Rhonda Lee Carver
A tattooed cowboy. An age gap. A secret baby. And one night with a stranger will lead to unexpected dreams.
She’s about to trade in the title “Cougar” for “Lioness”.
Dustina “Dusty” Cavanaugh has been around rough and tough cowboys all her life. She has two unwavering rules. One, don’t mix business with pleasure. Two, never, EVER, believe anything that a cowboy says right after an eight second ride. Then she blows it over a charming, handsome cowboy. He gives her a night to remember…and a positive pregnancy test.
Wales couldn’t get the sexy brunette off his mind. She’d embedded herself in his veins and her memory kept popping up—in more ways than one. When she shows up in Dove Grey to do a story on his brother, Cade Dawson, Wales is torn between his feelings for Dusty and keeping his head, and heart, on track. A cowboy is supposed to be tough, but she tests his durability. Can he convince her that the age difference isn’t a big deal?
Then she drops the “P” bomb.
Surprises unravel–some good and some devastating. Will their growing love detonate or will an unforeseen presence bring them together to live happily ever after?
Dustina “Dusty” Cavanaugh was waiting for her date, Bull rider Griff Alamo. He was late when usually he was punctual. As she watched the dancers, one cowboy in particular caught her eye. The thoughts she had startled her, since she only wanted the guy she was waiting on. When Griff arrives, she’s dancing with that cowboy and having a good time.
Now Dusty was never one for a ‘hook-up’ but after spending so much time with Griff she felt it was right to end the rodeo with a romp in the hay. Only she didn’t know Griff has a big secret, he has a wife.
Wales Dawson does PI work on the side and was hired by Griff’s wife Chantel to prove he’s cheating on her. The last thing he expected was for his client to show up where Griff is expected to meet up with the woman he just danced with.
This is a favorite scene.
Dusty felt her world crashing down around her. She didn’t know if she should expose Griff or just walk away and count her blessings that she found out his tricks before she made a huge mistake.
The way his wife looked at Dusty made her skin crawl. She felt guilty although she had no clue that he was married.
“You heard her, baby. She’ll call,” Chantel wrinkled her nose. “She’s taken up most of your time this week anyway.”
“Excuse me?” The words were out before Dusty could trap them. She’d never been one to accept being walked on.
“Oh, it’s okay. All the ladies try to occupy my husband’s time. I wouldn’t expect you to be any different.”
So, Chantel did suspect what would happen tonight. The verbal shots were fired, catching Dusty off guard. What had Griff told his wife? Had he confessed? No, she couldn’t imagine him doing that. Although she gave Chantel some leeway considering she was married to a prick, Dusty didn’t like being put between a rock and a hard place. “I’m different. I don’t know what Griff said—”
“How about we let Miss Cavanaugh get back to whatever she was doing,” Griff cut-in.
Chantel smirked. “You said yourself that you couldn’t take my calls because she followed you around like a desperate puppy, never letting you have a moment of peace.” Griff’s groan made her laugh. “Oops, I guess I wasn’t supposed to say that out loud, was I?”
It took nearly three seconds for Dusty to wrap her brain around what she’d heard come out of the woman’s mouth.
Anger made Dusty clench her hands into fists and she took a step forward, feeling like she needed to punch one of them, but a lifeline came from the most unexpected person.
“Hi, sweetheart. Ready for another dance or you ready to get out of here?”
Dusty popped her chin up. There stood the cowboy with all the fancy dance moves. She blinked in surprise but his smile didn’t slip, not even a sliver. Once she had her composure in place, she realized what he was doing and felt shocking relief. “Hi.” She issued soft laughter when he grabbed her by the hand and pulled her close. It was as natural to relax and press her hand at his flat stomach, right above that large silver buckle, just as dancing with him had felt. For two strangers, they fit cozily together, her in the nook of his arm with his fingers pressing into her bare back.
Wales took the cue and nuzzled his nose in her hair, drawing her even closer, sending a private message that he had her back.
She trembled slightly. Sweat beaded between her breasts.
Their gazes met and held, a wordless exchange of understanding. They were on the same page to send Alamo the memo that whatever he’d shared, or wanted to share, with Dusty had come to a halt.
Wales could practically see Alamo’s shoulders slump in disappointment.
Chantel, on the other hand, had lost her smug expression while she feasted her eyes on Wales. She didn’t even bother hiding her interest while her husband looked on. “Hi there.” She held out her hand for Wales. “I’m Chantel. And who might you be?” Her eyes dazzled.
“I’m Wales,” he said simply and shook her hand, feeling the scrape of her long nail over his palm and seeing the tip of her tongue sweep over her bottom lip. He wasn’t the brightest when it came to women, but he caught her silent invitation loud and clear. So, it appeared that she and Alamo both had some loyalty issues.
“Are you and Dusty together?” She lifted a brow.
“Yeah, we’re together,” he said proudly looking down at the woman who snuggled close. Her bewildering eyes looked lighter against her dewy skin.
“Did you two meet at the rodeo?” Chantel asked seemingly oblivious to Alamo’s smirk.
“Nah. She’s been my sunshine for what…how long has it been, sweetheart?”
“T-two years.” Dusty warbled.
He brought her hand to his mouth and kissed her knuckles. “We got into a messy argument before she came here to grab her story. After I had some time to think about things, I realized I couldn’t live one minute without this little lady in my life so I came to apologize for being a jackass. You know, we can all be dumbasses at times, right buddy?” He settled his gaze on Alamo for a good two heartbeats then returned his attention back to Dusty who still stared. “Thank goodness she forgave me and we’re back together.”
“Oh yes…yes.” Her cheeks turned a rosy color.
“You two are the cutest.” Chantel beamed. “Can Griff and I buy you both a drink?”
“No,” Dusty said a little quickly, then recovered with a half-attempt at a smile. “I mean, now that Wales and I are back together I want to have him all to myself. We have some catching up to do.” She stood on tiptoe and kissed him on the cheek.
“I bet you do.” Chantel devoured Wales with her piercing eyes. “Enjoy. I know I would. I mean, will.” She wriggled up closer to Griff and slid her claw like nail along the open neckline of his button down.
Wales’d had enough of the drama.
“How about that dance?” He grabbed Dusty’s hand and heard Alamo mutter something under his breath, but Wales didn’t care. He continued leading her toward the dance floor and just as they plaited their way through couples, he bent his mouth close to her ear. “Now let’s make this look real, shall we, sweetheart?”
“Why did you do that?” she whispered.
“Someone had to save you from that asswipe,” he gritted out. “Yet, seeing your expression I think I just saved Alamo from you.” He chuckled.
She dipped her head back to look at him. Her eyes were like a glossy lie detector. “You knew he’s married and that’s why you came over, right?”
“Yeah. Didn’t you know?” He wrapped his arm around her slight waist so that he could swing her. He noticed that Alamo and Chantel were still watching. Wales had a strong feeling both were a little jealous. “They’re watching.” He grinned.
“I feel like a fool.” She let out a shaky laugh, then said, “No I didn’t know.”
He spun her out and then dragged her back, locking her gaze with his while grinding his hips against hers in a way that made her eyes widen slightly. “I’m sure you’re not the first woman he’s duped. Most probably don’t even ask about his relationship status.”
The corners of her soft lips dipped. “Did you know who my date was from the start?”
The art to lying—not that he was a liar—was to stick as close to the truth as possible without giving away too many details. He didn’t want to fib at all but he had his client’s confidentiality to protect too. Didn’t the job end the moment he found out Alamo hadn’t cheated during the event? “Yeah, I had a guess.”
Rhonda Lee Carver. All Cowboy & Heart ARC (Kindle Locations 468-528). Kindle Edition.
Wade saves Dusty from embarrassment, and they actually get to know each other a little before they end up in her hotel room. They have a rather uncomfortable morning after, at least for Dusty, I kinda got a kick out of it.
There were consequences of that very enjoyable night, now Dusty has to tell Wade. Her boss comes up with a story she wants done on his brother Cade, and Dusty intends to get to know Wade a lot better before telling him.
An enjoyable, fun and sizzling tale with more than one surprise.
5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!
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Rhonda Lee Carver is a published book writer with a collection of print and eBooks under her wing. She is also a freelance editor. Her first book was published with Wild Rose Press in 2010.
She writes everything from contemporary to steamy to paranormal to suspense…you name it, she’s written it. Her specialty is writing men who love to get their hands dirty—hardworking, blue collar, heroes in everyday life.
When Rhonda isn’t crafting edge-of-your-seat, sizzling novels, you’ll find her with her children and husband watching soccer, watching a breathtaking movie, traveling to exotic places (with Bora Bora on her bucket list), doing (or trying) yoga, saving cats and dogs, and finding new ways to keep life interesting.
Rhonda thrives on making her readers happy. She believes life can be a challenge, but reading is a place where fantasy comes to life. Her motto: “Everyone deserves romance—one page at a time.“