TYCOON COWBOY'S BABY SURPRISE
The Wild Caruthers
TYCOON COWBOY'S BABY SURPRISE
May 9, 2017
It only takes one night in Vegas… From USA TODAY bestselling author Katherine Garbera.
Wedding planner Kinley Quinten's luck runs out when her job brings her back to Texas—and face-to-face with her child's father, rancher Nate Caruthers. The passion that got them in trouble during a one-night stand three years ago is still there, too strong to deny.
Nate can't help it: Kinley gets under his skin. But what happened in Vegas really needs to stay there. Too bad that cliché only gets him so far as he falls for the woman whose baby secret will change everything!
Tycoon Cowboy's Baby Surprise is part of The Wild Caruthers Bachelors duet.
“Pack your bags, kid, we’re taking the show on the road,” Jacs Veerling said as she swept into Kinley Quinten’s office. The term was a stretch for the large workroom she shared with Willa Miller, the other wedding planner who worked for Jacs.
Jacs had the smarts of Madeleine Albright, the figure of Sofia Vergara and the business savvy of Estée Lauder. She was fifty but looked forty and had made her career out of planning bespoke weddings that were talked about in the media for years, even after the couples had split up. She wore her short hair in a bob, and the color changed from season to season. As it was summer , Jacs had just changed her color to a platinum blond that made her artic-blue eyes pop.
“Who’s going on the road? Both of us? All three of us?” Kinley asked. Based in the Chimera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, they did in-house weddings, but the bulk of their business came from destination weddings all over the world. Wherever their A-list clients wanted.
“Just you, Kin,” Jacs said. “I’ve inked a deal to plan the wedding of reformed NFL bad boy Hunter Caruthers. It’s taking place in your home state of Texas, and when I mentioned your name, he said he knew you. Slam dunk for us. I think that might be why he picked our company over one in Beverly Hills.”
At least it was Hunter and not his brother Nate.
Willa abruptly ended her call with a client, saying she’d call back, and turned to Jacs, who gave Kinley one of her patented she-who-must-be-obeyed stares.
“What? I’m sure I heard that wrong.”
Kinley took a deep breath and put her hands on her desk, noticing that her manicure had chipped on her middle finger. But really she couldn’t help the panic rising inside her. She had no plans to return to Texas.
“I can’t. It’s complicated and personal, so I really don’t want to go into it, but please send Willa instead.”
Jacs walked over and propped her hip on the edge of Kinley’s desk, which was littered with bridal gown catalogs and photos of floral arrangements. “He asked for you. Personally. That’s the only personal that matters to me. Will you die if you go to Texas?”
“No. Of course not.” Kinley just didn’t want to see Nate again. She didn’t even want to see her dad again in person. She was content with their weekly Skype chats. That was enough for her and for her two-year-old daughter, Penny.
“Is it because of your baby?” Jacs asked.
She’d told Kinley when she started that even though Jacs had made the decision to never have children herself, she understood that being a mom was an important role. She was very understanding about Kinley’s needs and had a generous child-care policy for their small office.
“Sort of. She has just really settled into the day care here at the casino. Is it just a weekend trip?”
“Uh, no. I said pack your bags. You’re going to be out there for the duration. That means six months. I’m taking on two more clients in Texas—one is a Dallas Cowboy and the other plays basketball for San Antonio. I think you’ll have plenty to keep you busy.”
“Where would I stay?” Kinley asked, realizing there was no way to get out of the trip.
“I’ve rented a house in a nice subdivision…something called the Five Families. What an odd name,” Jacs said.
“Is there anything I can say that will make you change your mind?” Kinley finally asked.
“Not really,” Jacs said. “The client wants you, and you really have no reason not to go, do you?”
Yes. Nate Caruthers. The man who’d rocked her world for one passion-filled weekend, fathered her child and then interrupted her when she called later with that important news, telling her what happened in Vegas needed to stay there. He was her new client’s older brother and still lived on the family’s ranch outside Cole’s Hill. But she didn’t want to tell Jacs any of that. And she wasn’t prepared to lose her job over it.
The only thing that was vaguely reassuring was that Nate would be too busy running the Rockin’ C Ranch to be all that involved in wedding planning.
“No reason. When do I need to start?” Kinley asked.
“Monday. I’m having Lori take care of all the details. You’ll fly out on Friday, so you have time to settle in over the weekend. I’ve even included your nanny in the travel plans. Keep me posted,” Jacs said as she turned on her heel and walked out of the office.
Kinley glanced down at the framed picture of Penny on her desk and felt her stomach tighten. After that disastrous call to Nate, she’d vowed not to allow him to let Penny down the way her own father had let her down. She just hoped that promise would be easy to keep once she was back in Cole’s Hill. All she had to do was avoid Nate. Surely she could handle that.