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His Reluctant Rancher

Opposites attract, but give up Starbucks? Never!

The last place Desiree Burke expected to find herself was living and working on a remote Montana ranch, much less butting heads with the sexy cowboy owner, Zach Gamble (Readers Choice Award nominee for MOST CHARMING COWBOY). But that's what happens when speaking the truth at work earns Des a suspension. So the gifted physical therapist grits her teeth and goes where her brand of tough love is actually wanted.

Zach has been through hell and back. The crash that killed his brother and paralyzed his father left him with mental scars a mile wide, not to mention crippling survivor guilt. Then the flashy fashionista hired for his father begins to work her magic on him, too. Turns out this smart-mouthed, kitten-loving city girl has a way with wounded souls, as well as bodies.

Too bad she can't wait to go home.

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About the Book

Damn her and her big mouth.

And her vanity. She shuffled her feet on the running board of the snowmobile, praying she wouldn’t fall off, wishing she could get better purchase on the narrow skids.

“How you doing?” Zach yelled, his words whipping away in the wind. Des tried to answer, but she couldn’t move her lips. She couldn’t feel her cheeks. Or her eyebrows. Or her toes.

She’d begun the trip holding on to the bars at the side by her thighs. But when Zach opened the throttle, the speed had thrown her backward and she’d grabbed his waist instinctively, locking her hands together and burying her face against his back. Once there, she was unable to change position. Now, her arms might as well have been frozen in place. Even if she wanted to say something, she feared her lips would not be able to form the words.

The rumble of the engine beneath her and the nearness and position of Zach’s body between her legs created a distracting reminder of the sensuality that sparked between them. It was frustratingly inconsistent; sometimes, she’d swear he was deliberately antagonizing her, but other times, she saw the same old heat they’d generated the first time they’d met. He was not immune to her, no matter how he tried to hide it.

Zach pointed toward a ridge, shading his eyes against the sun. Des turned her head, blinking, feeling as if her bones had frozen in place. Her nose tingled. She probably had the mother of all danglers hanging off it, but unless she wanted to risk her life for a one-handed swipe, she was stuck with it. God. Zach would die laughing.

She looked where he pointed but saw nothing. Thank goodness she was wearing her sunglasses, or her eyeballs would be iced over, too.

“I’m going to circle around them,” he said, yelling over the engine noise. “It’s a bit of an angle, so hang on.”

When he turned his head, his mouth was disturbingly close to hers. She saw the rough stubble on his chin, the sculpted plane between jaw and cheekbone, lips open with exertion, the way they would be, she thought suddenly, when he made love.

“Okay,” Des yelled back. Or tried to. The sound that came out squeezed past lips frozen and sluggish, from a throat thick with phlegm.

Oh yeah, she was quite the seductress.

When he rounded the side of the ridge and began the steep climb, Des felt him shift his weight, to compensate and remain balanced. His hip pressed warm and firm against the inside of her thigh, sliding easily over the leather. She tried to do the same, but her butt didn’t slide. She gave herself a push off the rubberized running board, but her foot slipped. Her fingers lost their grip on each other and slipped apart, despite her conscious effort to keep them locked. In slow motion—or so it seemed—she broke away from Zach and the machine.

Before she knew it, there was only cold air under her.

Des saw the horizon do a complete turn before landing on the soft snow, bouncing once and plowing to a stop, feeling as graceful as Chewy and about as well controlled.

Vaguely, she heard Zach yelling her name. Snow rasped over her skin, filling her mouth and eyes. She gasped for air, coughing and spitting, her teeth aching. Her sinuses were on fire, and between the cold and the shock and the glare, she could barely see. Her sunglasses had gone AWOL.

Zach crashed through the snow and knelt at her side.

“Des? Are you okay? Don’t move. Can you talk?”

She struggled to sit up, to make some kind of response, but she might as well have been swimming in syrup. Her limbs were so cold they weren’t obeying properly.

She finally managed to sit up and rubbed a glove over her face.

“I’m fine.” At least the snot-sicle was gone.

Zach had been right, damn him. And now that he could see she was in one piece, his concern fell away. “Damn, Des, don’t scare me like that.”

“So sorry,” she paused for a sneeze, “if I caused you any discomfort.” She managed to get onto all fours, but then one boot slipped out from under her and she went sprawling again.

“Hey, Princess?” He didn’t even try to hide his laughter. “You’re gonna have to work on your dismount, but I’d still give you a solid five out of ten.”

Series: Three River Ranch, Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Publication Year: February 2013
ISBN: 9781622668731
eBook Price: 2.99
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