Dana Waterfield’s well-organized life gets tipped upside down when the brutal murder of her twin sister Danielle threatens to unravel everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. Having found herself the sole guardian of her sister’s newborn lovechild, Jeremy, and at the receiving end of her ex-brother-in-law’s unchecked rage, Dana flees to the safety of Dixon Ranch and the strong, muscled arms of Brock Dixon.
In order to protect the baby from the wrath of Danielle’s husband and murderer, Dana must blend into the daily routine of ranch life, and rethink who she really is. When the wrath of a madman threatens the life of her nephew and everything she holds dear, will Dana put her trust in Brock or let the winds of change tear her family apart?
Falling for her sister’s lover was never part of the plan, but there’s something about a cowboy that no woman can resist. After all, the safest place to be is in a cowboy’s arms…
“Brock Dixon?” Her angelic face didn’t fool me for a second. Had the bitch slept with so many men she couldn’t remember the face of a lover? I felt fire seep through my blood. There were three things I held sacred above all others. You never hit a woman. You protected children. You kept your promises. I’d never broken any of those but the first was sure tempting after the way she’d screwed me over.
“What the hell are you doing here, Danielle?” Frank, my foreman, coughed without subtlety, reminding me of my manners. Most times I didn’t mind his fatherly ways, but he’d do well to stay out of this one.
“I’m not who you think I am, but I need to talk to you. Is there someplace private we might go?” she asked.
Was the girl out of her damn mind? Unlike her, I knew exactly who I’d had relations with, and I wasn’t likely to forget this little spitfire in my bed. She’d ridden me like I was one of her horses, and, pissed as I was, it was some of the best sex of my life!
“This is about as private as I plan on getting with the likes of you. Tell me what you got to say, and get the hell off my land.” I didn’t have time for her nonsense, and I sure wasn’t letting her rip me off again. It had taken weeks for my brothers to talk to me after I’d lost the money we’d planned on using to rebuild the barn.
There was something off about her compared to the last time we’d met. She seemed skittish, nothing like the confident whore who’d been turned on by watching the horses breed and demanded a ride for herself. Probably some new trick she’d worked up to screw my life over. When she opened the door to the backseat and came back with a little boy who had my eyes, I felt the world spin out of control. No damn way that bitch had had my baby and kept it hidden all this time. I was so blooming mad I had to turn away. My fists clenched, and I muttered under my breath for Frank to take them into the house. Control was something I needed to find before I talked to this heartless skank again.
“You best come with me, little lady, and let him calm down a bit.” Frank was very courteous. Normally I was too, with a lady in my presence, but Danielle was no lady. There were more than a few choice words I’d call her, lady being the last of them. If that was my kid, though, there was no damn way she was driving off this ranch with him. I knew enough to know he’d be about the right age based on the last time we’d been together. What kind of woman kept a baby away from his daddy? None that I wanted a part of!
When I finally had enough common sense to not strangle her ass, I walked through the front door and saw her sitting at the table with the little boy cradled in her lap. Frank had fixed her a glass of lemonade, and she was cooing to the little critter in her lap like he was the most important thing in the world. Obviously, a ploy, because she’d proved the only thing she cared about was deception. Maybe to her, a hundred grand was like pissing in the wind, but it was more than just the money. The way I saw it, she screwed me to get what she wanted, and I didn’t appreciate being used that way.
I’d found out she was married a few months after she’d left when I’d broken down under my brothers’ demand that I get some form of payment for the breeding service we provided. That was almost a bigger kick in the nuts than being used for a horse! A lot of men didn’t mind adultery, but I’d never considered myself one of them. I’d had my share of women in my bed, so I wasn’t a saint. I’d never knowingly slept with a married woman because it went against what I believed.
What a piece of work! She was the picture of innocence with that little angel bouncing on her leg.
“Is he my kid?” I spoke through gritted teeth and knew the answer before she spoke. He looked just like me, even boasted the same dimple I had in my chin.
“Yes.” Her voice trembled as she spoke, and she was right to be afraid. Not because I’d hurt her, even though I wanted to, but because that kid was never going to be raised by a slut like her.
“Let me hold him.” I wanted to snatch him from her arms and send her out of here as fast as she’d come in, but I wasn’t heartless. The little guy didn’t know me and probably loved his piece of shit momma. She seemed hesitant at first, like I’d hurt such an innocent creature. I wasn’t the monster in this scenario!
Finally she stood, and I took the little chubby guy in my arms. He looked at me curiously, thankfully not screaming at being held by a stranger, then he smiled and my heart was lost. I’d always wanted kids. Hoped one day to find the perfect woman and settle down. “Hey there, little man. You sure are cute.” He was blowing spit bubbles, and I chuckled, which seemed to make him happy.
“Tell me what you want.” My smile disappeared as I looked over at her, and I could feel the distress in the little guy as my body tensed. Making myself relax, I forced a smile and kept my focus on him. He was what mattered now, not this woman who’d stolen almost a year of his life from me.
“I need you to do a paternity test and prove he’s yours.” She spoke softly, and again I was shocked at her humility. Something had happened to this woman since we’d last met, and for a moment I felt my protective instincts kick in. Women were to be cherished, and no matter how horrible a person she was, I couldn’t help but remember my upbringing.
“That’s a given.” I forced my tone to remain calm as I bounced the little guy on my hip. “What’s his name?” I didn’t even know my own kid’s name! I felt the anger building up inside me again and fought to tamper it down.
“Jeremy Collin Stallings.” Of course she’d given him her husband’s last name. That shit would be changing as soon as I proved he was mine. There was no doubt in my mind.
“When is his birthday?” I clenched my teeth as I asked that question. He was my baby boy, and I knew nothing. Nothing!
“January 9, 2015.” In her defense, she’d just told me what I’d asked, but my anger was brimming over to the point that I had to hand him back to her. Going over the dates in my head, it was perfect timing. He was nine months old. I’d missed nine months of my boy’s life!
“You know I’m not letting you take him off this land?” What the hell that meant I was going to do with her, I wasn’t sure of yet. Mothers, even horrible ones, had a right to be around their kid. I knew the court system wasn’t going to be in favor of letting a single man raise him, even in this day and age.
Michelle was chosen as a Kindle Scout Winner, for her book, Cowboy Sanctuary. Prior to being awarded a publishing contract with Kindle Press, she self-published 20+ books. She writes romances with the virgin/alpha male theme in all her works, from paranormal, new adult, erotic, and now contemporary western romance. Prior to a fulltime writing career, she was a country singer/songwriter and a respiratory therapist. To find out even more about Michelle visit some of her social media links.
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