When desire collides with danger, rope up and hang on for the ride.
Lady Victoria Mead cannot believe fate has been so cruel to her yet again. First, her father squandered the family fortune and died in the process. Now, her quest to secure a future in America has been foiled by an attack on her wagon train, leaving her alone and half-naked in the wilderness.
Her only hope lies in three outlaws who seem to have absolutely no idea what to do with the proper daughter of an English earl.
Ranching partners Cole, Jace and Robert can handle any threat with cool, swift precision. But when it comes to the gloriously lovely Lady Victoria, who seems to have no discernible survival skills, they're in the dark.
Underneath Victoria's fragile exterior lies an inner resilience they all come to admire--and a deep well of sensuality that tempts them to offer her a permanent place in their home, their beds...and their hearts.
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February 28, 2012
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Excerpt from Reckless Territory by Kate Watterson
The pall of the smoke, the eerie quiet and the carnage he was more than happy to leave behind. Cole Thune nudged his stallion and abandoned the wagon train massacre with relief.
"Damn," Jace Vance muttered, his horse cantering alongside. In the midmorning sun, his young face looked pale under the brim of his hat. "That's not something I'd care to see again."
"Me either," agreed the third member of their small party, his mouth set in a thin line as he rode on the other side. "Relatives of yours, Cole?"
Cole gave his friend a sardonic look. Few men had the nerve to make joking remarks over his half-breed heritage, and besides, Robert Forester knew full well Cole's mother had been Lakota. "They didn't leave any of their dead behind, so it's hard to know what tribe might have attacked those poor devils."
"No survivors." Forester shook his head and squinted at the horizon where the sun had just come up. Incongruous to the carnage they had just witnessed, the morning was clear and beautiful with the sky deepening to a stunning pure blue and a cool, clean breeze now that they were moving away from the still-smoldering wagons. "Whichever bunch is so riled up, let's move along so we don't run into them."
"Amen to that." Though he'd seen his share of violence, Jace was younger than either of them and he looked grim and stricken. Even his usual lazy air and soft Texan drawl were in abeyance.
Cole felt a bit stricken himself by the graphic scene of violence and destruction, but he'd learned a long time ago to keep emotion under control. Anyone who decided to brave the West needed to realize it wasn't the friendliest place, not by a long shot. He'd adopted the policy of looking ahead rather than regretting the past, and it had worked pretty well so far. "We should make decent time today. I'd guess we'll reach the valley in less than a week."
It was true--the open prairies had started to break up, and rolling hills and small groves of trees now spotted the landscape. Soon they'd see the glory of the Rockies, but there were still quite a few miles to go before they got to the ranch.