Would he still love her…if he knew?
Tanner Hayes smashed Claire’s life to pieces when he chose the rodeo over her ten years ago. And now he’d wrecked her truck! Fantastic. She’d lost her husband, the family ranch was mired in debt, her father was recuperating from a stroke and her son was being bullied. Why not throw a reckless bull rider into the mix?
All she’d wanted was a safe, stable life. But with Tanner back in town—and staying on her ranch—nothing was safe, or under control. Not the feelings she’d fought so hard to forget. Not the son she was determined to protect. And certainly not her long-held secret…
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Everything happened at once and in slow motion.
A crushing jolt shuddered through the truck. Her wheels skidded sideways. She smacked against the window when her pickup rolled down an embankment, as if punched by something large and lethal. Glass rained deadly sharp. The earth tumbled around her, her truck in spin cycle. When a massive tree loomed, the Chevy slammed into it then stilled. Winded and stunned, she hung upside-down in her lap belt, blood, metallic and warm, on her tongue, a rushing sound whistling in her ears. Her heartbeat changed and grew slow and rolling in darkness. Something hurt, a long way away. Then nothing.
“Ma’am. Ma’am. Are you all right?” A man’s voice shouted, rousing her. She tried turning her head but pain held it in place. When she opened her mouth, silent panic flew out.
“Hold on. I’m getting you out of there.”
Acrid smoke pierced her consciousness. She closed her eyes against the billowing grit. This wasn’t happening. It was a dream. No. A nightmare.
A tugging motion jerked her right and left, followed by a ripping sound. Large hands halted her sudden fall.
Her rescuer cradled her against his chest, his breaths heaving beneath her ear. After carrying her some distance, he lowered her slowly to the ground. Grass scraped against her stinging cheeks and she opened her eyes.
“What?” she croaked, then swiped at the trickle leaking from her mouth. A man wearing a cowboy hat hunched over her, his features blurred.
“You’ve been in an accident. We have. Our trucks collided in the intersection.”
“My truck!” She bolted upright and clutched the swirling ground.
An arm snaked around her back and eased her down. “I called the dispatcher. The fire department’s on the way.”
A wail sounded in the distance and Claire wanted to shriek with it.
Her special day. Her anniversary. Ruined. No. Demolished by this…this…
She squinted upward and focused. A dark swirl of hair brushed across the tall man’s forehead; a light scar zigzagged down his square jaw. Recognition zapped through her.
It couldn’t be…
“Hello, Claire.” His mouth went up, just a fraction—the same ready-for-anything smile that had once undone her.
She closed her eyes, heart thudding. Ten years since she’d vowed never to see him again…and now here he stood, two for two in wrecking her life.
About The Author
Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and was an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Blaze and Harlequin Heartwarming. Her novel, A LEAGUE OF HER OWN, won the 2015 National Excellence in Romance Fiction award in contemporary romance series and the 2015 Bookseller’s Best award for contemporary romance, long.
Karen Rock has opened up yet another realm for her readers with her deep, heart- felt writing, this time taking us into the world of ranching and bull riding via Claire Shelton and Tanner Hayes. Tanner is a successful bull rider with lots of fans, but just how much did he give up for his dream? Success alone won’t keep him warm at night. Doubts concerning his ten-year-long career are jarred awake when he literally runs into his ex-girlfriend, Claire.
Their trucks collide at an intersection and they are re-acquainted, but Tanner was already on his way to the ranch Claire shares with her father. Recovering from an injury, Tanner doesn’t mind taking time out to work at Denton Creek Ranch, hoping to save it, but Claire is slow to accept his offer. She feels he causes problems when he’s around, and she’s terrified that he will find out her secret.
The author’s effortless writing style makes it easy for the reader to imagine the story, and the details concerning both Tanner’s and Claire’s professions are impressive. Their emotions are evident through their actions as well as their thoughts, and we realize right away how strong these two characters are. Claire is fiercely independent, never wanting to accept a favor from anyone, but she loves her family and the husband who was taken from her. Could there be room in her heart for the person who has hurt her the most?
Tanner is immediately likable, with his strong cowboy good looks, but he’d always thought all he could do was ride bulls. Working on the ranch causes him to wonder if everyone was wrong about him and he can achieve more.
The deeper I delved into the novel, the more intrigued I felt, wondering if Tanner and Claire would be able to work around all of the obstacles concerning the ranch, Tanner’s career, and their relationship. His Kind of Cowgirl is definitely an enriching reading experience I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys romance.
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