She’s a rancher with a tragic past.
He’s Hollywood royalty.
It’s a match made in heaven. Maybe.
When world-famous action-movie star Angus McGregor books a full month at her family’s Wyoming guest ranch, Anna Graves is pretty skeptical. What could the Hollywood pretty-boy with his panty-melting Scottish accent be doing, slumming it in the boondocks?
It turns out that Angus is putting everything on the line. He’s set to produce, direct, and star in his next big film, an historical western. But he’s never even touched a horse before. So his people have arranged a four-week stay at a working guest ranch, the better to gain some cowboy skills before he flushes his entire career down the toilet.
He’s intrigued by Anna from the moment she tackles him when he first arrives at Sweetwater Ranch. Why won’t she even give him the time of day?
Here’s a snippet from ANNA’S VOICE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 3.
When he’d finished singing, there was a breathless silence before Vanessa Graves broke into applause. “That was beautiful,” she said. “Absolutely beautiful.”
Everyone else clapped as well, including Anna, and Angus seemed a bit embarrassed. “It’s a very old song,” he said almost apologetically. “An old folk song I learned as a boy.”
“Well, it’s lovely,” Vanessa smiled. “Thank you for sharing it with us tonight.”
Conversation around the campfire ventured on to other topics but Anna didn’t hear any of it. Angus’ song echoed through her mind. Her mother had been right–it was hauntingly beautiful. And not simply the tune or the words, but his voice, or maybe all those things combined. It had been a magical moment in time and she couldn’t help stealing glances at him across the dying fire. He happily joined in the conversation with the other guests, laughing and joking when it was appropriate, all the time expressing interest in whomever might be speaking at the time.
And then there were those moments when he looked directly at her, when his eyes seemed to bore into her very soul, and his lips curled at the corners in an almost knowing way. Although what he knew about her, or what he thought he knew about her, she couldn’t say. What she did know was that in those moments, her pulse raced just a bit faster.
Gradually, moms and dads began to gather children and make their way back to their own cabins. Anna’s parents bid everyone goodnight as did Andy and Simone before they headed to the main lodge. Angus helped Ross extinguish the fire as Anna sat lost in thought.
“See you guys in the morning,” Ross said, then he moved off down the path toward the cabins.
Anna continued to stare at the smoldering fire pit. She knew she needed to think about turning in for the night but she couldn’t seem to make herself move.
Hands shoved in the pockets of his jeans, Angus walked around the circle and sat in the chair beside her. “It’s a beautiful night,” Angus observed softly.
Anna nodded. “It is.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many stars.” He gestured upward with his chin. “Ye sure as shite don’t see them in the city. I thought the best stars were over the ocean from my beach house but this place has it beat by far.”
She glanced up at the black velvet sky dotted with a jumble of constellations, the names of which she’d long ago forgotten. “I’ve never seen the ocean,” she commented matter-of-factly.
“Och, that can’t be true,” he murmured.
Anna shrugged. “We’ve always been busy here. Not much time for traveling. I mean, we might go to Oklahoma or Colorado to buy livestock, but they don’t have an ocean.”
She chuckled lightly to dislodge the discontentment she always tried to ignore. “I’ve thought about moving to Florida. There’s a horseback program for special-needs kids. And I could go to the beach on my time off. But I don’t know. The ocean is probably not all that, anyway.”
Angus was quiet and Anna risked a glance his way. He was watching her closely, his gaze uncomfortably intimate. “Do you want to leave the family business?”
“I don’t know,” she shrugged again, crossing her arms. “I was going to a while back, but then things got busy here, and now with Simone, and the new baby coming, it’s just…” She trailed off wishing she hadn’t said so much.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him sit back in his chair and tilt his head back to look at the sky. “The ocean is beautiful,” he said reverently. “But this sky rivals it.”
Anna looked up too, just in time to see a small blaze streak across the sky. Her gasp was involuntary.
“A shooting star,” Angus whispered, turning to her with a grin. “Ye have tae make a wish.”
Anna smiled, too. “So do you.”
He nodded in mock-seriousness. “Aye. We both have tae make a wish. It’s the only proper thing.”
She looked back to the stars and sighed. Since Sawyer had died, she’d only had one wish–to be able to take back the angry words that were the last ones she’d spoken to him. When she looked back at Angus, he was watching her carefully.
“Yer wish makes ye sad.”
Scowling, she stood abruptly. “No it doesn’t. Did you make your wish?”
Angus stood, too. “I did. Are ye going back to yer cabin?”
She nodded. “I’m beat. I had this new riding student today who kept insisting on going the wrong way.”
He laughed good-naturedly. “Och, he’s a hot mess. Probably needs private lessons.”
“Hah, he wishes.”
Angus looked down at her, his eyes sparkling in the half-light. “Aye, he might at that.”
Feeling flustered, Anna headed down the path that would take them to their cabins. Angus walked beside her, his hands in his pockets.
As they passed his cabin, she wasn’t surprised when he continued on to hers. At the base of her front steps, she turned to face him. “Thanks for…I mean, you realize you don’t have to walk me…But I do appreciate it. But you don’t have to, so…anyway…”
“Ye keep reminding me that I’m a guest. But as such, am I no’ entitled tae do as I please? I want tae help out.” His voice was soft and deep.
She looked up into his mesmerizing blue eyes and felt her heart stop as he reached to tuck a few stray locks of her hair behind her ear.
His eyes were locked on her lips.
He’s going to kiss me.
She was surprised to realize it was exactly what she wanted. Then he looked down and sighed deeply. He stepped back with a soft smile. “I suppose we should call it a night.”
Anna nodded shakily and reached for the porch railing to steady herself.
He started to walk away, then turned around. “Do ye have yer mobile with ye?”
She frowned. “My mobile? Oh, my phone!” She reached into the back pocket of her jeans and held up the device.
Angus returned and took her phone. He opened it and keyed in a number before pressing ‘Call’. At her puzzled expression, he laughed. “I called meself. Now ye have my number. And I have yers. Just in case we need to get in touch.”
Anna frowned down at her phone, trying to wrap her head around the fact that world-famous movie star Angus McGregor had just given her his number.
“Goodnight, then,” he said as he walked away.
“Goodnight. See you tomorrow.” She made her way to her front door.
She turned to look at him.
“I’ll try to be fully clothed when ye pop by tomorrow,” he grinned mischievously.
“Oh, God!” she muttered as he laughed all the way to his cabin.ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks