NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Rob Matheson’s a fighter. Flattening enemies with his fists or with his legendary practical jokes, he’s a tough enemy, and a troublesome friend. But Rob doesn’t know how much longer he can keep up the act. As his buddies get married one by one, he’s left with his lonely life – and the sinking feeling he lost more than his dreams when he traded them for a thick skin. Now Rob’s father has issued a challenge – he’ll give 200 acres of prime Montana ranchland to the first of his four sons to wed. No conditions, no meddling. Could this be a chance to become the man he really wants to be?
Morgan Tate’s worked for years to climb the ladder to a top job at Cassidy Wineries, but Duncan Cassidy, the boss’ son, always stands in her way. Now he’s issued an ultimatum; marry him or he’ll make sure she never works in the wine industry again. Morgan wants marriage – and a family – but not with Duncan. A certain cowboy in Chance Creek, Montana, has stolen her heart.
When Rob offers Morgan a proposition – marry him and split the land – they both find themselves with an ethical dilemma. They don’t know each other well enough to wed, but they can’t lie about their intentions before God and man, either.
Now they’ve got sixty days to fall in love, and a passel of family and friends determined to keep them apart. The victims of Rob’s previous jokes are lining up to get their revenge, and Morgan’s half-sister, Claire, is stirring up their mother’s past.
Will it take the biggest practical joke of all to convince the world – and themselves – that they’re truly meant to be man and wife?
If you haven’t read the other books in this series, go back and do that now. You will definitely enjoy the series more as each one continues where the last one left off.
Rob has always been the prankster of this group of friends and he didn’t expect to fall heads over heals for Morgan. Morgan was a surprise to everyone as it was revealed that she is Ethan and Claire’s sister and the reason their mother disappeared every year.
With Morgan back in Canada the pranks on Rob begin. However the biggest thing is Rob’s father Holt’s declaration that the first of his sons to marry gets 200 acres of land. Land they can use as they please. Rob’s first thought is Morgan, he just has to convince her to marry him.
Morgan’s worked her way up the ladder at the winery and finally has her own vintage being released. Her boss’s son Duncan is a problem, he has been pushing for dates and does some pretty shady things to get her alone.
This is a favorite scene that includes both Duncan and Rob.
As she slid onto the seat and fastened her seatbelt, the car pulled away from the curb.
“Only the two of us tonight,” Duncan said, and she looked up with a start, her heart beginning to pound when she took in the empty passenger seat.
“Where’s your father?”
“He thought we young folks might like an evening to ourselves.” Duncan smiled into the rear view mirror, a self-satisfied smirk she longed to slap right off his face.
“Forget it. Take me home.”
“I don’t think so.” Duncan pushed down on the gas pedal and the car leaped forward. Glancing out the window, Morgan saw they weren’t headed downtown.
“Where are we going?”
“You’ll see.” He sped up again. He was driving way too fast for this neighborhood. Had he been drinking?
“Duncan, I’m serious. Take me home.”
“Relax, Tate. You’re always so uptight. Maybe if you were getting some you wouldn’t be such a bitch.”
Getting some? She hoped he didn’t think he’d be getting some tonight.
She stealthily unlocked the door and gripped the handle. She couldn’t jump out of a moving vehicle but sooner or later he’d have to slow down. No way was she going to let him whisk her out of the city to some private place where she would be at his mercy. She knew all too well that men would use their strength against her, given half a chance.
Against her will, a memory of the night she and Claire had gone after Daniel Ledstrom flashed into her mind. Daniel—Claire’s ex—had taken thousands of dollars of interior design supplies from her home and stashed them in the garage of his mother’s vacant house. Claire thought she knew where he’d put them, and when they’d gone to check it out, they’d been cornered by Daniel and two of his thug friends. Morgan closed her eyes against the memories of the man who’d tossed her over his shoulder, hauled her into the house and dumped her on a bed. When he’d climbed on top of her, she’d thought she’d never get away. He’d torn her blouse open—touched her…
When she finally felt the car decelerate, she took her chance. Before Duncan had even pulled to a stop at the light, she clawed her seatbelt off, flung the door open, and leaped out. Her head down, she raced onto the sidewalk and down the street. It was quiet here—an industrial area. She had to hide before Duncan circled around the block.
Fishing her phone out of her purse, Morgan dialed information and asked to be put through to a cab company. She didn’t stop moving and she didn’t dial 911. Getting the police involved wouldn’t solve anything since Duncan hadn’t actually done anything yet. Plus it would get her fired, and without a recommendation from the only employer she’d had for a decade, she’d be toast. She’d have to figure out what to do about that tomorrow; right now, she needed to get home. Darting down an alley, she turned a corner and checked the street-signs.
“Hello,” she said when her call was put through. Fighting for breath, she kept running. “I need a cab. Fast.”
A screech of tires warned her Duncan was trolling the streets. She ducked down another alley and hid behind a dumpster. Duncan might drive up and down the area for a while, but he’d never get out and search on foot. He was too lazy.
Besides, he’d know right where to find her tomorrow. Time to update that résumé.
Half an hour later, a taxi dropped her off in front of her building and she climbed out, nearly weak with relief. Duncan hadn’t found her before the cab arrived. She was out forty dollars, and she dreaded what the morning would bring, but she was home.
But as she walked into the covered garage under her three story complex, toward the entrance to her unit, she stifled a gasp when she saw a man loitering by her door. She stopped, ready to run, until she recognized him.
Shocked, she lifted a hand to her hair. She was sweaty and disheveled from her dash through the streets of Victoria. Her pants were wrinkled and her blouse awry. What a time for the cowboy to show up on her doorstep.
Slowly, she approached him. “Rob? What are you doing here?”
He unfolded himself from where he’d been leaning against the wall. “I was in the neighborhood. Thought I’d stop by.”
She raised an eyebrow. She was still trembling from her close call. Only twenty minutes ago she’d needed all her defenses against Duncan. Now the man she’d longed for was closing in on her, fast. She needed a moment to transition.
She didn’t get one.
“I couldn’t stay away from you any longer,” he said, bending down to give her a kiss that made her toes curl with desire, once she pushed Duncan from her mind. She forced herself to stay in the moment, to be conscious of only Rob. His smell, the taste of his mouth on hers, the strength in the arms that held her. She closed her eyes and leaned against him, letting everything else go. Rob Matheson was easy on the eyes, with a body made for touching. After a few moments, it was all she could do not to melt against him right here and now.
Easy, tiger. Remember your rules. Better not get him—or yourself—too hot and bothered.
She pulled away. “Come on in.”
“Thanks.” He finally released her and picked up a black suitcase. “Hope you don’t mind me showing up like this out of the blue. I had a sudden gap in my schedule.”
“Really?” She didn’t think ranchers got gaps in their schedules. “Is everything all right back at home?” She unlocked the door and showed him inside her small apartment. Lugging his gear, Rob followed her into the entryway and down a short hall to the living room. Her kitchenette hugged one wall, separated from the rest of the room by a counter. Her one bedroom and bathroom opened off to the side.
“I like your place. It’s…nice,” Rob said, putting down his suitcase. He seemed out of place in the confines of her little apartment. The cowboy was larger than life, and her living room was oh so small.
“You mean it’s tiny,” Morgan said, trying to wrap her head around his presence here. Somehow Rob demanded wide skies and open land. He didn’t belong in a city like Victoria. “It’s cheap, too. Only a thousand dollars a month.”
“A thousand dollars for this?” His eyebrows shot up.
“It’s expensive here.” “The money’s funny, too. What’s the deal with all the colors, eh?”
She had to laugh at the mixture of the Canadianism with his western drawl. Her shock at Duncan’s behavior and her wild flight through the streets began to melt away. Rob was here. She was definitely safe from Duncan now. “Easier to tell apart than your U.S. money.”
He sobered up. “Look, I know it’s not good manners to drop in unannounced like this, but I needed to see you and…well, I needed to get away from home for a bit.”
“Well, it’s great to see you, too. Just a little…unexpected.” Especially after the hellacious hellacious evening she’d had.
“There’s something I need to ask you. Something important.” He took her hand and led her over to her china-blue couch. There he hesitated, his gaze raking her from head to toe. Whatever he saw made his expression soften and he tilted her chin up and met her mouth with his own again. His kiss started out gentle, but then it intensified. He drew her in closer, one hand at the nape of her neck, the other at the small of her back.
Morgan let his kiss wash over her until she felt weak in the knees. She’d missed Rob so much—missed his touch so much. They hadn’t taken things very far when she’d visited Montana, but she’d wanted to, and she knew he wanted to. It was going to be hard to hold him off this time.
When she began to think holding him off was the last thing she wanted to do, he broke off the kiss, looking as undone by it as she was. After searching her face with his gaze, he slowly knelt in front of her and pulled something out of his pocket. Her stomach flipped when she saw it was a velvet-covered jewelry case. He opened it and held up the ring inside.
“Morgan Tate, will you marry me?”
Seton, Cora. The Cowboy Imports a Bride (Cowboys of Chance Creek, Book 3) . One Acre Press. Kindle Locations (451-513). Kindle Edition.
Now you know Rob’s proposal isn’t going to immediately cause Morgan to say yes. There’s quite the discussion before an agreement.
Rob shows up at the vineyard the next day, and while Morgan didn’t really want him there, she didn’t tell him not to visit. I really love the way Rob handles Duncan and embraces the information the workers give him.
This book is so much fun even with all the family drama and Rob finding alternatives for him and Morgan to start a vineyard. The simmer to sizzle relationship is a large part of this, but it’s all the other things sneaking in to cause controversy and angst that kept me turning the pages.
It’s also great to see everyone again, Ethan and Autumn, Jamie and Claire, Rob’s brothers Ned and Jake, Cab and well the whole dang crew shows up for Claire’s wedding. From wedding gowns to promises this book is packed with surprises.
I am already starting the next book, to see what happens next.
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.