Book 3 in the McKades of Texas Series
This cowboy's about to be branded …
For years, Karlie Kyle has had it bad for Luke McKade—wishing he'd see her as something more than just a shy girl in braided pigtails. But now that she's all grown up, she's ready to stake her claim and brand the heart of the sexy, smooth-talking cowboy who "can't be tamed."
Punched with lust from the moment he sees her again, Luke is shocked when he realizes that little Karlie Jo isn't so little anymore. When she tempts him with a proposition he just can't refuse, he's happy to oblige—temporarily. Karlie is willing to play along, but her heart is set on forever. As raw desire sparks something deeper, can Karlie convince Luke that rules are meant to be broken? Or will their passionate summer fling end with broken hearts instead?
Sneak Peek at Luke
“I’m going to put you down now,” Luke said softly. “But don’t think for a second that I don’t have a backup plan for if you try to run away.”
Karlie snorted. “What are you going to do? Tie me up?”
Silence hovered for a heavy moment before Luke replied, “Well, I do have some bailing twine in my tool-box, and I am pretty good with knots.” He gave a gentle squeeze to her thigh.
Surprised, she let out a cross between a gasp and a moan before her cheeks flamed red.
“What’s it going to be?”
She moistened her lips and took in a calming breath. “I’ll be good.”
“Wise choice.” Loosening his grip, Luke carefully let Karlie down from his shoulder, the action forcing the hem of her shirt up to her ribcage. The moment her boots hit the gravel, she took a tiny step away from him and adjusted the soft cotton fabric so it fully covered her stomach, but not before she caught Luke examine her with lust filled eyes.
“Please don’t look at me like that,” Karlie demanded softly as she crossed an arm over her chest to cover herself.
Luke’s gaze met hers and he lifted a questioning brow. “You don’t like me looking at you?”
She shook her head.
A smile danced on the corner of his mouth. “Well that’s interesting, and totally not the impression I've got from you this week. Tell me something.” He advanced a step in her direction, and she retreated until her shoulders bumped against metal. “What changed your mind?”
Was he for real? Karlie glared at him, bemused, as she spoke. “Um, you did and your so-called ‘help.’”
This time, Luke didn’t hide his smile. He expelled a soft sigh and shook his head. “Karlie, I was just—”
“You were just what?” she interrupted. “Trying to be nice like Norah and help me find a nice boy closer to my own age?” Her temper flared as she scoffed. “No thanks, I’m good.”
Luke released another sigh and pressed his lips firmly together—amusement in his eyes. The fact that he apparently found this funny set her off even more.
“You know, you can turn me down if you want. It’s fine, really. Whatever. I don’t care. But this mess of trying to set me up with other guys is ridiculous.” Her chest rose and fell dramatically as adrenaline flowed through her veins. “It’s not like I’m not some stupid kid willing to settle for the first sweet treat that comes along,” she smarted off. “Don’t try to sell me on plain old vanilla ice cream when I really want a sundae with the works.”
Luke’s lips twitched. “A sundae with the works?”
“You know what I mean.” She released a heavy breath as her irritation grew by the second.
“If you’re all done with your little rant now—”
Little rant? Oh, this man was infuriating! “No, I’m not.” She expelled a sarcastic huff and shook her head. “I don’t get you, Luke.”
“Karlie, please, just shut up for a minute so I can—”
“Don’t tell me to shut up.” Narrowing her eyes, Karlie glared at him in disbelief. “I see the way you look at me, Luke, so I can tell that you want me as much as I want you. But, apparently, you’re too much of a chicken to admit what you really feel.”
Her heart exploded against her ribcage as Luke suddenly stepped into her. She hadn’t been expecting it or the hungry look that now appeared in his eyes. With his hard body pressing against her front, Karlie found herself trapped against the pickup truck. Her breathing accelerated as she locked her eyes on Luke’s face and tried to figure him out.
“Let’s get one thing straight,” Luke murmured, bringing his hand up to rest on the side panel next to her shoulder. The sexy sound of his deep voice inches away from her sent a thrill of anticipation through her limbs. “I am not chicken.”