Wolf Patterson and Sara Brandon are archenemies from ages ago, but mischievous fate has brought the tall rancher with the pale blue eyes together with the dark-haired beauty—on nearby Wyoming and Texas ranches. At first, sparks fly, but despite Wolf's misguided notions about the spirited Sara and her indignance over the assorted injustices he has thrown her way, a truce—of sorts—forms. Suddenly Sara notices Wolf's face, while not conventionally handsome, draws her like no other man has ever attracted her. And Wolf sees into the vulnerable soul that Sara hides from the rest of the world.
They are two passionate people with a talent for falling out. Will love be the spark they need to create what they both want the most…a family?
Ranch owner Cane Kirk lost more than his arm in the war. He lost his way, battling his inner demons in the form of any cowboy unfortunate enough to get in his way. No one seems to be able to cool him down, except beautiful Bodie Mays. Bodie doesn't mind saving Cane from himself, even if he is a little too tempting for her own peace of mind.
But soon Bodie's the one who finds herself in need of rescuing—only, she's afraid to tell Cane what's really going on. How can she trust someone as unpredictable as the fierce cowboy? When her silence only ends up getting her into even deeper hot water, it's up to Cane to save the day. And if he does it right, he won't be riding off into the sunset alone.
A cowboy through and through, ranch owner Mallory Kirk knows what it means to put in a full day's work. But does his new cowgirl? He has his doubts that Morie Brannt will be able to pull her own weight, even if the petite young woman does seem to have a lot of spirit.
As they spar over events at the ranch and a past that threatens their hopes for the future, sparks begin to fly, and Mallory can't help but notice Morie in a new light. But is this tough Wyoming man ready to love?
Ren Colter may own an enormous ranch in Wyoming, but he scorns his wealth. He's closed himself off since his fiancée left him months ago, so he's shocked when he allows Meredith Grayling to stay with him. He tells himself it's only to protect the blonde beauty from a stalker, but Ren's alpha instincts soon kick in.
The last thing Merrie wants is a devastatingly handsome man like Ren lurking around her. He's too experienced, too appealing for her already shot nerves. What she needs is just to get away from it all: the man haunting her waking dreams and the one hunting her like an animal. But no woman escapes this Colter cowboy!
Billionaire oilman Blair Coleman has always taken care of his business. After having been used and cast aside by a woman he thought he loved, his personal life is far from his first priority. He knows only one has ever truly cared for him—but the irresistible blonde beauty is the daughter of his best friend.
Niki Ashton has seen her father's friend wounded and she's seen him fight. Blair is the strongest—and most stubborn—man she's ever known. That very heart and passion makes him the man of her dreams, but whenever they've been in danger of getting close, Blair has always pushed her away.
It takes a possible tragedy to strip away all of Blair's misgivings. Now it's all or nothing: marriage, baby, family, forever. But will the choice be too much for Niki…or too late?
That's what shy secretary Eleanor Perrie was determined to do! She was fed up with Curry Matherson's treatment of her. His nontreatment, that is. Her tall, dark Texan boss--the man who consumed her every thought--barely even looked at her. It was a situation that called for drastic measures. It was a situation that called for...a makeover! Gone were the prim-and-proper outfits, the owlish glasses, the demure hairdo... Out came the stylish dresses, and down came the hair! Curry was stunned. Was this fabulous, sexy vision really Eleanor?
Gabriel Brandon had been her hero ever since she was a girl and he'd rescued her, an orphan, from sure ruin. And Michelle Godrey had loved him forever, the mysterious rancher with the dark eyes, her protector and guardian angel. Now she'd blossomed into a woman. But could Michelle ever cast aside the shadows that lingered between them? Could she show Gabriel that their Lone Star love was true?
"Palmer's latest entry in her Long, Tall Texans series is an intriguing story that blurs the line between good and evil…the romance between the main characters builds nicely with some gentle humor, and the moral dilemmas they face are believable and engrossing."
—RT Book Reviews on Protector
A spellbinding new installment in the Long, Tall Texan series!
New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer welcomes you back to Jacobsville to become reacquainted with Bentley Rydel. He lives hard and loves fiercely—but sometimes it takes the right woman to make a man a hero. This rugged Texan is going to be Tough to Tame!
"Poor little Mari," her aunt fretted. "I'm worried about her state of mind-deep emotional scars." Ward's sympathy went out to Lillian's niece, and he invited Mari to the ranch. But the woman who arrived was hardly a helpless little girl….
Though they knew they had been tricked, neither could fight the power of Cupid's magic arrow.
Rancher Jared Cameron was a mystery to everyone in Jacobsville, Texas…and he liked it that way. Only sweet-natured bookseller Sara dared to intrude on his privacy—informing the loner that a book on ogres might be more appropriate for a man of his qualities. Charmed by her audaciousness, Jared seduced the town's plain Jane. But their burgeoning relationship soon thrust Sara into Jared's hidden world of intrigue.
Now the iron cowboy had to steel himself for the fight of his life…and his heart.
Micah Steele was a mystery, as silent as stone and just as intractable. Not even those closest to him knew the details of his life—which was exactly how it had to be. Because Micah was a mercenary, and his lies protected those he loved. Or they had, until the young beauty he'd left behind in Jacobsville, Texas, was kidnapped by his sworn enemy.
Micah was prepared to go to the ends of the earth to rescue Callie Kirby. But he wasn't prepared for her sweet innocence to be more dangerous than the evil he hunted. He could protect Callie from ruthless drug lords, but who would protect her from Micah?
BONUS BOOK INCLUDED IN THIS VOLUME!
Her Lone Cowboy by New York Times bestselling author Donna Alward
Noah Laramie returns to the ranch after his service in the army, intending to shut himself off from everyone. Especially Lily Germaine. But Lily is determined to drag the cowboy back into the world—one kiss at a time.
His cold formality gave her the goose bumps. And his icy blue eyes watched her like those of a hungry cat—daring her to look beneath his savage surface. She thought marriage had cured her of desire. Then the raging passions of a Texas cowboy gave her a new lease on love.
Rugged as an oak, moody as a thundercloud, rancher Callaghan Hart awed women and intimidated men. So how could one scrappy little redhead nearly bring Callaghan to his knees?
Easy! Tess Brady, the ranch's new housekeeper, was soft and sweet. Her youthful innocence drew him like a moth to a flame. But there was no way Callaghan would ever consider marriage, and a casual fling was out of the question. Somehow, he had to resist her, no matter how tempting she was….
A free spirit who couldn't resist a dare, Amelia didn't know that baiting a man like Worth was rather like baiting a grizzly bear. Or guess that a tiny misunderstanding with the police and getting fired from her job were both part of an unorthodox strategy to get her into his lair…
It was in Paris she fell in love. Although Pierce was strictly off-limits, Brianne couldn't imagine surrendering her innocence to anyone but him. Certainly not to her stepfather's corrupt business associate. Obsessed with Brianne since their first meeting, this man would stop at nothing in his relentless pursuit of her, including masterminding a marriage to merge their powerful families. All seemed lost, until Pierce passionately saved Brianne's life…as she'd once saved his.
These unlikely allies are brought together by the most difficult case of Garon's career: hunting an escaped child predator whose former victims are all dead. All except one.
Now a desperate lawman and the woman who is the lone survivor of a madman's twisted rampage have one chance to put the past to rest….
Making a place for the beleaguered Meredith on the Hart ranch as his coveted cook turned out to be a cinch compared to breaking the enchanted spell she had cast over this Long, Tall Texan's heart. Now, the hot-tempered cattleman's plan to preserve his bachelorhood was on the verge of backfiring—big-time—because the more he learned about his mysterious housemate, the more he didn't want to let her go.
Seven years ago Amanda Carson watched her affluent, well-respected family lose both face and fortune. Then her childhood crush—ice-cold cowboy Jace Whitehall—made her an offer she had to refuse. Now Amanda has returned to Casa Verde, Jace's luxurious home. And Jace isn't about to let her forget who she is or what she's lost.
Yet beneath their heated words, something simmers, waiting. For what once drove Amanda from this land may be the one thing that can make her stay.
But convenient for whom? Jude Langston had practically kidnapped Bess White and brought her to his San Antonio ranch. It wasn't that he'd wanted her so desperately—he didn't even like Bess. No, Jude's cool green eyes were firmly fixed on the shares of his company that she'd inherited.
Bess had always thought of Jude as the Rawhide Man—lean and rough. But then she discovered he could also be unexpectedly gentle, and it devastated her. For as much as she fought it, Jude had captured her heart. Yet how could she stay in a marriage that was so much less than such a union should be?
It wouldn't be a real marriage, of course…at least, that was Jeb's intent. Then he started to get to know Lou, to let down his guard to her warmth and caring, and everything changed. After so many years of conflict, can he prove to Lou that his love is real?
In his powerful arms, Abby began to move past her terror and enjoy his touch. If only his attentions stemmed from love instead of pity. Abby didn't want Cade's charity. She hungered for that other, all-consuming blaze of love she'd sparked in him one summer night a lifetime ago….
But Thorn wasn't the stuffy old businessman she'd expected. He was prickly, passionate, rock stubborn and liked to play matchmaker. And he had the perfect match in mind: he wanted Sabina, no matter what the cost. Didn't he know that there are some things money can't buy?
He said he needed freedom, yet he'd married her. He said he hated women, yet he tenderly conquered her heart. Was it possible to meet a soldier of fortune on the battleground of passion and win the war of love?
Gaby Cane was always a bit afraid of her attraction to Bowie McCayde. Even when she was fifteen and Bowie's family took her in, she had sensed his simmering resentment. Now ten years later, she's an aspiring journalist who can hold her own with any man professionally, the dark shadows of years gone by far behind her. Then Bowie strides back into her life—only this time, he needs her, and the pull of loyalty to his family is too strong to ignore.
When Bowie asked Gaby to help save his family's Arizona ranch, he never expected the girl he once knew to return transformed into a stunning, successful woman. As they work together, Bowie is shocked to find that her innocence and beauty stir a hunger he can't deny. But the rogue rancher can sense something holding her back, and he's determined to uncover the terrible secret Gaby is fighting to keep hidden…
But now Ted had a second chance with the widowed Coreen. And though she was far from the naive girl she'd been, her heart still belonged to Ted. But could they get past Regan's pride?
LUKE CRAIG: The elusive bachelor. He won't be lassoed—until the most infuriating lady he's ever met careens into his life….
CHRISTOPHER DEVERELL: The man on the move. An ambitious reporter is about to break the story of a century—unless he can stop her.
GUY FENTON: The rogue. With a bad-boy reputation, he's beyond redemption. Until a prickly publicist vows to bring him to his knees….
Cole Everett watched Heather Shaw grow from a child into a girl hovering on the edge of womanhood…and then watched her walk away from him to make it as a singer. Just as her career is taking off, an accident brings Heather back to the ranch and back to Cole.
But it is far from a happy homecoming. Heather is confused by her growing awareness of Cole as a man, and hurt by how much he hates her for leaving. Yet he refuses to ask her to stay. What will it take to convince him that the song in her heart is only for him?
Bobby Carson had been the only family Hayes had left in the world. A long, tall and serious Texan, Hayes has always suspected Minette Raynor had something to do with Bobby's death, that the bright-eyed blonde gave his brother the drugs that killed him. As far as Hayes is concerned, neither her looks nor anything else will stand in the way of him righting this grievous wrong.
Minette can't get handsome Hayes off her mind, or off her back. But then Hayes gets shot, and the only one who can help him heal is Minette. Soon she finds herself in very close quarters, indeed, with the breathtaking sheriff. Then the tables turn—and Minette finds herself in great danger, and Hayes is the only one who can rescue her. Can she count on Hayes believing the truth—and saving her life?
His scheme: Plan a mock engagement to help secure the land he so desperately needed.
Only one woman had the power to drive this seemingly heartless cowboy wild, and now he needed her to pose as his bride-to-be! A tempestuous night long ago had forced Dawson to abandon all hope of making Barrie his lawfully wedded wife, but there was not telling what sharing a spread with this hot-blooded woman would do to the man of ice…
Boone Sinclair is a hallmark Diana Palmer hero: tall, strong and handsome. A businessman and a rancher, Boone had it all—except for Keely Welsh. The first time he spotted her on his property, he was determined not to let her get away from him. The lovely beauty would be his.…
Every Long, Tall Texan gets his woman, and this one would not be denied.
REDBIRD: After years of heartache and drama, musician Hank Shoeman has come to the conclusion that love is nothing more than a nuisance! But a few days stuck in a mountain retreat with a beautiful woman could change the mind of any man….
PAPER HUSBAND: Hank Grant is not interested in marriage—been there, done that. But if it means saving his ranch then he'll commit, as long as it remains a business transaction. Of course, he didn't expect his wedding night to feel so real…and so right!
CHRISTMAS COWBOY: Corrigan Hart hasn't escaped life without a few bruises, and it seems neither has Dorie Wayne—his long-lost love. After fleeing town from his rejection eight years ago, Dorie is finally back. Is she willing to give Corrigan another chance, before it's too late for both of them?
Ever since she could remember, Anna Cochran had been passionately, shamelessly in love with tall, quiet Evan Tremayne. But the stubborn man was so focused on protecting her from rough-and-tumble cowboys like him that he wouldn't acknowledge the fierce yearning she awoke in him.
So it was up to Anna to draw Evan out of his shell and prove that she was the only woman for him now…and always.
Tall, lean and headstrong, FBI agent Kilraven lives by his own rules. And one of those rules includes keeping his hands off Jacobsville's resident sweetheart, Winnie Sinclair, no matter the temptation. Shy and innocent, Winnie couldn't handle a man like him—a merciless man with a haunted past. And this small town may hold not only the woman he fights to resist, but the answers to a cold case that is very personal to Kilraven….
Winnie has had her own share of sorrow, and senses Kilraven's pain. Even though she tries to deny it, the gentle 911 operator feels a connection with the darkly handsome agent. As they combine forces in a dangerous investigation, the stakes rise ever higher. Winnie's life is on the line, and she'll need Kilraven more than ever. But if they are to have a future together, her ruthless Texan will need to confront his past and risk it all for their love.
Against his will, Simon became entranced by her glorious presence, her every gesture tempting him like a sweet, beckoning caress. Still, he knew she wasn't about to surrender her nights to him casually…unless he became her beloved.
Now, just when Judd decides to release Crissy from their sham of a marriage, he is blindsided by a bloodthirsty foe who is setting the stage for unspeakable evil by preying upon Judd's greatest weakness—his wife. No longer a starry-eyed schoolgirl, Crissy's a smart, fearless woman with unfulfilled desires. And she will do anything in the name of love—including taking a bullet for her husband.
With their very lives at stake, Crissy and Judd must confront their darkest demons, their new rivals and their deepest desires—and face up to a mutual destiny they cannot outrun.
Compellingly handsome Tate Winthrop once boldly came to Cecily Peterson's rescue. Her devotion to him knew no bounds, but since the fiercely proud Native American refused to consider a mixed marriage, their passion remained unfulfilled. Shattered by Tate's rejection, Cecily had been forced to leave the man of her dreams.
Now she was back and destined to win. But when Tate becomes caught in the middle of a shocking political scandal, she realizes they need each other now, more than ever. And this time it is Cecily, a woman embarking on a brilliant career, who comes to his rescue and attempts to shield the man she loves from a devastating secret that could destroy his life….
The desert was no place for a female. But as chief of security for a top secret operation, Hunter had his orders, and Jennifer Marist needed his protection. He thought he could handle spending a week on the rugged Arizona plains with the one woman he was determined never to touch.... But he hadn't planned on the lure of Jenny's wild, sweet passion-or on discovering a love he'd never dreamed possible.
MAN IN CONTROL
Ever since DEA agent Alexander Cobb had given Jodie Clayburn a Texas-size brush-off, they'd been sworn enemies. But eight years later, this cynical long, tall Texan couldn't believe the baby-faced schoolgirl had turned into such a beauty. Or that she'd help him crack the drug-smuggling case that threatened Jacobsville. He'd risk everything to protect her. Would the man in control finally get caught in his own web of danger...and desire?
So it was ironic that the first man to penetrate her defenses in her new life would be the one who was looking for just that…Not that she'd have the sardonic, arrogant Cameron Thorpe, even if he asked her. Let him go ahead and marry some insipid little heiress—he'd get exactly what he deserved…But why did this thought give Merlyn no comfort at all?
The Last Mercenary
Micah Steele was all set to retire his gun—until a woman from his past was kidnapped by his sworn enemy. Traveling far and wide to rescue Callie Kirby was less daunting than trying to combat his potent desire for her. The trust between them had been shattered years before, but given a second chance, Micah knew his greatest wish was to convince Callie to forget the past, and surrender her heart.
Matt Caldwell: Texas Tycoon
Though countless women had tried to lasso Jacobsville's most-sought-after bachelor, none had managed to catch Matt Caldwell's eye. But the mysterious Leslie Murry was about to change all that. Despite the fact that his new employee roused his temper as no one had before, she also brought out his every protective instinct. The innocent Leslie clearly ached for a man's tender touch, and Long, Tall Texan Matt Caldwell was ready to make it his top priority to sweet-talk Leslie into becoming his bride.
Once he gets over his initial anger, Logan feels lost and miserable without Kit. Realizing what he needs to do, Logan vows to get Kit back…but he'll have to offer a lot more than a job—he'll have to give her his heart.
Secrets abound on a Texas ranch…
As a teenager, Gracie worshipped her stepbrother, Jason, a strong, silent cowboy who left home early to seek his fortune. Now the wealthy owner of Comanche Wells ranch, Jason has finally come back home and discovered that the little girl he knew is all grown up.
In a moment of unbridled passion, Jason realizes that he's falling for Gracie. But Gracie harbors a shameful secret that makes her deeply afraid to love. Stung by her rejection, Jason leaves, ready to put the past—and the one woman he can't have—behind him once more.
Gracie thinks she's lost Jason forever. But when danger threatens her she can only hope that her long, tall Texan will come blazing home to save her.
Eleanor Whitman had been a young girl with a crush, offering Keegan Taber her heart on a platter. Then he'd made it ruthlessly clear he wanted nothing to do with it. Eleanor hated the memory—and she hated him. And yet even four years later, the sight of Keegan made her weak in the knees. Only, now she was no girl….
Keegan had never forgiven himself for how he'd treated Eleanor. He'd give anything to have her love him again. But Eleanor had moved on and was with another man. All Keegan could do was hope that man didn't put a ring on her finger before he could win her back….
Notorious Marcus Carrera instills fear in friends and foes alike. One Christmas, though, this hard-hearted Scrooge finds his comeuppance when his destiny collides unexpectedly with beautiful Delia Mason. She’s stumbled into the kind of trouble only a man like Marcus can help her resolve. He resolves to assist Delia, but she might just be the one woman who can see beyond the wall he’s built up around his heart. When she needs his help the most, can he risk it all and make her his wife once and for all?
Originally published in 2004
When Texas Ranger Marc Brannon returns to the line of duty, a high‐profile murder mystery pits him against a vibrant—and vulnerable—junior investigator from his past. Years ago, Josette Langley made no secret of the fact that she was desperately in love with the rugged lawman, and despite their differences, the rough‐hewn loner became drawn to the innocent young woman. Yet Marc and Josette parted on explosive terms when she made a shocking accusation that shattered both their lives.
Now they're back together again.... And this time, a lot more than just their hearts is at stake. The woman Marc once cherished is being targeted by a corrupt political figure who will stop at nothing to bury the truth. Can Marc and Josette set aside their stormy discord and see justice served—or will they both be caught in the crossfire?
Mercenary by name and by nature, Carson is a Lakota Sioux who stays to himself and never keeps women around long enough for anything emotional to develop. But working with his friend Cash Grier on a complex murder investigation provides Carson with another kind of fun—shocking Cash's sweet but traditional secretary, Carlie Blair, with tales of his latest conquests.
Then Carlie lands in deep trouble. She saw something she shouldn't have, and now the face of a criminal is stored permanently in her photographic memory…and Carlie is the key piece of evidence that could implicate a popular politician in the murder case.
Her only protection is Carson—the man she once despised. But when she learns that Carson is more than just a tough guy, Carlie realizes she's endangered herself further. Because now her only chance to live means losing her heart to the most dangerous kind of man….
Drama and excitement explode in New York Times bestselling author DIANA PALMER's legendary first book in The Morcai Battalion series, now available in paperback, as a new expanded version.
THE MORCAI BATTALION
In the very dream of peace lurked a monstrous treachery.
The galaxy is on the brink of disaster, a long-awaited truce torn apart by an unprovoked attack. The colony whose residents represented more than a hundred planets has been destroyed, and the new vision for unity in the universe is at risk. Faced with a war that would mean destruction and chaos, one man has stepped forward to lead those fighting for their lives. Undeterred by insurmountable odds, his courage inspires a team—the Morcai Battalion—to battle for the cause of peace…and love.
Bess Samson was raised in privilege, but always had a thing for Cade Hollister, the rough-and-tumble cowboy next door, even ignoring her controlling, class-conscious mother's warning to stay away from him. But he turned her down—hard. Humiliated, she grew up and moved on, but never truly gave up hope.
Cade has secretly always adored Bess—but is filled with disdain for the Samsons' wealth. Once, the families had been friends, until dark secrets and scandal caused a bitter rift, and now her family won't let him forget his blue-collar roots. But when an accident nearly costs Bess her life, the proud rancher must finally fight for the love he's never forgotten.
Amanda Callaway has her own secrets and plans to keep her distance. If only she weren't falling for her unlikely hero…
Texas rancher Jason Donavan is known for his temper, his brooding nature and his deep distrust of women. No one at the Diamond Spur ranch can stand his moods—except Kate Whittman. She might be young, but she knows Jason is the only man for her. Kate wants him more than anything, but he offers her only brotherly protection—until she discovers that Jason's desire for her is as strong as hers for him.
Ever the gruff cowboy, Jason insists that commitment and love aren't for him. So Kate pursues her own life, away from the man she loves. But just when it seems that her fairy tale is coming true, fate brings her back to Texas. To Jason. And to a dream that she'd almost abandoned…
Todd Burke has no intention of getting hitched to anyone—even if his rodeo-riding daughter is crazy about Jane Parker. He tells himself there’s only room for one girl in his life, but secretly the single dad is nursing a Wyoming-sized crush on the beautiful rancher. There’s no way he’d ever give in to the hot-tempered, hot-blooded cowgirl from Jacobsville, Texas. Until one night changes everything...and Todd finds that he and Jane might just be a match made in cowboy heaven!
Originally published in 1995.