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McKettricks Bundle [Secure eReader]
eBook by Linda Lael Miller

eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Can't get enough cowboys? Hooked on the McKettrick Men? Now get three McKettricks--Jesse, Rance, and Keegan--for one low price with the McKettricks Bundle! Bundle includes McKettrick's Heart, McKettrick's Pride, and McKettrick's Luck.

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Bundles
Fictionwise Release Date: April 2007


61 Reader Ratings:
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On McKETTRICK'S HEART: "In the third and final act of her contemporary McKettrick romances, Miller (McKettrick's Pride) is at her steamiest." -- Publishers Weekly

On McKETTRICK'S PRIDE: "Miller's masterful ability to create living, breathing characters never flags, even in the case of Echo's dog, Avalon; combined with a taut story line and vivid prose, Miller's romance won't disappoint." -- Publisher's Weekly

On McKETTRICK'S LUCK: "the veteran romance author doesn't disappoint in her sizzling love scenes and fine sense of place." -- Publishers Weekly


CHAPTER ONE

MCKETTRICK LAND, Cheyenne Bridges thought stoically, as she stood next to her rented car on a gravel pullout alongside the highway, one hand shading her eyes from the Arizona sun. A faint drumbeat throbbed in her ears, an underground river flowing beneath her pulse, and she remembered a time she could not have remembered. An era when only the Great Spirit could lay claim to the valleys and canyons and mesas, to the arch of the sky, blue as her grandmother's favorite sugar bowl—a cherished premium plucked from some long-ago flour sack—to the red dirt and the scattered stands of white oak and Joshua and ponderosa pine.

It had taken Angus McKettrick, and other intrepidly arrogant nineteenth-century pioneers like him, to fence in these thousands of square miles, to pen their signatures to deeds, to run cattle and dig wells and wrest a living from the rocky, thistle-strewn soil. Old Angus had passed that audacious sense of ownership on to his sons, and the sons of their sons, down through the generations.

McKettricks forever and ever, amen.

Cheyenne bit her lower lip. Her cell phone, lying on the passenger seat of the car, chimed like an arriving elevator—Nigel again. She ignored the insistent sound until it stopped, only too aware that the reprieve would be fleeting. Meanwhile, the land itself seemed to seep into her heart, rising like water finding its level in some dank, forgotten cistern.

The feeling was bittersweet, a complex tangle of loneliness and homecoming and myriad other emotions she couldn't readily identify.

She had sworn never to come back to this place.

Never to set eyes on Jesse McKettrick again.

And fate, in its inimitable way, was forcing her to do both those things.

She sighed.

An old blue pickup passed on the road, horn honking in exuberant greeting. A trail of cheerfully mournful country music thrummed in its wake, and the peeling sticker on the rear bumper read Save The Cowboys.

Cheyenne waved, self-conscious in her trim black designer suit and high heels. This was boots-and-jeans country, and she'd stand out like the proverbial sore thumb the moment she drove into town.

Welcome home, she thought ruefully.

The cell chirped again, and she picked her way through the loose gravel to reach in through the open window and grabbed it.

"It's about time you answered," Nigel Meerland snapped before she could draw a breath to say hello. "I was beginning to think you'd fallen into some manhole."

"There aren't any manholes in Indian Rock," Cheyenne replied, making her way around to the driver's side and opening the door.

"Have you contacted him yet?" Nigel didn't bother with niceties like "Hi, how are you?" either in person or over the telephone. He simply demanded what he wanted—and most of the time, he got it.

"Nigel," Cheyenne said evenly, "I just got here. So, no, I have not contacted him." Him was Jesse McKettrick. The last person in this or any other universe she wanted to see—not that Jesse would be able to place her in the long line of adoring women strung out behind him like the cars of a derailed freight train.

"Well, you're burning daylight, kiddo," Nigel shot back. Her boss was in his late thirties and English, but he liked using colorful terms, with a liberal smattering of clichés. Westernisms, he called them. "Let's get this show on the road. I don't have to tell you how anxious our investors are to get that condo development underway."

No, Cheyenne thought, sitting down sideways on the car seat, constrained by her tight skirt and swinging her legs in under the steering wheel, you don't have to tell me. I've heard nothing else for the last six months.

"Jesse won't sell," she said. Realizing she'd spoken the thought aloud, she closed her eyes, braced for the inevitable response.

"He has to sell," Nigel countered. "Failure is not an option. Everything—and I mean everything—is riding on this deal. If the finance people pull out, the company will go under. You won't have a job, and I'll have to crawl back to the ancestral pile on my knees, begging for the scant privileges of a second son."

Cheyenne closed her eyes. Like Nigel, she had a lot at stake. More than just her job. She had Mitch, her younger brother, to consider. And her mother.

The bonus Nigel had promised, in writing, would give them all a kind of security they'd never known.

The pit of her stomach clenched.

"I know," she told Nigel bleakly. "I know."

"Get cracking, Pocahontas," Nigel instructed, and hung up in her ear.

Cheyenne opened her eyes, pressed the end button with her thumb, drew a deep breath and released it slowly. Then she tossed the phone onto the other seat, started the engine and headed for Indian Rock.

The town hadn't changed much since she'd left it at seventeen, bound for college down in Tucson. There was the dry cleaners, the library, the elementary school. And the small, white-steepled church where she'd struggled to understand Commandments and arks and burning bushes, and had placed quarters, after unwrapping them carefully from a cheap cloth handkerchief, in the collection plate.

She sat a little straighter in the seat as she drove the length of Main Street, signaled and turned left at the old train depot, long since converted to an antiques minimall. The rental car bumped over the railroad tracks, past progressively seedier trailer courts, through a copse of cottonwood trees.

The narrow beams of the ancient cattle guard rattled under the tires.

Cheyenne gave a grateful sigh when the car didn't fall through and slowed to round the last bend in the narrow dirt road leading to the house.

Copyright © 2007 Harlequin Books S.A.


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