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A Cowboy and His Second Chance eBook

A Cowboy and His Second Chance eBook

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He needs a fresh start. She’s back in town for a new job. For Luke and Becks, can an old flame burn brighter the second time around?

Luke Miller needs a fresh start, though he loves working with his friends at Chestnut Ranch. He wasn’t expecting his fresh start to include his former girlfriend.

He’s never stopped loving Rebecca Stewart, but she left Chestnut Springs a decade and a half ago to save the world by preventing cybercrime one by one.

Becks knows more about websites than anyone—building them, securing them, all of it. So when her father falls and breaks his hip, she finally gives in to her uncle’s pleas for her to come to the Texas Longhorn Ranch and build the thriving commercial ranch a safe and secure online presence.

She knew Luke would still be in town. She was simply hoping he’d be too busy with his besties out at a different ranch to hear she was back in town.

But those besties set her up with him, and there’s no turning back now…

Can Luke and Becks make their second chance into a happily-ever-after this time? Or has the spark between them fizzled?

 Start here! This is the prequel novella to the Chestnut Ranch Romance series! 

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Sample Chapter 1 Now!

Luke Miller bent and reached for another packet of shingles and hefted them over his shoulder. Somewhere behind him, a tractor growled, the sound growing closer and closer as the man driving it neared. Luke glanced that way but then refocused on the huge building in front of him, walking in that direction.

“Right there,” Seth yelled from the roof. His best and oldest friend grinned down at him, and Luke dropped the shingles on the ground. “Travis is bringing over the rest of the sheetrock.” 

The dog enclosure that Seth and Travis Johnson had started several weeks ago was almost finished. Luke had been helping with it every afternoon this spring, as he lived in one of the cowboy cabins that lined the road from the highway back to the homestead. 

The grumbling, growling engine of the tractor got louder, and he stayed back near the entrance of the enclosure as Travis deposited the slabs of sheetrock. Most people put up wood walls in stables and barns and called it good. The Johnsons, though, didn’t do things the way most other people would.

Yes, the floor was cement, but the dog enclosure—which would begin Seth’s lifelong dream of owning and operating a dog rescue facility—had lighting and air conditioning. It was a great big giant building out in the west fields on his family ranch, and Luke sure had liked watching his friend’s dream come to fruition.

For some reason, Luke thought of Rebecca Stewart. A frown pulled between his eyes, because he hadn’t thought of his ex-girlfriend in a long, long time. Just because he never dated didn’t mean he wasn’t over her.

Seth yelled something to Travis, who yelled back. As the oldest Johnson brother, Seth had a lot of say about how things went at Chestnut Ranch. He worked alongside Luke every single day, and they’d talked through a lot of things. Travis was a master carpenter, and he could build anything out of wood, nails, sheetrock, and shingles.

As the tractor backed up, Luke lifted the packet of shingles again and moved to the corner of the enclosure, where he and Seth had set up a pulley system. Up the shingles went, and Seth took them out of the bin and sent it back down.

Luke climbed the ladder, his own tool belt heavy around his waist. Up on the roof, the wide, blue Texas sky spread before him. A breath escaped his mouth, and he drew another long, deep one in. “It’s a great day,” he said.

“I’ve been thinkin’,” Seth said, handing him a slab of shingles.

“I hate it when you say those words.” Luke grinned at Seth, who smiled back with his straight teeth, the gesture going all the way up and into his dark eyes. Luke’s eyes matched Seth’s, though they weren’t blood brothers. Seth had darker hair than Luke’s, which could shine with some reddish-gold in the sunlight—if he wasn’t wearing a cowboy hat.

All men in the Texas Hill Country wore cowboy hats, almost all the time. Definitely if they worked outside, which was where Luke spent ninety percent of his time.

“Jenna texted about the Edible Neighborhood again,” Seth said. “I just can’t figure out a way to get it started.”

Luke bent and got to work positioning shingles. He didn’t know what to say to Seth. He’d offered to fund the Edible Neighborhood before, but both Seth and Jenna had turned him down flat. He wasn’t going to offer again.

“Anyway,” Seth said with a sigh. “She said she’d been stewing over it while she put together dinner tonight, and we should come.”

“I’m invited?” Luke asked, straightening as his eyebrows went up. 

“Why wouldn’t you be?”

“To Jenna Wright’s?” Luke asked, staring at Seth, who wouldn’t quite look at him. “Is this a date, and I’m the third wheel?”

Seth burst out laughing, his deep voice filling the sky and getting punctuated by the sound of the nail gun as he secured another shingle. He straightened too and looked at Luke. “No, it’s not a date,” he said, still chuckling. “It’s Jenna.”


“Isaac will be there too,” Seth said, his laughter finally fading. “She said anyone over here could go over there. It’s not a date.” He bent over the shingles again, layering another couple into position. “I’m not dating right now.”

“You and me both,” Luke said, glad he wasn’t going to be crashing some romantic evening between Seth and Jenna. At the same time, he wondered why they’d never gone out. They’d been friends forever. All of them had been.

“Yeah, why is that?” Seth asked. “Maybe you should ask Jenna to dinner.”

Luke gave the idea some thought as he too nailed a shingle in place. On the ground below them, one of Seth’s dogs barked. He owned two that never left his side for long—Winner and Thunder.

“You’ve been divorced a while,” Luke finally said. “You should get dating again.”

Seth threw him a glare and said, “Nice try, changing the subject.”

Luke rolled his neck, stretching out a sore spot on the right side. “I’m not interested in Jenna Wright,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, she’s pretty. She’s nice. All that. She just doesn’t…spark anything for me.”

Seth nodded and stayed silent.

Luke didn’t think that would last long, but he managed to get four more shingles in place before Seth said, “Becks?”

Luke’s pulse jumped at the mere mention of Rebecca’s nickname. “No,” he barked, right in time with Thunder below. “You better go check on your dog.”

“Oh, he’s just answering some other canine he can hear.” Seth stood at his full height and faced Luke, then looked past him to the west, where the Wrights’ homestead stood on the other side of the river and past the trees. “Maybe I should go out with Jenna.”

Luke’s surprise kept him silent for a few beats. “You totally should,” he said. “Her divorce is over a year old, and her momma’s been gone for six months. She might be ready.”

“Mm.” Seth got back to work, and just like that, the conversation about who each of them should go out with ended. Luke knew he needed to move on. He’d been hung up on Becks for years. A decade. Maybe longer.

Definitely longer, he told himself, but he refused to give his need for the woman he’d once proposed to a factual number of years. He couldn’t help it if literally no one else on the planet lit him up the way she did. Nor could he make her talk to him, which she hadn’t done in what felt like forever.

Not forever, he thought. But definitely not since his brother’s wedding, and Dalton had been married for a dozen years now.

Twelve years. How pathetic did that make Luke? Definitely worse than Seth, who’d been divorced for over three years now.

His displeasure with himself—and his newfound resolve to find someone, anyone, in Chestnut Springs to go out with—drove him to work fast and hard, and he and Seth finished shingling the roof before evening fell.

“Thirty minutes?” Seth asked. “I’ll pick you up on the way over to Jenna’s?”

“Sure,” Luke said, thinking he could text a cancelation in a few minutes. He went inside his cabin, which he lived in alone, and showered away the sunshine and sunscreen, the bits of shingle and the scent of metal nails. 

His phone held a text by the time he’d soaped, shaved, and dressed, and it was from Jenna Wright herself. I hope you’re coming to dinner with Seth. I have so much food, and I’d love to see you and catch up.

Luke looked up from his phone, sure he hadn’t read the message right. What did love to see you and catch up mean? He lived right next door to the woman, and he saw her all the time. 

Something writhed in Luke’s stomach, but he couldn’t identify it. He set some bread in the toaster, forgetting he was supposed to be on his way to a meal, and he puzzled through how to respond to her text.

Before he knew it, his thirty minutes were up, and he’d barely touched his buttery toast. Seth knocked on the front door of the cabin and entered a moment later. “You ready?”

Luke shoved a half-piece of toast in his mouth. “Yeah,” he said around it.

“You’re eating? We’re going to her house for dinner.”

Luke shook his head as he approached his best friend. He simply handed over his phone, Jenna’s text right there on top. He noted that Seth wore plenty of cologne, as well as his Sabbath Day cowboy boots. Ah, so the man was dressed to impress. 

Luke suddenly didn’t feel good enough in his day-jeans and plaid shirt. He loved plaid—especially blue with black and brown lines—and he didn’t think he owned a shirt that didn’t feature the pattern. 

“So she invited you too,” he said, shoving the phone back toward Luke. “She probably just wanted you to feel invited.” Seth turned back toward the door. “Let’s go.”

Luke swallowed the last of his toast and followed his friend outside. Winner and Thunder waited in the back of Seth’s truck, and they all arrived at the Wrights’ house next door in less than five minutes. If that. Probably three.

Luke eyed the huge homestead like it might come to life and swallow him whole. No other cars or trucks sat in the driveway, and he glanced over to Seth. “Your brothers didn’t come?”

“My mom made stroganoff.”

“So you’ve eaten too,” Luke said.

Seth grinned and reseated his cowboy hat—definitely not the sweaty one he’d been wearing that afternoon on the roof of the dog enclosure. “Maybe,” he said with a chuckle.

“Yeah, maybe,” Luke said dryly, and the two of them slid from the truck. Seth went to let the dogs down while Luke went up the sidewalk and the front steps to the door first. He rang the bell and stepped back. Seth, Winner, and Thunder had just arrived at his side when the huge front door swung inward.

He expected to see a brunette standing there. Tall and lithe, with sparkling milk chocolate-colored eyes and a smile.

Instead, a blonde woman stood in the doorway. Her eyes shot heat straight through Luke, and he knew every curve of her body and every expression that face made. His heart started to thrum and thump in his chest, the increasing vibrations of it spreading through his whole body.

“Good evening, fellas,” she said. “Don’t just stand there and stare. Dinner’s ready.” She stepped back and pushed the door open farther, the longer front part of her hair swinging as she did. Luke had never seen her hair cut this short and definitely not into the cute A-line bob she currently wore.

“Becks?” he blurted out, and the woman looked directly at him. So much stormed in her eyes, and Luke wanted to rush her and gather her into his arms. Twelve years since he’d last seen her, and she still held his heart in her hands.

“Becks!” Seth rushed forward and lifted her right off her feet. They laughed together, and he added, “Wow, it’s good to see you.” He set her down, his eyes moving from the top of her head to her bare feet. She never had liked to wear shoes all that much. Seth glanced back over to Luke, who still had shock coursing through him in powerful waves. Had Seth known she’d be here tonight? Was that why Jenna had sent him that strange text?

“I’ll leave you two alone,” Seth said, moving to enter the house and practically shoving Becks out onto the porch. “Come on, guys.” The dogs went with him, and Seth closed the door behind him, leaving Luke with the one and only woman he’d ever loved—Rebecca Stewart.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "This is a quick, happy read." ~Sharon

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Awesome story by an awesome author! Looking forward to reading more books by this author.

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review

Great book

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