A Rogue in Texas

A Rogue in Texas

by Lorraine Heath
A Rogue in Texas

A Rogue in Texas

by Lorraine Heath

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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He was the wrong man for the job in every way but one . . .

Grayson Rhodes, the illegitimate son of a duke, heads to America to prove his worth and earn his fortune. But post-Civil War Texas seems more like hell than a land of opportunity, especially when he finds himself working the cotton fields of no-nonsense Abbie Westland. Abbie, with her fiery determination, is wildly different from the fragile beauties Grayson knew at home . . . but there is a tender yearning he can see just below her tough exterior.

Abbie works her fingers to the bone day-in and day-out, and she needs the help of a few good farmhands. Though skeptical of the polished Englishman when he arrives, she soon discovers a man with a resolve to succeed that matches her own. As the long, hot days turn to heated, passionate nights, they dare to dream of a future together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380803293
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/27/2014
Series: Rogues in Texas , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 777,322
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her novels have been recognized with numerous industry awards and have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

July, 1865

Grayson Rhodes' father had always warned him that he would bum in hell, but he had never expected to arrive at the damnable place while he was still alive.

Sitting in the rear of the wagon, Grayson suffered through the sweltering heat that clung to his body. Flies and gnats joyfully buzzed around his ears as the vehicle bounced over the rough road. He would have thought the seven men crowded into the abominable mode of transportation would have kept the damn thing on an even keel. How the man to his left — Christian Montgomery — could sleep through the incessant jostling was beyond Grayson's comprehension, but he had to admire Kit's ability to do so.

Unlike his traveling companions, Grayson had long ago given up any pretense at being a gentleman. He'd tossed his cravat aside, removed his jacket, loosened the top buttons on his white linen shirt, and rolled his starched cuffs past his elbows. But none of his efforts diminished the suffocating heat.

With his sleeve, he wiped the sweat from his brow. He could do nothing to prevent the beads trickling down his back.

He sliced his narrowed gaze to Benjamin P. Winslow, who sat on the bench seat beside the driver. The rotund man had convinced the fathers of every man in the wagon into paying him five hundred pounds to bring their wayward sons to Texas and make men of them.

Grayson shifted his weight, wincing as a splinter jabbed his backside. If he ever had occasion to travel by coach again, he would not take its comforts for granted.

And although he was beginning to have doubts that fortune truly awaited him here, after this excursioninto hell, he knew he now had a chance to gain with hard work what his father could not bequeath himrespect.

"What do you make of that?" a deep voice grumbled.

Grayson cut a quick glance to Harrison Bainbridge, second son of the Earl of Lambourne, before gazing in the distance. Heat rose from the earth, creating walls of shimmering white flames. Beyond them, shadows of two or three buildings hovered.

"Satan's throne, perhaps?" Grayson suggested drolly.

Harry flashed the easy grin for which he was famous. "I'll wager five pounds that it's an inn, and we'll finally have beds in which to sleep."

"I would take you up on it, but you've already managed to swindle me out of the two shillings I had jingling within my pockets."

"I'll be glad to mark you down for it. I know you're good for it — or you will be, once we've reached our destination."

"How can you be so certain?" Kit asked.

Grayson snapped his attention to the man sitting beside him. "I thought you were asleep."

Kit gave him a laconic smile, his pale blue eyes effectively shielding the windows to his soul. More than one woman had referred to them as eyes of the devil after she'd succumbed to his infamous charms. "'I've merely been pondering our situation and trying to remember what possessed us to climb into this wagon once we'd docked at Galveston."

"Winslow's promise of fortune had us eagerly clambering aboard," Grayson reminded him. "The notion of becoming men of means in our own right and rubbing our fathers' noses into it appealed to us."

"An appeal that lessens as each day progresses. Perhaps we should consider jumping ship, as it were, and heading back to Galveston. I'm certain we could find a gaming hall or two." He smiled in anticipation. "Along with some feminine entertainment."

"And abandon fortune?" Grayson asked. "I think not."

The driver guided the wagon onto a narrower, rougher dirt road than the one upon which they'd been traveling. On one side of the road, dark green cotton stalks reached toward the sun. Grayson had seen the crops growing in a few fields along the route. The abundance of growth in Texas surprised him.

As the wagon continued on, he was able to distinguish the shapes of women and children toiling between the neatly planted rows. They ceased their labors and began walking through the fields toward the road, toward the wagon, falling into step behind it.

"Winslow, shouldn't we offer them a ride?" Kit called out.

"It's not much farther," Winslow assured him.

When they neared what Grayson had taken for Satan's throne, he realized it was nothing more than a barn. A simple clapboard house stood nearby, blue gingham curtains fluttering through the open windows. He doubted extra beds awaited them here. He cursed himself for not taking Harry up on his wager.

The driver drew the team of horses to a halt. The wagon rocked as Winslow lifted his portly body from the bench seat and turned, tottering as though he were a child's toy until he gained his balance. His smile broad, his black eyes gleaming beneath his black top hat, he folded his fingers around the lapels of his brown wool tailcoat. "Gentlemen, we have arrived!"

Grayson felt as though he'd just stepped into the middle of a boxing ring with his eyes closed. Apparently, he was not the only one. His traveling companions' mouths went agape and their eyes bulged. Harry struggled to his knees. "Exactly where have we arrived?"

"To the fields where you'll work."

"Are you telling us that all this time when you assured us that fortune awaited us, you were talking about our working in bloody fields?"

"Indeed I am, lad."

"Bloody hell, who would have thought he meant for us to become common field laborers?" Harry demanded.

"Obviously, none of us," Kit said. "Or we wouldn't be here."

"Come on, lads, hoist yourselves out of the wagon. The ladies are waiting!" Winslow exclaimed.

Against his better judgment, Grayson climbed out, his booted feet hitting the ground and creating a cloud of dust. His aching body protested the movement. He longed for a soft bed and an even softer woman. Unfortunately, he doubted either was in supply at this rut in the road.

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