Weekend Excerpt–Better Than Staring at His Package

He’s just a guest, like any other visitor to Sweetwater Ranch.
No way will Anna fall for the famous Angus McGregor.

There was a buzz of excitement when world-famous actor Angus McGregor made a month-long reservation at Anna Graves’ family business, the Sweetwater Guest Ranch in Wyoming. Her sister-in-law can barely contain herself.

But Anna’s heart was broken years before, and she’s not about to let the handsome red-haired Scottish actor turn her head. She’ll just go about her business, and soon enough, he’ll go back to his.

Angus McGregor is taking on the challenge of his career. He’s risking everything to produce, direct, and star in a western film that will either establish him as a major force in Hollywood, or reduce him to a laughing stock. But first, he needs to learn to ride a horse.

Anna intrigues him from the moment they meet, but he’s fresh off heels of his own romantic disaster. He’s determined to keep his head down and focus on putting together the best film he can. Too bad he can’t stop thinking about Anna…

Here’s a little (unedited) teaser from ANNA’S HEART.

As the last of the stragglers left the dining room, Anna left her mother and Simone to finish breakfast cleanup. A huge stockpot of hearty beef stew simmering on the stove would be ready for lunch in a few hours. Simone and Mrs. Graves would eventually make their way upstairs to join Lana in freshening up the handful of guestrooms located in the main lodge.

Anna would see to the cabins by herself, a job she’d insisted on as Simone and her baby bump had grown more and more unwieldy. Sweetwater Ranch wasn’t a hotel, really, so the day-to-day housekeeping was fairly light. While fresh sheets were available upon request, staff didn’t make beds or change the sheets on a daily basis.

On the other hand, between riding horses, working with cattle, and practicing outdoors skills, guests tended to get grubby as they participated in ranch activities, so daily fresh towels were a must. Anna also preferred to spot-clean the bathrooms and kitchens, straighten anything out of place, and remove the trash each day.

It was definitely easier when she split the duties with Simone, but over the past few months, Anna had worked out a routine that allowed her to finish her housekeeping duties in about an hour. And that left her plenty of time to make sure she was ready for her afternoon riding session before she headed back to the kitchen to help with lunch.

As usual, she started with Cabin 1 and worked her way back. The first five cabins, the newest of the bunch, were nearly always occupied for every session, summer and winter alike. When they had a larger-than-normal group of guests, the older cabins were used, beginning with number 6.

She herself occupied number 7, then numbers 8 and 9 were available to guests. Ross lived alone in Cabin 10. Andy and Simone had an apartment on the top floor of the main lodge, while Anna’s parents remained in the family quarters just off the lodge kitchen. It was where Anna and her brothers had grown up, and their father before them.

The newer cabins had been built when Anna was in high school. They were nicer than the older ones, but they were smaller. As she drove the golf cart from Cabin 5 to Cabin 6, she wondered what movie star Angus McGregor thought of his rustic accommodations. On the one hand, his cabin was larger than the others. But on the other hand, it was older. The amenities weren’t as new and the bathroom and kitchen hadn’t been updated.

Fresh towels folded over her arm, Anna snorted as she walked up the front steps of Cabin 6. Angus McGregor, cooking for himself in the little cabin kitchen!

Right! I’m still surprised he deigns to show up at mealtime, she thought to herself. Figured he’d call the front desk expecting room service.

Pausing at the door, she knocked lightly. “Housekeeping!”

She knew that at that time of the morning, he was in Andy’s riding group. It was why she did these chores right after breakfast. Everyone had someplace to be, and it was a rare instance when someone was actually in their cabin.

Still, it was better to be on the safe side. She knocked again, then unlocked the door and let herself in. A quick scan showed the open living room/kitchen combination to be neat and tidy, save for a bunch of index cards spread all over the kitchen table.

She craned her neck to look at them briefly as she made her way to the kitchen trash can. Quickly, she removed the bag and replaced it with a fresh one, placing the old bag beside the front door. Everything else in the kitchen looked in order so she carried the fresh towels down the short hallway to the bathroom. Still envisioning the famous actor trying to cook something on the older-model gas stove, she smirked as she opened the bathroom door.

Clouds of steam rolled over her as a very naked Angus McGregor, towel in hand, froze stock-still.

“Anna?” Eyes wide, he moved the towel down to his waist, but not before Anna got an eyeful of a most impressive cock.

“Holy shit!” she gasped, stumbling backward into the hallway wall.

As she turned and rushed down the hallway, she heard his bare feet padding along behind her.

“I’m so sorry,” she offered without bothering to turn around. “You’re supposed to be riding right now.”

“Aye, about that,” he answered, “I switched to a different session.”

“I knocked, I swear I did.” Clutching the towels, she still faced the door. “I didn’t mean to just barge in on you.”

“I’m just back from a run. I didn’t hear ye over the shower. Anna?” His tone was soft.

Slowly, she turned around, willing her eyes to stay away from the bulge beneath the towel around his waist. She allowed her gaze to skim up his rippled abs to his muscular chest and wide shoulders. Water still dripped from his hair and he swiped a hand across his face.

Oh, yeah, that’s definitely better than staring at his package.

“It’s okay, really. Just a miscommunication is all. No worries.”

Utterly humiliated, Anna nodded mutely and turned back toward the door.

“Anna? Can I have the fresh towels?”

She rolled her eyes and turned back, handing over the towels. “Oh, yeah, of course. I just…well, I usually exchange them for the old towels.”

“Do ye want this one?” His grin was wry.

“No! Holy shit, no keep that on,” she squeezed her eyes shut and waved her hand. “I’ll get it tomorrow.”

She opened the door and let herself out onto the cabin’s covered porch, then stopped.

“Wait a second! You switched to what different riding session?” Turning back around, she placed her hands on her hips.

Lips pursed as though he were suppressing another grin, he leaned his shoulder on the doorway. “I’ve never ridden a horse before. I requested tae be placed in the Beginners’ group.”

“But that’s my group.”

“So I was told. I didn’t think ye’d mind.”

Anna worked her mouth, unable to come up with the proper words.

Blue eyes sparkling, he watched as though to see what she’d come up with.

Finally, her articulation skills gained traction. “But it’s a kids’ group. They’re all kids.”

He nodded. “Aye, I was told that, too. And they’re beginners, just like me.” He tilted his head thoughtfully. “If ye don’t want me in the group, just say so.”

“No, it’s not that, it’s just…” Anna’s heart pounded and she felt her head spinning. She willed herself to be anywhere except where she was. “Fine. It’s just fine. If you don’t mind riding with the kids, I’m sure they won’t mind.”

She hurried down the steps and got into the golf cart. “Well, again, sorry for…” She trailed off, feeling sheepish. The amusement sparkling in his eyes didn’t help at all.

“I’ll see ye at lunch,” Angus said, chuckling.

“See you,” Anna nodded, pressing the accelerator and speeding off down the trail.

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

ANNA’S HEART is due out in early 2020.
Until then, why not get acquainted with the first two
Redheads & Ranchers books?
JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE
are available at your favorite online bookseller.

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER'S PRIDE

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

HUNTER’S PRIDE is available at your favorite online bookseller:
https://books2read.com/HuntersPride

ANNA'S HEART, Redheads & Ranchers Book 3

The first two books in my Redheads & Ranchers series, JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE are currently available at your favorite online bookseller. These days, I’m busy working on the third and final book of this collection of stand-alone contemporary steamy romance novels.

In ANNA’S HEART, Anna Graves works hard helping to run her family’s Wyoming dude ranch.  Still reeling from the tragic loss of her smokejumper fiancé in a horrific wildfire, she’s content to hide from the world as she teaches horseback riding lessons to tourists by day and reads smutty romance novels by night.

When world-famous Scottish actor Angus McGregor needs to brush up his cowboy skills in preparation for his starring role in a new Western, he heads to Sweetwater Ranch in the boondocks of Wyoming.  He’s immediately fascinated by Anna, who won’t give him the time of day.  Can he break down the self-protective wall she’s built?

Here’s a little teaser from ANNA’S HEART.

After lunch, Anna led her first beginners’ riding class of the new session. This time around, she had six eager young riders between the ages of five and twelve, and for two hours, she led them through their paces. By the end of the following week, each student would be able to groom and saddle his or her own horse, and they’d be competent enough to participate in the overnight trail ride and camp-out with their families.

When her riding class was over, Andy helped her untack her horses, and they worked together to feed and water the entire stable of fifteen equines.

“Guess that actor guy isn’t coming,” he commented as he and Anna left the barn and headed for the lodge.

Anna shrugged. “I guess not.”

“Simone was really looking forward to meeting him.”

“Maybe you should be relieved,” she grinned at her brother wryly. “Sounds like she might decide to just ride off with Angus McGregor.”

Andy held up his hands in mock surrender. “I just want to keep the pregnant lady happy.”

“Hang in there, not much longer now,” Anna observed. “Just a few more weeks.”

When they entered the lodge, several of Anna’s new students ran to greet her.

“Anna! Anna! This is my mom and dad!” cried the youngest of her students, a tiny towhead blonde named Ariel.

Anna grinned broadly. “Hi, Mom and Dad. It’s nice to formally meet you.”

The mother smiled. “She can’t stop talking about riding Rocket.”

“We named him Rocket kind of ironically. He’s really slow,” Anna laughed, thinking affectionately of the old bay.

“Well, Ariel had a good time. We’re excited about the camp-out at the end of next week,” the father said.

Anna nodded. “That’s usually the highlight of everybody’s stay.”

Across the room, Vanessa waved to Anna. “If you’ll excuse me,” she offered before heading off to find out what her mother wanted.

“A flyer came in the mail today. Founders’ Day is next week.”

Anna frowned slightly at the brightly colored page her mother thrust into her hands. The bulk of the page was a vintage photo of Main Street in Crystal Springs, overlayed with jaunty graphics declaring the annual Crystal Springs Founders’ Day celebration.

Back in the late 1860s, the nearby town of Crystal Springs had sprung up practically overnight as a mining boomtown. The coal vein had played out by the middle of the following century, but the small town was proud of its heritage. Each summer, they celebrated what they thought of as Founders’ Day with a parade down Main Street followed by a giant picnic, and capping off the evening with a family-friendly town dance.

There was a time when Anna looked forward to the annual event. Now, she scowled at the announcement.

“I’d like that put on the bulletin board on the front porch,” Vanessa said. “I’ll mention it at dinner, but I want to make sure all the guests know they’re invited to attend.”

Anna nodded and headed toward the front door.

“And Anna?” her mother called after her.

She stopped and turned around.

“I expect you to go this year.” Vanessa arched an eyebrow, daring her daughter to argue.

Anna stalked back to the reception desk. “I don’t want to go. Why do you insist that I go?”

“Because it’s time you started getting out, meeting people.”

Swallowing her rising irritation, Anna gritted her teeth. “I meet people.” She waved toward the guests wandering through the lodge’s lobby. “They’re all people.”

“You know what I mean.”

Huffing in frustration, Anna turned on her heel and headed back toward the door.

“You will go. I don’t want to hear any more about it.”

Wordlessly and without turning around, Anna waved the flyer in the air and marched out the door. Opening the glass front of the bulletin board, she silently fumed at her mother.

For fuck’s sake! I’m twenty-fucking-six years old! I don’t need to be told what to do and how to do it, where to go and when. I make my own decisions. Besides, there are always things that need to be done around the ranch. Everyone can’t go gallivanting into town. Somebody has to stay back and hold down the fort.

Part of her told her she was making way too much out of her mother’s request that she attend the celebration in town. But the rest of her was in no mood to be reasonable. She tacked up the flyer and closed the protective glass door, deciding she’d go remind her mother about the need for someone to stay behind during the festivities.

She turned abruptly and ran headlong into something solid. The next thing she knew, she and a tall red-haired man landed in a tangled heap on the front lawn.

“Oof,” he managed as he lay gasping for air.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you standing there.” Anna scrambled to her feet and reached down to help the man stand.

Slowly, he allowed her to pull him up. Green-tinted Rayban aviators askew and a pair of bags strewn on the grass, he coughed slightly as he straightened to his full height.

Anna figured he had to be well over six feet tall, maybe as much as six and a half feet, judging by the way he towered over her five-foot-four frame.

“Are you okay?” she asked him.

He nodded, reaching to straighten his sunglasses and run his fingers through his red hair. “Aye, had the wind knocked out of me is all. And that’s a fine welcome, I must say,” he replied in a thick Scottish brogue.

Feeling her cheeks color, Anna reached to brush the dirt off the man’s sleeve. “I’m really sorry! It was totally my fault. I should have been watching where I was going.”

“Aye, you should have,” he grinned wryly, “but then I’d have missed being tackled by a bonnie lass such as yourself. Do you play rugby, perchance?” His laugh was hearty, almost infectious.

Mortified, Anna started to gather up his belongings, but he stopped her with a gentle hand on her arm. “I’ve got my bags, thanks.” He hoisted a large leather duffel bag onto his broad left shoulder and picked up a matching suitcase. “I have a reservation for McGregor. Do I check in here?”

“Um, yes,” Anna nodded. “Just this way.” Still blushing, she led the way up the front steps and into the lobby. With a pair of tortoiseshell-framed readers perched on the bridge of her nose, Vanessa Graves stood at the check-in desk efficiently tapping something on a keyboard. When she looked up and saw her daughter with their new guest, she smiled brightly.

“Mr. McGregor is checking in,” Anna said meekly, wishing she could melt through the floorboards.

“I’d be happy if you’d just call me Angus,” he said quickly.

“I’m Vanessa Graves. Welcome to Sweetwater Ranch, Mr. M–Angus,” Vanessa greeted him. “We’re happy to have you here.”

“I’m happy to be here. You have a lovely ranch, from what I’ve seen so far.” He glanced Anna’s way and she blushed furiously.

Mrs. Graves turned and retrieved a brass key from an old-fashioned wooden key rack behind the front desk. “Here you are. Cabin 6. Anna will take you there.”

She handed him the key and smiled cordially. “You’ll find a folder in your cabin with this week’s schedule. Once you settle in, I hope you take the opportunity to explore the ranch. And dinner is here in the dining room at 6:00.”

While Anna silently shot daggers at her mother, Angus’s full-wattage grin was charming. “That sounds perfect. Thank you, Mrs. Graves.”

He turned and looked at Anna expectantly.

“Oh, um, right this way.” She turned, shooting one last glare at her mother, and led their new guest back outside.

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

You’ll have to wait to read the rest of ANNA’S HEART.
But you can download JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE now!

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

He didn’t count on falling for the New York lawyer
sent to broker a land deal.
But has she betrayed him?

Hunter McFall had no intention of making a deal with New York land developers for a parcel of his Idaho cattle ranch. But when their lawyer Poppy Chastain showed up, he pondered whether he should reconsider.

He never thought to fall in love a second time, but then, he never counted on a smart, spunky, sexy-as-hell redhead to grace his ranch again.

But behind the scenes, someone is working against both of them.

Here’s a snippet from HUNTER’S PRIDE:

When Hunter caught up with Rolly and the others, they had just rescued a calf that had gotten stuck in the muck at the edge of the river.  A quick check confirmed that the wayward little bovine was none the worse for the wear and he was sent scurrying back to his mother who’d observed incident from a concerned distance. 

Rolly assured Hunter that they had everything under control, so Hunter decided to head toward the fenceline near the gate.  On the way back from Ketchum, he’d noticed three posts not far from the gate that were in need of attention.

With Cheyenne nibbling grass nearby, Hunter inspected a loose fence post, wiggling it to assess how bad it might be.  A light honk from the highway drew his attention, and he looked up to see Bill Albright, the local sheriff, in his official SUV.  Hunter raised a hand in a wave, and the other man waved back as he turned through the open gate and into the drive.

“Hey’ya, Bill,” Hunter called as he strode toward the truck.

Albright opened his door and got out, nodding as he did.  “Hunter.  How’s the ranch?”

“Not bad.  We’ve got a healthy bunch of new calves so far this season.  What can I do for you?”

The sheriff’s face was grim.  “I’m here on some unpleasant business, I’m afraid.”  He turned and reached into the truck where he retrieved a bundle of papers stapled to a legal-sized piece of blue cardstock. 

Hunter frowned as he took the document from Bill.  “What’s this?  I’m being sued?”

The lawman shrugged slightly.  “Not sued, exactly.  It’s eminent domain.  The state is taking part of your land.”

“Taking part of my land?”  Quickly, Hunter scanned the front page, trying to make sense of the legal-speak. 

“Well, they’ll pay you for it, but between you and me, it’s pennies on the dollar.  It’s legalized theft if you ask me.  But they don’t ask me, they just make me serve you the paperwork.”

Realization dawned on Hunter as he turned the page.  “Son of a bitch!  This is the land Slade & Howell has been trying to buy from me.  They offered me just short of a king’s ransom to sell, and I said no.  Can they claim eminent domain on my land?” 

“This comes all the way from Boise.  If I had to guess, I’d say those resort developers cozied up to the Governor, or somebody on his staff anyway, and got him to sign off on this.  Undoubtedly promised them something in return, but good luck proving it.”

Hunter suddenly thought of Poppy, and he cut his eyes in the direction of the house.  “They never intended to buy the land from me.  They were just biding their time until they could take it.”

The sheriff lowered his eyes and exhaled sharply.  “I’m sorry as I can be, Hunter.  Of course, you’re entitled to get your own lawyer and fight this.”

Hunter laughed humorlessly.  “But who has deeper pockets?  Me or some international real estate developer?” 

He scrubbed a frustrated hand across his mouth.  “Son of a bitch!”

Bill clapped him on the shoulder.  “Again, Hunter, I’m sorry.  Next time I see you at the North Star, I’ll buy you a drink.”  With that, he climbed back into his vehicle. 

After Bill drove away, Hunter stood anchored to the same spot, shaking as adrenaline thrummed through his veins. 

She knew.  All along, she knew they were just going to take my land.  That’s why she didn’t fight harder to get me to take the deal.  It never mattered.

Brusquely, he grabbed Cheyenne’s reins and swung himself up, his head spinning as he pushed the horse into a gallop.  Visions of Poppy streamed through his mind, Poppy smiling at him across the dinner table, naked by the fireplace in his bedroom, her excitement at the birth of the new calf, on her knees in the mountain cabin. 

She played me.  I was dumb enough to think I was falling in love, and the whole time, I was falling for a liar and a cheat.  How stupid can I be?
By the time he reached the barn, he was livid.  He stopped Cheyenne short and jumped down, leading the horse into the barn.  He didn’t expect to see Poppy by the calving pen watching the twin calves that had arrived overnight. 

When she saw him, she smiled happily.  “Are they just the cutest things ever?  I’ve already named them.  This one is–”

He dropped Cheyenne’s reins and reached her in three angry strides.  “What the fuck is this?” he spat, whipping the papers at her.

Awkwardly, she caught them, frowning as she did.  “What’s wrong?  What do you mean?”  She unfolded the document and tilted her head, squinting at the print. 

“Eminent domain?”  She looked up at Hunter.  “Where did this come from?”

He folded his arms.  “You tell me.  The sheriff just brought me this little Valentine.”  He stalked over to a stack of feed bags and kicked them angrily.

“I don’t understand,” Poppy murmured, “this is crazy.”  She flipped through the pages.

“Slade & Howell never meant to pay me anything for my land.  You came here as a distraction until they could get this little baby pushed through the state offices.”  He snatched the papers out of her hands.

Eyes wide, Poppy shook her head.  “No, they told me to offer you the terms in the agreement.  Mr. Slade himself authorized me to offer you ten percent more.”

“Because they never intended to have to follow through with it.  Hell, why pay for land when you can just steal it?”

Poppy shook her head.  “No, this isn’t right.  I’m going to call them and find out what’s going on.”

“Just stop the bullshit, Poppy!  Stop with this innocent act.  You knew exactly what you were doing.” 

“What?  You can’t possibly think I had anything to do with this.”

Hunter nodded angrily.  “I suppose this is how big business operates, right?  Just lie, cheat, and steal until you reach the top.”

“No, Hunter, I never–”

“Stop lying!” he shouted.  “You come in here like sex on legs, looking like my dead wife,” he spat, “and like an idiot, I fall for your act.  Hell, I was even stupid enough to imagine I was in love with you.”

Tears streamed down her face, and she took a step toward him.  “Please, Hunter, I had nothing to do with this, you have to believe me.  If they lied to you, they lied to me, too.”

Hunter looked away, shaking his head.  “Out.  I want you out.  Now.”  His voice was chillingly calm.

She took another step toward him.  “Hunter, please–”

“Now!  Or do I have to start throwing your shit onto the driveway?  I want you gone!  Go the hell back where you came from.  Congratulations.  You got what you wanted.”  He turned on his heel and stalked out of the barn.

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/HuntersPride

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

Coming soon!
HUNTER’S PRIDE
Redheads & Ranchers Book 2

My new Redheads & Ranchers series is a collection of three stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring hot redheads and the ranchers who can’t resist them. The first book, JENNY’S VOICE, launched in February to 5-Star reviews.

The second book, HUNTER’S PRIDE, comes out early this summer. It’s the story of Hunter McFall, the fifth generation of his family to ranch cattle in the Idaho foothills. A real estate developer out of New York City is offering him a huge sum of money to sell a parcel of his land. They want to use it to build a road to their proposed luxury mountain resort.

But Hunter’s having none of it. He doesn’t want some fancy hotel attracting scores of rich tourists to his quiet community, much less a road across his ranch taking them there.

When the developers send their attorney to Idaho to explain their offer in person, Hunter’s ready to turn him down flat. Only he’s a she. Poppy Chastain. The prettiest, sexiest, red-haired spitfire he’s seen in a long time.

Here’s a teaser from HUNTER’S PRIDE.

“Alright, are you ready?” Hunter asked.

Poppy nodded.  “Sure.”

He squinted at her slightly.  “The sunglasses are a good idea, but do you have a hat?”

She shook her head.  “No hat. I didn’t even think about it.”

He reached for her hand and gently ran his thumb across the back of it.  “How about sunblock?”

Again, she shook her head.  “Nope. And I tan like a redheaded Irish girl,” she giggled.

“Let’s at least see what we can do about finding you a hat, anyway.”

A quick search of the barn yielded an old brown straw cowboy hat with a brim that curled up at the sides.  It was a little too big for Poppy, but its braided drawstring beneath her chin held it in place.

Hunter stepped back to take in the full effect and gave a satisfied nod.  “That’s not too bad. If you were going to be here longer, we’d see about getting you some proper footwear.”

She gave an impish shrug.  “Not a fan of the cow poo shoes and now you’re hating on the Chucks?”

He laughed.  “They’re fine, as long as you don’t get stepped on.  Are you ready to meet your trusty steed for today’s adventure?”

She nodded, and he led her to the smaller of the two horses.  It was dark, but with a shimmery grey cast and a steel-grey mane and tail.  The horse eyed Poppy curiously.

“Oh, aren’t you pretty?”  She reached to gently stroke the horse’s smooth coat.  “What’s his name?”

Her name,” he raised an eyebrow, “is Widowmaker.”

Poppy’s gaze snapped up to his, her deep brown eyes impossibly wide.
The look on her face was priceless and it was all Hunter could do not to laugh out loud.  He allowed himself a boyish grin. “Nah, I’m playing with you. She’s Duffy. She’s a blue roan.”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” she muttered, lavishing the horse with an affectionate rub.  “Hello, Duffy. How sweet are you?”

“Keep that up, you’ll have a friend for life,” Hunter laughed.  “Want to give her a carrot?”

Grinning, Poppy fed a carrot to her horse while Hunter did the same with his.  “What’s the name of yours?” she asked.

“This is Cheyenne.  She’s a bay I picked up at an auction a few years ago.”

“She’s very pretty, too.  How many horses do you have?”

Hunter looked thoughtful for a moment.  “Right now, we have seven. But we sell some and buy some all the time.  I’m a sucker for a mustang and I usually go to the auctions when they have them.”

He removed Cheyenne’s reins from the rail and led her away from the barn, then looked back at Poppy.  “Can you get up or do you need help?”

“I can manage,” she said confidently.  

Hunter watched as she brought the reins over Duffy’s head, gripped them in her left hand along with a hank of the horse’s mane, and stretched up to put her left foot in the stirrup.  With her right hand gripping the right side of the saddle’s pommel, she bounced once and lifted herself up, swinging her right leg over and into position.

She gave Hunter a smug look.  “Not too shabby for a city girl.”

“Not too shabby at all,” he grinned.  He swung himself up on Cheyenne. “Alright.  Let’s go.”

Together, they headed out in the direction Rolly had taken earlier.  In no time at all they caught up with the old man. He was chatting with two younger men.  The three of them looked up as Hunter and Poppy approached.

“Hey there, Hunter.  Rolly just told me about all the shit…”  He looked at Poppy. “Excuse me, ma’am, all the manure up in front of the barn.  Some of the heifers must have wandered over there in the night. I’ll get right on it.”

“Thanks, Hoyt.  By the way, this is Ms. Chastain.  Poppy that’s Hoyt Johnson and Wes Napier.  Between them and Rolly, they keep this place running.”

“Aw, don’t let him fool you,” Rolly laughed.  “Hunter’s like all the McFalls. They’re hands-on when it comes to this place.”

“Alright, gents, we’ll leave you to it.  We’re heading up to the north end.”

“Have a good ride, then,” Wes said.  All three men nodded as Hunter and Poppy moved on toward the open pasture.

As they rode, Hunter occasionally glanced Poppy’s way.  She was looking all around and taking in the scenery, seemingly comfortable sitting on top of Duffy.  Of course, he’d chosen the horse for her even temperament and gentle nature. But he could tell that at some point in her life, Poppy had in fact ridden before.

“You said you were a Girl Scout.”

She turned to smile at him.  “I was. Back in the day.”

“And that’s where you learned to ride?”

Poppy nodded.  “The local Girl Scout camp was open for groups in the off-season.  You know, adults would come up for retreats and stuff. They needed people who were available to come up and run the stables and riding sessions.  A group of us went up there and learned how to teach lessons.”

Hunter smiled, imagining a young Poppy Chastain running adult riding sessions.  “Where was this? New York?”

She laughed.  “No, I moved to New York for grad school.  I grew up in Lenoir City, Tennessee.”

At his blank look, she laughed again.  “It’s basically Knoxville. Right there in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.”

“I thought I detected a twang now and then.”

She gave him a sidelong look.  “Who has a twang? Who was the one yesterday talking about the dot com?”

He had to laugh.  “I was just messing with the city lawyer.”

They rode along in comfortable silence.  Overhead, a hawk circled lazily as it scouted for its next meal.  The occasional bovine they passed either looked up at them incuriously or ignored them completely.

Poppy looked at Hunter.  “How many cows do you have, anyway?”

“Cows?”  He frowned thoughtfully.  “Well in all, we have about 1,500 cattle.  Of that number, I’d say roughly about half of them are cows.”

“Oh, I forgot, cows are just the girl ones.  And the rest are bulls?”

He shook his head.  “Oh, no, we couldn’t keep up with that many bulls.  We have two good bulls right now. The others are steers.”

“Steers?”

Hunter nodded.  “They’re castrated as calves.  You know, we—”

She winced and held up her hand.  “I get it, sheesh! Poor little cows.  I mean, bulls.”

He laughed.  “Then of the females, we have a handful of heifers.  They haven’t had their first calves yet. I like keeping the pregnant heifers up by the house and barn this time of year.  The experienced ones do okay out in the pasture, but for the first-timers, I prefer keeping them close, just in case.”

“Oh.  Those are the ones who pooped all over.  And they’re ready to have their babies?”

He nodded.  “I’m surprised we didn’t have one this morning.”

“That’s so cool,” she grinned.

They rode up a slight ridge and Hunter stopped.  The land in front of them stretched out wide and flat.  Spring-green grasses waved in the gentle breeze and the tableau was dotted with cattle, all heads down and grazing.

Poppy sighed softly.  “This is beautiful. The blue sky, the white fluffy clouds, the green spread out below.  And just listen.”

They both did, hearing nothing beyond the breeze whispering through the grass or the chirp of a bird.

She turned to Hunter.  “All this is your land.”

He nodded.  “What you’re looking at now is the parcel your company wants to buy.”

Poppy blinked hard as the serene scene shifted in her imagination.  The waving grass was replaced by asphalt lanes, the quiet shattered by the roar of traffic, honking horns, squealing tires.

“The thing is, the parcel they’re talking about doesn’t go to the property line.  I’d have land on the other side of the highway. How am I supposed to get my cattle over there?  They want to buy 2,000 acres, but they’d be rendering another 5,000 acres useless.” He turned to Poppy, his voice soft.  “You can see why I just can’t sell.”

She frowned in thought.  “Maybe they could raise the roadway so your cattle can go under.  That might work. Or what if they moved their parcel to the end of your property?  Eliminated the need for you to cross the highway?”

His smile was gentle.  “I’d still have to say no.”

Poppy sighed heavily.  “What borders you on the other side?  Maybe those people would be willing to sell a few acres.  All we need is enough for an access road.”

“It’s preserve for miles and miles.”  He tilted his head. “I’ve been wondering, who buys acreage in the mountains without owning the rights to access the property?  Seems kind of short-sighted to me.”

She shrugged.  “Those decisions are above my pay grade.”

He watched her for a moment.  “I want to show you another place.”

They rode east toward the foothills.  As they went along, Poppy thought about what Hunter had said.  There had to be a solution that would work for everyone. She just needed to find it.

After a quarter of an hour, they came to a river.  She heard it before she saw it, water rushing over weather-smoothed rocks.  It didn’t seem to be deep, but the current was swift. She looked at Hunter questioningly.

“Where we’re going is on the other side of the river.”

Her eyes widened.  “You mean we have to ride across?”

He nodded.  “It’s shallow enough.  The water’s moving fast, but you just keep going and don’t stop.”

Beneath her, Duffy sighed.  “I don’t know, Hunter.”

He gave her a reassuring smile.  “You’ve got this. Besides, Duffy’s an old pro.”

Unconvinced, Poppy pursed her lips.

Hunter laughed.  “I promise, it’ll be fine.  I’m taking you to see the summer pasture in the mountains.  We’ll be taking the whole herd across this river in a couple of months.”

“Yeah, well…”

“You’re not going to chicken out, are you?”  His hazel eyes glinted with challenge and humor.

Poppy sat up straighter.  “I never chicken out. I just don’t see the point in taking unnecessary risks.”

Hunter suppressed a grin and his hazel eyes sparkled.  “Real life begins on the other side of unnecessary risks.”

With that, he guided Cheyenne toward the water.  “Just follow me and you’ll be fine. Be sure to take your feet out of the stirrups, just in case,” he called over his shoulder.

She nodded.  “Great. That’s just…  Wait, just in case of what?”  Reluctantly, she nudged Duffy in the direction Hunter had gone.  When she looked up, he’d stopped on a sandbar in the middle of the river and was watching her.

“That’s right,” he nodded, “you’re doing great.”

When she’d nearly caught up to him, he continued to the other bank where he stood waiting for her.  Poppy risked a glance down. Duffy seemed sure-footed enough, and the water barely came up to the horse’s knee in the deepest places.  Still, her heart pounded, and she realized she was gripping the reins for dear life. Finally, the horse stepped out of the water and made her way up the bank.

“That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE comes out early summer 2019.
Stay tuned for the official cover reveal!

Until then, begin your Redheads & Ranchers journey with
JENNY’S VOICE.
books2read.com/JennysVoice

Weekend Excerpt–Redheads & Ranchers Book 2

HUNTER’S PRIDE

HUNTER’S PRIDE is the second stand-alone novel in the Redheads & Ranchers Series. It’s the follow-up to 5-STAR reviewed JENNY’S VOICE.

Like my Dream Dominant Collection, the Redheads & Ranchers books are completely unrelated to each other–they’re stand-alone.

Sometimes readers leave negative reviews because they assumed the books in the series continue the same storyline. I try to be clear that the thread that connects these books is that they are each about a hot rancher and the sexy redhead who comes along and changes everything.

Unlike the Dream Dominants, the Redheads & Ranchers fall into my ‘spicy vanilla’ category–all of the heat without the BDSM power exchange.

Here’s a brand-new teaser from HUNTER’S PRIDE.
Warning: It’s 18+.


Just as she dropped another log on the growing fire, the front door banged open, startling her.  Hunter, dripping wet, stood in the doorway stomping to remove mud from his boots. Poppy clutched her blanket around herself and hurried over, offering him the other blanket.  He handed her his hat, which she hung beside her own as he pulled off his boots and left them outside the door.

“Hurry and come in,” she told him.  “I have a blanket for you, and the fire’s getting warmer.”

Another bolt of lightning illuminated the whole place as its simultaneous deafening thunder shook the whole cabin, causing them both to cringe.  Hunter stepped inside, and Poppy pushed the door closed while he peeled off his soaked undershirt and hung it on a vacant peg. Poppy opened up his blanket and stood on her tiptoes to place it around his shoulders.

He looked over his shoulder gratefully.  “Thanks.”

She grabbed his elbow as he drew the blanket around himself.  “Come on, come by the fire.” She dragged him to the front of the fireplace where the air was much warmer than it was by the door.

“How are the horses,” she asked him.

He nodded shakily, eyes locked on the fire in the fireplace.  “Al-alright,” he chattered. “I d-dried them best I c-could, threw blankets over them.”

Clutching the blanket around himself with his right hand, he held his left as close to the fire as he could without actually touching the flames.

Poppy watched as he shivered uncontrollably.  Impulsively, she wrapped her blanket around him, then ducked under his arm, pressing herself against his bare skin, wrapping her arms around his waist.  His skin felt cold to the touch, and she rubbed her hands up and down his back in an effort to warm him.

Grasping both blankets, Hunter closed his arms around her, tucking her beneath his chin and holding her tightly.  They stood in silence while the storm raged outside, all but drowning out the crackle of the fire in the fireplace.

With her face pressed against his bare chest, Poppy inhaled the familiar masculine spice she’d noticed while wearing Hunter’s shirt.  As she pressed her lips to his skin, she felt his sharp intake of breath. She did it again, pressing her body more tightly against his, feeling the burgeoning erection trapped by his soaked jeans.

When she kissed him a third time, a low growl rumbled up from his chest and she peered up at him.  His eyes were all heat and desire, and she knew hers were the same. She slid her hands up his chest and around to the back of his neck while at the same time pushing up on her tiptoes to capture his lips in hers.  She’d been buzzed the previous night, but she was completely sober now. And she wanted him.

As she deepened the kiss, he released his grip on the blankets and slid his hands down her back, cupping her ass and lifting her up.  She wrapped her legs around his waist without breaking the kiss. Tongues tangled, and Hunter slid his hands up her back, stopping at the band of her bra which he expertly unhooked.  Lips still on his, she shrugged off the straps, not caring where the garment fell.

Slowly, he walked them the four steps to the bed, where he leaned down to lay her on top of the covers, for the first time breaking their kiss to straighten up and gaze down at her.  Poppy met his heated stare, raising her arms above her head and resting them there.

“Hot damn,” he breathed, leaning down to take one pert pink nipple between his lips.  Poppy closed her eyes as a soft moan escaped her lips, delighting in the fact that he paid her other breast the same attention.  Then he kissed his way down her belly, a sensual mixture of soft kisses and scratchy beard, until he came to the waistband of her jeans.

He looked back up at her and lifted an eyebrow in an unspoken question.  She nodded, and a lazy smile curled her lips as he deftly undid her rain-soaked jeans and in one motion, removed them and her panties as well.

Dropping them in the general direction of the fireplace, he returned his attention to her, devouring her with a hungry gaze.  Poppy pushed herself up on one elbow and watched as he unbuckled that silver oval belt buckle and slowly shucked his jeans. As he pushed them down his thighs, his massive cock bobbed into view.  She chewed her lower lip in anticipation.

Jeans discarded, Hunter crawled up the bed between her legs.  For a moment, he held himself over her, and she watched the fire rage in his eyes.  Then he lowered his head to press his lips to hers, hungrily consuming her.

She responded with fervor of her own, her core aching to have him inside.  His cock pressed into her thigh and she shifted slightly, urging him home.

“Poppy.”  Breathless, he released her lips.  “I don’t have a…”

She met his hooded eyes.  “I don’t care. Do you care?”

A slow smile graced his lips as he shook his head.  “No. I don’t care.”

“Then please,” she whispered.

It was all the encouragement he needed.  He captured her lips once again as parked his tip at her entrance.  Slowly, he pushed forward and Poppy gasped lightly as he continued until he’d buried himself to the root.  “Oh, yes,” she murmured into his ear.

He drew back, then pushed forward again.  This time Poppy drew up her knees, willing him to go as far as he could.  Hunter wrapped his arms around her, burying his face in her neck and nipping at her as he thrust faster.

It had been long, so long, since she’d had a man fill her so completely, so perfectly.

“Oh, shi—” Poppy hissed as her moment built.  “Harder.”

“Harder, the lady says,” he grunted.  “I’m happy to comply.” With that he pushed up, supporting himself over her as he pounded into her wet core.

“Oh, shit, I’m there,” she cried as her orgasm thundered over her, a thousand sparks dancing behind her eyelids.

Hunter gave a final thrust and held himself still, grunting his release.

After a moment, he released a shaky breath and leaned down to kiss her tenderly.  Then he carefully disengaged himself and lay beside her, drawing the blankets over them and pulling her to himself.

“That was a bit of something,” he murmured, pressing a kiss to her temple.

“Mm-hmm,” she sighed, curling into his warm embrace.

Breathing in unison, they lay in their warm cocoon of blankets listening to the rain on the roof and the rolling thunder that continued to rumble through the mountains.

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

I’m planning a June launch for HUNTER’S PRIDE, with the third Redheads & Ranchers book due out in October.

For now, if you missed JENNY’S VOICE,
this would be a great time to catch up.
It’s available at your favorite online bookseller,
including (and this is new) Google Play!
books2read.com/JennysVoice

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

What happens when you assume…

Poppy P.K. Chastain, a bright young lawyer with a new MBA, is sent by her international real estate development company in New York City to the ranchlands of Idaho to strike a deal with 5th generation cattle rancher Hunter McFall.

Slade & Howell needs land to build an access road to the mountain property they’re turning into a luxury guest resort. And a little slice of McFall Ranch is exactly what they’re looking for.

Too bad Hunter has no intention of selling. As he’s said in reply to the half-dozen letters and emails the company has sent him. He’s agreed to a meeting with this city lawyer P.K. Chastain. But as soon as he’s told the fellow no, he hopes that will be the end of it.

Turns out, it’s just the beginning.

Here’s the first chapter of HUNTER’S PRIDE.


Hunter McFall squinted his hazel eyes at the dust trail on the horizon and shook his head in annoyance.  He didn’t have time for this. He had 1,500 head of cattle that needed moving to new pasture.

Not that it made this day any different from any other day.  Cattle need to be rotated to fresh grazing land. The herd had spent the last week down on the flood plain beside the bend of Deer Creek.  Today he wanted them moved into the foothills.

But he had Rolly Stevens to head up moving the beeves.  Rolly had been with the McFalls since before Hunter ever sat on a horse.  And the younger hands listened to the old man, respected him.

And if Hunter was honest with himself, he didn’t mind a day off the trail too badly.  Except he wasn’t looking forward to this appointment.

The dust trail was closer now.  Hunter sighed deeply and nudged the bay beneath him, gently pulling the reins to the right.

“Let’s go, Cheyenne,” he muttered.  The horse tossed her head and turned to the right, heading back toward the house.

P.K. Chastain.  Just the name irritated him.  The notion of a grown man going by his initials struck him as pretentious as fuck.  The fact that P.K. Chastain was a lawyer representing Slade & Howell didn’t engender him to Hunter anymore than his name did.

He’d received the letters and emails from this Chastain fellow, the ones making all kinds of shiny promises on behalf of Slade & Howell.  But Hunter didn’t care. He wasn’t interested in selling any McFall land to some developer who wanted to build a mountain resort. Keep that shit over by Sun Valley if that’s what you had in mind.

Here in Deer Creek Valley and the Boxroot Mountains, McFalls had raised cattle for five generations, and by God, he intended to continue the family legacy until his last breath.

A vehicle came around the bend just as Hunter loosely wrapped Cheyenne’s reins around a rail in the shade of a large cottonwood.  From beneath his wide-brimmed hat, he glowered at the silver Range Rover as it pulled to a stop along the side of the gravel drive.  City people always fancied themselves rugged outdoorsmen when they came out to this neck of Idaho. Yet another reason he wasn’t interested in having a luxury resort anywhere near McFall.

He set his mouth in a firm line and walked toward the SUV.  The driver’s door opened, and a shiny black high-heeled pump emerged, followed by a shapely calf.  Surprised, Hunter stopped, watching as a petite redhead stepped out of the car. Her hair was done up in one of those fancy, efficient updos with a few loose wisps around her face, which was obscured by large designer sunglasses.  Hunter’s eyes zeroed in on sensuously shaped ruby-red lips.

The woman leaned back into the SUV, affording Hunter a view of a nicely rounded ass, neatly packaged in a black pencil skirt.  She emerged a moment later holding a tan leather satchel. Closing the car door, she marched toward him.

“Mr. McFall?”  She stuck out a well-manicured hand, her nails painted the same red as her lips.  “I’m P.K. Chastain. We’ve emailed back and forth?”

Slowly, Hunter reached out and took her tiny hand in his own, suddenly aware of how rough and calloused ranch work made them.

You’re P.K. Chastain?”

The redhead tilted her head and removed the sunglasses, revealing deep chestnut eyes in a shade he wasn’t sure he’d ever seen before.  “You were expecting a man, I suppose.” Her tone was defensive.

“I guess when I heard that a lawyer was coming out here, I just assumed.”

P.K. Chastain narrowed her eyes at him.  “Maybe the news didn’t make it this far out in the boondocks,” she said, one hand holding the satchel, the other a fist on her hip.  “But it’s the 21st century now.  Women get to vote and everything.”

Hunter suppressed a grin, his mustache shifting with the effort.  “Seems I heard tell about something like that,” he drawled for effect.  “Maybe it was the fact that you go by your initials. What does P.K. stand for, anyway?”

He watched her cheeks color slightly as the woman squared her shoulders.  “That’s neither here nor there. Is there someplace we can sit and discuss the generous offer being made to you by Slade & Howell?”

He pursed his lips and watched her for moment.  Then he nodded. “We can meet in my office.” He gestured toward the huge log home that had been in his family for generations.  When he’d been a boy, his grandfather had added an extension to the north end of the house, creating an office from which to run ranch business.

“If we’re going to have a business, my boy, we’d better treat it like one,” the elder Hunter McFall had told his young namesake.

That Hunter McFall had been the first of his family to attend college, and his son and grandson had followed in his footsteps.  They’d taken what had been a rough and tumble ranch and turned it into a successful cattle business, acquiring extra acreage along the way as some of their neighbors failed to keep up with the times.

P.K. Chastain, leather satchel in hand, clipped purposefully across the gravel drive and up the steps to the covered porch that ran the length of the front of the house and around the southern end.  Hunter followed along behind, amused by the turn of events.

At the door, she stopped, allowing him to open it and usher her inside.  Just inside the door, he paused to hang his black felt hat on a rack beside the door.  His mother had always been firm: “No hats in the house.” He supposed that extended to the office as well.

Hunter imagined he could see the office from his guest’s point of view as he inhaled the familiar scent of leather and wood.  Behind the huge reclaimed wood desk, antique branding irons hung in a row from an old board on the wall above a barnwood credenza.  Opposite the desk were a pair of leather wingback chairs. The chairs matched twin oxblood leather chesterfield couches that flanked an antique trunk turned coffee table in the center of the room.

On the opposite end from his desk sat a long wood conference table surrounded by leather club chairs.  Western art from his grandfather’s collection accented the walls and the entire space was crowned by an enormous iron chandelier hung from the peaked roof.

The lawyer glanced around appreciatively.  “It’s lovely,” she murmured.

Hunter nodded.  “Thank you. The original cabin is over a hundred years old, but it’s been added to over the years.  My grandfather added this office extension when he took over the business over forty years ago.”

“Lovely,” she repeated.  She gestured with her satchel.  “Where would you like me to set up?”

Set up?

He shrugged slightly.  “Anywhere you’re most comfortable is fine.”
He watched as the woman’s gaze flitted all around the room before it settled on the conference table.

“That looks good,” she said, and moved in that direction, her high heels clipping against the wide plank floor.

She placed the satchel on the table and opened it, rooting around until she found what she was looking for.  She handed Hunter a glossy-covered booklet, a gorgeous shot of the Boxroot Mountains gracing the front with Boxroot Mountain Resort declared in bold, rustic letters blazing across the cover.
“Please, have a seat,” she gestured to the chair at the head of the table.

Hunter suppressed a smirk at the city woman telling him where to sit in his own office.  Curious to see where this was all leading, he sank into the chair and watched as she dug into the bag once again.

“If you’d like to flip through the prospectus while I get my presentation ready,” she said.  “I won’t be long.” She looked up at him. “You do have wi-fi?”

He nodded.  “Yes, ma’am,” he drawled.  “All the way out here in the boondocks, we have wi-fi and the interwebs.  Why, hell, we even have the dot com.”

She paused her movements to purse her lips at him.  Then she went back to her digging, tucking a few stray red hairs behind her left ear.  From her bag, she extracted a small black cube about the size of a baseball. This she set up on a small tripod on the table, then she went back to rooting around in the satchel.

Hunter tried unsuccessfully to avoid staring at the way her wispy white blouse gapped in the front every time she leaned over the bag.  Ms. Chastain had stellar cleavage. That paired with the nicely rounded ass he’d appreciated outside made her an intriguing distraction from the ordinary.

He didn’t look over the prospectus.  He didn’t need to. He wasn’t interested in selling.  But he’d hear her out. It beat the hell out of rounding up reluctant Herefords.

“Okay.”  She gave him an efficient nod.  “Now that you’ve had a chance to look over the prospectus, let’s get started.”  She pointed a small remote at the black cube on the tripod, and the blank wall at the end of the table lit up with the same image as the one on the booklet in his hands.

“First, let me say thank you for agreeing to meet with me.  I think that by the time we’re finished here today, we’ll have come to an agreement that’s beneficial both to McFall Ranch and to Slade & Howell.”

She picked up her tablet and clicked something.  The image on the wall changed to an animation of a high-end mountain resort, complete with computer-generated people moving in eerily jerky motions in front of a fancy lodge.  As Hunter watched, the scene morphed through four seasons of rustic Idaho.

The lawyer spent the next twenty minutes extolling the virtues of Slade & Howell’s vision of Boxroot Mountain Resort.  Between skiing in the winter and fly fishing in the summer, it would be the ultimate year-round vacation destination this side of the Mississippi River.  It would bring untold revenue to the tiny town of McFall. Resort construction would benefit the existing infrastructure of the entire Deer Creek Valley area.

By the time she was finished the final slide, she was out of breath.  She turned to Hunter.

“Mr. McFall, I am authorized to offer you an amazing compensation package.  If you’ll turn to page 36 of the prospectus…” She stopped, waiting for him to flip through the booklet.

Reluctantly, Hunter found the page she indicated.

“I think you’ll find the offer immensely satisfying.”

Starting at the top, he skimmed down to the number on the bottom line.  He felt his eyes widen before he restored his poker face. He glanced up at the woman who was watching him closely.

She smiled at him confidently.  “And all of that for just the 2,000 acres we’ll need to build the access road.”

Hunter shook his head, swiping his lips with his hand.  It was an obscene amount of money. But that was beside the point.  He had no intention of selling any McFall land. It wasn’t about the money.

He closed the booklet and held it out to her.  “It’s a generous offer. But like I wrote in my emails, the land isn’t for sale.  I’m sorry you wasted your time coming all the way out here.”

She made no move to take the booklet from him.  “You keep that. And take some time to consider the offer.  Obviously, we don’t expect you to make up your mind right away.  It’s a big decision.” She started to pack down her electronics. “I’ll be in McFall until the end of the week.  At the very least, sleep on it. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have, or to clarify anything related to the offer.”

With her satchel repacked, she headed toward the door.  Again, Hunter followed along, enjoying the view.

Outside, the lawyer glanced around, taking in the wide-open pastures and the green forests beyond.  “This really is a beautiful place. I can see why Slade & Howell chose it for their next resort.”

Hunter nodded.  “I suppose. But to me, it’s just home.  And I’d like to keep it that way. An access road across my property is going in the wrong direction.”
Hands in the pockets of his Wranglers, he ambled in the direction of the barn.  Ms. Chastain followed.

“But Mr. McFall, you have sixty thousand acres.”  At his surprised look, she forged ahead. “It’s public record.  Anyway, would 2,000 acres make such a huge difference in the grand scheme of things?”

She walked past him and turned around.  “Think of what you could do with the money.”  She took a step toward him, then looked down, her face twisting into a scowl.  “Oh, for f– Well, shit!”

Hunter followed her gaze.  Ms. Chastain’s right foot was smack in the center of a fresh cow pie.

He couldn’t stop the grin.  “Yes, ma’am, that is indeed shit.”

She nodded angrily.  “Yeah, that’s just hilarious.  These are fucking Jimmy Choos!”  Carefully, she stepped forward. Nearly half the cowpile came with her.  “Shit!”

“Here, let me help you,” Hunter laughed.  He squatted down and gently gripped her calf, lifting her foot much like he would a horse’s.  P.K. Chastain teetered on her left foot before she rested her hand on his shoulder to stabilize herself.  Hunter removed her shoe, revealing a neat pedicure in the same shade as the fingernails and the lips.

“I can clean that up for you,” he told her.  He straightened up and helped her hop to a barrel sitting outside the barn.  Setting down the soiled shoe, he placed his hands on her waist and gently lifted her onto the barrel.  Then he retrieved the shoe. “Won’t take me a second.”

Leather satchel on her lap, the lawyer sat sheepishly on the barrel as Hunter used a rasp to scrape the offending mess from the bottom of the high heeled shoe.  To finish the job, wiped it carefully with the baby wipes he used to groom the horses. When the shoe was nice and clean, he carried it back to her.

She cautiously sniffed it, and Hunter suppressed an amused smile.
“It’s a cattle ranch, Ms. Chastain.  Shit happens.”

“I can see that.”

He took the shoe back from her and gently placed it on her foot before he lifted her down from the barrel.

Feet firmly on clean ground, she straightened her black skirt self-consciously.

 “My apologies for my unprofessional language,” she said, cheeks coloring slightly.  “It’s been a long day. It took me two planes to get from New York to Sun Valley, then it was a two-hour drive from there to McFall, plus an extra half-hour to your ranch.”

Hunter nodded.  “No apologies necessary.  I’ve been known to use colorful language myself.”

He walked her to the Range Rover.  “Are you staying in McFall?”

She opened the car door and dropped her bag on the passenger seat.  “I’m staying at the hotel downtown.”

Again, Hunter found himself suppressing a grin.  The words hotel and downtown were the most generous he’d ever heard to describe the Deer Valley Motor Lodge and the one-stoplight center of McFall.  He wondered if Ms. Chastain had actually seen the motel before she’d booked a room there.  Not that there was any other option short of returning to Sun Valley.

From the driver’s seat, she buzzed down the window.  “Again, thank you for seeing me. I’ll be here until the end of the week.  You have my cell number in the prospectus. And I’ll call you in a couple of days to check in.”

He nodded.  “Yes, ma’am.  But I won’t be changing my mind.”

She smiled confidently.  “At least consider the offer.  I’ll be in touch.”
With that, she buzzed the window back up and headed back down the long drive to the highway.

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE is Book 2 in the Redheads & Ranchers series, a collection of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring strong ranchers and the sexy redheads they can’t resist.

HUNTER’S PRIDE is due out in June.

In the meantime, check out 5-STAR reviewed JENNY’S VOICE,
the first book in the Redheads & Ranchers series.

One-Click JENNY’S VOICE today!
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