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‘Til the Sun Comes Up, Book Eight, MacLarens of Fire Mountain Contemporary Western Romance Series
Skye MacLaren’s life revolves around her family and the fierce bucking bull stock they provide to rodeos. She’s competitive and competent, having no room in her life for a relationship—including one with a world champion rider and business competitor.
Gage Templeton’s rodeo past and executive position with a national bucking stock supplier assures him of exciting work and nights with any woman he chooses. He’ll let no one get close—until his company partners with a competitor, forcing him to work with the one woman who could turn his resolve upside down.
Knowing a relationship is the last thing either needs, both charge ahead, certain they can keep their explosive feelings for each other in check—and away from curious family and friends. Continuing their secret encounters becomes even harder when outside forces threaten both their businesses and the people they care about.
As Gage works to discover the threat meant to cripple his company, Skye’s doubts increase. She wants more from the most magnetic man she’s ever known, but protecting her heart must come first.
Desire, distrust, fear, and the pain of the past cloud their minds, even as they work together to identify the danger. Can two strong, determined people conquer the perils to their lives as well as their hearts?
‘Til the Sun Comes Up, book eight in the MacLarens of Fire Mountain Contemporary western romance series, is a full-length novel with an HEA and no cliffhanger.
“If we do decide to go through with this, I need to be clear. I’m not looking for a relationship. I’ve been down that road once and don’t intend to ever travel it again. Fact is, I haven’t been with a woman more than once in years. Don’t even know the names of most of them. If that makes me sound like a jerk, I guess that’s what I am. But with you…”
Her chest squeezed as she waited for him to continue.
Reaching out, he took her hand. “You have to be certain you can accept me on my terms.”
Skye bit her lip, willing herself to stay calm. “Then I suppose you should be clear as to what they are.”
Dropping her hand, he sat down on the bed, patting the spot beside him.
“I’d rather stand.” Skye clasped her hands in front of her.
He leaned forward, resting his arms on his thighs, catching her gaze with his. “All right. We see each other when we can, when it’s convenient. No expectations, no late night calls, no drama. I’m free to see other women, and you’re free to see other men.”
He straightened. “No? If that’s your answer, I’ll walk out now.”
Turning away, she worked to compose herself. She didn’t know why she even considered his demands, except for one thing. She felt the same about all of it, other than one point.
“I’m good with it all…” She hesitated.
“You don’t see other women, and I don’t see other men. It’s non-negotiable for me, Gage. I’m not looking for a relationship, either, but I’m also not looking to feel cheap or used.”
Gage stood, holding a hand toward her. “Skye—”
“Please, let me finish.” She turned away, gathering her thoughts. “I can live with seeing each other when it works for both of us. No drama, no commitment. Easy and infrequent.” She whipped back around, pinning him with a hard stare. “If you need to be with other women, I’m not the person for this kind of arrangement.”
He winced at the description and the terse tone. “What happens if one of us wants to start seeing someone else?”
“A simple phone call should work.” Her voice remained steady. She didn’t know why it hurt to say it out loud.
Gage walked up to her and placed his hands on her shoulders, his voice low and rough. “The last thing I want is to hurt you. You have to know I’m not a good bet. This could last a few nights or much longer. Either way, I don’t want anything permanent, and I want to walk away as friends.”
“I’m a big girl, Gage. I don’t want or need anything more than seeing each other whenever we have time. Is that fair?”
His nostrils flared. Studying her face, he saw no sign she didn’t believe her own words. Dropping his hands from her shoulders, he picked up his hat, settling it on his head.
Her brows drew together. “Are you leaving?”
“It’s best. You need to be sure it’s what you want. Truthfully, so do I.”
She didn’t like it, but knew he was right. “I leave tomorrow.”
“Change your flight to Sunday.” He smiled. “Please. I’d like to see you tomorrow, show you more of the city, take you downtown for dinner.” Stepping closer, he cupped her face in his hands, the kiss slow and warm. Groaning, he stepped away. “Change your flight, Skye.”
Shirleen Davies writes romance—historical, contemporary, and romantic suspense. She grew up in Southern California, attended Oregon State University, and has degrees from San Diego State University and the University of Maryland. During the day she provides consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses. But her real passion is writing emotionally charged stories of flawed people who find redemption through love and acceptance. She now lives with her husband in a beautiful town in northern Arizona.