When their vacation turns into another crime to solve, Evan and Jordan Rocco jump on the case. With the bad guys locked away, they’re ready to head home. Then, the unthinkable happens, forcing them to make a decision.
The brothers have struck out on their own—new team, new office, new city.
Join the Pierce Securities men as they write a new chapter in their lives: Rocco Securities.
Indie lives in hell. Her life is nothing like she expected it to be, so when Evan Rocco and his wife Paige offer to take her away for a while, she jumps at the chance.
Montana is just what she needs: mountains, streams, wide-open spaces … and Cash.
Cash’s life isn’t anything like he’d planned … until Indie shows up at the ranch where he works.
There’s something about her that tugs at his protective instincts, and he simply can’t resist her.
Unfortunately, finding each other doesn’t mean life is going to go the way they expect it to.
This book has triggers. Lots of them. That’s your warning.
Excerpt (without the triggers):
Indie awoke to sunlight streaming through the rafters and a rough horse blanket tucked over her. She was still in the corner of the stall, covered in kittens. The mama cat sat in the corner opposite her looking with lowered lids as if to say, “What the hell do you think you’re doing with my babies all over you?”
She’d slept here. In a barn. All fucking night.
“Indie!” Evan called from the yard.
If she’d slept out here all night, they were probably worried about her. She gingerly stood, trying to replace the kittens without dumping them, creating a raucous chorus of mewls.
Her back and neck were stiffer than she’d ever felt before, but even with that, she felt amazing. Maybe it was sleeping in the outside air? Under moonlight? No blue screens? No TV in the background?
She didn’t know, but Indie suddenly didn’t feel like Montana for a month was a mistake.
Indie managed to make it out into the sunlight, still holding the horse blanket.
Folding it, she called out, “I’m over here, Evan. Sorry.”
Evan trotted to the barn entrance, and she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. Glancing over, she saw Cash and the horse in the round pen next to the barn. He watched her closely but didn’t say anything.
“How long have you been out here? When did you wake up?”
She shrugged, not sure if she wanted to admit she’d spent all night there. “I’m sorry for worrying you. I was exploring and found some kittens.”
Evan grinned, relief written all over his face. “Kittens are good medicine. You want some breakfast? Mom and Flo have cooked enough food to feed a million people.”
“I’ll be inside in a minute.” Indie didn’t relish the thought of that many people around a table, not this early in the morning.
“Hey, I get it. This place can be overwhelming. Just let me know what I can do to help, okay?” He touched her shoulder but knew she didn’t like to be touched, so Indie was grateful it was just a graze. Evan was good at reading her and never touched her more than necessary. Paige was the same way. “The ladies are going to be canning later this afternoon. If you’d like to see how pickles are made, you’re more than welcome to join in.” His smile dropped. “No pressure, Indie, but don’t disappear again. I don’t have the Wi-Fi to enable your tracking device.”
She blanched. “You have a tracker on me?” His answering grin revealed he was joking. “Sorry. That was stupid.”
“Not stupid. It was a joke. I do that sometimes. You’ll like them. I promise.” With a wave to Cash, Evan trotted back to the house.
“Indie?” A low, deep voice came from her side, where Cash suddenly stood, blocking the low-slung sun as it ascended into the sky.
She involuntarily took a step back from the massive man. “Yeah?”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to—” he began, his hands absently curling a rope between strong fingers. “Um, did you sleep well in the barn?”
He tugged the loops of rope in his hands, and Indie reminded herself it was a tool for him, not a sadistic thing. Not every man she met was him, and this guy was not about to tie her to anything.
She swallowed as his question filtered through the terror in her veins. “How did you know?” The words came out a choked whisper.
He motioned to the horse blanket she clutched to her chest, a barrier against the world. “You were in there when I came home, and I put that on you.” His low chuckle filled her tummy with lava, uncomfortable yet enticing. “You were still there when I came in to work this morning.”
She looked up to see his lips quirked into a small smile. It was a nice smile. His mouth was a bit too large by conventional standards, but nice lips, a dimple in one cheek, great teeth. Indie had yet to see his eyes—he had his back to the sun and the wide brim of his hat pulled low, but she imagined they were dark like him.
“Oh. Yeah. I did. Surprisingly so.” Her words didn’t work around this guy, but she spilled them out anyway. “Something about the barn was comforting to me last night. I didn’t mean to sleep there. I was just playing with the kittens. There was too much noise inside. Too many people.” Her fragmented thoughts vocalized themselves, and to her mortification, his smile got bigger.
“Definitely too many people. I get that. If you want, there’s a cot in the bunkhouse I can set up in that stall so you can sleep there more.”
Cash shuffled his feet, and when she looked up at him, all she saw was hat as he dipped his head to watch his feet. Was he shy around her?
“Uh, I don’t think I should make a habit of it.” Even if she wanted to. She’d slept better last night than she had in months. But the idea of people knowing she was sleeping in the barn kind of took away the anonymity of being there, which Indie thought had helped things.
Cash took a step toward her, invading her space as he lifted his hand to her hair. Indie froze as his scent overwhelmed her. Jesus Christ, did a man have to smell so good? Her body heated as the aromas of leather, some sort of body wash, and earthy man filled her. When he touched her hair, she flinched, but he didn’t move, continuing his assault on her senses. He twirled a piece of her hair with his fingers, and she stared at his chest covered in a long-sleeved button-down shirt with pearl snaps. It was worn at the cuffs and frayed at the collar, and yet another piece of evidence of how real cowboys wore clothes.
She closed her eyes and inhaled, trying to still her spinning thoughts as this man’s presence quickly stunned and frightened her. Her heart pounded in her chest, and she inadvertently took another step back, hitting the side of the barn door with her shoulder.
“You have hay in your hair,” he muttered, holding up a clump of the offending material.
Her hands immediately flew to her head. “Crap. Of course, I do.” She started running her fingers through her hair, trying to remove as much as she could before she went inside.
“You want me to distract them all while you sneak in the back?”
She looked up at him. “Would you?” She had no idea how to explain the bed was too bed-like for her to sleep in it and she’d spent her first night outside at these accommodating people’s house.
“No worries. They’re overwhelming on a good day. I get it.” He started to reach for her again, but she shied away, so he spun around. “Come on.”
His long legs took them around the back of the house to a door nestled in the corner between some giant flowering shrubs. He opened the door and let her in.
“I hope you made me some gravy to go with those biscuits, Ma!” he hollered before gesturing to some stairs she hadn’t seen. “These go up to the second floor, the opposite end of where your room probably is.”
But he’d already strode through the mudroom and to wherever the door led, so she followed his directions and made it to her room.
Buy it everywhere! Did you catch the part about the release week sale price of .99?
And great news! Audio books are happening! The first two stories, Craze and Wire, are already in audio, and Click is in the works as we speak. Anne has a tenth book in the series coming in a few months, so in the meanwhile, check in on the Roccos and see what they’re up to.