay in the same era and offer some fun things the women hadn’t considered. Things really get interesting when the other guys show up, each showing an interest in one of Riley’s friends.
Riley and her friends also start thinking of a plan to make money once all this everything with the reality show is over. A B&B and Wedding venue at the manor house becomes a viable idea with the request for a regency wedding by Savannah’s cousin.
Fulsom is another matter altogether, every time that man opens his mouth it’s something that makes this project even more of a challenge.
I love these characters, the premise is different and intriguing. The reality show part will no doubt cause issues, and also add more complications as this series continues.
I laughed a lot and shook my head as well. Riley and Boone are explosive in their attraction and really heat up the pages.
I am starting my re-read of book two, I hope to have these all done by the time the final book in the series publishes.
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.