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Knocking Boots (Lucas Brothers #5)
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I’ve always heard, don’t fall in love with a cowboy.
I’ve sworn off men.
They’ve never given me much in life, except a bun in the oven and grief.
And serves it up—on the kitchen table.
Something about Jansen makes me want to believe in fairytales again.
Never have been.
There will come a day when my cowboy will ride away, leaving me shattered.
Too bad I can’t convince my kids….
Welcome back to the world of the Lucas Brothers. In this one we’re going back into the past to see just how Jansen won Ida Sue’s heart and meet some of your favorite characters when they were kids. Can be read as a complete stand alone romance. So, if you’re new to the series, this is a great place to start! Plus, there’s a guaranteed Happy Ever After inside.
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“You’re new to these parts.”
I look up to see a man close to my own age walk out of the store front where I’m standing.
“Yeah. Just got here today.” I lean up against the post, light up my cigarette and let my eyes wander again to the woman standing ten feet away from me. She has a small child on her hip and holding the hand of another toddler. Both children are girls and look like spitting images of the woman—especially the older child.
The woman herself is beauty, classic beauty. She’s got soft golden hair that reminded me of a field of wheat growing in the Texas sun. Her skin was soft, you could tell just from looking at it and she had beauty that made you sit up and take notice. Christ, I definitely was and that hadn’t happened in years.
At forty-four, I’d met enough women that beauty didn’t normally phase me and I was old enough to know that more times than naught, that beauty didn’t go past being skin deep. Something about this woman made me want to know if hers did.
I guess even at my age, I could still be stupid.
“You lookin’ to settle down, or movin’ on?”
I frown. This guy definitely is a nosy S.O.B. You gotta wonder if all people in this small town of Mason are like him. If they were, that’d be reason enough for moving on.
“Not sure just yet. Guess it depends on if I can find a job,” I tell him, taking another draw on my cigarette and letting the nicotine ease the kinks out of my body.
“What type of work do you do?” he asks.
“Little of this and a whole lot of that,” I respond with a shrug.
“Mommy says smoking is bad for you.”
I look down to see the little girl the woman had been holding hands with looking at me. It’s unfamiliar, mostly because I haven’t felt like smiling in a hell of a long time, but I feel the urge to do so pull on the corners of my lips. I bend down so that I’m more at eye level with the girl, shove my Stetson up on my head a bit and give her my full attention.
“I reckon she’s probably right.”
“She says if you smoke your balls rot off and you die.”
I haven’t laughed in a long time either, but as rusty as it sounds, I do it.
“Did she now?” I ask, still unable to contain my humor.
“Yep. That’s what she told Black and Blue. Black was smoking in the hayloft. Momma told him that smoking would make his balls rot off, but if he kept sneaking up in the barn loft to do it, it wouldn’t matter none.”
“Nope, cause, he’d catch the whole place on fire and he wouldn’t have to worry about rotting his balls ‘cause he’d burn them off.”
“Well, I reckon she probably had a point,” I laugh, almost being able to picture it.
There was a time in my life that I wanted to have children, a whole house full. Turns out that wasn’t in the cards for me. Maybe smoking did rot my balls, because I’m as useless as a prized gelding. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but then again, it was probably worse when my wife decided to leave after ten years of marriage. Having a child was more important to her than staying married to a man who couldn’t give her that. Old bitterness, which I buried but can’t seem to forget, moves around inside of me. I loved that woman, broke my back to give her a good life and in the end, it wasn’t enough. Offered to adopt all the children she could ever want or need. That wasn’t good enough for her. She wanted her own. Part of me understood it, but I kept trying.
I probably would still be trying if I hadn’t come in from the field early one day to find her lying on the bed, legs up in the air rutting with the owner of the bank. I can’t say as it surprised me a hell of a lot, even if it did hurt. I just remember thinking that explained how I kept getting extensions on my damn mortgage.
I walked away from my spread there in Wyoming, and my wife. Ex-wife, even after all of these years that’s a sour pillow to swallow.
All of that explains why, at my age, I’m drifting around Texas like a tumbleweed with no direction or purpose.
Life sucks then you die.
“Ah’ course to be fair, she tanned his backside so he’d know what it felt like to be on fire.”
“Black said it worked too, cause he felt like he was on fire any time he tried to sit,” the girl adds, still going. “You ever had your backside on fire?”