Rhonda Lee Carver
Welcome to Nirvana…
your wish is a cowboy’s command.
Award-winning photographer, Jax Morgan, is dumped at the alter. Yet, she isn’t the scorned bride missing a groom. She has tall, dark and handsome on the horizon.
Maverick McCade can’t believe who just walked onto Nirvana Ranch in the middle of a blizzard, and on Valentine’s Day. He’s focused on making this day special, but he’s in for an awakening that’ll leave him sweltering.
Jax has just been dumped a few days before her wedding. Instead of being really upset, she finds herself relieved. With her friend and assistant’s help she packs up to head to her honeymoon. She had picked the place and wasn’t giving up time at the beautiful resort, Nirvana.
She arrives as a storm is starting, and stops for gas along the way. For some reason Maverick finds himself watching the beautiful woman pump gas before he heads off to run other errands.
As he heads back to Nirvana he sees the woman’s SUV pulled to the side of the road near the bridge. Concerned he stops to ensure she’s alright, what he finds scares the living daylights out of him.
This is a favorite scene.
Pulling up beside the Tahoe, he saw that it was empty. Now where in the hell did she go? He scanned the road ahead and noticed prints in the snow leading further up on the bridge. This wasn’t the weather to take off on foot. A person would freeze to death before any help came by.
“Shit!” He continued driving until he found her leaning over the side of the bridge railing. One leg was lifted high and she balanced unsteadily on a booted foot. What the hell? Had she come all the way out here to jump to her death?
His adrenaline spiked and he kicked the gear into park. Racing out of the truck, his boots slipped and slid on the ice as he ran toward the spot where the blonde was still hanging foolishly over the ledge. His breathing turned loud in his ears as he ran as fast as his feet would carry him. Once he was upon her, he grabbed her around the waist and dragged her away from the rail.
“Hey!” she yelled, elbowing at his chest. Something dropped from her hands and landed with a loud crack at her boots. His adrenaline was pumping so fast he couldn’t even wrap his brain around what it was that fell. She turned up her chin. He couldn’t see her eyes through the glasses, but the thin line of her lips and the growl deep in her chest told him she was angry. “What the hell were you thinking? Are you crazy?”
“Am I crazy?” He clenched his jaw. Had he heard her right? “Lady, you were the one hanging over the ledge like some lunatic ready to jump to her death. I think it’s pretty damn clear who the crazy one is. I was only trying to save you.”
“Save me?” He could only see his reflection in her large sunglasses. “I’d laugh at the silliness of that if you didn’t just bust my camera.”
Camera? He lowered his gaze to the heap of cracked plastic laying in the bright snow. “What were you doing?” he snapped.
“Do you mind releasing me?” He hadn’t realized he still held her close. He dropped his hands. She bent and picked up the camera, examining the cracked lens as she worked her jaw. “I was attempting to get a picture of the mountains until you came along and foolishly ruined the shot!”
He chuckled. “Really? You’re busting my ass over a camera when you could have easily fallen over the rail. You would have frozen to death and wouldn’t have been found until the river thaws in the spring. Or you could have gotten someone killed with this ignorant trick of yours for a measly picture. What were you wanting? A selfie to post on all of your social media sites?” He rubbed his tight jaw.
“You…you jerk! I should make you pay for the damage you’ve caused. Didn’t you think of yelling? Asking if I planned to kill myself before you rush in and save the day like some backwoods hero lunatic?”
His anger grew. “No way in hell I’m paying for your mistake, lady!” He turned, zipped his jacket higher and headed toward his truck.
“My mistake?” she yelled from behind him. “I expect you to pay for the damages!”
“Use your cell phone like every other normal person.” He made it to the door to the truck and turned, watching her slowly making her way toward him, her arms wide, balancing herself so she wouldn’t fall. He should just climb into his truck and speed away, but if she fell and broke her neck it would be on his shoulders. If wasn’t fair how quickly someone’s life, no matter how foolish they were, weighed on his shoulders.
“You’re a real funny guy, aren’t you? The quickest way to kill a beautiful mountain shot is to use a phone camera. I was waiting for the perfect moment—the perfect lighting to capture the view.” There was a new tone to her voice. Would she cry? Over a lost camera?
Sometimes the best remedy to a bad situation was to make amends and move on. He pulled out his wallet. “What do I owe you?” It was only money and now that his mind was clearing, he did feel a little bad about busting her camera. However, she was half to blame. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, he could have easily just saved her life.
“From the looks of the thickness of that wallet, I’m going to assume you don’t carry five thousand cash on you.”
He brought his chin up. “And you wouldn’t be mistaken.” He folded his wallet and stuck it back into his pocket. “I guess you’ll have to take my apology as payment. I’m sorry.” She gritted her teeth and pulled off her glasses. Everything on his body stopped. All logical thought and the use of his lungs diminished. Her eyes were the palest blue surrounded by a thick fringe of black lashes. She wasn’t cross-eyed or buck-toothed, not even close. She was an actual dream come true, a complete package. Holy shit! The top of her head only came to his shoulders and she had long, lustrous blonde waves with lighter streaks of highlights. Her eyes weren’t just pale blue. They were arctic blue and flawless. She blinked and her black lashes swept across her creamy cheeks covered in a dusting of freckles. Her lips were pretty pink and looked kissable even when wearing a frown that was targeted for him. Her slender neck was adorned with a beaded, cross necklace. Rosary? Oh, the religious type. He had a strong urge to add a breathtaking kiss to his apology. Maybe even a date.
A kiss? A date?
Had he lost his fucking mind?
First, she was only passing through. Secondly, he was pissed because…well…hell, he wasn’t sure why, but he was. He wasn’t wanting a relationship anyway. He liked being alone—lonely at times, but it was the safe bet. A man couldn’t get hurt if he didn’t care.
Yet, a familiar sensation needled its way through his stomach and into his hardening cock. He hoped that part of his body didn’t get its hopes up, only to be let down, literally.
“Sorry?” Her voice dipped and quivered and he swore her bottom lip trembled. “I bet if I grabbed your hat off your head and tossed it over the side of the bridge you wouldn’t think sorry was enough.” She wrapped her arms around her shoulders and she shivered. It was only five degrees outside and she had nothing on but a red flannel and skinny jeans. Crazy woman.
He took his hat off and tossed it on the passenger seat for safekeeping. The black Stetson was his favorite, given to him by his father before he passed away. Maverick wasn’t willing to part with it. He did understand her pain though. “I tell you what, as far as I see things, we were both at fault, fifty-fifty. The bank is closed because of the weather, but if you’ll give me your address, I guarantee I will send you my part of the damage.”
“Am I supposed to just trust your word?” One thin brow popped up.
“A cowboy’s promise is as good as gold, ma’am.”
Carver, Rhonda Lee. Kissed, Spurred, & Valentined (Cowboys of Nirvana Book 4). Unknown. Kindle Locations (357-415). Kindle Edition.
Saving her from what could have been a fall, only gets her ire as her camera is broken. She’s just glad it wasn’t her favorite one.
More surprises are in store for both of them as she finally reaches Nirvana through the worsening storm.
Things heat up between this jilted bride and cowboy, a slow and sensuous journey right up to Valentine’s day.
I think this is one of my favorites in the Nirvana series. I just might have to do a re-read.
5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda Lee!
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Rhonda Lee Carver is a published book writer with a collection of print and eBooks under her wing. She is also a freelance editor. Her first book was published with Wild Rose Press in 2010.
She writes everything from contemporary to steamy to paranormal to suspense…you name it, she’s written it. Her specialty is writing men who love to get their hands dirty—hardworking, blue collar, heroes in everyday life.
When Rhonda isn’t crafting edge-of-your-seat, sizzling novels, you’ll find her with her children and husband watching soccer, watching a breathtaking movie, traveling to exotic places (with Bora Bora on her bucket list), doing (or trying) yoga, saving cats and dogs, and finding new ways to keep life interesting.
Rhonda thrives on making her readers happy. She believes life can be a challenge, but reading is a place where fantasy comes to life. Her motto: “Everyone deserves romance—one page at a time.“