Authors: Melissa Hosack
Copyright© 2015 Vanessa
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WARNING: The unauthorized
reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal.
No part of this book may be used or
reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the
case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All
names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events,
locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
great grandma—Emma D.
Copyright © 2015
raised his face up to the sky. It was going to be a scorcher of a day with not
a cloud in the sky.
Connor, how are you?”
looked across the street and tipped his cowboy hat in the direction of Bob
who was about to head into the drug store. “I’m
How about yourself?”
Connor shouted to
attending this year’s bachelorette auction?”
was the third person to ask and he knew why. The busybodies in the town were
always eager to find out who he was going to bid on. This year he had no idea.
too busy with my campaign, so I might have to give this one a miss.”
want to disappoint your potential voters.” Bob wagged his finger at him.
I’ll have to try and find time,” Connor called back to him.
Have a good
touched the brim of his hat again and headed toward the empty store that was
now the election headquarters for the elect Connor Nolan-Delaney for County
vintage bell over the door still worked and made a loud ting as he opened it
and stepped inside. The smell of coffee brewing hit his nose and actually
excited it. He’d left the house early this morning, opting to go for an early morning
ride so he could take in the beauty and splendor of the area surrounding his
parents’ ranch. He removed his hat and saw his aunt Betty, now his campaign
manager, opening up a box of doughnuts with the words, Doyle’s Bakery written
across the front.
you red handed,” said Connor, sneaking up behind her.
jumped and turned around, sending a fountain of powdered sugar spilling onto
the front of her black blouse.
Connor. You could have given me a heart attack,” she said.
think that’s more likely to be caused by downing one of these babies.” Connor
snatched it from her hand and took a bite. “
think I died and went to heaven.”
for me I bought half a dozen,” she said, brushing away the sugar from her
exciting news for me?” asked Connor before taking another bite.
has it you’re thirty points ahead in the polls.”
knew the odds were stacked against him. He was running against the incumbent
county sheriff, Matt Patterson, who’d held the position for the last fifteen
years. However, Connor wanted this job and nothing was going to get in his way.
arranged for you to do a radio interview on Wednesday,” said Betty, picking up
“And Matt wants the two of
you to hold a town debate at City Hall. So we have to get that set up.”
I guess he’s anxious about that. He thinks I’m not experienced enough in the
why we’ll have some practice debates before the big day,” said Betty.
and Jennifer Nealon from Big Sky County Magazine wants to interview you for a
she was back in town and obviously a writer now. Thinking about her conjured up
the thick tortoise-rimmed glasses her parents had made her wear to school.
She’d taken lots of bullying over them and also over her weight. He walked over
to the coffee machine and poured himself a mug. “Does her mother still teach
does, but she’s retiring this year.”
know I don’t like interviews,” said Connor.
know, honey, but it’s great publicity. Your photo and an interview telling
potential voters what a great guy you are and what a mighty fine sheriff you’ll
be could tip the scales in your favor.”
for him he’d one day come to Jennifer’s rescue when some of his buddies had
pelted her with snowballs. Yes, he’d teased her too, but physical abuse was
crossing the line.
when do I have to meet with her?”
flipped through the notes she had on her desk. “She said she could stop by here
later today to get some preliminary stuff out of the way and then she’d like to
shadow you one day so she can get a feel for what you’re doing on the campaign
trail. Oh, and one final thing there’s the Grantsville Bachelorette Auction
knew what was coming next. The auction rotated between bachelor and
bachelorette so one lucky thing was it was an odd year and hence the ladies
turn to be put up for bidding.
made a list of ladies I think you should bid on,” said Betty.
handed him a sheet of paper with three names scribbled upon it.
know I really don’t want to do this either,” said Connor.
than being the one who’s paraded up and down while all the women check you out.”
he absolutely hated that. After his first year taking part, he had a whole new
understanding for what it was like to be a lady when she walked into a bar and
was checked out by all the cowboys in town.
I really have to this year?” He pushed the paper back at her.
your campaign manager I insist. And I’ve picked those three because, one they
have some clout in the community and two, they’re not the best looking or the
youngest of the bunch, but it will make you look like the sort of guy who gives
more weight to a woman’s intelligence. Did you know that Sally is actually a
member of MENSA?”
aunt knew he did have an eye and yes, okay, a cock too, for a pretty girl. But
wouldn’t it look too politically correct if he did bid on one of the lesser
attractive ladies? One thing Connor hated was doing something based on what
other people thought.
cell phone rang just as he was about to argue that point. He pulled it out of
his pocket and looked at the screen.
All he needed
was another female asking if he was attending the auction.
your baby sister and I have to take this or she’ll keep calling,” said Connor.
her we’re going to lunch in Missoula tomorrow.”
your father’s having an affair.”
first thought was it couldn’t be true. His second thought was if he was, well
shit that wasn’t going to be good for his campaign once news got around town.
Yeah, maybe he did think about what people thought after all.
fingered the paper. The paper that she’d used to copy Connor’s great, great,
great grandma Sarah’s diary, the one containing information that might possibly
have repercussions for his campaign.
Nothing like a skeleton
in the closet to mix things up.
glanced at her watch. She had ten minutes to drive over to his campaign
headquarters to put her plan into action. She was going to interview him for
Big Sky County Magazine, but at the same time she was going to make him an
offer he couldn’t refuse. She would have never guessed when she went looking
for a story at the historical society that she’d stumble upon the perfect way
to change her normal bad luck at the annual auction and turn it into gold.
got into her car and headed out of the office parking lot, thinking about what
she should wear to the auction. She’d always traveled into Missoula and picked
herself something sexy, but she’d always ended up with the least eligible
bachelor in town. When would the guys see her for who she was right now, not
the nerdy looking girl she’d been at Grantsville High School?
all went to plan she was going on a dinner date with the sexy Connor
Nolan-Delaney. That hyphenated last name now brought a smile to her face. Ever
since she’d read Sarah’s diary and learned about the antics she gotten up to
when she’d arrived in Montana as a mail order bride, she not been able to think
about Connor in exactly the same way. Sure, she like every other girl at school
had had a huge crush on him, often fantasizing about him being the guy that
would take her virginity, but she knew he’d always be out of her league. He was
part of a dynasty including the sprawling ranch his family owned, the hyphenated
name which to everyone showed upper class roots echoing back to the days when
Montana was still the Wild, Wild West. However, now she knew different and for
the first time it seemed to put them on equal footing.
spotted the parking lot at the back of what was the former western saddle shop
that was now the Nolan-Delaney campaign headquarters. Jennifer glanced in the rearview
mirror, smacked her lips together, and then fluffed up her hair. She’d been
away first at university and then working for a newspaper in Denver, so she
hadn’t seen Connor in person since she didn’t know when. Maybe the graduation
party her parents had thrown for her. She’d begged them not to, but seeing how
it was the Nolan-
, her mom had insisted on
putting them on the guest list. At least Connor’s parents and he and his sister
had the decency to show up.
at her appearance, she got out of the car and headed to the front of the store.
The bell made a ting sound as she opened the door, and she immediately spotted
Connor standing by a file case and talking on his cell phone at the back of the
that you, Jennifer? It is, well, I didn’t recognize you without your glasses.”
glasses were long gone. Thank
goodness for Lasik!
Betty Parsons, Connor’s aunt and campaign manager.”
lady in her late sixties with salt and pepper colored hair stepped toward her
with her hand extended.
it’s nice to—”
stopped talking when she heard Connor raising his voice.
because he’s been acting strange doesn’t mean he’s seeing another woman.”
leaned against the file case, the jeans pulling across one very nice ass. Maybe
she’d have to dig around and try and locate some photos of Jon Delaney and
Shaun Nolan to see if she could spot any resemblance.
coughed when Connor began talking even louder.
I will speak with him, but he is not having an affair, period.”
will be right with you. Can I get you a cup of coffee or a doughnut maybe?”
doughnut was tempting, but if she was going to get into the dress she had in
mind for the auction best she pass on it.
would be great.”
right up, and you can take a seat here. Connor shouldn’t be long.”
pulled up a chair and looked at the campaign signs hung around the place.
Connor’s handsome face stared back at her everywhere she glanced. Nothing had
really changed. He still made her pulse quicken and yes, her panties were
growing just a tad damp as she looked at his rear end in those jeans.
you go, honey,” said Betty, handing her a brown mug with Nolan-Delaney for County
Sheriff splashed across its front.
you. Are you the sibling of Connor’s father or mother?”
his mother’s oldest sister,” said Betty.
“Moved back from
Oregon six months ago.”
I mean moved
back, not the Oregon bit.”
husband died last year and I thought I’d like to return to my roots,” said
had wanted to do the very same thing, not even thinking twice about accepting
the job with Big Sky County Magazine. It wasn’t the best paying job in the
world, but this was home.
finished his conversation and turned around. They looked at one another. He
looked hot and bothered but still the coolest guy in town.
Jennifer is here to meet with you.”
walked over. No, he sauntered over, the jeans tight across his muscular thighs.
His shirt was open at the top showing just a few chest hairs. There was light stubble
on his chin. She had that crush all over again.
felt something cold on her chin. It was drool.
Dear lord this guy can still turn me into wobbly jelly.
he hadn’t seen any evidence of the drooling, but she slyly wiped it away just
to see you again, Jennifer. It’s been a long time.”