USA Today Bestselling Author
Riley O’Hare just takes it one day at a time, the horses at Last Chance giving more meaning to her life than anything since she returned from the Middle East with no injuries…at least to her body. Alone in the world, she’s now part of a bigger unit again, and she’s not too sure that’s a good thing.
He’s the new driver for delivering the rescue horses to Last Chance Ranch. There’s a lot more to him than just being a polite cowboy. He used to be a Hot Shot, one of the firefighters who fought wildfires, and there is a very good reason why he isn’t anymore.
Can two people, wounded by their past occupations, rescue each other, or will their scars run too deep?
Riley O’Hare is the only full time hand at the Last Chance Ranch. She really likes working alone, prefers it actually. Now while she likes working for Cole he’s been so busy as Chief of the fire department that he’s been forgetting to pass on messages regarding the ranch. One of the things he didn’t pass on to Riley was the arrival of a rescue, another that it would be a new driver.
Garrett is a former firefighter, and needing something to do, accepted Cole’s offer to transport rescues to the Ranch. When he pulls up with the horse trailer, Riley is trying to get Cyclone to calm down. The Clydesdale is hyperactive if he doesn’t get work to do every couple of days. Of course seeing Riley in a position that with any other horse would be a major problem, he jumped in to save her.
This is a favorite scene.
Looking over her shoulder, she scanned the area in front of the house. Only her pick-up truck sat there of the more than four that usually graced the yard. In her peripheral vision, she noticed dust on the dirt road to the ranch, but didn’t have time to focus.
It better be Cole. He was supposed to take Cyclone to the abandoned copper mine to pull out some fallen timbers. She’d flatly refused to go anywhere near the decrepit mine, so he’d agreed to do it. It was the perfect chore for Cyclone. If the big horse wasn’t given work to do at least every third day, he started breaking things. And she was the one who had to fix them.
Jumping onto the lower rail of the fencing, she waved her arm. “Cyclone! Come here, boy!” She just needed to break up his windup. From what she’d learned, he’d been well-named. The running in circles behavior was the precursor to major damage.
She tried again. “Cyclone!” Putting two fingers to her mouth, she let out a shrill whistle.
The Clydesdale slowed, bouncing his head once and looking at her.
“Come here, boy. I’ve got work for you.”
As if he knew she lied, he started to pick up the pace.
“Well, crap.” Jumping off the rail, she made a beeline beeline for the barn. There had to be something in there for Cyclone to pull. Rounding the corner of the open barn doors, she grinned. “Perfect.” Jumping onto the four-wheeler, she turned the key they always left in it and drove out of the barn and straight for the corral.
A truck with a horse trailer pulled to a stop in front of the house. Hoping Manuel could handle the new horse and whatever its issues were until she could get Cyclone settled, she stopped the ATV and jumped off.
Unfortunately, Cyclone had stopped, too.
“No, Cyclone!” She brought her fingers to her lips once again, but she was too late. The big horse’s back legs lifted and he smashed the top rail of the corral. Wood flew everywhere, and she ducked. Then before the horse could gear-up for another kick, she climbed up on the fence post closest to him and jumped.
Grasping his mane, she cooed as he walked sideways. “Come on boy, I’ve got some work for—”
A strong arm grabbed her around the waist from behind and pulled her off to the side.
Not expecting that, she lost her grip on Cyclone and her full weight fell onto the person beneath her. They both went toppling to the ground inside the enclosure.
She rolled out of his grasp and jumped to her feet, more worried about the horse than the stranger lying on the ground inside the corral. Spotting Cyclone starting his circle run again, she brushed off her jeans before glaring at the cowboy now rising to his feet. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Striding past him, she climbed over the corral fence and hopped back on the four-wheeler.
“What am I doing? I’m saving your neck.”
She barely spared him a glance as he picked up his cowboy hat and ran for the fence himself as Cyclone headed directly for him.
“If you want to help go get the collar harness hanging on the hook inside the barn while I keep him from jumping the fence.”
Not caring if the dark-haired stranger bothered to listen to her or not, she turned the machine on and drove it parallel to the broken fence to fill the gap. The last thing she needed was a runaway Cyclone.
Not sure what the horse would do next, she jumped off and watched as he approached. He trotted by as if the four-wheeler was another part of the corral.
Figuring she had about thirty seconds before Cyclone came around again, she turned her attention to the cowboy who approached, harness in hand. She pointed to the horse trailer. “Is the horse in there okay for a few more minutes?”
At his nod, she waved toward the ATV. “Good. Do you think you can hook that up to the ATV?”
His brow furrowed. “I just saw you drive it. Why would you need to tow it?”
Cyclone was coming around again. Either she needed to get back on his back or let him out. Otherwise, there’d be two fence rails to repair. “Just tell me, can you do it?” Irritation colored her tone, but she didn’t have time for pleasantries. Where the hell was Manny anyway?
The cowboy threw her a scowl before moving to the ATV.
She climbed on the fence. Maybe if she could interrupt the big horse’s stride, it might take him a bit to build up steam again. Jumping to the ground, she ran out in front of him, waving her arms. “Whoa, Cyclone!”
The Clydesdale swerved in midstride, cutting short his circle.
Just great. Turning back to the cowboy, she found him staring at her his eyes appearing almost silver. For shit’s sake. “Is it hooked?”
“Are you trying to get yourself killed?” He dropped the harness and stalked to the fence.
She met him there. “No, I’m trying to keep this big boy from destroying the corral.” She climbed over the fence and picked up the harness then dropped it on the handle bars of the machine. “Open the gate.” She didn’t wait to see if he would help. She just put the ATV in gear.
Come on, Cyclone, skip the break in the fence and get to work.
The cowboy opened the gate, so she drove the machine into the corral. Turning off the engine, she jumped to the ground and rattled the harness just as Cyclone approached the opening with the broken rail.
His ears perked up as he slowed, coming to a stop next to her. “Good boy. You ready to work?”
The Clydesdale’s big brown eyes followed her as she started to lift the heavy harness onto him. When the weight was lessened, she nodded to the cowboy who lifted the other half onto the big brute. Once she had Cyclone hitched, she strode to the ATV and sat in the seat, hoping the harness would hold. Leaving the engine off, she shifted the machine into neutral. “Okay, Cyclone. Let’s bring this baby to Cole’s house.” Clicking her tongue, she grabbed the handles wrapped in reins and the horse started to walk.
When the horse exited the corral, towing the ATV with her on it, she finally gave the cowboy her attention as he closed the gate behind her. Nice ass, not uncommon among the cowboys she’d worked with. He was clean shaven, broad at the shoulders and slender at the hips. He wore a long sleeve shirt, which she’d find stifling in the dry heat, though many landscapers did that. She assumed it was to avoid burning from the brutal Arizona sun.
He came up next to her as Cyclone plodded along. “So, what’s this? Some kind of therapy?”
His eyes were actually a blue-grey and at the moment filled with curiosity as opposed to censure, which is what she would have expected from a stranger watching her over the last twenty minutes. Now that she had a good look at him, he reminded her of some of her military buddies before they’d all headed to the Middle East and changed. He had less swagger than the typical cowboy and a more commanding presence, but he was just as handsome as the rest at Last Chance. What was it, a prerequisite to work there?
She forced her attention back to his question. “Not exactly therapy. Cyclone likes to work, which means he likes to pull heavy objects. If he’s left to his own devices for more than three days, he lives up to his name.” She hooked her thumb over her shoulder. “And I’m the one left with the repairs.”
He glanced back toward the broken fence of the corral before facing forward again. “Cole told me when he offered me the job that there would be some odd personalities.” He chuckled. “I thought he meant the ranch hands.”
She smothered a smirk. There were definitely some interesting human personalities on Last Chance, but the horses beat them out.
Post, Lexi. Riley’s Rescue (Last Chance Book 6) (pp. 7-10). Lexi Post. Kindle Edition.
Now along with a horse, a new driver and the trip to the mine with Cyclone, there are other things Cole is forgetting to do. His responsibilities as Fire Chief takes priority and so much time.
As is it turns out everyone is leaving the area for the weekend leaving Riley alone to run everything. The last thing she expects is for Whisper to drop off a dog. She and Trent are heading for Las Vegas and found him abandoned on the side of the road. Dr. Jenna is also away for the weekend and she didn’t want the dog caged after being left like that.
It’s this dog that starts a series of events that will not only trigger memories for her but also bring her and Garrett closer than she ever thought possible.
Plenty of hold your breath moments along with tears, laughter and sizzle.
5 Contented Purrs for Lexi!
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Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of erotic romance. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.
But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides an erotic experience with a “whole lotta story.”
Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.