Never Love a Cowboy

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SHE THINKS SHE KNOWS ABOUT LOVE. HE VOWS TO TEACH HER ABOUT DESIRE.
 
After six years at a Philadelphia finishing school, former tomboy Emma Malloy is coming home to Whisper Valley, Montana, as a sophisticated lady. Little does she know that the decades-old feud between the Malloys and the Garrettsons has escalated into a full-scale range war. Nor does she expect that her archenemy, Tucker Garrettson, whose stolen kiss she still can’t ...
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1998 Paperback Grade: C Catalog: Romance Historical American Frontier Synopsis: 408 pages. She thought she knew about love....After six years at a Philadelphia finishing school, ... former tomboy Emma Malloy was coming home to Whispe... Read more Show Less

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Never Love A Cowboy (Cowboy Heroes Series)

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Overview

SHE THINKS SHE KNOWS ABOUT LOVE. HE VOWS TO TEACH HER ABOUT DESIRE.
 
After six years at a Philadelphia finishing school, former tomboy Emma Malloy is coming home to Whisper Valley, Montana, as a sophisticated lady. Little does she know that the decades-old feud between the Malloys and the Garrettsons has escalated into a full-scale range war. Nor does she expect that her archenemy, Tucker Garrettson, whose stolen kiss she still can’t forget, has become a rugged, handsomer-than-sin cowboy who wants to hang her father and take her prisoner—in his arms.

She is proud, beautiful, and bossy. And even though Emma is a Malloy, Tucker wants her badly. Here they are, caught in a blood feud, and all he wants to do is take her once and get her out of his mind. No man can outgun him, but can this infuriating beauty make him surrender his freedom and believe in love?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440224396
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Series: Dell Historical Romance Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 4.15 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Gregory is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels. She is the winner of the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence and her novels Never Love a Cowboy and Cold Night, Warm Stranger were honored with back-to-back Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best Western Historical Romance. Her novels have been translated and published in twenty-four countries. Gregory grew up in Chicago and received her bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Illinois. She and her husband live in Michigan.
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Read an Excerpt

"We can fight this thing," Tucker said quietly, "or we can give in to it. And get it over with."

"What . . . thing?  I don't know what you're talking about."

But she knew, even as she breathed the words. And he knew she knew. She saw the glint of determination darken those mesmerizing steel-blue eyes.

"Us, Malloy. The thing that's going on between us. What's been going on ever since that day when we were kids and I carried you home. No more games," he told her roughly as she started to protest and tried abruptly to wrench free.

"We're not kids anymore. You're a woman and I'm a man, and you know damn well what's between us."

"They must have hurt your brain when they were kicking you today. You're not making sense--"

"None of this makes sense." His voice was sharp as he interrupted her. He reached out, cupped her chin, and tipped her head up so that she was forced to meet his eyes. His gaze locked on hers with a fierceness that knocked the breath from her.

"Not a damned bit of sense," he added and leaned toward her.

Dear heaven, he was going to kiss her.

Panicked, Emma jerked back. A quaver throbbed through her voice. "Don't!"

The quaver made him stop. He was rigid, on fire, holding on to reason by the skin of his teeth. "Give me one good reason not to kiss you, Malloy," he grated out.

"You poisoned our cattle."

"Like hell."

"You trespassed on our land today, planning to do heaven knows what--"

"That's a damned lie. Slade and your men attacked me on my land. Roped me, dragged me onto Malloy land, and then proceeded to try to beat the living daylights out of me."

"No!" She recoiled in horror. "No."

He said nothing, just met her gaze with a hard, unwavering stare.

Emma's hands flew to her throat as the truth rocked her. She saw it in his eyes, knew that it had happened exactly as he'd said. Stricken, her gaze swept over that handsome, bruised face, the mouth so firm, the lean planes so strong, filled with a combination of toughness and assurance, the eyes so devastatingly, brutally hard and yet alive, alight . . . searching.

Searching for what?

For what was inside of her. He was trying to read her, to see what she felt.

He mustn't find out about that. She felt too much. Far too much.

"That's terrible." Genuine horror and dismay brought the glitter of tears to her eyes. "I'm . . . sorry."

When Tucker saw the pain shining in her beautiful eyes, something deep inside of him tightened like a fist. Her lips were trembling. Her hands shook. Was her distress all for him?  For what he'd gone through?

His gut clenched. Damn, how he wanted her. She was so damn sweet. He hadn't ever expected that. Tough as nails, yes--he'd seen that side of her--but her heart was as big as Montana and as soft as duck down, and he wanted nothing more than to wrap her in his arms and press all that delectable softness and sweetness against him.

Wanting her was an agony. It hurt worse than anything those bastards had done to him yesterday. Every muscle throbbed with the need to hold her against him, to take her, taste her, know her in the most intimate, thorough way a man can know a woman.

"Emma, we've got to settle this thing. I want you--you want me--"

"I don't!"

"Now who's lying?"

He asked the question quietly, but there was steel beneath it. Emma thought she'd melt from the intensity with which his gaze pinned her. She jerked back on the cot, surprised when he made no move to stop her. Then she scrambled backward still farther, lengthening the distance between them.

"I want you to move away from me, Tucker Garrettson. Now. Go over there."

She pointed toward the corner.

Tucker's mouth twisted up in a grin that was so roguishly boyish it made her heart flip over. But the narrow-eyed look he gave her the next instant was pure grown-up male. "Even old Huet couldn't send me to the corner when I didn't want to go."

"I want you as far away from me as possible."

"Prove it."

He edged closer.

"Get back!" she ordered and retreated farther.

To her consternation, he came closer.

"Back!"

"What are you so afraid of, Malloy?"

"Not you, Garrettson!"

"Maybe you're afraid of yourself. Of what you might do if you kissed me again, if you'd let yourself go--"

"You are plain crazy!  I've no desire to kiss you ever again. How many times do I have to tell you!  Oh, what are you doing?  I said to get away!"

But he was following her. Maddeningly, deliberately moving ever closer as she inched farther back. Emma scurried all the way to the wall and then was trapped there with her back against the unyielding wood, and Tucker advancing bit by bit. She didn't at all trust that determined expression on his face. He touched her outstretched foot and she yanked it back, tucked it beneath her. His hand reached out and slid up her arm. Slowly, caressingly, deliciously.

"I liked you better when you were passed out. How did you recover so quickly anyway?"

"I had tender loving care."

"It's nearly daylight. It's time to go back!"

"It's time to settle this, Malloy--once and for all."

She didn't want to settle anything. She wanted to run, from him, from herself. From the emotions swamping her, drowning her in thoughts and needs she wanted to know nothing about.

But as he continued to stroke his hand up her arm, she found herself captured by the gleam in his eyes. She tore her gaze away from their compelling blue depths. Unfortunately, her glance next fell upon his mouth. And she remembered all too well the hot firmness of his lips, their sensuous shape and texture, the feel of them on her own lips, on her skin, against her hair. . . .

Her heart began to hammer. She dropped her gaze again, confused and desperate, fighting panic. Only to find herself staring at his magnificent broad chest, bare and bronzed, rippling with muscles.

"Oh, good Lord," she whispered frantically. It was close to a prayer. And then Tucker reached out, grasped her arms, and drew her forward with a swift easy motion that left her gasping.

He pulled her to him, down across his lap, cradling her in his arms as she stared dizzily up at him.

"Emma. This can't go on. We've got to get this out of our systems. You're torturing me--"

"I'm torturing you?" she gasped, and he nodded, one of his hands coming up to stroke her hair. The silken waves flowed through his fingers. So rich, Tucker thought, so soft.

Torture.

"It's worse than what those bastards did back there. A lot worse." His hand touched her cheek, traced the delicate outline of the face that had burned in his dreams. The fragility of her both frightened and compelled him.

He forced himself to speak calmly, though he felt far from calm. Churning need and desire whipped through him, held in check by every ounce of willpower he possessed. Only the most rigid shreds of control kept him sane as the beautiful girl in his arms looked up at him through wide, brilliant eyes filled with confusion, and, he thought in wonder, with longing.

"We'll both be better off if we finish this and then forget about it," he said, dragging in a deep steadying breath.

"If only we could!" Emma squirmed up to a sitting position on his lap, feeling heat pervade every inch of her. His nearness, the sinewy muscles and iron strength of him, the dangerous tension she sensed just beneath the surface, nearly undid her. She wanted to throw her arms around his neck. She wanted to press herself to him and be held, kissed, and . . . she knew not what.

But she should run, run for her honor, if not her life.

Instead she regarded him like a dying woman seeking deliverance.

"How?" she breathed. "Just tell me how we can forget about this!"

He took a deep breath, hanging on to control as he tried not to stare at her in her petticoat, her creamy breasts swelling delectably above a scoop of white lace, her hair swirling like velvet. "We'll let ourselves go--just this once," he said more harshly than he intended. It was costing him not to seize her in his arms and take what he wanted--hell, what he sensed they both wanted.

"We'll let ourselves go all the way, as far as we want. Right here on this cot. And then, it'll be over. Over forever," he repeated, as if reassuring himself. He tore his gaze from her lips, those glorious rosebud lips, and met her eyes with more sternness than he intended.

He didn't want any misunderstandings.

"Listen, Malloy, there's something you need to understand. I'm not looking to saddle myself with a wife. And Lord knows you'd be the last one I'd pick if I were," he went on grimly, determined to be completely, ruthlessly honest. "Don't mean any offense, but both of our fathers would shoot us and rightly so if we ever--"

"I'd sooner marry a skunk as marry you!" she cried.

"I feel the same way." He let out his breath in relief. "Good, Malloy, that's real good. So we're safe. I'm not the marrying kind anyway, never have been and don't ever expect to be." He shrugged. "But sometimes a woman gets in your blood. . . . "

His voice trailed off. It had never happened before, not to him, not like this, not with the fevered potency with which this woman was in his blood. But in the past there'd been a time or two when only by bedding a woman he'd taken a fancy to had he been able to forget about her. He reckoned this would turn out the same--it would have to. And then he could move on.

"So if we agree to get this all over with, right here and now, we'll both be better off."

Eagerly she grasped him by the shoulders, her slim fingers burning into his flesh. "I want that. I can't bear to keep thinking about you, imagining--"

So she'd been doing that, too. Tucker felt a surge of desire so powerful he nearly groaned. It took all of his self-control to fight it back. He was sore as hell all over but wanting her hurt far worse than anything Slade and the others had done to him. Yet he held back.

Not yet. When we have everything plain and settled between us.

"Well, this should take care of it," he assured her. Then he added in a low tone, "I think."

"You think?" Uneasily, Emma sought to understand what he meant. Doubt flickered across her face.

"I'm almost sure." Tucker's voice roughened. "It's never been this bad before."

Then he could have kicked himself. Damn, why had he admitted that?  Her eyes flashed with something, and he could have bitten off his tongue for possibly giving her hopes of--of what?  Snagging him?

"This one time . . . we'll let things go," he said again, firmly. "Then . . . that's it. It's finished. Over. No matter what. You got that, Malloy?"

"No matter what," she repeated, nodding her head, but her eyes were fixed once more on his mouth. Longing consumed her.

She ached. Being this close to him made her ache.

"Garrettson . . . "

"What, Malloy?"

"Will you please kiss me now?  I can't wait any longer. I feel like I'm sick with something, something strange and unpredictable and--and I just want to be cured."

He nearly laughed out loud, then groaned, both charmed and tortured by her innocence, her sweet desperate passion. His need for her flared within him, catching like a prairie fire.

But she was right in what she said about a cure. That's what he wanted, too. And when they'd finished making love, they'd both be cured. Once and for all.

"It'll be my pleasure to kiss you, Sunshine," Tucker said softly. Every muscle in his body throbbed with the wanting of her. But gently, carefully, he drew her trembling body close. "Come here."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2005

    Heartache and Gunfire

    Wow, this book was awesome! Only my second romantic read, but for ONCE it didn't take 100 pages for the book to START getting interesting!! Love triangle, murder, the old west, and a strong willed girl made this book addicting, hard to put down and a gold credit to its author!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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