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8 SECONDS TO LOVE
Tumbling Creek Ranch Book 1
BY PATY JAGER
Lacey Wallis has put blood, sweat, and tears into her dream of making it to the National Finals Rodeo and isn’t about to let an injury stop her. However, she didn’t expect the ER nurse to be the man she had a crush on years ago, or to discover that crush hadn’t been one-sided.
Jared McIntyre lived through loving and the death of one thrill-seeking woman, and wasn’t about to let that happen again. Especially not to Lacey. But that would mean he’d have to allow himself to love again.
Which will it be, a life-long dream, or the love of a lifetime?
She stared at him. “You care whether or not I get a chance to ride in the finals?”
“I don’t like you riding bulls, but I don’t like to see dreams crushed.” He put a hand on her shoulder. “Everyone needs a dream or goal. It’s what gets them out of bed every day.”
“What is your dream?” She stepped closer, nearly touching their bodies.
His body sprang to life at her nearness. He cupped the back of her head with his hand and brought her lips an inch from his. “To forget the past and take charge of the future.”
Her wide eyes stared into his. “How about take charge of the present?” The breath from her words whispered across his lips moments before she closed the inch between them.
She’d made her move, now it was time for him to make his. Jared opened his mouth and she followed. His tongue sought her moist heat and sweetness. He could tell by her clumsy attempts to mate her tongue to his, she had less experience. The knowledge only made him want to show her more.
The hand not cupping her head, slipped under her open shirt and cupped her breast. She moaned and pressed closer. He squeezed her breast and slid his leg between hers, lifting her slightly. Her body wiggled, and he felt her desire dampening his thigh.
A horse snorted and stamped a hoof.
He broke free of the kiss and lowered his leg. This wasn’t the place to bring her to an orgasm.
Lacey’s hand fisted in his shirt. She peered up at him. “Did I do something wrong?”
“No.” He nodded toward the barn and the buildings beyond. “I’m not a fool. Someone could come along…” He ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression about you or me.”
“What does that mean?” She released his shirt and took a step back.
“I won’t take advantage of you when you’re vulnerable.” The sparks in her eyes revealed he’d said the wrong thing. But he needed to keep her away. While he cared for her and God knew his body reacted to her without provocation, he didn’t want her in his life. She was too much like Anita. He couldn’t lose another woman he loved.
“I’m not vulnerable. I might have a bum arm, but I am sure as hell not vulnerable. I knew what I was doing when I pressed my lips to yours.” She spun away from him and marched into the barn.
The door slammed shut.
“No, you aren’t vulnerable. I am.”
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 30+ novels, 8 novellas, and a dozen short stories of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
Links to Paty’s website, blog, books, etc.
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**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY: Paty is giving away an ebook copy of the second book in the series, Love Me Anyway, to one person who comments on her **Author Peek** Interview or Karen’s Killer Book Bench blogs.
Thanks, Paty, for sharing your book with us!
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