Book Genre: Contemporary Western Romance

The Cowboys Fate

Title: The Cowboy's Fate
Series:
Genre:
Release Date: October 1, 2019Add on Goodreads

Three hearts, two towns, one impossible romance. Caleb has searched for his one true love and come up dry – until he hires beautiful ranching consultant, Eve Owen. His instant attraction to the golden-eyed woman is only deepened when he recognizes her intelligence.  Following several glorious nights, a bereft Caleb must say goodbye to Eve as she disregards the shocking result of their final loving and returns to her beloved Dallas-based business.

Sent from the sweeping expanse of his West Texas ranch, Caleb’s deeply romantic love notes keep Eve’s heart in turmoil. She loves her desert cowboy, but will his sensual, heartfelt words be enough to bring her back, despite the wealthy man who offers her the career opportunity of a lifetime along with a romantic proposal? Buy this unforgettable romance, The Cowboy’s Fate, now and find out. 

Buy the Book: Amazon

Chapter One

          Eve Owen hung up the phone and shot her fist in the air. At last! She had taken her first step toward becoming a pilot—something she’d wanted since she was a child. Today she’d signed up for private lessons, and, as a self-employed ranching consultant, she could plan the time necessary to speed through her classes. Jane Fox, a retired pilot Eve met on a Southwest flight, had encouraged Eve to make her dream come true, sooner rather than later.

          Eve stood and arched back, sore from the extended time she'd spent at her table in the breakfast room doing last-minute research. She was due to fly out of Dallas/Ft. Worth airport in the morning to work with a cattle rancher in Jeff Davis County in West Texas. After flying into El Paso, the nearest international airport, she'd need to rent a car and drive nearly four hours to reach the 263,000-acre ranch at the base of the Davis mountains.

          Heading to the kitchen for a beer, she wondered what this rancher, Caleb Govain, would be like. He'd sounded all business on the phone. He had an interesting voice, though—deep and a little gravelly, like he was a large man. He seemed open to having her on the place, like no one was forcing him to invite her in. Sometimes the person she worked with had been pressured to ask for her services and, in that case, it made for a very uncomfortable working relationship. She grinned. Maybe this Caleb would be as handsome as his voice promised.

          This would be the first ranch deep in West Texas that she'd consult on, so she’d done a lot of research. Some would say cattle ranching was cattle ranching, but in the hot, arid land of West Texas, allowances had to be made. For instance, in North Texas, a rancher could run a unit (a cow and calf) to around ten acres. In Jeff Davis county, with the ten-year drought, it was more like a unit to 250 acres in some areas. With the lack of rain and all that entailed, making cattle ranching profitable in West Texas was a tall order. She had her work cut out for her.

#

          At three o'clock the next afternoon, Eve followed the GPS in her rental through the desert landscape, following the narrow, two-lane paved road, and watching for the gate to the ranch, which should be on her right. Caleb had said she couldn't miss it. The arched entryway was tall, black wrought iron with Angus cattle in the design braced on stone pillars. Two bronze hawks, which apparently resembled eagles, stood on these pillars.

         The flat, cactus-speckled land spread out around her, and soon she spotted the entrance in the distance. Slowing, she turned into the ranch, crossed a wide cattle guard, and headed down a paved road, seeing nothing ahead but more desert. Pasture fence ran along either side of the road.   After almost four miles, she came to a many-roomed, well-kept two-story mansion from a bygone age which was settled against a small lake.

          Pulling to a stop in the paved parking area next to a white Chevy ton truck, she looked around at the pleasant landscaping done with plants native to West Texas. She'd never been here, yet this beautiful place felt homey and peaceful.

          A heavy wooden door in the big double entryway opened, and a tall, blonde, broad-shouldered cowboy walked outside.

           Grasping her soft leather briefcase, she stepped out of the SUV and started for the house.

          The man walked toward her, a pleasant look on his face, and extended his hand as she stopped in front of him. He said, "Hi, you must be Eve. I'm Caleb Govain. Did you have any problem finding us?"

          His deep blue eyes held hers as she responded. "No, GPS got me here, along with your description of the entrance, which is gorgeous, by the way. Love the hawks."

          He smiled. "Our original family name was spelled Gauvain, with an a u. I believe it's Welsh in origin, meaning Hawk of the Plains, or something of the sort. We have ferruginous hawks here on the ranch, though they're rare. Our stock brand is a hawk's claw. Quite unique." He turned and motioned her inside. "Enough of that. I'm sure you're tired after that long drive. Let me show you to your room."

          She followed him, trying to keep her eyes off his jeans-clad lean hips and muscular butt. He headed up a wide, curved stairway to the second floor—the house was like something out of Gone with the Wind. The vintage style of the house carried through to her bedroom, though it wasn't overly ornate. The tall window let light in, and bright whites and pale colors made the room fresh and welcoming. A bouquet of pretty flowers sat on her dresser. Those had to have come from a long way off. How nice of the Govains.

           Caleb said, "The bathroom is down the hall on the right. You'll be the only one using it so make yourself at home in there. Come down when you're ready. My mother has a snack for you, and I'll fix you a drink or you can have iced tea." He smiled and walked out, shutting her door.

          This wasn't the first time she'd bunked at a rancher's home or cabin. Many times, ranches were isolated, and it made things easier staying at the ranch while she and her client figured out how she could help. This had to be the most unique home she'd stayed in, though.

          She placed her suitcase on the ornate wooden luggage rack and headed to the bathroom before going down.

          Caleb must have been watching for her because he approached as she got to the bottom of the stairs. "Let me take you to the family room. Mother's set the food up in there."

          As Eve entered, an attractive woman in her late fifties with shoulder-length sandy-blonde hair stood and held out her hand. "Eve, welcome to Govain Ranch. I'm Millie, and we're so thankful you could come. Caleb sings your praises." Smiling, she motioned for Eve to take the leather chair opposite her.

          Eve shook Millie's hand and sat looking around the magnificent room. Different from the rest of the house, this room was made for comfort. Made for ranchers coming home from a hard day's work. Comfortable leather couches, longhorns mounted on the wall, sturdy wooden tables with a distinctly western flair, and bronze horses and cowboys all held a place in the room.

          Millie filled a plate with finger food and handed it to Eve. "I hope you'll be comfortable here. You let me know if there's anything you need. And if you get hungry in the night, feel free to raid the kitchen. This is your home for as long as you stay."

          Touched, Eve smiled. "That's kind of you. I'm looking forward to working with Caleb and finding out how I can help you all."

          A little while later, Caleb led her to his office. Man, he was easy on the eyes, and about a foot taller than her, and she wasn't short. He must be six-foot-six or more.

          Leaning back in his chair, he crossed his arms, looking her in the eye. "I've tried everything I know to make this place more profitable. I'm looking forward to anything you can offer in the way of help."

          She smiled. "You've been through it, I know. Texas ranchers have had it tough, but none more than those in West Texas. I'll do everything I can to find some answers for you." Crap, his eyes were gorgeous. She'd never seen such a deep shade of blue—almost purple. Women must fall all over the guy. "You saw on my resume I have a BA in finance, and, by the way, it's great to meet a fellow A&M grad."

          He grinned.

          "Let's start on the books. We'll see if I can find something there, first." She spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening pouring over the accounts, getting a feeling for how the ranch was run, what resources the ranch maintained, and what the expenses were. She already knew from her earlier research what the beef market prices were in the area.

          Caleb came to the open door and knocked. "Dinner's ready. You've done enough for your first day, don't you think? Come join us at the table." His smile sent tingles rippling up her torso.

          After heading upstairs to freshen up, she wandered around the house until she found the dining room. It could have held fifty people and must have in its elegant past. As it was, the long, beautifully-carved dining table could easily seat twenty-five people.

          A sixtyish man said, "Come in, Eve. I'm Roy Govain, and I'm so glad you're here."

          Smiling, she said, "You're all so welcoming, and I love your home. This table is gorgeous." The men stood as she found her chair.

          Roy patted the dark burnished wood. "This came overland from Virginia in the 1880s. It's held up quite well despite all the rough Govain men who have passed through this house."

          Millie ran her hand over the polished surface as the food was served. "I believe this is my favorite piece in the house. It's the heart of who this family is. I don't know what I'd do if something happened to it." She smiled at Eve. "Tell me about your family. Do they moon over old things like I do?"

          Eve grinned. "Our ranch has been in our family since my great-grandfather's time. We have our heirlooms but nothing like this table. As far as mooning, I'm not sure. My mom works out on the ranch with my dad and brother a lot. That and keeping the house and cooking for those two keep her hopping."

          Caleb asked, "Where is your place? In Texas?"

          "Sure is. North Texas. We run about 430 head over 6,000 acres. Various types of grazing. My dad runs a tight ship, and he listened to my suggestions. Between the two, he's increased his productivity and earnings over the past decade."

          Caleb smiled, meeting her gaze with those gorgeous eyes, sending butterflies fluttering in her tummy. Settle down girl. The guy is just being friendly. "My other brother, the younger one, joined the Marines. Mom wasn't happy about that at all. He's serving in Africa right now."

          Millie, who was sitting beside Eve, patted her hand. "Honey, I wouldn't like it if one of my boys joined the Marines, either. Too dangerous. Even though it's an honorable thing to do."

          After dinner, Caleb asked, "Eve, would you like to take a drive, get the lay of the land, so to speak?" Standing, a half-smile on his face, and looking too handsome for words, he definitely lived up to the sound of his voice.

          "Sure. I'd like that."

          "Do you drink beer, wine, tea, or something else? We'll be on pasture roads this evening."

          "Beer would be nice."

          "Any preference?"

          She raised an eyebrow. "Miller Lite?"

          He grinned. "I knew I liked you."

 

 

 

 

 

Posted August 10, 2019 by janalynknight in / 0 Comments

shadow-ornament

The Cowboy’s Choice

Title: The Cowboy's Choice
Series:
Genre:
Release Date: Fall 2019

Adam’s past walks through the church doors, and he falls in love for the first time all over again. Could it be different now? Could he be? One thing is certain. This time, he will give it all—give anything—to make beautiful Lara his. No one and nothing, will get in his way. Lara Cole has a painful secret, and the last person she can share it with is handsome Adam Govain, the cowboy turned emergency trauma surgeon who was her first love. When he left her for college in Boston, neither knew the pain fate had in store for her. Now, thirteen years later, they're thrown together again. As remembered love blossoms, her long-buried agony comes with it.  Lara can shove the anguish back in its black hole or find the courage to face it at last. The Cowboy's Choice will make you laugh and make you cry and will stay in your heart long after you've turned the last page. Get yours now.

Buy the Book: Amazon

Chapter One

          Lara Cole's hand trembled. As she slid the back off the stem of her earring, it fell on the floor. If this is what happened when she thought of Adam Govain, how could she handle meeting him face to face?

          His mother, Millie, had contacted Lara's mom and asked if Adam and Caleb could have the honor of being pall bearers for Lara's father, Emmett, who died suddenly four days ago of a brain aneurysm. Her father had been the Govain family attorney for many years, and aside from serving them in his professional capacity, he had been their friend.

          Lara found the small silver back and put her earring on, then tied a scarf over her head, covering her long curls. The wind blew fiercely outside, and a thunderstorm threatened any minute. Grabbing two umbrellas in case her mother didn't have one, she stepped out into the maelstrom of whirling fall leaves and made her way to her car. The early September day should have been warm, but the bite in the air chilled her. As she opened her door, a gust tore it from her grasp. Grabbing the handle with both hands, she pulled the door toward her until she could sit in her seat, closing it with a loud click.

          Shaken and shivering, she sat for a minute. This was a terrible day to say goodbye to her dad, and she had no idea how her mom would face the funeral with the sure-to-be wet and turbulent weather at the cemetery service.

          Losing her husband had devastated Jenna Cole. Emmitt had handled everything in their lives. She never made major decisions or managed the finances. She would be lost without him. Lara would need to step in and provide comfort and support in many areas.

          Thirty minutes later, Lara entered the already filled-to-capacity church, her arm around her mother. Lara glanced around the gathering, looking for familiar faces, and from the second pew, Adam Govain's gaze smacked into hers. Eyes wide, she froze. Her heart thudded, and her pulse raced so fast she was immediately light headed.

          He nodded and the corner of his mouth quirked up.

          With a tight nod in return, she led her mother to the first pew and took her seat.

          Unwelcome thoughts of Adam invaded her mind. His dark hair was the same, as was his tall, broad-shouldered frame. Why did his smile still melt her insides after thirteen long years?

          A baby made a fussy noise, and she glanced back to see a tiny girl trying to get down from Caleb's lap.

          Adam brandished his mirrored sunglasses before the child, and she quieted. Taking the girl in his arms, he bounced her up and down as she put his glasses in her mouth.

          Seeing Adam cuddling the baby sent shockwaves through Lara. Was he married? Was that his child? Oh God, she needed out of this place! Whipping her head back around, she bit down on her lip hard enough for the pain to take her mind off of who sat behind her. Her focus today must be her mother—helping her find the strength to make it through the services without falling apart.

          The pastor stepped up to the lectern and began to speak.

* * *

          Adam cuddled his little niece, Abi, distracting himself from the vision of the older, and even more beautiful, Lara who had just walked down the aisle. Her face had lost the rounded teen-aged look of the past and now showed striking cheekbones, a classic jawline and sensuous lips. Her long slender throat led to the full breasts he remembered so well.

          Abi dove for the floor again, squawking loudly, and Eve reached across Caleb's lap.

          Adam absent mindedly handed the baby to his sister-in-law looking at the fall of glorious dark curls in front of him, wishing he could see those clear grey eyes again that had captured him as Lara entered the church. Damn, she was gorgeous, with her hair curling nearly to her waist. She was slender now—almost too thin—just so different from the shapely, happy teenager he'd loved and left behind.

          His stomach clenched. What had she felt when their gazes met? Did her heart leap as his had? Were thoughts of the two of them swirling in her head as they were in his? Or did she forget all about what they had shared? It was a lifetime ago, but now that she was home again, it seemed like yesterday.

          As the pastor spoke, Adam relived memories of high school and Lara: Family dinners, dark movie theaters and stolen kisses, riding horses on his ranch, and senior prom. God, she was hot in that dress. Deep red with a low cut back, her breasts showing just enough to tantalize him—he'd wanted every guy on the dancefloor to see her and know she was his.

          Afterward, he parked with her out in one of the big pastures and laid a blanket in the back of his truck. Closing his eyes, he could still remember the excitement when he took the dress off Lara and made love to her, naked, with only the moon as witness.

          She gave her all to him—never held back. He knew how much she loved him. That was why, when she begged him for the last time to change his mind and go with her to California for college, he knew he broke her heart. He turned his back on their love, on Lara, to make his dream of becoming a top trauma surgeon come true.

          He and Lara didn't speak again after they parted. Though he called, she had asked her parents not to give him her number at school. Shit, that hurt. He realized then that she wanted him out of her life. It had taken years to forget her.

          Caleb rose. Adam had daydreamed through the entire funeral. Hoping to catch Lara's eyes, he kept his gaze glued to her. She never looked his way as she helped her mother stand and escorted her past the pews toward the back of the church.

          The two women seemed so fragile—so vulnerable. Adam had to restrain himself from rushing to Lara's side, throwing his arm around her shoulders, and lending her his strength. Why was she alone? Had she never married? Did she have children? He needed to know everything about her now that he'd finally seen her again. Joining the throng of people leaving their seats, he made his way to his truck.

          Thirty minutes later, Adam drove into the cemetery where trees thrashed and rain had started to pelt the blacktop. Quite a few people had already arrived. Black umbrellas blew crazily in the wind and coats unworn for months whipped open exposing their owners to the wrath of the oncoming storm.

          He got out and leaned into the wind, forging his way to the lines of chairs at the gravesite. Caleb had saved him a seat beside him. Lara and her mother were seated in the front row—Lara with her arm around her mother's shoulders. Moving to his seat, Adam’s gaze was drawn to Lara's hair as it waved behind her like a flag. Adam couldn't take his eyes off of her.

          Just then the hearse arrived. Caleb nudged him, and they headed that way as wayward leaves from the oaks overhead blew this way and that in the air. The attendant rolled the casket out, and Adam and Caleb took the first two handles. Other friends stepped up and slipped their hands through the remaining grips. Rain came down harder now. It was difficult to keep his eyes clear. Caleb started them out. They pressed forward into the wind, making their way to the burial site and placing Lara's father on the lowering device set across the grave.

          Adam stood and turned toward the crowd of mourners, ready to return to his seat, and stopped. As soon as he saw Lara, she saw him, and her eyes widened. He tried to hold her gaze but she whipped her head to the side.

          Dammit. Now that she was in town, she was all he could think about. He wanted to talk to her—wanted to know all about her life. In fact, it was more than want, he needed to know these things.

          As he sat next to his brother, he grabbed his umbrella and opened it. In a whisper loud enough to be heard over the storm, he asked, "Is Lara Cole married?"

          Caleb, under his own umbrella, shrugged. "I don't know. I haven't heard anything about her."

          The pastor, promising to keep his words short, began the service but Adam tuned him out. Having Lara so close drove everything else from his mind. She looked pale, didn't she? Was she sick? He didn't remember her being so fair. Of course, they spent a lot of time in the sun back in high school. Maybe she didn't get outside much anymore. What was her life like now? What was she like?

          Caleb and Eve stood, rain streaming from their umbrellas, and Adam realized the graveside service was over. He had a vague recollection that he made some response, but he couldn’t recall any of it. He followed his brother away from the uncomfortable metal chairs.

          A few people walked over to Lara and her mother, but most ran for their cars.

          When Adam started in Lara's direction, Caleb caught his arm. "There's a reception at their house. Let them get in out of this downpour, and speak to them there, brother."

           Adam nodded and jogged toward his truck.

           Vehicles were lined up and down the residential street where Lara's mother lived and were even parked on the next street over. Adam gave up trying to find a parking spot, ending up a block away. Walking in the rain meant his pant legs were soaked by the time he arrived at the house that had been a part of his high school years. It hadn't really changed much since then. He stepped up on the porch and shook his umbrella, then went through the front door that had been left open to welcome guests. The house was packed with bodies, most with plates in their hands, and his eyes searched for Lara among them.

          Her mother, Jenna, sat on the couch with friends sitting beside her, a plate of untouched food on her lap. She appeared dazed and frail, and his heart went out to her. Changing direction, he went over and knelt in front of her, taking her hand. "I'm so sorry for your loss. Emmett was a wonderful man and a good friend to us. If you need anything, I'm here for you." He pulled two cards from his wallet and wrote his cell number on the back of them, handing one to her. "I mean it. Call me if I can help." He held her hand again.

          She smiled and gripped his fingers. "Adam, you were always a good boy, and now you're a sweet man, just like your daddy. Thank you, honey."

          He spied Lara as she entered the room, and with a smile, stood and headed toward her. Before he reached her, however, a woman snagged Lara's attention and drew her away. Still soaking wet, he went to find the coffee.

          When he came back into the living room, he spotted Lara saying goodbye to a guest and walked over to stand behind her.

          With a last farewell, she turned around. Stepping back quickly, her mouth ajar, she said, "Adam, you startled me."

          "Lara, I need to talk to you." Damn, he’d just blurted that out. "I mean, I'd love to catch up with you—find out how you are."

          She took another step back. "I'm fine." Squaring her shoulders, she said, "I have to take care of my guests and help my mother get through today. I can't."

          He let out the breath he was holding. Shit. Was she still mad at him after all these years? He was a good guy back then and had treated her right. He just couldn't, wouldn't, give up the college opportunity he dreamed of. He'd trained under and worked with some of the best trauma doctors in the country at Boston Medical, and the facility was state of the art. His career couldn't have had a better start.

          But she was right. Today, this setting, wasn't the time to talk to her. "I understand. And, Lara? I'm so sorry about your dad. He was a great guy. I'm here for you if you need me." Pressing his card into her hand, he walked out the open door.

          On his way home, his phone rang. "Adam Govain."

          A voice he recognized said, "How's it going?"

          He smiled. "Gerry, what's up, man?" Gerry was a friend from college who ended up moving to Texas and working in Dallas. They'd stayed in touch through the years.

          Gerry said, "I'm wondering if you ever followed through on that job I told you about. Opportunities at a Level I Trauma Center don't come along very often. Especially where one of their leadership team is old as dirt and you'd have a leg up on the position when it comes available."

          "Yeah, I sent my CV in a couple of weeks ago." He'd met every challenge at Ft. Stockton's small hospital with ease. It would be nice to work in a fast-paced, stimulating trauma environment again.

           "Awesome. It would be cool to have you close, bro'. Keep me posted if you hear anything, okay?" Gerry said.

          "I will."

           Back at home, he kicked his shoes off at the door and laid on the couch. Arms behind his head, his thoughts returned to Lara. He had to talk with her. There must be a way to break through the barrier she held between them. He wouldn't give up on her now that he'd found her again.

 

Posted August 10, 2019 by janalynknight in / 0 Comments

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True-Blue Texas Cowboy

A year after her husband’s death, beautiful Lee Granger is forced to admit she can’t handle running her ranch alone anymore. Following a tip from the local gossip, she hires Jesse Kincade, a retired PRCA calf roper, as her new ranch hand. Jesse’s looking to buy a ranch of his own and to fulfill his dream of opening a roping school. The last thing he needs is to fall for his fiercely independent boss. But love happens when you least expect it. When Lee finds a girl’s body in one of her pastures, she relies on her law enforcement background to follow clues to the girl’s identity and the trail of the murderer. As she zeros in on her prey with a bull’s eye on her back, Jesse is all that stands between Lee and the deadly killer.

Posted March 19, 2019
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