How to Seduce a Texan

Ghost Of A Chance

Reporter Nikki “The Barracuda” Scott will sink her teeth into anything. So when her editor sends her to get the lowdown on bad boy football star Cal Braxton, Nikki’s game to rough it on his family ranch. She just isn’t prepared for exactly how rough. Still, the nasty outhouse, noisy animals, and resident ghost won’t put Nikki off...especially once she sets eyes (and hands, and mouth) on her subject. If there’s a juicy story here, Nikki intends to devour it…

So, the lady thinks she’s gonna get the scoop on him? Cal’s had his fill of scheming females—hell, his conniving ex-fiancee is the very reason he’s hiding out. Then again, if all journalists were as hot as Nikki, he might consider being more open with the press. Too bad she won’t be around for long. If the chores and “rustic” conditions don’t frighten Nikki off, her haunted accommodations surely will. Tough it turns out Nikki doesn't scare easily. Now Cal’s the one who’s scared—of falling hard...

EXCERPT

If Cal Braxton had to explain one more time the workings of a dude ranch, he’d rip out the phone, throw it against the wall, and say to hell with everything.
What? People couldn’t figure it out for themselves? A ranch was a ranch. Horses and cows equaled ranch.
He sighed deeply. Damn, was this what his life had become? When had his temper gotten so short?
Yeah, right, as if he didn’t already know the answer to that. About a week after he’d dropped in at his little brother Brian’s ranch, which had been turned into a...a resort, of all things. Cal could take fresh air only in small doses, no matter what kind of label his brother had put on it.
The country was starting to get to him. It always did. That was the reason he’d left in the first place. He might’ve been raised on this ranch, but country life wasn’t for him, unlike Brian, who seemed to thrive on living out in the middle of nowhere.
Cal wasn’t a phone person, either. Never had been, never would be. But baby brother had stuck him with the chore when Shelley called in sick with a cold.
Ringggggg!
He glared at the phone. It was possessed—taunting him.
He took a deep breath and jerked it up to his ear. “Crystal Creek Dude Ranch, Cal speaking.”
“I’d like to make a reservation,” a very sexy, throaty voice drawled.
Her words wrapped around him, caressed him. His gut clenched. He suddenly realized something else he’d been missing while on his self-imposed hiatus from city life—a hot sexy woman.
A spark of interest swept over him. So maybe his day wasn’t going to hell after all. “What exactly are you looking for?” He leaned back in his chair, propping his feet on the desk.
“What do you have?” she flirted.
She was flirting, wasn’t she? Did it matter? Well, yeah, sort of. Damn, he liked the sound of her voice, though. He switched the phone to his other ear. “Will you be alone...or with someone?”
“I’m definitely single, and I don’t plan to change that fact anytime soon.”
Oh, yeah, he really liked this lady a lot. He wanted to stay as far away from serious relationships as he could get. The female with the hot voice was exactly what he needed.
He pictured her sunning herself beside the pool wearing only a thong bikini, tanned curves stretched out on a lounge chair for his lengthy perusal.
“Let me see what’s available.” His boots slapped the floor as he opened the registration book. Fanning the pages, he came to the current month.
Oh, man, this wasn’t right. Not right at all. They were full. The first opening wasn’t for two months. He probably wouldn’t be around by then. He had no choice except to tell her she’d have to continue looking for a vacation spot somewhere else—unless...
Hope sprang inside him. The old homestead was empty. Not surprising. That place was nearly always open. Just as quickly as the spark of hope ignited, it died. Nah, he wouldn’t foist that place on anyone, no matter how horny he got. It wouldn’t be fair.
Man, it was a damn shame, too. The country had finally started looking better. He took a deep breath to tell her they were full up but stopped at the last second.
Then again...
“Just how rough do you like it?” he asked.
Her chuckle rippled across the line and down his spine. “I like it real rough.”
He immediately lost himself in a fantasy of a sexy lady wearing black leather and stilettos walking slowly toward him. Lips painted red, blond hair flowing down her back in soft waves.
A door slammed. He looked up. A young couple strolled toward one of the cabins, their two redheaded sons in tow. The mother looked tired and worn.
Those were the type of people who visited a dude ranch. Families. Not sex-starved playgirls. The woman on the phone probably wanted to get back to basics—roughing it in the backwoods, seeing how pioneer women lived. He wouldn’t doubt she was a dumpy, middle-aged history teacher...but with a really sexy voice. He might be desperate, but he wasn’t that desperate.
He cleared his throat. “I have one secluded cabin that’s open.”
“Book me for the next two weeks. My name is Nicole Scott.”
He had to admire her guts. Two weeks in the old homestead would certainly be roughing it. No electricity, no running water—just a pump in the kitchen...outside toilet facilities, as in the outhouse from hell, complete with a half-moon cutout. A shiver of revulsion swept over him. Yeah, the woman had a lot of guts.
But maybe he should explain it a little better just so she would understand. “This cabin doesn’t come with a lot of amenities...”
“I’m sure I’ll manage.”
Yep, definitely a spinster schoolteacher or maybe she was an older widowed woman and wanted to relive the depression. She’d get her wish. The cabin would depress just about anyone.

REVIEWS

"Kelley's romance is almost as fun as visiting a dude ranch! Nikki's adventures in roughing it are a fair trade for the time she spends with hard-bodied Cal, and the secondary plot about Cal's brother and the new masseuse is almost as heart-stealing. Throw in an opinionated ghost, and Kelley delivers a story to remember." Summary: Nikki is a reporter with a mission. She's tracked ex-pro football star Cal to his brother's dude ranch, where he's hiding out after a high-profile break-up. Cal, famous for his hatred of reporters, decides to trick Nikki into staying at the old homestead. Although neither expects her to tough it out, both parties are even more surprised when their casual affair becomes something much more serious. BRAVA, Jun. HOT 4 Stars -- Whitney Kate Sullivan.