Gone Country

Book 14 of the Rough Riders Series

She’s a little bit country, and he’s…not.

Arizona businessman and long-lost McKay love child Gavin Daniels has been awarded sole custody of his teenage daughter, Sierra. In order to steer her back on track after a brush with the law, he heads to Wyoming…even if he isn’t sure where they fit in the McKay dynamic. But he’s thrown for a loop when his new housemate, Rielle, is a whole lot sexier than he remembered.

Rielle Wetzler has finally overcome the stigma of having hippie parents and being a young single mother. But now Gavin is in Sundance to claim the house that’s rightfully his. Rielle knew this day would come, but she isn’t prepared to leave the home she built for herself. And to further complicate matters, her long-dormant libido is definitely not ready to live with this newly buff Gavin—who has the take-charge attitude to prove he’s all McKay.

Sharing a roof is too much temptation, and before long, Gavin and Rielle are sharing a bed. But are they ready to share their hearts, lives and families forever?

Praise for Gone Country »

  • The main reasons I keep coming back to read Lorelei James are her smokin’ hot, larger-than-life, sexier-than-anything heroes, the heroines who pull those heroes into line, the erotic lovin’ between said characters, and the sense of family in every book. It’s a rare author who can combine those, plus other, elements into a scintillating, edgy, romantic, and real read.

    The Good, The Bad and The Unread

  • Not like any other McKay…and still ohhhh so good.

    Under the Covers Book Blog

Excerpt »

August in Phoenix…

“Sierra Daniels. Please stand.”

She stood. So did Gavin.

“Would you like to say anything before we discuss your case?”

Gavin glanced at the members of teen court and then at the magistrate. “Permission to speak on Sierra’s behalf, Your Honor?”

The magistrate’s hard gaze zoomed to him. “And you are?”

“Gavin Daniels, Your Honor. Sierra’s father.”

“Permission granted. What’s on your mind, Mr. Daniels?”

“I understand that a community service sentence is often handed down in a case like this. I agree that it would be a good lesson for my daughter. But I respectfully request you consider an alternative.”

“And why is that, Mr. Daniels?”

“Because we will be moving out of state next week.” Gavin shot Sierra a harsh look when she opened her mouth.

“Next week?” the magistrate asked skeptically.

“Yes, Your Honor. The day of my daughter’s arrest last month I was meeting with Judge O’Connor and he granted me sole custody of Sierra at her mother’s request. Since I’m no longer legally bound to live in Arizona, we’ll be moving closer to family.”

A pause. “Where will that be?”

“Sundance, Wyoming.”

From the corner of his eye he saw Sierra gaping at him, but Gavin kept his attention on the magistrate.

“In light of this being your first offense, your guilty plea and the security guard recovering the stolen item, I will dismiss the charge—provided you have no contact with the store and you have no subsequent incidents in the next six months. Then this infraction will be expunged from your juvenile record.”

The magistrate looked at Sierra. “And to be honest…your father forcing you to move to Wyoming is punishment enough.”

 

****

 

“I hate you and I’m never ever ever going to forgive you for this! Why are you ruining my life?”

Choking silence filled the air.

“You done?” he asked coolly.

“Will you change your mind about making me move to Bumfuck, Wyoming?”

“Not on your life, sweetheart.”

“Don’t call me that!” She stomped off.

He listened to her footsteps fading on the tiled floor, counting out the seconds.

Wait for it…Wait for it…

Slam.

Yep. There it was. God knows her tantrum wouldn’t be complete without a house-shaking door slam.

Gavin loaded his lowball glass with ice, then filled it with Crown XR. He knocked back half the whiskey in one swallow.

Damn kid was driving him to drink—something even her psychotic mother hadn’t been able to do. Wasn’t the first time Sierra had professed her hatred for him—nor would it be the last.

His announcement in teen court today had come as quite a shock to her. But her arrest had been the last straw, especially after his ex-wife had called shoplifting “a teenage rite of passage” and excused Sierra’s bad behavior.

Problem was, bad behavior had been the norm for Sierra since the beginning of her freshman year. She broke curfew without explanation or apology. She lied about her plans. Her grades had slipped. She’d become surly and defiant with an air of entitlement—much like her mother.

Sharing joint custody with his ex-wife meant his attempts at keeping their daughter on the right path were largely ignored whenever Sierra stayed at Mommy Dearest’s house. So Gavin considered it a sign, an omen, hell, a blessing, when Ellen suddenly announced she was moving to Paris with her boyfriend du jour.

After years of custody battles, she signed over full custody of her only child for one school year. Evidently Ellen didn’t want parental responsibilities spoiling a good time in gay Paree.

His self-centered ex hadn’t considered how her actions would affect Sierra. Once again he’d been left holding the bag, standing helplessly outside her bedroom door, listening to his daughter cry.

That’s when he’d known they both needed a drastic change.

He’d called Rielle, he’d called Charlie and Vi, and he’d called a moving van.

By this time next week they’d be living in Sundance.

If they didn’t kill each other on the eighteen-hour drive to Wyoming first.

 

****

Meanwhile in South Dakota…

 

 

“I can’t believe the man is kicking you out of your own bedroom. What an asshole.”

Rielle Wetzler ignored her daughter Rory’s comment and lugged the box of yarn downstairs into the last bedroom on the main level.

Rory followed her. “Mom. Seriously, you don’t have to stay here. My cabin will be empty next week when I’m back at college in Laramie.”

“I appreciate the offer, but this is fine. And it’s not like Gavin is throwing me out”—her eyes narrowed on her daughter—“which he has every right to do because he owns this house.”

Rory plopped on the bed. “I know that. But you have to admit you never thought he’d move here permanently and take over ownership.”

Rielle moved a stack of bedding off the dresser. “It’s my own fault since I’ve been dragging my feet on getting West Construction to start on my building plans.”

“I still say it’s lucky that you’ve stayed on as caretaker and he shouldn’t expect you to just move everything at a moment’s notice.”

“He’s lucky? I’ll remind you that I’m lucky and I wouldn’t even be living here if it wasn’t for Gavin saving me from financial ruin.”

“Financial ruin,” Rory scoffed. “He only bought the land and buildings to one-up the McKays—which is ironic since he is a McKay.”

“Gavin’s last name is Daniels.”

Rory waved off her comment. “Semantics. If it looks like a McKay, acts like a McKay…then it is a McKay.”

Pointless to argue with her headstrong daughter when it came to her opinions on the McKay family—opinions that she herself often shared.

“When do they get here?” Rory asked.

“They left Scottsdale today, but Gavin said they’re taking a couple extra days to play tourist. Sierra starts school in a week, so I’m assuming they’ll be somewhat settled in by then.”

“Have you ever met the precocious and precious only child Sierra?”

Rielle used a decorative pillow to whap Rory’s arm. “Watch it, Aurora Rose Wetzler. Lots of folks around here said the same thing about you when you were sixteen.”

“Huh-uh, mamacita, that argument ain’t gonna fly. You rode herd on me from the time I was a little tyke. I never had the chance to get into trouble.”

“And look where me cracking the whip got you—a graduate assistantship at UWYO as you’re working on your Master’s.” Rielle stood in front of Rory and tucked a strand of her wild blonde hair behind her ear, like she’d done a hundred times. She still experienced that same overwhelming burst of love as she had the first time she’d cradled the squalling baby in her arms twenty-four years ago. “I’m so damn proud of you, Rory.”

“I know you are, Mom.” Rory hugged her. “But stop this mushy stuff or we’ll both start crying. There’ll be plenty of tears when I leave.”

“Don’t remind me.” She clutched her a little tighter. At six foot one, Rory towered over her by eight inches—making her daughter a supersized version of her instead of a mini-me. Rory’s green eyes—identical to her own—contained a devilish twinkle. “What?”

“Let’s get this shit done because I have a surprise for you later. And no groaning ’cause it’s gonna be awesomely fun.”

“I’m almost afraid to ask.”

Ridgeview Publishing
(March 19, 2017)
336 pages

Series Reading Order

All Books in This Series

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Keep In Touch!