Three-time world champion bull rider Rhett Allen has never been afraid to get his hands dirty. Hard work, sweat, and determination have gotten him where he is today—and that’s holed up in a hospital room, wondering how he let that damn bull buck him off. He’s also wondering why he thought it was a good idea to let his twin brother talk him into returning home to heal.
Rhett has a million reasons to come home to Heaven, Texas, and only one reason to stay away. That reason comes in the form of a sweet and feisty girl who stole his heart long before he ever thought to give it away. The only problem…that girl has turned into a stunning woman.
Monroe Gallagher is downright sexy with more curves than he has notches in his bed post. It’s been six years since he’s seen her, six years since he’s felt any form of peace, and six years since she gripped his heart in her delicate little hands and squeezed the life out of it. The longer he’s in Heaven, the more he starts to realize that the heart she took from him—the one she crushed into a million pieces—she also never gave back.
“You getting on the bull?” Linc asks.
I look at Rhett, unsure who his buddy is talking to. I point to myself. “Me?”
“Yeah.” Linc laughs. “Cheryl is pretty easy. She won’t hurt you too bad.”
“Who is Cheryl?”
“The mechanical bull,” Linc answers, pointing to the opposite side of the bar.
Sure enough, there’s a large doorway, leading into another room.
“If you’re getting on, I suggest you do it before you eat your dinner.”
“She’s not getting on,” Rhett says, stealing a bite of my cake.
I had no intention of getting on Cheryl, but the way Rhett brushed it off makes me want to.
“You don’t think I can handle it?”
Rhett’s eyebrows lift. “I didn’t say that.”
“You were thinking it.”
“Uh-oh,” Linc mumbles.
“That’s not what I was thinking.”
“You dismissed the idea awful quickly.”
I smile as Rhett studies me, daring him to tell me I can’t do it.
“Fine.” Dropping his fork on the plate, he leans back in his seat. “Do it.”
“I will.” I take another bite of cheesecake and set Rhett’s fork on the opposite side of the table, where he can’t reach it.
“Hey, I want another bite.”
“Sorry, I don’t share my cake with people who don’t believe in my riding abilities.”
“Oh, I believe in your riding abilities, sweetheart,” he says, his voice dropping low.
My cheeks heat, and Linc shows Rhett a knowing smile.
“Move.” I scoot toward Rhett, shoving him out of the booth.
Linc tosses his napkin on the table. “This is going to be great.”
“Mo, come on,” Rhett chides. “You don’t have to do this. I don’t want you to get hurt, sweetheart.”
I whirl on him. “Well, now maybe you know how I feel. Only when you get on a bull, your life is in danger. Mine, not so much.”
His hand locks on my elbow as I try to walk away. “Okay, point made—although it’s entirely different. You shouldn’t risk getting hurt. You have your dad to take care of. He needs you to come home in one piece.”
“And I need you to come home in one piece. It isn’t just you anymore, Rhett. I’m your who, remember? We’re a we now, and one of these days you’re going to have to accept that. I feel like you’re waiting for me to walk away or do something to mess this up, but that’s not going to happen. I’m in this for the long haul, whether you get back on a bull or not.”
“Wait a minute, I’m lost. She’s your who?” Linc says.
“I’ll explain later,” Rhett mumbles.
I turn around and walk toward the back room. Sure as shit, there’s Cheryl, a big, black mechanical bull sitting in the middle of the room. She’s surround by ropes, and the floor beneath her is covered in mats. Several tables sit off to the side, a few of them occupied.
I march up to the man with the Broken Boot shirt on. “I want to ride Cheryl.”
“You do, huh?”
Rhett and Linc step up behind me, and Rhett reaches around me to shake the guy’s hand.
“Hey, Rhett. How are ya? How’s the shoulder?”
“It’s good. I’ll be heading back to work soon. Just have to wrap up a few loose ends.”
I’m guessing those loose ends are me.
“This your girl?” Jimmy asks.
“Yeah.” Rhett smiles fondly at me.
“You okay with her getting on Cheryl?”
“Not at all, but I don’t have much of a say.”
“Do we ever? Damn stubborn women do whatever they want,” Jimmy says, nodding toward Cheryl.
“I could say the same about men.” I look up at Rhett, a hand on my jutted hip.
Jimmy lets out a laugh. “I like you, sugar. Follow me.”
K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males, brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that order.
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