Tobias, Reynolds Ranch Book 2 by C.M. Steele is releasing on May 31st on all platforms!
Grumpy, angry, a curmudgeon…
Who uses the word ‘curmudgeon’ anymore?
Those are the words used to describe my new boss and some other less than flattering words. The new boss who doesn’t even know I’ve been hired to invade his private sanctum and run the show. I’m the new cook for Tobias Reynolds, a Montana Cowboy with a surly attitude. I shouldn’t work for him given my background, but my options are limited and it’s a temporary arrangement.
A violent man left me scars, mostly invisible ones, but they promise me that Tobias will never lay a hand on me. One look at my new boss and I know it’s not his anger I fear, but the raging desire for his touch coursing through me.
They were wrong about the boss. Tobias can’t seem to keep his hands off me and I don’t want him to stop.
Beautiful, broken, mine…
That’s what I see when I look at Ava. From the first second, I saw her, it felt like I’d been tackled to the ground my chest ached so intensely. I want to keep her, but this is just a temporary stop for her. She’s running from someone. Given the black eye, she’s sporting, I’m guessing it’s someone who needs to be taught a lesson.
I’ve spent my time in the spotlight, but now I’ve gone back to my roots, working my family’s ranch. Some say I’m like a grizzly bear with a thorn in his paw, but I just want to work and go home to a good homecooked meal and some peace and quiet which has been hard to come by.
It’s not until she shows up that I realize how much more I want out of life. I’ll slay all her dragons, destroy her fears, and do all I can to get her to stay.
It’s been an hour and a half since I ran into my future wife, and I’m nervous. The first time, I didn’t get a chance to be nervous. I open the front door and then lock it behind me. I don’t want anyone in this house but us until I say so.
I barely get the door closed when I crash into her. She screeches out again, this time from the hot chocolate that’s all over her. I act quickly without thinking, knocking the cup down and lifting her shirt off of her. Tossing it before I open the front door and let the breeze in. “I’m so fucking sorry.”
“What the hell?” John barks from the porch. Suddenly I’m blocking his view of her in just that pink bra. “What’s going on, Tobias?”
“It’s an accident,” she calls out. I slam the door on my foreman. He knocks hard.
“If your ass wants your job, I’d quit the fucking knocking. She’s fine with me,” I shout through the door while keeping my eyes on Ava. “Go up and wash off, please.” I give her my best “I’m sorry” look and turn her around toward the stairs.
As soon as she’s out of sight, I open the door. “What the fuck? What part of ‘I wanted no one here’?”
“You forgot this, Tobias.” He hands me my gloves and phone and then his eyes catch the broken mug on the floor.
“Thanks. It seems I’m two for two on startling her. This time it’s hot cocoa. I hope she doesn’t have to go to the hospital.”
“True. It’s a long drive from here. She took her top off?” he asks, raising his brow.
“No…I did. It’s the first thing I could think of. It happened with hot coffee, and my dad had me take off my shirt right away to stop the burn from getting worse.”
“No. I’m just shocked. That’s what people would do, but with the door open?” His brows jet upward.
“It’s freezing balls out there. I figured it would cool her off quickly without ice.” I acted like a nut, I’m sure, but I can’t explain my reactions when it comes to Ava.
“Not a bad idea, but a bit crazy.”
I puff out my chest. “Welcome to the new Tobias Reynolds.”
“I kind of like this asshole better. Be nice and have a good night. I can’t wait to tell Louisa.” He laughs and shakes his head as he walks down my porch. I close the door and lock it. I look toward the stairs, but she’s not coming just yet. Damn, I hope she’s okay after I burned her like a jerk. I’m over here ready to kill the bastard who struck her, and then I cause my own damage to her beautiful, precious body. Staring at the broken mug, sopping wet shirt and floor, my anger at myself intensifies.
“Now to clean this mess up.” I walk into the kitchen and pull out the small garbage can from inside the pull-out cabinet drawer—a cool feature, I might add. Then I grab the towel on the oven and return to the mess I made. After picking up the broken pieces of ceramic, I sop up the mess and toss the old towel in the garbage. It’s going to need to be mopped. Damn it, I hate mopping. I walk to the broom closet and see the mop, which I have no intention of touching. There’s a Swiffer thing hanging on the hook, so I take it over there and use it. Once it’s spotless, I admire my handiwork. “That is much better.”
“Oh, I would have cleaned it up.” Her soft voice comes from behind me.
I turn my attention to her and do my best not to choke. She’s in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. Both of them trace her curves so pleasantly, as if they were tailored for her. “I didn’t want it to seep into the wood. I’m sorry about that. Are you okay?”
“It’s a little tender, but I took a cooler shower than normal.” I close my eyes and try to breathe. My dick did not need the visual of her in the shower, but there it is. Like it’s on a fucking movie theater screen. My cock beats against my zipper, and I pray she doesn’t notice.
Lara, BOOK 1 is available now on all platforms: https://books2read.com/u/47QK0L
MEET THE AUTHOR
C.M. Steele is a romance author who has been self-publishing since August 2014. She is a mother of three, living her busy life outside Chicago with her husband of sixteen years. Most of CM’s books center around a couple finding love almost immediately without all the messy bits. Although she really does love adding bad guys to hinder the couple’s happily ever after.
Follow her and check out her books.
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💛 REVIEW 💛
Love and family has always been important to Tobias so when he pictured his life he never expected that he would be living alone on his ranch. When circumstances lead to him needing a cook Ava might just be what he is looking for both when it comes to the ranch and him.
Ava is trying to escape the pain of her past and the people responsible for it. All she wants is a fresh start and to ensure her past stays where it belongs, but she never expected the feelings that her gruff and demanding boss would inspire.
Tobias knew from his first meeting with Ava that she was special and all he wants to do is keep her safe. Now that she has come into his life he needs to convince her that he never wants her to leave.