Tyler McCade is the youngest McCade brother in Salt Fork, Texas, and the biggest heartbreaker of them all. Or he was--until a plane crash wrecks his body and sends his crop-dusting company into a tailspin. Needing time to heal and form a new business plan, he retreats to the Diamondback Ranch, where he spends too much time alone tormented over the possibility that the accident might have been his fault.
Caitlyn Ross lives to fly planes. Accepting the job as pilot for Lone Star Wings seems like a dream come true. But when she packs up everything she owns and finds herself working for the brooding Tyler McCade, her defenses go on high alert. The sexual tension sizzles, but does she have what it takes to help him heal? And is she even brave enough to try?
"It's getting late and it's been a long day," Tyler said. "I'll see you in the morning."
He started past her toward the door. Before Caitlyn could think better of it, she grabbed the sleeve of his shirt to stall his departure. "Wait."
He stared at her hand on his arm, then at her, but didn’t pull away. “What do you think you’re doing?” he asked in a dangerously soft voice.
Obviously playing with fire, that's what.
Caitlyn quickly dropped her hand. She didn’t know what had prompted her to touch Tyler, but that brief contact left her fingers scorched and her heart racing. "Ignoring the situation isn't going to make it go away," she said.
"What the hell’s that supposed to mean?" His voice went softer, more dangerous. His hot blue eyes lasered in on her. "What situation?"
She swallowed hard. Anger mixed with the strong sexual vibes pulsated between them. “I’ve been here for almost a month,” she said. “Except for that first day when we had dinner together, you’ve been avoiding me like the plague."
He stepped toward her, his big body seemingly growing, expanding with his anger. Irritation. Something. “I taught you what you needed to know to be an ag pilot, didn't I?"
Caitlyn stepped back. "Yes."
Tyler took two steps forward. "I didn't avoid you then, did I?" he said between gritted teeth.
"No. Not exactly." God, the man was tense. And now he was invading her personal space. How could she have thought for a moment that she'd imagined those sparks of awareness shooting between them? They were brighter and more intense than fireworks on the Fourth of July. "But you can't deny you've been avoiding me since then, can you?"
Tyler stood directly in front of Caitlyn and stared into her eyes. He was close enough to smell her fragrance, feel the heat from her body. Her windblown hair tumbled around her face in wild disarray. His fingers itched to run themselves through the silken tangles. He wanted to feel her body close to his.
Unable to help himself, he reached out one hand and touched her soft cheek. She closed her eyes and her dark lashes made feathery crescents against her creamy skin. He'd been dying to touch her again. To feel her warmth and vitality.
He rubbed his thumb across her bottom lip. Back and forth. Back and forth, until her eyes flew open. Keeping his gaze locked on hers, he leisurely traced his finger down her jaw line and the curve of her neck, only stopping when he reached the top of one rounded breast.
"This is why I've been avoiding you . . ."
KEYWORDS: Texas romance, cowboy romance, small town, alpha male, tortured hero, rancher, western romance, contemporary romance