Heating Up in Texas!
When Justin McCabe hires a master carpenter to help build his ranch for troubled teens, tall, gorgeous blonde Amanda Johnson isn't quite what he'd imagined. But not only can she do the job, she has a thing or two to teach him about judging by appearances. And, more important, she has a knack for reaching the kind of kid Justin wants to help.
Amanda hadn't counted on her new boss--all strapping six foot five of him--being so utterly irresistible. Working side by side under the scorching Texas sun, the two of them make a great team--in every way possible. The heat of summer is no match for the sizzle they generate whenever they're together. But when a crisis forces Amanda to face her past, she'll need to make a heart-wrenching decision about her future...whether Justin is in it or not.
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There were times for doing things yourself and times for not. This, Justin McCabe thought grimly, surveying the damage he had just inflicted on a brand-new utility cabinet and the drywall behind it, was definitely one of the latter.
Frustrated, because there was little he couldn't do well, Justin shook his head in disgust. Then he swore heatedly at the blunder that further derailed his tight schedule and made it even harder to prove the skeptics wrong.
It was possible, of course, that this could be fixed without buying a whole new cabinet. If he knew what he was doing. Which he clearly did not--a fact that the five beloved ranch mutts, sitting quietly and cautiously watching his every move, seemed to realize, too.
A motor sounded in the lane, and he hoped it was the carpenter who'd been scheduled to arrive that morning and had yet to actually make an appearance. Justin set his hammer down. He stalked to the door of Bunkhouse One just as a fancy red Silverado pickup truck stopped in front of the lodge. It had an elaborate silver Airstream trailer attached to the back and a lone woman at the wheel.
"Great." Justin sighed as all the dogs darted out the open door of the partially finished bunkhouse and raced, barking their heads off, toward the vehicle.
The obviously lost tourist eased the window down and stuck her head out into the sweltering Texas heat. A straw hat with a sassy rolled brim was perched on her head. Sunglasses shaded her eyes. But there was no disguising her beautiful face and shapely bare arms. The young interloper was, without a doubt, the most exquisite female Justin had ever seen.
She smiled at the dogs, despite the fact that they were making a racket. "Hey, poochies," she said in a soft, melodic voice.
As entranced as he was, the dogs seemed more so. They'd stopped barking and had all sat down to stare at the stranger.
She opened her door and stepped out. All six feet of her.
Layered red and white tank tops showcased her nice, full breasts and slender waist. A short denim skirt clung to her hips and emphasized a pair of really fine legs.
She took off her hat and shook out a mane of butterscotch-blond hair that fell in soft waves past her shoulders. After tossing the hat on the seat behind her, she reached down to pet the dogs. The pack was thoroughly besotted.
Justin completely understood.
If there was such a thing as love at first sight--which he knew there wasn't--he'd have been a goner.
The woman straightened and removed her sunglasses. "I'm Amanda," she said in the same voice that had magically quieted his dogs.
Justin stared into long-lashed, wide-set amber eyes that were every bit as mesmerizing as the rest of her. His brain seemed to have stopped working altogether. His body, on the other hand, was at full alert. "I'm Justin McCabe."
"This the Lost Pines?" Amanda asked, taking a moment to scan their surroundings.
Working to get the blood back in his brain where it belonged, Justin merely nodded.
"So," she said, still admiring the acres of unfenced grassland peppered with cedar and live oak, as well as the endless blue horizon and rolling hills in the distance. "Where do you want me to park my trailer?"
And then, all of a sudden, the fantasy ended. This gorgeous woman had not been dropped into his life like a karmic reward for all his hard work. Brought swiftly back to reality, he stopped her with a regretful lift of his palm. "You can't."
She pivoted back to him in a drift of citrusy perfume. Her eyes sparked with indignation and...
The Long, Hot Texas Summer
By: Cathy Gillen Thacker