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: A Cowboy's Forgiveness

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: SIZZLING
Word Count: 131,032
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Charleigh Simms is shocked to hear she’s inherited her late husband’s family ranch. More shocking are the strings attached to it—spend a year learning the ropes from the sexy cowboy who broke her heart six years ago. But to secure her son’s future, there’s nothing she won’t do. Even risk having her heart broken again.

For six years, Josh has worked hard to get over Charleigh’s betrayal. Now she’s back in town and needs him to help her and her son hold on to the ranch they’ve inherited. In exchange, he gets a chunk of change and a valuable piece of land. But every interaction with Charleigh and the boy has him hoping for more—to be a permanent part of their lives. All he has to do is find a way to forgive her.

Love between them grows stronger every day, but when the secrets come out, even love might not be enough to earn a cowboy’s forgiveness.

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She didn’t want to leave him, but she had to or she’d end up pulling him into the house, into her bed, and letting him.

Lungs aching with the breaths she hadn’t used during the kiss, she rocked back a step. “Thanks for tonight,” she whispered. “For everything.”

He nodded.

Weak-kneed, she walked toward the house.

“Why did you come with me instead of letting Lance take you home?” he asked when she stepped onto the porch.

She turned around. “I wanted to come with you.”

He strode forward in a slow measure that allowed her time to appreciate his hard form, his full lips that tasted like sin, his desire pulsing toward her. She wanted it all. Was ready to take it all.

Stopping a foot from her, he pulled her wedding ring from his pocket and took her left hand. His eyes never leaving hers, he slid the ring into place.

Before she could voice the disappointed “Why?” clanging in her heart, he explained. “You’re safer with it on.”

“Maybe I don’t want safe.”

“What do you want, Charleigh?”

His need-you gaze was locked so tight on hers, she swore she could feel him inside her mind, strolling through every naughty, delicious want blooming there, each one more colorful and intoxicating than the one before. He knew her well enough to know exactly what she wanted—their bodies locked into each other, giving pleasure as only they could.

But they weren’t alone. Ruby and Derrick were in the house. And she had never been a quiet lover, at least not with Josh. And the more sensible part of her knew the move would be a disaster. Tonight, she’d go with safe.

“I’d settle for another kiss,” she said.

“Settle? That doesn’t sound like the Charleigh Cooper I know.”

He wanted to kiss her again. She knew it. Knew his signs. What she didn’t know was why he wasn’t taking the step that would give them what they both wanted. Maybe he needed a little push. She took her cue from the song on the radio.

“Are you gonna kiss me or not, Flores?”

Desire burning in his eyes, he brought her hand to his mouth and pressed a kiss to her palm, then flicked it with the tip of his tongue like he used to do on her…other body parts. The breath that had balled up in her chest shuddered out on a sigh, desire flooding her system, drawing every muscle in her body tight with need for more of him.

The disappointment that burned through her when he released her hand rocked her. To try to disguise it, she asked the question she needed the answer to. “Did you mean what you said? That you want Derrick and me to stay?”

When he didn’t respond right away, she dropped her disappointed gaze to the tip of his boots. “You said it not to hurt Derrick’s feelings.”

His finger tucked under her chin and lifted it to face him. “I said it because it’s the truth.”

Her heart pinballed against her ribs at his truth, and she cupped his face, leaned in, and pressed a sweet kiss to his lips.

“Does that kiss mean you’re staying?” he asked when she pulled back.

“The way country music’s growing on me, you never know.”

To the sound of his chuckling, she went inside the house and shut the doors on the best mistake she wished she’d made.

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