With: Makenna Lee
I’m Makenna Lee, and I’m so happy to be here! I write contemporary romance set in fictional small towns in the Texas Hill Country. I also live in this area of Texas with my real-life hero and our twenty-three-year old son who has Down Syndrome. You will see his influence in all of my books. He participates in weekly therapeutic horseback riding, and the hero in my debut book, Her Second Chance Cowboy, starts an equine therapy program for special needs children.
When an ambitious photographer returns to the Texas Hill Country to secure her world-traveling dream job, a fling with the tied-to-the-land cowboy who broke her heart years ago is the worst thing that can happen…and the best.
“Would you look at that. My fortune cookie was right. This really is a day filled with creative inspiration.”
From her spot inside a thick copse of cedar trees, Reese Turner focused her camera on the shirtless cowboy working on the roof of what had once been her grandparents’ cottage. When he turned in her direction, her mouth dropped open, and her finger froze.
Oh, my holy hotness on steroids.
Warmth—that was not from the weather—swirled inside her. The back of him had been a nice view, but the front was worthy of being in the firefighter calendar her BFF had given her last Christmas. Sun-bronzed muscles bulged across a broad, bare chest. A mystery face lay hidden in the shade of a cowboy hat.
With the most terrible timing imaginable, her memory card reached capacity. “Really? Now?” From the bag across her shoulder, she grabbed a new one and switched it out, but when she refocused on the white cottage, the cowboy was gone. “Oh man. Guess my luck ran out.” But it was for the best. Taking photos of a half-dressed cowboy without permission was a bad idea and not why she’d returned to Celts Creek.
The warm Texas breeze lifted her long hair, and Reese breathed in the scent of summer grasses heated by the sun. This beautiful place held her favorite childhood memories, and being back filled her with a nostalgic longing to wildcraft herbs with her grandmother. A sweet ache fluttered in her heart.
She lifted the camera to her eye and captured shots of birds in flight and the morning sun streaking into the clouds above the roofline.
“AAAH,” Reese yelped while performing a jump and spin maneuver that left her facing her missing photo subject.
No. It can’t be.
She released a quick breath, camera clutched against her drumming heart as it made a fluttering descent back into place. A familiar face stared out from under the brim of a tan cowboy hat, dark stubble emphasizing his jawline and framing full lips. “James?”
“Hey, Reese.” He shoved his hands into his back pockets and grinned.
Not only had she been caught trespassing, but she’d been discovered by James MacLachlan. The guy who’d shared her first kiss, made false promises, and then broken her heart. Now, a man, full grown, standing a few feet away, more handsome than she remembered. A trickle of sweat slid down the center of his body toward his belly button.
Blood whooshed in her ears and some elusive shift in the air stole her next breath, replacing it with sensations reminiscent of teenage infatuation. Rapid, throbbing pulse. Tight, fluttering stomach. Why did he have to look so tempting with his long legs encased in perfectly fitted denim? His whole appearance screamed of a man who could carry you up a flight of stairs…to bed.
He cleared his throat. “It’s been a while.”
OMG! Stop staring, Reese. “You scared the crap out of me. Did you lose your shirt?”
His deep laugh startled a bird from the branch above, and he folded his arms across his chest. “My farmer’s tan needed to be evened out. And I didn’t know I’d have an audience.”
Forcing herself not to check for any remaining tan lines, Reese busied herself putting the lens cap on her camera. “What are you doing here?”
“That’s what I should be asking you.”
“I’m working on a photography project.” Details of the last few minutes fell into place, and she glanced between him and the cottage. “Wait…is this your property? Do you own my grandparents’ farm?”
Wealthy cowboy, James MacLachlan, is content running his massive family ranch and starting an equine therapy program for special needs children. After his mother died in childbirth, and witnessing his father’s destruction at the loss of true love, James sticks to casual affairs. Marriage and children are risks he won’t take.
Reese Turner visits Cypress Creek, Texas, to complete a photo assignment for National Geographic and buy back her grandparents’ cottage. After disastrous romances, she’s sworn off men to focus on her career. Marriage and the babies she longs for can wait. When she runs into an old flame, she decides she can live out a fantasy, then leave town to pursue her dreams.
But love doesn’t play by the rules...