Series: Texas Knights Series #2
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2021
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Handsome rancher Cash Powers has finally found the woman he’s been looking for all his life. What he hasn’t counted on is competing for her affections with a smooth-operating, wealthy attorney from the law office where she works. But competition is something he’s accustomed to from his days as a rodeo star. The lawyer doesn’t stand a chance.
Dallas Royal has spent the past several years struggling to support her young daughter and saving to return to college by working two jobs. Piper means everything to her and she’s sworn that her three-year-old won’t grow up in poverty as she did.
Abandoned by her daughter’s father, men have been the last thing on her mind as she’s worked toward her goal of returning to school and completing her law degree. The decision to date two handsome, very different men changed her life in an instant although each man found a way for her to make her daughter a priority.
As Cash learns to love Piper and shows Dallas what a wonderful life she can have as a rancher’s wife, Ethan plies her with lavish dates, an expensive nanny service, and a promise of a future where Piper will never want for anything.
Time passes and Dallas is unable to make up her mind between the two men and the situation comes to a head. Will Dallas finally make her choice or will her suitors call an end to the three-ring-circus their relationships have become?
Find out the dramatic conclusion to Her Ride or Die Cowboy.
Now that was some nice cowboy booty. Dallas Royle was usually too busy to notice the patrons of the Last Cowboy Standing dance hall unless they were lined up in front of her ordering drinks, but the handsome man walking by was a treat for her eyes as she leaned on the bar during an unusual lull.
Ignoring the pounding beat of the crazy-loud Red Dirt country coming from the stage, she watched him return to the small table he shared with two other cowboys. He chose a chair pointing in her direction. His face, with its strong, square jaw and high cheekbones, was as sexy as his backside. He was a handsome devil, that was for sure.
She rubbed the back of her neck and grabbed a wet towel, sweeping it across the slab of polished mesquite that made up the bar top. Her three-year-old daughter needed her mother focused on the right priorities, and a man was definitely not one of them. Piper had run a fever all day, coughing along with swiping at a runny nose. Pulling her phone out of her back pocket, Dallas checked the time. Forty-five minutes until her break.
She glanced at the dance floor, its polished wood a perfect surface for the fast-paced boot scootin’ that went along with the rowdy songs the band usually played. A slow tune wafted through the air now, though. Cowboys held their girls close, swaying in a gentle two-step. Remembering what that felt like, she quickly shifted her gaze, then knelt to straighten some napkins and boxes under the bar. What was wrong with her tonight? Had she thrown her brain in the blender when she made that last frozen margarita? She had a plan for her life, and she was sticking to it.
The rare respite ended, and three people at once appeared at the bar. Straining to hear their orders over the new, much louder song, Dallas flitted from one to the other, efficiently handing out beers, mixing drinks, and making change. Other customers replaced them until she found herself face-to-face with the handsome cowboy.
He smiled and handed her a five-dollar bill, almost shouting, “Bud Light, please, ma’am. Keep the change.”
Dallas pulled his longneck out of the ice, popped the top off, and turned back to the man at the bar. As she returned his smile, she took in more details of his appearance. Amber eyes sparked with self-confidence. A sturdy, working-man’s hand received the bottle she offered. His strong arms and broad shoulders stretched the material of his shirt. No doubt he could manhandle a 300-pound calf to the ground.
Raising the beer in salute, he said, “Thank you, ma’am,” and turned away.
She had no time to watch him and his fine rear end walk away. Customers vied for her attention non-stop until a familiar face showed up. This cowboy had his arm slung over the shoulder of a young woman. Dallas frowned in surprise. Nearly every week the man came up to her bar with someone new, but last time he’d arrived with a girl wearing his engagement ring. How proud she’d been, even showing Dallas, saying the guy had just given her the sparkling solitaire. Now the jerk was standing here with a different woman. Gut-sick, Dallas scowled at the asshole as the loud pounding music beat at her senses. She spun away, shoving her hair behind her ear. Let him wait for his beer. Moving down to the other end of the bar, she waited on the next customer. Men were such bastards. The words loyal and man should never be part of the same sentence.
Sometimes she desperately wanted to quit working at the bar, but all she had to do was remember how badly she needed the money so that she could return to college. Supporting Piper in the way that she deserved had to be her first priority.
A few minutes later, still ready to spit nails, Dallas nodded to the waitress who came to cover the bar for her break. Grabbing her phone and car keys, Dallas strode out of the saloon-style front doors into the parking lot. As always, her car sat in the back, so she turned the corner into the deepening darkness on the side of the building. She hurried past the trucks parked on her right, focused on her car ahead at the end.
A step from her car door, she heard gravel crunching behind her. She grabbed for the door handle as a tall, heavyset cowboy clutched her arm. Yanking back, she tried to free herself, but he gripped her tightly.
“Hey there, pretty thing.”
His slurred, drunken voice sent chills through her. Far from the front lot where others might hear her yell, she had no hope of help.
“Let go of me!” She jerked hard on her arm again. “Leave me alone, you creep!” She aimed a kick at his groin.
Suddenly the drunk’s head smashed sideways into the top of her car. The good-looking cowboy’s punch had landed perfectly, and he shoved the other man to the ground. “Go sleep it off in your truck before I call the police.”
The drunk got up. He staggered to a Ford dually pickup parked a few vehicles down the lot and got in.
Dallas rubbed her arm where the man had held her and stared at the cowboy. “Were you following me?” Still angry at the unfaithful cretin at the bar, she knew she wasn’t coming off as thankful as she should be.
“Nope. I’m parked over there too. I was out here getting some fresh air when that bozo grabbed you. Figured you needed help.”
“Oh.” What a relief. He didn’t seem like a stalker, either. “Well, thanks. Wish employees didn’t have to park all the way back here.” Reluctantly, she reached out her hand. “My name’s Dallas, by the way.”
“Cash Powers. Pleased to meet you.” His clasp was strong but gentle.
“I need to call my mom. That’s why I came out here. My daughter’s been sick, and I’m worried about her. So…” She glanced at her car door and back. “Thanks again.”
Tipping his hat, he backed up a step, then turned around and walked toward the front of the building.
Dallas narrowed her eyes. He was so darn good to look at, but that didn’t matter. Experience had proved that her decision to keep men at a long arm’s length was the right one. Sliding into the seat, she locked all the doors before dialing her mother’s number.
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