Chivalry is alive and well…
Widowed rancher Hunter McFall had no intention of ever falling in love again.
But then, he never counted on prissy city lawyer Poppy Chastain
and her fancy little ‘cow poo’ shoes.
If he’s not careful, he’ll be hooked. Is she everything she seems?
Or does she have darker intentions?
Here’s an excerpt from HUNTER’S PRIDE, the second book in the Redheads & Ranchers series.
By the time they finished eating and paid their tabs, Hunter was positive Poppy had to be feeling the effects of the alcohol. But she seemed determined to press forward independently.
Together, they made their way to the door of the bar. With all the noise and music inside, they had been blissfully unaware that a spring storm had rolled in. Rain pouring down in buckets was punctuated by jagged flashes of lightning and the percussion of thunder rolling through the valley.
He’d already decided that he’d be making sure she got back to her room safely. The storm just clinched the deal. He could barely make out the lighted walkway of the motel through the torrents blowing across the highway in waves.
Beside him, she stared out into the storm. “Well, shit!”
He rested a hand on the small of her back. “Don’t worry. I’ll take you back to the motel.” He took a couple of steps. “Stay right here. I’ll get the truck.” With that, he dashed out into the deluge.
When he pulled the huge black Expedition to the front door, he leaned over and pushed open the passenger door. Poppy launched herself into the truck and slipped, falling headfirst over the center console, her face landing smack in his lap.
“Whoa, now!” he laughed.
She scrambled backward, nearly falling out of the truck. “Um, sorry about that,” she gasped as she swung the door closed.
“It’s okay, just…get yourself settled.”
Sheepishly, she buckled herself in and clasped her hands in her lap. “Okay, I’m settled.”
Suppressing a grin and mentally shaking his head, Hunter turned the truck and headed toward the highway.
At this time of night in a town like McFall, there was no traffic to speak of. Anyone not already home was currently parked in the lot in front of the North Star. He paused anyway, peering through the rain in both directions before cutting across to the motel.
“Which room is yours?”
She pointed with an unsteady hand. “Lucky number 7.”
He pulled into the space beside the Range Rover she’d driven out to the ranch. “Hang on.”
Ducking, he hurried around and opened her door. She accepted his hand and slid down, clutching her shoulder bag with the other hand. Together, they dashed the ten feet to the covered walkway.
For a moment, they stood dripping, looking out into the rainy night. Poppy fished the room key out of her bag.
“Well, thanks for the ride.” She leaned down and closed one eye, her right hand weaving a bit as she aimed for the lock.
“Can I help?” he asked.
He took the key from her and unlocked the door, swinging it open.
“Thanks. I would have gotten it.”
He tried to stop the smile. “I know you would have.”
She peered up at him, red hair drenched from the rain. He stepped closer, and she reached around his neck, pulling him to her, pressing her red lips to his. Her intensity surprised him, but he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer, giving in to her passion.
Gradually, she loosened her hold, and he released her. Gingerly, she touched her fingers to her lips. “Sorry about that. I’m a little drunk.”
“Not a problem. But you should go inside now.”
She nodded slowly. “Yeah. Thanks for everything, Hunter.”
“You’re welcome. Go on now. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
She headed into the room and peeled off the cardigan, dropping it on the floor. Then she gripped the bottom of the camisole and lifted it. Hunter realized that with the drapes open, she was about to put on a show for the entire North Star Bar & Grill, assuming they could see through the rain.
“Hold up there,” he said, hurrying inside to draw the curtains.
Giving up on the camisole for the moment, Poppy sank onto the edge of the bed. He squatted in front of her, taking her hands in his.
“I’m going to go now,” he said softly, “and I need you to lock the door behind me. Okay?”
She blinked as she tried to focus on his face. “Okay.”
“Okay, come with me,” he said, guiding her to the door. “After I go out, you lock the door.” Unable to resist, he pressed a light kiss to her forehead. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”
He stepped out onto the sidewalk and pulled the door closed behind him, then stood listening. “Poppy?” He knocked lightly. “Lock the door, hon.”
From the other side, he heard the click of the lock, then the rattle of the chain. “Good girl. Okay, we’ll talk tomorrow. Goodnight.”HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks