Red Hot Rancher

By: Maureen Child

His dreams were shattered as she chased her own.

Not this time.

One look at Emma Williams and rich rancher Caden Hale knows he hasn’t forgiven her for leaving Montana. She’s back with a baby—the family Caden thought would be theirs. Has Emma really changed? Maybe. But one thing hasn’t changed—the incredible heat between them! But after his trust was shattered, can they really pick up where they ended?





“I was empty, too, Caden.”

“By choice, Emma.”

True again. She swallowed hard and reached for him, half afraid that he’d step away from her, leaving her shattered just to teach her a lesson.

She hadn’t come here for this, at least not consciously. But maybe this was what had been driving her since she got home. The need to touch him and be touched. To remember what it felt like to be so alive that she practically glowed.

Emma moved up to him and kept her gaze locked with his. Laying both hands on his shoulders, she looked into his lake-blue eyes and said, “We’ve been empty too long, Caden. Fill me up. Fill us both.”

“Damn you for leaving, Emma,” he murmured, his gaze moving over her face, then coming back to look deeply into hers. “And damn you for coming back.”

Then he grabbed her, pulled her in close and bent his head to hers.





 Dear Reader,

I love a cowboy. Of course, most of us can say that, right? In Red Hot Rancher, you’ll meet Caden Hale, a rich, gorgeous cowboy, and Emma Williams, the woman who actually walked away from him.

Caden and Emma had been a couple since high school and they shared lots of big, beautiful plans for the future. But then Emma realized that if she didn’t leave home and try to make her own dreams come true, she’d never truly be happy—no matter how much she loved Caden.

She’s gone five years, and when she comes back, she has to earn her place and the trust of everyone she loves.

Caden and Emma have a lot of things to face, but when there’s love, there’s always a chance.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did! Please visit me on Facebook to let me know what you think!

Until next time,









One

“She’s back.”

“She who?” Caden Hale looked up at his foreman, Jack Franklin. No one knew him better than Jack, which was why Caden was surprised to see the man now.

Everyone on the ranch knew not to disturb Caden when he was engulfed by the dreaded paperwork needed to keep the Double H ranch running. Caden would much rather be out in the corral or riding fence-line, checking for breaks. Hell, to be honest, he’d rather be in the stables, mucking out stalls. But at least once a week, he was forced to sentence himself to hours behind the desk that had once been his father’s.

Jack stood opposite that desk now and the foreman’s expression was a weird mixture of dread and shock. Caden braced himself, leaning back in the chair, tapping one finger against the desktop.

Caden didn’t have a clue who could have put that look on his oldest friend’s face. He and Jack had been pals since grade school and when Caden took over the family ranch ten years ago, Jack had come on board, too. Usually, the man was unshakable. Not today.

“Come on, Jack. What’s going on? You look like somebody died.”

“Not yet,” his friend muttered, then swept off his Stetson, curled his fingers around the brim and tapped the hat against his upper thigh.

Caden straightened in the chair, leaned both forearms on the desk and stared at his friend. “Just spit it out. Who the hell are you talking about and why should I care?”

“You shouldn’t care,” Jack said. “But you will.”

“Enough. Just tell me.”

“It’s Emma, Caden,” Jack told him flatly. “Emma Williams is back.”

And just like that, the day went from annoying to a crap-fest. Caden’s chest was tight, and he didn’t even notice how hard he was clenching his teeth until his jaw ached in response. Deliberately, he took a long, deep breath and willed the sudden tension in his body to drain away.

Damned if he’d let a woman he hadn’t seen or spoken to in five long years get under his skin. And yet, he had to admit, just the mention of her name had done it. Caden closed his eyes briefly to fight the wave of tangled emotions rising up inside him. Anger and betrayal were tied for first place, but the rest weren’t far behind. Lust, the remnants of a love he thought would live forever and just enough pleasure to worry him.

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