Литмир - Электронная Библиотека

Deception always has a price tag.

No matter how small the lie, no matter how worthy the motive. And often one fib led to another. If he had to do it all over…

The sound of horse’s hooves approaching interrupted his thoughts. A sleek chestnut galloped closer, the rider a woman with a blond ponytail, her face flushed as she passed him and stopped near the horse barn.

He recognized her immediately.


She expertly dismounted and stroked the mare’s head with a loving gesture. She laughed and the sound carried to where Jesse stood.

He remembered that laugh, musical and lighthearted. She’d laughed often back then; he wondered if she did now. Seeing her, even briefly, brought memories rushing back. Did she remember him with fondness, with pain—or at all?

From this distance, she looked the same, but maybe, up close, she’d changed as much as he had.

Dear Reader,

It’s that time of year again—back to school! And even if you’ve left your classroom days far behind you, if you’re like me, September brings with it the quest for everything new, especially books! We at Silhouette Special Edition are happy to fulfill that jones, beginning with Home on the Ranch by Allison Leigh, another in her bestselling MEN OF THE DOUBLE-C series. Though the Buchanans and the Days had been at odds for years, a single Buchanan rancher— Cage—would do anything to help his daughter learn to walk again, including hiring the only reliable physical therapist around. Even if her last name did happen to be Day….

Next, THE PARKS EMPIRE continues with Judy Duarte’s The Rich Man’s Son, in which a wealthy Parks scion, suffering from amnesia, winds up living the country life with a single mother and her baby boy. And a man passing through town notices more than the passing resemblance between himself and newly adopted infant of the local diner waitress, in The Baby They Both Loved by Nikki Benjamin. In A Father’s Sacrifice by Karen Sandler, a man determined to do the right thing insists that the mother of his child marry him, and finds love in the bargain. And a woman’s search for the truth about her late father leads her into the arms of a handsome cowboy determined to give her the life her dad had always wanted for her, in A Texas Tale by Judith Lyons. Last, a man with a new face revisits the ranch—and the woman—that used to be his. Only, the woman he’d always loved was no longer alone. Now she was accompanied by a five-year-old girl…with very familiar blue eyes….

Enjoy, and come back next month for six complex and satisfying romances, all from Silhouette Special Edition!

Gail Chasan

Senior Editor

Her Kind of Cowboy

Pat Warren

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mother of four, lives in Arizona with her travel agent husband and a lazy white cat. She’s a former newspaper columnist whose lifelong dream was to become a novelist. A strong romantic streak, a sense of humor and a keen interest in developing relationships led her to try romance novels, with which she feels very much at home.

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Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve



Where was he?

Abby Martin paced under the big old cottonwood tree beside the stream on her parents’ cattle ranch. The hot August sun had finally set about two hours ago, around seven o’clock, but the heat lingered. She scarcely noticed as she paced impatiently on the scraggly grass. He should have been with her by now.

Where was Jesse?

Her father had hired the tall, handsome ranch hand two months ago, just before she’d come home for summer vacation from Arizona State. The moment she’d laid eyes on him, she’d fallen hopelessly in love. Though they’d never spoken the words out loud, Abby was certain that Jesse felt the same by the way he’d look at her, hold her, kiss her. Then he’d whisper in her ear to meet him by the stream beneath their tree or sometimes in the hayloft. And he’d make tender love with her.

In the hazy moonlight, Abby squinted in the direction of the outbuildings surrounding the main house, but she saw no sign of anyone on horseback heading her way. She hated sneaking around, but her mother was so against either of her two daughters having anything to do with the ranch hands. Jesse had told her that he wasn’t just a cowboy, that he couldn’t tell her more right now, but he had plans for the future. Big plans. Abby was sure she was a big part of those plans. When the time was right and they could be open and up-front about their feelings for each other, she’d tell her parents. She was certain they’d care for Jesse once they got to know him.

Thrusting nervous hands through her long blond hair, she readjusted her ponytail, then stopped, listening hard. Yes, there it was, the sound of a horse’s hooves coming closer. In moments, Jesse came into view, his black hair ruffling in the evening breeze. As it did each time she saw him, Abby’s heart skipped several beats. She watched him swing off his mount and tie the reins to a tree branch near the spot where her mare stood.

He wasn’t smiling as he usually was, causing an anxious chill to race along her spine. But he rushed over and took her in his arms, holding her close. Yet so attuned was Abby to his moods that she knew instantly that something was wrong.

“What is it?” she asked, a sudden sense of foreboding causing her voice to tremble.

Jesse eased back reluctantly. “I have to leave right away for California. A family emergency. My father’s had a heart attack.” His brow creased with concern. He lifted a hand and caressed her face. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

“I’m so sorry about your father.” He’d rarely mentioned his family. Of course, he had to go. Abby knew that. But oh, she hated the thought of his leaving. “You’ve been working since sunup. You are going to fly rather than drive, right?”

Distracted and anxious to be on his way, he shook his head. “No flights out till late tomorrow morning. I can be there before then if I drive straight through.” Seeing the distress in her eyes, Jesse felt torn. He owed her an explanation, but there wasn’t time. As soon as his father was out of danger, he’d return and explain everything. “Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”

Bending to her, Jesse pulled Abby close and gave her a hard kiss, then leaped up onto the black stallion.

Suddenly unsure of his feelings for her, Abby gazed up at him. “You will come back, won’t you?”

“Yes, as soon as I can.” Adjusting the reins, he turned the horse and rode off.

Abby watched him ride out of sight. “Remember me….” she murmured, as if in prayer.

Chapter One

He was going back. Back to face his past, to make amends, to right a wrong. And to revisit a lost love.

The hot summer wind whipped at his hair through the open windows of his Bronco. An outdoorsman through and through, Jesse Calder rarely engaged the air-conditioning, preferring the scent of the rich earth and of growing things. He’d passed Arizona’s Painted Desert a while back, heading south and deep into cattle country.