With a smile, Kelly picked up the sleepy bundle, holding him close, loving the sensation of her tiny son against her heart.
Henry had Jace’s dark lashes, even his dimples. Kelly shook her head, still in disbelief that Jace had moved here. She should have known he would come back to stir up the painful memories it had taken her months to overcome.
Forcing the negative thoughts from her mind, she kissed Henry’s little head and went to the kitchen to get some aspirin.
As she reached for the medicine, she heard her brother talking to someone in the next room. Curious, she rounded the corner just in time to see Jace Compton step inside the small living room.
Immediate and total panic set into every fiber of her being.
“You left your purse in the truck.” He held the small bag out to her.
She glared. Stepping forward she snatched the purse from his hand then turned toward the bedroom, hoping he’d go out the same way he came in.
She stopped. This was so not happening. Jace walked over to where she stood. His gaze was fixed on the baby in her arms.
“Who do we have here?”
Lone Star Baby Bombshell
LAUREN CANAN, born and raised amid the cattle ranches of Texas, climbed a fence and jumped onto the back of her first horse at age three. She still maintains the punishment was worth the experience. She grew up listening to her dad tell stories of make-believe and was always encouraged to let her imagination soar. The multi-award-winning author and recipient of the 2014 Golden Heart® Award happily spends her days penning her favorite kind of stories: those of two people who, against all odds, meet, fall in love and live happily ever after—which is the way it should be. In her spare time she enjoys playing guitar, piano and dulcimer in acoustic club jams and getting lots of kisses and wags from her four-legged fuzzy babies. Visit Lauren’s website at www.laurencanan.com. She would love to hear from you!
MILLS & BOON
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Special thanks to two brilliant authors who kindly gave their time and expertise. Kathleen Gregory, I could not have done this without you. Angi Morgan, you are my forever hero! Thank you for all you do.
To Jill Marsal of the Marsal-Lyon Literary Agency. You made all the difference. Thank you for believing in me.
To my editor, Charles Griemsman, for your endless patience and encouragement. You are the best.
To Laurel Hamrick for being there when I needed to whine!
And to Terry, my real-life hero, who taught me the true meaning of love and happily-ever-afters.
Table of Contents
Kelly Michaels slowed the car as she neared the twelve-foot-high black wrought-iron gates banked by native stone walls on either side. A bronze plaque on the left welcomed her to the C Bar Ranch. She stretched to reach the keypad and entered the code Don Honeycutt, the Realtor, had provided.
With a resounding click, the gates swung open, separating the giant C set in the center. She followed the long winding drive flanked by centuries-old oak trees towering over lush green pastures. She pulled around to the staff entrance. The home was enormous. It was more mansion than typical ranch house. But new construction was generally a breeze to clean. Gathering the implements out of the trunk, she went inside.
Her instructions were to clean two bedrooms and adjoining baths upstairs plus the den, office, foyer and kitchen downstairs. She should be able to wrap this up in time