Accounting For Love
Long Valley Romances 1
by Erin Wright
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
He’s a farmer, dammit, not a bookkeeper
When Stetson Miller inherits his father’s farm in Idaho, he’s too focused on crops and yields to pay attention to the financial side of things. The next thing he knows, he’s got a stack of unpaid bills, the bank is threatening to foreclose … and the auditor who’s come to examine his accounts is the sexiest thing he’s ever laid eyes on.
But she’s a city girl, just like the last one who left him at the altar. He’ll guard his heart – but he can’t help wanting her.
She’s checking him out … in more ways than one
Jennifer Kendall doesn’t mind a tough job, but the handsome Stetson is trouble of a different kind. When he isn’t making her mad, he’s filling her head with all sorts of forbidden fantasies.
The sparks between them fly even faster when the road washes out and Jennifer has to spend the night on the farm. But passion alone won’t pay the bills. Can Jennifer find a way for Stetson to save his farm?
And if she can’t, will he ever forgive her?
Accounting for Love is the first novel in the Long Valley world, although all books in the Long Valley world can be read as standalones. It has some strong language, and oh my, sexy times. If you would prefer the sweet version, it is also available on Amazon. Either way, enjoy!
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Spending time in the small room always made Stetson uncomfortable. Sometimes, he was simply annoyed by the boring work that was done in the office. Other times, sitting in the room would flat-out anger him. Memories would flood his mind, reminding him of his father’s death. Consequently, he spent as little time in the office as possible. Real farming happened in the fields, dammit.
He shuffled papers from one stack to another and back again. The small office was closer to being a closet than it was an office, but his father had kept the little room spotless. Stetson, on the other hand, had let that organization disappear in the months since his father’s death. Small drawers labeled “Cattle Receipts” and “Parts Receipts,” among other expenses, were only half closed. Thin yellow and pink papers fanned out from the overstuffed drawers like the back end of a turkey.
“When that jerk gets here, I’m gonna give him a piece of my mind!” he ranted. “I’m really gonna let him have it. That stupid bastard isn’t gonna come in here and take everything. I’ll shove his teeth down his throat first,” Stetson muttered. “I’ll take him outside and beat the living hell outta him. I’ll—”
From behind him, Carmelita cleared her throat.
Stetson turned slowly in the beat-up office chair. Standing just outside the office door was his housekeeper/cook, and she looked pissed.
The short Hispanic woman had worked for the Miller family longer than Stetson had been alive. Technically she was an employee, but after so much time and dedication, she was family, and she knew it.
Carmelita folded her arms across her chest and glared daggers at him. Carmelita didn’t allow foul language in her house. Stetson’s name may be on the deed, but as long as Carmelita ran things, her house was run by her rules.
Carmelita had helped raise him and his brothers. Before his mother had died, Carmelita had always filled the role of grandmother, but after Mom was gone, she made sure the boys, especially Stetson, didn’t go hog-wild on her. She was astute enough to never try to replace his mother, but she did help fill in the gaps.
Behind his formidable housekeeper stood…a woman? Younger than he’d expected and much more…female than he’d expected. She was a head taller than Carmelita, and if he hadn’t already decided to hate her, his first reaction would have been to get his hands on her in an entirely different way. Or at least do everything in his power to get his hands on her number.
His face turned an even deeper shade of red, and he stared at the duo for just a moment.
Dammit, any chance he may have of endearing himself to the…female auditor was gone. Why’d they have to go and send a woman, anyway? Any hopes of landing a nice right-hook on the auditor’s face had just disappeared.
Stetson’s anger toward the bank grew even more. This was a dirty trick to send a woman. He knew they figured sending a woman would cut down on the yelling and fighting. He wanted to yell at the auditor. He wanted to tell a pencil-necked asshole just what he thought of this audit, but instead that slimy bank was using the underhanded trick of sending a woman. They hoped that he wouldn’t be the kind of man who would yell and rage at a woman.
They were right, dammit.
Giving up hope of winning over (or at least punching) the bank employee, he decided to ignore the warning look Carmelita was sending him. Screw them all. There was nothing that would entice him to be nice to the bank, no matter what shapely form the bank came in.
“Hi,” the woman said, extending her hand toward him. “I’m Jennifer—” She stopped abruptly, Stetson noted with pride. Probably because he was looking down at her hand with all the respect he might give a rotting fish.
“I know who you are and why you’re here,” Stetson said flatly. “Let’s get some things straight. First, you’re not staying here. This is not a guest house; you can get a room in town. Second, this is my home, and I’ll not have it invaded by…” he waved his hand in the air, “bank people. You can use the office and the bathroom. The rest of the house and farm is off limits.”
Really warming up to the task of putting this woman in her place, he continued, “Third, I’m not paying for the privilege of having my farm stolen from me. If you have to make a phone call, you’ll do it on your own dime. Use your own damn phone, not mine. Fourth, Carmelita serves lunch at noon each day. Because I’m a good host, I’ll let you eat one sandwich with a glass of water, but that’s it. Finally, you’re gonna start at 8 and be gone by 5 every day. No exceptions.”
Drawing in a deep breath, he crossed his arms and glared at down her. Damn, it felt good to order the bank around. About time they got a taste of their own medicine.
Blizzard of Love
Long Valley Romances Book 2
A city girl who loves Christmas …
Bonnie Patterson adores Christmas, so when her best friend Jennifer invites her to spend Christmas at the Miller farm, she jumps at the chance. When she sets out for the snowy country town, she has visions dancing in her head of cozy nights by a crackling fire, not of a hot cowboy with an ice-cold heart.
The Storm of the Century…
Instead of a peaceful holiday in the country, Bonnie gets stranded at the Miller farm by a blizzard. Even worse, she’s snowed-in with Luke, an arrogant, impossible, but damn sexy cowboy.
When the fly sparks, will two people who are oh-so-different find their own Christmas miracle?
Blizzard of Love is the second novella in the Long Valley world, although all books in the Long Valley world can be read as standalones. Blizzard of Love is a sweeter romance with minimal sex and mild language … If you would prefer the completely clean version, it is also available on this storefront. Either way, enjoy!
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So unlike his own house.
Sticks jumped down from the bed of the truck, his stocky Labrador body navigating the snowdrifts with ease. Luke and Stick’s noses wiggled in the crisp night air, breathing in the smell of…was that pot roast?
God, it’s gonna be nice to eat Carmelita’s cooking this weekend. I might end up as fat as Stetson when she’s done with me! Oh, but it’ll be worth it.
He knocked once and then, brushing his feet on the welcome mat, pushed open the front door. “I’m here,” he called out. Sticks shook the snow off his fur and then trotted in behind him.
“Hello!” Carmelita came bustling into the entryway, the delicious pot roast and…something else trailing in behind her, like the world’s best smelling perfume. Is that cinnamon rolls? I’m pretty sure it’s cinnamon rolls.
His stomach rumbled its agreement.
“Oh, you poor thing,” Carmelita said in her heavily accented English, taking his jacket and hanging it up in the hall closet. “Dinner will be done soon. You go upstairs and I will tell Stetson and Jennifer you are here.”
She bustled off before he could answer, and so he headed up the stairs and down to the far guest bedroom. It was a little less…girly and shit than the other one, so it was the one he usually chose when he spent the night at the Miller’s house.
He lay down on the bed for a few minutes, closing his eyes and turning the idea of doing absolutely nothing for an entire weekend over and over again in his mind. This was something he hadn’t done in years. Was he even capable of doing nothing for an entire weekend? He didn’t know.
Dammit, am I really only 26 years old? I sound like an old man. Time to stop wallowing in my geriatric ways and get moving.
He decided to take a quick detour to the bathroom before heading downstairs, but when he slid the pocket door open, he saw something that he was pretty sure he’d never, ever forget: A half-naked woman, jeans down around her knees, and the most sexy pair of red lace underwear on that he’d ever seen.
It was only then that he registered a screaming noise, and realized it was because of him. She was screaming at him.
A whole lot of not-very-nice words.
Arrested By Love
Long Valley Romances 3
Two years ago, Wyatt Miller lost his family to a drunk driver. His heart broken, he slowly put the pieces of his shattered life back together. Running his thousand-acre ranch from dawn till dusk helps him forget about his broken heart. When he stops a drunk from getting behind the wheel one night, he ends up in a bloody fight … and then behind bars.
She keeps men in line, but has a soft heart …
Abby Connelly takes her work at the Long Valley Jail seriously. She has no dreams of marriage, children, or white-picket fences. All she wants is to do her job and please the only family she has left, her father. But the moment rugged and wounded Wyatt Miller walks into her jail, Abby realizes her heart might just have a change of plans …
But small towns have a way of holding onto big grudges. Wyatt and Abby have an uphill fight to overcome the bad blood between the Miller and Connelly families.
Because redemption never comes easy …
Arrested by Love is the third novel in the Long Valley world, although all books in the Long Valley world can be read as standalones. It has some strong language, and oh my, sexy times. If you would prefer the sweet version, it is also available on Amazon. Either way, enjoy!
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He grimaced. Some days, living in a small town really sucked, where the grocery store prided themselves on being “open late” – all the way until nine at night.
He pulled Lay’s Salt & Vinegar off the display.
Look, more vegetables.
He wasn’t sure a dietician would approve, but then again, there was almost nothing in this convenience store that a dietician would approve of. He really should just drive to Franklin and go grocery shopping there, but that was 30 minutes away and he just didn’t feel like it. When he died, his headstone was going to read, “Too lazy to drive to Franklin; died of a heart attack from eating junk food from Mr. Petrol’s.”
Just then, a vehicle pulled up outside. Well, “pulled up” made it sound like the driver was in control of their actions, but as Wyatt watched, his bag of chips forgotten in his hands, he saw the Jeep stop just in time to keep from crashing through the front windows of the convenience store.
He knew that Jeep. There was only one orange camo Jeep in the valley.
The driver’s side door swung open and out swaggered Richard. Wyatt couldn’t tell if Richard was swaggering because he was so arrogant and full of himself – always a possibility – or because he was drunk – definitely another possibility.
Wyatt reminded himself to breathe in, and then out. And then repeat it all over again. He couldn’t react the way he wanted to – a punch to the face – so he needed to just stay calm. That’s what everyone would tell him, anyway.
He knew that. It was a matter of remembering that. And doing that.
No matter how good a punch to Richard’s face would feel.
Richard stumbled into the store and from two aisles over, Wyatt could smell the fumes rolling off him.
Drunk it was.
Richard managed to make his way over to the beer case without taking out an end-cap display, nothing short of a miracle really, and snagged a 24-pack of Budweiser.
A 24-pack? Really? When you’re already this wasted?
Wyatt was having a hard time breathing again and he realized that he’d smashed the bag of chips in his hands into a tiny ball, chips spilling onto the floor from the busted seams of the bag. Richard didn’t seem to notice the noise, though, swinging the 24-pack up onto the counter and swiping his debit card moments later.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Wyatt was hoping that at any moment, the cashier would stop him. Surely, he’d realize that giving Richard more beer at this point was a truly awful idea.
Richard took his beer and began stumbling towards the door.
The cashier wasn’t going to stop him. Wyatt could feel the rage begin to boil up inside of him.
“Why did you sell him that beer?!” The words burst out of Wyatt like gunfire. He couldn’t stop himself from asking any more than he could stop himself from breathing.
“Dude, do you know who that is?” the cashier responded with a shrug.
“Of course I know who that is,” Wyatt ground out.
“Well, my probation is almost up. Just a month more and I’m out of the system. I’m not pissing off the judge’s son.”
That was it. Wyatt threw the mangled bag of chips to the floor and sprinted for the door. He wasn’t about to stand by and let Richard take someone’s life because he happened to share genetic material with the only judge in town. Oh hell no.
He burst out the front door of Mr. Petrol’s. Richard had finally managed to get his key into the ignition and turn it. Wyatt grabbed the door handle and yanked it open.
“Whaddya want, killer?” Richard slurred, blearily focusing his eyes on Wyatt.
“Hello, brother. Nice to see you again.” Wyatt pulled back his fist and planted it squarely in the middle of Dick’s nose.
Overdue for Love
Long Valley Romances 6
After a bitter betrayal, Dawson Blackhorse won’t allow anyone to run roughshod over his heart again … especially not the woman he was once foolish enough to trust.
The rodeo circuit gave Dawson an escape after his racist boss ran him off. Hank Bartell made it clear no man who was part-Navajo, would buy his ranch or court his daughter. In a single moment, the man destroyed every one of Dawson’s dreams.
But when the rodeo brings him to the tiny mountain town of Sawyer, Idaho, he comes face to face with everything he lost.
For nine years, Chloe Bartell hasn’t been able to forget the man who abandoned her. Especially not when she looks into the eyes of their son.
The quiet life Chloe leads in the small town of Sawyer is shattered the day Dawson comes to compete in the rodeo. He’s everything she remembers and more. Gorgeous. Muscular. Six foot and change of sexy cowboy. She watches helplessly as he comes face to face with the son he never knew he had. Dawson demands answers but Chloe is determined to keep her distance. When sparks fly, the fire they ignite threatens to burn down the walls she’s built around her broken heart.
Will the pain and loss of their past drive them apart for good? Or can they forgive each other and build a new life, a life they always dreamed of…
Overdue for Love is the sixth novella in the Long Valley world, although all books in the Long Valley world can be read as standalones. It has some strong language, and oh my, sexy times. If you would prefer the sweet version, please check out the other listing for this book. Either way, enjoy!
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As she stormed away, her ass cheeks bouncing as she went, he allowed himself to drink his fill of her lush frame. The sun sparkled off the long fall of blonde hair nearly touching her waist, along with the light copper hue of her skin, burnished to a warm sheen by the Arizona sun in which Chloe had languished all summer. Being the only child of a very rich father meant a whole lot of spare time to spend out in the sun in tiny bikinis and oversized sunglasses. Dawson had been able to spend a…considerable amount of time admiring that particular clothing combination.
With a curse, he turned back to the stall and began mucking it out again. If he dared to touch her, that’d be the end of his job and his chance to own the Bartell Ranch. Dawson paused for a moment and used a handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his brow, not sure if it was mucking the stalls or staring at Chloe that had caused him to sweat more.
He had to do something about Chloe before he gave into temptation. That would cost him everything. She was only twenty – a baby, really – and had always been sheltered by her doting and stupidly rich father. She was naïve and just had no idea what the world was really like.
Could she understand how much it meant to him to own the ranch? Could she understand that he might want her but that sure as hell didn’t mean he could act on it? Hank had hired Dawson to work the ranch, and had even allowed him to work toward buying it someday, but he was under no illusion the other man would welcome a part-Navajo ranch hand into the Bartell family tree, anymore than he’d welcome in a one-eyed, snaggletoothed possum.
Nope, Dawson had to keep his hands to himself, no matter how much she wiggled her ass at him.
With a curse that’d burn the hair off a hog, he turned back to the stall and began heaving the straw and manure into the wheelbarrow with a little more force than was necessary. If he couldn’t screw himself into a stupor, he could work himself into one. For now, that’d have to do.
* * *
The day passed in a blur of heat and manual labor, and it was a relief to finish around dinnertime. The heat of the Sonoran sun beat down on his shoulders as he made his way to the bunkhouse to grab a shower. It felt good to wash the sweat off and put on clean clothes before making his way to the main house, where Martha would have enough food to feed an army, or at least six hungry ranch hands.
With Hank’s wife long gone, Martha had taken over the duties of feeding the ranch hands and the Bartell family, along with keeping up on the housework in the home. She refused to clean the bunkhouse, though, which Dawson couldn’t blame her for. Going in there on a warm summer’s day when no one had bothered to do laundry for a week…
The smell could get a little on the overwhelming side.
He found three of the other men seated when he entered, and the remaining ranch hands trickled in soon after. Hank and Chloe were last.
That was no surprise. Thank heavens Hank didn’t make them wait for Chloe to show up before he allowed the ranch hands to eat. Either she wanted to make an entrance every night, or she had no idea how to read a watch.
Her hair – curled and hair sprayed within an inch of its life – and makeup so thick astronauts were checking it out, made it damn obvious she was no stranger to primping. Dawson was sure she’d look a sight better without all that junk smeared on her face and products plastered in her hair, but he wasn’t about to tell her that. She was too gorgeous by half, and he didn’t want to give her the idea that he was paying attention to her appearance. He wasn’t sure how many more seduction attempts he could survive.
Not that she needed encouragement to keep them going. When she took the seat across from him, she made sure she bent forward enough to guarantee he knew she wasn’t wearing a bra under that skimpy tank top. His eyes cut sharply to the right and he made a point of looking at Martha as she bustled in from the kitchen with a big basket of biscuits. He could not stare at her.
Or her magnificent chest.
As Dawson ate, he pretended to be totally ignorant about Chloe’s stares, or the fact that she was constantly shifting positions to better display her cleavage.
He was mostly successful, even when she slid her bare foot across his leg. His boots barred her from slipping her foot inside his jeans, but she was undeterred. His hand jerked and he focused on not spilling his coffee as her foot crept higher.
He cleared his throat, loudly, and shot her a warning look. Apparently, it was her turn to ignore him, because she looked away, but her foot kept moving upward.
He put a hand under the table to intercept her foot, reaching for it a scant second after her foot reached its goal. He jumped, sloshing coffee everywhere. With a muttered curse, Dawson slid back his chair, using a napkin to mop up the spill.
“Sorry, Martha,” he said as the housekeeper came to his rescue, dishtowel in hand.
She shrugged. “Just step back, son. Let me do my job.” She was gruff but had a soft spot for all her “boys,” as she called the workers. Though Martha looked nothing like his Navajo grandmother, who’d died three years ago, she reminded him of her in personality.
Dawson backed away, his gaze settling on Chloe. She appeared the very picture of innocence. He barely restrained himself from rolling his eyes.
Somehow, he finished dinner, aware of Chloe and Hank both watching him. The homemade strawberry cake stuck in his throat, and he gave up after three bites. “Thanks, Martha. Great dinner.”
She waved off the compliments as the other men echoed Dawson. A scrape of the chairs and then he was falling into step with the others as they headed for the bunkhouse.
His stomach curled with dread when Hank spoke his name. He had no reason to be concerned, but he had a feeling Hank wanted to discuss more than tomorrow’s chores. Pausing, he turned on his heel. “Yeah, Hank?”
“Come into my den, will you?” The invitation was an order, and they both knew it.
She still loves coffee, doesn’t love the smell of cow flesh burning, and is quite happily ensconced with her handsome hubby in a small, charming town in rural Idaho.
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