Second chance romance?
and definitely not with the girl next door.
Dane Moon is the troublemaker of the family, and his latest screw-up was marrying a Vegas stripper. Or was it that she married the male dancer? Either way, that chapter of his life’s over, along with the marriage. He’s back in Colorado on the family homestead, attempting to pick up the broken pieces of his past, present and future.
When veterinarian Brennah Peterson finds a drunk guy passed out in her hay bale, she isn’t surprised it’s Dane Moon. The panty-melting bad boy next door always had a reputation for being the life of the party. Any torch Brennah used to carry for the rough and tumble cowboy has been long extinguished—at least until he throws that crooked smile her way again.
Wanting Brennah and wanting to be a better man go together like boots and hats, and maybe it’s time Dane cleans up his act. But Brennah’s got every reason to stay away from him, and he doesn’t want another ex-wife anyhow. When things heat up, it’s hard for Brennah to walk away. But a hot roll in the hay with Dane won’t be enough, and she won’t accept less than all or nothing.
Having signed divorce papers, beaten up and truck taken by guys sent to collect on his gambling debt, Dane Moon leaves Vegas to return to Moon Ranch. At the time getting drunk seemed like a good idea since he was going to visit his old man’s grave first. Turns out that probably wasn’t the best one.
Veterinarian Brennah Peterson bought the ranch neighboring the Moon’s. She doesn’t have time for a drunk cowboy sleeping in her barn. When cold water in his face doesn’t work she ties him to her tractor and pulls him out of the barn, to no avail. In a last ditch effort before calling his brother she manages to rouse him by calling his name and shaking him. Leading up to dunking him in the water trough.
This is a favorite scene.
With a sigh, she considered her options. One—call Zayden and tell him to come get his brother. Two—phone the sheriff. Three—attempt to wake him again.
For some reason, she felt the need to try before making any calls. She unhooked the rope from his boots and knelt next to him. “Dane! Wake up!”
He stirred at the sound of his name. Patients came out of anesthesia when they heard their names. This couldn’t be much different, could it?
“Dane!” She shook him, then slapped him lightly on the scruffy cheek. The stiff dark hairs under her fingertips made her jerk her hand back. She latched onto his shoulder and shook him again, but that wasn’t better, because the rock-hard muscle awakened her inner teenaged girl.
She sat back on her heels and called his name again.
Finally, his eyes fluttered. The irises looked amber in the bloodshot mess of the whites of his eyes.
Feeling a little thrown off, she tentatively pushed at his shoulder again. “Dane, get up!”
He sat up so fast she had to jump back. He slumped forward, giving a groan that sounded like a wild animal’s rather than a man’s.
“Dane. Get up. You have to leave.”
“Where am I?” he moaned out.
“On my ranch. You don’t live here. You passed out.”
“Come on. Get up and we’ll call your brother.”
That broke through his alcoholic haze. “No. Not my brother. He won’t like it.” Rolling to the side, he tried twice to get his feet beneath him before heaving himself to a stand. He swayed alarmingly, and she reached out as if to catch him, even as she realized there was no way in hell she could hold him up. If he plummeted to the ground, all she could do was get out of the way.
He cracked a bleary eye at her. “Who’re you?”
“Brennah Peterson. This is my ranch.” The words barely left her lips before she realized he was about to go down again.
“Oh no you don’t.” She grabbed him by the shoulders and steered him several paces across the yard to the trough. Water always worked with drunks. When she moved to dunk him, he helped her out by falling face-first into the water.
For a moment, she panicked. What if he passed out and she wasn’t strong enough to haul him out? She couldn’t be responsible for the man drowning in her horse trough.
With a hard grasp on his shoulders, she yanked him backward. Crap, he was a hell of a lot heavier than her mom, who drank too much wine following a bad day at work.
To her relief, he came with her, flipping water all over her. She gasped at the hit of cold water to the face and chest. She released him.
Dane rocked on his feet.
“Don’t go down again!” Lurching toward him, she shoved his head under again.
This time, he threw himself upward. With water streaming off him and molding his chambray shirt to his chiseled body, he glared at her. His dark hair plastered to his forehead and below that, his amber eyes centered on her.
She swallowed hard.
The man was big, wet…and angry.
“The best way to wake a drunk is cold water.” Her words sounded strong, even if she felt like she stood on two spaghetti noodles rather than legs.
He didn’t budge, standing there streaming water. When he swiped a hand over his face and up through his hair, sending the strands into spikes, he paused. “Where’s my hat?” He sent her another glare like she’d stolen the thing off his head.
“In the barn. You weren’t wearing it when I found you.”
He looked her over, from head to foot and back up, in a slow pace that reflected his inebriated condition and didn’t have anything to do with him liking her appearance. But she still felt his gaze like a touch and drew up to her full height of five-nine. She was tall enough, strong too. And she wanted him to know he wouldn’t get far with her if he tried anything.
He strode into her barn without so much as a wobble. Clearly the man could process his liquor with a little help. He shoved the hat down over his wet hair and peered at her from under the low brim.
“How’d you know my name?”
“Your driver’s license.” No sense in reminding him of her immature efforts to get his attention in high school.
Dark brows shot up. “You took my wallet?”
“No, it fell out of your pocket when I dragged you over the threshold.” She waved a hand. At that moment, he must have pieced together the scene—dirt trail, tractor, and rope.
He rounded on her and then grabbed his head. “You dragged me with a tractor?”
“How else was I going to get you out? You’re big and weigh as much as one of my young llamas.”
His blue jeans were painted on, and the way he braced his legs wide only accentuated muscled thighs and calves much thicker than in his youth.
She tore her gaze away. “Look, you need to leave. I have work to do.”
He attempted a nod but clutched his skull again. Serves him right.
“Can you at least tell me where I’m at, besides on your ranch? Where is the Moon Ranch from here?”
“Just across that field.” She pointed.
He peered at her, and through those amber eyes, she saw the lights flipping on in his brain. “You bought the old Connally place.”
“Sorry for the trouble, miss.” To her surprise, he tipped his hat in the most gentlemanly manner she’d seen in ages, and never from a drunk. He walked past her and circled the paddock. She watched him go for long minutes, until she was sure he’d remain on his feet and wouldn’t collapse in her field.
With a shake of her head, she returned to the barn and her animals. If the past half hour was anything to go by, she was in for one hell of a day.
Em Petrova. ScrewedandSatisfied EmPetrova (Kindle Locations 208-260). Kindle Edition.
Now things aren’t going to be easy for Dane, he has to prove to his brother Zayden, that he isn’t like his father. He had to become a better man than he is at the moment.
When Zayden’s tractor is taken, Dane is afraid it’s his fault but a fire in the field stops him from telling anyone. This is where things start to get interesting with him and Brennah.
Plenty of twists and turns, sizzling heat, and more than one surprise.
5 Contented Purrs for Em!
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Em Petrova was raised by hippies in the wilds of Pennsylvania but told her parents at the age of four she wanted to be a gypsy when she grew up. She has a soft spot for babies, puppies and 90s Grunge music and believes in Bigfoot and aliens. She started writing at the age of twelve and prides herself on making her characters larger than life and her sex scenes hotter than hot.
She burst into the world of publishing in 2010 after having five beautiful bambinos and figuring they were old enough to get their own snacks while she pounds away at the keys. In her not-so-spare time, she is fur-mommy to a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff and works as editor with USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors.