The White Knight Cowboy The Studs of Clear Creek County Book 1
Genre: Western Historical BWWM Interracial Romance
Is this widower cowboy prepared for the feelings stirred up by this much-younger feisty maid running from the law?
When 40-year-old cowboy Dusty returns to his ranch in small-town Clear Creek County, he is shocked to find 19-year-old, beautiful black servant Lovely Jo hiding in his stables. She explains how she ran off after finding the master of her household, dead. She swears she’s innocent, but needing money to save his ranch, Dusty tries to take her to the Sheriff to claim the bounty for her return.
Lovely Jo ain’t the smartest weed in the field but she’s an excellent judge of character and she knows that despite his grouchiness, drinking, and gambling, Dusty is a trustworthy man and there is no one else in town she’d rather run to.
Desperate with her life on the line, Lovely Jo promises Dusty the one thing she has in her possession if he’d help her escape town: her virtue. But she never intended to give him her heart.
Clear Creek County, California 1895
Dusty Bowles wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he had damn good instinct. So when he returned home that afternoon after getting his new boots from the town shoemaker, he got the feeling someone was on his property.
Jansen bucked and neighed as Dusty pulled on his reins, parking the carriage in front of his barely standing wooden shack of a house.
After petting Jansen to get him to settle down, Dusty hopped out of the carriage, got his Winchester rifle and stalked through the dusty grass, coming upon the stables. He dipped his head inside, hearing the hay rustling. He’d lost his horses months ago, but the place still smelled like urine and horse shit.
With his cowboy hat made of beaver fur slipping over his narrow forehead, Dusty crept toward the first horseless stall, crunching hay under his brand new boots.
“Henry Jr., is that you?”
Dusty’s ranch was the go-to place for Henry Jr. and his rowdy friends to hang out in and
sneak nips of Henry Sr.’s whiskey.
“Henry?” Dusty checked the second stall and saw no one there, either. “Boy, we had this conversation too many times.” He inched toward the third stall. “I don’ told you to stay off my property. Yo’ daddy promised me.” Dusty checked the fourth stall. “You want me to treat you like a man? I’ll treat you like a man. Get out here, Henry. Now!”
He didn’t expect a young woman to emerge from the last stall, hay cascading from her brown skin.
“Fuck me.” Dusty lowered his gun, spitting off to the side. “Lovely Jo Johnson? What in the Sam Hill are you doing here?”
Nineteen, a virgin. At least that’s what Dusty assumed, but you never could be sure how pure a black servant was with their white employers.
Her white cotton dress had seen better days. Dirt on the hem, and hanging from her shoulders for dear life. The flimsy garment had a split because of whatever she’d been doing and not by the person who made it.
“Well, you gonna answer my question, girl?”
“I’m sorry for coming without permission.” She tugged at her frizzy hair tangled with hay. “I
been hiding for three days. Ain’t had no food or nothing. Been drinking outta ponds.”
“Why the hell not?” He groaned. “And why you come all the way out here? The Bernsteins must be going out of their mind wondering where you at.”
She looked down, her black lace-up boots still intact at least.
“We be here all day if you don’t start answering my questions. You on private property. If I get Sheriff Snow, you’ll—”
“Mr. Bernstein’s dead,” the words shivered from her blistered lips, that he guessed got that way from walking for days in the Clear Creek County sun. “He dead!” She burst into tears, holding what was left of her dress at the sides. “The law thinks I done it, but I didn’t, Mr. Bowles.” She shook her head, black eyes begging. “I swear!”
“Bernstein is dead?” Dusty took a second to digest the information.
Ronald Bernstein was just one of the many rich Bernsteins in town and he and Dusty had a weird relationship. Ronald was okay to spend a little time with and shoot the breeze, but he was a manipulative man who’d stab his own ma in the back if he could get something out of it. So while Dusty considered him a friend, he hadn’t ever trusted him. He also wasn’t surprised someone would kill him. A man like that was asking for it.
“Tell me what happened.”
“No time for that!” Lovely Jo looked at him with the desperation of a child who’d lost her mother. “I need help. I need you to take me out of the county and to my uncle in Braesville.”
“Are you out of your mind, girl? I ain’t taking you no place. I want no part of this.”
“But you got to! I tried to go on my own but I got no sense of direction.” She sniffled and despite the grit covering her face and her looking an ungodly mess and smelling even worse than he did, Dusty still wanted to fuck her. “Please, Mr. Bowles. You always been a kind man to me when you come to the house and play cards with Mr. Bernstein. Not like the other white people who ignore me or be just straight mean.” She looked into his eyes. “I always felt like you… cared.”
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Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is an award-winning author of romantic suspense, mystery, thrillers, contemporary romance, historical romance and women's fiction books. She's written Top 100 bestsellers, and her work has been praised and reviewed in USA Today numerously. She loves writing stories that focus on main characters who rarely get the spotlight such as characters with physical disabilities, mental illness, and terminal diseases.
Stacy is known for bringing versatile stories to her readers. With her you never know what you're gonna get, which separates Stacy's work from the pack. Stacy's books are full of passion, thrills, intriguing characters and so much emotion you can't get enough! If you want something different and unpredictable then definitely check out her work.