Coerced by a domineering father into marrying a man she does not love prompts Long Island, New York heiress Sara Carleton to run away and board a train heading to the West Coast. On an unscheduled stop in Red Rock, Colorado, fate intervenes when she is mugged in a dark alley. Rancher Jackson Phillips doesn't mind helping the attractive mugging victim he and his sister rescued at the train station, but having her come to his ranch to recuperate turns out to be much more than he bargained for.
184 Pages, Sweet
Print ISBN 1-60154-385-9
By the time the tour was over, Sara was thoroughly enchanted with the Rolling R ranch. On their way back to the house, the sun reached its zenith, beating down in heat waves.
"I knew today would be hot," Jackson said. "How're you holding up?"
"I'm a little tired." She was also light-headed, but didn't want to alarm him. Once her feet were on solid ground again, she'd be fine.
At last, they reached the stable. "Just sit tight," Jackson said, as he dismounted. "I'll help you down."
"I can manage." She gripped the saddle horn and stretched her leg over Lady Mary's rear end. As she slid to the ground, Jackson was there to meet her. Before she realized what was happening, he'd drawn her into his arms.
"Sara, I'm worried about you."
"Don't be," she said, although his concern touched her. "Like I said, I'm just tired."
Neither made a move to draw away. The longer they stood there, the more aware she became of how his arms steadied and sustained her. Being near him was dangerous, though. She should pull away, but her feet refused to move.
"We shouldn't have gone out today," he said. "The ride was too soon after your injuries."
"Please don't worry. I wanted to go. I had fun."
Shifting slightly, he drew back. Their gazes met. His was full of warmth and tenderness. Then tenderness deepened to desire and he leaned closer. His lips parted, his eyelids lowered as he focused on her mouth. "Sara," he said, ending her name with a groan.
Sara ran her tongue over her lips, and then closed her eyes and held her breath while his mouth gently covered hers.
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