The Renegades: Nick

The Renegades: Nick

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by Genell Dellin

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The Woman

For the sake of her unborn child, Callie Sloane is willing to endure the hardships of this wild Western land—but not her attraction to an untamed half-Cherokee renegade. She lost everything to love once before, and she's not making that mistake twice. While outlaw Nick Smith may be the most handsome man she's ever seen, he's also the most


The Woman

For the sake of her unborn child, Callie Sloane is willing to endure the hardships of this wild Western land—but not her attraction to an untamed half-Cherokee renegade. She lost everything to love once before, and she's not making that mistake twice. While outlaw Nick Smith may be the most handsome man she's ever seen, he's also the most dangerous.

The Renegade

Nick watches in shock as a determined woman rides out of the dust clouds to plant her flag on his ancestral lands in the Great Oklahoma Land Run. The hardened loner vows not to help this stubborn female survive, but finds himself drawn time and again to protect her. And soon Nick has to protect himself from his own desire . . . for the innocent enchantress tempts him beyond anything he's ever known.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Renegades , #2
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Chapter One

September 16, 1893
Opening of the Cherokee Strip

Damn! The wild stallion's whinnying was going to bring every horse—hungry homesteader who'd sneaked into the Strip ahead of the Run—as he had—straight to this spot. Nickajack stepped out of his hiding place, intending to run the mustang off.

But his two penned mares immediately started neighing a warm welcome, and his own stallion, the Shapeshifter, went into a fit of shrill, jealous warnings loud enough to bring half the U. S. Army riding up this valley. An ironic grin tugged at Nick's lips in spite of his frustration. There was no hope for it. The mating dance would go on, no matter how big a horde of barbarians was about to swoop down upon them.

He kept to the meager cover of the dryleaved cottonwoods and ran to the Shifter.

"Hey, it's downright dangerous to work yourself into a lather over the women," he told him, stroking the horse's neck. "Didn't you learn that at Pretty Water Creek, when I did?"

Nick had tied his mount back under a ledge, out of sight in the side of the draw, saddled and ready to pretend that they'd been in the Run. Good thing, too, since just fifteen minutes ago three soldiers had paused on the prairie floor above his head to have a couple of quirlies. He could only hope they were well gone by now.

"A little sweat'll make you look your part," he told the big black stud horse, "but this's enough. Settle down and let me go send that broom—tailed stranger on his way."

Shifter trembled, snorted, pulled back on the tie rope, and demanded his freedom with a high, sharp nicker.

"Here, now, here. I hate to keep you tied, but he might mess up your pretty face if I let you get at him."

Shifter rumbled deep in his throat. He wasn't scared of the interloper.

Nickajack stroked the wet, muscled shoulder, soothing with his voice.

"We don't need any other studs around here; I agree. I'll run him off in just a minute. "

Damn it, though, he hated to. The stallion's band of horses, especially the nursing mares, needed water badly.

He looked through the sparse leaves for another glimpse of the wild ones. The stallion, a short—coupled red roan with a surprisingly fine head, was not only handsome in spite of his gauntness, but nervy as hell. He paced back and forth right up there near the penned mares, in spite of Shifter's screams and the fact that Nickajack's scent was bound to be all over the place.

Behind the roan, his small band of wild mares and colts were drinking from the pool fed by the spring. They were all mighty thin and half-worn-out from ranging so far for water and graze in the relentless heat.

"Better move on," Nickajack muttered. "I don't have water for all of you and mine, too."

The endless drought had sapped the spring as it had every other water source in the country. The pool was lower than he'd ever seen it and the creek that usually flowed from it had gone bone dry a month ago. Yet he still didn't step out where the stud horse could see him and spook.

The mustangs were flesh and blood, and they hadn't had enough. They were desperate, or they wouldn't have come in to water in the middle of the day—and God knew they were going to need their strength. A few minutes from now, no matter which way they ran, they would have to turn and run some more, because suddenly, at the sound of one shot on the border, a bunch of ignorant, plowwielding greenhorns would be racing all over their range.

Everything that belonged on this land would be displaced then. Nickajack clamped his jaw so hard his teeth gritted. Only a few more minutes until the Strip would be torn into pieces.

To try to keep from thinking about that, he ran his horseman's eye over the mustangs. Not bad. The stallion definitely threw his head on the foals.

"If he'd only shut up, he'd be right pleasant to have around," he mused aloud.

Shifter snorted derisively. He pulled back and half-reared, pointed his nose at the sky, and screamed again.

Nickajack listened for hoofbeats above them, but he heard only the hot wind as it blew from the south. The stud hadn't caught his fresh man—scent yet, so he waited for the wild band to drink a few more gulps.

He couldn't tarry long now, though. The sun rode almost directly overhead and the Run would start at noon. A man on a fast horse with plenty of bottom could be here from the Arkansas City starting point within half an hour. Thirsty mustangs or no, he'd better drive his stake on his claim before some clodhopper did.

Nickajack finally slipped off the handwoven halter he'd put on top of the bridle, and let it drop to swing against the trunk of the tree. Gathering the reins, he stepped around and stuck one boot toe into the stirrup.

Instead of swinging up into the saddle, though, he acted on a sudden impulse. He set both heels to the ground and undid the latigo, unbuckling the cinch.

"Damn if riding bareback makes them call us Indian," he told the black. "Any man calls our hand, it's his funeral."

Suddenly the anger beat in his veins like a war song. He wished he could defy somebody, if the truth be told. Just like that desperate roan stud horse out there' his blood ran hot—now, and his breath was moving, sure and strong, in and out of his body. It was a foolish wish, though, to . . .

Meet the Author

Genell Dellin lives with her husband in Oklahoma. Since their son has grown up and gone away to be a QuarterHorse trainer, they share their place with only four-footed family members. The bossy cat named Smokey keeps Genell company while she writes and sometimes offers her advice.

Cherokee Warriors is Genell's second Cherokee series for Avon Books inspired by family stories about her great-grandmother, who was born on the way to Indian Territory from Georgia.

The Captive is the third book of this new series, following The Loner and The Lover.

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Renegades: Nick 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1893, the Feds open up the Cherokee Strip to a land rush. One of the participants, the pregnant Callie Sloan feels this is her last opportunity to establish a home for herself and her unborn child. Another partaker, half-breed Nick Smith wants to preserve as much of his ancestral lands as possible.

To Nick¿s shock and chagrin, the intrepid Callie places her flag right smack on land he expected to claim. Not wanting any part of what he perceives to be female trouble, a reluctant Nick claims the adjoining plot. They do not make good neighbors as they squabble, fuss, and fight until Nick and Callie realize that not only do they love one another, but need each other to survive.

The second novel in Genell Dellin¿s rousing Renegade trilogy is a superb battle of the sexes between two passionate, sensual, yet intrepid characters. The story line will entertain western romance fans as it unveils insight into an era through the somewhat desperate eyes of its delightful lead protagonists. Fans will gain much joy from Nick¿s story and those who have to read Cole¿s tale (the first book) will want to immediately do so.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago