Read Her Montana Man Online

Authors: Cheryl St.john

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #United States, #Romance, #Historical, #Western, #Historical Romance, #Series, #Harlequin Historical, #Westerns

Her Montana Man

BOOK: Her Montana Man
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“I wondered why you never got married. You’re more’n pretty enough.”

Eliza’s cheeks grew warm. The cover of night coaxed words into the open. “There was one special

someone once. But he just…disappeared.”

“Man was a damned fool,” Jonas said with enough conviction to bring tears to her eyes. He must have

noticed her reaction, because he pulled her closer, releasing her hand so he could envelop her in his

warmth and strength. She didn’t resist, didn’t even want to.

She had no reason on earth to deny herself this pleasure, nothing more to lose, so she met his kiss.

She savored the warmth of his mouth, loved his hands on her waist. Eliza was starving for affection, for

attention…for someone to recognize and want her for who she was. This was her moment. Her tiny dash

at satisfaction, and she meant to grab it.

Her Montana Man


Praise for Cheryl St.John

“Ms. St.John knows what the readers want and keeps on giving it.”


“Ms. St.John holds a spot in my top-five list of must-read Harlequin Historical authors. She is an

amazingly gifted author.”

Writers Unlimited

His Secondhand Wife

Nominated for a RITA®Award. “A beautifully crafted and involving story about the transforming power

of love, this is recommended reading.”

Romantic Times BOOKreviews

Prairie Wife

Nominated for a
Romantic Times BOOKreviews
Reviewers’ Choice Award. “
Prairie Wife
is a very

special book, courageously executed by the author and her publisher. Her considerable skill brings the

common theme of the romance novel—love conquers all—to the level of genuine catharsis.”

Romantic Times BOOKreviews
[41/2 stars]

The Tenderfoot Bride

“Cheryl St.John once again touches the hearts of readers…Not many readers will be able to hold back

their tears as they reach the conclusion.”

Romance Reviews Today

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Available from Harlequin

Historical and CHERYL ST.JOHN
Rain Shadow

Heaven Can Wait


Land of Dreams


Saint or Sinner


Badlands Bride


The Mistaken Widow


Joe’s Wife


The Doctor’s Wife


Sweet Annie


The Gunslinger’s Bride


Christmas Gold


“Colorado Wife”

The Tenderfoot Bride


Prairie Wife


His Secondhand Wife


Wed Under Western Skies


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“Almost a Bride”

The Lawman’s Bride


The Preacher’s Daughter


A Western Winter Wonderland


“Christmas Day Family”

The Magic of Christmas


“A Baby Blue Christmas”

Her Montana Man


Other works include:

Silhouette Special Edition

Nick All Night


Marry Me…Again

Charlie’s Angels


Million-Dollar Makeover


Montana Mavericks

The Magnificent Seven

The Bounty Hunter

With thanks and appreciation to the ladies who can’t eat as much chocolate as I can, but who definitely

help me out of the jams I write myself into and know how to celebrate a birthday in style. Smooches to

Bernadette Duquette, Barb Hunt, Donna Knoell, Debra Hines, Lizzie Starr, Chris Carter, Sherri

Shackelford and Julie Breese.

And thanks to Heartland Writers Group

for honoring my RWA milestone!


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The scandalous Earl of Treyford has no time for the pretty niceties of the
He has returned to England

to aid an aging spinster facing an undefined danger. But Miss Latimer’s thick eyelashes and long ebony

hair, her mix of knowledge and innocence, arouse far more than his protective instincts….
A scandalous

Earl becomes the gentleman she’s dreamed of!

#925 THE MISTLETOE WAGER—Christine Merrill

Harry Pennyngton, Earl of Anneslea, is surprised when his estranged wife, Elise, arrives home for

Christmas—especially as she is still intent on divorce! But when Harry and Elise find they are stuck with

each other under the mistletoe, the magic of Christmas is just what they need to reignite their love!

Mistletoe works its magic as passion is rekindled in this festive Regency story….


War drums echoing in her ears, Sela stood with trepidation on the shoreline. The dragon ships full of

warriors had arrived—but it wasn’t the threat of conquest that shook Sela to the core. It was her heart’s

response to the proud face of Vikar Hrutson, leader of the invading force—and her ex-husband!

the warrior must conquer his woman’s heart!


Chapter One
Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four
Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen

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Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter One

Silver Bend, Montana, May 1885


onas Black looked up from his ledgers and flipped open his ornately engraved gold pocket watch.

Nearly three already. In preparation to leave his desk, he blotted the numbers he’d just tallied, then

rubbed his ink-stained fingers on his denim trousers. There was something he did every afternoon at this


“Gonna be trouble at the North Star!” The tall stoop-shouldered man who tended bar rapped on Jonas’s

open office door at the same time as he shouted.

The North Star was the three-story hotel a few doors down, where Jonas and most of his employees

lived. Jonas owned the hotel as well as the Silver Star Saloon.

“Tall fella, but not beefy,” Quay told him. “He’s hollerin’ for Mrs. Holmes.”

Jonas didn’t bother to grab his jacket. He might talk this man into leaving peaceably, but experience had

taught him it might take more than a simple
to appeal to an abuser. No call to ruin a perfectly good


He glanced at the holstered Colt hanging on a peg just inside the door, but deliberately walked past and

locked the door behind him.

With the shutters open to the warm afternoon sun, the saloon was warm and bright. The freshly

scrubbed floors, the two patrons and the woman polishing the top of the mahogany bar barely registered

as he strode for the door and out onto the shaded boardwalk.

“Madeline, come out here now! Don’t make me come in and get you.”

The stranger stood in the street, a sweaty bay tethered to the post in front of the hotel. His tailored black

suit was coated with a layer of dust as though he’d been pushing the mare for the better part of a day. In

Jonas’s book, men who abused horses ranked right up there with men who mistreated women. Jonas

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had heard Madeline Holmes’s story and drew the easy conclusion that this was the man she’d run from

before finding refuge in Silver Bend.

“Don’t make me come in there and drag you out!” the man shouted.

“Looking for someone?” Jonas called easily.

“Stay outta this, mister. Ain’t none of your concern.”

Jonas walked several yards toward the hotel. “Well, seems it is my concern since you’re standing there

hollerin’ at the front windows of my establishment. State your business, Mister…”

“Baslow. This your hotel?”

“That it is. Jonas Black’s the name. And you are?”

“I’m lookin’ to take a woman back with me. I want Madeline Holmes.”

“Is she your wife?”

The angry man deepened the scowl on his already craggy face, and his complexion reddened. “Ain’t

none of your damned business what she is. All you need to know is that she’s comin’ with me.”

“I guess we can leave that up to Maddie, now, can’t we?”

At Jonas’s familiar use of her name, Baslow turned his whole body toward Jonas and squinted. “What’s

she to you?”

“A good employee. I’ll go tell her you’re here and you can ask her directly what she’d like to do.”

The man jerked his head toward the saloon Jonas had exited. Quay still stood just outside the doors.

“She’s in there?” Baslow shouted. “Whoring?”

Jonas gestured to a brightly painted wooden sign that hung on the outside of the building. “No sportin’

women in my establishment. Maddie’s one of my housekeepers.”

“The hell you say. Madeline!” he roared, stalking toward the saloon.

Jonas frowned at Baslow’s belligerent tone and aggressive stance. Eagerness for the man to try to push

past him so he’d have reason to restrain him made his fingers tingle and his blood pump.

Instead, Baslow gave him a wide berth, striding to face the open saloon doors.

Casually, Jonas turned and stepped past Quay into the dim interior. This time his gaze sought and found

the dark-haired woman who’d stopped polishing the bar and stood in rigid fear, her eyes as wide as

saucers, her face pale. “Frank,” she said on a dry rasp.

Jonas thought she might have been pretty once, before abuse and fear had added the appearance of

more years to her narrow face. Using intimidation, the man had held her in his home and his bed for eight

years. Breaking away had taken courage. Following through with her decision to escape would take even

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“You don’t have to be afraid,” Jonas assured her.

“Quay and I are right here. The whole of Silver Bend would see if he tried to force you away in plain

sight. You don’t have to go back with him. He can’t make you. Tell him you don’t want to leave. Make it

loud ’n clear so there are witnesses.”

Her frightened gaze moved from Jonas to the doorway. He’d seen the same bleak dread on too many

faces, and it made his blood boil. “You’re free, Maddie. You have a job and can take care of yourself.

You don’t need him. He has no control over you except what you give him. From here on out you can

live your life any way you see fit. It’s up to you.”

His words took effect, and her expression changed. Madeline Holmes placed the cloth she’d been

holding on the bar and, with precise movements, removed her apron, folded it neatly and set it down.

She ran her palms over her skirt in a nervous gesture, then straightened and raised her chin. “He can’t

make me do anything I don’t want to, can he?”

“No, he can’t.”

She walked toward the doors. Jonas followed.

As she stepped out onto the boardwalk, Baslow’s severe gaze narrowed on her. His attention sidled

over Jonas and Quay before fixing back on her as though the men were irritating flies he intended to swat

later. “If you want to bring anything with you, get it now.”

Her hands trembled, but with obvious deliberation she hid them in the folds of her skirts. Jonas cheered

silently for her brave front.

BOOK: Her Montana Man
8.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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