In a Ranger’s Arms
The Men of At Ease Ranch (Book #1)
No amount of training could’ve prepared him for her.
Former Army Ranger Stone Mitchum doesn’t have time for relationships, let alone a one-night stand. He’s too busy running a ranch that helps transition veterans back into society. But when his curvy new tenant falls into his arms, his libido snaps to attention.
Jovy Larson has four weeks to prove she’s worthy of taking over the family business. She’s up for whatever ridiculous task they throw at her, but selling vegan food to a bunch of cowboys in cattle country, Texas? Not half as tough as fighting her attraction to her sexy, surly landlord.
Good thing she’s stubborn. Then again, so is he…
When Jovy Larson’s grandfather had sent her to the middle of cattle country USA to open a gluten-free, vegan café in a contest to test her business skills against her cousin, she knew she would have to deal with some tough, and often unexpected, situations. Becoming a hit-and-moo victim of a rampaging cow had never made the list. Bovines weren’t exactly a common fixture in the City of Brotherly Love, despite the fact that Pennsylvania was one of the top five U.S. dairy farm states with over eight thousand farms. She’d never seen one up close. The clanging of the bell grew louder.
That was about to change. And fast. Mad-cow-charging fast.
With a startled gasp, she tried to scramble down the ladder, but it teetered under her feet and her hands ended up windmilling instead. Jovy’s last thought as she flew backward toward the large plate-glass storefront window was if she didn’t die, her cranky landlord was going to kill her.
Fully expecting to smash through the glass, she was shocked to hear a deep, sexy, panty-melting baritone claim, “I’ve got you,” a second before a tall cowboy appeared out of thin air to catch her with his rock-hard body. Two strong, muscular arms clamped around her before the momentum knocked them both to the ground.
Her mind was processing the fact that she was uncut and still alive, sprawled over the sexiest man she’d ever seen, when the stranger rolled them over to shield her from the falling ladder. The impact vibrated through his stiff frame.
Holy cow. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah.” Warm breath rushed over her neck and shoulders as he drew back to stare down at her. During the tussle, his hat fell off to reveal short black hair that didn’t quite reach his collar. “What about you? Are you all right?” Gray eyes, the color of a child’s prized marble, blinked at her in a worried frown.
Increasingly aware that she was now underneath the tall, sexy stranger, whose big, warm, firm hand was cupping her ass—and she liked it—Jovy cleared her throat. “Define ‘all right.’”
“Are you hurt?” He removed his palm from inside her shorts, the warm, tingling feeling dissipated along with his touch, until he shoved the ladder aside, sat up, and began to run both hands efficiently over the rest of her body.
Her sorely neglected body. A body doing an all hail Mr. Gray Eyes tremor. Lord have mercy, her good parts hadn’t been in contact with a male like this in over a year. Not since…
“Hey, miss? Answer me. Are you hurt?”
Hurt? She stifled a hysterical giggle. “No.”
Aroused? Oh, yeah. Big-time. And completely embarrassed by her reaction to the total stranger. She could explain away the tremors racking her body as shock, but not the beaded nipples plainly visible through her bra and tank top.
If he noticed them, he didn’t let on as his hands skimmed over her chest, neck, and shoulders.
She gritted her teeth, enjoying the scrape of his callus-roughened hands on her skin, doing her damnedest not to embarrass herself further by moaning.
“You feel okay to me.”
Sitting up, she snickered. “Thanks, but…shouldn’t you buy me dinner first?” The stupid words were out of her mouth before she had the chance to swallow them down.
He stilled and met her gaze for a beat, then his head tipped back and a bark of laughter echoed down the covered walkway. The deep, sexy sound did nothing to lessen her arousal, but the sight of the cow, pushing her way past the fallen ladder to moo in his startled face, sparked her amusement.
Jovy giggled. “Looks like you have yourself an admirer there, cowboy.”
“Nah.” He shrugged, lifting a hand to stroke the cow’s neck. “Lula Belle is just a little overzealous.”
And bold, or maybe not. Jovy didn’t possess a wealth of bovine knowledge. But she did know it was plumb dangerous for livestock to be roaming free in town. “You should probably keep your cow at home.”
A smile tugged his mouth. “She’s not my cow.”
At this, Lula Belle bent down to lick his face.
Jovy quirked a brow. “Does the cow know that?”
Donna Michaels is an award winning, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of Romaginative fiction. Her hot, humorous, and heartwarming stories include cowboys, men in uniform, and some sexy, primal alphas. With a husband in the military fulltime, and a household of nine, she never runs out of material to write, and has rightfully earned the nickname Lucy…and sometimes Ethel. From short to epic, her books entertain readers across a variety of sub-genres, and one has even being hand drawn into a Japanese translation. Now, if only she could read it.