The Heroes of Horseshoe Creek
Excerpt from book:
The last place Brett McCullen wanted to be was back in Pistol Whip, especially on the McCullen ranch.
He pulled down the long drive to his family's ranch, Horseshoe Creek, his leg throbbing from his most recent fall. Damn, he loved rodeo and riding.
But maybe at thirty, he was getting too old to bust his butt on the circuit. And last week when he'd woken up in bed with one of the groupies, some hot, busty blonde named Brandy or Fifihell, after a while, they all sounded and looked the samehe'd realized that not a soul in the damn world really cared about him.
Or knew the Brett underneath.
Maybe because he was good at the show. Play the part of the bad boy. The fearless rider. The charmer who smiled at the camera and got laid every night.
Easier than getting real and chancing getting hurt.
He cut the lights and stared at the farmhouse for a minute, memories suffusing him. He could see him and his brothers, playing horseshoes, practicing roping on the fence posts, riding horses in the pasture, tagging along with their daddy on a cattle drive.
His oldest brother, Maddox, was always the responsible oneand his father's favorite. Ray, two years younger than Brett, was the hellion, the one who landed in trouble, the one who butted heads with their father.
Brett could never live up to his old man's expectations, so he figured why try? Life should be fun. Women, horseback riding, rodeosit was the stuff dreams were made of.
So he'd left home ten years ago to pursue those dreams and hadn't questioned his decision since.
But Maddox's phone call had thrown him for a loop. How could he deny his father's last request?
Hell, it wasn't like he hadn't loved his old man. He was probably more like him than Maddox or Ray. He'd always thought his father had a wild streak in him, that maybe he'd regretted settling down.
Brett hadn't wanted to make the same mistake.
He walked up the porch steps and reached for the doorknob, then stepped inside, back into a well of family memories that reminded him of all the holidays he'd missed.
Last year, he'd seen daddies shopping with their kids for Christmas trees, and mothers and kids at the park, and couples strolling in the moonlight, and he'd felt alone.
Mama Mary, his dad's housekeeper and cook and the woman who'd taken care of him and his brothers after their mother passed, waddled in and wrapped him into a hug.
"You're a sight for sore eyes," Mama Mary said with a hearty laugh.
Brett buried his head in her big arms, emotions churning through him. He'd forgotten how much he loved Mama Mary, how she could make anything feel all right with a hug and her homemade cooking.
She leaned back to examine him, and patted his flat belly.
"Boy, you've gotten skinny. My biscuits and gravy will fix that."
He laughed. Mama Mary thought she could fix any problem with a big meal. "I've missed you," he said, his voice gruff.
She blinked away tears and ushered him into the kitchen. The room hadn't changed at allstill the checkered curtains and pine table, the plate of sausage and bacon left from breakfast. And as far back as he could remember, she'd always had a cake or pie waiting.
"Sit down now and eat. Then you can see your daddy." She waved him to a chair, and he sank into it. Dread over the upcoming reunion with his father tightened his stomach. Grateful to have a few minutes before he had to confront him, he accepted the peach cobbler and coffee with a smile.
Without warning, the back door opened and his little brother, Ray, stood in the threshold of the dooHIS CHILD'S LIFE WAS ON THE LINEAND TIME WAS RUNNING OUT
Sexy-as-sin rodeo star Brett McCullen is Willow James Howard's past. But when her estranged husband is killed and her son kidnapped, she's forced to accept help from the man who broke her heart. Little does Brett know that the very child he's trying to rescue is his own flesh and bloodthe result of a fling years earlier. He can't deny his rising desire at Willow's reappearance
even as he struggles to forgive her secret. But with the ransom deadline looming, Brett must go to extremes to save the family he never knew he wanted