Read Her Heart for the Asking (Book 1 - TEXAS HEARTS) Online

Authors: Lisa Mondello

Tags: #texas, #ebook, #series, #western, #rodeo, #cowboy, #ranch, #western romance, #sweet romance, #traditional romance, #reunion story, #lisa mondello

Her Heart for the Asking (Book 1 - TEXAS HEARTS)

BOOK: Her Heart for the Asking (Book 1 - TEXAS HEARTS)
8.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



Lisa Mondello




* * * * *



Lisa Mondello at Smashwords


Her Heart for the Asking

Copyright © 2001 by Lisa Mondello

First Edition published 2001 by Avalon Books

Second Edition published 2012


Smashwords Edition License Notes

This eBook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you
share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it,
or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return
to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for
respecting the author's work.


* * * * *


"Ms. Mondello presents a beguiling story that
keeps you turning the pages."



made...Secrets kept...


Mandy Morgan swore she’d never step foot in
Texas again after Beau Gentry left her for life on the rodeo
circuit eight years before. He once promised he'd love her forever.
But he'd abandoned their love for the rodeo and she hadn't seen him
since. Now she's back in Texas. Her uncle’s heart is failing and
Mandy has to convince him that surgery will save his life.

She never dreamed the first thing she’d see
when she stepped off the plane would be her biggest nightmare...the
one man she’d never stopped loving.

Beau Gentry had the fever for two things:
the rodeo and Mandy Morgan. But for Beau, loving Mandy was
complicated by his father’s vendetta against her uncle and a
promise he'd made to an old friend. Hank Promise, Mandy's uncle,
was more like a father to Beau than his old man had been. The
hardest thing Beau had ever done was leave Mandy behind for the
rodeo. He can still see the bitterness and hurt on her face. It has
killed him all these years to think Mandy had forgotten him...maybe
even in the arms of another man.  

But now they’re both back in Texas, and
Beau's going to do all he can to win back her love.


* * * * *

Ebooks available by Lisa

The Marriage Contract ##

All I Want for Christmas is You ##

The Knight and Maggie’s Baby##

Nothing but Trouble

Cradle of Secrets – Harlequin Love Inspired

Her Only Protector – Harlequin Love Inspired

Yuletide Protector – Harlequin Love Inspired

Fresh-Start Family – Harlequin Love Inspired

In a Doctor’s Arms – Harlequin Love Inspired

Her Heart for the

His Heart for the Trusting ***

The More I See ***  



with a Help Hand (Massachusetts)



* * * * *

This book is dedicated to Natalie
Damschroder.  I could never have done this one without you if
you hadn’t been there for all the others.  Many thanks my


* * * * *




Chapter One


"What are you doing here?" Mandy Morgan
asked, dropping her too-heavy overnight case on the sun-roasted
tarmac.  After a grueling forty-eight hour work stint and a
five-hour flight from Philadelphia, she stood wilting under the
brutal Texas sun, facing her biggest nightmare.

Beau Gentry.

She groaned inwardly, drinking Beau in with
her eyes as if she hadn't had a drop of water in months. 
Eight years was more like it.  If she were eight years
smarter, she would be moving her aching feet as fast as she could
in the opposite direction.  But all she could do was stare at
eyes so bright they rivaled the blazing sun.  At lips so
kissable she'd spent the better part of her adult life trying to
wipe the memory clean from her mind. 

She had expected Beau would have aged
some.  When she allowed herself to think about him at all, she
reminded herself.  The faint lines etched in the corners of
his sleepy gray-blue eyes gave a hint of maturity, but most
probably caused by long days in the cruel sun.

She fought the urge to take a closer look at
his ruggedly handsome features, but failed.  How could he have
gotten better looking after being abused by every bronc-busting
horse on the rodeo circuit?  His angular jaw, strong and
determined, was shaded with beard growth that was probably a day
old, maybe more.  Mandy suspected if Beau grew a full beard,
it would grow in thick and be the smooth texture of his almost
black head of hair.  She forced aside past memories that gave
her such knowledge with renewed irritation. 

The man didn't even have the decency to have
a crooked nose.  What should have been bent and awkward from
being broken a few too many times was instead long and straight,
shaped perfectly between high cheek bones most women would swoon
over, or kill to have themselves.  But on Beau Gentry, it was
just one thousand percent robust cowboy.

Damn him.

"I'm your ride out to the Double T," Beau
said, gripping the edge of his white straw cowboy hat and tipping
it in a cordial gesture.

She ground the heels of her low pumps into
the soft tar to contain her growing irritation.  Did he think
she was an idiot?  "No way."

"'Fraid so," he said, his expression
slightly askew.

"Hank didn't mention anything about you
coming to get me when I spoke to him on the

"I suspect he thought you would have found
some excuse not to come if you knew I was picking you up."

"He would have been right.  Why didn't
one of the hands come get me?" 

Settling his hand at the base of his neck,
Beau replied, "You're looking at him.  As of three weeks ago I
am one of the ranch hands at the Double T."

What?!  Mandy fought the urge to keep
her surprise from showing, but immediately failed.  Beau
Gentry was the son of her uncle's biggest rival.  It hadn't
stopped her from falling head over heels for the man on those long,
lazy summers she came down to the ranch to visit her aunt and
uncle.  Of course, back then, rodeo was all Beau cared about,
not his father's spread.  Not her, she remembered

He was going to go PRCA and be a world
champion.  It was his dream and all he ever talked
about.  He was good enough to do it, too, Mandy thought
wryly.  So good, he hadn't given her a second glance when he
rode out of Texas without her eight years ago on the heels of a
golden sunset.

Her chuckle was almost hysterical. 
"You really expect me to leave this airport with you?"

"That was the plan," he said smiling, his
gray eyes seeing more of her than she wanted him to see.  He
held his ground.  He had to know how difficult it was to see
him after all this time.  It didn't matter that he didn't
share her unrest.  He could have at least had the decency to
think about her feelings.  But then he hadn't thought about
her feelings eight years ago when he broke her heart, so it didn't
seem he was any more incline to do so now.

Beau Gentry might be clueless, but there was
no way Mandy was going anywhere with him.  No way she'd spend
the next two hours bouncing up and down in a hot pickup truck
breathing in his scent and wrestling with memories...

Mandy twisted on her heels and surged in the
opposite direction.  "Forget it," she called over her

There had to be a cab going somewhere. 
Anywhere.  A hot, sticky bus would be a lot more inviting than
spending the next few hours in inescapable close quarters with

"Mandy, what are you going to do, walk all
the way to the Double T?"

"I'm sorry you were dragged out here like
this, Beau.  But I'm afraid it was a waste of your time. 
I...can rent a car."

Behind her, Mandy heard his heavy sigh and
the sound of his boots stop short on the tarmac. 
Defeat?  Regret?  She wasn't sure, but she was very sure
she shouldn't care.

Since Mandy had just come off a forty-eight
hour work-marathon and let her cell phone battery run down, she
concentrated on finding a payphone. 

"It's been a while since you've been
around.  The car rental service went belly up here two years
ago.  About the closest thing you could do to get away from me
right now is to take a cab to the bus depot.  And I'll just
have to pick you up when you get to Steerage Rock anyway."

She stopped walking when she reached the pay
phone just outside the small terminal, angling back to see where
Beau was standing.  The airport was small enough not to have
gates.  All passengers exited the plane on the tarmac. 
She glanced past the booth to the boarded up window near the
entrance to the small building that housed the air tower, the
terminal and a small restaurant-a fast food diner of sorts. 
The peeled paint of the weather-beaten banner didn't hide the
letters of a rental car company that indeed had gone out of

She blew out an exasperated breath of
frustration in the already hot Texas heat.  She wasn't ready
to give up.  Right now, a bus looked as if it might be a
possibility, since the last orange taxi just pulled out of the
parking lot with one of the passengers who'd been on the same
flight she'd taken.  She remembered seeing a bus depot not far
from here when Uncle Hank used to pick her up.  It wouldn't
take her all the way to the Double T, but close enough not to put
Uncle Hank or Aunt Corrine out when she called and asked for a

She was being ridiculous.  Part of her
knew that, accept her behavior as being childish.  But part of
her rationalized it as necessary.  She knew all too well the
dangers of being with Beau Gentry.  It had taken Mandy too
long to get over him and she wasn't about to let anything allow the
man to seep into her heart again.

"I can manage," she said resolutely.

"I suspect you could.  You seem to have
done fine for yourself, judging by the fancy clothes you're wearing
and that designer luggage."

With a fistful of quarters in her palm, she
swung around, cradling the phone in her other hand.  Leveling
him with a warning stare, she said tightly, "I don't think you're
in a position to judge me after what you did."

His face showed a momentary flash of
regret.  "That was a long time ago, Mandy."

She gripped the quarters in her hand, felt
her pulse hammer in her wrist.  "I have a long memory."

Turning her attention back to the task at
hand, Mandy decided the phone book was useless.  What was the
company name on the side of that yellow cab?  It had been
eight years since she'd been in Texas.  Eight years was a long
time for a county to change.  Who could she possibly call if
her one and only ally in Texas sent the one man she swore she'd
never lay eyes on again? 

Defeated, she dropped the out of date
phonebook, and chided herself for not charging her cell phone
before she left for the airport.  She had most of her numbers
on speed dial and couldn't even recall the number for the Double
T.  It would teach her to let her cell phone battery run down
again, leaving her unprepared.

"Tell me, Beau.  Why did you come
here?  Someone else could have easily come for me.  Why
did it have to be you?"

His gray-blue eyes lost some of their luster
and grew solemn.  There was a time long ago when she thought
she could stare at those eyes and be lost in them for hours. 
You still could, she realized with sudden regret. 

Not a good sign. 

He adjusted his hat in that lazy way he
always did.  "Because Hank asked me to.  That's why."

There was her life in a nutshell.  Beau
was asked.  And Mandy wasn't.  Mandy was never asked, she
was told.  And like the good girl she was raised to be, Mandy
always complied. 

She thought back to the conversation she'd
had with her mother just three days ago with renewed

"I'm not asking, Mandy," Leandra Morgan had
said over the phone.

I'm telling you.

Her mother didn't have to actually say the
last part for Mandy to know what she was thinking.  It was a
given.  It followed every request the woman ever made. 
I'm not asking you to keep your tongue.  I'm not asking you to
come to your cousin's party.  I'm not asking you to apologize
to your father.  I'm not asking you to work for the family
business...or date the son of your father's biggest client. 
I'm telling you.

BOOK: Her Heart for the Asking (Book 1 - TEXAS HEARTS)
8.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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