NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Jake Matheson loves everything about ranching the Double-Bar-K, except for his father’s controlling nature. It’s bad enough the old man won’t step down and let him run things his own way. Now Holt has demanded that Jake find a wife—in the next thirty days. Jake knows just the woman he wants–Hannah Ashton–but they haven’t even gone on a date, let alone been together long enough for him to propose. He’ll have to work fast to secure her hand in marriage before his time is up.
Hannah Ashton loves the fifteen hundred pound bison she rescued from being the object of a trophy hunt. She’s grateful for Gladys’s temporary home on the Double Bar K—and for the chance it gives her to see Jake on a daily basis. But now Holt Matheson is threatening to kick Gladys off the ranch—or eat her!—unless Hannah spends fourteen consecutive nights with Jake. What they get up to together is their business, but if Hannah misses a night, it’s bye-bye bison.
Jake can’t believe Hannah has agreed to move into his cabin, but now his brother Ned is stirring up trouble, trying to break them up before he can propose. Hannah’s beginning to think it’ll be hard to leave the ranch when her fourteen nights are over—even if she’s heading to veterinary school. She’s falling for Jake–hard–but Jake wants a traditional wife, not a career woman.
Will a pregnancy scare unite Jake and Hannah in a common goal? Or will it drive them apart for good?
In the previous book you will remember Hannah’s bison was sort of the heroine. Now owned by Hannah and named Gladys, the bison resides on the Double Bar K. Every morning Hannah visits Gladys before heading to work and Jake always seems to join her. This morning is going to be different, Jake’s father, Holt, is on the warpath because Jake isn’t doing things in the order his father says they should be done.
Jake is given an ultimatum, similar to the one given to Rob. His timeline however is much shorter, only thirty days. It seems Holt isn’t just going to leave it at Jake though. He also issues an ultimatum to Hannah. One she hasn’t a clue of how to meet.
It’s while the two of them are at the Cruz’s for poker night that the answer comes in an unusual way. A family reunion books the the house and Hannah, Fila and Mia will need other lodging.
This is a favorite scene.
Ethan was just dealing out the cards for the next round of play when the house phone rang and Autumn excused herself from the other table to answer it.
Jake studied the new hand he’d been dealt. He could work with this, he mused. The real question was whether he could work with the cards life had dealt him. An interested woman. An ultimatum from his father. Could he take the two and create a winning hand out of them? A lifetime with the woman who’d tormented his dreams for weeks now?
The timing was short but you only got so many chances in life to hitch your yoke to another person who not only attracted you physically but also stimulated your mind. He felt confident he wouldn’t regret marrying Hannah, if he could get her.
Could he get her? That was the real question.
“I see,” Autumn said into the phone. “Um… yes, of course. Yes, we have openings for that time period.” She had moved to the small desk and computer off her kitchen space where she took bookings for the guest ranch and kept her accounts. She pulled up the booking software.
“Looks like someone’s coming to stay,” Jake said to Ethan.
“Good thing. It’s been pretty thin this past month. Can’t blame people for not wanting to visit a ranch in November, but we need the income from the guests or we’ll have to tighten our belts.”
“Yes. Yes, I think we can accommodate you. What time will you arrive?” As Autumn went on speaking into the phone, asking questions and answering them, they continued to play, but Jake could tell Ethan’s mind was on Autumn’s conversation. He could believe that bookings were important to him. They’d been able to have Thursday night get-togethers here every week for the past month. That meant no paying guests, which meant business wasn’t as good as it needed to be. Everyone knew Ethan’s mother had spent much of the ranch’s earnings on travel and, as it turned out, funding programs to help women in Afghanistan. When Ethan inherited the ranch it was deeply in debt. Over the last six months he’d banded together with Autumn, Jamie, Claire, Rob, and Morgan to pay down the mortgage and solidify its earnings. With all the businesses they were starting together, they should soon have plenty of cash. Jake envied them their togetherness and the variety of their income sources. He and his brothers and parents worked the Double-Bar-K together, but it was strictly a cattle ranch, and if Holt had his way, that’s what it would stay.
Autumn hung up and turned to Ethan. “You’re not going to believe it!”
“Tell me.” Ethan set his cards face down on the table and rose to go to her.
“A huge family get-together. They want to rent the entire house for four weeks!” Her face alight with happiness, Autumn crossed the room and hugged her husband.
“When are they coming?” He kissed her, but Jake could see he wanted to know the details.
“Next Saturday. We’re going to have to work like crazy. They’ll stay through New Year’s. Apparently they had another lodge booked but a pipe broke there and flooded the place. They won’t be back in business for months. I feel awful being so happy when someone else is in such trouble, but I can’t help it. Twenty people here for a month! We’ll be able to pay our bills for the rest of the winter, easy!”
As people congratulated Ethan and Autumn on their good luck, Jake glanced at Hannah and took in her still, worried expression. Mia was frowning too, and Fila was just as tense.
“What’s wrong?” he asked Hannah, bending closer to her. The fresh floral scent of her shampoo teased his senses. He had to hold back from touching her arm.
“Twenty people staying here? Hannah, Fila and I will have to move. I guess we could stay in the bunkhouse, but…”
“You could come stay with me. I have a spare room.” He had surprised himself as much as he surprised her. The words just popped out, but the moment they did he wanted her to say yes. He braced himself for the stinging answer he was sure she’d fling his way. The offer was obviously self-serving.
Hannah swallowed, her gaze never leaving his face. “That would be great. Can I move in tonight?”
Seton, Cora. The Cowboy Lassos a Bride (Cowboys of Chance Creek Book 6) (pp. 52-55). One Acre Press. Kindle Edition.
Now reporting to Holt seems like such an intrusion into her life, but she can’t lose Gladys and she has feelings for Jake that she would like to explore further. However, Hannah has goals and if Jake can’t support them they can’t have a future together.
I loved seeing all the characters especially Bella and Evan, who offer more than one solution to this couple’s problems.
Plenty of family drama as Holt interferes yet again, I really feel sorry for his wife Lisa. She has to try to control these ridiculous impulse of his.
Laughter and tears, romance and sizzle, plus a couple of scares.
I’ve already started the next book, I love these cowboys!
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.