Prince's Cowgirl Bride (Silhouette Special Edition Series #1920) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Sometimes it seems that Prince Marcus wants to flee from our Mediterranean paradise of Tesoro del Mar--and even pretend he isn't one of the world's most eligible royal bachelors. That's the only reason he's taking time after his Harvard graduation to moonlight as Mac Delgado, ranch hand extraordinaire...right?

Well, maybe not the only reason. Rumor has it young Mac's dazzled by his beautiful boss, Jewel Callahan. But Jewel's eight years older than he is, never mixes business ...

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Prince's Cowgirl Bride (Silhouette Special Edition Series #1920)

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Overview

Sometimes it seems that Prince Marcus wants to flee from our Mediterranean paradise of Tesoro del Mar--and even pretend he isn't one of the world's most eligible royal bachelors. That's the only reason he's taking time after his Harvard graduation to moonlight as Mac Delgado, ranch hand extraordinaire...right?

Well, maybe not the only reason. Rumor has it young Mac's dazzled by his beautiful boss, Jewel Callahan. But Jewel's eight years older than he is, never mixes business with pleasure and doesn't know the true identity of her newest employee. When she finds out her frog is really a true-life prince, this fairy tale might be doomed before it's even written....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426820502
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 12/1/2007
  • Series: Reigning Men Series , #1920
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 217,733
  • File size: 201 KB

Meet the Author

Brenda is a former attorney who once had the privilege of appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada. Five years ago she gave up the practice of law to be a stay-at-home mom and to secretly pursue her dreams of writing a book. She enrolled in a romance writing course at a local community college and finished her first book before the course ended.

Three years, five manuscripts and another baby later, Brenda decided to enter the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart contest and ended up selling her manuscript to one of the final-round judges from Silhouette books.

She loves being part of the Harlequin/Silhouette family and— despite the incessant interruptions of her real-life hero/husband, two heroes-in-training and two neurotic dogs— she looks forward to a long future writing 'happily ever after' romances.

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Read an Excerpt

Two years later…
Jewel Callahan slid onto a stool at the counter at the Halfway Café and scowled at the slim back of the blond woman who was grinding beans for a fresh pot of coffee. Crystal Vasicek was the proprietor of the popular little café and the creator of the most amazingly decadent desserts in all of West Virginia— and probably the other forty-nine states, too.
Jewel waited for the grinder to shut off before she spoke. "It's your fault, you know."
Crystal dumped the grounds into the waiting basket and slid it into place, then punched the button to start the coffee brewing before she turned. "That's quite an accusation coming from the woman who's always so quick to assume responsibility for everyone else's troubles." Her pretty blue eyes sparkled with a combination of amusement and curiosity.
"What did I do?"
"It's what you didn't do," Jewel told her.
"Okay—" Crystal picked up a pot of coffee that had finished brewing and poured her sister a cup "—what didn't I do?"
"Marry Russ."
Crystal raised a perfectly arched eyebrow. "He never asked."
"He might have." Jewel dumped a heaping spoonful of sugar into her cup. "If you hadn't run off and married Simon."
"Forgive me for falling in love and not anticipating how that event might somehow interfere with your plans."
"You always were the type to leap without looking."
"And you always exercised enough caution for both of us," Crystal replied evenly.
Because she'd wanted to protect her sister, to shield her from the expectations—and the disappointments—that were inherent in being a daughter of Jack Callahan. After all, she'd had half a dozenyears of experience with that before Crystal came along.
"We were talking about Russ," Jewel reminded her.
"What about Russ?"
"He's leaving."
"Oh."
There was a wealth of understanding in that single syllable.
Jewel's throat was suddenly tight, making it difficult for her to speak. And what more could she say, anyway?
Crystal went to the bakery display and pulled out a mile-high chocolate cake, then cut a thick wedge and put it on a plate with a fork. Jewel managed a smile as her sister nudged it across the counter toward her. Crystal believed that chocolate was a cure-all for every one of life's problems, and judging by the seven layers of moist cake and creamy icing she'd just set in front of Jewel, she understood the magnitude of this one.
Russ Granger had worked at the Callahan Thoroughbred Center for the last ten years, but he'd been Jewel's friend a lot longer than that, and she couldn't help but be shocked by his defection. He wasn't just leaving his job—he was leaving her. He was the only man she'd ever felt she could truly count on, and now he was moving on.
After pouring herself a cup of coffee, Crystal came around to sit next to her sister at the counter. "Why is he leaving?"
Jewel picked up the fork and dipped the tines into the decadent dark icing. "Because Riley got some big recording contract and he wants to go on tour with her."
"She was wasting her talent singing at The Mustang," Crystal said gently.
Jewel popped a bite of cake into her mouth, but even the rich flavor didn't lift her spirits. "I should have guessed something like this would happen," she admitted. "As soon as he told me he was going to propose to Riley, I should have known. But I was so happy for him that I didn't think about what it might mean for CTC. I certainly didn't think he'd take off in the middle of the season."
"He's leaving soon, then?"
"The end of next week. He's been working closely with Darrell over the past several years and assured me that he's more than ready to take over his duties, but—" she sighed and dug into the cake again "—I can't imagine how I'll get through the season without him."
"You will," Crystal said confidently. "Because there isn't anything you can't do if you put your mind to it."
Jewel had always prided herself on being capable and independent, able to handle anything and everything on her own. And it was a good thing, too, because that was how she always ended up—on her own.
"Jack Callahan might have built CTC, but the only reason it's one of the top training facilities in the state today is because of you," Crystal said, then smiled wryly. "And in spite of me. Lord knows, I never had any interest in staying on the farm or working with the horses."
"You carved your own path." Jewel was proud of her sister's success, and she still got a kick out of the fact that Crystal's spectacular desserts were available not just at the little café where she'd first started baking but in some of the area's trendiest and most exclusive restaurants. "Sometimes I wonder why I couldn't have wanted something else more than I wanted the farm."
"You were a champion barrel racer for three years running," Crystal reminded her.
She smiled, though her memories of that time in her life were more bitter than sweet. "That was a lifetime ago."
"It was what inspired me to do my own thing, regardless of what Jack wanted."
"I would have done anything he wanted," Jewel admitted. Even now, she wasn't sure why she'd always tried so hard to please him, she only knew that she'd never succeeded. Nothing she'd ever done was good enough for Jack Callahan.
"And did," her sister reminded her. "Including giving up your own life to come home when he asked you to."
He hadn't really asked but demanded, as both sisters knew was his way. But the truth was, six years on the rodeo circuit had disillusioned Jewel about a lot of things, and she'd been more than ready to return to Alliston, West Virginia. Her father's heart attack had been both her incentive and her excuse to finally do so and, her difficulties with him aside, she hadn't ever regretted that decision.
She had become his willing assistant, as eager to learn as she was to demonstrate what she already knew, confident that he would learn to trust in her abilities and eventually grant her more authority. But Jack Callahan had continued to hold the reins of the business in his tightly clenched fist until—many years later—they'd finally been pried from his cold, dead fingers.
Jewel and Crystal had stood side by side at his funeral, his daughters from two separate marriages, both sisters painfully aware that they'd been neither wanted nor loved by their father. And more than they'd mourned his death, they'd mourned the distance between them that he'd never tried to breach.
"My life was always here," Jewel finally responded to her sister's comment. "Even when I thought it wasn't."
Crystal touched a hand to her arm. "Maybe the problem isn't that Russ is leaving, but that he found someone and you haven't."
Jewel pushed the half-eaten cake away. "Not this again."
"Honey, you're too young to have resigned yourself to being alone."
"Resigned suggests that I'm settling for less than I want, and I'm not. I'm happy with my life."
"You're happy being alone?"
"I'm hardly alone."
"The horses don't count," her sister said dryly.
"At least they don't hog the bed—or the remote."
"Well, I can't dispute that Simon does both of those things," Crystal said, then a slow smile curved her lips. "But he does other things that more than even the scales—and I'm not talking about taking out the garbage."
Jewel got up and went around the counter to grab the coffeepot for a refill. "You lucked out with Simon," she admitted.
"Then you're not really mad that I didn't wait around for Russ to propose?"
She sighed. "How can I be mad when you're so happy?"
"I am happy," Crystal said. "Happier than I ever could have imagined."
Jewel knew the feeling. She'd experienced that same euphoria of love—and the complete devastation of losing the man she'd thought she would love forever. She only hoped her sister would never have to know that kind of pain, that her life would always be wonderful, that Simon would always love her as much as he did now.
As if following the path of her thoughts, Crystal reached out and squeezed her hand. "Someday your prince will come."
Before Jewel could respond, the jingle of the bell over the door announced the arrival of another customer.
Crystal glanced over, then let out a low whistle.
"Don't look now," she told her sister. "But I think he just walked in the door."
Jewel picked up her cup, sipped.
Crystal frowned at the lack of response.
"You told me not to look," Jewel reminded her.
"Since when do you listen to me?"
She shrugged. "Since the last prince turned into a frog."
Crystal picked up a menu and fanned herself with it. "Six-two, I'd guess. Dark hair, darker eyes. Sinfully sexy. And—" she glanced pointedly at her sister and smiled "—flying solo."
Her curiosity undeniably piqued by the description, Jewel twisted in her stool—and nearly slid right off of it and onto the floor.
For once, Crystal hadn't exaggerated. The man hovering just inside the door had short, neatly cropped hair, dark slashing brows over espresso-covered eyes, a strong jaw, straight nose, slashing cheekbones and a beautifully sculpted mouth that brought to mind all kinds of wicked fantasies. His olive-toned skin and exotic looks suggested some kind of Mediterranean heritage that made her think of sultry nights and hotter passions, and the punch of lust that hit low in her belly left Jewel almost breathless.
No, her sister definitely hadn't exaggerated. But what she'd neglected to include in her description was "young." Way too young. Probably younger than Crystal even. Definitely too young to make a thirty-four-year-old woman weak in the knees and hot everywhere else.
His gaze moved around the room and collided with hers. Then those beautiful lips slowly curved, and her heart pounded hard against her chest as if it was trying to break free in order to fall at his feet.
"Well, well, well," Crystal said softly.
Jewel felt heat infuse her cheeks as she tore her gaze away from his hypnotic stare. Crystal smirked at her before turning her attention back to the new customer.
"Grab a seat anywhere you like," she called out cheerily. "I'll be with you in just a sec."
"Thank you." His voice was low and deep and as sexy as the rest of him.
"Mmm-mmm," Crystal murmured her appreciation.
Jewel picked up her cup again and sipped before asking, "Weren't we just talking about how happily married you are?"
"I am," Crystal assured her. "But the ring on my finger hasn't affected my eyesight and that is one exceptional specimen of masculinity."
She could hardly deny the fact, nor would she make the mistake of agreeing with her sister aloud, so she only said, "A specimen probably waiting for a cup of coffee."
"Oh. Right." Crystal grinned and grabbed the pot.
Jewel concentrated on finishing her own cup while her sister chatted with her new customer. She couldn't hear what was said, but the low timbre of his voice was enough to create shivers that danced up and down her spine. Crystal's responding laughter bubbled over like a newly opened bottle of champagne, then his deeper chuckle joined in.
Jewel had always envied her sister's ease with other people—her outgoing personality and easy charm, her natural warmth and friendliness. She'd always been more cautious and reserved than Crystal, and though she didn't think anyone would accuse her of being unfriendly, she wasn't often mistaken for warm and welcoming, either. She dealt with a lot of people in her business, not out of choice but necessity, and most of the time, she preferred the horses to their owners. Though lately, she'd been spending a little too much time up close and personal with certain aspects of the thoroughbred training business that she'd prefer to avoid, which reminded her of the other reason she'd come into town to see her sister today.
She waited while Crystal finished serving her "exceptional specimen" and checked on her other customers.
"In addition to Russ leaving, I've got Grady laid up with a broken leg so I'm short a stable hand," she said when her sister returned to the counter. "Do you think Simon's brother would be interested in a summer job again this year?"
Crystal tallied up a bill. "Ted's in Europe with his girlfriend for the next couple of months."
"Oh." Jewel pushed her now empty cup aside. "Know anyone else who might be interested?"
"Most of the local college kids already have their summer jobs lined up."
She sighed. "I guess I'll have to put an ad in the paper then."
"Sorry, I couldn't be more help," Crystal said. "I know how much you hate interviewing people."
"Actually the interviews don't concern me as much as the possibility that it might be too late to find qualified help for the summer."
"What kind of qualifications do you need to muck out stinky stalls?"
"Some experience working around animals would be helpful," she said dryly.
"What kind of animals?" a masculine voice asked from behind her.
She whirled around and found herself face-to-chest with the hunky stranger and couldn't help but notice how the polo shirt he wore stretched across impressive pectoral muscles. Cheeks hot, mouth dry, she lifted her gaze and found his eyes on her again.
Crystal offered profuse apologies as she refilled the cup in his hand.
"Not a problem," he assured her, then shifted his attention back to Jewel and asked again, "What kind of animals?"
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2014

    Hello everyone

    Follow me on instagram @ s3lf_n0_lackin_lineline
    Good book though

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    Posted July 10, 2011

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