Saturday Excerpt: Untamed Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Time to welcome the weekend with a cowboy hero! Untamed Cowboy by Maisey Yates is the perfect read for the summer. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to get a peak at the story below and don’t forget to leave a comment to let us know your favorite summer read!

About Untamed Cowboy:

In Gold Valley, Oregon, love might be hiding in plain sight…

Some things are too perfect to mess with. Bennett Dodge’s relationship with Kaylee Capshaw is one of them. They work together at their veterinary clinic and have been best friends for years. When Bennett’s world is rocked by the appearance of a son he didn’t know he had, he needs Kaylee more than ever. And he doesn’t want anything else to change. But then Kaylee kisses him, and nothing will ever be the same…

Kaylee’s done her best to keep her feelings for the man she’s loved since high school hidden away, but one unguarded moment changes everything, and now there’s no more denying the chemistry that burns between them. But the explosion of desire changes all the rules, and what’s left could destroy their bond—or bring them to a love that’s deeper than she ever imagined…

Also includes a bonus Gold Valley novella, Mail Order Cowboy!

Harlequin | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads

***

Kaylee Capshaw needed a new life. Which was why she was steadfastly avoiding the sound of her phone vibrating in her purse while the man across from her at the beautifully appointed dinner table continued to talk, oblivious to the internal war raging inside of her.

Do not look at your phone.

The stern internal admonishment didn’t help. Everything in her was still seized up with adrenaline and anxiety over the fact that she had texts she wasn’t looking at.

Not because of her job. Any and all veterinary emergencies were being covered by her new assistant at the clinic, Laura, so that she could have this date with Michael, the perfectly nice man she was now blanking while she warred within herself to not look down at her phone.

No. It wasn’t work texts she was itching to look at. But what if it was Bennett?

Laura knew that she wasn’t supposed to interrupt Kaylee tonight, because Kaylee was on a date, but she had conveniently not told Bennett. Because she didn’t want to talk to Bennett about her dating anyone.

Mostly because she didn’t want to hear if Bennett was dating anyone. If the woman lasted, Kaylee would inevitably know all about her. So there was no reason— in her mind—to rush into all of that.

She wasn’t going to look at her phone.

“Going over the statistical data for the last quarter was really very interesting. It’s fascinating how the holidays inform consumers.”

Kaylee blinked. “What?”

“Sorry. I’m probably boring you. The corporate side of retail at Christmas is probably only interesting to people who work in the industry.”

“Not at all,” she said. Except, she wasn’t interested. But she was trying to be. “How exactly did you get involved in this job living here?”

“Well, I can do most of it online. Otherwise, I travel to Portland, which is where the corporate office is.” Michael worked for a world-famous brand of sports gear, and he did something with the sales. Or data.

Her immediate attraction to him had been his dachshund, Clarence, who she had seen for a tooth abscess a couple of weeks earlier. Then, on a follow-up visit, he had asked if Kaylee would like to go out, and she had honestly not been able to think of one good reason she shouldn’t. Except for Bennett Dodge. Her best friend since junior high, and the obsessive focus of her hormones since she’d discovered what men and women did together in the dark.

Which meant she absolutely needed to go out with Michael.

Bennett couldn’t be the excuse. Not anymore.

She had fallen into a terrible rut over the last couple of years while she and Bennett had gotten their clinic up and running. Work and her social life revolved around him. Social gatherings were all linked to him and to his family.

She’d lived in Gold Valley since junior high, and the friendships she’d made here had mostly faded since then. She’d made friends when she’d gone to school for veterinary medicine, but she and Bennett had gone together, and those friends were mostly mutual friends. If they ever came to town to visit, it included Bennett. If she took a trip to visit them, it often included

Bennett.

The man was up in absolutely everything and the effects of it had been magnified recently as her world had narrowed thanks to their mutually demanding work schedule.

That amount of intense, focused time with him never failed to put her in a somewhat pathetic emotional space.

Hence the very necessary date.

Then, her phone started vibrating because it was ringing, and she couldn’t ignore that. “I’m sorry,” she said. “Excuse me.”

It was Bennett. Her heart slammed into her throat. She should not answer it. She really shouldn’t. She thought that even while she was pressing the green accept button.

“What’s up?” she asked.

“Calving drama. I have a breech one. I need some help.” Bennett sounded clipped and stressed. And he didn’t stress easily. He delivered countless calves over the course of the season, but a breech birth was never good.

If the rancher didn’t call him in time, there was rarely anything that could be done.

And if Bennett needed some assistance then the situation was probably extreme.

“Where are you?” she asked, darting a quick look over to Michael and feeling like a terrible human for being marginally relieved by this interruption.

“Out of town at Dave Miller’s place. Follow the driveway out back behind the house.”

“See you soon.” She hung up the phone and looked down at her half-finished dinner. “I am so sorry,” she said, forcing herself to look at Michael’s face. “There’s a veterinary emergency. I have to go.”

She stood up, collecting her purse and her jacket. “I really am sorry. I tried to cover everything. But my partner… It’s a barnyard thing. He needs help.”

Michael looked… Well, he looked understanding. And Kaylee almost wished that he wouldn’t. That he would be mad, so she would have an excuse to storm off and never have dinner with him again. That he would be unreasonable in some fashion so that she could call the date experiment a loss and go back to making no attempts at a romantic life whatsoever.

But he didn’t. “Of course,” he said. “You can’t let something happen to an animal just because you’re on a dinner date.”

“I really can’t,” she said. “I’m sorry.”

She reached into her purse and pulled out a twenty-dollar bill. She put it on the table and offered an apologetic smile before turning and leaving. Before he didn’t accept her contribution to the dinner.

She was not going to make him pay for the entire meal on top of everything.

“Have a good evening,” the hostess said as Kaylee walked toward the front door of the restaurant. “Please dine with us again soon.”

Kaylee muttered something and headed outside, stumbling a little bit when her kitten heel caught in a crack in the sidewalk. That was the highest heel she ever wore, since she was nearly six feet tall in flats, and towering over one’s date was not the best first impression. But she was used to cowgirl boots, and not these spindly, fiddly things that hung up on every imperfection. They were impractical. And how any woman walked around in stilettos was beyond her.

The breeze kicked up, reminding her that March could not be counted on for warm spring weather, as the wind stung her bare legs. The cost of wearing a dress. Which also had her feeling pretty stupid right about now.

She always felt weird in dresses, owing that to her stick figure and excessive height. She’d had to be tough from an early age. With parents who ultimately ended up ignoring her existence, she’d had to be self-sufficient. It had suited her to be a tomboy because spending time outdoors, running around barefoot and climbing trees, far away from the fight scenes her parents continually staged in their house, was better than sitting at home.

Better to pretend she didn’t like lace and frills, since her bedroom consisted of a twin mattress on the floor and a threadbare afghan.

She’d had a friend when she was little, way before they’d moved to Gold Valley, who’d had the prettiest princess room on earth. Lace bedding, a canopy. Pink walls with flower stencils. She’d been so envious of it. She’d felt nearly sick with it.

But she’d just said she hated girly things. And never invited that friend over ever.

And hey, she’d been built for it. Broad shoulders and stuff.

Sadly, she wasn’t built for pretty dresses. But she needed strength more anyway.

She was thankful she had driven her own truck, which was parked not far down the street against the curb. First date rule for her. Drive your own vehicle. In case you had to make a hasty getaway.

And apparently she had needed to make a hasty getaway, just not because Michael was a weirdo or any- thing.

No, he had been distressingly nice.

She mused on that as she got into the driver’s seat and started up the engine. She pulled away from the curb and headed out of town. Yes, he had been perfectly nice. Really, there had been nothing wrong with him. And she was a professional at finding things wrong with the men she went on dates with. A professional at finding excuses for why a second date couldn’t possibly happen. She was ashamed to realize now that she was hoping  he would consider this an excuse not to make a second date with her.

That she had taken a phone call in the middle of dinner, and then had run off.

A lot of people had trouble dating. But often it was for deep reasons they had trouble identifying.

Kaylee knew exactly why she had trouble dating. She was in love with her best friend. Bennett Dodge.

And he was not in love with her.

She gritted her teeth.

She wasn’t in love with Bennett. No. She wouldn’t allow that. She had lustful feelings for Bennett, and she cared deeply about him. But she wasn’t in love with him. She refused to let it be that. Not anymore.

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