Book description:From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ruth Cardello comes the steamy new release to the Lone Star Burn series.
Lucy Albright never wanted her family’s Texas ranch, but now it’s in foreclosure. She’s already lost so much she can’t bear the thought of losing one more thing. Lucy learned the hard way not to accept help from a man when there are strings attached, so she’ll do whatever it takes to save the ranch on her own terms—even if that means launching an online business marketing high-tech sex toys.
Ranch manager David Harmon has a reputation for being a cowboy with a heart of gold. Even if she refuses his help, down-and-out Lucy is the kind of woman he’ll do anything to protect. And while David may not know much about Lucy’s naughty side business, that won’t stop a cowboy from doing something he’s set his mind to.
With the ranch threatened by a scheming neighbor, Lucy can’t help but keep David around. Their attraction may be undeniable, but will the spark between them burn her entire future to the ground?
She met his eyes, and for a moment her resolve wavered. He had the kindest eyes she’d ever looked into. What would we be to each other if we’d known each other before all this? If I wasn’t already a tangled mess on the inside?
Why ask myself what might have been, when all I have is here and now?
“Keeping this ranch is my priority now. My only priority. I know how ungrateful that sounds, but I asked you not to come. I warned you. Good-bye, David.”
He bent closer again, so close Lucy’s resolve began to dissolve. “I’m not leaving until I’m sure you’re safe, Lucy. Wyatt hired me to help look after the outbuildings, and I agreed to bring some of my horses over to give work to some of the men who were here today. Wyatt seems to think they’ll need it.”
The room spun. “Wyatt can’t hire you. This is my ranch.”
David caressed the side of Lucy’s face, running the back of his fingers down one side of her neck. “Wyatt’s worried about you. He thinks you need someone to watch over you. I agree.”
The pleasure of his touch confused Lucy. She felt vibrantly alive, and her miserable morning was too easy to forget. No. No. No. She pushed his hand away. “I don’t care what Wyatt thinks, and I don’t care what you do, either. I’m telling you to leave. I don’t want you here.”
“Then why do you look like you want to kiss me so damn much?” he asked.
Lucy turned away from him. She wrapped her arms around herself. She could lie to him and say he was wrong, but they’d both know it wasn’t true. “You say you want to help me, David, but you don’t listen to me. I will save this ranch, and I will do it myself.” She turned back to face him. “Haven’t you ever needed to prove something to yourself so badly that an easier way of doing something was impossible to consider?”
David nodded. “And that was usually right before I fell on my face.”
She sputtered angrily and was about to tell him off when he raised his hand to caress her cheek again. “We’re at a standoff, you and I. My daddy always said the secret to solving a disagreement was finding a compromise both could live with. Wyatt needs help outside, the men who were here today need jobs, and I need to know you’re okay.”
He ran a mesmerizing thumb across her parted lips. “You need to save the ranch on your own. What if I promise I won’t step in to help again unless you ask me to, and in return you let me pay for the use of your barns and fields to train my horses.”
“You can’t pay me. I owe you money.”
“Then charge me and deduct as we go. I’ll pay you a fair rate for the lease of your facility.”
“Why would you do that?” Besides to sleep with me, because that can’t happen.
As if he heard her, he dropped his hand and stepped back. The sadness she felt at the absence of his touch was as confusing as fighting the pleasure from it had been. “I’ve been thinking about getting my own place for a while. This would be a way to test how I like it. Working with Tony has been good for me, but like you, it’s time for me to see what I can do on my own.”
“You can’t stay in the main house.” Lucy blushed right after she blurted her thought out.
A slow smile spread across his face. “Wyatt suggested I stay in the old workers’ quarters. None of the men who were here today will be looking to stay there. It’ll be perfect.”
Am I honestly considering this? “If I say yes, it doesn’t mean I’m agreeing to anything else. I want to be clear about that.”
A twinkle lit his eyes. “Why, Miss Lucy, what else might I think you were agreeing to?”
Ruth Cardello was born the youngest of 11 children in a small city in northern Rhode Island. She spent her young adult years moving as far away as she could from her large extended family. She lived in Boston, Paris, Orlando, New York--then came full circle and moved back to Rhode Island. She now happily lives one town over from the one she was born in. For her, family trumped the warmer weather and international scene.
She was an educator for 20 years, the last 11 as a kindergarten teacher. When her school district began cutting jobs, Ruth turned a serious eye toward her second love- writing and has never been happier. When she's not writing, you can find her chasing her children around her small farm, riding her horses, or connecting with her readers online.
Connect with the author
Email Notice of New Releases:ruthcardello.com/contact/
Current Works: All contemporary romance
Lone Star Burn (*also available in audio)
Fun, hot romances that roam from the country to the city and back.
Book 1: Taken, Not Spurred
Book 2: Tycoon Takedown
Book 3: Taken Home
Book 4: Taking Charge (Pre-order now)
The Legacy Collection (*also available in audio) Where my billionaires began.
Book 1: Maid for the Billionaire (Free Download)
Book 2: For Love or Legacy
Book 3: Bedding the Billionaire
Book 4: Saving the Sheikh
Book 5: Rise of the Billionaire
Book 6: Breaching the Billionaire: Alethea's Redemption
Recipe For Love: A Hot Andrade Christmas Novella
Book 7: A Corisi Christmas Novella
The Andrades (*also available in audio)
A spin off series of the Legacy Collection with cameos from characters you love from that series.
Book 1: Come Away With Me
Book 2: Home to Me
Book 3: Maximum Risk
Book 4: Somewhere Along the Way
Book 5: Loving Gigi
A new, seven book series about the Andrade’s Boston cousins.
The first series in the Barrington Billionaire WORLD.
Book 1: Always Mine (Free Download)
Book 2: Stolen Kisses
Book 3: Trade it All
Book 4: Let It Burn
Book 5: More Than Love (Coming 2016)
Book 6: Forever Now (Coming 2017)
Book 7: Never Goodbye (Coming 2017)
*Look for a linked series set in the same world, written by Jeannette Winters (my sister) and Danielle Stewart (my niece).
You won’t have to read the other series to enjoy mine, but it sure will make it more fun. Characters will appear in all three series.
Author Jeannette Winters
Book 1: One White Lie
Book 2: Table for Two
Book 1: Fierce Love
Book 2: Wild Eyes
Taken by a Trillionaire
The Temptation Series
Gabe ( 7 brides For 7 Brothers)