A heartwarming story of a cowboy who comes home to the
family ranch for a wedding filled with surprises…
family ranch for a wedding filled with surprises…
MILLION DOLLAR COWBOY
Cupid, Texas #5
Releasing March 28, 2017
New York Times Bestselling Author Lori Wilde returns to Cupid, Texas with a heartwarming story of a cowboy who comes home to the family ranch for a wedding filled with surprises…
The illegitimate son of a Texas ranching dynasty, Ridge Lockhart left home ten years ago with one goal: to become more successful than the father who never accepted him.
Mission accomplished, but now he’s back at the Silver Feather Ranch for a wedding—three days of best man duty until he can hightail it out. Then he spies Kaia Alzate, and suddenly leaving isn’t quite so appealing.
Kaia Alzate grew up the daughter of the ranch foreman, servants to the mighty Lockharts in the mansion. Back then, she followed Ridge around like a puppy. Now, she’s fighting the attraction she feels for this sexy CEO. She’s determined not to make a big mistake—but when Ridge takes her in his arms she’s stunned…could he be the man she’s waited for all along?
MILLION DOLLAR COWBOY is a heartwarming story that will have you melting for Ridge Lockhart. He grabbed my heart as the little boy abandoned by his mother and raised by a man who should probably have had a vasectomy than becoming a father to four sons. Ridge was the illegitimate one who butted heads with his macho father, a father who betrayed him in such a personally hurtful way. This gave him a goal to leave and to make himself more successful than his father ever could be. Ten years later he reluctantly comes home to prove it to the old man.
Ridge returns for his best friend's wedding. It so happens that Kaia, his friend's younger sister is there, too and the sparks flew hot and heavy between the two. Kaia had a crush on Ridge when she was a kid and thought she was over it. Ridge is stymied by how she makes him feel. Zing! But he hasn't experienced love and doesn't feel he deserves it. They are continuously put into each others orbit.
This is more than just a romance. Family is a big part of it as well as friendship. Kaia is a breath of fresh air and is a survivor of an accident. She truly celebrates life. Ridge has to do a lot of soul searching and come to grips with truths of his own past mistakes concerning family, particularly his father. And Kaia is a strong woman who won't settle, but will share her life with Ridge if he takes the love she offers.
The story was packed with fun, strong characters, happiness, second-chances, and healing. I most loved watching Ridge's self realization that he was worthy of love and family and he was no longer an outsider in his own family. He and Kaia were so right together and I rooted for their happily-ever-after.
For the first time in a decade Ridge Lockhart was coming home.
He circled his Evektor Harmony over Silver Feather Ranch—the hundred-thousand-acre spread sprawling across Jeff Davis and Presidio counties—that had been in his family for six generations.
A cheery sun peeped over the horizon, greeting him jovially. Hey buddy! Good morning. Welcome back to the fifth circle of hell.
His jaw clenched and his stomach churned and the old dark anger he thought he’d stamped out years ago by working hard and making his mark on the world came roaring back, leonine as March winds.
He was in town for one reason and one reason only. Do the best man thing for his childhood buddy, Archer Alzate, and then get the mothertrucker out of Cupid, Texas.
Ridge took his time coming in, buzzing the plane lower than he should have. Taking stock. Sizing things up. No matter how you sliced it, this was where he’d been hatched and reared. He could not escape his past.
Miles of desert stretched below his plane, land so dry a man got parched just looking at it. Land filled with cactus and chaparral flats. Land teeming with rattlesnakes, horned toads, and stinging insects. Land that claimed lives and crops, hopes and dreams in equal measure.
This land was a far cry from the cool, green country where he lived in Calgary. But damn his hide if he hadn’t missed it. The Chihuahuan Desert. The TransPecos. Cupid. Silver Feather Ranch.
And that was his personal curse. To hate the very place that called to his soul, the place where he did not belong, but secretly yearned for.
Throat tight, tongue powdery, he reached for the gonzo-sized energy drink resting in the cup holder and guzzled it.
Ah. Much better. Thirst quenched. Caffeine buzzed. Cobwebs chased.
Ready or not, here I come.
His chest knotted up like extra string on a wind whipped kite. He dipped the plane lower, coming in, coming down.
Their paternal grandfather, Cyril, had left all four Lockhart grandsons two-acre parcels of land on each four quadrants of the ranch, with the stipulation that none of them could sell their places without approval from the entire family. Which was the only reason Ridge had held on to his house.
To the north, he spied Ranger’s place. His brother had built an eco friendly, solar home out of reclaimed wood and recycled everything.
Out of the four Lockhart brothers, he and Ranger were closest in age. Ranger was thirty-one to Ridge’s thirty-two, but they were as different in temperament as wind and earth. Maybe it was because they had different mothers. Maybe it was because Ranger was a brainy astrobiologist and Ridge was an act-first-ask-questions-later entrepreneur. Or maybe it was because Ranger was a legitimate Lockhart, whereas Ridge was the bastard.
His two other younger brothers, Remington and Rhett, had the same mother. Lucy Hurd had been his father’s second wife and the closest thing to a real mother Ridge had ever had. He’d been devastated by kindhearted Lucy’s death from ovarian cancer when he was in junior high.
Army Captain Remington was twenty-eight and currently deployed in the Middle East. He had stuck a travel trailer on his parcel of land on the west side of the ranch for a place to stay when he was home on leave, but hadn’t bothered to commit to construction. And the youngest, Rhett, was a PBR bull-riding rodeo star. He had built a rustic log cabin on the south end of the ranch in Presidio County.
Ridge flew over their places, taking it all in, but resisted the urge to buzz the east side of the ranch where his house stood. The house he’d built, but had never lived in. The house he hadn’t seen in ten years. Up ahead, in the dead center of the ranch, lay the landing strip put in for crop dusting planes. Around the landing strip were stables, bunkhouses, three barns, numerous sheds, the foreman’s farmhouse where Archer lived, and at the top of a small hill, the extravagant mansion where Ridge had once stood on the front porch and rung that orange bell.
The mansion where his father lived with his third wife, Vivi.
Yep. Gossip of the decade. Vivi Courtland. Ridge’s onetime girlfriend was now his old man’s spouse.
His stomach churned and deep-rooted resentment covered him, thick as the hard pack soil. Back. All the useless feelings he thought he’d conquered were back, as layered and nuanced as ever.
Anger. Shame. Fear. Guilt. Disgust.
“Damn it,” he muttered, settled a straw Stetson on his head, and climbed from the cockpit, an unwanted lump in his throat and the morning sun in his eyes.
He forced himself to breathe. In. Out. Smooth and steady. Nothing disturbed him. He was the boss. In control. In charge. Tough.
Ridge pocketed the plane’s key remote control, turned to the cargo hold to get his gear, and . .
. . . that’s when he spied her.
Lori Wilde is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 70 works of romantic fiction. She is a two-time RITA award nominee, a four time Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice nominee and has won numerous other awards. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and holds a certificate in nursing forensics. An animal lover, Lori is owned by several pets, and lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.