Nobody says no to Emily McCabe! All she wants is for Dylan Reeves to act like they're dating, so her wildly overprotective clan will butt out of her life once and for all. And he just flat-out refused! So why'd the maddeningly sexy horse whisperer just kiss her in front of the whole town?
Gentling horses is one thing. Bringing a strong, independent woman like Emily to heel is something else! The two of them are totally wrong for each other, but that doesn't stop Dylan from wanting her. But Emily's made for a home and family and Dylan is like his beloved mustangs--wild and free.
Except, she seems to know her way around horses...and that's not all. Suddenly Dylan's dreaming about making a life with Laramie County's most stubborn and desirable--and willful--woman!
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March 31, 2011
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Excerpt from One Wild Cowboy by Cathy Gillen Thacker
This is not good, Emily McCabe thought as she led her beloved mare, Maisy, toward the Circle M Ranch stable. Standing just inside the entrance to the barn were all three of her older brothers. Their postures were as inflexible as the set of their jaws, and they appeared to be waiting on her.
The relaxation she'd felt after her Monday afternoon ride was fading fast as Emily studied the trio of determined expressions. "What's going on?" she asked warily. It had to be something. Otherwise, Jeb would have been looking after his rodeo livestock, Hank would have been tending his cattle, and Holden would have been caring for his quarter horses. Instead, all three ranchers were gathered here on her parents' property.
Awkward glances were exchanged--the kind that told her this was not an actual emergency. Great, Emily thought. Just what she needed--her wildly overprotective clan butting into her life again.
Looking less rambunctious than usual, Jeb squared his shoulders. "We wanted to talk to you."
Emily sighed, bored already. She patted Maisy's silky black mane and led the big bay mare past her brothers, toward her horse's stall. "About what?"
"Mom and Dad are worried about you." The always-gallant Holden kept pace. "You've put everything you've got into the caf� for two years now. And with the new diner opening..."
They were all acting as if she was about to have her heart broken. "I have a very loyal customer base. It's not going to cut into my business."
To her annoyance, her brothers stood their ground.
"On top of that," Holden continued, "it's been over a year since you had a date."
Uh-oh. Now that had an ominous ring. Emily knew her brothers could be ridiculously sexist where she was concerned. They had been that way since she was a kid, something that happened when there was only one girl in a family. It didn't mean she had to like it.
"So?" Emily unfastened the girths on Maisy's saddle and lifted it off. She set the saddle and blanket on the cement floor outside the stall. "Since when do you-all care about my social life?" she demanded, aiming a disparaging look their way.
Ignoring her Hank replied pleasantly, "Since we've taken it upon ourselves to do you a big favor and help you out."
Emily liked the sound of that even less. Wordlessly, she removed the rest of Maisy's tack and heaped it on top of the leather riding gear. She ran an affectionate hand down Maisy's neck and rubbed her face against her beautiful horse in silent thanks for a great canter across the meadow. Then she stepped outside the stall, shutting the door behind her. While Maisy quenched her thirst from the stall water trough, Emily confronted her three well-meaning but totally idiotic brothers. "Didn't you learn anything from the last time you guys tried to fix me up?" What an unmitigated disaster that had been! The longest evening on record, followed by an impossibly awkward good-night. She propped her hands on her hips and glared at them. "No more!"
"Normally we'd agree." All three nodded vigorously. "But that was before Mom figured out who you should be seeing," Hank explained. Emily's heart sank.
She had no doubt her mother meant well, too.
Thanks to more than thirty-six years of happily wedded bliss with the love of her life, there was no one more romantic than her mother. Her father, in his own way, was just as bad although her dad had yet to actually approve of any man she'd dated.
"Tell me you're pulling my leg here," Emily pleaded. "Nope." Jeb flashed a grin. "Mom's planning to play matchmaker at tonight's charity dinner for the Libertyville Boys Ranch."
There was no way Emily could avoid the fund-raiser. Her Daybreak Caf� was one of a...