Seton, Cora: The Cowboy Lassos a Bride
THE COWBOY LASSOS A BRIDE
by Cora Seton
Jake Matheson loves everything about ranching the Double-Bar-K, except for his father’s controlling nature. It’s bad enough the old man won’t step down and let him run things his own way. Now Holt has demanded that Jake find a wife—in the next thirty days. Jake knows just the woman he wants–Hannah Ashton–but they haven’t even gone on a date, let alone been together long enough for him to propose. He’ll have to work fast to secure her hand in marriage before his time is up.
Hannah Ashton loves the fifteen hundred pound bison she rescued from being the object of a trophy hunt. She’s grateful for Gladys’s temporary home on the Double-Bar-K—and for the chance it gives her to see Jake on a daily basis. But now his father, Holt, is threatening to kick Gladys off the ranch—or eat her!—unless Hannah follows some very strange instructions.
Jake is thrilled when Hannah agrees to move into his cabin, but his family seems dead set on breaking them apart. Meanwhile, Hannah is all set to head off to veterinary school, but Jake seems to want a traditional wife.
Will a pregnancy scare unite Jake and Hannah in a common goal? Or will it drive them apart for good?
“If you’re man enough to give me lip, then you’re man enough to settle down and start your family, and I expect you to do just that. You’ve dillydallied enough time away acting like an alley cat. I put you in charge of the herd because I thought you had what it took to the do the job. But you can’t even move the damn cattle when I tell you to do it.”
“If I’m in charge of the herd, then I’m in charge of when to move them.”
“You won’t be in charge of nothing if you don’t marry by your thirty-fourth birthday. I had four sons by the time I was your age!”
“You can’t tell me when to marry!”
Holt turned to Ned. “You ready to take on some more responsibility?”
“Damn straight.” It was obvious Ned was loving this turn of events. Jake, however, felt like the ground had tilted beneath his feet. He’d begun to think of marriage in the last few weeks—in an abstract way as something he and Hannah would do in the future. In the far, far future. Now Holt wanted him to marry within the month?
“I’m the one in charge of the herd.” Jake knew he was losing ground fast. Why the hell did he have to throw his father’s dyslexia in his face today of all days? Most of the time he was on board with the family’s campaign to keep that information private. Holt had quit school young over it. Ned, suffering the same problem, barely lasted longer. Mentioning their affliction was like setting flame to a powder keg.
“For now.” Holt brushed past him. “You’ve got until December twenty-first to bring your wife to the altar—a proper wedding, too. None of this justice of the peace crap. If you’re still single on the twenty-second, Ned takes over.” He clambered back down the ladder and disappeared from sight.
Ned clapped him on the back. “Don’t worry, when I’m in charge I won’t boss you around. Much.” He followed Holt down the ladder, laughing.
Jake stood motionless, the leak forgotten. Thirty days to get married? Or leave the ranch?
Well, why the hell not. Maybe his father was right. Maybe it was high time to get married. If Hannah was the one, then she was the one. A smile curved one corner of his mouth. He bet Holt hadn’t figured on him already picking a bride. Now he just needed to fast-forward his timeline to snare her for his wife.
Hannah Ashton had better watch out.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.
Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a neglected one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini. Visit www.coraseton.com to read about new releases, contests and other cool events!
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