Texas Ranch Justice

By: Karen Whiddon


Danger and intrigue plague an oil-rich Texas ranch


Who’s trying to kill a rancher’s long-lost daughter?

When a beautiful woman unexpectedly shows up at HG Ranch, foreman Travis Warren gets suspicious. City slicker Scarlett Kistler claims she’s there to meet her dying father—Travis’s boss—but is she just looking for a payday? Several attempts on her life convince Travis she’s innocent, and as unexpected feelings surface, the rancher and the belle must find who wants her dead...at all costs.





“Would you like to learn how to ride?” Travis asked, surprising himself. “It’s not that difficult and I have a couple of older, well-trained horses that would be perfect for a beginner to learn on.”


Tilting her head, Scarlett considered his offer. “And you’d be willing to teach me?”

“Yep.” Though doing so would entail them spending more time together, he didn’t reckon it would take that long. She just needed to know the basics, not anything fancy.

“I think I’d like that.” The mischievous sparkle in her emerald eyes should have warned him. “As long as you promise to be civil.”

“Civil?” He frowned. “I’ve gone out of my way to be—”

“I’m kidding.” She cut him off with a wide grin. When she placed her hand on his leg, he knew he was in trouble. “You don’t have to take everything so seriously.”

Though logistically impossible, her fingers seared his skin through his jeans. He was staring down at her, her lovely face raised to his, laughter curving her sensuous mouth...

* * *

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Dear Reader,

Imagine growing up without the slightest idea of your father’s name. And then, in the midst of grief over losing your mother, she gives you one last gift—his identity. This is what happens to Scarlett Kistler, and when she travels to the small town of Anniversary, Texas, to meet him, she gains so much more than a father.

Travis Warren has been a rancher ever since he could walk. Raised by his stepfather, Hal, he has taken on everything during Hal’s illness. With big oil companies wanting to drill on the land and disrupt their way of life, the last thing Travis wants or needs is a Southern belle showing up on their doorstep claiming she’s Hal’s daughter.

In the days that follow, when it seems like someone is trying to either scare Scarlett off or hurt her, will Travis step up and do what he always does, take someone in need under his wing? Or will the sexual lure she presents be too much for him since he’s already had his heart broken by a city girl? The ranch is his life and he’ll do whatever he has to in order to preserve that.

Trying to make up for lost years with a dying man, Scarlett, too, tries to resist the pull of attraction Travis presents. But she’s never been a quitter and any attempts to scare her off make her more determined to stay. The rewards are greater than she ever could have imagined.

If you like a good mystery, a Texas ranch and a sexy rancher, you’ll enjoy this story. I sure enjoyed writing it.

Happy reading!

Karen Whiddon





Chapter 1


The next time he heard the words oil well mentioned with the same sort of breathless tone used when speaking of “sweet tea” or Jesus, Travis Warren thought he might just lose what little shred of self-control he had left.

It wasn’t bad enough that he did the work of three men along with a small, handpicked crew of ranch hands, trying to keep the HG Ranch afloat. Or that he’d given up his privacy and allowed his mother, sister and five-year-old nephew to move in with him in the small foreman’s house he previously occupied alone. In addition to that, he had the monumental worry about his stepfather, Hal Gardner, who appeared to be wasting away while not a single doctor could come to a consensus as to what might be wrong with him.

Hal was just as opposed as Travis to allowing an oil company to take over even one-half acre of his land. In fact, as owner of the HG, he’d insisted he didn’t want to hear another word about allowing drilling.

At least that decree shut everyone up. As long as Hal was around. But the rest of the family as well as most of the neighboring townsfolk felt no compulsion to be quiet around Travis. In fact, his own mother, Vivian, continued to act as if making a deal with Wave Oil Company would be their salvation. Quite frankly, the notion made Travis feel sick.

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