She’s a city slicker. He’s a cowboy to the core.
Together, opposites may attract but, will sparks fly.
Getting called back to the ranch
After my dad dies,
I know I have my work cut out for me.
As a CIA operative,
I can juggle it all.
But when she needs my help,
I can’t possibly refuse.
After all, she’s the sexiest city slicker
This BUCK has ever seen.
My heart and soul are in the city.
The last place I ever saw myself was on a ranch,
And smelling like a barn all day.
But I need his help,
And he needs mine,
Whether he realizes it or not.
And for him,
The most rugged and irresistible man I’ve ever known,
I can make this sacrifice.
After all, this city filly could use a BUCK of her own.
If you’ve been reading this series, you will remember that Stella professed her love for Cope and Buck his for Ali. They realized that nothing could ever be between them as Ali and Cope’s love is very obviously the kind that lasts forever. This book begins at Ali and Cope’s wedding, Buck and Stella attend together and as we listen to their thoughts we find they are really interested in each other not the couple getting married.
Unfortunately Buck gets called away from the wedding, leaving Stella only saying it was a family emergency. It’s Cope who puts it together telling her his father must have died. Stella accepts Rock escorting her home knowing she had a bit too much to drink.
A phone call with her Pulitzer prize winning Aunt Barb sets Stella on edge, really not wanting to talk about whether or not she was looking into the the things she sent her.
Buck’s brother Porter meets him at the airport surprising him. He expected to get a hotel and drive to the ranch in the morning. It’s after the funeral and at the reading of his father’s will that Buck gets mad. When he left the ranch years ago his father told him never to come back that he’d written him off. Instead he left the ranch to him with the stipulation he can’t step foot off it for more than 48 hours for a year, or the whole thing would be sold and the money from the sale given to charity. Meaning his siblings would lose everything.
While all that is going on Stella’s aunt and her companion are murdered. Now Stella has face that the warnings her aunt was giving her had come to fruition. Well Stella’s still alive but now she would be in danger. Rock calls Buck the minute he hears Stella found her aunt and companion dead. He leaves the ranch to be at her side assuring his siblings he’d be back before the 48 hours were up.
Decker, Irish and Rock along with Buck take charge of keeping Stella safe. The best way to do that is to get her out of town, quickly and quietly. The best place to go, Buck’s ranch.
This is a favorite scene as they arrive.
The rest of the flight was bumpy enough that the pilot suggested everyone stay put with our seat belts fastened. When I felt Stella tense beside me, I slid my hand into hers.
She looked down when I wove our fingers together. “What are you doing?”
“I’m holdin’ your hand, Stella.”
I angled my head so I could look into her eyes. “I’ve waited a damn long time to be able to.”
She looked away, but she left her hand where it was.
“It’s so beautiful,” she commented on the drive from the Gunnison airfield into Crested Butte. It was a typical “Bluebird” day in the state that boasted more than three hundred days of sunshine a year.
“It’s the next right,” I told Rock after we’d driven past the entrance to the Flying R on the left. The road that led to the Roaring Fork went through a gated golf course community, something my father had tried to stop from being developed by bidding on the land himself. That he had been outbid at the last minute by a developer out of Texas was something that ate away at him for the rest of his life.
The road narrowed and went between two large red-rock formations surrounded by aspens. Just beyond that, was the ranch’s main gate. As the road curved around, the first structures we came to were the original barn and farmhouse. The house hadn’t been lived in during my lifetime, and the barn was only used for overflow hay storage, but both had always been my two favorite buildings on the property. There was a time I’d thought about restoring them and living in the farmhouse.
My father shot that idea down in the same way he had most ideas my brothers and I had. My mother was still alive at the time and ran interference when the old man threatened to tear them down. She’d issued her own threat, telling him that if he tried, she’d see to it that they were declared historic landmarks.
I shook my head and laughed at how she’d always been the only one not intimidated by him.
“What are you thinking about?” Stella asked.
“Ancient history,” I mumbled.
The road came to a three-prong fork. “That way will be where we set up the dude ranch,” I said, pointing to the far left. “The middle goes to the main ranch house and to the three refurbished cabins. Stock contracting will be to the far right.”
“Nice of the geography to play along,” said Rock, looking over at Decker.
“It does make our job easier.”
Ten minutes later, we came to a crest and the wide expanse of our ranch opened up before us. Stella gasped. Even I had to admit, on a day like today, it was breathtaking.
Rock looked over his shoulder at me. “How did you ever leave this place?”
“It wasn’t the place; it was the people. One person in particular.”
Stella’s eyes met mine, and in them, I could see the questions I’d tried to avoid when I didn’t tell her about my father being ill.
Two SUVs, identical to the one we were riding in, were parked in front of the house. “Is that your crew?” I asked Decker when we exited our vehicle and walked toward the house.
“Affirmative,” he muttered, looking at something on his phone. “How many cabins did you say were on the river? Three?”
I led him, Rock, Irish, and Stella into the house, shocked at how quiet it was. “Hello?” I called out.
“Hey, Buck,” said my sister, coming around the corner. I stepped forward and hugged her. “Where is everybody?”
“Out surveying.” Flynn turned and looked directly at Irish. “Who are you?”
He stepped forward and extended his hand. “Paxon Warrick.”
“Great name,” said Irish.
I suddenly felt like the rest of us in the room were invisible. I tapped Flynn on the shoulder. “Hey, sis, I’d like you to meet my friend, Stella. Stella, this is Flynn.”
The two women shook hands.
“And this is Decker Ashford and Rock Johnson.”
“It’s nice to meet you both.” Flynn was polite, shaking the hands of both men. However, I caught her looking over her shoulder at Irish more than once. And Irish? He hadn’t taken his eyes off of her.
“Stella and Irish… err… Paxon are going to be spending some time here on the ranch.”
“You may have one other joining you,” I heard Decker say to Stella.
“Who?” she asked with scrunched eyes.
He leaned forward and whispered in her ear. Whatever he said made her eyes open wide. “No!”
“I’m going to head out and see if I can meet up with my crew,” said Deck. He tipped his hat to my sister. “It was nice to meet you, Flynn.”
“What was that all about?” I asked Stella once he was gone.
“What about her?”
“She may be staying here too.”
Heather Slade. Bucked (Kindle Locations 1094-1139). The Invincibles Book Six.
Things start getting more convoluted as it becomes obvious Ali would be joining them on the ranch. Since Stella and Ali are writing the book about Fisk together, it makes sense that she would be in danger too.
There’s much they need to put together, including the story that ruined Stella’s aunt’s career. Somewhere there had to be a connection between Fisk and her aunt’s investigation of Kerr. The evidence in a safety deposit box somewhere all Stella has is the key. That’s not going to help anything.
This book has plenty of suspense and intrigue as Buck and Stella delve into a very serious and steamy relationship.
I can’t wait for the next book ‘Irished’, especially with the glimpses we’ve gotten of Buck’s sister Flynn and Irish together.
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.