Excerpt: How To Rope a Rough Cowboy by Anya Summers

For the first time in his life, Maverick is looking toward the future with the only woman he has ever wanted. But she is keeping secrets…Secrets capable of destroying him — How To Rope a Rough Cowboy Silver Springs Ranch Book 3 by @AnyaBSummers

Bugger it. 

Bianca contemplated for the hundredth time tonight whether she had finally lost her mind as she boarded the overnight flight from Heathrow to Dulles, and took her seat in first class. Fleeing seemed to be her only option. She could practically hear her mum saying she was being overly dramatic and needed to fall in line. That Peabodys never backed down from their responsibilities to uphold family traditions. 

Regardless of whether Bianca thought they were archaic and should have been buried a hundred years ago. 

She snapped her seatbelt into place, trying not to fidget in her beige khaki trousers and ivory blouse while the rest of the passengers boarded, battling back fear that somehow, she would be prevented from escaping. That her mother would discover the hastily scrawled note she had left on the dining table in her flat before the plane left the airport, use her multitude of high-ranking connections, and have a member of the defense ministry keep the flight from departing, whereupon Bianca would then be escorted off to face condemnation, and a life sentence. 

But she had to get away for some dearly needed space, and hopefully achieve a smattering of clarity. She was exhausted from trying to please everyone, from pretending to be someone she was not, and trying to live as her mother expected her to instead of doing what she wanted with her life.

Those expectations extended to the places she went, where she lived, the people she interacted with and called her friends, and even whom she was supposed to marry. Out of them all, it was that last bit that was the hardest to swallow.

“Good evening folks, this is Captain Barrow. I’m here with my co-pilot, Watts. If everyone could please take their seats, that way, we can depart on time. We’ll be backing away from the gate in just a few moments. We have one stop in Dublin, then we’ll be continuing our flight on to Washington D.C. Travel time for this flight is thirteen hours and fifty-six minutes. Weather over the Atlantic should be smooth sailing. Sit back, relax, and welcome aboard. Cabin crew, prepare the cabin for take-off, please.”

Time slowed to a crawl. When the flight attendant sealed the plane door shut, Bianca gripped the armrests of her seat, mainly to keep herself from flinging off the seatbelt and rushing the door like a mad woman to exit the plane. 

What stopped her cold and kept her in her seat?

The knowledge that, if she left the plane, she would die. 

Not in the physical sense, perhaps, but on a soul deep level.

It was Saturday evening, and a bunch of the guys who were off the clock were heading to the Bucking Bronco in town. It was the local watering hole, where they tended to pick up locals and tourists alike. It was where Cabin X sub favorite Maribella worked as a waitress.

But Mav wasn’t up for crowds tonight. Nor had he been in the mood for them much lately—mainly because he was saving every penny he could to build his house. He figured he would head home, grill up a steak, pop open a beer, and watch baseball on the flatscreen. While not an exciting thrill ride like tying a woman to his bed and fucking her blind, it worked for him.

A few months back, he had bought thirty-six acres of Rocky Mountain wilderness from Colt Anderson before his buddy had headed off with the little scientist, Avery, to travel the world. The property Mav had purchased ran adjacent to Silver Springs Ranch, was just the prettiest spot, and it all belonged to him—every blade of grass, every rock and tree, even the small brook that cut through the acreage, was his.

At his current salary, Mav figured it would take him another eighteen months of saving to have the necessary funds to build his house and barn. But he would do it, just as he had worked and saved the last half a dozen years to own his own property so that one day he would live in his own house instead of a place that was afforded him as part of his salary. 

It meant that, when it came to partners of the nubile female variety, his current dance card had been fairly empty. Luckily for him, there were enough single tourists who blew through the ranch on vacation that he knew he could find enough to keep him sated over the upcoming peak summer months. 

As he drove past a group of guest cabins, a smile lit his face at spotting a possible new quarry to entice into his bed. 

Bingo!

He ogled the blonde beauty without her knowledge. Her deep golden tresses were drawn back in a sedate ponytail that hung down her slim back. His gaze drifted south as he slowed his truck. A punch of lust spread through him. Without a doubt, the woman had one of the most spectacular asses he’d beheld in a week of Sundays. Her tan slacks molded to her shapely butt and slender legs. She was bent over, fishing suitcases out of a rental car trunk, and it looked like she was having a rather difficult time lifting them. 

As an employee of Silver Springs Ranch, it was his responsibility to stop and assist a guest in dire need. And if her front was as attractive as the back end, Mav figured he might have found a new conquest he could charm into letting him tie her to his bed so they could spend the night screwing one another’s brains out. 

Mav parked his truck along the curb. His window was rolled down due to the nice, balmy weather of the May day, which meant he heard her dulcet, cultured voice perfectly when she exclaimed, “Sodding hell, and bugger it.”

He hid his grin as he stepped out of his truck and said, “Can I give you a hand with those, ma’am?”

The blonde’s head snapped up and she shot him a glance over her slim shoulder. 

At her sharp look, Mav felt like his stallion, Black Jack, had just delivered a solid kick to his midsection and left him gasping for air.

While she struggled hefting the bag up the stairs, Mav just shook his head, bent down, and removed the two large suitcases from the trunk. He grunted, surprised at how heavy they were—not for him, given the scope of his work, but how she thought she could lift them. She had to be a buck twenty dripping wet, and that was only on account of her impressive chest. 

He glanced at the luggage tags on the expensive set of bags for a name. 

Bianca Peabody out of London, England. That’s where the accent came from, and also explained why she had a cultured tone to her crisp alto. 

He carted the first set up. His boots clomped on the dark walnut wooden stairs and across the front porch. He left the first two bags just inside the open front door, and then headed back down for the rest. 

Seriously, how many damn bags did the woman need for a vacation? Mav had never seen so many, and they affirmed his spoiled brat theory. 

He’d have to check registration; find out how long she had the cabin booked for. Mav carted the rest of her belongings in. It didn’t take him long. He made sure to close the car doors and trunk before heading in with the last load. 

Inside the front door, he assessed her again. “This is the last of it.”

She walked over with her wallet in her hand and pulled some cash out. She seemed uneasy with him in her space. She held the cash out toward him and said, “For your troubles. I might have gone overboard with my packing.”

He held up a hand. “Not necessary.”

“Please take it. You went out of your way and didn’t have to. I’ve been traveling for almost twenty-four hours, and appreciate the help.”

Up close, Mav studied her more carefully, and noticed the dark smudges beneath her goddess eyes—eyes that were full of strain and worry. Lust curled in his abdomen—and, startlingly enough, fingers of concern. The Dom in him wanted to wipe away the strain and replace it with pleasure. The man had a feeling that, if he extended his hand, it would be slapped away.

He retreated, taking a step back. “Welcome to Silver Springs Ranch. Be sure to lock the door behind me. I’d rather not have to worry that you were eaten by a mountain lion or got into a brawl with a bear. It’d be bad press for the ranch.” He tipped his hat and strode to the door.

She straightened and glanced around like the animals were already inside the cabin. “They wouldn’t really come inside, would they?”

“If they’re hungry enough or someone antagonizes them, they will, especially if the door isn’t locked. And I’m certain in your case, princess, they’d make an exception.” He flashed her a grin and wink, then strode out the door without a backward glance. 

She was a rather fascinating mix of bluster and fragility—and set his teeth on edge with her condescending disregard. 

He didn’t know whether he wanted to throttle her or kiss her—possibly both.

But her high-falutin’ attitude was enough to make him want to swear off the female species. Because the one thing he was certain of, was that Bianca Peabody would exasperate the dead.

How To Rope a Rough Cowboy
Silver Springs Ranch Book 3
by Anya Summers
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Cowboy Romance

Maverick Greyson is barely housebroken. Having been raised on ranches, he spends the bulk of his days on the back of his horse, and can’t imagine a finer way to occupy his time – except maybe a night with a willing female. He loves women. Enjoys their company mightily. Relishes the available bounty of tourists and townsfolk alike, and rarely enjoys the same woman twice.
But the ranch’s newest guest, Bianca Peabody, makes him want to swear off the species entirely. The doe-eyed beauty, with her highfalutin’ attitude, makes his blood boil.
And yet the sorrow he glimpses in her one night changes everything. Now his soul hungers to have her in his arms. He burns for her love. Heaven help him, her surrender may be everything he has always needed.
For the first time in his life, Maverick is looking toward the future, and building one with the only woman he has ever wanted to claim. But she is keeping secrets…Secrets capable of destroying him – and any future they might have.
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Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
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