She’s the maid of honor. He’s the best man. Both are keeping secrets from the other.
The long-requested sequel to Maddie James’ first published novel, Roses & Rawhide!
Readers wanted to know…
What happened to Jillie and Mack’s relationship at the end of Roses & Rawhide?
Why did Jillie go back to Kentucky?
Will they get back together? What’s their story?
While Kim Martin and Thad Winchester find their happily-ever-after in Roses & Rawhide, their best friends, Jillie Abernathy and Mack Montgomery, end their sleeping-bag-sharing relationship during the rugged, two-week pack trip into the Colorado San Juan mountains.
But when Kim and Thad host their wedding at Thad’s Colorado ranch a few months later, Mack and Jillie must come face-to-face with reality—and with each other. She’s the maid of honor. He’s the best man. Both are harboring secrets—secrets that could break a potential future relationship if they both avoid telling the truth.
Can they reveal those secrets to each other? And if so, can they get past the withheld truths to plan a future together?
Mack exhaled. “The company is a multi-billion-dollar international business, Jillie. I’m the CEO for Montgomery Oil out of San Antonio, a Fortune 500 company.”
Jillie felt her face screw up. He was the CEO of an oil company? “Oil?” It was the only word she could squeak out.
“In San Antonio.”
“That’s Texas. You own a Texas oil company? Did you say multi-billion?”
“Then you’re…” She unwound her legs and stood. The afghan dropped to the floor. Only one way to say it. “Rich.” She glanced about and tossed up her hands. “Of course, you are. Look at this house!” She picked up the afghan and wrapped it around her shoulders again, paced away from the sofa, turned, and glared. “You’re rich. You’re a billionaire. You are goddamn rich?”
“Can you say anything else but yes?” The question came out a little louder and more forceful than she intended. “You’re a freaking billionaire?”
“I suppose you could say that.”
“Well, the company is worth billions. Me? It’s debatable but let’s just say I’m very comfortable. It’s not like having money is a bad thing, Jillie.”
She faced him. All this time she thought him a real-life cowboy. Did it matter that he wasn’t? That he was stinking rich and had failed to tell her that? But why would he? She imagined that might be a difficult thing to work into regular conversation. “I don’t know what to say.”
Mack stood and shoved his hands into his pockets. “It’s all true.”
She stood stone still and glared. “You were rich last summer.”
Exhaling, Mack took a few steps forward and reached for her arms. Jillie jerked back. “Jillie, yes. My family has been well-off all my life. However, I know hard work, so don’t think I’m just a guy in a suit. I grew up on a cattle ranch and I did rodeo like my brothers most of my growing up years. I am a cowboy, a rancher, through and through. Dad made sure we understood the value of hard work and I have mucked stalls and rode fences and moved cattle with the best of them. But I also went to college and got an MBA. I worked hard. And when the time came to go back home, when my dad needed me, I did. I left Colorado for a while, stopped working with Thad, and finally made use of that degree.”
“Why didn’t you just tell me? Why did you let me believe you were Thad’s ranch manager? I don’t understand what the big deal is.” She paused then and stared into his eyes. “Oh.”
“Yes, oh. You didn’t tell me because you thought all I was after was a cowboy conquest. If I knew you were a billionaire, I might also be a gold-digger, huh? Only after your money?”
He stepped closer. “No, Jillie, actually, that wasn’t it at all.”
“I’m not sure I believe you—but to tell you the truth, I can understand it if you did think that.”
“Well, it wasn’t that.”
“Because I didn’t want to be a CEO those two weeks, Jillie. I went on that pack trip because Thad was short-handed, yes, but mostly because I needed a break from Corporate America. I took a two-week vacation and gladly handed over my cell phone. My younger brother took the reins while I was gone, and with dad’s help on the sidelines, he was fine. All I wanted to do was play cowboy again for a while and disappear into the mountains. I didn’t want to talk about my other life. No cares, just me and my horse and the trail.” He peered deep into her eyes, then shifted his gaze over her shoulder, thinking. His voice lowered. “I just hadn’t counted on you.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub) Release day is August 25
Universal Buy Link (UBL) https://books2read.com/cowboys-secret-baby
Maddie James writes to silence the people in her head—if only they wouldn’t all talk at once!
From flirty contemporary romance to darker erotic titles—often mixed with a dash of suspense or a hint of paranormal—James pens stories that frequently blend a variety of romantic sub-genres. The happily-ever-after, of course, is non-negotiable.
Affaire de Coeur says, “James shows a special talent for traditional romance,” and RT Book Reviews claims, “James deftly combines romance and suspense.” Maddie is the award-winning author of over fifty titles of fiction—from short stories to novels—and a Top 100 Amazon Bestselling Author. Learn more at http://www.maddiejames.net.
Social Media Links: