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Meet Sable Hunter and Ryan Donovan
She’s hot, he’s hungry, and in Saddle Wells anything can happen
Sable Hunter paid her dues caring for suburban pets in West Texas. Ready to get back to her first love—large animals—she’s excited about moving to Saddle Wells to take over for the retiring veterinarian. With a reputation to build, she can’t afford any distractions, and the sizzling heat between her and local rancher Ryan Donovan could seriously mess with her focus.
Ryan earned his stripes the hard way, one bull at a time on the rodeo circuit. Now he’s put his prize money to work raising bulls for competition. He can’t deny he misses the rush of pro riding—until the sweet new vet in town brings a different kind of excitement and makes him want to sweep her into his bed and his future.
Becoming friends with benefits sounds like an excellent compromise to Ryan until he can convince Sable she doesn’t have to choose between career and love. But a costly mistake could destroy her career, as well as any chance for happiness with the man she realizes she loves.
“Does everyone in town come here for lunch?” she asked.
“If they’re in town. That’s why I wanted to bring you here.”
He might have said more but at that moment the waitress appeared at their table so they quickly scanned their menus again. They had just placed their orders and Sable had relaxed in her seat, prepared to answer any other questions Lynch asked, when the air around her suddenly seemed to shift. What felt like an electrical charge whispered over her skin, making the fine hairs stand up and her pulse stutter. What on earth?
Pete Lynch looked up, grinned, and said, “Hey, Ryan. I was hoping to see you.”
“This the vet you were telling me about?”
The voice was deep and warm, rolling over her like hot molasses on a summer day and reaching deep into every crevice of her body. When she looked up she nearly swallowed her tongue. She felt as if all the air had been sucked out of her lungs. In her life she had seen many gorgeous men, sexy men, handsome men, some all three. But whoever this was beat all of them hands down.
He was without a doubt the largest man she’d ever seen, big without being enormous. He was way over six feet, with broad shoulders, lean hips and long, long legs. The work shirt and faded jeans he wore could have been custom made for him. His face was square-jawed with high cheekbones, and lashes as black as the hair on his head and as thick as any woman’s framed eyes a startling electric blue.
Sable stared at him, her breath trapped in her throat, her nipples hardening painfully into sharp points and the pulse in her sex pounding like a bass drum. In her entire life she had never had such an instantaneous reaction to a man. Any man.
“Sable?” Pete Lynch’s voice broke into her fog. “Let me introduce you to Ryan Donovan.”
Ryan Donovan. Of course, she thought. The man she’d read the article about. And he was quintessential Black Irish. Thought to be descended from the Spanish, with skin that tanned rather than freckled, the black hair that was the iconic symbol along with the large muscular body. Sex on the hoof. She managed to shake herself into some semblance of awareness and nod to him.
“Hi. Sable Hunter. Nice to meet you.”
“And yes,” Pete continued, “the new vet. I hope, anyway.” He looked at Sable. “Ryan owns the Gold Buckle Ranch.”
Sable knew what that meant. She lowered her gaze to his waist and yup, there it was, locked to a leather belt and nestled against his flat abdomen. “I read about you in The Hill Country Herald. You competed on the circuit.”
His laugh had a rumbling sound. “Jinx Malone would like to make me out as some local celebrity but I’m just an old rodeo cowboy.”
“But a very successful one,” she protested. “Not everyone gets a gold buckle.”
He shrugged. “As much luck as skill. I quit while I still had most of my bones intact and began breeding bulls for competition.” He narrowed his eyes. “If you take over from Pete here you’ll be tending to them. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone your size wrestle a bull.”
God, she was so tired of hearing that. But getting irritated at a man who might be a client wasn’t going to do her any good. She’d found humor usually worked a lot better.
“Actually,” she told him, “bulls have been known to faint in terror just at the sight of me.” She winked. “Some men, too.”
“Damn, you’re good, Sable.” Lynch burst out laughing. “Ryan, I think you’ve met your match.”
The look Ryan Donovan gave her was so penetrating it made all her girl parts quiver and her panties were suddenly drenched. Good lord. What was going on here?
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