There's a reason Grant Clifton's one of the most eligible bachelors in Thunder Canyon: This rancher turned business whiz makes women melt like Montana snow on a hot summer day! And this mover and shaker's many charms aren't lost on Stephanie Julen, the beautiful young foreman of Grant's family ranch.
Grant and Steph have known one another forever, and the senseless tragedy that shattered both their lives years ago drew them closer together. But the Canyon's golden boy has always thought of shy Steph as a little sister. Stay tuned, loyal readers, to see what happens when he realizes she's all grown up!
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
June 30, 2007
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Man Who Had Everything by Christine Rimmer
Grant Clifton set out that sunny Sunday afternoon with the best of intentions.
He meant for Stephanie Julen and her mom, Marie, to know of his plans good and early, so they could start getting used to the idea. He had it all laid out in his mind, just how he'd tell them.
First, he would remind them that you can't hold on to the past forever. That sometimes you've got to let go of what used to be, let the wave of progress and prosperity take you. Dump the excess baggage and move on.
In his own life, Grant was doing exactly that. And loving every minute of it. He would make Steph and Marie understand that it was time for them to move on, too.
Since the sun was shining bright and proud in the wide Montana sky, Grant called down to the stables and had one of the grooms tack up Titan, the big black gelding he rode whenever he got the chance--which wasn't all that often lately. He worked behind a desk now. His days as a rancher were behind him.
In his private suite of rooms on-site at the Thunder Canyon Resort, he changed into Wranglers and boots and a plain blue chambray shirt. When he got to the stables, Titan was ready to go. The gelding whickered in greeting and tossed his fine black head, eager to be off. The groom loaned Grant a spare hat and he grinned to himself as he rode out.
A Clifton without a battered straw Resistol close at hand to stave off the glare of the summer sun? His dad would never approve.
Fact was, John Clifton probably wouldn't have approved of a lot of things lately. Too bad. Grant settled the hat lower on his brow and refused to let his grin fade as he let Titan have his head and the horse took off at a gallop.
On Titan's strong back, the ride to the house at Clifton's Pride Ranch took about an hour. Once he'd left the sprawling resort behind, Grant rode crosscountry, stopping now and then to open a gate, going back and closing it once his horse went through.
In the distance, the high mountains still bore their white caps. And the grasses, which would be fading to gold soon enough, lay green and lush beneath the gelding's hooves, rippling in the everpresent Montana wind.
As Titan ambled up and down the cuts and draws, Grant rehearsed what he would say. Yeah, he knew Steph and her mom would be disappointed. But he would remind them that he would always take care of them. He would make sure they had work when they left the ranch. That much would never change: He would watch out for them.
In no time, it seemed, he reached Clifton land. He took a couple of dirt roads he knew of and then approached another pasture gate, patiently shutting it behind him once his horse went through.A few cows, lying down near the fence, got up from their grassy bed and looked at him expectantly. He tipped his borrowed hat at them, mounted up again and rode on.
Ahead, cottonwoods loomed, lush and green, lining the banks of Cottonwood Creek. They seemed taller and thicker than he remembered, obscuring the creek completely now. Grant clicked his tongue and urged the horse onward, his mind on getting it over with, getting Steph and her mom together and breaking the news that he'd had a great offer and he was selling Clifton's Pride.
The horse mounted a grassy slope and carried him in beneath the screen of wind-ruffled trees, where the ground was mossy and soft and Titan's hooves hardly made a sound. Grant could smell water, hear the soft gurgling of the creek not far ahead. He topped another slight rise and the creek lay below, crystal clear and inviting.
But it wasn't the sight of the creek that stole the breath from Grant Clifton's lungs.
He drew on the reins without thinking. Soundlessly Titan came to a stop.
A woman stood at creekside. A naked woman. Beads of water gleamed on her golden skin and her hair, clinging in soaked tendrils to her shoulders, dripped a shining wet trail down the center of her slim, straight back.
She faced the opposite bank. As he stared, she lifted both hands and smoothed her hair, cupping the delicate shape of her skull, catching the wet strands at her nape, wringing gently, so that more water trickled in little gleaming trails along that amazing back, between those two little dimples that rode the base of her spine...
Grant's gaze followed the path of the water. Sweet Lord. The lower he looked, the harder he lusted. He sat frozen in place astride the gelding, feeling the blood pool hot in his groin, his pulse pounding so deep and hungry and loud, he was surprised the woman didn't hear it and turn.
What the hell was she doing there, naked beneath the cottonwoods on Clifton land?
Not that he planned to ask. Not right now.
He would have smiled--if only if he hadn't been aching so bad with desire. Make no mistake. He'd find out who she was one way or another. He'd get to know her. Well.
But now would probably be a bad time to introduce himself.