Authors: Becky McGraw
This is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, places and incidents are products of the author's
imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as
real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or
persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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Becky McGraw on Smashwords
HERE COMES TROUBLE,
Copyright @ January, 2013 by Becky McGraw.
All rights reserved
under International and Pan American Copyright Conventions. By
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nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of
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permission of the author.
Thank you to my wonderful husband and family
for your support, for putting up with me when I put on my
headphones to close out the world and bond with my keyboard and
imaginary characters, for listening patiently while I run through
plot ideas, and for not thinking I'm nuts and having me committed
when I talk about my characters like they're real people. I love
that ya'll are on my team to cheer me on, pick me up and push me
toward the finish line.
I'd also like to thank my friend Kellie Wyatt
for using her thorough eye for detail to help me edit this book and
all the books in my Texas Trouble Series to make them the best they
Finally, thank you, the reader, for buying my
books and reading them. I hope you enjoy!
Be sure to check out all
of the books in the
Texas Trouble Series by
Book #1 - My Kind of Trouble (Cassie &
Book #2 - The Trouble With Love (Sabrina &
Book #3 - Double the Trouble (Karlie &
Book #4 - Looking for Trouble (Jess &
Book #5 - Trouble in Dixie (Katie &
Book #6 - Asking for Trouble (Jazzie &
Book #7 - Chasing Trouble (Jenny &
Book #8 - Here Comes Trouble (Terri &
: Book #9 - Worth the
Trouble (Ethan & Roxanne)
Everything in Joel Rhodes life smelled like
horse shit right now. Even the cool night breeze drifting around
the pool reeked of it. Joel couldn't even sit out here and drink a
beer and forget about the manure pile his life had
His mama had built her stable too close to the
pool house, and when the wind blew just right the pool was perfumed
by it. Joel had built his life around the wrong woman, and the
smell was just as offensive.
And because he was miserable, his brother
thought he needed to be with company. That was the last thing Joel
needed. Since he'd left the house he shared with his wife in Dallas
a month ago, Joel had been brooding, assessing, trying to make
sense of what Karen had done to him and why. Anyone subjected to
him these days would probably catch the sour end of his mood.
That's why he was staying away from people. Or had been until his
brother Chase showed up at his temporary apartment in Dallas and
dragged him to Amarillo.
He'd used the premise of needing help moving
Jenny Anderson here, but Joel knew his visit was because he hadn't
been answering his cell phone, and Karen had told him Joel had
It wasn't bad enough Chase had dragged him out
of his wallow, his brother had stuck him with Jenny's friend, Terri
Cassidy for the ride from Henrietta. The woman had talked and
ranted at him non-stop the whole ride. Suck it up, she'd said, I've
been divorced five years and survived. You will too, but feeling
sorry for yourself and burying your head isn't gonna make things
better, she told him. She probably had a point, but Joel wasn't in
a very receptive mood these days. He deserved a good
What his wife had done to him was different
from Terri's circumstances. Karen had not only cheated on him,
she'd done it with his business partner and best friend. For five
years...the entire time they were married. Joel was such a fool it
would probably still be going on if he hadn't seen it with his own
eyes, caught them in the act.
Going at it on
If he ever got over it, which Joel had his
doubts he ever would, it was going to be a long time coming. How
the hell could he trust another woman after that?
So now he was stuck at his parent's house
until he could head back to Dallas in the morning. Stuck listening
to Chase, Jenny and Terri talk ninety to nothing. Stuck wondering
if his ears would begin bleeding at any minute. Stuck wondering
what the hell he was gonna do with his life.
His eyes drifted from his beer to the chatty
group sitting on the other side if the table. The smell of manure
didn't seem to be bothering them at all. Could be that it was
masked by his brother's bullshit. Chase had a way of dishing it out
to make it smell like roses though. He always had. That's why women
flocked to him like flies on horseshit, Joel thought
The drama from earlier today, was a prime
example. Even though Jenny Anderson had been pissed and leaving,
Chase had somehow convinced her to stay in Amarillo. Their mother
with her meddling ways had set Jenny up. She wanted grandkids and
pairing her up with Chase had been their mother's mission. She had
accomplished it too. When his mama set her mind to something, it
was going to happen.
Jenny found out and wasn't happy at all with
Chase or their mother.
As if his brother needed any help in the women
Joel was the one who needed help. Not that he
wanted his mother's interference in
life, he did not.
That was why he hadn't told his parents yet he was getting a
divorce. Well that and his father would probably give him hell for
failing at it. He could hear Jack Rhodes telling him, "
had just tried a little harder, son...give it another try.
in this lifetime.
That was the thing. Joel had tried, but as
hard as he tried, he hadn't been able to keep one woman happy
enough at home. Maybe he worked too much, or didn't pay her enough
attention, he wasn't perfect, but dammit he tried to be a good
husband. Work had become a necessity so he could give Karen the
things she'd come to want and expect from him.
That certainly hadn't included sex, she'd been
getting that elsewhere.
Lifting his arm to cover his nose, Joel said,
"Whew, mama sure picked a prime spot for that damned stable,
"Better get used to it brother, you're gonna
be smelling a lot of that if you open that dude ranch," Chase
teased, and Jenny and Terri chuckled.
"I'm sure as hell gonna pick a better spot for
my barn than behind the pool house," Joel said and slugged down the
rest of his fourth beer.
Maybe by the time he got down to the bottom of
number six, the ache in his chest would feel a little better. He
hoped so anyway. The fury he'd felt after he caught Karen and Larry
had now turned into an insistent ache in his chest he couldn't seem
to get rid of.
Joel's eyes wandered over to the small
brunette sitting beside Jenny. Terri Cassidy was petite, but she
was curved in all the right places. The dark cloud he'd been living
under the last month parted a little, and Joel was surprised to
feel desire stirring inside of him. He hadn't wanted a woman other
than Karen in five years.
Five years of faithfulness hadn't gotten him
Joel was going to try a different tack now,
get rid of his one-woman mentality once and for all. The flavor of
the hour, no strings, no expectations, and definitely no
relationships. He was going to sample everything that the great
state of Texas had to offer in the way of beautiful women. And his
home state was known for them. Terri Cassidy was definitely one of
Joel's eyes traveled up her smooth legs to her
rounded breasts and moved on to her full lips. As far as flavors
went, she looked pretty damned delicious to him.
Maybe she would be a good place to start
sampling those thirty-one he wanted to try. Maybe she could make
the lead weight in his chest go away, if only temporarily. She'd
been sending him 'available and interested' signals all day, since
they'd left Henrietta for Amarillo, even as she lectured
And maybe you're an asshole for thinking
about using Jenny Anderson's best friend
, a voice inside of him
Joel saw Terri shiver, because as the sun had
gone down the breeze had picked up, and it was a little chillier
now. He shivered for a different reason when he saw her nipples
harden under the tight white tank top she wore.
Terri must've felt his eyes on her, because
her eyes drifted to him then she smiled. That smile held all kinds
of possibilities and it grabbed Joel by the dick.
"You cold, sugar?" he drawled then pulled his
jacket from the back of his chair and walked over to hand it to
"Nah, just happy to see you," she mumbled
under her breath and grinned. Mischief and meaning sparkled in her
gorgeous green eyes.
Yep, definitely interested.
A funny little spark shot through Joel's chest
and he grinned back at her, then sat down in the chair beside her,
and put his arm around her shoulders.
"You're about the only one these days," he
told her truthfully. Everyone he knew said he was a dark, morose
stranger, definitely not his happy-go-lucky, always joking around
self. Perhaps this sassy bundle of beautiful brunette could help
him fix that.
"I find that hard to believe, darlin'," Terri
told him and put her hand on his thigh.
"There are a lot of things
but believing I've been an asshole lately isn't hard at all," he
replied with hidden meaning.
Her hand crept higher on his thigh and Joel
shifted in his seat wanting her hand even higher. He glanced over
at his brother and Jenny who were quietly talking, not paying them
When her hand skimmed briefly across his
erection, Joel sucked in a sharp breath. Moving upward, she rested
it on his lower abdomen and her eyes met his. When she started a
slow downward pass Joel stifled a groan then covered her hand with
his. If she didn't stop he was sure the buttons on the fly of his
jeans were going to start popping loose.
"Yes, indeed, that is
believe," she told him mischievously with a bodacious
Joel was lost and knew for sure this woman was
going to be flavor number one, and probably a tasty one he'd
remember for a long time.
At least he and Terri were staying in the
guest house that Chase called home, instead of the big house where
the rest of the family lived. Jenny was sleeping in the pool house,
until she could find a place of her own. She was a smart girl and
chose not to stay up at the big house either. Their mother was up
there and she didn't miss a damned thing.
Explaining to his mother why he and Terri were
sharing a room was not something Joel wanted to do. That would mean
he would have to explain about Karen and the divorce. Something
else he was not wanting to do just now. Everything would come out
in time, but tonight was not the right time.