Socialite Melissa Brody is beyond livid when she
discovers the trust fund she's been waiting for is tied to a Texas dude ranch. In order to inherit,
she has to prove herself worthy. She has to work at the ranch for six months!
Colton Adams has
helped his father manage the Double-Trouble Dude Ranch for years. Now comes the cowboy's biggest
challenge—make sure the partner's granddaughter is ready to take the reins. It's apparent from the get-go
Melissa is in sore need of something, and Colton is just the man to give it to her.
Hired Hand was previously published in 2004. It has been re-edited and re-released for your reading pleasure.
WHAT THE REVIEWERS ARE SAYING
5 CUPS!!! Hired Hand is a funny and sexy story of a woman trying to work for the first time in her life. Melissa comes from a privileged background but now must find out how to cope with real life, which she does, marvelously so; meanwhile Colt imagines the hardships to come but in actual fact Melissa surprises him, in a whole heap of ways. This was a fantastic read for me, a story of hope, romance and of course, lots of hot, smoldering sex. ~Sheryl, Coffee Time Romance Reviews
5 STARS!!! A short story with a full plot that keeps your attention to the last page…a satisfying sensual romantic read. ~Patrice Storie, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
FIVE UNICORNS!!! [O]ne of the best short contemporary romances I’ve read in quite awhile... Hired Hand is a well-rounded story that seems to be missing nothing! Hot, erotic love scenes blend flawlessly with characters that you grow to love and an ending for Melissa and Colton that totally satisfies while leaving the reader anxious to have stories for the secondary characters that were introduced. Caitlyn Willows Hired Hand will not disappoint readers of erotic contemporary romance. ~Melissa, Enchanted In Romance
FOUR RIBBONS!!! The sparks fly as soon as Melissa and Colt set eyes on each other and the pages just ignite throughout the rest of the story. Ms. Willows takes the spoiled heiress and shows us that she can work hard for her money and the man of her dreams. HIRED HAND is a story filled with romance and love that will make you sigh and keep you turning the pages. ~Bea Sigman, Romance Junkies
FOUR ANGELS!!! A fresh, erotic read that is sure to entertain. The story is delivered with humor and raw sexuality that makes Melissa and Colton fun characters to get to know. There are moments of outright hilarity that will have readers applauding the style with which Colton tries to prepare Melissa for becoming the newest hired hand. ~Amanda, Fallen Angel Reviews
FIVE HEARTS!!! I have to warn you; the jeans scene is just hilarious. And I just love these two characters; I enjoyed the fact that they fall for each other so easily, that their preconceptions are easily pushed aside with little hindrance, and that they are absolutely made for one other. The lust between the two is instantaneous. For romance readers looking for a perfect relationship story, this one can go right up there will the best. ~Glenda K. Bauerle, The Romance Studio
Colton Adams crushed his empty Coke can in his fist. The
glorious day they’d all been waiting for was here. Melissa Brody was
twenty-five. Whoop-de-do. Little did he realize he was the one who was
going to be assigned to babysit her. His father and grandfather stared at him
over the supper table. He’d been tag-teamed and he damn sure didn’t like that.
Where the hell were his brothers? And the women—they’d scurried out of the
dining room like rats deserting a sinking ship.
“Fine,” he finally said. “I’ll pick Miss Priss-Ass up at the
airport and bring her here. She can stay out of our way for the next six
months, then pick up her prize money and be on her way.”
Granddad dusted his fingers through his sparse, white hair.
At least he still had hair. Dad lost his long ago, and it didn’t look hopeful
for Colt either. It was just as well. Getting it cut regularly was nothing but
a hassle. He’d often thought of shaving himself bald and being done with it.
“I understand how you feel, Colt,” Granddad said. “But I
have an obligation to Asher. He and I worked hard to build this place. He
didn’t want to give it away to someone who wouldn’t appreciate what it took to
“Well, what the fuck do you want me to do?”
Pick that time for Mom to walk in. She tsked and patted his
shoulder. “Such language. And here I thought I’d raised gentlemen.” She put a
slice of hot apple pie in front each of them, then left.
Colt pushed his aside. His stomach was too soured now to
enjoy it. He turned to his father, hoping to get him to see some sense. “Dad,
she’s going to get in the way. We’ve got a business to run. I don’t have time
“We’re always needing an extra hand around here. From what
Dan says, it isn’t going to hurt Melissa to work for a change. While he and her
mother understood the value of hard work, her stepmother has spoiled her from
the start. Dan felt so guilty over the child losing her mother he let it go. By
the time he realized his mistake, it was too late.”
“So we’re supposed to help him fix it.”
“Don’t raise your voice, dear,” his grandmother said from
behind him. “It’s unbecoming.” She scooped vanilla ice cream onto the pie
slices and left.
They were in cahoots, all of them. He couldn’t even get a
good mad going without someone yanking him to a stop. “Why me? Why can’t Wes do
“With a baby on the way, he’s got enough to worry about.”
“If he’d kept it in his pants, he wouldn’t have that
problem,” Colt grumbled. Sure enough Wes swung through the door and plopped
down in the chair beside him. Even had the nerve to steal his apple pie!
“You’re one to talk,” his brother said around a mouthful of
food. “Although, maybe if you took it out of your pants more often, you
wouldn’t be so damned grouchy.”
He was on the verge of telling Wes to fuck off when his
mother placed another piece of pie before him. Grandma was right behind her
with the ice cream. Colt threw up his hands and pushed away from the table.
“Will you all just—”
Five sets of brown eyes stared at him, waiting for him to
finish. It was no use. He was surrounded. A good man knew when to quit.
“All right. You win. I’ll pick her up at the airport. But”—he
lifted his finger—“we’ve got a group going out and another coming in the next
morning. I’m not making two trips.”
Dad smacked the table. “Perfect time for her to start
learning the ropes.”
Colt swallowed a mumbled complaint, grabbed his pie, and
stomped out to the porch swing.
The bunkhouse was just settling down. One by one lights
clicked off in the guestrooms. His brother, Trent, would be about done cleaning
up the community room where they gathered for meals and other events. After a
warm day, a breeze now kicked the stars around. He could hear the horses’ slow
gaits in the pasture beyond as they found their places to graze and rest. When
it was warm, they let the horses stay out. In the winter, they’d all be in the
barn, safe and cozy.
Business boomed at the Double-Trouble Ranch. Tourists
couldn’t get enough of playing cowboy. The Adamses gave them what they wanted,
and they still kept coming—some from as far away as Japan and Germany. That
seemed to be where they got the most out-of-country visitors. From time to
time, they’d also host a group from whatever conference was going on in Austin.
Most of those were just for the Friday night hay rides or the Saturday night
barbecue and dancing. The Adams family ran this place with a precision the
military would envy. They had to or it would all go to hell.
Working a ranch was rough enough. Opening it to tourists
doubled the work. Adding the oil drilling concession helped fill the coffers.
They’d done so well, they could easily hand it over to a staff and the family
could sit back in style. But where was the fun in that?
Colt loved the thrill of rounding up the herd, of seeing the
birth of a new calf, or any of the other animals for that matter. And nothing
tickled him more than to hear the squeal of a child as he rode a horse for the
first time. Or the unrepressed giggle of one of the tourists as they roped
their dummy bull. Hand it over to someone else? Over his dead body.
Now the princess herself was coming. As far as he was
concerned, she could take her money and leave. Obviously, he wasn’t going to
get his way on that. It had always frosted him that a portion of the ranch
earnings always wound up in her trust account. She’d never had to do a thing
for it, except be born. There might be some sweet justice here in seeing her
dirty her lily-white hands. They should have bought out her share long ago, but
Granddad refused to even consider it, and Dad backed him up.
The screen door squeaked open. Granddad joined him on the
swing. They sat there watching the stars while Colt finished his pie. Then he
set the plate aside and leaned back.
“You’re too quiet, Granddad. You got something on your mind.
Pissed about her coming?”
“Nope,” he said with a sigh. “Just praying I can live up to
my word to do right by her. I don’t want her leaving here without us having
done everything we can to make her live up to her potential. If there’s going
to be a failure, let it be hers, not ours.”
“Because I gave my word.”
Noble to a fault, but then weren’t all the Adamses?
“What if she doesn’t make the cut?”
He shrugged a shoulder. “Guess we keep trying until she
does. She won’t get that trust or any further money from it until she can prove
herself. Guess it’ll be up to her to decide when she comes back.”
And operations would be interrupted each time she did. It
was best to get this over with now. “I’ll do everything I can, Granddad.”
“Going to have to do more than that, Colt.” He rubbed his
knees as he leaned forward. “I know it’s not your nature, but I want you to
ride her hard. I want you dogging her twenty-four hours a day, seven days a
week. I want her broke and tamed. I don’t want anyone saying we didn’t do everything
in our power to bring her around to understand there’s nothing more rewarding
than a good day’s work.”
“And you’re willing to sacrifice your first-born grandson to
do so.” Colt feigned hurt.
His grandfather chuckled and clapped him on the back. “Wes
and Andrea have the baby coming. Trent is too swayed by a pretty face. So, yes,
the vote for you was unanimous. Just remember to guard your jewels. Some of
them fillies kick pretty hard.”