Helen DePrima
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Time for him to cowboy up . . .

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He’s spent fifteen years protecting bull riders when they hit the dirt, but what’s a bullfighter supposed to do with his life when a bull puts him in a wheelchair? Maybe Katie Garrison, in the middle of a contentious divorce, can help him figure out his future, but her husband isn’t going to let her go without a fight. Besides, Luke may never walk again – what can he offer a woman like Katie, accustomed to security and luxury? Time for him to cowboy up.


From the book ...


"Dang, girl!” Luke said. “Why do you keep that handsome mane bundled up like an old-maid schoolmarm?"

Katie tried to gather her hair back into some order and finally settled for pulling it to hang through the back of the cap.

"My husband didn't like me to wear it loose. Too casual, he said. He wanted me to cut it to look more polished." Reflexively she rubbed the third finger on her left hand.

"Your husband sounds like a damn fool. Sorry, but that's how it looks to me. I'm glad you stood your ground."

"Me, too, not that it matters now."

"Sure it does -- it matters to you." He studied her. "So . . . you ran away from home?"



The Bull Rider

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This could be her toughest assignment yet

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Having witnessed her father's death in a race-car crash, Joanna Dace can't imagine getting close to anyone who risks his life for sport. But she can write about them. Keeping her professional distance lets her get inside anyone's head without letting that person into her heart. Until she meets her latest subject—professional bull rider Tom Cameron. Tom has a quiet cowboy charm and a darkness beneath his rugged surface. It's difficult to remember all the reasons she should keep her distance, but Jo has to try…unless it's already too late.


From the book ...

Finally it was Tom Cameron's turn.

He eased down into one of the chutes near Jo's seat, this time facing her. She could see his intense concentration as he wrapped the rope around his hand and settled his mouthpiece. The bull stood still as a statue except for its mule ears waving like antennae. 

A slight nod and the gate swung wide. Gunslinger erupted into the arena with all four feed off the ground, changing  direction in midair. Cameron still clung to the bull's back, but off center so that the next spin shot him off like a rock out of a slingshot. He struck the metal panel directly below Jo's section with a crash and lay still. The eight-second buzzer sounded.

Madison Square Garden went dead quiet. Someone's cell phone brayed, harsh in the silence. Two men from the sports medicine team and one of the bullfighters ran to the spot where Cameron lay. Jo heard someone say, " Hey, Tom - can you hear me?" An indistinct response. "You want to walk out?" A grunt of assent and Cameron climbed to his feet. The crowd cheered as he left the arena supported by two medics. 

Jo sank back in her seat.



Into the Storm

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Can she finally stop running? 


Horse trainer Shelby Doucette never bothers to unpack her bags. With no roots, no ties and no fixed address but her granddad’s old sedan, she’s avoided emotional connections, and eluded her past, for fourteen years. Get in, do the job, get out. That’s always been her way. Until she meets Jake.

Widower Jake Cameron is unlike any man she’s ever known, but that doesn’t mean he can be trusted. He has a way of sneaking through her defenses, a way of making her want to stay for good. But being with Jake would mean finally facing her past. And heading directly into the storm…


From the book ...

"This is wrong,” Shelby said. “This is so wrong. What am I going to do?"

Stranger licked the side of her face.

"You're no help." She shoved the dog in mock anger. "The longer we stay, the harder it'll be to leave." She buried her face against his rough fur. For thirteen years, caution had been her lodestar, warning her not to put out tentative roots.

How had she let Jake Cameron sneak past her defenses? His pain speaking to hers? Not enough reason to trust, but she did trust him.

One summer, her parents had rented a cottage on a barrier island in the Gulf. She had been a fearless child, dashing into the surf, entranced by the schools of small fish bumping her legs with their noses. One day she ventured out too far and a rogue wave knocked her down and sucked her under. Before she could panic, her father scooped her up. She remembered the strength of his arms and the absolute certainty nothing could harm her as long as she was with him.

With Jake, she felt a whisper of that long-ago comfort. She couldn’t afford that indulgence.



The High Road Home

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Robbie Tolliver, unmarried and facing forty, has spent half her life doing right by her kin. Now it's her turn to break loose with a solo road trip from Kentucky to Seattle. Her journey stalls in Colorado when she meets an enigmatic rancher, to-die-for in his faded Wranglers, but passion ignites only when they face danger together. When Robbie learns the secret haunting his life, the revelation teaches her about hard choices and sacrifice, about loving and letting go-and where her true home lies.


From the book ...

"Okay," Robbie said, "so far, so good." She turned right onto a gravel road and stopped to read the directions again. Another five miles on this road, then look for a man on horseback at a range gate, whatever that was. She had forgotten to reset the odometer after the last turn, but the road ended at Keyhole Ranch -- she couldn't miss it. 


The rattling passage seemed endless -- surely she had driven more than five miles. Sunlight still shone on the upper slopes, but the shadows grew deeper as canyon walls closed in. Just when she decided to return to her last landmark, she saw the horseman waiting beside a gap in the barbed wire fence.

At first she thought that he was asleep, slouched in the saddle with his hands folded on the pommel, but then he straightened and slipped something into his saddlebag. She slowed, not wanting to spook his horse, a bright sorrel with a flaxen mane and tail. 

The man rode up to her window, touched the brim of his straw cowboy hat, and gave her a slow smile. He reached across his horse's neck to shake her hand with a gentle pressure. "Ben Latham, ma'am."

Robbie’s heart did a back flip and landed at his horse's feet. Never mind he was probably married and had probably sired a whole herd of little cowboys and cowgirls. Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, the hero in every classic Western . . . The Virginian, Shane -- books she still turned to on sleepless nights. She couldn't call his angular features handsome, but his smile heated her blood like good bourbon, and she could drown in his gray eyes without ever coming up for air. He might be thirty-five or fifty -- she guessed his age at close to her own.