I got this book on amazon for free. It's the first book in the Colorado Trust series.
Britt's fiance cheated on her and her father did not care. He promoted Daniel. Britt decided to work at the ranch for the summer to get away from both of them. Someone is poaching sheep on the land surrounding the Highlands Ranch. A new Ranger has come to figure out who the bad guy is.
Britt met Ranger Joel Morgan on her first night back. He slept in her tent because a snow storm was coming. In the morning, he kissed her but pretended he was sleepy and it was a reaction. He has kissed her a few other times but makes sure to tell her that he is leaving when his job is done. Britt doesn't do casual sex but she is taken with him.
They are constantly thrown together and it's hard for them because of how they both feel about relationships and sex. Then accidents start happening at the ranch and to Britt. Who is doing this? Is it the poacher?
I liked this story. It is a romantic mystery. I don't know if I will read more of the series. I may try some of her other series. Here's a free story from her site, Holding Out For a Hero.
From the author:
Having grown up under the excessive expectations of her CEO father, Brittany Lucas is as resistant to authority as the mustang she’s training for her boss. It’s a fault that lands her in more danger than she bargains for while camping in the back-country of the
. Rocky Mountain National Park
Ranger Joel Morgan is used to having the upper hand in all his cases—until he runs into the headstrong blond while investigating disturbing incidents of poaching in the park.
Brittany’s imprudent lie of omission awakens ghosts in his past, making the sizzling attraction between them unwelcome.
As he searches for evidence he can trust her, the monster mutilating wildlife turns his sights on Brittany, and Joel discovers he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her—even give his own life.
The scrape of a chair reached her ears, then the office door swung open on Casey’s invitation for Joel to join them for a drink.
She stooped for her camera bag as he replied, “I can stay for one beer.”
Her heart thudded and a tingle surged through her nerve ends. Damn it. Where the hell was the line when she needed it?
“All done?” Casey asked as he flipped off the office light.
“Yes. But I’m pretty tired, so I think I’m going to pass on the bar tonight. Tell the girls I’ll see them tomorrow.”
“Aw, come on, it’s still early.”
She shook her head with an apologetic smile as they stepped outside. While he locked up, she removed the SD card from her camera and extended it to Joel without meeting his gaze. “Here. I’ll stop by the station to pick this up tomorrow.”
Casey gave him a light slap on the back as he walked past. “I'll see you over there.”
She tracked his progress with a narrowed gaze, then shifted her attention back to Joel, who hadn’t taken the card yet. The overhead light cast his face in shadow. Dark stubble on his jaw added to the effect, making it hard to gauge his mood as he stood next to where Nobel waited patiently at the hitching rail.
She waggled her hand impatiently. “You want the pictures or not?”
He finally reached for the little card and his fingers brushed hers, supercharging the tingle of anticipation lingering throughout her body.
Pulling her hand away, she funneled her frustration into her words. “I don’t appreciate you telling Casey to babysit me.”
“You heard that.”
“Of course I heard that. I heard you the first time up at camp, so what’s the point of saying something to him?”
“Because, while you hear what I say, you don’t seem to listen very well.” He slipped the media card into the front pocket of his faded jeans. “I highly suggest you listen to this: either you follow my rules, or I’ll revoke Highland’s riding access.”
After what she’d seen, she had no intentions of camping alone until the guy was caught, but his threat caught her off guard. “You wouldn’t.”
His gaze held steady on hers. “Whatever it takes.”
“Why do you even care? It’s not like we’re friends.” Oh, God, why couldn’t she just keep her mouth shut?
“My duty is not only to protect the animals in the park, but people as well.”
So, she was nothing but duty. Great. At least he had no trouble locating the stupid little imaginary line. She swallowed past the lump forming in her throat and tried to come up with a reply to show she didn’t give a damn how he categorized her.
Something shifted in his eyes. Light seemed to collect in the gold flecks around his irises. They softened—no, heated.
He took a step closer. “You really want to know why we can’t be friends, Brittany?”
She wanted to say no, but her voice wouldn’t work. Wanted to back up, but her feet wouldn’t move. His voice had lowered to a sensual, mesmerizing pitch that held her rooted to the spot while he closed the remaining distance between them.
“You are frustrating as all hell and drive me nuts.”
Nothing like the truth to break the spell. Now she could move. Except when she took a step backward, the hitching rail brought her up short. Next thing she knew, Joel had braced a hand on either side of her, caging her in the circle of his arms.
“You don’t like me. Fine, I get it.”
“Do you?” he asked softly. “Really?”
She thought she did—until he leaned in as if he was going to kiss her.
“Yes,” she said quickly, wishing her voice hadn’t come out so breathless. As if she wanted his mouth on hers. She raised her hands between them, but hesitated to press her palms against the soft cotton covering his muscled chest. “The feeling’s mutual, by the way. And I don’t want to be friends anymore, anyway.”
The barest hint of a smile curved his lips. “Good.”
Then he brought his hands to her face, threaded his fingers in her hair, and tilted her head for a full-on, passion-infused kiss that scrambled her brain and left her aching for all of him. Confusion was incinerated by desire and any thought of resisting went up in smoke.
She wound her arms around his neck, reveling in the hot glide of his tongue against hers. He lowered one arm to slip beneath her unzipped jacket and drew her tight against the hard length of his body. Even with the layers of clothing between them, his heat warmed her to the core. He smelled like the mountains, and tasted better than her favorite chocolate dessert. Yes, kissing him was definitely better than dessert.
Their labored breath sounded extraordinarily loud in the quiet night, joined only by the soft nicker of a horse directly to her left. Nobel. Joel pulled back just enough to lean his forehead against hers, one hand still cupping the back of her neck. She opened her eyes to see his were still closed.
“Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea,” he whispered.
For a moment, they simply breathed. Quick, shallow breaths barely filled her oxygen-starved lungs. Her inhale matched his exhale, moving their bodies together as one as she contemplated his statement. His grip tightened on her neck and he dipped down for one last, too-brief taste. This time, when he pulled away, she lost the heat of his entire body.
All he said before he swung into the saddle was, “Tell Fuller I changed my mind.”
Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Stacey Joy Netzel
(first published March 31st 2014)