Published May 28th 2013
All Jamie Lassiter wants is to marry his best friend's sister and settle down for the rest of his life in Chance Creek. He's saved his money, bought into the Cruz Guest Ranch and he's ready for that wedding, but Claire Cruz is nowhere to be found.
Claire's too busy leaving Montana behind to care about cowboys or their wedding plans. She's got plans of her own - a trip around the world. She'll go as soon as she buys her tickets and she doesn't care if she ever sees Chance Creek again.
Desperate to change Claire's mind, Jamie proposes a bet: give him six weeks to convince her to marry him. If he can't, he'll pay for her round-the-world tickets himself.
Claire can wait six weeks if it means free tickets and a chance to get a little revenge on a man who once broke her heart. She's got only one stipulation: Jamie can't touch or flirt with her – or any other woman - while the bet is on.
Now Jamie's on the run from a bevy of cowboy-groupie ranch guests, and Claire's learning she cares about the ranch - and Jamie - more than she dreamed possible.
Maybe it's time to lose that bet.
As long as Jamie loses it first.
“Taking off? Where are you going?“
He sounded angry, which confused Claire. It wasn't like he gave a damn where she went. Sure, he flirted with her now and then, and he'd even invited her to celebrate with the rest of the crowd the night he and Ethan became partners. She'd gone along with it, but made sure they were never alone. And she'd made sure to leave in plenty of time to drive back to Billings. She wasn't going to be another one-night-stand notch on Jamie's bedpost. “Wherever I choose.” She moved away from him, beginning her count again.
“For how long?“
“A year. Maybe two.” At this rate she'd never figure out if she had enough tables set up for all the wedding guests.
“Damn it! You can't do that!” Jamie's fist hit the table and made her jump. When he took her arm and pulled her around to face him she could only stare.
“Why the hell not?” Once she was over her shock, anger flooded her. What was he playing at, scaring her like that? She tried to shrug him off, but he tightened his grip around her bicep. He looked furious, too.
“Because…because you're marrying me on Labor Day,” he blurted out. He fished around in his jeans pocket and pulled out small, velvet box. Letting go of her arm, he opened it, yanked out a ring, grabbed her hand and shoved it halfway onto her finger before she could react. She tried to pull her hand away as the ring's setting dug into her skin, but he gripped her wrist with iron fingers and pushed it farther over her knuckle.
“What are you doing? Stop it!” Claire struck out, batting at his arms and chest. She'd had enough of Ethan's friends' stupidity today. It was one thing to switch the contents of her moisturizer and leave her a dorky note – she expected that kind of crap from Rob – but for Jamie to play along with the gag and take it to this level? She wouldn't stand for it.
“No, I won't stop it,” Jamie growled. “I've got everything planned out and you're not going to screw it up again! You're not going on any god-damned trip around the world, because you're going to stay here and become my wife.” He rammed the ring the rest of the way onto her finger, then pulled her close, slid one hand around her waist and kissed her, hard.
When he released her, she rocked back on her heels, too stunned to speak. Clapping from across the lawn alerted her that Ethan, Rob and Cab had witnessed this whole debacle – hell, they were in on it, too, weren't they? Heat surging into her cheeks, she shoved Jamie as hard as she could, and when that didn't work, she went to peel the ring off and throw it in his face.
It didn't budge.
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
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads/Amazon author page/B&N author page/Smashwords author page
Cora is holding a tour wide contest!! One lucky commenter will win a $100 Amazon GC.
The more you comment the more chances you have to win! Follow the rest of the tour here.