- Available in: Ebook
- Published: May 15, 2017
Malloy Family, Book 3
Hermano is not just the bandito you met in The Bounty. He’s Malcolm Ross y Zarza half-Spanish, half-Scottish bastard son of a Texas hacienda owner who has hidden in the guise of a Mexican bandito for half his life. Malcolm left home at eighteen and returns at age thirty-five to find his mother.
Malcolm never expects to find his childhood friend, Leigh Wynne, a widow and owner of the neighboring ranch. Unable to believe his gut-wrenching attraction to the girl he thought of as a little sister, he tries to fight his own instincts to make her his woman.
Inevitably, he fails in his struggle, because together they set their world on fire. They forge a bond to find out the truth behind his dying father, his vicious half-brother, the murderous Isabella, and the passionate grab for the land held weakly by a man past his prime. Bullets will fly, and Malcolm and Leigh must stand and fight, for their lives and their future.
It wasn’t often Malcolm was surprised, even more rare that he was shocked, and he had never been rendered speechless.
Holy shit. O’Reilly was definitely not a man.
Staring at him with the ever-present spectacles perched on her nose was Leigh Wynne. The little girl who learned to ride astride, to the shock of her father and the entire Zarza ranch. The little girl who could shoot out a chipmunk’s eye at a hundred yards. The little girl who stuck to him like a cocklebur for fifteen years. The little girl who hadn’t cried when she broke her leg trying to jump the canyon on the edge of town. His first and best friend.
She’d been fifteen when he lit out, never looking back at those he left behind. Now she must be thirty. And she damn sure wasn’t a little girl anymore. She was tall, close to his height, a black hat sitting on light brown hair shorn like a man’s, cut above her ears. She wore men’s clothes—brown pants, well-used chaps, and a blue chambray shirt with a yellow neckerchief tied around a slender neck—she and Roja could be great friends. One pistol rode low on her right hip. She was dusty and dirty from whatever work she’d been doing. But all woman, all over. Her breasts would more than fill his hands, her hips curved so sweetly, and her lips were pouty enough to urge him to nibble on them.
When the hell did Leigh get those tits?
She was his boss.
Worse, she knew who he really was. He saw it in the depths of those shrewd hazel eyes. He should have known. Should have guessed somehow. He could engrave “Should Have” on his tombstone. He assumed Leigh O’Reilly, the owner of the Circle O Ranch, was a man. And he certainly made an ass of himself by assuming.
“Señora O’Reilly, sí? My name is Hermano.”
“Horseshit. If you think I wouldn’t recognize you, Malcolm Ross, you are dumber than a bag of hammers.” She tugged off her gloves and stuck them in her back pocket, then bracketed her hips with her hands.
Okay, so that wouldn’t work. He cursed heartily in English, then Spanish, in his head as she regarded him with an unblinking stare. How the hell was he supposed to spy on his father’s ranch unnoticed if the one person who recognized him ran the neighboring ranch?
Damn, damn, damn.
“Want to talk inside…Hermano?” she offered as she passed by him on her way to the huge sprawling ranch house.
It wasn’t really a question, or even a request. It was a command. And he had no choice. He turned and followed her, trying not to focus on her gently swaying hips, hips he’d like to grab hold of and not let go.
Damn. Leigh Wynne O’Reilly just put a major kink in his life. Somehow he had to convince her to straighten that kink out and pretend she never saw him.