We’re thrilled to bring you this little taste of Must Love Cowboys by Cheryl Brooks! This modern western Romance is out April 5th, 2016!
“Sure glad you talked us into getting that AED for the bunkhouse,” Bull said to Wyatt. Only then did I realize the only part of Bull that was adequately covered was his upper lip.
Too late, I glanced away.
What has been seen cannot be unseen.
“Calvin’s the reason I wanted it,” Wyatt said. “I knew we’d have to use it on him someday.”
“You okay?” Dean’s voice in my ear nearly had me jumping out of my skin.
“Yeah. I heard him…tapping on the wall, moaning.”
“Good thing you were here,” Dean said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have found him until morning.”
Shivering, I turned in his embrace, making no protest as he held me against his bare chest, my arms folded over my breasts. Considering how scantily clad the rest of the men were, I was afraid to look down.
Wyatt sat back on his heels and pulled his shirt up to wipe the sweat from his face. “He’s not out of the woods yet, and we’re a long damn way from a hospital.” He glanced at Sonny. “Better check his medicine cabinet and see what he’s on.”
“If he’s anything like my grandfather,” I said, “he has plenty of meds he doesn’t take.”
Wyatt nodded. “Wouldn’t surprise me a bit. He’s a stubborn old cuss.”
Sonny returned a few moments later, an assortment of pill bottles stashed in a sling made from the front of his T-shirt. “He’s got lots of them.”
Wyatt examined the bottles, one by one. “Judging from the dates on these, he hasn’t taken them in months.”
There it was again—that fatalistic I’m already dead, so why bother attitude. Calvin obviously subscribed to it, but that didn’t mean the rest of us had to like it. I could sense Wyatt’s frustration—the expression in his eyes, the tautness of his stance. Oh, yes. I knew that feeling quite well. The utter futility of trying to save someone who didn’t want to be saved.
Nevertheless, they had saved Calvin—at least for the moment. When he regained consciousness, he might thank them or he might hate them for interfering. Grandpa had threatened to come back and haunt us if we ever resuscitated him. I wondered if Calvin had voiced his opposition to having an AED in the building. Obviously it was there to be used on anyone who might need it. Bull and Joe both appeared to be in their forties, and though they seemed healthy enough, Bull was also a smoker, and it wouldn’t be the first time a man their age had heart trouble. Calvin, however, was still the most likely recipient.
One glance at Wyatt proved he was itching to do more. Although firefighters had first responder training, Wyatt didn’t seem satisfied even with that skill level. I could see the need in his eyes—even the way he breathed—he wanted to start an IV, whip out a scalpel, and perform open heart surgery right there on the bunkhouse floor.
And this man was a cowboy?
No doubt cowboys had plenty of opportunities to display their heroism. They rescued strays from ravines, killed rattlesnakes, and delivered calves and foals. Back in Wild West days, they went after rustlers and thieves. But Wyatt?
He might as well have had To Protect and Serve tattooed on his chest.
Perhaps there was a bit of Wyatt Earp in him after all.
I heard other voices, although no sirens as yet. Two of the cutest people I’d ever seen rushed in, the woman tiny and dark-haired and the man of medium height with longish blond curls. No doubt these were the owners of the ranch.
What a way to meet the boss.
“I checked on the ambulance,” the woman said. “They’re about twenty minutes out. How is he?”
“He’s breathing and has a pulse, but that’s about all I can say,” Wyatt replied. He held up a prescription bottle and shook it. “Might be in better shape if he’d been taking these like he should.”
The woman knelt beside Calvin and stroked his forehead. “Stubborn as an old mule.” She blew out a sigh. “Just like Dad.”
“He’s not coming down here, is he?” Wyatt seemed slightly alarmed at the prospect.
“You think I could make him stay away?” she said with a snort. “He went to get the truck. I’m surprised he didn’t beat us here.”
The squeal of brakes and scattering of gravel heralded the patriarch’s arrival.
“That’ll be him now,” the blond man said. He looked at me as though he had only just noticed me standing there. A frown flitted across his brow, then he held out a hand. “I’m Dusty Jackson. This is my wife, Angela.” He paused as the epitome of the crusty old rancher came through the door, no doubt moving much slower than he would have liked. “And that’s my father-in-law, Jack Kincaid.”
Jack stared at Calvin, lying on the floor. “Is he dead?”
“Not yet,” Wyatt replied. “I just hope that ambulance gets here soon.”
“Think we oughta load him in the truck and meet them?”
“To be honest, I’d be afraid to move him,” Wyatt said. “Better wait for the medics.”
The old man nodded. Even he seemed to defer to Wyatt’s authority, and he didn’t strike me as the type to defer to anyone. Barely missing a beat, he turned toward me. “Now that we have that settled, will someone please tell me why this woman is in the bunkhouse snuggled up with a naked cowboy?”
About Must Love Cowboys
SO MANY COWBOYS…
Shy computer specialist, dog lover, and amateur chef Tina Hayes has a thing for firefighters, but when she travels to the Circle Bar K ranch on family business, the ranch’s cowboys have no trouble persuading her to stay on as their cook. Especially not when she learns that brooding Wyatt McCabe—a man who makes her heart gallop like no one else can—is also a former firefighter.
HOW DOES SHE KNOW HE’S THE ONE?
Wyatt’s sizzling embraces leave Tina breathless. But being surrounded by a passel of smokin’ hot ranch hands can be complicated. With so many cowboys courting Tina all at once, Wyatt must prove to Tina that she belongs with him.
Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse turned romance writer. Her Cat Star Chronicles series includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and Rebel. She is a member of RWA and IRWA and lives with her husband and sons near Bloomfield, Indiana.