USA Today Bestselling Author
Kade’s Worth is a prequel to Heather Slade’s best-selling Butler Ranch series. Get a glimpse into the life of the man who started K19 Security Solutions before his family and partner’s learned he’d been killed in an op that went very wrong. See the love story between Kade and Peyton Wolf as it unfolds.
I loved the Butler Ranch Series and I am so glad there is now a prequel that explains the events leading up to it.
Kade ‘Doc’ Butler, is part of an elite spec-ops group. His normal deployments are two months on, two months off, but he could also be called in at a moments notice.
Peyton Wolf owns Stave a wine bar and tasting room, where she highlights local wines. Ever since she met Kade the two of them have been circling each other. They are friends, they want more but keep shying away from it.
This is a favorite scene the morning after Kade returns home.
As much as Kade wished he could sleep past sunrise, it was rare for him. It had been ingrained in him from his years in the military.
After a run on the beach, Kade walked across Pacific Coast Highway over to Main Street to grab coffee at the diner. He arrived at the same time the owner pulled a tray of ollalieberry and cream cheese muffins from the oven.
“Ah, you’re back. Good to see you, my friend.”
When the man came around the counter, they embraced. “Hello, George.”
“I have berry and peach this morning.”
“One of each, please.” George grinned and handed him a bag that held two of each. When Kade tried to pay him, he shook his head. “Thank you for your service, my friend.”
When George turned his back, Kade stuck a twenty in the tip jar and then looked out the window in time to see Peyton walking into the market across the street. If he timed it right, he might be lucky enough to share the muffins with her.
“Wait two minutes and then cross at the corner.”
“What’s that?” George pointed across the street. “Miss Peyton will…” He looked at the clock and waved his hand. “Go, my friend, or you’ll be too late.”
Kade didn’t hesitate. Any chance he got to come face to face with her, he’d take. He ran across the street at the corner, and just as George predicted, Peyton walked out of the market and in his direction.
She raised her hand to shield the sun. “Kade?”
“Good morning, Peyton.”
She took a deep breath. “Oh my God, are those ollalieberry muffins?”
“I’d be willing to share if you have time.”
“I don’t want to eat half your breakfast.”
Kade opened the bag and held it out for her to see.
“You must be very hungry.”
“It’s George. I order one and he gives me four.”
“He appreciates what you do very much.”
George came to America forty years ago from Poland, and settled in the seaside village. Less than a year later, he became a US citizen. A photo commemorating that day hung above the diner’s cash register. It was for people like him that Kade vowed to serve and protect. People like Peyton too, and her sons. It was never easy for him to accept praise for something he felt he was called to do.
“Where were you headed?” Peyton asked.
“Nowhere in particular.” He pointed behind Peyton toward the park.
“Are you going to the ranch today?” she asked when they sat beneath the old oak tree that was the hallmark of the community gathering place. Instead of swings and slides, this park had shuffleboard and bocce ball.
“My boys are with my parents. I thought I might try to sneak in a ride before I go into Stave.”
A ride sounded really good. He couldn’t remember the last time he saddled up and threw a leg over. But, he knew better than to ask to join her. Without it needing to be said, he had no doubt that Peyton wasn’t ready for him to meet her boys.
He laid a napkin on the ground in front of them and pulled out the muffins. He smiled at the look of anticipation on Peyton’s face. Her appreciation of the taste and smell and texture of food was one of the things that had attracted him the first night they met.
“You go first.”
“Same time.” He counted to three and they each reached for a muffin. Peyton took a bite and groaned, reminding him of the sound he’d made the night before, tasting the food at Stave.
“I guess you were hungry.”
Peyton smiled, looking him up and down like he’d done to her. “Very.”
Kade could’ve sat under the tree with her all day, but after twenty minutes, he stood, brushed himself off, and helped her up. He held her hand a little longer than necessary after she was on her feet. “I don’t want to waylay you from your ride.”
She looked at the ground and then off in the distance. “Thanks for the muffins.”
“Thanks for joining me.”
Peyton shook her head, talking herself out of whatever she was going to say. “I’ll buy you a glass of wine the next time you come in. Actually, warm ollalieberries call for a bottle.”
“I’ll take you up on it as long as you agree to share it with me.”
She motioned back toward the market. “I should get going.”
Kade wanted to pull her in his arms and give her the kiss he knew damn well she wanted, but he didn’t want the first time his lips met hers to be in the middle of a park in a place where every single person who walked by, knew her. Most probably knew him too, or of him anyway.
“I’ll see you later, Peyton.”
She waved as she walked away.
Slade, Heather. Kade’s Worth (Butler Ranch) (pp. 21-24). A Butler Ranch Prequel. Kindle Edition.
After a nice breakfast with Peyton, Kade heads to his family ranch. The ranch is a winery now with his brothers Maddox and Naughton handling the production and growing respectively. His youngest brother Brodie does the marketing. Kade will also update his father on his mission. He’s the only one who knows that his parents aren’t all that they seem.
I love the way the relationship between Peyton and Kade progresses and the way Kade interacts with her children Jamison and Finn. The process of founding K19 Security Solutions also plays an integral part.
Romance, laughter, love and tears as this book leads into the first Butler Ranch book Brodie. I think I need to do a re-read now.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.
I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.
I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.