Another Naked Cowboy rides into town!
In Saddle Wells, she hopes to build a business—and maybe a new life—on the strength of that recipe. But she’s totally unprepared for her sizzling attraction to the artisan carpenter her new friends send her way. Jesse Orosco is ready to roll up his sleeves to renovate Cyn’s storefront, but it’s the self-doubt lurking in her beautiful eyes he wants to tackle first. The five-foot-nothing red-headed dynamo makes his mouth water, and not just because of the tantalizing aromas drifting from the back of her shop. The buzz about the rub’s mysterious ingredient has customers lining up for more, and soon everyone who tries it is making beautiful music in the bedroom—including Cyn and Jesse. But her reluctance to go public with their relationship—and someone in town with a jealous bone to pick—could drive a wedge between Cyn and her smoking-hot cowboy.
“How about taking a ride with me? It’s still early in the afternoon. I’d like to show you some of my work. Give you an idea of the kind of stuff I do.”
Cyn’s stomach muscles knotted. Go for a ride? With Jesse Orosco? Her hormones already were doing the Texas two-step at being in the company of a guy who’d invented the words sex appeal and who didn’t treat her like dirt. Besides, spending time in a car with a man who had to be nine or ten years younger than she was and set her body to doing a happy dance made her nervous.
“Come on, Cyn,” he coaxed. “I like to show off.” He looked at his watch. “One hour, then you’ll be back here.”
Why was she acting like such a scaredy cat? At forty-two, she should be able to keep herself under control. This was a professional situation, right? Except there hadn’t ever been a man who made her girl parts stand up and sing the way Jesse did.
Get it under control, kid.
Dusting off her own smile, she nodded.
“Lock up and we’ll head out of here.”
Cyn was glad she’d worn jeans today when she realized what a big step up it was into the cab of Jesse’s truck. Bracing her hands on the door and the frame, she attempted to hoist herself inside. Warm hands rested at her hips and lifted her effortlessly up to the seat. Even when he released her, she could feel the heat of his hands burning through the fabric of her clothes.
“Big step up there,” he acknowledged. “Sorry about that.”
“Oh.” She busied herself with the seat belt. “No problem. Thanks for the help.”
And please do not start behaving like an idiotic schoolgirl. He’s only a man. That’s all. And one who’s definitely out of bounds.
But for the first time in longer than she could remember, a man—this man—made her feel feminine and special. She found herself relaxing with him, asking questions about the town and the people who lived in and around it. She steered away from questions about herself, but beyond that, she found Jesse incredibly easy to talk to.
Her friends were right about his talent. Jesse was an artist, a craftsman. He took her to a couple of shops off the main drag where he’d done interior work and then to the library. Then he drove past some of the older homes where he’d done some restoration, pointing out some exterior work.
“I’d love to take you inside some of these places,” he told her. “And maybe I’ll call a couple of folks and see if we can drop by tomorrow or the next day. But I think you’ve got an idea of what I can do. Mostly it was the finish work I wanted you to see.”
Cyn didn’t remember the last time she had been so conscious of a male body near her. The flex of muscle in his tanned arms as he drove. The stretch of jeans across his thigh as he shifted from accelerator to brake and back. The way the denim cupped what she was sure was the best ass she’d ever seen.
And what the hell was the matter with her that she was practically drooling over him? Hadn’t she learned her lesson about men with Frank? Her scars from that disaster weren’t even healed yet, and here she was ogling a man she’d just met. She barely had the scraps of her life together, plus, if she hired Jesse Orosco, she’d be spending a lot of time with him. She needed to give herself a good talking to.