brides for brothers 04 - cowboy surrender

BOOK: brides for brothers 04 - cowboy surrender
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Cover Page

Dear Reader

Title Page

Dedication

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Epilogue

Copyright

Dear Reader,

Jake Randall stopped at nothing to get little brothers Chad, Pete and Brett married off and populating the Randall ranch with herds of little ones. Well, the tables get turned in this one, the last of my 4 BRIDES FOR 4 BROTHERS miniseries.

I love big families who care about each other, and I love cowboys. Out there on their Wyoming ranch, the Randall brothers fill both bills. As oldest brother and keeper of the family, Jake felt responsible for the fact that none of his brothers had married, so he set out to play Cupid for them. Like most big brothers, he thought he knew best. And like most younger brothers, Chad, Pete and Brett didn’t cooperate. I hope their stories made you laugh out loud and made you want to join the Randalls in their pursuit of love.

I’m sorry to have to leave the ranch and say goodbye to the Randall brothers. They’ve been great company to me. I hope you’ve enjoyed their stories as much as I have.

Best wishes,

 

Cowboy Surrender

 

Judy
Christenberry

 

To Barbara Hunt, who, like Jake, feels responsible for
the rest of us. No one could ask for a better sister.

Prologue

“You need to sell your cows and replace them with ostriches.”

Jake Randall’s head jerked up, and he stared at the woman sitting to his left at the kitchen table. “I beg your pardon?”

“Ostriches are the latest thing. I’m sure you would do well with them. And you should paint your barns red. That’s the color people expect to see.”

Even as he spoke to his guest, Jake turned to glare at his sister-in-law Janie, seated halfway down the table. “I didn’t realize you were an authority on ranching, Miss Quentin.”

“Just a case of using common sense. I think the ranch would be more attractive if your employees wore uniforms, too. Maybe black pants and turquoise shirts.”

Jake swallowed carefully before saying, “Thank you for the suggestion. Are you going to be in Wyoming long?” He hoped not.

Janie spoke before her friend could answer. “Allison is thinking of settling here.”

“Oh, really,” Jake sent a silent prayer upward that she chose another part of the vast state of Wyoming, far away from the Randall spread he and his brothers owned.

“It all depends,” Allison Quentin murmured, suddenly batting her eyes at Jake. “I’m in Wyoming to find a husband. I’ve heard women are scarce out here.”

Not that scarce.

“M
R
. R
ANDALL
, I’m so glad you could join Megan and me for lunch,” the blonde gushed, patting his arm with a soft hand capped with bright red talons that any self-respecting wolf would’ve been proud of.

“My pleasure, Miss Baker,” he said politely, but he shot a look of frustration at Megan. His sister-in-law had asked him to accompany her shopping for a present for her husband, his brother Chad. She had neglected to mention a previous lunch engagement until a couple of minutes ago.

The blonde’s statuesque figure was encased in a tight black dress, cut low to expose her charms. When she leaned toward him to talk, Jake had a fascinating picture in his mind of her popping out of the dress like a hot dog bursting from its skin when it was cooked.

“I’m thrilled to meet a real live cowboy,” Mindy Baker cooed. Her hand traveled up and down his sleeve, as if seeking entrance to what lay below the fabric.

“You’ve never met Chad, Megan’s husband?”

She giggled, her bosom shaking like gelatin. “Well, of course I have, silly, but he’s married.”

“Cowboys can’t be married?”

“Of course they can, but I’m not interested in married cowboys.” She batted her fake eyelashes at him.

Uh-oh. Not again!

J
AKE
L
OOKED FORWARD
to dinner with his family. His three brothers and their wives were pleasant company, and his new twin nephews were special delights.

Yeah, life was good.

He swung into the kitchen, a smile on his face, only to find his favorite room in the house empty, the table not set for dinner. What the hell…?

“Jake?” Red called, following him into the room. “We’re eating in the dining room tonight.”

A sense of foreboding filling him, Jake asked, “Why?”

The cowboy-turned-housekeeper walked directly to the oven, not even glancing at Jake. “We have company tonight, a friend of Anna’s.”

“An unmarried friend of Anna’s?” Jake asked carefully.

“How would I know?” Red answered, again not meeting his gaze. “Come on, everyone else is ready to eat.”

Jake followed Red into the formal dining room, but he would’ve preferred retreating to his bedroom. He was beginning to feel hunted.

Anna, his newest sister-in-law, a petite, red-headed whirlwind, met him at the door. “Jake, I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve invited one of my nursing professors from Casper to stay a few days with us. She’s never been on a ranch before.”

“It’s your home, Anna. Of course you can invite your friends to stay.”

“Janice, let me introduce you to Jake, Brett’s brother. Jake, this is Janice Kobell.”

“How do you do, Miss Kobell. It is ‘Miss,’ isn’t it?” he asked a trifle grimly.

“Yes, it is, though, of course, I’m always hoping to find that special man. I can’t tell you how frustrating and difficult it is to find any kind of man in the city. They’re all so wimpy. That’s why I decided to accept Anna’s invitation. She assured me the Randall men would never be considered wimpy. And she was so right. You are a wonderful specimen, Jake. I can’t wait to observe you in…action.”

Her eyelashes blinked so furiously, Jake wondered if she had something in her eye.

“You’re welcome to watch all of us work,” he said, taking a step back.

Janice stepped closer to him, her nostrils flaring, as she reached out to stroke his chest. “Oh, Jake, I’m not talking about work.”

Jake lost his appetite.

Chapter One

“Crazy women!” Jake Randall muttered as he charged into the barn.

There was a sharp wind blowing outside, foretelling the cold winter that would soon follow. But it was only October and Jake, a veteran of thirty-four previous Wyoming winters, hadn’t been chased inside by the weather. No, his problem was women.

“Something wrong?” a cool feminine voice asked.

Jake spun around in surprise. He had supposed he was alone. Instead, he found himself facing B. J. Anderson, the local veterinarian who lived on his and his brothers’ ranch.

“I didn’t know you were here,” he said abruptly, and stuck his hands deep in his back jean pockets.

B.J. rolled her eyes and turned her back on him, continuing her examination of the mare in the stall with her.

Jake studied her. She’d been around since the first of the year, arriving, with her young son and aunt, almost simultaneously with the influx of women to the Randall family.

Women he’d wanted for his brothers.

Women he now wanted to strangle.

It wasn’t that he didn’t love his new sisters-in-law—or the changes they’d brought to the Randall ranch. And he adored his twin nephews, born in July. But he needed some relief from their female scheming.

“B.J.”

She’d finished her examination of the mare and was packing up her kit. “Mmm-hmm?”

She didn’t sound interested in a conversation—or anything else—with him, he thought in irritation. Not that he could blame her. She was a damn good vet, in spite of being female. He’d doubted her abilities at first, but now he backed her one hundred percent…as a vet.

It was as a woman that he had problems with her. Something he hadn’t exactly kept to himself.

She came out of the stall, her long legs encased in slim-fitting jeans. She was a tall woman, strong, lithe, but no one ever mistook her for a man. In fact, Jake was amazed, now that he thought about it, that she hadn’t married since her arrival.

BOOK: brides for brothers 04 - cowboy surrender
13.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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