Judy Griffith Gill
Liss is a city girl. Kirk is a rancher. Liss is afraid of large animals, deep snow, and isolation. Kirk, as soon as Liss moves into his home is just plain...afraid! This woman can turn his whole life upside down.
Photographer Liss Tremayne unexpectedly inherits one third of Whittier Ranch from a distant relative. Though she knows nothing of the country and the winter climate in the Rocky Mountain Trench, she grabs at the chance to make a better life for herself and her two little boys. The catch is, she must stay there for one year. So must Kirk Allbright, illegitimate son of the late Ambrose Whittier.
Huge animals, deep snow, and isolation terrify her. Worrying about how he's to cope with a city-girl who can't tell a cow from a bull gives Kirk cold shivers. But Liss gives him shivers of a different sort, and before long, he realizes she has guts and determination, while she sees his softer side. But can she hope to compete with all the other women in his life? Or does she even dare to try?
Contemporary Romance by Judy Griffith Gill; originally published by Bantam Loveswept as Dangerous Proposition, and adapted by the author
Judy Griffith Gill is the author of more than three dozen novels of contemporary and futuristic romance.
± 53,000 words
Liss looked at the opened suitcases spread over the floor, their contents jumbled from the boys’ search for pajamas. Exhaustion washed over her as she thought about carrying those bags upstairs. No. She couldn’t do it. She was too tired. She’d scramble some of those eggs for herself and then go to bed. The mess could wait till tomorrow. Who’d notice her clutter amid that which already existed?
With her eggs cooking, she lifted one of her suitcases to the table and sought a nightgown and robe. She had just found the former when the back door opened on a gust of cold wind and two snowy figures stumbled inside and staggered kitchenward.
Liss didn’t even think. She simply recognized the first of those figures as a deadly enemy and reacted, sweeping up the entire suitcase and flinging it at the intruders with a scream of pure terror.
“Back! Back!” she cried frantically. “Sit! Lie down! Outside! Go home!” She snatched up a chair and held it threateningly before her as she edged around the table, putting more and more obstacles between herself and the slightly abashed looking dog with a lacy pink bra hanging out of his mouth and a pair of panties over his high, curving tail.
Kirk walked toward Liss slowly, trying to look unthreatening, took the chair from her and set it on the floor. “Hello, Liss,” he said, and groaned silently. At close quarters, her scent affected him exactly as it had the first day he’d met her. He told himself it shouldn’t, that he couldn’t let it. In spite of himself, he drew in a deep breath of it and extended his hand.
His words seemed to whip her into action. She slapped his hand aside and glared at him. “‘Hello’?” she shouted. “‘Hello’? Is that all you can say after leaving a vicious animal chained between the driveway and the door when you’re expecting someone to arrive? What kind of monster are you, not to be here when that person and her two innocent little children show up in the middle of a blizzard, and can’t get inside the house because there’s nobody around to call off the animal? And now you come waltzing in here after a nice, cozy evening out with one of your women while I’ve been out there on your stupid treacherous country roads, driving through the dark and the snow without another car in sight for miles and miles, and not even a motel or a town or anything, and then coming in and finding this pigsty waiting for me and you have the gall to say ‘hello’?” She gasped for breath and flung an arm in a wide sweep around the kitchen.
Kirk winced. It was a pigsty. He had to admit it. But it had been one hell of a week, and he hadn’t had time to do much more than work and catch an hour or two of sleep before going back out to work some more, which was what he had to do if he was going to keep this ranch, especially now it had to support not only him and his dog, but two women and two kids.