SUMMER'S DESIRE by Kathleen Ball
Cowboy Seasons Book One
Veterinarian Holden O’Leary moves his family to a Montana ranch for a fresh start. His time is soon consumed rescuing neglected horses and he needs help with his bothers. Despite wishing otherwise, he soon finds that Summer holds his heart.
Will scandals and old secrets keep them from trusting each other or will Summer finally get her desire?
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He stepped closer until his body barely touched hers. “I see that. Smells good.”
Turning her head slightly, she saw the side of his face as he looked over her shoulder.
“What are you doing?” Matt sounded angry.
Summer instantly straightened, but Holden was extremely slow at stepping back. “Making dinner is all.” Her voice wavered.
As Holden stepped away, she instantly missed his nearness and she knew she was a fool. Who’d want to be with her, the suspected accomplice? Besides he seemed to have his eye on Mindy Sue.
Holden took her hand in his big, strong one. “We’ll talk about the sheriff later.”
She gazed into his eyes trying to read him. He confused her to no end. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking. Hell, she barely knew him and she needed to get a grip on her wayward emotions. “Fine.”
He let go of her hand and ambled over to Matt. He sat in a chair next to the couch and the two talked in low tones. Neither one looked at her, so she ignored them and concentrated on cooking.
The thought of talking later interfered with her focus. Would she still have a job? It amazed her that she no longer felt the fear of being jobless. Caleb took care of that. It was the power of her feelings for Holden that worried her the most.
Dinner was jovial with the boys all teasing Matt about how much work they have to do with him laid up. Summer did not look at Holden at all. She could feel the heat of his gaze, but she needed to be in self-preservation mode. It was bound to hurt when he told her to leave. In the short time she’d been there she’d grown attached to all of the O’Learys. Who’d want a suspect in their house anyway? Holden needed to do what was best for his family and the best thing would be for her to go.
Yet, he had touched her in the kitchen. Her thoughts whirled as she pushed the food around on her plate. The boys didn’t seem to notice how upset she felt. She gave them half smiles and half answers. The end of the meal couldn’t come fast enough.
Holden opened his big strong arms to her and she gladly stepped into the comfort he offered. It had been so long since anyone had believed her. He did believe her, didn’t he? The need to know outweighed the comfort of his arms. Pulling back, she saw worry and compassion in his dark eyes.
“You believe me?” Someone had told her once not to ask questions you don’t want the answer to. Her body suddenly chilled and her chin wobbled.
“Of course I believe you. You are a victim, Summer, and I don’t understand how everyone knew all the details. There are privacy laws now.”
“Not if your name is Beverly. I think the sheriff has a thing for her. She is always bringing him cakes and pies.”
A smile crossed Holden’s face and he chuckled. “I know it’s not funny but I can’t imagine those two together. The thought gives me nightmares.” He pulled her back into his arms and cradled her head against his chest with his palm. He kissed the top of her head.
Summer gazed up at him. His eyes glittered in the moonlight. The desire she saw was unmistakable. Yearning surged through her. The beating of her heart grew faster as his head inch down until his delectable lips were against hers. She reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck as he pulled her flush against him. The kiss grew bolder and she opened for him. His kiss was powerful and she felt weak in the knees.
Suddenly, Holden stepped back and the words unfair and wow came to mind.
“The door just slammed. One of my brothers is around.”
She nodded and smiled at Holden’s shortness of breath. She seemed to have the same effect on him.
Luke walked over toward them and Holden took a big step away from her. “Hey, Luke. What’s up?” Holden gave his brother a smile.
Luke shrugged his shoulder and gave Summer a hard look. “Matt’s asking for you both. Well, either one would probably do.”
“Is something wrong with him?” Guilt washed over her. She should have been in the house taking care of him.
“Don’t rightly know.”
“Thanks for the walk, Holden. You’re right I do need to take more walks.” Summer strode away and hurried to the house. What had she been thinking? Good Lord, how dense could she get? Holden did not need to get mixed up with the likes of her.
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