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THE WRONG COWBOY TO LOVE
Tumbling Creek Ranch Book 3
BY PATY JAGER
Computer geek Ruby Cutter feels like a fish out of water with a makeover her cousin put her through for the bachelorette party and wedding. The only reason she went along with it…her high school crush will be at the wedding. She’d fantasized for years over him and plans to make him see her.
Dillon Wallis is minding his own business getting ready for a gig at a bar when a tipsy, blonde who is with a bachelorette party and doesn’t realize she’s gorgeous, tumbles into his arms and captures his heart.
The only problem…she’s in love with his cousin.
Ruby glanced around the big table. Brett, Melanie, Thad, Jackie, Arleen, who’d arrived while she was helping Dillon, Mack, Thad’s best man, and Jackie’s mom, Aunt Cassandra, were all sitting at the table, along with her and Dillon.
Jackie was on her left and Dillon on her right. Jackie thumped her with her elbow and leaned close. “What a coincidence. You and Dillon, here for the weekend.” She winked.
Ruby shook her head. She liked Dillon. A lot. But her heart fluttered when she thought of Nate. When would he arrive?
“Do you think you’ll get that sound system set up tonight?” Brett asked.
Dillon glanced at her and grinned. “Ruby offered to help me after dinner. I think with her brains and my brawn we’ll get it done.”
Everyone laughed, and Ruby’s ears burned.
“I can’t believe that you two met last weekend and here you are at the same wedding,” Arleen said, drawing attention to them.
Once that was said, everyone wanted to know how they’d met.
Jackie started, “We, Arleen, Ruby, and I, were at the Crystal Bar for my bachelorette party.”
“And Ruby hit Dillon—” Arleen started.
“Hey, that’s not fair.” Ruby cut in. “I don’t drink, usually, I’d had one fruity drink and was a bit tipsy while leaving the restroom and I slammed the door open into someone and they swore.”
“Let me take over,” Dillon said. “I was walking down the hall from the back of the establishment to the stairs to the stage when the ladies’ restroom door flew open and hit my guitar case. Yes, I said, damn, then Ruby fell into my arms.”
“I did not!” she objected.
“You did. I had to set you back on your feet and suggest you not drink so much.” He grinned, and she felt her neck and face growing warmer.
“I’d only had the one drink and not enough food,” she insisted.
“That’s what she told me. And when I asked her where her table was she said under Luke Skywalker.”
Everyone laughed, and her face burst into flames. She explained how there were cardboard characters and actors on the ceiling of the bar.
“And then on his first break, he sent a soda over to Ruby,” Arleen said, insinuating something had happened.
“I was only making sure she didn’t have any more alcohol and end up falling off the tall boots she was wearing.” Dillon winked at her.
Heat rose up her neck at his playful ribbing. She’d never had a man tease her like this before. She was used to her brothers badgering her and males at work making remarks about her clumsiness and brains.
“So… did you go over and talk to her?” Aunt Cassandra asked.
“Arleen came over and suggested it would make Ruby’s night if I danced with her.” Dillon said.
“She what?” Ruby had never felt so mortified. “Our dance was a pity dance?” She stood, knocked the chair over, and stumbled from the room.
Dillon had no idea what that was all about. He’d been the envy of every man in that bar.
“I better go talk to her,” Jackie rose.
“No, let me. She was no way a pity dance.” Dillon righted the chair and shifted his attention to Melanie. “What room is she in?”
“Two-oh-five,” Melanie said, nodding her head.
He strode out of the room, checked the great room, and headed up the stairs. Mumbling could be heard behind the door of room 205.
“Ruby, can I come in?” he asked, at the same time he knocked softly on the door.
“Why? You want to give me more pity?”
He tried the knob, it wasn’t locked. Shoving the door open, he was hit in the face with a pillow.
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 37 novels, 6 novellas, and numerous anthologies 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.
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