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Real bad boys can grow up to be real good men.
Hit hard by the death of her parents, Paige Ryan needs to figure out what to do with her life. She moves to Whispering Springs, Texas, to be near her step-brother. But just as she starts to get her life on track, the last man she ever wanted to see again sends it right back off the rails.
Cash Montgomery was on the cusp of having it all. Three bull riding titles, fame, fortune and respect from his family. Until a bad bull leaves him injured, angry and searching for comfort at the bottom of a bottle. With nowhere to go, he moves into his sister-in-law’s old ranch house in Whispering Springs—which he’s surprised to find already occupied.
As Cash rebuilds the dilapidated home and Paige starts out on her medical career, their old friendship begins to reemerge and sparks are ignited. Paige knows that Cash is nothing but a heartache waiting to happen. But maybe this bad boy has grown up to be a real good man?
Warning: Watch out for falling lumber, falling in holes, and falling for the wrong guy…again. You can leave your hard hat on.
Copyright © 2014 Cynthia D'Alba
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Publication
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Publication
The soft tap of a footfall on the lowest step had Buster jumping up and off the sofa. He raced to the top of the stairs and let out a welcoming bark.
“Hi, Buster,” Paige said. “I brought you something.”
Buster’s tail wagged briskly. When he turned away from the step, he was carrying a large rawhide bone. He disappeared into the bedroom with his prize.
“I don’t think he’s going to share,” Paige said. “So I brought you something else.”
“Blueberry cobbler and ice cream. You interested?”
He laughed. It was impossible to be mad at her. Hell, he couldn’t even maintain a fake anger.
“Did you heat the cobbler?”
“You’re kidding, right? Of course.”
He sat up on the couch and she sat down beside him. “Your mom might have mentioned that you had a thing for blueberry cobbler so I thought I’d surprise you.”
He took a bite and moaned. “This is better than Mom’s. Don’t tell her I said that,” he added quickly.
“Our little secret. What are you watching?”
“I have no idea. It’s just on for noise. Why? Is there something you’d like to see?”
“Nope. I was just going to put some music on instead.”
He handed her the remote. “Have at it.” But if she put on some love-song station, he’d have to put his foot down. She didn’t. She flipped immediately to contemporary country.
They ate in silence, him tapping his toe and her bouncing her leg to the music until Faith Hill’s “Like We Never Loved At All” started playing. She stood and held out her hand.
“Dance with me, Cash.”
He swallowed. This was not a good idea. This was the song that they’d danced to all those years ago. Of course he remembered. Every Faith Hill song dredged up memories of what a shit-heel he’d been. But then she smiled and wiggled her fingers. What else could he do?
He stood, took her hand and pulled her into his arms. They swayed to the music, moving in slow steps around and around. She sighed, her warm breath sliding across his neck like silk.
He tightened his arms to pull her closer and…wham! Excruciating pain shot through his injured leg. His left thigh muscle contracted into an unrelenting spasm.
“Shit.” Cash dropped his arms from around Paige and began rubbing his thigh and walking. Every couple of steps, he’d stomp his foot.
“What is it, Cash? What’s wrong?”
“Damn leg. Hasn’t done this in a while, but when the sonofabitch gets a cramp like this, it takes forever to get it to relax.”
“Pull your jeans down and let me rub it.”
He eyed her. Let her rub it? Was she serious?
“Don’t look at me like that. Pull your pants off and sit down.”
When he didn’t immediately do what she ordered, she marched into his bedroom. In a minute, she was back with the top sheet of the bed. “Here.” She tossed the sheet on the leather sofa. “If you’re that bashful, cover up. Although I’ve seen a penis or two in my life.”
She marched away again, but this time to his bathroom and came back with a bottle of hand lotion.
If anything, the muscle spasm was getting worse, not better. Thank goodness, he’d toed off his boots when he’d first sat down to watch television. That left no obstruction to dropping his jeans to the floor. Afterwards, he practically fell back on the sofa.
“Put your leg up on the cushions,” she ordered.
Lowering herself to her knees beside the sofa, she prepared to go to work. She squirted lotion into her hands, rubbed them together and then dug her fingers into the bulging muscle making itself known. Along the edges of the spasm, she worked her thumbs in deep circles, demanding that the cramp give up its control.
The scent of vanilla from the lotion filled the air. He drew in a deep breath and tried to relax.
He studied her, her lower lip sucked between her teeth, her eyes focused on the area giving him so much pain. This was not a Paige Ryan he knew. This was not Doc Ryan’s jail bait. This was a take-charge adult female who knew what she was doing when she worked her fingers into the knotted muscle in his leg.
He groaned. Yes, working out the muscle contraction hurt, but there was also something about having Paige on her knees in front of him. His cock liked that idea too. It began to grow hard and move, as though waving for attention too.
“Sorry,” Paige said. “I know this hurts, but I think I can get it to let go.”
He didn’t bother to correct her misinterpretation of his groan. Instead, he grabbed the sheet she’d thrown on the back of the couch and covered himself. If she noticed, she gave no indication. She appeared to be focused on the pain in the leg and nothing else. Should he be pleased that she was so professional and clinical with her touch, or pissed that she hadn’t noticed the affect she was having on him?
Since he knew beyond doubt that she deserved better than he-who-had-no-future, he decided to be relieved.
It was then that pain in his leg lessened. The cramp eased up. Paige must have felt the change because she lifted his leg, slid under and took a seat on the sofa between his calves.
After resting his leg across her lap, she retackled the area with a renewed sense of purpose, digging deep with her long fingers, forcing the muscle to do what she wanted.
He couldn’t help but be impressed by this strong, forceful woman. She didn’t take no from him or his leg spasm.
And then the leg cramp was gone. He blew out a long breath he didn’t realize he was holding and settled back against the arm of the couch, his breath coming in short, choppy rasps, his eyes shut in relief. It’d been a bad muscle seizure this time, one of the worst ever.
The house renovation was giving him quite a workout, more than he’d had since his run-in with Bad Bob.
“Thanks. That’s better. I think you’ve shown that cramp who’s boss,” he said with a light chuckle.
“Hmm. Looks like you have another congested area that needs a little attention.”
Before her words could register in his brain, she glided her long, soft fingers the rest of the way up his thigh to his throbbing cock. She grasped his length through his briefs.
I loved this book, so much that I have to go back and read the first 3 book of the series!
Cash is your typical stubborn cowboy who doesn't think he's good enough for Paige. Seven years ago, he made the mistake letting Paige go based on that belief. After career ending accident, Cash finds himself back home drowning his sorrows with a bottle. Fortunately for him, Paige is now living in Whispering springs, and circumstances find them sharing a house.
Paige is no longer the naive girl that fell in love with Cash when she was a teenager. But when she sees cash again, she cannot deny that they chemistry is still there. When she finds herself having to share a house with Cash, she devises a way to keep him busy so that he doesn't feel the need to drink.
Even thought they both try to deny the their attraction to each other, eventually Paige makes Cash a deal to enjoy each other's company through the summer. As they spend time together, old feelings resurface and and they must both decide whether or not to risk their hearts.
The story flows smoothly and they dialogue is funny and sexy. This is the first book I've read by Cynthia D'Alba and she has a new fan in me. Highly recommended to anyone who likes western romances with sexy cowboys.
Award winning author Cynthia D’Alba was born and raised in Arkansas. After being gone for seventeen years, she’s thrilled to be back home living on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake. When she’s not reading, writing or plotting, she’s doorman for her two dogs, cook, housekeeper and chief bottle washer for her husband and slave to a noisy, messy parrot. She loves to chat online with friends and fans