Read The Cowboy’s Runaway Bride (BBW Romance - Billionaire Brothers 1) Online

Authors: Jenn Roseton

Tags: #cowboy romance, #bbw romance, #cowboy, #plus size romance, #bride romance, #western romance kindle, #billionaire romance

The Cowboy’s Runaway Bride (BBW Romance - Billionaire Brothers 1)

BOOK: The Cowboy’s Runaway Bride (BBW Romance - Billionaire Brothers 1)
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The Cowboy's Runaway Bride (BBW Romance - Billionaire Brothers 1)

by

Jenn Roseton

Copyright © 2014 by Jenn Roseton

All rights reserved

No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, places and events are the product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously.

This is a sexy contemporary romance novella.

Background cover image by Wing-Chi Poon

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cumulus_Clouds_over_Yellow_Prairie2.jpg?uselang=en-gb#

Table of Contents

Copyright Page

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

About the Author

CHAPTER 1

M
addie puffed, out of breath
,
forcing her legs to slow down to a fast walk. Her ivory silk-and-taffeta gown rustled in the gentle afternoon breeze as she strode down the Wyoming highway. She couldn’t believe it - escaping from her own wedding and her car had a flat tire!

Maddie chided herself on not realizing what was really behind Howard’s proposal. Although they’d been dating for a few months, she’d been totally surprised when he’d asked her to marry him. A curvy twenty-eight year old, she hadn’t exactly been inundated with men wanting to date her. And since her parents had been hinting for some time now that she should find a nice man and get married, she'd thought, why not?

Why not ...

When Howard had shown her the itinerary for their honeymoon, he’d scheduled everything down to the last hour - including sex. Maddie’s lips tightened. A whole five minutes for sex on her honeymoon. That’s how much her bridegroom desired her. Oh, he had penciled in museum visits, expensive restaurants, viewing the botanical gardens and getting up at the crack of dawn so he could watch a rare bird in its natural habitat, but had allowed only a measly five minutes for sex. Just looking at the timetable made her feel tired. Even if Howard assumed they would consummate their marriage in just a few minutes, Maddie didn’t think she would have the energy or even the desire to do so. That had been the first straw.

She could count on one hand the number of times they’d had sex so far. Howard had explained that he respected her too much to take advantage of her before they were married. Since she could count on her other hand the number of boyfriends she’d had (without including her thumb), at first she’d taken his statement at face value. Until she realized sex with Howard wasn’t exactly earth-shattering.

And that made her question her feelings for him. Could she really marry a man who didn’t excite her in the bedroom? Every day, she’d had doubts leading up to the wedding. And this morning, her jitters had intensified.

Grimacing, she looked down at the full-skirted designer creation she wore. It might be a bit of a meringue, especially combined with her generous figure, but did she really look pregnant? Howard’s great-aunt had asked her that question an hour ago. That had been the second straw.

And then came the final straw ...

Maddie stomped along the highway. Why couldn’t she find a man who would fall in love with her? Who desired her, curves and all? Who was incredible in the bedroom and who would totally ruin her for all other men for the rest of her life? Who wanted to marry her for one reason only - because he loved her, and couldn’t live without her?

Stumbling over a rough patch of road in her ivory kitten heels, she told herself to slow down. So far, nobody had come after her. It appeared Howard hadn’t yet noticed that his bride was missing. Maddie paused, taking note of her surroundings for the first time. Wyoming was beautiful. She could see snow-capped mountains in the distance, although it was June, and cows grazed on lush pasture bordering both sides of the highway. The warmth of the sun caressed her face, a gentle breeze trying to ruffle her up-do.

Distracted by her surroundings, it took her a few seconds to realize that a vehicle had pulled up beside her.

“Are you okay?”

Startled, Maddie whipped her head around, fine strands of chestnut hair that defied hairspray falling around her face. A ruggedly handsome man in his mid-thirties gazed at her in concern from the open window of a large, black SUV. His short dark hair emphasized his molten-brown eyes, while his straight nose and firm, sensual lips made Maddie aware of her quickening pulse. It never quickened when she was with Howard.

“Does it look like I’m okay?” She gestured ruefully to her wedding gown.

“Did you break down further back?”

She nodded. “I got a flat. And there isn’t a spare.” Tightening her fingers on a tiny, ivory purse that looked like it was barely big enough to hold a lipstick, she added, “I forgot my cell phone.”

“You can use mine. Here.” He rummaged for a second and held out his phone. His strong, tanned fingers curled around the sides of the cell. “Call the rental car company and tell them you’re sixty miles from Elk View Corner.”

Maddie bit her lip before taking the phone from him, careful not to touch his fingers. “Thanks.” She stood there, indecisively. The last thing she wanted to do was go back to that fiasco of a wedding. But if she made that phone call, isn’t that what would happen?

“What’s wrong?”

She gnawed her lip. “I don’t want to go back.”

“Back where?” He frowned.

Maddie clutched his phone. “To my wedding.”

He scrutinized her, his eyes traveled over her slightly disheveled figure. “Are things that bad?”

She nodded, feeling the warmth of his gaze. “Maybe I could call my maid-of-honor and have her come pick me up.” Maddie started dialing the number. Luckily, numbers were easy to memorize and her friend’s cell phone number was one she had been calling for the last couple of years. Then she hesitated. Would Lyndsey pick her up or would Howard or her parents weasel the information out of her and turn up instead? The last thing she could deal with at that moment was facing her ex-fiancée and her parents.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” The concern in his tone nearly undid her. When was the last time anyone had truly cared about her thoughts or feelings in the build-up to the wedding?

“I can’t,” she whispered, holding out the phone to him, her shoulders slumping.

“I can’t leave you here.” He raked his hand through his hair, rumpling it. “How about I take you to Elk View Corner and you can figure out what to do next? Call your friend and tell her I’m giving you a ride.” A second later he’d dug out his wallet and handed her his drivers license. “I’m Garrett, by the way.”

“Maddie.” She took his license, her fingers brushing his in the process. A ripple of awareness ran down her spine at the slight contact.

“Make sure you give her the license plate as well.” When she frowned questioningly, he added, “For your own peace of mind.”

Maddie looked at him. He seemed genuine.
And sexy.
Don’t even go there, she warned herself. She’d just jilted her groom at the altar. The last thing she needed was another man in her life. Besides, when was the last time a totally sexy guy had been attracted to her?

She made her decision. “Okay. As long as we don’t go to Meadow Flower Resort.”

He quirked an eyebrow, then nodded. “Deal.”

Maddie dialed her friend’s number. A large truck sped past, its driver looking at the two of them with mild curiosity before turning his attention back to the road.

As soon as she heard her maid-of-honor’s voice, she rushed to speak. “Lyndsey, it’s me.”

“Maddie, where are you? Everyone’s frantic! Are you all right?”

“I’m fine. But I need you to find a pen and paper.”

“You’re not in any trouble, are you?”

“No. But I need you to write down something.” She waited, conscious of Garrett being able to hear her every word, although he wasn’t obvious about it.

“Okay.” Lyndsey sounded breathless.

“Write down Garrett Trask, and this license number.” Maddie walked around to the back of the luxury SUV and read out the license plate.

“Got it. But Maddie, what’s this all about? Are you coming back? What about the wedding?”

Maddie's knuckles tightened on the phone. “There is no wedding. I’ll call you tonight to let you know I’m okay—”

“But Maddie, are you really going to leave Howard at the altar?”

Maddie closed her eyes at the enormity of her decision. “Yes.”

“What am I going to say to him?”

“You can tell him I can’t marry him.” She cut off her friend mid-squawk. “Lyndsey, this is important. If you don’t hear back from me by midnight tonight, then call the police with the information I’ve given you. I got a flat and—” she lowered her voice, “—Garrett is giving me a ride.”

“But Maddie—”

She waved the phone in the air. “You‘re breaking up. Talk to you tonight.”

Maddie ended the call and took a moment to compose herself. Then she turned around and tried to smile at Garrett. "I guess I better call the rental car company."

After speaking to a cheerful customer service representative who assured her they would pick up the car and return it to the rental office, she handed the phone back to Garrett. “Thanks.”

“My pleasure.” He leaned across and opened the passenger door, smiling reassuringly.

She hesitated for a second, then clambered in the passenger side as elegantly as she could, her efforts hampered by the puffy, taffeta skirt.

“Thanks,” she murmured again, fastening the seatbelt.

“We should get to Elk View Corner in an hour.” He put the SUV into gear and drove back onto the highway.

Maddie clutched her dainty purse. Doubt assailed her. Had she done the right thing? Getting a ride from a stranger was a risky thing to do, even if she had given Lyndsey his driver’s license details.

But the alternative was walking sixty miles along the highway until she reached Elk View Corner. Returning to her wedding was
not
an option.

“Want to talk about it?” His rich, masculine voice pulled her out of her thoughts.

She ventured a look at him, noticing again his rugged good looks. His long-sleeved cotton shirt and jeans looked as if they’d been tailor-made for him. Her heart fluttered. Only inches separated them in the leather seats of the SUV.

“It’s embarrassing,” she muttered. She was having trouble processing her own feelings right now. How could she explain what had happened to a sexy stranger?

He glanced at her. “I’m a good listener.”

She twisted her fingers. “I don’t know if I can even explain it all.”

“Then just share the parts you’re comfortable with.”

Peeking up at him from under her lashes, she noticed his attention was focused on the road ahead. Could she really share what she had discovered earlier today?

“Today was supposed to be my wedding day.” She drew in a deep breath. “Until I found out that my parents had arranged my marriage. Without telling me.”

There. It was out.

Garrett sent her a surprised glance before turning his attention back to the highway.  “So you walked out?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

“How did you find out?”

“I went to my parents’ suite for the antique silver necklace Mom said I could borrow.” She twisted to look at him. “For the something old and something borrowed bit.”

“And?” His voice was gentle.

Maddie shifted, her restrictive, form-fitting bra digging into her. “And I heard my father tell Mom that Howard was a good addition to his law firm and he was glad he’d agreed to marry me. And that on our first year anniversary he would make Howard a partner.”

“And you had no idea?”

Maddie glanced at him, but he seemed focused on the road ahead. “Not a clue.” Just thinking about that moment when she had discovered the truth sent ice down her spine. Confronting her parents had been painful but necessary. And when her father had confirmed the awful reality, she couldn’t think of anything but escape.

“How did your...ex-fiancée take the news that you weren’t going ahead with it?”

Maddie grimaced. “I haven’t spoken to him. My parents tried to tell me they only had my best interests at heart, and they thought Howard would make me a satisfactory husband.”

In fact, her father had been blunter than that, telling her that Howard might be her last chance for a partner and a family. And even her mother had commented that she thought Howard would make a good husband.

“So he doesn’t know why you left?”

Maddie shrugged. “I’m sure my parents have told him by now.” She hesitated. “I guess I should have listened to my instincts.”

“In what way?”

She blushed. How could she tell him that Howard had never seemed madly in love with her and his proposal had come as a complete surprise? Now she knew why. Her father had bribed him to marry her.

“It’s too mortifying,” she mumbled, turning her head to stare out of the window.

The miles flashed past and just as she felt herself nodding off, Garrett slowed down and turned into a parking lot. He hadn’t asked her any more questions, which she was grateful for.

BOOK: The Cowboy’s Runaway Bride (BBW Romance - Billionaire Brothers 1)
11.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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