“We’re going to the ranch. This Daddy is taking care of all his little ones.”
Before she was twenty-one, Camille Hendrix had been lied to, cheated on, assaulted twice, forced into a loveless marriage, divorced, and left to fend for herself with one baby and another on the way. She had also been loved by a man she left without a word of explanation and missed every day of her life. Now, with a nursing degree and two preschoolers, she was determined to return to her hometown and make a life, if possible, with the only man she ever loved. But was it too much to ask? Someone in town thought so.
Sawyer Knight was the most sought-after playboy in three counties and probably more. Everyone knew the woman he loved had suddenly left town without a word. Since then, Sawyer could be seen most weekends at the Whet Whistle, kicking up dust, getting toasted, and going home with a different woman. No woman was permanent in his life and Sawyer made that known loud and clear, until Cami came back to town. She was divorced, a mother, and life weary but when he laid eyes on her at his brother’s house, she was still the most beautiful, feisty woman he’d ever seen. Maybe more than ever because her strength of character shone through the battle scars, and his heart immediately yearned for her. If he claimed her this time, he wouldn’t let her go without a fight. It seemed the first opponent had already entered the ring.
This is book two in the Clearwater Ranch series but can be enjoyed as a standalone.
Publisher’s Note: This contemporary Western romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, sensual scenes and power exchange.
“Me and Lily ate but mama didn’t, so maybe she can eat.”
Good boy. Taking care of his mama. He returned his gaze to Cami. She did look pale, thinner than he remembered her, but her breasts were fuller, her hips wider. He was shocked at the old feelings jumping at him. His emotions where all over the place but taking care of her was as natural as breathing.
“Camille, is that true?” She shivered as she once did when he used that tone. She must’ve felt it too.
“I ate today,” she said with a bite of attitude. He loved that about her. Sassy to the end.
“If not dinner, lunch?”
When she didn’t answer, he sat his son on the couch next to him and dropped a kiss on his soft hair before standing to walk over to Camille. He reached for Lily who had begun to take a deep interest in the new man in her brother’s life.
“Are the rumors true?”
“I have no idea. Rumors are usually not told to the person being chatted about.”
His lips twitched at her prim answer. He should be flaming mad at her, and maybe he would be later, but right now, all he could be is hopeful. He nodded, trying to be satisfied.
Piper spoke up. “The bad ones, no, the ex, yes, but there is so much more you need to hear. You have no idea.”
Sawyer continued to stare into Camille’s eyes as he reached for Lily again. “Lily for Cam-illy?”
He did smile then. He had called Camille, Camilly Piccadilly their whole lives. “Nice. Am I jumping a claim if I stake ownership of this beauty as well?”
Camille shook her head. “No. She has your last name.”
That did surprise him, but it served his purpose. Presumptuous or not, he now had two children to call him daddy and he liked that. He liked it a lot.
“Well, Miss Lily, do you want to sit in daddy’s lap while mama eats her dinner?”
“Oh, but I’m not…”
Her words faded to nothing as he gave her the look he knew she remembered. He had paddled her rear a few times in their last year of dating, after she had turned eighteen and could really consent.
“Do I need to make you a plate, Camille?” his voice was well modulated but with considerable effort.
He had the urge to paddle that beautiful rounded ass and take over her care immediately. Piper implied the gossip was what it always was, false, but still, where there’s smoke, there had to be a little fire. He would find out the whole story but not tonight. His girl looked exhausted. He softened his voice. No matter what happened after this, he had his son and she had all but told him he could be Lily’s daddy as well. Children needed their mother and he needed her too.