Saturday Excerpt: Lone Star Blues by Delores Fossen

What do you have in store this weekend? If you’re anything like Dylan Granger in this excerpt, it’s a night of serious partying…followed by a morning of serious regrets. Hopefully your Saturday has a few less headaches! Enjoy this excerpt from Lone Star Blues by Delores Fossen.

About Lone Star Blues:

Wrangler’s Creek’s most eligible bad boy has just become its most eligible single dad

Dylan Granger could always count on his rebellious-cowboy charm to get his way—until the day his wife, Jordan, left him and joined the military. The realization that during a wild night he got her cousin pregnant is shocking enough. But the news that Jordan has come home to Texas to help raise the baby is the last thing he expects.

Raising a baby with Dylan in Wrangler’s Creek is a life Jordan might’ve had years ago, but she doesn’t want regrets. She wants what’s best for the child—and to find out if there’s something deeper between her and her ex than blazing-hot chemistry. Getting closer means letting down her guard to Dylan again, but will he be able to accept the emotional scars on her heart?

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***

The first thing that Dylan Granger saw when he opened his eyes was the woman’s naked butt. It was impossible to miss it because he’d been using it for a pillow.

Hell, not again.

It was one thing to face an unfamiliar butt when he was twenty, but he was thirty-four now and too old for this.

He glanced around, trying to get his bearings. He was in his own bed. Well, sort of. He was in his own room anyway at his family’s ranch, but only the bottom half of his body was actually on the mattress. The rest of him was angled off the bed, his arms dangling, and his face was squished against the woman’s left butt cheek.

At least it was soft.

Groaning and grunting, Dylan lifted his head. It wasn’t easy. He felt every one of the tequila shots he’d downed the night before. All for a good cause—it had been his brother’s bachelor party. At least it’d seemed like a good cause when the celebration was in full swing. Right now, Dylan could just add it to his too old for this shit list.

He managed to scoot back on the mattress so he could sit up, and that’s when he realized he was fully clothed. In fact, he still had on his cowboy boots, and his jeans were even zipped. Those were good signs.

The naked woman on the floor, however, wasn’t a good sign in any way, shape or form.

She was on her stomach, her face turned away from him, and she was snoring. He couldn’t tell who she was. But she was blonde, and there was a bumble bee tat on her lower back. That was hardly enough info for Dylan to make an ID so he gave her arm a little shake to wake her so he could ask her name.

“Go away,” she grumbled without moving, and within seconds she was snoring again.

Not exactly a friendly reaction, but maybe she, too, was feeling the effects of multiple tequila shots.

Dylan made himself stand up. Again, there was nothing easy about it. All the livestock in the entire state of Texas were clomping in his head. The room was spinning, and every strand of his hair was hurting. That’s why it took him a good minute, maybe more, to make it a couple of steps to the other side of the woman so he could get a look at her face.

And after that look, he still didn’t know who she was.

It was hard to tell with her cheek squished from her awkward sleeping position. At least there was no wed- ding or engagement ring, thank God.

He forced himself to try to remember what had happened at the party. It’d been at the Longhorn Bar here in his hometown of Wrangler’s Creek. There’d been strippers and skimpily dressed cocktail waitresses. His brother Lawson had been there, of course, since it was his bachelor party, and plenty of their friends had shown up, as well.

Dylan’s other brother, Lucian, had even made an appearance. The only other things Dylan could recall with any accuracy were the tequila shots and the limos he’d hired to make sure everybody got home safe and sound. That included him. He remembered coming into the house. Even recalled staggering into his bedroom, but there sure as heck hadn’t been a naked woman when he’d arrived.

Dylan blinked hard a couple of times to get his eyes to focus, and he glanced around the room, looking for the snoring woman’s purse so he could find out her name. But no purse. No clothes scattered around, either.

That was another bad sign.

He went into the bathroom, took a quick shower, and after he dressed, he headed downstairs to go all Sherlock Holmes and look for clues. He soon found one, too. The housekeeper, Marylou Culver, was in the hall heading toward his room, and she had a heap of women’s clothes gathered up in her arms. Dylan saw a devil-red lace bra and what appeared to be a strappy black dress. Two equally strappy silver shoes dangled from Marylou’s fingers. Since Marylou was in her sixties and usually dressed like a 1950s schoolteacher, the clothing probably didn’t belong to her.

“Uh, these things were on the stairs and on the front porch,” Marylou said. “I’m guessing you have… company.”

It was no guess, and Marylou’s slightly disapproving look told him that. The woman had only worked at the ranch for a month or so, but Dylan knew his reputation preceded him. It wasn’t the first time a house- keeper had found women’s clothes on the stairs. Or even the porch. And that kind of information wouldn’t have stayed secret for long in a small town like Wrangler’s Creek.

“There was a pair of panties, as well,” Marylou went on, “but the dog got to them before I could.”

Great. The dog was Booger, the persnickety Yorkie that his mom had left at the ranch while she went to a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. Booger had failed multiple obedience programs, and he was finicky about what food touched his mouth. Everything else was fair game, though. Manure-caked boots, table legs, toilet paper. He’d probably chewed the panties to shreds by now.

“How did the dog get out of the house?” he asked. “Beats me. Maybe he got out when you and the naked woman came in.”

That was possible. After all, if he couldn’t remember the woman, then he might not have noticed a dog the size of his foot making an escape.

“Was there a purse or wallet with the clothes?”

Marylou shook her head. “I can keep looking, though. What do you want me to do with these?” She tipped her head to the clothes.

“Just put them outside my bedroom door for now.” Best not to have Marylou actually witness the bare butt for herself. She already had enough gossip to fuel the town for a week or two.

Dylan started down the stairs on a mission to find some strong coffee, the naked woman’s ID and perhaps a large rock that he could use to hit himself on the head for drinking too much.

“Oh, and your brother wants to see you,” Marylou added. “He’s not in a very good mood.”

Before she’d tacked on that last part, he was about to ask which brother, but Lucian was the most qualified for the bad mood award. That meant Dylan would avoid him. At least until he’d tanked up on coffee and got the naked woman clothed and wherever she should be. He made a beeline for the kitchen, hoping it was empty. No such luck. But at least it wasn’t Lucian,

Booger or another naked woman. However, it was a female.

Lucian’s assistant, Karlee O’Malley.

She was pouring herself some coffee, but she took one look at him and handed him the quart-sized mug that’d been meant for her. “Are you already regretting the vow of celibacy you took last night?” Karlee asked. Since Dylan had been in midmumble to thank her, it took him a moment to hear what she’d said. As bad as he needed the coffee—and he needed it—he didn’t gulp any down just so he could say, “Wh-what?”

Karlee whipped out her phone from her pocket and pulled up a video. Of him.

“I, Dylan Granger,” he slurred on the video, “do hereby take a vow of celibacy for the next month.” He’d only pronounced two of those words correctly. “No form of sex whatsoever. If I fail, then I agree to carry out the donation.”

“I’m guessing lots of alcohol was involved in this,” Karlee said. It wasn’t a question. “Especially since you sent it to me shortly after midnight.”

Oh yes, alcohol had been involved. He’d been drunk, and Lucian hadn’t been, which meant his turd-head brother had likely been the one to come up with this stupid idea.

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