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Authors: Delilah Devlin

Ride a Cowboy

BOOK: Ride a Cowboy
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An Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication

Ride a Cowboy

ISBN # 1-4199-0512-0


Ride a Cowboy Copyright© 2006 Delilah Devlin

Edited by Briana St James.

Cover art by Syneca.

Electronic book Publication: February 2006

This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written

permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 443103502.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales

is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.


The following material contains graphic sexual content meant for mature readers. This story has been

rated E–rotic by a minimum of three independent reviewers.

Ellora’s Cave Publishing offers three levels of Romantica™ reading entertainment: S (S-ensuous), E (Erotic), and X (X-treme).

love scenes are explicit and leave nothing to the imagination.

love scenes are explicit, leave nothing to the imagination, and are high in volume per the overall

word count. In addition, some E-rated titles might contain fantasy material that some readers find

objectionable, such as bondage, submission, same sex encounters, forced seductions, and so forth. E-rated

titles are the most graphic titles we carry; it is common, for instance, for an author to use words such as

“fucking”, “cock”, “pussy”, and such within their work of literature.

titles differ from E-rated titles only in plot premise and storyline execution. Unlike E-rated titles,

stories designated with the letter X tend to contain controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.


Delilah Devlin

Trademarks Acknowledgement

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the

following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

U-Haul: U-Haul International, Inc.

Popsicle: Unilever Supply Chain, Inc.

Kevlar: E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company

Ride a Cowboy

Chapter One

The house Katelyn Carter had bought sight unseen was kind of like her—weathered

by storms and in need of a lot of TLC.

After a quick glance around the empty road, she set her truck into park and stared.

She let her eyes blur and tried to imagine how the old house must have looked once

upon a time before the harsh South Texas sun baked its exterior. She wasn’t

encouraged. Even seen from behind her dirty windshield, she could tell the one-story

ranch needed a lot of work, and at the very least, a fresh coat of paint.

A lone tear streaked down her face, surprising her, and she sniffed. One last cry—

she deserved that much. Then no more feeling sorry for herself. She had too much to do

and a whole new life stretching in front of her.

A loud honk sounded and Katelyn swung her gaze to her rearview mirror to find

that a dusty, older model pickup truck had pulled up behind her. She swiped away the

tears with the back of her hand, and then stuck her arm out the window to wave the

driver past.

Instead, the driver-side door opened and a tall Texan in faded jeans and a creamcolored cowboy hat stepped onto the pavement.

Katelyn cursed under her breath and quickly tilted down the mirror to see whether

her mascara had smeared. She didn’t really care what a stranger thought—that was the

old Katelyn. Still, some habits died hard.

When boot steps stopped beside her, she glanced up…and found herself trapped

within a moss green gaze that raised the temperature within her cab a notch. The rest of

him was just as captivating. Dark brown hair peeked from beneath his hat. His jaw was

angular, his chin chiseled. Shallow crow’s feet surrounded those amazing eyes and


Delilah Devlin

crinkled when he frowned—as he was doing now. But they were wrinkles cause by the

sun, not the weathering of a few years, like hers.

Here stood the first man she’d met since her separation who made her think

of all the steamy possibilities, and he was too young.

She didn’t realize she’d cursed out loud until his soft chuckle washed over her like

a silky caress. Her cheeks flamed instantly.

“Women don’t generally cuss me ‘til
they know me better,” he said, his

baritone voice thick as molasses.

The timbre and tone of his voice appealed too much. She lifted a single brow, trying

for off-putting and hoping he didn’t notice her lashes were still wet from tears.

“Obviously, they’re not too discerning.”

His smile dimmed and his eyes narrowed, sweeping over her face and body

hunched behind the steering wheel. “Not from around here, are you?” he asked,

leaning closer.

She reminded herself she was alone, in the middle of a country road, with a large,

predatory-looking man looming over her—and she’d just insulted him. She hit her

automatic lock button.

“Whoa,” he said, lifting his hands. “I didn’t mean to scare you, ma’am.”

Now she really did feel like the spinster librarian she was.

“Look…” He straightened away. “I just stopped to see if you were having car


“Funny, but I wasn’t having any trouble at all ‘til you stopped,” she said, making

sure he understood her unsubtle dig, and hoping he’d take the hint and leave.

The cowboy looked around and then down the gravel road toward her home,

before returning to give her a questioning glance. “You lost then? The main highway’s

about three miles behind you.”


Ride a Cowboy

“Nope, I know exactly where I am.” She kept her response terse and lifted her chin.

No way was she going to encourage the conversation to continue—no matter how

handsome the man was—or more to the point,
he was so attractive. “Not that

it’s any of your business. I was just double-checking the address.”

He pushed back his cowboy hat and leaned down again. “Well, I wouldn’t want

you to waste any more of your valuable time,” he said, his gaze raking her face, “but

you’re at 118 Amman Road. The letters are worn off the mailbox.”

The longer he stood there, the more certain she became she needed him gone.

Something about him, his steady gaze and his large sturdy frame, made

her…want…something more, something she was better off not having right now.

“Then I’m in the right place,” she said, keeping her expression challenging.

His hand rubbed the back of his neck and he shook his head. “Well, I’ll be

damned,” he said softly. When his green gaze returned, his expression was hard to

read, but intense, almost searching.

Katelyn shivered. All that attention from a handsome man unnerved her. She

needed time alone to dam up her defenses against her unwanted reactions. Handsome

she’d had and wasn’t what she needed now.

“Seein’ as how you don’t need any help,” he said, “I’ll be on my way.” One last

glance with a naked promise she couldn’t misinterpret, and he left…taking Katelyn’s

breath right along with him.

In the mirror, her gaze clung to his broad back and nicely rounded backside until he

reached the door of his cab and glanced back. She whipped away her gaze and hoped

like hell he hadn’t caught her looking at his ass. Sinking in her seat, she burned with

embarrassment while he passed by, giving her one last smoldering glance.

Katelyn’s heart slowed and her hands released their tight grip on the steering


He was just a man—he had nothing she needed or wanted—
ever again
. Except

maybe sex. She did miss that. But she’d never have sex with entanglement again.


Delilah Devlin

Complicating that fact, she’d come to a small town to start her life anew and couldn’t

afford the kind of scandal a fling with a younger man would cause.

Pushing thoughts of the tall cowboy aside, she pulled onto the long gravel drive

and forced her mind back to what needed doing before she could rest that night. Hard

work was what she needed—not anything the young cowboy had to offer.

And looking at her new home, she guessed she’d get plenty of cowboy antidote. A

long day’s work lay ahead of her—and that was before she could unpack the U-Haul

trailer laden with all her worldly belongings. She squared her shoulders. She’d make it

through the next couple of days like she had the last few years—one step at a time.

Her gaze lifted beyond the house to the field of ripening buffalo grass and broken

rock behind the chain-link fence surrounding the two-acre property. The landscape was

so different here.

Atlanta had just revealed the first hints of spring. Crocuses had pushed up through

the lawn. Daffodils bloomed beside the porch where she’d planted them during the first

year of her marriage to Chris, when she’d still had so much hope for their future


Here, the few live oaks that dotted the landscape looked like bushes in comparison

to the tall pines of her former home.

And good Lord—the heat! Only April and already eighty degrees and climbing fast.

Katelyn opened her door, grateful for the stirring breeze. It was Monday; Thursday

she started her new job and she wanted all her things in their proper place before she

began her new life. She’d begin as she meant to continue—building order out of the

chaos her world had been.

Besides its less than pristine appearance, she quickly discovered another problem

with her new home—the ancient air-conditioner didn’t work. She raised every window

she could and propped open the back door to let a breeze waft through the house.

Warm though it was, the temperature outside was still better than the stale heat inside.


Ride a Cowboy

After wrestling with her bed frame, mattress, and small nightstand, she decided to

get a good night’s sleep and start again early the next morning. She lay down on top of

cool crisp sheets and sighed her relief. But despite her fatigue, she tossed on her

mattress, unable to fall asleep.

She would have liked to blame her restlessness on the warm weather. But the

temperature of the room had little to do with the heat pooling between her legs and

everything to do with the cowboy in the faded jeans.

After pounding her pillow for the second time, she surrendered to her body’s

BOOK: Ride a Cowboy
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