Authors: Melody Snow Monroe
The Callens 7
Love of Steel
Jade Callen, a beautiful, sexy blacksmith from Intrigue, Wyoming, is more comfortable bending steel than capturing a man’s heart. That’s because she fears she’ll end up like her mom—barefoot and pregnant. When her two heartthrobs, real estate developer Logan Smithfield and hunky theater director Parker Brandt, decide she’s the one, they ask her to create a wrought-iron sculpture for Logan’s model home and one for Parker’s new set.
Their contrived interactions are designed to break down Jade’s defenses. When Logan brings her to New Orleans for an architectural weekend, his plan works and she melts into his arms. Parker’s love of art then brings them together in a fiery way. But when talk turns to how many children she’d like, she mistakenly believes the two men only want her as a baby factory, and she withdraws. What will it take for them to permanently forge an unbreakable triangle?
Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
The Callens 7
Melody Snow Monroe
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting
LOVE OF STEEL
First E-book Publication: August 2012
Cover design by Les Byerley
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Love of Steel
by Melody Snow Monroe from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
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I’d like to dedicate this book to all the women who work with their hands and can sweat like a man. God bless you.
LOVE OF STEEL
The Callens 7
MELODY SNOW MONROE
Copyright © 2012
“A little to the right.” Jade Callen instructed her cousin Dustin to adjust the handcrafted iron sign attached to the signpost at the ranch entrance. It needed to be perfect. After all, it was the thirtieth-anniversary present she’d made for her parents.
“That good?” He looked down from the ladder.
“Perfect.” The letter
sat inside the letter
, which stood for the Spencer Callen Ranch. She was pleased with the way the scrolls on the ends of the letters added a bit of dimension. “What do you think, Dad?”
He rubbed his chin. “It looks great. About time that old wooden sign got replaced.” He wrapped an arm around her shoulder. “Your nice little hobby came in handy.”
Her hands clenched at his comment. He probably hadn’t meant to trivialize her accomplishments, but she wished he’d recognized all the hard word and skill it took to become a blacksmith. “Dad, this isn’t a hobby. I make money creating iron designs.”
“For the time being. As soon as you meet the right man, you’ll settle down and do what comes naturally.”
Don’t argue with him today
. She had no intention of becoming barefoot and pregnant like her mom. Getting knocked up at sixteen and popping out nine kids translated to a nightmare to her. The only good she could see was that her mom seemed happy.
Dustin got down from the ladder and tossed it in the back of his truck. “You want to ride back with me, Jaden?”
. “Sure.” She didn’t know why her whole family called her by her full name. It sounded too much like a man’s name.
She hopped into Dustin’s front seat and inhaled that new-car smell. “How’s Tracey doing?” Dustin’s wife was due to deliver their first baby any day now.
“Uncomfortable, but she’ll be fine. I swear Colby never leaves her side, which is why he couldn’t make the celebration today.”
“I totally understand.” He sounded so excited. She wanted children but on her own terms.
They followed her father down the half-mile dirt drive. Dad parked in the garage while Dustin pulled in front. “Looks like almost every relative is here.”
She chuckled. “Free food and good company always draw a Callen crowd.” Smoke from the barbecue billowed from behind the ranch. As soon as she opened the door, the smell of charcoal and sizzling steak hit her. She inhaled. “I love a good cookout.”
“Amen. Heath volunteered to do the grilling.” Dustin’s sister got a great deal marrying the Watson brothers. Boy, could the man cook or what?
A group of musicians were setting up under a large tent. Apparently, another cousin’s husband, Jackson, did lighting for the band Righteous Warriors, and they agreed to come play for free. Given they did concerts to packed concert halls, it was a real coup to have them here.
She rubbed her arms as she rushed inside. Even though her parents’ home was eight-thousand square feet, the oversized living room was packed, and the noise was a bit loud. She ditched her coat on one of the chairs and immediately spotted her best friend and assistant, Dakota Smith. Her bleached-blonde, spiked hair that had streaks of magenta, green, and blue was hard to miss.
She slipped next to her friend. “Hey.”
Dakota turned around, slightly bent her knees, wrapped her arms around her shoulders, and looked to the ceiling. “Your brothers are
“To you maybe.”
Morgan was a year younger than she was, and Clint was two years younger, but she’d have to be blind not to see they were hunky men. “Go talk to them.”
Dakota rolled her eyes. “They hate me.”
Jade had suggested that if she got rid of the nose ring, the eyebrow studs, and the tongue ring that maybe her brothers would realize what a great girl she was. “They do not.” She didn’t want to get into this tired discussion.
Dakota’s eyes widened, and she grabbed Jade’s wrist and shook it. “Oh, my God. Logan Smithfield is here. He’s talking to Dustin, and they’re standing by the front door.”
Jade froze. He was the man of her dreams. Okay, he was one of two dream men. Logan had to be one of the most eligible bachelors in Intrigue. The man not only owned his own jet plane, but he was developing a thirteen-hundred-acre plot of land with green homes. Callen Construction, owned by Dustin, was doing the building.
She retrieved her wrist. “Do you see Parker Brandt?” He lived in Logan’s guesthouse. Not being related to anyone here, there was no reason for him to be here except that Logan might have wanted someone to hang out with.
“No, but he could be anywhere.” Thank God she had Dakota to scour the room for her. Jade wouldn’t know how to act if Logan or Parker spotted her staring.
A group had congregated outside to chat while the food cooked, and she bet there’d be a group in the game room, shooting pool. Parker could be anywhere.
“Jaden.” Her fourteen-year-old baby sister tugged on her arm. “Did you see him?”
She groaned out loud. Why did the youngest girl have to be the one who’d found about her little crush? “Yes, now scat. Go help Mom. This is her anniversary, and she shouldn’t have to do all the work.”
“She likes to cook and prepare for parties.”
“Go.” It would be hard to socialize if the rug rat was underfoot.
“Fine.” Her sister pranced off toward the kitchen.
A bowl of chips sat unattended on the coffee table. “I’m famished.” She wasn’t, but she needed something to do with her hands.
“I’m going to go bug Clint and Morgan.” Dakota winked, as if her best friend realized Logan would never approach with her hanging around.
Jade chuckled. “You do that.”
She’d just picked up a handful of chips and had popped some in her mouth when she felt rather than saw a presence behind her. The shadow on the table in front of her had changed. She turned around, inches from the most gloriously perfect man she’d ever met.
She quickly swallowed. Her laugh came out too quickly. “Logan. Nice to see you here.”
Oh, God, I have potato flecks around my mouth.
She quickly swiped a hand down her face and prayed she’d gotten them all.
His gaze ran down her entire length. Thank God she’d worn a V-neck peach blouse with ruffles around the neck to draw attention to her chest. Too bad she was too thin to have any cleavage, though. At least her overly muscled arms were covered. She straightened. There weren’t many men she had to look up to. At five feet nine inches, plus the two-inch heel on her new cowboy boots, she often towered over most.
“You’re looking good.” She loved the sparkle in his dreamy blue eyes, which shone with sincerity.