Blurb: Evie Caldwell hates her life. Five years ago, she gave up college and her dream of teaching to care for her ailing mother. Now, she's trapped taking care of her worthless brother and the family ranch. Waiting tables to earn her way out of Texas, the last thing she wants is a muscleman with a macho Marine attitude complicating her life. But, oh, how that man makes her insides melt.
Wounded vet Win Fairchild returns to Texas to heal, find a piece of his soul, and open a ranch for amputee children. Finding someone to love is not on his agenda. But when he starts work at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, a spitfire with violet eyes and a major attitude instantly captures his heart.
Evie just wants to escape, but now that Win knows what he wants, can he convince Evie to stay in Texas—and his bed?
Evie charged through the swinging door to the kitchen and skidded to a stop. It couldn’t be. Although his back was toward her, there was no mistaking the height and the broad muscled shoulders. This mystery nephew of Gus’s was the guy who’d remarked on her eyes. Her stomach did a little twitchy dance, nerves no doubt. She ran her suddenly damp palms over her short skirt and cleared her throat. “Excuse me. Win?”
She took a couple steps closer and noticed he was washing vegetables under a spray of water. “Win?”
Evie rolled her eyes and stepped behind him, tapping him on the back. The man dropped the strainer, swung around and grabbed her forearms. In a flurry of movement, he snatched her off the floor and backed her against the stainless steel counter. Cold wet hands viced her arms. Her eyes snapped wide and the air whooshed from her lungs when his body slammed into hers.
“Don’t do that!” Win’s eyes were narrowed and his breathing rapid. His jaw was clenched and a vein bulged in his forehead. The man was every inch the warrior, every hard tensed inch. He held her mid-air, so close they were nearly eyeball to eyeball. As his gaze traveled over her face and awareness evidently crept in as to the sex of his attacker, several inches of his frame hardened even more.
Evie swallowed. Oh, good Lord.
He glared and his nostrils flared.
“I…I’m sorry. I called your name, but…but you didn’t answer. I was only trying to get your attention.” Her lips twitched at the humor in the situation. Hadn’t Keira told her the man lost part of his hearing? Evidently she’d startled him. Poor soul. She felt a portion of herself return. A portion she’d hidden for so long; that light-hearted part of her soul that teased and cajoled. “Honest, I wasn’t trying to attack you.” She placed an open palm on his defined pecs and patted. “You’re safe with me, big guy.” Just to rattle him some more, she winked.
Win’s hazel eyes flashed for a second. Then he slowly leaned in and whispered in her ear, “You’re not safe with me.”