Kyle Darby doesn’t want to be a lonely ranch hand forever. If he can help his cousin run a ranch, his chances at future foreman will be drastically increased. But his need to find revenge for his sister clouds his logic.
Sherry isn’t into dating or anything normal – she studies bugs for crying out loud. When Kyle rescues her one night at a bar, she finds it hard to believe his continued interest is sincere. Used to saving herself and her heart, Sherry has to accept that sometimes she needs help.
With her life hanging in the balance, Sherry has to learn to rely on someone else – Kyle.
Can she do it without losing her heart? Or are they both destined to just be along for the ride?
A tall cowboy on a tan Arabian horse galloped toward her. His face hid in the shadow of his cowboy hat. His broad shoulders leaned forward as he moved with the horse and approached Sherri.
As he came closer and his features came into view, Sherri’s breath caught.
She had disappointedly thought she wouldn’t see him again. The cool set to his features made her wish that was still the case.
He drew abreast of her and dismounted, a sheen of sweat gathering at his brow and his bandana damp at his neck. He reined his horse to the side and then back. “Sherri. Are you here to see Ryland? He’s working until seven.”
Confused, Sherri motioned toward the mountains. “Um, no. I mean, I didn’t know you guys worked here.” She furrowed her brow. “Is the owner here or foreman maybe?”
Kyle tugged off his gloves and slapped them on his upper thigh, a puff of dust clouded around his rear. “I’m the acting foreman while Nate’s with Emma. Jonesy is back east with family. There’s been a death and he needed to be there to help resolve matters.” He studied her, a hand on the pommel. “What can I do for you, Sherri?”
His formality was offsetting and after the overwhelming warmth from Ryland two days before, Kyle’s coldness slapped her across the face.
Maybe he was a different man than the one who had stood in her kitchen with his shirt off and then in her bedroom close to screaming at a spider.
She shook her head to push the thoughts out. She had a job to do. She could be just as professional as he was. “There is serious western beetle infestation along the western ridge. There are no guarantees that there will be a fire, but if there is a cigarette dropped or any dry lightning storms, the chances are raised drastically for an all-consuming fire.”
Sweeping her hand across the landscape, she peered at him. “The fields will be wiped out and on over that way toward the orchard. Is there a basic irrigation set up for fire prevention?”
His hat brim covered his eyes while he considered what she said. After a moment, he looked up, his mouth grim. “I’ll pass along your information to Nate when he gets back. Is there anything else?”
Anger started to build as he dismissed her. “Yes, this is on an official capacity. It will be
noted in my report that the Jonesy Acres was warned about western pine beetle infestation and fire danger.” She set her jaw and turned around, holding back any further biting comments.
“Wait, Sherri.” His tone had softened and when she turned, so had his expression. He nodded. “Thanks, I’ll pass it along. Nate might call you.”
She didn’t bother responding, still stung by his treatment. She hadn’t done anything and she’d be damned, if he thought he could work hot and cold on her like that.
Now she wanted to see Ryland, just for a moment to feel like someone thought she was worth talking to.
A handsome cowboy at that.
About Bonnie R. Paulson
Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and give every romance the genetic strength to survive. Bonnie has discovered a dark and twisty turn in her writing that she hopes you enjoy as much as she has enjoyed uncovering it. Dirt biking with her family in the Northwest keeps her sane.
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