“More More More [ . . . ] we need to have more about this family. Love the way she writes and makes them real to the reader.” – Mountain Gal, 5-Star Amazon Customer Review
Hawk’s Way: Garth
Hawk’s Way – Book 4
Candy Baylor is determined to learn how to train horses and nothing—not even the bullheaded, ruggedly handsome Garth Whitelaw—is going to stop her.
When he finally agrees to teach her, Candy is surprised by his sudden change in attitude. However she wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Besides, her instructors in school had never been so ruggedly handsome as this wrangler . . . and she wouldn’t mind engaging in some horseplay!
Garth Whitelaw didn’t have time to hold Candy Baylor’s hand and drag her around his ranch. And why on earth would the rich Texas debutante want to train horses, anyway? But she sure looked sexy in tight, worn jeans and with hay in her hair, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad deal, after all . . .
HAWK’S WAY—where the Whitelaws of Texas run free till passion brands their hearts.
GARTH WHITELAW HAD ONLY ONE USE FOR women, so he didn’t have much to do with the decent sort, like the lady heading straight for him now. He avoided meeting the widely-spaced, speculative gray eyes that sought him out along the show ring at the spring quarter horse sale in Amarillo. But he felt a definite tightening across his loins as he perused her long, jean-clad legs and sylphlike figure.
He couldn’t help admiring the grace of her walk or the way her long blond hair shifted across her shoulders as she moved. His appreciation was balanced by the knowledge that where this particular woman was concerned, the growing bulge behind his fly had damn well betters stay zipped in his jeans.
Candice Baylor was a genuine Texas debutante, the daughter of one of the richest men in the state. Garth had first met her three years ago, when she was seventeen. She and her father, Evan, had come to his northwest Texas ranch, Hawk’s Way, to look over some championship cutting horses Garth had for sale.
Initially, Garth had been amused when Candy tagged along behind him everywhere he went. He had a younger sister who’d taught him patience, so he answered all Candy’s eager questions with brotherly indulgence. Because she was clever and interested in everything he did, it was easy to be tolerant.
It soon became clear to Garth that his horses weren’t the only thing that interested Candy Baylor. Unless he was very much mistaken, the girl had caught a bad case of puppy love. She began flirting with him, sending coy, come-hither looks from beneath lowered lashes.
Garth was annoyed by her antics because, even though he knew what she was doing—and despite the fact that she was entirely too young for him—he’d felt the first stirrings of arousal. He’d scowled mightily at her, but even that hadn’t discouraged her.
Garth frowned as he remembered how, the night before she was scheduled to leave the ranch, Candy had confronted him in the downstairs room that served as both office and parlor. She’d been dressed for bed and wore a thigh-length belted aqua silk robe over matching long silk pajama bottoms. She might only have been seventeen, but Garth had seen a woman’s shape beneath the sensually draped fabric.
Candy claimed she couldn’t sleep and just needed someone to talk to. Garth had given her several crude, broad hints, but she hadn’t left him alone. So he’d settled back in his chair with a whiskey in hand to watch the show, certain he could handle anything this spoiled little rich girl could dish out.
Candy had wandered around the room touching his things—vicariously touching him. She sought out the collection of trophies he’d won in cutting horse futurities and fingered the delicate designs. She picked up a photo of Garth with his two younger brothers, Faron and Jesse, and his sister, Tate, from the mantel and tenderly traced his image. Then she ran her hand the length of the pine mantel, which drew her slowly, inexorably toward where he sat in one of the two leather chairs that faced the stone fireplace.
Frustrated by the arousal he couldn’t control, Garth fought fire with fire. As she stood before him, he let his gaze insolently run the length of her, stopping to admire the firm, high breasts and flat belly before following the length of her pajama-clad legs to her bare toes. When he looked back up at her face, she was blushing a fiery red.
But she didn’t run. He felt a grudging respect for her, because he knew that same look had warned off older, more savvy women. Candy had merely turned and strolled, hips sashaying, to the chair across from him. Instead of sitting down normally, she’d curled herself into the leather chair with her feet underneath her. She’d rested her elbows on the arm of the chair and cupped her chin in her hands.
“Why haven’t you ever gotten married?” she asked.
Garth had fielded that question from a lot of women during his thirty-odd years. He gave her his usual cynical response. “Why buy the cow when the milk’s free?”
She wrinkled her nose in disgust. “That’s an awful thing to say! A man gets other things from marriage besides sex.”
“There’s nothing else I want or need from a woman.”
“What about children?”
Garth’s lips flattened. “If I could be sure they were mine, maybe I’d want some.”
“What do you mean, if you could be sure they were yours? Whose else would they be?”
“Some other man’s,” Garth responded curtly.
“No wife of yours would—”
“You’re right. No wife of mine would,” Garth said in a harsh voice. “But don’t fool yourself. Lots of wives cheat on their husbands.” His own mother had cheated on his father. His younger brother—half brother—Faron had been the result.
“What about companionship?” Candy demanded. “A wife can be a friend, someone to share your hopes and dreams and troubles with.”
“I’ve got lots of friends.” He smirked and added, “Of course, none of them are women. I figure there are better things to do when you’re with a woman than talk.”
She blushed again, an enchanting pink flush that raised the ridge in his jeans. He was ready to concede the battle to her and leave the room, but she asked one more question.
“What about love?” she said in a quiet voice.
“What about it.”
“Haven’t you ever been in love with a woman and wanted her to love you back?”
His lips curled in a sardonic smile. “I’m not the kind of man women fall in love with.”
She swallowed hard and said, “I love you.”
Her gray eyes were huge in her face. He’d never seen such a look in a woman’s eyes. This was different from the admiration of his physical body, his broad shoulders and narrow waist, his straight nose and mouth, his black hair and deep brown eyes, which he’d often seen from the women who wanted him—for sex or his money or to show off on their arms. This was something more.
Garth felt a pain in his chest, as though there was a great weight on it, making it hard to breathe. For one brief instant, he wanted nothing more than to gather her up in his arms and hold her tight, to reach out and accept the love she offered.
But it was an instant only, and the fact that he’d even considered holding to his bosom what he knew was just one more female viper made him all the more harsh when he finally responded to her words of love.
“What you’re feeling isn’t love, little girl. It’s good old-fashioned lust. Since you’ve been asking for it ever since you walked into this room, I figure it’s about time you got it.” He noticed his hand was shaking when he set down his whiskey glass.
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“. . . fabulous details and atmosphere, memorable characters, a story that you wish would never end, and lots of tension and sensuality.”
Affaire de Coeur
“. . . unforgettable subplots and characters who make every fine thread weave into a touching tapestry.”
New York Times Bestselling Author Heather Graham
“A guaranteed good read.”
Print Length: 352 pages (originally in print as The Wrangler and the Rich Girl, 1993)
Publisher: Harlequin, October 24, 2016