After a grenade takes Marine Luke Cox’s leg and ends his career, he cuts ties with his wife to free her from the burden he’s become. On the day his divorce is to be finalized, he travels to meet a woman for a 1Night Stand date—a woman who doesn’t care about his missing leg or his sudden wealth from a business venture. However, things don’t go as planned, and when he arrives for his date, he’s still legally married.
Rosalind Cox tends to the horses on her cousin’s ranch resort, her love for the animals the only thing keeping her going since her husband turned his back on her. When he appears at her stables, all the longing and rising hope is crushed by the realization he’s only sought her out to gain his freedom.
She’ll give him what he wants, but she can’t resist taking one last kiss for herself. The kiss reopens emotions and attraction that neither can deny. To give in will only complicate the tangle as they try to unwind their lives. But even though Rosalind doesn’t care about Luke’s missing leg or his money, as long as he refuses to accept himself as whole, one night with his wife will be his last.
“I don’t want your money, Luke. I never wanted your money.”
Never having doubted the assertion, he lifted his whiskey.
“Your baby, yes, but not your money,” she said, her solemn gaze boring into him.
He tossed back the liquor. If only the path burning down his throat would make him forget his dreams of having a baby with her. “Without a lawyer representing your interests, the judge believed you were getting ripped off with the settlement we’d agreed on. The truth is, you would have gotten ripped off by that agreement, so I’m glad we have a chance to make it fair.”
Once again, her braid whipped back and forth with her emphatic denial. “The company is yours and Alex’s. I didn’t do anything except cook dinner and give you space to work. I came into our marriage with nothing, and I left with nothing, so I came out even.”
The whiskey burned in his gut without taking the edge off his nerves. He slapped the empty glass on the table. “You wasted ten years of your life with me. I don’t call that even.”
“I don’t call it a waste,” she shot back. “If we’d had a kid, then, yes, I’d take your money and put it in an account for his or her future, but that never happened. I don’t need or want anything for myself.”
He closed his eyes. “You should be thankful we don’t have a kid.”
“We had a deal, Luke. When you retired from the Marines, we’d start a family.”
“I got my leg blown off,” he shouted, opening his eyes to glare at her, hating the sorrow in her voice and himself for not being able to deliver on her dream. “We never took that scenario into account.”
She shoved her drink away. “Your leg is not the same piece of anatomy as your dick. Maybe you hadn’t noticed because you’ve been too busy being a dick.”
Yes, yell at me. Take your anger out on me. He wanted her hate and resentment, not her sorrow and disappointment. Luke reached for the extra lemonade and slammed back half of it before saying, “You’re right. I was a dick. I don’t deserve you. I never did. I want you to have the chance to find someone better than me, to get something better from him than what you got from our relationship.”
“Well, money won’t make that happen.” She slumped her shoulders, her voice little more than a whisper. “You don’t have to pay me to go away, Luke. I’ll just go.”