From New York Times bestselling author Lisa Mondello
A Western Romance
Ever since Mitch Broader set foot in Texas, he dreamed of owning his own ranch. Now that he’s bought a share in the Double T Ranch, he’s one step closer to the dream. Then his past greets him in the form of a baby basket, complete with infant and birth certificate naming him as the father. He can’t change diapers and work toward his dream at the same time.
When Sara Lightfoot, “Miss Hollywood” in Mitch’s eyes, rescues him with her particular knack for handling his precocious son, he hires her on the spot as a temporary nanny. No matter how much Sara’s dark eyes and warm heart make this bachelor think of making their arrangement permanent, she’s made it perfectly clear she has other plans that don’t include him or his dreams.
Sara Lightfoot never thought she’d return to her home on the reservation. Now she plans to reclaim the life she left by going back to the reservation as a Native American storyteller, teaching the Apache children stories of their culture. She didn’t expect Mitch Broader’s sexy smile or job offer as a live-in nanny to derail those plans. After all she’s been through to come home, can she open up her heart once again to love?
Still dancing in circles, Midnight eyed Mitch, seemingly aware of his every move. Mitch turned his back to the mare and played with the bridle, as if ignoring the horse. Finally, Midnight stopped running and with cautious steps, she moved forward, stopping every so often and taking a side step, bobbing her head or giving a neigh, as if calling Mitch to pay attention. Eventually, she stepped up alongside him and gave him a quick nudge with her nose. Then another until she was settled alongside Mitch.
Ever so softly, Mitch stroked her head and neck and front legs with long, easy strokes. He smiled his pleasure.
Without even realizing how he'd done it, the bit was in Midnight's mouth and the bridle was around the mare’s head. Mitch let the reins fall and allowed Midnight to get use to the bit.
“That's amazing,” Sara said quietly.
“Not really,” Mitch said, glancing up at her as he kept his attention on the mare.
She turned to him. Mitch was looking at her, his eyes filled with the same questions she’d seen in the kitchen.
Then he said, “She still could bolt at any time.”
Sara gripped the splintered rail. “But she hasn't. She came to you when she could have easily just kept running in circles.”
“Trust isn't an easy thing for her. She still doesn't know what to think.”
“She let you put the bridle on her. You didn't have to chase her. She came to you.”
“I have to win her trust. And when I have it, I can't abuse it or she'll never give it up again.”
Mitch carefully took the bridle off Midnight and took a few steps away. Midnight followed like a stray dog.
“Does she trust you now? Enough to ride her?”
Mitch shook his head. “We still need a little time together before she'll allow me put a saddle on her. Right now, she's letting me know her boundaries.”
“She let you put a bridle on her as if she didn't even know you were doing it.”
His face was bright with a smile. “Oh, she knew. But she's still making up her mind. She wants to trust me. I can tell. And maybe one day she will.”
He looked up at her again from across the corral. He was incredibly handsome. His dark hair was the color of mica in the fading light, and his eyes had turned from blue to a smoky gray. He stood tall, his weight shifted to one hip.
Sara remembered all too well how it had felt earlier to be in Mitch's arms. Her heart raced with the memory.
“What if she's never ready to trust you?”
Mitch's expression grew serious, pulling her into his gaze. He took a few steps closer, his boots kicking up dust from the ground as he walked. He stopped a good ten feet from where she was standing and said,