Frisco Joe's Fiancee by Tina Leonard released on Jun 24, 2003 is available now for purchase.
About the Author
Born on a military base, Tina lived in many states before eventually marrying the boy who did her crayon printing for her in the first grade. Her future projects include a saloon and extremely hot bad boys, all itching to find their adventures on paper. Tina believes happy endings are a wonderful part of life.
Read an Excerpt
Frisco Joe's Fiancée
By Tina Leonard
Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. All right reserved. ISBN: 0-373-16977-9
Chapter One"You need help," Mimi Cannady told Mason Jefferson as they peered at each other with some distrust. Outside, a storm brewed over Union Junction, Texas, crackling and vicious. "You'll thank me for this later, Mason. I just know it."
He turned his head to stare at the want ad she'd typed on the glowing computer screen. The room was dim, almost dark, as the February night had fallen swiftly, obliterating the cold light of winter. Mimi was right: he did need help at the ranch. Woman help.
His family: the Jefferson brothers of the Jefferson Ranch, better known as Malfunction Junction. Twelve men, each on a mission of survival in a family that loved each other, but like an old piano, had become woefully out of harmony.
Still, he wasn't sure Mimi's unconventional idea was the way to get the help he - or the family - needed. "I don't like it," he said for the tenth time.
"What if the woman we get is ..." He searched for a word that wouldn't irritate the woman he'd known ever since their childhoods on neighboring ranches. Mimi was spunky, witty, a veritable handful of laughter and quixotic temperament - always into everything. As the daughter of the town sheriff, she'd made a habit of skirting the law, just for fun. "What if the woman we get is not useful to mysituation?"
Mimi's gaze turned from the computer screen to his face, touching every feature, it seemed, in a strangely searching manner. This childhood friend of his had gotten him into trouble more than once - he'd desperately like to know what was behind her blue eyes now. Thunder rumbled, ever closer to Malfunction Junction, the only home Mason and his eleven brothers had ever known.
Eleven wild, almost Grizzly Adams-types.
From Mimi's point of view, Mason was little better than his younger eleven.
I need help.
"The ad goes through the agency, you can always send her back," Mimi said, her tone reassuring. "It's like using a nanny service. If you don't like her, you let the company know. But my friend, Julia Finehurst, who runs the Honey-Do Agency, has made a reputation matching up the right people to the right situations. I'm sure you'll get exactly what you want."
Mimi had told him many things over the years, and, infrequently, she was right on the money. But infrequent was the operative word. He read the overly specific, purposefully careful ad one more time:
Middle-aged man requires live-in housekeeper to cook and clean for family of twelve cowboys on a thousand-acre ranch. Must like ranch living, not be offended by occasional swearing, not be afraid of snakes, large animals, extreme heat, insects, loneliness. Applicant must be forty-five or older, mature, able to cook real well. Best time to interview after nightfall.
"I don't like the part about me being a middle-aged man," he protested. "You've always said thirty-seven was just right for the picking."
Mimi cleared her throat, clearly trying to think of a rebuttal. Mason raised a brow, curious to hear what she came up with.
"No female is going to come all the way out here if she suspects she's going to be man prey. At least no serious job applicant," she stressed. "We don't want anyone to misunderstand what kind of position you're looking to fill." For a half second, she examined her fingernails, seeming to consider other points of argument. "Besides, that was my only line in the ad, Mason. You added all the other drawbacks that are sure to run off good women. You practically want her to be a goddess."
"Maybe you should put in something about law-abiding. I don't want any wild women on the property," he said, eyeing Mimi's long blond tresses. Her hair hung to her waist, hardly ever curled or styled, though occasionally she tortured it into a braid so that she could pull it through the back of a baseball cap.
It was hard to believe she was thirty-two.
It was harder to believe that he was the sole caretaker of younger brothers and a family ranch. There was simply too much to do, and while everyone pitched in with the ranch work, the three houses with four brothers each pitifully lacked a woman's touch to make them homes.
An older woman's touch, as Mimi had pointed out. A calming, settling influence.
An older woman, even a motherly figure, was fine with Mason, because none of the Jefferson males had expressed the least desire for a wife - mainly because they were all satisfied to continue sowing their wild oats. A younger woman might prove a distraction to their work, and they had enough of those. Plus, a young woman would want a family eventually, and they had more family than they could handle.
"It's now or never," Mimi said softly as the trees whipped around the two-story house. "It's going to take Julia some time to find appropriate applicants."
Strong wind cried through the branches, and lightning lit the room, showing Mimi's gaze on him. "Though I've attached a picture of you to this email, it's going to be tough to find a decent woman to want to come out here and live in hard conditions. The cattle sale is in two weeks, and I'm not coming over here to cook and clean up after your crew while you're gone. I've got enough on my hands as it is."
"I wouldn't want you to. You might lead my brothers into avoiding their duties."
Excerpted from Frisco Joe's Fiancée by Tina Leonard
Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
perfect for an evening of fun and relaxation. Tina Leonard caught my attention with Cowboy Cootchie-Coo. Then over the course of the next year she managed to steal my heart with books like Daddy¿s Little Darlings and A Match Made In Texas. So it came as no surprise to me to find out that Ms. Leonard had created another powerful story abounding with humor, emotion and romance with Frisco Joe¿s Fiancée, the first of her spectacular new series Cowboys By The Dozen. It¿s round up time at the Jefferson Ranch, and there¿s a stampeding herd headed their way ¿ a herd of single women that is. Because unbeknownst to the Jefferson brothers someone has decided that this time they¿re the ones who are going to be rounded up and branded by wedding rings. After all these years Mason Jefferson should know better than to put his trust in Mimi Cannady¿s goofy ideas, even if she is his best friend. Yet for some reason, even knowing her ideas can only lead to trouble, Mason just can¿t seem to find it in his heart to say no to her. Only this time, he should have, because once his eleven younger brothers get a hold of him he¿s going to wish he did. Frisco Joe Jefferson is ready to scream. Not only did Mimi manage to once again convince Mason to go along with her hair-brained idea to hire a housekeeper without consulting the rest of them, but when twenty female applicants showed up to apply for the job in the middle of a blizzard, he was the one left holding the bag. A diaper bag, because one of the applicants actually showed up with her newborn baby in tow. Annabelle Turnberry knew coming to Union Junction wasn¿t the best idea she¿d ever come up with, but when the other ladies from the Lonely Hearts Salon invited her along for a mini vacation while they applied for a housekeeping job she couldn¿t say no. After all, now that her baby¿s father wanted nothing to do with her or their angelic daughter she needed to get away from men and figure out what she was going to do with her life. One look around the Jefferson Ranch, better known as Malfunction Junction, and Annabelle realized she had come to the wrong place if she thought she was going to be able to forget about men, and not because of the twelve single and oh so hunky brothers who owned the place either. Nope, it was all because of one brother in particular, Frisco! In a few short minutes he managed to do the impossible and steal past her defenses when he tenderly soothed her cranky baby. Frisco Joe¿s little brothers can¿t believe it. One minute die hard bachelor Frisco Joe¿s telling all the women to get packing and the next minute he¿s letting Annabelle sleep in his bed, while baby Emmie contentedly sleeps in his arms. From the look that lights Frisco Joe¿s face every time he looks at Annabelle and Emmie these brothers have put two and two together and come up with the perfect little family of three. If only they can get him to open his eyes and realize what he¿s found before it¿s too late. From the moment that busload of women arrived at ¿Malfunction Junction¿ I was in stitches. I couldn¿t help it. From the entertaining characters to the snappy dialogue to the humorous storyline all the way down the line to the heartwarming way that Emmie wrapped Frisco Joe around her little finger, Ms. Leonard effortlessly caught hold of my heart and imagination and never let go. Annabelle and Emmie were perfect for Frisco Joe. They completed him in a way that no other woman could have, something that Ms. Leonard seemed to have intuitively known when she was writing this story. I honestly don¿t think any one else could have brought him so vividly to life the way that they did. I also don¿t think that anyone could have helped Annabelle and Emmie to heal the way that Frisco did. Well written, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable, Frisco Joe¿s Fiancée is another high quality comedic romance perfect for an evening of fun and relaxation from the pen of one of the most ta
Whoopee!! What a kick-off to this series. Tina has again tugged your heart strings with this page turning story of Frisco Joe Jefferson. And to think this is just the beginning - we still have eleven more heart throbs and macho brothers to come. This is a book for everyone, it has the hunky rough and tough cowboy who has not intentions of getting into the matchmaking trap, but who meets his demise at the hands of the single mom Annabelle Turnberry and her baby girl. Now as things are heating up bring on the next brother - Laredo. Way to go Tina!!!
Holy hormones! Testosterone's in the air in Tina Leonard's delightful new mini-series, Cowboys By the Dozen. Imagine twelve rough and ready unattached brothers with hearts as big as the state of Texas desperately in need of a whole lot of loving! Be prepared to laugh at loud and to have your heart strings tugged by the Jefferson brothers as each finally meets their match. Ms. Leonard makes you laugh out loud and as the pages fly by. Frisco Joe's a wonderful hero who'll melt your heart and make you sigh as he handles baby Emmie and her mother. Especially intriguing are the ladies at the Lonely Hearts Beauty Salon and how they'll fare as Delilah battles her sister's rival Never Lonely Cut n' Gurls. And, will Mason and Mimi ever connect? This is a series to watch for as each new book hits the shelves! O, happy days, Laredo's story's up next month!~~Debora Hosey, reviewer, Romance Reader's Connection
Tina Leonard kicks off her new series, Cowboys by the Dozen, with FRISCO JOE¿S FIANCEE (4). An ad for a housekeeper placed by the eldest of 12 Jefferson brothers brings more trouble than he bargained for¿and more than Frisco, the second oldest, thinks they need. A passel of women shows up for the position, including Annabelle Turnberry and her infant daughter. Much as Frisco tries to protect his heart, this woman and baby quickly get under his skin. In this story reminiscent of ¿Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,¿ Leonard thoroughly delights.
Tina Leonard kicks off her new series, Cowboys by the Dozen, with FRISCO JOE¿S FIANCEE (4). An ad for a housekeeper placed by the eldest of 12 Jefferson brothers brings more trouble than he bargained for¿and more than Frisco, the second oldest, thinks they need. A passel of women shows up for the position, including Annabelle Turnberry and her infant daughter. Much as Frisco tries to protect his heart, this woman and baby quickly get under his skin. In this story reminiscent of ¿Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,¿ Leonard thoroughly delights.~~Romantic Times