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Charlene Sands
The Heart of a Cowboy

The Heart of a Cowboy
Charlene Sands

After six years on the rodeo circuit, rough-and-tumble cowboy Case Jarrett returned to the Triple R to face his responsibility and the only woman he'd ever loved - his late brother's pregnant widow.Case wanted to honor his brother's wishes and take care of Sarah, but living with her brought out a fever in him that begged for release! Sarah remembered the electrifying kiss she and Case had shared as teenagers.Now he was back, making a mess of her heart - not to mention her hormones! Did she dare dream of a happily-ever-after with a man whose powerful presence had always set off fireworks in her soul?

Sarah Felt A Sudden Tightening In Her Abdomen.

She gripped her stomach. “Oh, no!” she cried out, doubling over.

“What? Sarah, what’s wrong?” Case asked.

The pain intensified. “I think…oh!” she exclaimed, the pain gripping her tight. “I think…the baby’s coming,” she managed to say.

“Now? But you have weeks to go.”

On instinct, Sarah knew the baby was coming early. And they were out in a desolate part of the range, with no form of communication. The baby wasn’t going to wait.

“Babies don’t always come on schedule, Case.”

Case straightened and nodded, a determined light coming into his eyes. “Okay, okay. Let’s get you into the car. We’ll make it to the hospital in half an hour.”

Sarah shook her head and grabbed on to his sleeve. “No, Case. There isn’t time. The baby’s coming too fast.”

She met the fear in Case’s eyes with her own. There was no way around this. Sarah knew what he had to do. The contractions were intense and coming far too frequently. She pleaded with him now. He was her only hope.

“Case, you have to deliver my baby.”

Dear Reader,

Get your new year off to a sizzling start by reading six passionate, powerful and provocative new love stories from Silhouette Desire!

Don’t miss the exciting launch of DYNASTIES: THE BARONES, the new 12-book continuity series about feuding Italian-American families caught in a web of danger, deceit and desire. Meet Nicholas, the eldest son of Boston’s powerful Barone clan, and Gail, the down-to-earth nanny who wins his heart, in The Playboy & Plain Jane (#1483) by USA TODAY bestselling author Leanne Banks.

In Beckett’s Convenient Bride (#1484), the final story in Dixie Browning’s BECKETT’S FORTUNE miniseries, a detective offers the protection of his home—and loses his heart—to a waitress whose own home is torched after she witnesses a murder. And in The Sheikh’s Bidding (#1485) by Kristi Gold, an Arabian prince pays dearly to win back his ex-lover and their son.

Reader favorite Sara Orwig completes her STALLION PASS miniseries with The Rancher, the Baby & the Nanny (#1486), featuring a daredevil cowboy and the shy miss he hires to care for his baby niece. In Quade: The Irresistible One (#1487) by Bronwyn Jameson, sparks fly when two lawyers exchange more than arguments. And great news for all you fans of Harlequin Historicals author Charlene Sands—she’s now writing contemporary romances, as well, and debuts in Desire with The Heart of a Cowboy (#1488), a reunion romance that puts an ex-rodeo star at close quarters on a ranch with the pregnant widow he’s loved silently for years.

Ring in this new year with all six brand-new love stories from Silhouette Desire….

Enjoy!

Joan Marlow Golan

Senior Editor, Silhouette Desire

The Heart of a Cowboy

Charlene Sands

CHARLENE SANDS

resides in Southern California with her husband, Don, and two children, Jason and Nikki. When not writing, she enjoys sunny California days, Pacific beaches, sitting down with a good book and, of course, happy endings!

She loves to hear from her readers. Contact her at charlenesands@hotmail.com or visit her Web site at charlenesands.com.

To my husband, Don, my best friend, my love and my own special breed of cowboy. Ain’t nobody better, honey.

And special thanks to my talented editor, Patience Smith, for your effort in making this book come together.

It’s always a pleasure working with you.

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Epilogue

One

Case Jarrett pulled his truck up to Red Ridge Ranch and heaved a heavy sigh. He glanced at the ranch house he’d grown up in. After months away busting broncs on the rodeo circuit and silently grieving the death of his brother, Reid, he was back now.

Bounding out of the king cab, Case lifted his Stetson off his head to run a hand through his dark hair. Arizona heat coiled around him like a diamondback snake tightening about his body. He welcomed the familiar swamping and took in a deep breath of dust-laden air, then returned his hat to his head.

He had a promise to keep and wondered how Sarah, his brother’s widow, would react to his moving back home. Hell, he’d debated his decision over and over in his mind and hadn’t come up with any other way to protect his family home and keep the promise he’d made to Reid on his deathbed.

Case had kept his distance for five months—since the funeral—but Sarah was eight months pregnant now and Case couldn’t justify his staying away any longer. He was needed here. Always had been. Guilt yanked at him hard. If he’d been here, seeing to the Triple R, helping out, maybe Reid wouldn’t have died so tragically. His brother would still be alive to witness the birth of his first child.

Instead Reid was buried in the family plot five miles up the road. Case had stopped by on his way in, noting the fresh batch of wildflowers on his grave. Sarah, no doubt, had laid down those flowers. When the front screen slapped open, Case snapped his head up. Sarah stood on the front porch, just outside the door and her expression, that momentary sign of hope, slammed into his gut. Disappointment registered quickly on her face when she recognized him. Being an identical twin brother had had its share of benefits at an earlier age, especially where Sarah was concerned, but now, his very appearance was a constant reminder to her of the husband that she’d lost. She did a fine job of covering up, but Case knew beyond a doubt that for one instant before reason and reality set in, Sarah thought she was seeing the man she had married.
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