Secret Billionaire’s Stubborn Cowgirl (The Secret Billionaires Series #1)
Zach Collins needed a break from the stress of his billion-dollar business and the stream of women eager to get their hands on his money. But when he set his sights on a simple country farm, he wasn’t prepared to be working side by side with a firecracker like Lucy Ennis. She’s stubborn, spirited and undeniably sexy, but as time goes by Zach can tell that her smiling eyes are hiding something. And while he’s not willing to share his own secret, he’s determined to unravel hers.
Lucy Ennis works hard to make ends meet. With a mountain of gambling debt left by her dead father and her mother in a nursing home she doesn’t need any more trouble. So when she loses her job, she jumps at the chance to work at a farm being leased by a handsome stranger. With a Stetson hat atop bright blue eyes and chiseled abs, the man certainly comes in a sexy package, but he’s also arrogant, inflexible, and doesn’t seem to know much about farming. Despite her own problems piling up, Lucy can’t help being drawn to the mystery man.
But as the intensity of their attraction grows, any chance at real happiness seems impossible when Zach continues to hide the truth and Lucy’s shady past poses a very real threat.
Lucy led him out to the old pond on Charlie’s farm. It sat back from the road not far from the horse pasture. They’d kept their halters on the horses, so they tied them to a tree and Zach began pulling out the food.
Lucy sat down on the grass. “Oh, man! Charlie outdid herself this time.”
It seemed like Zach just kept pulling food from his saddle bags. Fried chicken, biscuits, cheese and crackers, strawberries, even a bottle of wine and paper cups. He cracked open the wine—a twist-top, thank you, Charlie—and poured. “An excellent vintage, I see.”
“Hey, don’t knock the convenience.” She leaned back on her elbows, sucking a strawberry into her mouth. The sweetness exploded and she closed her eyes and hummed. She looked up again to see Zach staring at her so intently that she had a hard time breathing. When his eyes dipped to her chest, she wondered if he could see the outline of her bra and breasts. His eyes darkened.
She caught a breath.
She didn’t want this—but she did. She knew he was trouble—he wasn’t the kind of guy she wanted. But he was what she needed right now.
He leaned over her, his mouth hovering close. All she had to do was push him away. All she had to do was crack a joke about employee harassment. All she had to do… god, he had beautiful eyes, the blue framed by thick, dark lashes.
He turned his head and kissed the crook of her neck. The warmth of his mouth undid the last of her good intentions. “Zach.” His name slipped out on a whisper.
He pulled back. “Ask me.”
She stared at him. “Ask you what?”
“Ask me to kiss you.”
She shook her head. “Not a good idea.”
“It’s not a bad one. One kiss—what’s the harm in one kiss?”
“Oh, I can think of a lot of harm.”
He leaned closer. “Ask me anyway.”
His eyes were her undoing. They teased her, light danced, tempted, promised, and she asked him by wrapping her hand around the back of his neck and pulling his mouth to hers.
She opened her mouth to him, to that kiss, to the need for him, raw, pure and simple. He pushed her down to the ground and she spread her legs so he could settle himself. She hadn’t been with anyone like this since high school. She could feel his hands searching for a way under her shirt, a way to get to skin. She knocked off his Stetson and tangled her fingers in his hair.
A horse whinny pulled her back to reality—to what she was doing.
He pulled back and she sat up, pushing at her hair—he’d pulled it out of the pony tail. “That was some bottle of wine.” She tried for a smile, but the joke fell flat.
She held up a hand. “One kiss. That’s what you asked for—what I asked for. Best we leave it there.”
Pushing up to her feet, she stared down at him. “I can’t quit. You don’t want to fire me—not for that. So let’s be smart about this.” Bending down, she started to pack up the food. “Now we should head back, shouldn’t we, boss? We’ve got clouds coming in and rain with ‘em.”
He shoved a hand into his hair and grabbed for his Stetson. “Don’t think that leaves either of us satisfied.”
Lucy pressed her lips tighter.
It didn’t take long to pack the saddle bags, untie the horses and ride back. The wind picked up and the horses jogged, eager to get back to their pasture. At the trailer, Lucy focused on brushing down the mare, not on watching Zach—and not remembering that kiss. So what if he left her dizzy. So what if she’d been wet in five seconds. So what if she wanted to go back and grab him and kiss him again.
That was the trouble with guys like him—they spun your world around and then if you were fool enough to hook up with them they just kept on spinning you. Her daddy had been a man like that. Well, no thank you, sir. She wanted a hard-working man. She wanted a regular guy.
Zach headed into the trailer to put away his saddle.
That was when Lucy heard a sharp jingle and a bark. Fear ran up her back.