Read Cowboys-Dont-Dance Online

Authors: Missy Lyons


BOOK: Cowboys-Dont-Dance
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Missy Lyons and

Cherie Denis


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IMPRINT: Erotic Romance


Copyright © 2009 by Missy Lyons and Cherie Denis

E-book ISBN: 1-60601-619-9

First E-book Publication: October 2009

Cover design by Missy Lyons

All cover art and logo copyright © 2009 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.


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This book would not have come into being if it were not for the patience and support of our family who understood enough to put up with us tapping away at the keyboards. Giving us the time we needed to spend engrossed in our stories. Ignoring us when we talked back to the voices in our heads and occasionally eating the burnt dinner, more takeout than the FDA recommends, and not minding living in a little messier house. All so we could live out our dreams of being writers.

The men in our lives deserve this shout out. So, thank you, Dennis and Jason. You are our real life romance heroes.

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Copyright © 2009

Chapter 1

Gravel crunched under Angela’s cherry red Volkswagen Rabbit’s tires as she drove up the Burke Ranch’s long driveway. She was late.

Normally, she liked to have the paperwork to her brother by the fifteenth of the month so he would have plenty of time to input all the data to QuickBooks for her. He only did her accounting for her as a favor. She ran the dance studio because dancing is her mission in life.

She loved helping kids find a new way to express themselves, and her adult classes are popular as well. She never expected the pole dancing class to take off, but it was all the rage with housewives living in the suburbs of Austin, Texas. It burned more calories than an hour of Pilates and could help spice up a relationship in the bedroom.

Even so, she was still amazed at the waiting list for that class. She had plenty of students, but the small dance studio was still barely bringing in enough to support her and the business expenses. There is no way she could afford to hire someone other than her brother. At least he could be trusted to not spread her personal business around town.

She squinted against the glare of the setting sun about to finish its descent into darkness. She hated driving on this road when the sun was so low in the sky. The fiery orb burned her retinas and nearly blinded her. It hurt like hell, but the romantic side of her couldn’t Ebook piracy is stealing. It is a federal offense.

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Cowboys Don't Dance


deny its beauty. Brilliant orange, red, and yellow lit up the horizon, coloring nature’s canvas.

She wanted to watch the sunset, but if she didn’t pay attention to the road she could crash. It would be embarrassing if she had to explain why she hit one of the pecan trees lining the long driveway.

The Burke’s white plantation home came into view and Angela got the same feeling she always did. As if she had stepped back in time. The old southern estate hadn’t changed much as it had passed through the generations. There had been renovations over the years, modernizing the interior, but the elegant façade remained the same.

Three dogs bee-lined from the house porch to her car, barking a welcome or a warning. Someone else may have been more afraid, but she grew up with these dogs. They were no longer bouncing puppies, but old mutts stiff with arthritis. The seventeen-year-old bloodhound bayed, lifting his nose to the sky, announcing Angela’s presence. It broke her heart to see him age.

She used to play and hide and seek with him. He used to hunt her down, and when he found her, he would make the same haunting sound. Now, his youthful energy had faded, leaving a dog just this side of senile. She would miss her dear friend when it came time to say goodbye.

Angela slowed the car to a crawl, careful not to hit any of the dogs walking alongside. She scanned the area for a parking spot. Her brother’s silver Land Rover was parked under the almond tree in his usual spot. Most the other cars belonged to the workers, but there was a shiny new truck that made her wonder.

Could he be back? Jesse was the one man she would never forget.

His face, his lean hard body, his scent—his everything—was burned into her soul. Jesse Burke had never treated her like anything more than an unwanted tag-along little sister. He’d never given her any hope that they could be anything more than friends, but somehow she had fallen for the cowboy. Hard.

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Missy Lyons and Cherie Denis

Jesse’s a true cowboy, one of the last men who spent their lives doing what cowboys do. He’d worked the land in his youth, learning the ropes from the ground up. He could do it all, from branding the cows to hiring and firing the ranch hands.

One day that lanky teenager grew up into a man. He’d gone away to college with her brother, and she always expected him to come back home someday. He hadn’t. Instead he joined the rodeo circuit.

That feeling in the pit of her stomach said he was back.

Angela sighed.

She was waiting for this day. Her heart raced at the mere thought of Jesse. She tried to shake off the wanting and longing, but it didn’t let up. She was a grown woman now. She was no longer the chubby child that used to follow him like a puppy dog.

His smile, his windswept blond hair, and ice blue eyes left a lasting impression on many women, including her. His stellar good looks and confidence attracted women like bees to honey, and worst of all, she was no exception. She just happened to be better at cloaking her emotions.

She had to do her best to hide her true feelings. He would never love her the way she did him.

Angela shoved the car gear into park and braced herself for the meeting. She locked her hands on the steering wheel, closed her eyes, and steadied her breathing.

He’s just a man, and it had been a long time since she had seen him. Maybe he’d aged, and she wouldn’t find him attractive. It could happen. She could remain cool and distant. She matured over the years.

Jesse may have monopolized her dreams, but she was not going to go all ga-ga, head-over-heels about him. She was no longer sixteen, she was a twenty-three-year-old business owner who could hold a conversation without sounding like a complete dork.

Yeah, an adult who still needed help with her taxes.

Jeez, Angela. Get a grip.

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Cowboys Don't Dance


In a huff, she grabbed her shoebox and exited the vehicle. The lid on the box shifted, threatening to dump all her papers, receipts and handwritten notes on the ground. Okay, so she was a slob when it came to keeping her accounts in order. She had a tendency to write on whatever was at hand: Post-It Notes, used envelopes, scraps of paper.

Her brother hated her system for recording business expenses, but it worked. For her.

She straightened her spine, plastered a wide smile on her face, and opened the wooden screen door. The ancient hinges creaked as it banged closed behind her.
So much for sneaking in.

“Hello?” she called out.

“Angie, I was wondering when you would show up.” A short matronly woman with curly gray hair stepped out of the archway leading to the kitchen, wiping white powder onto the apron protecting her Sunday best. Millie wore a yellow dress she only wore for special occasions.

“Hey, Mrs. Millie! Are you making some of your world famous biscuits?” Angela wiggled her shoulders hoping they’d loosen up soon. If she wasn’t careful she’d be walking like a dang robot. “Who does the new truck out there belong to?” She swallowed hard trying to keep the tremor out of her voice.

“That's Jesse's truck. He's come home to stay. Say he’s done rodeoing, gonna set down roots. I’m so excited, I can hardly breathe.”

Same here—I can’t believe he’s really home to stay.

Millie chuckled. “Come on in, darling. Jesse’s gonna be danged happy to see you!”

Oh sure. Like hell.

Millie grabbed Angela by the arm to lead her to the kitchen. “He’s come back to run the ranch. Since Terry died it’d been danged hard to keep things together.” Jesse hadn’t made it home for his daddy’s funeral, but he was home now.

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BOOK: Cowboys-Dont-Dance
11.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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