Read Online Books/Novels:
Wrangled – Spruce Texas
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
Chad is a gorgeous, good-for-nothin’, blue-eyed nightmare.
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Wait, Do I Know You?
And right when I think I’ve finally found my nerve, the gym doors swing open, and the man of my dreams struts in.
Thick broad shoulders gleaming with the sweat of hard labor.
His plaid shirt with the sleeves torn off like an animal.
Just enough buttons undone to reveal his muscled chest.
Slender hips and tight caboose squeezed into a pair of dirty Wranglers with a belt buckle the size of Texas.
And that same sparkly blue-eyed baby face I recall with agony from my high school days.
His name is Chad Landry.
He has forever ruined men named Chad for me. I can’t talk to Chads. I can’t look at them. I can’t even hear about them.
Not without thinking of Chad fucking Landry.
Chad is all of my high school anxiety, bully nightmares—and deepest fantasies—rolled up into a living, breathing sex god.
He made my life hell.
And there he is, strutting into the gym like he owns the whole damned place. I mean, who dresses like that for a ten-year reunion mixer? Who does he think he is, with those big, stupid farm-boy boots, that ridiculous cowboy hat on his head, and those striking, soft blue eyes that lovingly stab everything they look at?
My heart is racing fast, and the little plastic cup of spiked fruit punch in my hand is long forgotten.
In just the space of a second, my whole being is owned and wrangled in like cattle by my country-boy, high school bully.
Then he looks my way, as if the drumming racket of my heart can be heard clear across the gymnasium. He is a hunter tracking his prey—me—and his sparkling blue eyes have caught me.
Neither of us look away. Our eyes are locked. I’m paralyzed to the bone. My heartbeat is trying to climb out of my ears. I’m being eaten alive.
Yes, it’s true. Today, I just might die.
Okay, sorry, I’ve gotten way ahead of myself.
Several things happen before that moment when I might die.
Rewind exactly eight hours earlier and you’ll find me dealing with this sweet-voiced sass fest:
“Hi, there! Welcome to the Spur Inn, the best in Texas! Can I—Wait, wait, wait. Hang on a second here. Do I know you?”
Her country twang is still on-point.
She also still has those big rosy curls of hair I remember from staring at the back of her head every sophomore English class.
I could play this off. I could act like she’s completely mistaken. I don’t have to strike the big match right now when I’ve only just gotten into town, because I know the second it’s struck, the whole town of Spruce will know I’m here by morning. Hell, they would probably know within the hour. I know how word spreads here.
I won’t have a hope in Hell of staying under the radar.
“Nope, don’t know me,” I quickly answer, “but I need a room.”
“You’re here for the reunion, aren’t you?” Her eyes light up. “Lance? Lance Goodwin? Oh, please tell me it’s you. I’d recognize that cute nose anywhere!”
I lift an indignant eyebrow. “Really? My nose gave me away?”
Then I shut my eyes. Damn it.
I shouldn’t have said that.
At once, she explodes into a fit of squealing, which might literally summon every dog in a ten-mile radius. “Oh, I knew it!! I knew it!! Lance Goodwin is back! My chemistry lab partner!”
Oh, right, oops. We also had chemistry together. Forgot.
I never claimed to have perfect memory.
“But you cut off all of your hair!” she cries out. “I remember you had this adorable mane of bright blond hair that flipped up at your shoulders. I always used to wonder who your amazing stylist was, because I know it wasn’t barbers Cale and Edison, for sure!”
It was me. I cut my own hair. But that will open up a whole other conversation I don’t have the strength or patience for right now. Just being in my hometown of Spruce has sapped me of every ounce of energy I mustered up on the plane ride here.
“You do remember me, right?” Her long fingers run quickly through her hair, fussing with the rich, red curls. “Don’t you?”
“Yes, of course, I do.” I give her a smile.
“It’s Virginia,” she says anyway. “Virginia Cowell.”
I’m glad she said her name; I was honestly drawing a blank. “It is really nice to see you, Virginia.” I hope I don’t have to resort to being rude soon, but I need a bed in the next five minutes before I keel over. “I hope you have a room. I’m sorry. It was a long flight.”
“Oh, of course, of course. I’ll hook you right up, honey.” I hear the tip-tap-tapping of her long fingernails on a keyboard. “How is LA? That’s where you live, ain’t it? Los Angeles? Do you run into any celebrities over there? Goodness, I can’t even imagine.”
I smile—or I’m still wearing the plastic smile from before and can’t manage to peel it off my face. Here comes the interrogation. “It is definitely a different world than Spruce, for sure.”