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Feel-Good Fiction Books

Book 6: Skyler (Seven Sons Ranch in Three Rivers Romance™)

Book 6: Skyler (Seven Sons Ranch in Three Rivers Romance™)

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Meet the Walker brothers at Seven Sons Ranch!

About SKYLER: She needs a new last name to stay in school. He's willing to help a fellow student. Can Mal and Skyler take their relationship past the superficial to find a deep happily-ever-after?

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Read Chapter 1 Now!

Mallery Viera woke the morning after Christmas, the fact that she had a live, breathing man in bed with her still foreign and strange.

Number one, she and Skyler didn’t sleep in the same room in his huge, posh, luxury apartment in Amarillo.

Number two, her feelings for Skyler had her wanting to slide closer to him under the sheets and go back to sleep within the warm safety of his arms.

And that absolutely couldn’t happen.

He was doing her a favor, that scorching kiss in her kitchen from weeks ago notwithstanding.

She wasn’t going to make a bigger fool of herself.

She and Skyler weren’t supposed to be in Three Rivers, but after his announcement about their marriage at lunch yesterday, they hadn’t been able to leave.

His momma was a Southern giant through and through, and Skyler hadn’t been able to deny his mother the opportunity to take them to breakfast and “get to know Mal.”

Mal had held Penny’s gaze, but she’d probably have wilted had Skyler not warned her about the intensity his momma possessed.

And Mal was certain all of their secrets would be exposed at breakfast. Penny was like an FBI agent, and there were as many words spoken in the times of silence as there were when she was speaking.

On the other side of the bed, Skyler shifted, a groan coming out of his mouth. He lifted his head, and their eyes met.

Pure anxiety flashed inside her, but she managed to smile.

“This bed is terrible,” he complained.

“It’s not great,” she agreed. Everything Skyler owned was the finest and most expensive. He hadn’t told her how he’d come to be so wealthy without a college degree and within the first thirty-five years of his life.

She hadn’t asked.

But the evidence of his money was everywhere, from the huge, brand-new pickup truck he drove to the four-bedroom apartment on the top floor of a downtown high-rise in Amarillo.

Mal hadn’t stepped over such luxurious carpet in all her life. And her bed was like sleeping on clouds and cotton candy and the exhalations of unicorns.

The first couple of nights had been hard for her, but she had a door that locked. She wasn’t truly afraid of Skyler. She just couldn’t believe the situation she’d gotten herself into.

“So,” he said. “What did you think of my parents?”

Mal found the conversation while they lay in bed intimate and sweet. Living with Skyler had been quite different than running with him or being friends with him or laughing while he tried to fold his body into yoga positions while she taught the class from the front of the room.

He was more reserved. Serious in a way she’d never seen from him before. He seemed to have two sides—the public Skyler he wanted others to see.

And the real Skyler, who didn’t really know who he was. The real Skyler didn’t show himself to very many people, but Mal had seen him, especially around his family.

“I actually liked them,” she said. “And you weren’t kidding when you said your brothers are loud.”

He smiled at her and propped his head on his hand. Did he find it odd they were lying in the same bed? Just because they had a piece of paper that said they were married didn’t mean they really were.

They’d kissed the one time in her kitchen, and then a quick peck four days later when they’d met at the courthouse for their wedding.

“Yeah, we’re all loud,” he said with a smile. The same smile she’d seen him flash to others during parties, lunches, or other social occasions. “You have to be when you’re growing up with six brothers. If you weren’t loud, you didn’t eat.”

Mal giggled and looked up at the ceiling. “Do you think we’ll go back to Amarillo today?”

She was very careful not to say home. She wasn’t even sure where her home was right now. She needed to get her courage up though, and she needed to start thinking and acting like Skyler’s wife.

Her hearing with an immigration judge was only sixteen days away now, and she’d need to be convincing enough to get an extension on her green card.

Skyler had dived into the issue, and he told her some new fact he’d read that day almost every day. He’d said that the judge would likely set another hearing in the future until the immigration agents could determine whether or not their marriage was real.

“It’s usually a year,” he’d said.

“But I can’t work,” she’d said.

“You don’t need to work,” he said. “I have plenty of money.” And that was the closest he’d come to saying anything about the finances.

Mal didn’t know what to do with herself if she didn’t have school and work. She’d petitioned the judge to be able to continue her classes and her jobs, but she wouldn’t know until the hearing happened.

She was slowly going insane, she knew that.

“We have no clothes,” Skyler said. “So yes, I’ll tell Momma we’re going home today.”

Mal didn’t mind sleeping in her clothes—in fact, she slept in her clothes almost every night, but that could’ve been from her pure exhaustion more than anything else. Skyler had borrowed a pair of basketball shorts from his brother, Micah, and a T-shirt with a horseshoe printed on it.

He was as sexy as ever, and Mal rolled away from him and sat up, hoping he hadn’t been able to see her attraction to him.

She wasn’t sure why she was trying to hide it. He’d been the one to propose to her, as she reflected on every day. Every single day.

He’d said he wanted to kiss her again, the one and only time they’d talked about the episode, only minutes after it had happened. But he hadn’t.

She hadn’t known how to bring it up. How to put her hand in his. How to cuddle into him on the couch while they watched movies and studied and went running.

Their lives had simply gone on, but she was now on his lease, and she’d filed all kinds of papers to get her new name on all her legal documents.

“Mal,” Skyler said, his voice that quiet, contemplative one she’d only heard a few times now. This was the real Skyler Walker talking, and she wanted to hear what he had to say.

“Yeah?”

“Would you go out with me tonight?”

For some reason, his vulnerable question struck her as funny. She tried to hold back her laughter, but that only made it burst from her mouth in more of an explosion.

He got up and came around the bed, sitting next to her and taking her hand in his. That got Mal’s laughter to dry up, because now her heart raced like a champion horse.

He wore a playful smile on his face, and when their eyes met, showers of sparks cascaded down her back. “What’s so funny about that?”

“We’re married,” she said. “What am I going to say? No?”

“You could,” he said. “Do you want to say no?”

Mal swallowed, the dark depths of his eyes searching hers. She shook her head. “No.”

“Great.” His eyes dropped to her mouth, rebounding back to hers quickly. “That Japanese place? Sushi?”

Mal didn’t get sushi and vegetable tempura as often as she’d like, because it was expensive. But Skyler didn’t worry about that.

“Sure,” she said. “I haven’t been there in forever.”

Skyler nodded. “Awesome. And uh…never mind.”

“No, say it,” Mal said.

“It’s just…we’ve been married for five weeks now.”

“Yeah.”

“And I’m fine. I am. I just….” He hung his head. “I’d like to try that kiss again.”

Mal’s pulse rippled, and an icy excitement spread through her. “You would?”

“Yeah.” Skyler looked up and met her eyes. Mal didn’t know what to say. She didn’t know what to do.

So she commanded her mind to stop trying to figure everything out, and she just acted.

She leaned toward him, and he leaned toward her. In the next moment, Skyler Walker kissed her, and Mal pulled a breath in through her nose.

This kiss wasn’t as wild, or as uninhibited, as the one they’d shared in her kitchen weeks ago.

It was just as passionate, and Skyler once again threaded the fingers on one hand through her hair as he kissed her. Mal sure did like that. She liked kissing him.

She simply liked him.

* * *

“Morning, Momma,” Skyler said an hour later, releasing Mal’s hand as he stepped over to his mother and embraced her. He dwarfed her, just like all of his brothers did.

Mal honestly wasn’t sure how Penny Walker had carried any of the Walker men to term, especially twins. She was probably five-foot-four at the most, and Skyler could likely lift her up and throw her as far as he wanted.

Of course, he did spend a lot of time in the gym on the bottom floor of his apartment building, as he didn’t have a job like most students. He only had four classes, and two of them were throwaways—like floral arrangement and bowling.

His mother laughed as she hugged her son, and Mal wasn’t surprised when the woman embraced her next. She’d hugged Mal yesterday too, though her shock had kept her at bay for a few minutes.

“I’ve got pancakes in the oven,” she said, stepping back. She wore a wide smile that didn’t seem fake at all, and she put off a warmth Mal basked in.

A keen sense of missing her own mother hit her, and she hurried to put a smile on her face too. She was a lot like Skyler in that she put on a mask to hide how she really felt.

“Smells like bacon,” Skyler said. “Oh, and sausage.”

“Daddy likes the bacon,” his mother said. “It’s not my favorite.”

“I’m with you, Momma.” Skyler smiled easily at her and turned as his father came down the hall. “Mornin’, Daddy.”

They also embraced, and Mal got a hug from the freshly showered Gideon Walker too.

“What are you two up to for the rest of the holidays?” Momma asked as she gripped a pair of tongs and started pulling the strips of bacon from the pan.

Mal’s mouth watered, because out of sausage and bacon, she definitely preferred bacon.

“Just going back to Amarillo,” Skyler said, his voice a touch too casual.

“You don’t have family, Mal?” Penny asked, glancing over her shoulder.

Mal suddenly realized how hard it was to lie to the woman, and she didn’t want to fib anyway. So she said, “My family is all down in Mexico, ma’am.”

“We’ll go see them in a couple of months,” Skyler said.

Penny didn’t ask any more questions about that, thankfully, but she did say, “How many siblings do you have, Mal?”

Mal could easily talk about her two sisters and two brothers, and that got them through the setting up of breakfast, the prayer, and getting their food.

The four of them sat down at the kitchen table, and Mal felt a sense of peace she hadn’t in a long time. She’d always been comfortable with Skyler, and they’d had a good time together in the two years since she’d known him.

She laughed and smiled, contributed to the conversation by talking about the beaches in Mexico. Penny’s face lit up then, as she loved the beach.

By the time she and Skyler left the house, Mal almost wished they could stay longer.

Not really, but almost.

She threaded her fingers through Skyler’s, let him open the door and help her into the truck, and then while he walked around the front of the vehicle, she slid over on the bench seat so she’d be sitting right next to him.

He looked at her when he got in beside her, and Mal decided if she was going to be married to this man for at least the next year, she should get to kiss the devilishly handsome cowboy whenever she wanted.

So she did.

And while she knew she was his wanna-be wife, he sure did kiss her like maybe, just maybe, they could have a real relationship…someday.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “With all the brothers getting married in fake marriages, you would think this series would get boring… but it doesn’t!! Skyler & Mal’s story was one of my favorites. The way Liz Isaacson integrates each brother’s story through every book (ex. chapters from Micah’s POV in Skyler’s book) make this series addicting. You can’t help but get attached to each member of this family. Can’t wait to read Micah & Simone’s book!” ~Bryant

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I’m loving this series so much! I love marriage of convenience stories, and Liz Isaacson writes them so well! I love the Walker brothers! I love that although each book focuses on one brother, the other brothers still play a role in each book, and yet the books could be read as a stand-alone. Liz Isaacson’s writing just keeps getting better and better. I love her books. I highly recommend this and every book she’s written.” ~Moosegirl

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The Walker Brothers have moved to small-town Three Rivers...and refused to date.

Oh, boy, do the women of this town want a piece of these cowboy billionaire brothers! And you can read all about it in the Seven Sons Ranch in Three Rivers Romance books!