I wanted the sassy little filly the second I first saw her. So I bought her.
I had all the success that a self-made man like me could want. But something was still missing. Ready for a break, I returned to my home town to find myself.
And found her.
The sassy, curvy bartender-slash-waitress at the local watering hole, with a body made just for me.
But as it turned out, she was the only woman around to turn me down. And a virgin.
That’s why I put in a bid for her at the county fair auction.
And nothing was going to stop me from winning my virgin.Books by Author:Bella Love-Wins BooksJoanna Blake Books
I lifted my finger and was rewarded by a beer sliding down the bar. It hit my palm with a satisfying thud. It was hot as hell outside, and the cool, dewy glass felt good in my hand.
I felt eyes on me and grimaced, tugging my hat down over my eyes. Being a gentleman rancher around these parts was my dream. Unfortunately, my dream didn"t always match the reality.
Of course, when you had your face plastered all over magazines like Forbes and Time, people tended to recognize you.
Local boy done good.
That"s what folks round here said about me. But I would have told a different story.
Drunk mom. Absent dad. One hell of a sterling grandmother. Boy gets into fights, causes trouble wherever he goes. Boy has a head for numbers and facts. Boy does well in school despite his best efforts. Goes to Harvard on full scholarship, then Harvard Business School.
I smothered a grin.
I hadn"t stopped causing problems there either, like sleeping with almost all my female TAs and the dean"s wife. Thankfully, I"d been too close to graduating for him to do much but spread rumors about me.
But I hadn"t needed his recommendation to get a job. There had been men lining up to hire me. Like I said, I"d developed a reputation for ruthlessness and being a rule breaker.
Apparently, that was a good thing.
I"d gone out on my own after a few years and done well for myself. Better than well. I"d taken the damn world by storm. By thirty, I"d had two private jets and five homes, along with a deluxe, sprawling office campus in Houston and office buildings in London and Zurich.
Yeah, I was that guy.
I didn"t have to work another day in my life, even if I wanted to use a gold commode and wipe my ass with hundred-dollar bills. I worked anyway. I worked so hard that I barely slept. Yeah, I took time out to hit my private gym and to run on a treadmill, but that was all I did.
I was one of the hottest commodities in America.
But I wasn"t happy.
With my nana gone, I didn"t have a damn person to share any of it with. I didn"t date. Didn"t have to. Women were constantly offering themselves to me in varied, sometimes astoundingly creative ways. I liked to fuck as much as the next man, maybe even more. But after, I ended up wanting to be alone and wanting them the hell out of my hotel room.
Oh yeah, when I took a woman to bed, I always did it in a hotel. No woman had ever been inside any of my homes, not unless she was a business associate or staff. I couldn"t imagine waking up next to a woman, or letting her use my toothbrush.
But here" Here in God"s country, no one bothered me. Well, other than the stares.
I"d woken up one morning with the strangest desire for home. Home" That was a joke. Nana had died years ago, when I was still in college. I regretted that I hadn"t even gotten a chance to spoil her rotten. So I did the next best thing. I"d bought the most beautiful house in town. She would have loved this old house, a rustic mansion built by the earliest land baron in Western Hills. You could just see it from the road, with the sweeping hills behind it. It looked like a jewel in a velvet green jewel box.
The place hadn"t even been for sale, but I"d made the descendants of that original land baron an offer they could not refuse.
So, I"d bought it for her, and I was still trying to decide what to do with the place. I"d renovated of course. Hired a decorator who had dutifully outfitted the place in deep tan leather chairs and Aztec-patterned rugs. It was beautiful and cold. In fact, the place felt like a hotel. Exactly what I"d been trying to escape.
I mostly kept to my ranch, but this was the town I"d grown up in. People knew me here, kind of. Everyone knew of me.
But in this bar, just down the road from my ranch, well the beer was cold and the chicken wings were crispy.
But it was the jukebox that really stirred a man"s soul.
The jukebox and the ambiance.
In fact, I was tempted to hire a damn designer and drag them in here, to style a room in my house after Danny"s.
This place was as manly as they came. Of course, most people didn"t know that the owner and namesake of this place was an ornery old woman named Danielle. She"d been a friend to my gran, and one of the few people around here I let hug me.
The only one in the entire world, truth be told.
But I didn"t tell her that. She wasn"t the emotional type. Another reason I loved the old broad.