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Cowboy Luke – Cooper’s Hawke Landing Book 5 by Rhonda Lee Carver


Cowboy Luke
Cooper’s Hawke Landing Book 5
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Two stubborn firefighters are faced with an uncontainable blaze inside their hearts. Can they withstand the heat?

What’s a woman to do to get over a lying, cheating ex-husband? She finds a cowboy-firefighter like Luke “Mug” Foster to salve her open wounds. He’s exactly what the “heart” doctor ordered. He was tall, dark, handsome, and eager to stoke her fire. But what happens when Jady Pierce starts to have feelings for him? She runs before she loses herself to another heartbreak. People couldn’t be trusted, and she’d learned that lesson through a long list of men who’d done her dirty.

Jady was back in Cooper’s Hawk. Last year, she’d swept in, turned Mug inside out, then disappeared without a word. Story of his life. He wouldn’t lose himself in her again, yet there was something about her that challenged and excited him. To get to the “real” Jady, he’d have to chisel through some tough layers. She was carrying around a lot of pain…and not just from a cheating ex and a bum childhood. So what made her tick? What made her hurt?

She’d be sticking around town for a while when she accepted the Sheriff duties, but how would she keep her feelings for Mug in check? He had a hold over her and she could feel her walls crumbling.

An abandoned baby, an unveiling of secrets from the past, and Mug will have Jady slowly gaining trust as she finds peace, emotion and joy in the small town that she’d once hated. However, she isn’t the only one with a few demons to exterminate.

Jady Pierce is back in Cooper’s Hawk to settle her father’s affairs. The property she didn’t know he owned needed to be sold to pay off his medical bills but needed work first.

Luke ‘Mug’ Foster has been looking for property to buy since he decided to take the fire chief position. Hank Hawke is the one who lets him know about Jady’s property. He’s not sure about seeing Jady but he certainly would like to get a bid in on the property before it hits the market. That doesn’t stop him from stopping by the property at night, her light was on after all.

This is a favorite scene.

Traveling from place to place has lost its enticement. I like it here. I enjoy volunteering at the Landing Search and Rescue. I’ve also been taken on as Chief at the firehouse. I’ve even made some good friends. It’s time I planted some roots.”

“I’m happy for you.” Their gazes met.

“What about you? Cooper’s Hawk ain’t a bad place.”

“So are you trying to convince me to sell you Mags Farm or that I should stay?” Her laugh sounded weak.

“I’d like to buy.” He pressed his boot on a loose plank in the floor. He already had a ton of ideas on how to make the place better. “I just wondered if you had any emotional connections to the place.”

“Do you know how my father came to own this place?” She sank her brush in the paint again and stepped back over to the wall to start painting along the taped-off trim.

“Something about a poker game?” She looked over her shoulder at him. “I imagine someone would have to be drunker than my father to make that mistake.”

“Drunk or desperate to win the game.”

“Two of Bobby Sinclaire’s greatest achievements in life. Poker and liquor.” She went back to focusing on the wall. “He definitely did have a knack for card games. He’d spent more time in basement gambling clubs than he ever did at home. For that, I’m grateful.”

A familiar twinge developed in the center of his chest. He wasn’t a stranger to family turmoil.

Shrugging out of his jacket, he tossed it over a plastic covered chair and picked up the new roller.

“What are you doing?” she asked. “Helping. I’ve used a paint roller once or twice over the years.”

“Aren’t you tired? If you’ve been out on the mountain doing a search—”

“No. We were just out training a couple of horses. Anyway, I might as well do something to keep myself busy. I won’t be able to get to sleep for hours.”

“I don’t need any help—”

“Jady…” He wanted to be distant with her because she’d kicked him to the curb, but the last thing he wanted to carry around on his shoulders was anger when it wouldn’t add up to a bag of beans. Cooper’s Hawk, and the people in it, had taught him a lot about himself and what he wanted, and needed, not only for the present but also for his future. Each day he grappled with his troubles, but each day he also made amazing strides to recovery. “This isn’t for you as much as it is an ulterior motive. Maybe it’ll sway you to sell to me.” He rolled the sponge into the paint and made a wide W on the wall.

“Are you putting pressure on me, Cowboy? I’ve a had a few inquiries, just so you know.” She turned her back to him.

“No pressure.”

“Have you thought about all the work this place will need?”

“Well, obviously it hasn’t been a functioning farm for years. Your pa might have won it in a game of poker, but farming wasn’t his business. The fields will need a bush hog. The outbuildings will need reconstructed, possibly a few torn down. And the house,” he swung his gaze around, “will need more than a layer of paint or two. Or three. I’m willing to pay a fair price. I thought you’d be happy to get out of dodge.”

“This wouldn’t be my pick of places.”

“I think the townsfolk of Cooper’s Hawk would have their feelings hurt at a statement like that.” He dipped his dry roller, glancing over at her. She did a little bounce as she attempted to reach the highest point of the wall. “Here, let me take care of that” He grabbed the ladder and set it up close to the wall. “Even tall women need a little help to reach places sometimes.”

Their gazes met for a fleeting second before she turned away. He skimmed his gaze up her long, toned legs to the hem of the shorts, feeling a tug in places he needed to shut off. Clearing his throat, he grabbed up his roller and focused on finishing up the last bit of wall. “Do you have someone you need to get home to?” He shouldn’t ask, but a curious man couldn’t hold his tongue.

After a tense hesitation, she answered, “No. How about you? Do you have someone who might be wondering where you are tonight?”

His chuckle vibrated off the bare walls. “If I did, I wouldn’t be here.”

“Well good.” She stepped down from the ladder and dropped her brush in a bucket of water. “I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of any drama. I know how folks around these parts can talk.”

There was that look again, a sadness that consumed the brightness in her eyes.

“Why did you do it, Jady?” He needed an explanation. “Do what?”

“Leave like you did last year. You disappeared.” He shifted in his boots. Seeing her expression, he wished he’d kept his mouth shut but that couldn’t happen. “It was a pretty shitty thing to do.”

“Why are you bringing this up? Can’t we leave the past where it belongs?”

“Hell if I know. I didn’t come here tonight to exchange tidbits about what we shared. I guess the curiosity overcame me.” He moaned. “Damn, forget I asked.” He didn’t want to expose too much of his raw emotions. It didn’t matter anyway. She’d leave town soon enough.

“You don’t seem like the type to get your feelings hurt so easily.”

“And I didn’t think you were the type to bail out so callously. Sometimes we’re wrong about a person.” He dropped his roller into the water bucket. As if an invisible force took control of him, he crossed the short distance between them. He saw her eyes widen as he bent and kissed her. It couldn’t have been described as a passionate kiss, but one of pent-up energy and closure. When he pulled away, he explored her expression, humored by the flecks of twinkles in her eyes and the quiver in her bottom lip. She stood there and stared as if she couldn’t wrap her brain around what had just happened. “There. Now that’s a proper goodbye in my book. Or hello. Either way, I got that out of my system, so I think we’re good.” He swallowed the giant cotton ball feeling in his throat then reached for his jacket and swung it over his shoulder. “You have a nice night, ma’am, and welcome to Cooper’s Hawk, for however long as you’ll be here.” He strolled out and inhaled a needed dose of oxygen. His body screamed for more of the kiss, but logic warned him he’d left things on a good note so leave it at that.

Smiling, he climbed into his truck, turned up the music, and drove home. He had a feeling he’d be out like a light once his head hit the pillow.
Rhonda Carver. CowboyLuke.FinalTOC1 (Kindle Locations 386-437). Kindle Edition.

Jady has a lot of decisions to make, but one of the easiest is to let Mug buy the farm. The other took some consideration but she also agreed to be the acting sheriff while Sheriff Conley was away on personal business.

That one leads to quite a few interesting encounters.

The more time Mug and Jady spend together the more the attraction ramps up. These two are definitely meant to be together, but her past just keeps getting in her way.

Fun, tension, surprises and a romance that sparks then flares to life.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“

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Cowboy Boone – Cooper’s Hawke Landing Book 4 by Rhonda Lee Carver


Cowboy Boone
Cooper’s Hawke Landing Book 4
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

She’s his best friend’s sister and off limits…but then again, he never cared much for limits.

Daisy Bloom had wanted her brother’s best friend, Boone Hawke, for as long as she could remember. Why couldn’t he see her for more than her brother’s little sister? She decided to take charge of her own fate and bring out a few tricks to get him to see her differently. A kiss, a flirty smile, and a flash of her “assets” might get him to bite the forbidden apple.

There was something in the water. Must be for Daisy to flirt with him. Brody’s little sister wasn’t so little anymore and Boone had noticed. She’d metamorphosed from the girl with the too-large glasses and oversized bibs, always wearing a smear of dirt on her cheek, to a seductive woman who had him in her crosshairs. Too bad she was off limits. There was a buddy code Boone didn’t plan to cross. Yet, what would one kiss hurt? One itty-bitty touch should put his fantasy to rest.

Wrong.

One touch sent them into a labyrinth of lust, secrets, and betrayal. A line had been destroyed and there was no going back,. They were caught in a mind-blowing, carnal web. Did they have a future together or would they crash and burn? Sometimes hard decisions needed to be made, and someone would be hurt.

Daisy Bloom has been in love with Boone most of her life. She’s had relationships but no one has come close to capturing her heart. Boone is her brother’s best friend and still sees her as a kid. You’d think he’d notice the difference now she’s thirty.

Boone has noticed Daisy, but years ago he promised Brody he wouldn’t date any of his sisters. He’s got a playboy reputation, and Brody and everyone else isn’t letting that go.

When Daisy’s sister Chynna gives her some ideas Boone takes notice and he’s conflicted. If he makes a move he’ll lose his best friend, and if he doesn’t it could lose her to someone else. He does give in and agree to help raise the money for the new town park and he a good idea for it and would discuss it at the Gender Reveal for his brother and sister-in-law.

This is a favorite scene.

“Want me to take over here?” Hank asked.

“Huh?” Boone pulled his gaze away from Daisy and pretended interest in flipping a burger.

“Let me have the spatula before we have more burgers on the ground than in our mouths.” Hank took the tool and manned the grill. “Word of advice, go speak to her.”

“What? Who?”

Hank’s laugh made a few bystanders turn to look. “Don’t deny it. Your interest in Daisy Bloom is about as subtle as an elephant in a china shop.”

Rubbing his jaw, he glanced at her and she was ladling punch into her cup. He removed his stare and concentrated on opening another package of buns. “It’s just taking me some time to get used to her without glasses.”

“I bet. And maybe that form fitting red dress too?” Hank teased. “Hi, Daisy.”

Boone looked up. How the hell did she move so quick?

“Boone, you ready to go over the details on the park?” Her tongue came out to roll across her plump bottom lip and he swore he broke one of the zipper teeth in his worn jeans.

Swallowing the lump in his throat, he nodded and left the grill area. “Let’s walk.” If they were going to work together, he needed to clear the air. Walking around with a boner wouldn’t be productive, or healthy, for him. Once they were away from the crowd, he stopped and hooked his thumbs in his front pockets. “About last night—”

“Last night was—”

They both started in unison.

She laughed and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.

“You go first,” he offered. “I was just going to say that I don’t want things to be awkward between us after last night.”

“Why would they be awkward?” He shifted on his worn boots.

Her cheeks flushed. “I-I was just a little tipsy.”

“Really? I couldn’t tell.” He chuckled. “Let’s walk over and sit down by the water.”

Once they were seated on the weathered wooden bench, she toed off her boots and set them aside. “Much better,” she said.

“When we were kids you were barefoot all the time.”

“I still am when I can be.” She crossed her legs and the slit of the dress parted, showing off her nice thighs. His gaze seemed to lock on her legs all the way down to her delicate ankles. Her toenails were painted a bright red. She had nice feet and he wasn’t sure he’d ever noticed anyone’s feet before now. Not that he was a foot man. He liked a woman’s smile, and she wasn’t lacking in that area either. “How about we go out and sit on the dock so I can dip my feet in the water.” She was already up and moving that direction.

He followed, watching the natural sway of her hips.

She sat down, tugging at her skirt, then dipped her toes in.

Toeing off his boots and socks, he joined her, sitting a little closer than he normally would.

“Want a sip?” she offered.

“Sure.” He took a swallow from her cup then handed it back, feeling a stiffness behind his zipper when she pressed her lips to the same spot where he’d drank. How could something so simple cause such a strong emotion in him?

He wanted to lick the remaining sweetness of the punch off her lips.

“About the committee, I know it isn’t your cup of tea, but I could use the help.” She rolled the tip of her finger along the rim of the cup.

He eased back onto his hands and stretched his legs. The coolness of the water helped to ease some of the heat in his veins. “I said I’d help and I meant it. I won’t back out. What happened to Mitch? I would have figured he’d fight tooth and nail to spend some time with you.”

“He wouldn’t face a duel for me.” She laughed.

“Huh?”

“It’s an inside thing. What I meant, a man would fight an enemy, face death, for the woman he loves, and Mitch has met her…and her name is Katherine.” She looked out across the pond where geese skimmed the top of the water. “We both thought it best that he does not help.”

“Katherine? Is that his ex?”

“Yes.”

“I’d forgotten about her.” He scratched his temple.

“Well, he hasn’t.” She brought the cup to her lips and sipped, then set it aside.

“Did this knowledge come after you rejected him or before?”

Her eyes widened. “How do you know that I rejected him?”

“The text I received from you pretty much gave it away. You wouldn’t have bothered with me if you were in a cowboy’s arms.”

“I would have never slept with Mitch,” she said quietly.

“You certainly seemed hell bent last night.” Anger boiled inside him.

“I-I…”

“What?”

“To sleep with a man I need more reason than loneliness.” Her eyes turned darker.

“How is it possible that you can be lonely?”

“I thought we came out here to discuss the park, not my love life, or lack thereof.”

“You and everyone else seem to enjoy discussing mine. Maybe it’s time I turned the tables.”

She shifted to look at him. “What do you mean?”

“I mean everyone thinks they know what happens in my bed. I know a bit about loneliness myself.” He’d divulged more than he wanted to, but it felt right to allow her in.

She laughed but once she realized he wasn’t teasing her expression sobered. “Sorry, but…”

“There. Right there. You all think you know me.”

“Okay, then. Just as you’ve promised to not call me Frog again, I’ll promise not to assume you’re a playboy.” She held up two fingers pressed together in oath.

He sat up and pressed his elbows against his knees. “Oh sheesh. Saying that aloud makes it all sound even worse.”

She leaned over and lifted his shirt, looking at his back. “Nope, don’t see any.”

“And what don’t you see?”

“Claw marks. I’m sure if you bedded Talia her three-inch nails would have left permanent marks.”

“You’re funny. Can we please not mention her name again?”

“Sure, but it’s kind of hard when you’re wearing her scent.” She sniffed and wrinkled her nose. “Is that Eau de Taliette?”

“Yeah, you just keep getting funnier.”

“Okay. Okay. I brought you out here to discuss raising money, not putting my nose where it doesn’t belong. We should stay on track. We need a proposal and don’t have much time.”

“Is that why you’re no longer pissed at me? You want to reel me in to talk money?” He jerked up a brow.

“Your sparkling attitude keeps me from staying mad at you,” she teased.

“Fine. What do you have in mind?’

“A rodeo?”

“Takes too much time.”

“A dance?”

“Won’t raise enough money. Wouldn’t be worth our while.”

“How about a carnival? The committee put on one a few years ago and it did very well. We could dress you up as a clown and you can tie balloons into funny shapes for the kids.”

“Nope.” He shook his head.

She sighed and irritation crawled over her face. “You’ve shot down all my ideas so why don’t you name something, Einstein.”

“I do have some ideas, you know.”

“I believe you, but you have to communicate them so we’re not spinning our wheels.”

“If I could get a word in,” he huffed.

“Fine. Go ahead.”

“How about a concert?”

“Like a singing on stage concert?” She snickered. “I love the idea, but I’ve heard you sing and I’m even worse. We want to raise money, not destroy anyone’s hearing.”

“Jinx Crow.”

“Jinx? I haven’t heard that name in years. I thought after a few years of living the life of a popular music career he disappeared off the face of the earth.”

“He disappeared but not off the face of the earth. He retired because the life of a star wasn’t fit for him. Now he writes music for big hit artists. Imagine how many people would show up to hear him sing and for an autograph. He’s a hometown boy. People remember him.”

“Okay. I’ll bite. How can we get Jinx to come back to Cooper’s Hawk and do a concert? As far as I know he hasn’t been here since he took off for Nashville at eighteen. What makes you think he’ll want to come back now.”

“He owes me a favor and I haven’t called it in yet. He and I happen to stay in touch and it’s worth a shot.” He looked up into the sky and the large, puffy clouds.

She laid her hand on his bicep and he snapped his chin around to look at her. “See, Boone, this is why you’re a benefit to the committee.
Rhonda Carver. CowboyBoonefinal-with-toc (Kindle Locations 796-867). Kindle Edition.

When these two finally come together, it’s explosive and kept a secret. Someone is going to have to break it to Brody sooner or later, unfortunately he’s going to find out on his own.

This is a fun read with plenty of sizzle and a cowboy who needs to listen to his heart.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“

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Cowboy Hank – Cooper’s Hawke Landing Book 3 by Rhonda Lee Carver


Cowboy Hank
Cooper’s Hawke Landing Book 3
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

When he met her, she needed him…but he realized he might need her more.

Being on the run, homeless, and hungry, it seemed fate had led Helena and her daughter to Cooper’s Hawk where everyone was welcoming, especially one cowboy who took a protector role. She wasn’t a damsel in distress, but she wasn’t prideful either. She’d do anything to keep her daughter safe.

Hank Hawke wasn’t a stranger to challenges. His scars ran deep, but the invisible scars ran much deeper. Coming home from a tour in IRAQ after a bomb explosion killed men in his unit, and left him seriously injured, he had to rebuild and reshape his life. The last thing he needed was a woman with a lot of trouble showing up to breach the secure wall he’d placed around himself, and his heart. However, a cowboy was allowed to change his mind.

Trust wasn’t easy for Helena or Hank, but can they learn to overcome the past to have a future? Are they strong enough to combat the demons? Can Helena hide in a small town where everyone knows everyone…and everything. Someone from the past wants her to pay a price, but Hank will protect her, and her daughter, against all monsters.

Helena left the man her father wanted her to marry at the alter. She picked up her daughter, emptied her savings account and started driving. She’d pulled off the main highway to get gas and still hasn’t found the gas station the sign referred to, when her cell rings. She pulls to the side of the road and shuts the engine to answer. Her best friend is calling to be sure she’s okay. Helena wasn’t sure she and Freya are but she’s doing the best she can. Which right at the moment wasn’t very good, but they were safe and together. After the conversation Helena’s car won’t start and she’s contemplating what to do. The sign she saw said Cooper’s Hawke Landing 5 miles, but she isn’t sure how much of that she’s actually gone.

A truck stops and the driver and older man offers her a ride to town. It takes a bit of convincing but she agrees, at least to the edge of town, or so she thought. She was further from civilization than she realized when she refused to let the man take her further. Now walking in the rain carrying her daughter who had taken off her shoes again and is barefoot. She’s relieved when she sees the sign for Pelican Hawke a bar and grill. She couldn’t bring Freya inside but maybe there was some shelter in the back.

Hank is the owner of Pelican Hawke and when we meet him he’s having a nightmare flashback. He doesn’t get them often anymore thanks to medication and therapy, but it was a long day on Search and Rescue. When he goes downstairs to his office he’s watching the security cameras. He sees Helena enter the bar and realizes she’s a stranger in town. However when he sees her steal a sandwich he gets a bit angry.

Discovering her plight Hank asks her to come into the kitchen of the bar and have something to eat.

This is a favorite scene.

Hank hung up, left his phone on the desk and went back into the kitchen.

“All okay, my friend?” George whipped something in a glass bowl.

“Fine. Why?”

“You look a bit out of sorts.”

“Can you make some food—” The back door opened and Hank’s explanation disappeared with a hiss of breath. Helena and her daughter stepped inside. Now that the little girl was awake and standing on her own two feet, barefoot, Hank could see the similarity between mother and daughter.  “Hi,” he said to them both.

“I-I hope it’s okay.” Helena swiped a glance between Hank and George who if was surprised hid it well. Some of her natural color had returned but the suspicious element in her eyes remained.

“Ladies, this is George, best cook this side of Montana,” Hank introduced the man who greeted them with a smile.

“I’m Helena and this is Freya.”

“I’m Hank,” he told the child who stared up at him with wide doe-like eyes. She held her mom’s hand and partially hid. “Come and have a seat. George can make you whatever you like. Right, buddy?”

The man must have been in a semi-trance because it took him two seconds to answer. “Sure. Anything you want. I bet you like chicken tenders,” he said to Freya who answered with a nod that was so small it could have just been a movement.

“She loves chicken tenders,” Helena answered.

“How about you, ma’am?” George asked, already gathering ingredients.

“Don’t worry about me,” she answered quietly. “I’m not hungry.”

Hank studied her face. He didn’t know her, but he could see by the set of her jaw that pride kept her from accepting a handout. Was she scared he’d ask her for payment?

“Ah, come on,” George said. “It’s not often I get to prepare a meal for special guests. Can I interest you in a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries, not to toot my own horn, but it is my specialty?”

There was only a second’s hesitation. “Sure. I appreciate it.”

“Come and sit down.” Hank pointed at the bar stools organized around the wooden kitchen island.

Once they were seated, Hank washed his hands and dried them then nervously stuffed them into his front pockets. What had come over him? He’d met plenty of petite, pale, suspicious women in his day so what made her different?

Helena laid her hands politely in her lap while Freya stared at him.

Feeling like he needed to do something quick, he asked, “Can I get you both something to drink?”

“Can I have cherry pop?” The little girl asked with big eyes.

“We’ll take water,” Helena cleared her throat and resituated herself on the stool. Little, spirals of hair had stuck on her long, lithe neck and other curls had weaved their way around tiny, sparkling earrings which seemed out of place compared to her outfit.

Realizing he had steered off track, he stepped over to the refrigerator and grabbed two bottles of water and placed them on the table. Then he grabbed the bottle of brandy from the cabinet and poured a small amount, not enough to get a person drunk but enough to take the chill off. He pressed the small glass into the woman’s hand who looked at him like he’d grown horns. “Just enough to take the chill out of your bones.”

She made several swipes from the amber liquid back to him as if debating what she should do.

He started to get the idea she would hand the glass back to him. “It’s only a swallow but if you don’t want it—”

“What is it?”

“Brandy.”

She took a sip. Her slight quiver told him she savored the pool of warmth in her stomach that would soon spread to the rest of her body. He knew that look all too well from a time when he’d relied on the bottle to warm him too…but not from the cold weather.

“Can I have some?” Freya asked.

“If it’s okay with your mom I can make you hot chocolate,” Hank offered, receiving a nod of approval from Helena.

While he went about preparing a cup, she emptied the brandy. When he set the cup of steaming hot chocolate piled with marshmallows in front of Freya she appeared excited as if he’d just given her a bowl of candy. “Be careful,” Hank said. “It might be a little hot.”

When George placed their plates on the table, they dug in. Freya snatched up a handful of fries and rammed them into her mouth.

“Slow down or you’re going to choke,” Helena said to her daughter.

She slowed shoveling the food in but only slightly.

Helena went about eating with more refined control. She shook out a napkin and laid it over her lap, and Hank was caught by her proper manners. Not that anyone in her situation couldn’t have manners, but there was a quality about her behavior that told him she’d been taught proper etiquette.

Hank gave them a few minutes of uninterrupted eating before he finally asked, “Are you two just passing through?”

The creases around her eyes returned and he realized he’d crossed a line he didn’t even know was there.

“I’m going to take a break.” Whether George sensed the tension or truly needed a break, Hank couldn’t be sure but alone with the woman and her kid he felt a bit awkward. He couldn’t seem to get his communication right.
Rhonda Carver. Cowboy-Hank-Final-with-toc (Kindle Locations 658-700). Kindle Edition.

A warm dry place for the night in the form of Hank’s apartment over the bar, allows Helena and Freya to have a good night sleep. Now comes the hard part, her car, a job and a place to stay. All of these happen because of Hank.

Trusting isn’t easy for Helena but gradually and with some gentle persuasion from Hank, her story gets told. They also acknowledge the attraction between them. Helena still isn’t sure this is where she wants to stay but the signs are it would be a good place to settle with Freya.

A search and rescue and a fugitive add some intrigue.

I loved seeing Hank’s family together, it was a fun gathering.

A courtship, with fun, intrigue, some suspense and of course some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“

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Amazon Author Page

2020 Christmas Countdown: More Than A Christmas Cowboy – A Sweet Holiday Novella by Rhonda Lee Carver


More Than A Christmas Cowboy
A Sweet Holiday Novella
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

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She needs a holidate. He has a soft spot for feisty redheads. They’re a perfect match…until he kisses her under the mistletoe…

Rona Collins has wanted Stone for too long, but the time has never been right to tell him how she feels. When her sister plans a Christmas wedding at a private resort, Rona feels the time has finally come to plan her secret reveal. She’s single. He’s single. What could get in the way?

Then he shows up with a beautiful woman clinging to his arm, and Rona must find herself a holidate fast.

Kai Grey needs a break from the family ranch so a few days at a resort to watch his best buddy get married sounds like an opportunity for some peace and quiet. From minute one, his plans are turned upside down. Not only must he share his cabin, but his new roommate lassos him into pretending to be her Christmas date.

From the second he agreed to help her, he knew he’d live to regret it. Too bad she wants his best friend…or does she?

Kisses under the mistletoe and snuggling up to soft curves are definitely some perks to being a holidate, until a drunken fool and a dead fish ruin the Christmas cheer.

Rona’s sister Marti is getting married and she chose a very beautiful and romantic setting for it. This would be Rona’s chance to tell Stone how she feels about him, he’d broken up with his latest fling so he’s free again. However, Rona didn’t expect that her car wouldn’t make it all the way to her cabin. She wasn’t exactly dressed for a hike through the snow with her suitcase.

Kai is the groom’s irritating best friend. He’s really the last person Rona wanted to run into, but she knew he’d be here for Taylor.

This is a favorite scene.

The lane curved up another incline and she followed the snow-covered roadway, her boots slipping and sliding but she kept her balance. The curls that she thought were contained in the updo were starting to make a bid for freedom and bounce around her cheeks. She could also feel sweat beading up under her arms and between her breasts. The satin blouse would start to wrinkle.

The rattling of an engine caught her attention. A Jeep turned the curve and she anticipated that she could catch a ride the rest of the way, but all hope vanished when she saw the driver. Holy smokes. Of course, he’d have to be here for the week also.

She quickened her pace, hoping he wouldn’t stop.

No such luck.

He slowed and she looked back, cringing.

Kai Grey, Taylor’s obnoxious best friend, smiled from ear to ear behind the dirty windshield. The wipers swished back and forth, mimicking the sudden whooshing in her body. She didn’t like him. Not one bit.

She stared ahead, hoping he continued on his way, but she should have known better. He rolled down the side window.

“Need a lift, Red?” Kai was equally as handsome as Stone with sandy hair that he usually hid under a white Stetson and eyes the color of a top-shelf whiskey surrounded by absurdly long lashes for a man. Over six feet of broad shoulders, wide chest, and thick muscles he’d earned from working on his family’s horse ranch, he certainly did look good. Unfortunately, his attitude rubbed her the wrong way. He seemed to enjoy targeting her with his lame jokes and using the nickname he’d bestowed upon her when she met him. Red.

“I’m fine walking.” She didn’t even look at him as she attempted to stride confidently ahead.

“You’re going to ruin those fancy boots,” he said in a slow, drawn-out accent.

Keep your eyes ahead. Keep your eyes ahead.

She couldn’t resist.

Glancing over, her breath caught. His hat was now missing, exposing a mass of tousled hair that was a bit longer since she saw him last. His lopsided grin was present and his broad, clefted chin was cleanly shaven. His arm leaned halfway out of the open window and the rolled-up sleeve of his white T-shirt showed off most of the intricate tattoo of a cross wrapped in barbed wire on his flexed bicep. She heard him say once he got the ink while he was serving in the Marines.

“It’s too late. They’re probably already ruined,” she finally answered.

“Come on. It’s just a ride, not a marriage proposal. Your nose and cheeks are as red as your hair. By the way, is your hair redder?”

Lifting her chin and shoulders, she frowned. “Here we go with the insults. My name is Rona, not Red. Do you think it’s possible that you could manage not to make wisecracks about my appearance every time you see me?”

“How about that ride?”

“Not on your life.”

An easy grin turned up his full lips, engaging deep dimples. His irises reflected the snow making them brighter than usual. “Suit yourself.” He gave her a casual wave and a wink before he sped off. The Jeep’s tires kicked up slush, splattering her face. Grr.

The heat building inside helped her to momentarily forget the freezing temperature. Why did he infuriate her so much? Why did she allow him to affect her? Why had she allowed the schoolyard bullies to bother her when they made fun of her wild curly hair, her early-puberty-curves, and too-large glasses? By the time she reached high school she’d embraced her unique looks and all those kids who made fun of her wanted to be her friend.

Kai didn’t make her feel like those kids had. He made her feel…what exactly?

Angry.

Irritated.

Like she was on fire.

Huffing, she scrambled up the hill, her feet now wet in the leaky boots, pushing the infuriating cowboy out of her mind. This vacation would be pleasurable.

Finally she came to the tin-roofed cabin set back in the woods. Lighted garland wrapped around the railing of the porch and a large wreath hung on the red door. A swinging sign posted next to the shoveled sidewalk had the name “Kismet”.

This was her cabin. Relief spread through her, until she saw the Jeep parked in the driveway.

What is Kai doing at my cabin?
Rhonda Carver. More-Than-a-Christmas-Cowboy-with-TOC (Kindle Locations 146-179). Kindle Edition.

Sharing a cabin with Kai? So not happening, or was it. They really couldn’t impose on the couple about to get married. They had to reach a compromise.

When Stone shows up with a date Rona immediately takes action to get Kai to be her date. She didn’t want anyone to know how much she had hoped to be with Stone.

This book is so much fun as Kai and Rona figure why they irritate each other. A perfect Holiday read!

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda Lee!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Cowboy Wilde – Cooper’s Hawke Landing Book 2 By Rhonda Lee Carver


Cowboy Wilde
Cooper’s Hawke Landing book 2
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

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From the very beginning, fate led Grace to Wilder Ranch. Would the peaceful town of Cooper’s Hawk hold the key to peace in her heart?

Sitting in a quiet bus station, Grace Everly needed something, somewhere to go. The walls of her apartment in the city were closing in, suffocating her. By luck or by destiny, a stranger arrived with a ticket that offered Grace an opportunity to leave her broken past behind—a job at a remote ranch. Without a clue what she was getting herself into, she got on a bus and took it to Cooper’s Hawk, Montana. Within an hour of reaching the small town, and the ranch, she realized she’d made a huge mistake. The house was a dump, the job was out of her comfort zone, and the owner, as hunky as he was, left her with a bad taste in her mouth. Yet, there was something about the place she connected with.

Ruger Wilde was on a time crunch. He needed to get the Ranch and B&B up and running fast. And when his hired help showed up late and looking like she’d stepped out of a magazine, not the hard worker he’d expected, they were immediately off to a rocky start. She didn’t have any idea how to hammer a nail or boil a pot of water, so why didn’t he send her back where she came from? Why did he feel like she needed Wilder Ranch more than the ranch needed her?

In bits and pieces Grace reveals her past and Ruger starts to warm up to the mesmerizing beauty, although neither of them are prepared for the emotions that hit them like a ton of bricks. Will they learn that love always comes with risks? Sometimes the pain suffered in the past only makes love much sweeter the second time around…

Grace needs a break, she has immersed herself in work since her divorce and the loss that causes her immeasurable pain. As she’s sitting at the bus station deciding on where to go she overhears an argument. The woman is leaving and the boyfriend is trying to get her to stay. Now Grace has really been looking for some sort of sign as to where she should take this break and it comes in the form of that young woman who she sees crying in the restroom. With the letter that confirmed the woman’s employment in her hand she buys the ticket to Cooper’s Hawk Landing.

Ruger Wilde is doing additional certification training for Search and Rescue along with his buddies. He’s an ex-marine and many of the team are also former military. This is really more to be sure they are all staying fit and able to do the strenuous feats that are required during mountain rescues. He also has a goal of getting both a B&B and working ranch up and running in a month’s time. A feat that is daunting to say the least since the property has been neglected for years.

Grace decided to let a little white lie lead her to this job. This is made easier by the fact that the original young lady was named Graceann. Just dropping the ann part is easy but she still has no idea of the expectations of this job she’s about to undertake.

Now she didn’t expect to have any feelings one way or another for her boss, but Ruger sets her heart aflutter from the moment they sit down to discuss her contract. Ruger knows she’s lying but decides to let her stay anyway. That first day she meets quite a few people in town, including Ruger’s mother Hannah, his friend Mug and Mindy Hawke.

As she’s figured out that the best way do start things is to alternate the painting inside with landscaping. That way she could avoid be overwhelmed by the heat inside. For now she only had to cook for herself and Ruger but she’s not very good at cooking, so she’s going to have to learn and quickly.

While she’s at the garden store she runs into Mug and he invites her to dinner. She accepts and when she tells Ruger he’s a bit stunned but doesn’t say anything. While she’s gone he does a bit of pacing which I found amusing.

This is a favorite scene when she gets home a couple hours later.

“THANK YOU FOR joining me.”

“I’m glad I did. You were right, it was the best pizza I’ve ever had.” She looked across the seat at Mug.

“I hope the company wasn’t too bad either.”

“The company was splendid.” And she meant it. He was funny, intelligent and had many stories of his life adventures. She also appreciated that he hadn’t made a single move that would have made things awkward between them. “Have a safe trip home.” She climbed out of the passenger seat of his truck, closed the door, and waved.

The truck pulled away and she naturally glanced across the yard to the guest house. A light was still on. She turned to start for the porch, but something tugged her to take the path that could change things between her and Ruger. She didn’t owe him an explanation, but she wanted to give him one.

Dew had settled on the grass and by the time she made it to the guest house her sandaled feet were soaked. At the door, she hesitated, rethinking the next step a dozen times before she finally gave in and knocked softly.

The door came open and her breath held. Ruger was shirtless, his jeans were left unbuttoned like he’d heard the knock and dragged them on. “Hi.”

“Hi,” she said back. “Were you asleep?”

“Almost. Come in?” His brow lifted.

“I shouldn’t. I just wanted to say…” Suddenly the words jammed in her throat. She hadn’t planned this out very far.

“Yeah?” He chuckled.

“I guess I just wanted to let you know that I was home. I’ll see you tomorrow.” She quickly turned and practically ran up the path to the main house. What had she been thinking? She’d almost made it when she heard a noise behind her, gave a slight squeal as she felt a grip on her wrist…
Rhonda Carver. CowboyWilde final1-with-TOC (Kindle Locations 1465-1479). Kindle Edition.

Now with that first kiss things change between them, and while they are both guarding their hearts, that will slowly change.

There are a few twists and turns in this book along with a rescue or two and quite a few surprises as Ruger and Grace figure out their feelings. I really enjoyed this slow build relationship that eventually sizzles.

I have to go back now and read the first book of the series, somehow I missed it. ‘Cowboy Creed’ is Mindy and Creed Hawke’s story.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Kissed, Spurred and Valentined – Cowboys of Nirvana Book by Rhonda Lee Carver


Kissed, Spurred & Valentined
Cowboys of Nirvana Book 4
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Welcome to Nirvana…
your wish is a cowboy’s command.

Award-winning photographer, Jax Morgan, is dumped at the alter. Yet, she isn’t the scorned bride missing a groom. She has tall, dark and handsome on the horizon.

Maverick McCade can’t believe who just walked onto Nirvana Ranch in the middle of a blizzard, and on Valentine’s Day. He’s focused on making this day special, but he’s in for an awakening that’ll leave him sweltering.

Jax has just been dumped a few days before her wedding. Instead of being really upset, she finds herself relieved. With her friend and assistant’s help she packs up to head to her honeymoon. She had picked the place and wasn’t giving up time at the beautiful resort, Nirvana.

She arrives as a storm is starting, and stops for gas along the way. For some reason Maverick finds himself watching the beautiful woman pump gas before he heads off to run other errands.

As he heads back to Nirvana he sees the woman’s SUV pulled to the side of the road near the bridge. Concerned he stops to ensure she’s alright, what he finds scares the living daylights out of him.

This is a favorite scene.

Pulling up beside the Tahoe, he saw that it was empty. Now where in the hell did she go? He scanned the road ahead and noticed prints in the snow leading further up on the bridge. This wasn’t the weather to take off on foot. A person would freeze to death before any help came by.

“Shit!” He continued driving until he found her leaning over the side of the bridge railing. One leg was lifted high and she balanced unsteadily on a booted foot. What the hell? Had she come all the way out here to jump to her death?

His adrenaline spiked and he kicked the gear into park. Racing out of the truck, his boots slipped and slid on the ice as he ran toward the spot where the blonde was still hanging foolishly over the ledge. His breathing turned loud in his ears as he ran as fast as his feet would carry him. Once he was upon her, he grabbed her around the waist and dragged her away from the rail.

“Hey!” she yelled, elbowing at his chest. Something dropped from her hands and landed with a loud crack at her boots. His adrenaline was pumping so fast he couldn’t even wrap his brain around what it was that fell. She turned up her chin. He couldn’t see her eyes through the glasses, but the thin line of her lips and the growl deep in her chest told him she was angry. “What the hell were you thinking? Are you crazy?”

“Am I crazy?” He clenched his jaw. Had he heard her right? “Lady, you were the one hanging over the ledge like some lunatic ready to jump to her death. I think it’s pretty damn clear who the crazy one is. I was only trying to save you.”

“Save me?” He could only see his reflection in her large sunglasses. “I’d laugh at the silliness of that if you didn’t just bust my camera.”

Camera? He lowered his gaze to the heap of cracked plastic laying in the bright snow. “What were you doing?” he snapped.

“Do you mind releasing me?” He hadn’t realized he still held her close. He dropped his hands. She bent and picked up the camera, examining the cracked lens as she worked her jaw. “I was attempting to get a picture of the mountains until you came along and foolishly ruined the shot!”

He chuckled. “Really? You’re busting my ass over a camera when you could have easily fallen over the rail. You would have frozen to death and wouldn’t have been found until the river thaws in the spring. Or you could have gotten someone killed with this ignorant trick of yours for a measly picture. What were you wanting? A selfie to post on all of your social media sites?” He rubbed his tight jaw.

“You…you jerk! I should make you pay for the damage you’ve caused. Didn’t you think of yelling? Asking if I planned to kill myself before you rush in and save the day like some backwoods hero lunatic?”

His anger grew. “No way in hell I’m paying for your mistake, lady!” He turned, zipped his jacket higher and headed toward his truck.

“My mistake?” she yelled from behind him. “I expect you to pay for the damages!”

“Use your cell phone like every other normal person.” He made it to the door to the truck and turned, watching her slowly making her way toward him, her arms wide, balancing herself so she wouldn’t fall. He should just climb into his truck and speed away, but if she fell and broke her neck it would be on his shoulders. If wasn’t fair how quickly someone’s life, no matter how foolish they were, weighed on his shoulders.

“You’re a real funny guy, aren’t you? The quickest way to kill a beautiful mountain shot is to use a phone camera. I was waiting for the perfect moment—the perfect lighting to capture the view.” There was a new tone to her voice. Would she cry? Over a lost camera?

Sometimes the best remedy to a bad situation was to make amends and move on. He pulled out his wallet. “What do I owe you?” It was only money and now that his mind was clearing, he did feel a little bad about busting her camera. However, she was half to blame. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, he could have easily just saved her life.

“From the looks of the thickness of that wallet, I’m going to assume you don’t carry five thousand cash on you.”

He brought his chin up. “And you wouldn’t be mistaken.” He folded his wallet and stuck it back into his pocket. “I guess you’ll have to take my apology as payment. I’m sorry.” She gritted her teeth and pulled off her glasses. Everything on his body stopped. All logical thought and the use of his lungs diminished. Her eyes were the palest blue surrounded by a thick fringe of black lashes. She wasn’t cross-eyed or buck-toothed, not even close. She was an actual dream come true, a complete package. Holy shit! The top of her head only came to his shoulders and she had long, lustrous blonde waves with lighter streaks of highlights. Her eyes weren’t just pale blue. They were arctic blue and flawless. She blinked and her black lashes swept across her creamy cheeks covered in a dusting of freckles. Her lips were pretty pink and looked kissable even when wearing a frown that was targeted for him. Her slender neck was adorned with a beaded, cross necklace. Rosary? Oh, the religious type. He had a strong urge to add a breathtaking kiss to his apology. Maybe even a date.

A kiss? A date?

Had he lost his fucking mind?

First, she was only passing through. Secondly, he was pissed because…well…hell, he wasn’t sure why, but he was. He wasn’t wanting a relationship anyway. He liked being alone—lonely at times, but it was the safe bet. A man couldn’t get hurt if he didn’t care.

Yet, a familiar sensation needled its way through his stomach and into his hardening cock. He hoped that part of his body didn’t get its hopes up, only to be let down, literally.

“Sorry?” Her voice dipped and quivered and he swore her bottom lip trembled. “I bet if I grabbed your hat off your head and tossed it over the side of the bridge you wouldn’t think sorry was enough.” She wrapped her arms around her shoulders and she shivered. It was only five degrees outside and she had nothing on but a red flannel and skinny jeans. Crazy woman.

He took his hat off and tossed it on the passenger seat for safekeeping. The black Stetson was his favorite, given to him by his father before he passed away. Maverick wasn’t willing to part with it. He did understand her pain though. “I tell you what, as far as I see things, we were both at fault, fifty-fifty. The bank is closed because of the weather, but if you’ll give me your address, I guarantee I will send you my part of the damage.”

“Am I supposed to just trust your word?” One thin brow popped up.

“A cowboy’s promise is as good as gold, ma’am.”
Carver, Rhonda Lee. Kissed, Spurred, & Valentined (Cowboys of Nirvana Book 4). Unknown. Kindle Locations (357-415). Kindle Edition.

Saving her from what could have been a fall, only gets her ire as her camera is broken. She’s just glad it wasn’t her favorite one.

More surprises are in store for both of them as she finally reaches Nirvana through the worsening storm.

Things heat up between this jilted bride and cowboy, a slow and sensuous journey right up to Valentine’s day.

I think this is one of my favorites in the Nirvana series. I just might have to do a re-read.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda Lee!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Pour Me A Drink – Tarnation, TX Book 3 by Rhonda Lee Carver


Pour Me A Drink
Tarnation TX Book 3
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

His good intentions were lost in her soft curves…

His big mistake was volunteering to help Alaska Kellington and her son. Yet, how could he resist the sweet, innocent appearing woman who had a hidden freak flag that teased his inner bull?

Trouble had a name. Oh, did it ever and it was dressed in worn Wranglers and dusty boots. Arc Colt. Tall, dark, handsome, and confident. The cowboy rode in on his horse, upsetting every wall Alaska had ever erected to protect her and her son. Before she knew it, she was Colt-matized.

She’d been told to never look a gift horse in the mouth, but Alaska couldn’t trust anyone. Growing up in foster homes, tossed around like a Hacky Sack from one bad home to another, until she ran away to live on the streets, had taught her a valuable lesson. A gift never came without a price. When given money and a home in the small-town Tarnation, Texas, the opportunity to plant roots for her son is too tempting to resist. She’s willing to take the risk, even if the stipulation is that she must have the rundown B&B up and running within six months.

Both Arc and Alaska have secrets, some more threatening than others. When she’s arrested in the middle of the summer fest with townsfolk watching, things start to unravel, leaving her vulnerable and feeling like the scared, lost kid she thought she’d outgrown. Can love overcome a tragic past? In the end could every path they’ve walked have led them right where they belong, or did Buzz Colt have a surprising intuition?

I am loving these Tarnation, Texas books. The Colt brothers both biologic and step are definitely having issues with the stipulations set by their father Buzz’s will and trying to get along.

However, Buzz did something else in his will and now we get to meet Alaska and her son. For the record, not Buzz’s.

Alaska hasn’t had it easy and after getting a letter from Buzz’s lawyer Roe Robins she had some decisions to make. The letter stated she would have to travel to Tarnation for the details. After an altercation with her landlord Alaska and her son River make the journey.

As he did with his son’s Buzz put stipulations on his ‘gift’. The B&B that could become her home had to be up and running plus showing a profit in six months. Alaska wasn’t sure she could do it, but she would definitely think about it.

When her car dies on the road on the way to the property she meets Arc Colt. Although she had seen him in the diner she didn’t know who he was.

This is a favorite scene.

Working the Grinning Spurs together for six months was a cakewalk. But where the hell would each of them find a woman who wanted to marry them? Question was, how would Arc find a woman willing to tolerate him? Hell, no doubt he wasn’t the easiest to get along with. A man his age was set in his ways and those ways wouldn’t suit a wife. He’d never even lived with a woman he wasn’t related to.

He might as well just pick someone. Any woman.

Lifting his gaze to the blue sky, he stretched his arm outside the window and gave a thumb’s up to the sky. “God, I sure hope you have a sense of humor because I’m needing your help about now. Can you bring me a woman who can put up with my nonsense? A wife who can get me out of this mess.”

Laughing, he brought his attention back to the road and let out a growled curse as he slammed on his brakes to miss hitting the woman waving frantically. The tires slid, leaving a stretch of rubber, and he finally came to a complete stop several feet from the grassy ditch. Slamming the gear shift into park and shutting off the engine, he slid out, shaking his head in agitation. “What the hell?” Then his eyes found her. The same woman from the diner. The one who’d looked so lost sitting alone in the booth.

“Do you always drive like a maniac?”

Her long hair was pulled up into a messy topknot and her fists were fitted to her flared hips as she looked at him like she was about to read him his last rites. “You’re upset with me? Really? What woman stands in the road and waves at an oncoming vehicle?”

“The same woman who noticed that you slowed down and gave a thumb’s up,” she bit out.

Ah, shit! She heaved a sigh and her breasts gave a little bounce. His heart slammed against his ribs and his zipper felt tighter. What the hell? Had he become a walking dick? She wasn’t his type, not even close. She looked too innocent—too…what? The way the tiny, damp shirt almost became see-through certainly did make her interesting. “Hey. I—” Then he noticed the kid. A short, scrawny boy who had her blue eyes. Arc searched his brain. Did she have a kid back at the diner? Wouldn’t he remember? Not when certain parts of his body numbed his logic. His libido deflated. She was a mom…a.k.a “hands off”.

“Hi, mister,” the boy said.

“Hi, there.” Arc dipped his hat in greeting. “What seems to be the problem here?” Obviously, they had car trouble, judging by the heap sitting along the roadside.

“I think it’s the radiator. The car overheated and then steam rolled out from under the hood,” the woman said. He pegged her as a northerner by her accent.

“That happens frequently. The heat index rises and radiators and batteries go bad fast if they’re not new. Care if I take a look?” This wasn’t in his plan for the day, but he couldn’t leave a mom and her son stranded on the side of the road either.

“I-I hate to ask—”

“You didn’t.” He chuckled. “I volunteered. I can’t guarantee there’s anything I can do to fix it, but it won’t fix itself either.” Dragging off his hat, he tossed it through the open window and onto the front seat of his truck and strolled to the front of her vehicle. “Can you pop the hood for me?”

There was a good two second hesitation before she did as he requested then came around to join him at the front of the car, keeping a decent five foot of distance between them. Hell, he didn’t take offense. A woman could never be too careful, even in a place like Tarnation.

“Definitely the radiator.” He dropped down to the road and slid under the fender, the heat from the cement quickly warmed his skin through his shirt. When he popped back out, he swiped his hands down the thighs of his jeans. “You didn’t by chance hit something, did you?”

Her brows scrunched. “No…wait, yes. We ran over the remains of a tire on the highway before we got off on the exit to Tarnation. That’s been a while though.”

“That’s your problem, ma’am. The tire bent the radiator and it’s been slowly leaking fluid since. You’re lucky you made it as far as you did.”

“Bent radiator? Slow leak?” Her face paled. “That sounds like a lot of money to fix.” She looked back at the boy.

Arc had never been the most compassionate man around, but when it came to animals and children nothing reached him quicker. Although she didn’t come right out and say it, he surmised from her expression that she didn’t have a lot of funds available. By the age of the car and the amount of rust holding it together, she was probably making do with what she had. Looking from the woman to her son and back to her, he shrugged. “I can get you a tow. I know a close shop that’ll fix this in a jiffy for next to nothing.” From the time he could walk, he loved to tinker with cars and by fourteen he’d bought his first car with the money he raised doing odd jobs. It was a vintage Mustang that needed more work than it was worth, but he spent every available minute for two years, between chores at the ranch and football, making the car run, and, by the time he was finished, she was amazing. He couldn’t call himself a mechanic by a long shot, but if he could help this woman and her son it was the right thing to do. Otherwise, she’d be shelling out some cash and stranded.

She seemed to muddle over his offer and then her shoulders slumped slightly. “It doesn’t look like I have much of a choice. Thank you for your help.”

“You’re quite a way from the highway. I can take you back to Tarnation and you might be able to find a room at the Inn until the car’s fixed. Could be a few days to weeks.”

“Weeks?” She frowned. “The Inn won’t be necessary. We’re headed to a B&B—”

“The Grinning Spurs B&B?”

“Yes. You know where it is?”

His breath came out in a hiss and he rubbed the tension from his forehead. He should have known…

So, this was Alaska Kellington?

The woman who somehow found herself with a shit load of money and a house—a house owned by Buzz Colt—rather his sons now. The same woman he’d researched to find information on, but didn’t find a damn thing. Suddenly his steel wall erected. “Yeah, I know where it is. You’re less than a half mile away.”

“Then we’re exactly where we need to be.” She didn’t quite smile but he saw some relief in her expression. The boy saddled up close to her and she placed her arm around his shoulders protectively. “Close enough for us to walk.”

“In those shoes?” He doubted she’d make it fifty feet in the flimsy leather sandals.

“I had no clue I’d be stranded on the side of the road.” She looked almost embarrassed.

“Apparently so. I can take you both,” he offered. Although he didn’t trust her, he couldn’t leave her and her boy in this heat. There was that expression again, the one that spoke volumes that she didn’t trust him either. He wasn’t sure how that made him feel. “Before you say it, it’s no sweat off my brow. It’s right up the road and you can’t have your son out here. It’s hot enough to fry the hair on a pig’s a—rear.” He caught himself.

Did he see a glimpse of a smile before it got lost under a frown? “Okay. I have a few things. I’ll grab them and put them in the back of your truck.”

“Let me help.” He met her at the back of her car. She opened the trunk and inside she had two brown bags and two white trash bags that were tied at the top. “Is this all?” He had trouble containing his surprise. He expected to find suitcases galore, especially if she planned on moving into the B&B.

“This is it,” she answered a little shyly.

Grabbing both grocery bags, he let her take the trash bags. They placed them in the back and piled into the front seat of the truck, the woman—Alaska—took the passenger seat and the boy was in the middle. “Don’t worry about your car. I’ll make sure it’s towed.”

She nodded. The wind caught tendrils of her hair sending them sweeping her flawless cheeks. As they drove over bumps in the road her breasts bounced, and he tore his gaze to the safety zone of the window. Now that he knew who she was and that she had a son, this switched up things a bit. He needed to concentrate on his situation with Buzz’s will and not the fact that the woman sitting in his truck was the cutest and shyest he’d been around in a long time, if not ever. He’d never had a problem getting the interest of the opposite sex, and by now, most women would have been offering him smiles, maybe even a few flirty actions. Alaska, however, seemed to care less. He wasn’t sure if that intrigued him or made him even less trusting of her. Did she have any clue who he was? That he was one of Buzz Colt’s sons? He had many questions that begged to be answered.

“The B&B, huh? How long do you plan on staying?” With one trash bag he fathomed not long.

She brought her chin around, her eyes meeting his for two lengthy heartbeats before she lowered her gaze. “I’m not sure. Now it might depend on when my car is fixed.”

Hell, if that was the case he’d pay to have a mechanic fix it and send her on her way, but then why did a part of him resist that idea? Sure, she was cute, but he wasn’t interested. He was practically engaged, to someone he’d never met, literally. But maybe his inquisitiveness had the best of him. What had she and Buzz shared that would make the man want to help her? Arc would like to think Buzz did it out of the kindness of his heart, but it didn’t make sense. The old man wouldn’t have done anything unless it was to his advantage.
Rhonda Carver. Pourmeadrink finalwithtoc (Kindle Locations 559-632). Kindle Edition.

As the lawyer had said the B&B needed work and a thorough cleaning. Arc found himself volunteering to assist, at least with the roof.

There is definitely chemistry between these two and that attraction only grows. We learn of an interesting legend surrounding a cliff and a tree as well.

Just a touch of suspense, a lot of romance and sizzle make this a book I didn’t want to put down.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Click the Cover for Buy Links!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“


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The Cowboy’s Son – Tarnation, Texas Book 2 by Rhonda Lee Carver



The Cowboy’s Son
Tarnation Texas Book 2
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

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The stipulations of his father’s will might dictate his actions, but nothing can control his heart…

For years, Lexi Lock has done the right thing, even referred to by her friends as a hopeless romantic. She believes in soul mates, passion and saving herself for the man of her dreams. And then sexy in Wranglers smiles at her and she has a new appreciation for tough and dirty.

Ash Colt is a snarly mess. He’s stuck in Tarnation dealing with his brothers who are strangers, a ranch that isn’t his, and needing a wife…fast–thanks to his father. The sliver of heaven in all the chaos is his neighbor who makes the view from the depths of an inferno seem pretty darn good. She isn’t marriage material…she’s too sweet to marry a Colt…but flirting never hurt anyone.

Life isn’t so bad.

That is until he’s changing diapers and wearing spit-up…

A baby left on his doorstep with a note attached to his shirt leaves Ash elbow deep in daddy duties. He’s taken care of plenty of baby animals in the past, but a human baby requires something Ash isn’t sure he’s capable of.

Until his beautiful neighbor comes to his rescue…

This series is so much fun. The Colt brothers just recently met, two sons from their father’s marriage and three with his girlfriend. They are trying to adjust to not only living together on the huge ranch Grinning Spurs, but also running the businesses and other investments their father has stipulated in his will.

Ash and Brennan have a bit of feud going on since they both found themselves attracted to the veterinarian CC. Ash is over it but there is still friction between them. Seems they are a lot alike.

Lexi has a kennel, she does grooming and boarding for the town’s pets while owners go on vacation. After being cajoled by her family and friends she puts together a welcome basket for her new neighbors, the Colt brothers.

As a result the brothers elect Ash to go thank her in person for the lovely gift.

This is a favorite scene.

ASH SMILED, REMOVING his gaze from bright blue eyes over mud-streaked cheeks to the T-shirt that looked like she’d taken a mud bath. So, this was Grinning Spurs’ closest neighbor? He’d give Tarnation one thing in its favor. The women were interesting…and attractive.

He saw several expressions flicker across her face before she tucked her plump bottom lip between her teeth and shook her head. “Damon, you’ve been a bad boy,” she chastised, but her voice was so soft Ash doubted the dog understood her frustration. She eventually brought her gaze up and met his. “He has a habit of running away.”

“I can see that.”

“Thank you for catching him.”

“I really can’t take credit for that. I was standing here and he came right up to me.”

“I would have spent the next hour searching for him,” she muttered.

“He would have eventually come back. When dogs are hungry they return.”

“True. I’ll take the leash now.” The corners of her mouth played with a smile. “Can I help you?”

“I’m Ash—”

“Colt. My neighbor. Did you and your brothers get the basket okay? I came up there earlier and I didn’t want to disturb anyone by knocking.” The Boxer sat down next to her feet.

“Actually, that’s why I’m here. I wanted to come and thank you personally.” It wasn’t quite the truth, but he couldn’t tell her that he’d been strong-armed into coming.

“That’s nice of you, but really you didn’t have to come over. I mean, I’m grateful that you did—” Her eyes flashed something akin to embarrassment. “You know, because of Damon. This boy is getting a bath whether he likes it or not. My assistant, Dolly, didn’t show up today so our schedule is a bit off. Right, Damon?”

“Did he get sprayed?” The scent was strong.

“Two days ago when he raced off he went head-to-head with a spunky skunk. Believe it or not, he smells better after several baths in special soap. His human said this has happened before, a run-in with a critter. You’d think by now he would have learned his lesson.”

As if the dog knew he was being talked about, his ears perked and he lifted his chin.

“Seeing that Damon here has a relentless desire to escape, how about I help out? As a thank you for the basket.” The words were out and he wished he could fish them back. Although he had work to do back on the ranch, he felt somewhat sorry for the woman who was covered in mud that was now drying and cracking.

“You want to stay and help?” Her thin brows lifted.

“Sure. I’m in no hurry to get back to the ranch and muck stalls.”

“Okay, but I can’t guarantee this will be any more fun than ranch work.”

He could have disagreed with her. Back home he had his brothers to deal with. Here he had nice scenery. She, or rather the dog, led the way into the backyard and his gaze naturally drifted to the soft sway of her hips. He liked how full they were, and how the frayed ends of the shorts landed on the roundest part of her tanned thighs. Her hair was piled on top of her head and strands had come loose at the nape of her neck. The breeze caught her scent and carried it to his nostrils—a sweet, cotton-candy scent that made the hairs on his arms stand. He swallowed and tore his gaze to the grass that was a bit too high. He had enough on his plate than to admire the pretty neighbor.

Dogs watched him pass from the enclosures. Several made whimpering sounds and a few others stared in fascination.  “Looks like you have a full house.”

“During the summer months we’re always packed. Everyone is taking vacation and owners like to keep their pets groomed so they don’t get too hot. Considering I’m the only groomer and pet motel within a reasonable distance, business is good. Which is a Godsend, of course, but when both of my workers don’t show up, it puts me in a pickle.” She smiled which cracked the dried mud on her cheeks more.
Rhonda Carver. The-Cowboys-Sonfinal-with-toc1-1 (Kindle Locations 418-449). Kindle Edition.

This is the start of a very nice relationship. That is until a baby is left for Ash, on his doorstep, by someone he doesn’t remember.

A complex tale, with suspense coming from several angles. It seems the Colts aren’t the only ones with problems. Lexi has her share with her mother and sister.

Plenty of laughter and a simmer to sizzle relationship fraught with many hurdles.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Click the Cover for Buy Links!


Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“


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ARC Review of Justice by the Lawman – Lawmen of Wyoming: Mountain Force Book 1 by Rhonda Lee Carver



Justice By The Lawman
Lawmen of Wyoming
Mountain Force Book 1
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

The series, Lawmen of Wyoming,
continues with the Mountain Force.

Ink artist, Wisdom Chantel, has spent most of her adult life disconnecting herself from her mob boss father. Keeping her secrets in the past meant keeping everyone at arm’s length and she had become a pro at being alone. When her sister goes missing, she is willing to do anything to get Corri back, even if that means digging deep for her buried family roots and taking down the man who ruined her life.

A year after his partner was murdered by the Blue Diamond cartel, Special Agent Seb Foster is no closer in catching the kingpin, although he sleeps, eats and breathes the mission to bring the criminals to justice. When a clue leads him to a spunky, beautiful woman in need of help, he has no choice but to lend a hand, especially when he suspects she has a connection to the men who killed Sanchez.

Trapped in the Wyoming mountains in a snowstorm with gunmen on their trail, Wisdom will have to trust Seb, but how can she hide her secrets when they’re tattooed on her skin? Will he ever see her for who she is now and not a Blue Diamond?

Seb Foster almost lost everything when his partner died. She was more than his partner on the job, she was his lover and best friend. One thing kept him going, take down the Blue Diamond Cartel, the people responsible for her death.

Willow likes living her life alone in the mountains, a talented artist she has a tattoo studio in a small town. The reasons she ended up there are many but she has to reevaluate those reasons when her sister goes missing. Her step-mother seems to think every time Corri goes down the wrong path it’s Willow’s responsibility to make it right again. This time it’s different, and only one thing can make it right.

Now Willow puts out feelers for a hit man, and what she gets is Seb. Their first meeting didn’t go as well as she hoped but the second did go better.

This is a favorite scene.

Lowering his eyes to her chest, he shrugged. “I didn’t search you today.”

“And you won’t. You came to my place of business unexpectedly, remember?” She rolled her eyes. “But if it makes you feel better.” She pulled up her shirt in a flash of black bra.

“Satisfied?”

He was, but his body certainly wasn’t. His jeans suddenly became two sizes too small. What the hell was wrong with him? “If you want my help, you’ll answer some questions. Otherwise, maybe this is useless—” He started to stand but her hand clutching his elbow stopped him. He sat back down.

“What do you want to know?”

“The Blue Diamond. What’s the connection?”

After several long seconds and a roll of the tip of her tongue along her glistening bottom lip, she sighed. “I think that’s who Corri is involved with.”

“You think, or know that she is?”

“I know. Dimitri Vallarta.”

It took all his strength to keep from showing too much interest. “Vallarta is the boyfriend?”

“Yes.” She cleared her throat.

“He hasn’t sold her?”

“No. Not yet.”

“She’s as good as gone.”

“She’s alive. For now.”

“You know a lot about the cartel,” he accused.

“Why does it matter?” She darted a glance around the room. Maybe looking for listeners? “She called me two weeks ago. Corri wants to come home, but I think Dimitri won’t let her.”

“That’s very likely.”

“So, can you help?”

“Lady, a man would have to be pretty stupid to mess with the Blue Diamond.”

Her shoulders slumped and Seb felt his stomach twist. “I’m going to get her back. One way or another. I’ll do it myself if I have to.”

Picking up his cup, he took a long sip of his now cold coffee, keeping his gaze on her. He could see that she meant every word. If she wasn’t careful, she’d find herself in the same fucked-up situation as her sister, and for an unknown reason, that bothered the hell out of him. “How long has she been missing?”

“Five months. She signed herself out of the rehabilitation facility and things took a downward spiral. We were living together and one morning I got up and all her things were gone. There was a note left on the refrigerator basically saying she needed to find herself.”

“Maybe she just hasn’t found herself yet.”

“That’s not like Corri. She’s made a lot of mistakes, but just up and leaving isn’t like her.”

“Unless she had someone convincing her?”

“Someone who supplies her with a steady flow.”

“Blow?”

“Yes. Corri has always been headstrong. Always wanting to prove that she knows what’s best.”

Seb rubbed his forehead, monitoring what he said that wouldn’t worry her, but no matter how he sliced this, the truth was grim. “This won’t be easy.” That’s all he could manage. He could understand how she would want to do this. After all, he’d spent the last year eating, breathing, and sleeping the Blue Diamond cartel. He would get so close to finding a breach in their armor, and then he’d fall flat on his face. This had become his legacy, to bring down the bastards for not only killing Sanchez, but also all the other lives they’d contributed to ending too early.

She fell quiet for a length of time. “I’m prepared.”
Rhonda Carver. JusticebytheLawmanfinalwithtoc (Kindle Locations 793-821). Kindle Edition.

There are many things going on in this book. Willow has lots of secrets that could help with this investigation but doesn’t quite trust Seb. At least not until they both end up with targets on their backs.

A page turning, action packed read with lots of suspense, drama, intrigue, betrayal and sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“


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Amazon Author Page

A New Series! Hitched – Tarnation Texas Book 1 by Rhonda Lee Carver



Hitched
Tarnation Texas Book 1
By
Rhonda Lee Carver


1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Love blossoms in the unlikeliest places…
Tarnation, Texas

Buzz Colt was a liar, cheat, and a scrooge but the one thing he did right was father five sons.
Growing up without a father, Baxter Colt learned how to be a man on his own. He’d written Buzz out of his life until he passed and left a few surprises and secrets—and hoops to jump through.

Fury wasn’t a strong enough word to describe Baxter’s feelings when he heard the stipulations of his father’s will. Five brothers who are strangers are given the choice to live together for six months and work the Grinning Spurs Ranch or give up everything they’ve worked for—including their homesteads.

However, that’s only the beginning. All five must be married before time is up.

Since her mother was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease, Abriella Craig was responsible for the family bakery and her little brother. Financially she was strapped and emotionally and physically she was alone, but when a brooding, handsome stranger strolls into town he might be the answer to her prayers.

Abriella is as sweet as the cupcakes she creates and would make the perfect wife, but as secrets start to unfold Baxter realizes he wants more than a marriage of convenience. But is he too much like his father to ever find love?

The Colt brothers will each take a journey in finding love, brotherhood and forgiveness in the small town of Tarnation, Texas where love blooms in the unlikeliest places.

Wow, when Rhonda decides to complicate things for her characters, she certainly goes all the way.

When Buzz Colt dies his will leaves his lawyer in a tight spot. He gets the ominous privilege of introducing two sets of brothers to each other. I never thought I’d feel sorry for a lawyer type until now.

Baxter and Brennan are Buzz’s sons from his marriage, they live on their Ranch Dragonfly Spurs with their mother. Arc, Adam and Ash are the children Buzz had with his girlfriend, he never married her even after he divorced his wife. Buzz himself lived on a huge ranch called Grinning Spurs in Tarnation, Texas, he also appears to own a good deal of real estate there as well. Now the lawyer is going to lower the boom.

The five of them must live and work on Grinning Spurs Ranch for six months, but the icing on this is they also must all marry by the end of that six months or they will lose their ranches and everything else.

This book will concentrate mostly on Baxter and his relationship with the town’s bakery owner, Abriella Craig.

This is a favorite scene when Baxter runs into Abriella, for the second time, and I do mean that literally.

She made it halfway to the bank when her cell buzzed. She grabbed it from her sweater pocket and read the screen. It was a voicemail from her mother’s nursing home. She clicked ‘talk’, and listened to the recorded message, a friendly reminder that the monthly installment was due in three days. Hanging up, her phone dinged. DJ had texted her. He needed to speak to her and it seemed important. Was it about the study abroad opportunity?

Tapping away at the keyboard, she brought her chin up just in time to see a flash of a white hat and blue eyes before she slammed into a rock-solid body that smelled like leather and sunshine. Her phone shot out of her hand, flying through the air as she squealed in protest. She awkwardly tried to catch it, but it bounced off her fingers then landed in the street.

“Oh no!” She scrambled off the sidewalk to snatch up her phone when she heard a loud honk about the same time she felt a strong arm circle her waist to drag her back against a broad chest. The car continued to beep as it passed, crunching her phone under the tires. Abriella couldn’t believe her eyes. “Oh no, no, noooo!” She slumped her shoulders, staring at the broken phone.

“You should watch where you’re going, lady,” a rich, husky voice with a prominent Texas drawl said next to her ear.

She’d almost forgotten the strong arm that still held her.

Pivoting on the heels of her sneakers, she met the gaze of the tall, broad shouldered cowboy with clear blue eyes that were upon her in irritation. He was irritated? “Excuse me?”

“Your nose was in your phone and because of that, it’s now trashed. Not to mention you almost got yourself killed trying to save it.”

Trying her best not to focus on his nice lips or that firm jaw covered in a layer of dusky whiskers, she gritted her teeth against the wave of awareness in her body. “Maybe you should try and watch where you’re going, buddy! The sidewalk is plenty big enough for the both of us unless you count that ego of yours. Why were you walking on my side? You destroyed my phone!”

He chuckled. “Lady—”

“My name isn’t lady!” she snapped.

“Fine. What should I call you?” He pushed back the rim of his white Stetson, showing off the fringe of dark, silver-peppered hair around his ears. Her gaze naturally fell to his neck and the unusual looking fleshy mark. He cleared his throat and she lifted her eyes.

Did she really want to tell him her name? Probably not. “I assume you’re one of the Colt men, aren’t you?”

Some of the creases on his forehead disappeared and he shook his head. “News travels fast here in this three-stoplight town,” he said with notable agitation.

“Actually, there are five lights.” She tilted one hip and turned her attention back to her smashed phone. Now what would she do? “You owe me a phone, Mr. Colt!” She crossed her arms over her chest and held her chin high.

I owe you a phone?” His gaze dropped to her bakery shirt, then came back up. “Bluebonnet, I’m afraid you’re sadly mistaken.” He settled his hat lower on his forehead, shading those amazing eyes. “My advice is to invest in a smash resistant cell if you plan on keeping your nose buried in it.”

“I didn’t ask for your advice. I asked for reimbursement of my phone that you demolished. Where was your head buried, Mr. Colt?”

“It’s just a phone, ma’am. Not the end of the world. You should be thanking me that I saved your ass,” he smirked.

Anger swarmed its way through her veins and slammed into her toes. She’d tolerated a lot from Buzz Colt over the years, and she refused to deal with one of his arrogant sons who had just arrived in town and was already acting like he owned Tarnation! He might very well take over the building she rented, but she couldn’t hold her tongue— not for another second! It was as if all the pent-up anger she had toward Buzz flowed like water. “Listen, Mr. Arrogance,” She emphasized his name with a harsh tone she barely ever used. “Apparently you don’t understand what manners are. I’ll be on the party wagon when you and your kin leave town and head back to the cave where you came from.” First, she was almost run over by a Colt and now this…

“Whoo-wee.” He whistled through his teeth. “Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” He smiled wide enough to show off deep dimples and it made her tremble.

She slammed her fists to her hips, looking up at him— way up— and seething. “How dare you mock me! You definitely are your father’s son.”
Rhonda Carver. Hitched. Tarnation Texas Book 1.  (Kindle Locations 636-676). Kindle Edition.

Now doesn’t that sound like a great way to start a relationship?

This book is so much fun, intertwined with the blossoming relationship is some family drama for Abriella. Some friction for the brothers with regard to a female veterinarian. Plenty of misunderstandings and things not being discussed that lead to even more interesting confrontations.

A truly wonderful start to a new series.

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

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.“


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