"Lovely debut. Turner takes us back to the day of the cowboy and it's a trip you won't want to miss." #1 NYT Bestselling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon.
As if he doesn't have enough to handle between running outlaws out of Cheyenne, keeping his brothers out of trouble, and avenging his father's death, Sheriff Sawyer McCade's meddling mother just dumped a mysterious mail-order bride on his doorstep. One woman can be more trouble than a band of renegades, and while this one has him all stirred up, he'd rather get to the bottom of the story she isn't telling.
Rose Parker had it all—until a web of danger and deceit sends her running to Cheyenne posing as a mail-order bride. Escaping the evils of New York seems sensible until she meets the unsuspecting sheriff who didn't ask for her, has no intention of marrying her, and won't rest until he uncovers her secret and sends her back home.
He was all too familiar with the smug look on her face. She was hiding something, and it wasn’t just the ordered bride.
She avoided his glare, spitting out a flurry of words. “She’ll be on the afternoon train, and she’s been several days getting here. Take her home to the ranch. She’ll need a rest and a bath, so be nice enough to heat water for the tub.”
“I don’t need a wife. This right here isn’t happening.” He grabbed the jail keys and shoved them in his trouser pocket and stomped past her, spurs clinking along the hardwoods.
“I won’t be home tonight, and it’s your duty to protect her as sheriff.” She was quick in rebuttal.
Sawyer balled his fists as she scurried toward the door ahead of him. How in the hell did she always back him into a corner? He folded his arms and uttered the one word he knew could stop her in her tracks. “Mother.”
She spun on her heels, her blue eyes narrowing. Finally, he had her full attention. She didn’t like being called anything but Dodge and he had the sudden urge to protect his ears from retaliation.
“What kind of woman answers an ad like that anyway?” His knowledge of ordered brides was limited, though he’d seen a number head right back where they came from after a few days in Cheyenne.
“Her name is Rose Parker, and she’s from New York City—well-educated from what I understand. I thought you might just enjoy a challenge.” She scuttled outside, pulling her riding gloves onto each of her hands.
Sawyer followed, rigid with anger and shaking his head. He should lock her up for being deceitful if nothing else. “You don’t get to decide someone’s fate like that. You meddle too much.” He caught her shoulder and wheeled her around, fully expecting that thump to the ear for his blatant disrespect. But her eyes softened.
“Sawyer, it’s been what, twelve or more years? When are you going to let her go? I know you still wait.” Her voice was little more than a whisper.
Sawyer winced as if an outlaw had rammed a fist right into his belly, the pain so intense he struggled to take a breath. It had been years. Fourteen to be exact, but who was counting? “I’ve been over it. Why do you keep bringing it back up?”
“Because, you haven’t let go of her any more than you’ve let go of the pain of losing your father. Catherine’s not coming back. Maybe the distraction of a good woman is just what you need.”
She was right on both counts, though he wasn’t about to admit it. He didn’t need anyone, much less a woman, interfering with his work. “Keeping Cheyenne in order is distraction enough, and I have no intention of marrying some woman from back east.” Catherine had made her decision long ago and he’d walked away for good, but that didn’t mean he was going to marry some woman he didn’t even know.
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