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Book 4: A New Family for the Cowboy (Brush Creek Cowboys Romance)

Book 4: A New Family for the Cowboy (Brush Creek Cowboys Romance)

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Return to the beauty of Brush Creek Ranch, where a community of retired rodeo cowboys are looking for love...

About A NEW FAMILY FOR THE COWBOY: A cowboy in charge of too much already, a single mother of three trying to run a bakery, and the leaking roof that could bring Blake and Erin together to start a new family…

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Read Chapter 1 Now!

Blake Gibbons picked himself up off the floor, where he’d been rolling around with a pair of dogs named Bruce and Wayne. The black lab licked his face and Blake chuckled. “You ready for me, Tess?”

A blonde-haired woman gestured him into the kitchen, setting the broom she’d been wielding against the counter. “Sit right there.”

He took the stool his boss and the foreman at Brush Creek Horse Ranch had sat on. Then Tess and Walker’s two boys. And now Blake.

“What do you want this time?”

“Shave it off.” Blake didn’t even reach up to touch his thinning hair. Only twenty-seven and already with a heinous receding hairline.

Tess’s fingers swooped through his hair. “You sure?”

Blake nodded, his mind made up. “Yep. Take it off. I don’t even care if you use an attachment.”

“It doesn’t look that bad if we keep it short.”

“Yes, it does.” Blake was tired of trying to make his hair cover the balding areas. “I look like I’m trying too hard. I’m going bald. Might as well embrace it.” Who he was trying to impress, and why, he wasn’t sure. Just another reason to shave his head completely.

Tess switched on the clippers, the hum filling the air between them. “This isn’t going to get it smooth,” she said over the buzz. “You’ll have to use a razor for that.”

“I’m fine with a super short buzz.”

“You’ll look very military.”

“I wear a cowboy hat almost all the time.”

Tess smiled and started on his right side, just above his ear. “Yes, you men and your love affair with cowboy hats.”

“They’re practical,” Blake said as Walker came back into the kitchen, freshly showered. His new haircut made him seem even more distinguished than he already looked. “Takin’ it all off, huh?” he asked before opening the fridge and pulling out a plastic container. He popped the lid and the scent of dill wafted into the air.

“It’s time,” Blake said as Walker got down a box of crackers. They were headed into the summer months, and Blake didn’t want to spend time he didn’t have taking care of hair he didn’t have. This haircut was a win-win in his mind.

Tess finished and used quick, short movements with the brush to flick the tiny hairs away. “There you go, cowboy.” She unpinned the drape and starting oiling the clippers.

“Thank you, ma’am.” He’d been getting his hair done by Tess since he moved to Brush Creek, almost three years ago. When she’d married Walker and moved up to the ranch, Blake had cut a half an hour from his schedule.

He reached for the broom and swept up his hair with a single pang of sadness. He wasn’t going to dwell on the loss of his hair. It was just hair.

Still, he knew women fantasized about a man’s hair, and the loss of his almost felt like a death sentence. With every swipe of the broom, Blake told himself it didn’t matter. He wasn’t dating. He’d tried, but Brush Creek didn’t have a lot of selection as far as potential partners went. The few women he’d gone out with had helped him learn that he wasn’t over Jessica yet. Jessica, his high school girlfriend he’d longed to reunite with.

Jessica, who’d gotten married and moved to California over a year ago.

Blake bent and swept the hair into a dustpan, wishing he could swish away his negative thoughts just as easily.

“Any chance of me taking Wayne tonight?” he asked Walker.

Walker rolled his eyes. “You and that dog.”

“He loves me.” The black lab trotted over as if he’d try to get Walker’s permission with his big doe-eyes.

“He likes to sleep on the bed with you and that mutt of yours.” Walker held out the box of crackers, but Blake waved him away.

“The girls will be here any minute,” Tess said, Blake’s cue to get the heck out of there. Walker’s too, judging by the way he leapt to his feet.

“Is that tonight?”

“Sure is.” Tess gave him an affectionate pat on the shoulder. “Don’t tell me you didn’t know. I told you about it this morning. And last night. And the night before that.”

“No, I knew.” Walker met Blake’s eyes and his expression clearly said he hadn’t known.

“You and the boys want to come hang at my cabin?” Blake asked. “You can come if Bruce and Wayne come.”

Walker chuckled and reached for his cowboy hat hanging on the peg by the backdoor. “As soon as you open that door, Wayne will run off. You know that, right?”

“He always comes back.” Blake grinned, threw the hair clippings in the trash, and washed his hands in the kitchen sink.

Tess pulled out the tallest chocolate cake Blake had ever seen and set it on the counter. “I’ll get the boys.” She left the kitchen and called down the hall. A few seconds later, two tween boys—one dark like Walker and one light like Tess—appeared.

“My cabin, boys,” Blake said, lifting his arm and slinging it over Michael’s shoulders.

“Tess, will you save me some cake?” the boy asked his step-mother.

She grinned and giggled. “I made you guys your own cake. Remember I said you could eat cake for breakfast on the last day of school?”

Graham, Tess’s biological son, whooped and they ran out the back door with the dogs. Walker followed them, but Blake headed for the front door, as he’d stopped here on his way home and his truck sat out in the lane.

He opened the door and stepped out—and right into a soft body. A woman cried out, and Blake tried to reach for her, tried to grab her. His fingers scrambled over hers, and he looked into a pair of stricken brown eyes before she fell down.

He’d just knocked down a woman. “I’m so sorry,” he said, his voice filled with embarrassment. He bent down and looked at her. “Are you okay?”

She forced a laugh through her throat and allowed him to take her hand and help her stand. “I’m fine.” Her voice sounded with a decidedly sexy Southern twang, and Blake’s heart drummed out an extra beat—something it hadn’t done in a while.

“I really am sorry. I didn’t know you’d be there.”

She tucked her shoulder-length brown hair behind her ear and straightened her blouse. Blake peered at her, finding her unfamiliar. “I don’t know you. I’m Blake Gibbons.”

“Erin Shields.” She held out her hand for him to shake. “I’m a friend of Tess’s and I just moved to town.”

He shook her hand, wanting to hold on a lot longer than necessary. “Oh yeah? What brings you to Brush Creek?”

“My aunt owns the pie shop here, and she needed some help. I said I’d come.”

He checked her left hand for a wedding ring, but it was nearly dark and he couldn’t tell for sure in the split second he allowed himself to look. “That’s great,” he said. The dating pool in Brush Creek had just gotten a new, beautiful, intriguing fish.

“Yeah, I guess.” Erin shifted her feet, and Blake realized he was blocking her way into the house. “Tess is a better cook than me. I keep telling her she should help Shirley at the bakery.”

“But then I’d be too exhausted to have chocolate nights.” Tess joined them on the porch and gave her friend a hug. The look of happiness in her smile as she hugged Tess made Blake grin too.

“You made it.” Tess linked her arm through Erin’s and stepped around Blake to enter the house. He stood there dumbly, staring at Erin. She glanced back at him too, and dang if his blood didn’t start on fire.

Then the door closed between them, startling Blake and reminding him that cowboys weren’t invited to Tess’s chocolate nights.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "This was a fun quick read. I enjoyed these two characters and I smiled most of the way through. There were definitely some swoon worthy moments throughout. This was an enjoyable read that revolves around overcoming the past to move forward and accepting that God's plan for your life may look different than you think.” ~JaneReads

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I really liked this book! It's even different than all of the others in the series. I feel that many readers will be able to relate to the struggles of a single mom. I also liked the point of view of the single-never-married man who isn't sure if he can take on the challenge. The characters are awesome, as they each grow from their experiences. Great writing!” ~Lavendarma

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Go up the canyon to Brush Creek Ranch, where a community of retired rodeo cowboys are looking for love...

This series offers a heartwarming journey through a tapestry of stories that interweave the charm of sweet cowboy romance with the serenity of small-town life.