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Authors: Becky McGraw

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Worth the Trouble

BOOK: Worth the Trouble
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WORTH THE TROUBLE

 

 

BECKY McGRAW

 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real.  Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

WORTH THE TROUBLE, Copyright @ April, 2013
by Becky McGraw.
 
ISBN:
9781301970469

All rights reserved under International and Pan American Copyright Conventions.  By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen.  No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the author.

 

Be sure to check out all of the books in the

Texas
Trouble Series by Becky McGraw
:

 

Book #1 -
My Kind of Trouble (Cassie & Luke)

Book #2 -
The Trouble With Love (Sabrina & Cole)

Book #3 -
Double the Trouble (Karlie & Gabe)

Book #4 -
Looking for Trouble (Jess & Wade)

Book #5 -
Trouble in Dixie (Katie & Tommy)

Book #6 -
Asking for Trouble (Jazzie & Beau)

Book #7 -
Chasing Trouble (Jenny & Chase)

Book #8 -
Here Comes Trouble (Terri & Joel)

Book #
9 - Worth the Trouble (Ethan & Roxanne)

 

PROLOGUE

 

Roxanne Baker felt like a fake, a fr
aud, a lipstick-wearing pig.  The dress she wore was almost baby pig pink too, so was the lipstick Terri's hair lady coated on earlier with a paintbrush.  If she didn't love her only female friend like a sister, she definitely wouldn't have agreed to do the bridesmaid thing. 

Had she known in advance agreeing would
result in her wearing this dress and makeup, she might not have agreed anyway. 

It wasn't her.

At least she didn't have to wear heels.  If that had been a requirement, she would have definitely drawn a line in the sand.  The matching pink-dyed boots Terri Cassidy Rhodes had picked out pinched, because they were new, but at least they were boots that she could walk in without breaking an ankle.

Instead of her ankle, the bride had almost broken her neck when her horse Diamond took her on a wild ride before the nuptials. 
And she would have, if her husband-to-be hadn't been a good rider and saved her in the nick of time. 

Helpless didn't even being to describe the way
Rocky had felt watching the spectacle from the pavilion.  Now that it was all over, and Terri and Joel were happily wed, her nerves were done and she needed a beer badly.

Rocky found her chance and took it when
Joel grabbed Terri's hand to lead her onto the dance floor for their first dance.  Like a dying man looking for an oasis in the desert, she swam through the crowd, single-minded in getting to the bar.  That's why she didn't notice Terri's brother Ethan, until he grabbed her arm and she stumbled into his firm chest like a linebacker.  With an oomph, he staggered backward dragging her with him. 

Very graceful
, Rocky thought with heat rushing up her neck to burn her face, and she fought to regain her balance.  The man probably already thought she didn't have a feminine bone in her body, which wasn't far from the truth.  Rocky was a tomboy, a female cowhand, an anomaly for sure. 

Roxanne was the boy her daddy never had, and he'd taught her how to do things, enjoy things, that made her mother cringe.  Riding, roping, hunting and fishing were her idea of fun, she was the 4-H barrel riding champion in high school, and rode for the college team too
, feminine wiles were a mystery to her.  The only time she had ever wished she was a different kind of woman was when she met Ethan Cassidy, Terri's brother.  She knew that was the kind of woman the smooth-talking city boy most likely preferred. 

Since she met him last year when he came to the ranch for the bull riding adventure and wound up saving his sister from the flooded creek instead, Rocky had a serious case of hero worship going on.
  He had hit on her a couple of times, but he made her so nervous she couldn't get away from him quick enough. 

Most of her friends were men, but the ones like Ethan Cassidy, the ones who showed interest in her made her insides churn, because flirting was definitely not Rocky's specialty.  She left that to her beauty queen sister.

"Whoa, cowgirl," Ethan laughed grabbing her shoulders.  She looked into his laughing green eyes and her heart did a little wiggle in her chest.

"Sorry about that," she told him and her face baked.

"Where are you headed in such a hurry?" he asked in that whiskey-smooth voice that had her feminine parts paying attention.

Throwing a thumb over her shoulder toward the bar, she said, "I need a beer," then huffed out a breath.

"Yeah, it has been an eventful day, for sure," he agreed with a laugh that rumbled through her body.  "My sister sure knows how to make a grand entrance, huh?" 

A bride on a runaway horse was not something that happened often at weddings Rocky was sure, but damned if it hadn't happened here earlier.

"Yeah, my heart stopped.  Thank, goodness Joel can ride as well as he does," she said and shook her head, causing her updone hair to pull at the roots.  That was another thing the hair lady had insisted on, an updo, which felt like she had a bird nest or manure pile sitting on top of her head.

"I can use a beer too, wanna buy me one?" he asked with a sexy grin.

"Um, well..." she stuttered then took a step back.  This was the third time over the last year the man had asked her to have a beer with him, and she still wasn't one iota more comfortable with it or with him.  In Texas talk, that meant he wanted to get to know her better, and Rocky wasn't sure she could go there with him, or if she should.

Watch out for smooth-talking city boys.
  Her daddy's warning at sixteen was still embedded in her mind.  Only once in her life had she ignored it, and she paid the price. 

Ethan Cassidy was the poster boy for good looking, smooth talking men.

"I hear they're cheap here," he joked.

With a huffed breath, Rocky nodded then shoved her way through the crowd toward the bar.  When she got there, she ordered a draft, then drank half of it in one long gulp.  The bartender looked at her with wide eyes, and Ethan chuckled behind her, then shoved a five into the tip jar. 

"Keep 'em coming for the lady, and I'll have a tall boy," he told the man.  The bartender did keep them coming, and by her third beer, she definitely didn't feel uncomfortable around Ethan Cassidy anymore. 

They were laughing and joking like old friends.  The more she drank, the better looking he became too, if that was possible.
  Her eyes kept drifting to his lips, and she wondered what it would feel like to have them on hers.

Why the hell had she been resisting him for over a year, she had no clue
now.

He was
a tall man, a good bit taller than her, which was an oddity, and built like a brick shithouse.  When he was here riding those bulls last year during the bull riding adventure, Rocky couldn't help but sneak a peek at him in those tight jeans and tank tops he wore.  The man was as muscular as a bull himself, and those tattoos of his made her mouth water.  But he wasn't only good looking, he was capable, and damned charming.

Her
hero crush on him had started after he saved his sister from the flooded creek last year.  What he'd done was something that a normal human being shouldn't be able to do.  He was like Superman, hanging out of that helicopter over that creek, jumping into the raging floodwaters to catch her, or so Joel had said. 

And
according to Terri, her brother did that every day to save people.  It wasn't a one time thing.

"Roxanne?" he repeated and the sound of his sexy voice had her dragging her eyes from his lips to his eyes.  "It's time for our dance, baby," he told her and set his beer down on the bar to take her arm.

"Dance?" she repeated stupidly.

"Yeah, they called for the bridal party dance," he said with a big grin.

"I don't dance," she told him as fear shot through her.  The man's toes were going to be bruised and battered tomorrow if he insisted she dance with him.

"C'mon, we'll just stand and sway.  I've been looking forward to this all night," he told her and Rocky let him take her hand

H
er feet worked like she was walking the last mile to her execution, as he led her to the dance floor.  When he pulled her into his arms and put his hands around her waist, her heart stuttered in her chest.

His hot breath tickled her ear when he leaned down to say, "You look beautiful today,
Roxanne."

He would think that
, but this was so not her.  Like Cinderella at midnight, tomorrow Rocky would transform back into a rough-around-the-edges cowgirl again.  Definitely not his type.  Ethan Cassidy would be a man who attracted Barbie Doll beautiful women, women like her sister.

Rocky misstepped and felt the toe of his boot beneath hers.  Her face heated and she looked up at him, "Sorry," she
muttered.

He laughed and her face heated more.  "I finally have you in my arms, there's no need to apologize.  I have nine more."

His hands tightened on her hips and he pulled her closer, Rocky stumbled again, and stepped on his other foot.  She stopped moving and pulled away from him, but he reeled her back to him.

Shaking her head,
Rocky felt her hair slip down the back of her head and reached up to grab it.  His fingers went there, and he pulled out the pins, then ran his fingers through it, which set her scalp to tingling. 

"There, now that's better," he told her
his eyes holding hers, before they slid down to her lips causing tingles there too.  "Stand on my toes, baby," he invited. 

M
esmerized by the romantic gesture, Rocky just did it.

He held her close against him,
and put his cheek to hers then swayed slowly to the soft country music.  His spicy scent and the music wrapped her in a sensuous cocoon, and Rocky had never felt so feminine in her life, or more graceful. 

Ethan was leading the dance, and she was okay with going wherever this man wanted to take her tonight.
  She closed her eyes and drifted off into a fantasy of them making love in the rain, his capable hands all over her wet body, and hers all over his.

The music got fainter, and Rocky reluctantly faded back to reality and opened her eyes.  Disoriented, she looked around and realized that he had danced them out of the pavilion, and into the moonlit pasture.  They were by the tree where Joel had put up a
wide porch-type swing for Terri.

"I've been thinking about kissing you out here, since I was here last year," he told her then sat on the swing and pulled her onto his lap.  "Can I kiss you, Roxanne?" he whispered over her lips. 
She tasted the sweetness of his hot breath, and wanted nothing more than to feel the sweetness of his lips on hers too.

Rocky
couldn't speak, so she nodded.  She knew she was probably going to regret this tomorrow, but she had never wanted anything more in her life.  As his firm mouth slowly descended toward hers, Rocky sucked in a breath waiting.

Electricity shot through Ethan when his lips met hers. 
He couldn't believe he was finally kissing the stubborn cowgirl, something he had been waiting for since last year. 

"Mmm...you taste like cherries," he murmured and sampled
her heady flavor again.

"Lip gloss," she breathed against his mouth, and nipped his lower lip which sent him into overdrive.  "Hair lady insisted."

"Remind me to thank her," he whispered and sipped at her lips again, then sealed his mouth over hers.  The 'hair lady' deserved a lot of kudos.  She had transformed the pretty country girl into a beautiful moon goddess that no man could resist.  And he was the lucky bastard who had her in the moonlight kissing her. 

Not that he had any resistance where this goddess was concerned anyway.

Although he had wondered what she would look like dolled up, truth be told, Ethan preferred the country girl.  She was real, down to earth, and uncomplicated.  He had never felt more comfortable around a woman, even though she didn't act like she felt the same around him.  Getting close to her had almost become an obsession, since he met her last year.  Who knew a few beers and a dance would change his luck. 

Ethan had worked harder for this woman than he'd ever had to work for a woman in his life. 
Roxanne Baker had taken hard to get to another level.  To finally be able to test his many fantasies against reality now, was something he was beginning to think he'd never have the chance to do. 

His fantasies held no comparison
, he thought, as he licked the seam of her lips.  She sighed and opened for him and Ethan thrust his tongue inside her warm mouth and deepened both the kiss and his desire.

She moaned and it traveled through his body
, before settling near his groin.  Pulling his lips from hers, his breaths coming in short bursts, he swallowed then said, "Where can we go that's private?" he asked knowing the house was out, so was the bunkhouse.

Rocky kissed along his jaw, then
kissed his neck and Ethan was done. 

"Where, Roxanne?" he hissed
, his dick going rock hard.

"Hayloft in the barn," she whispered near his ear the
n sucked his earlobe into her mouth and nipped it.  "Hurry," she urged in a hot whisper by his ear, before her lips found his again and she kissed him deeply.

In a
sexual haze he never wanted to wake up from, Ethan shoved up to his feet with Roxanne in his arms and headed toward the barn.  Tonight was going to be one wild ride, just like his whole life had been so far.

As a specially trained
Spec Ops Paramedic and firefighter, Ethan knew with the risks he took every day meant it could be his last, so he
always
sucked every ounce of joy out of life he could find.  He had a feeling though that swiftwater, cliff and flood rescue, along with his hobbies of skydiving, rock climbing and hangliding would all pale in comparison to loving Roxanne Baker tonight. 

He was going to make sure that if either of them died tomorrow, they would die happy.

BOOK: Worth the Trouble
6.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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