When Texas Ranger Copper Reeves goes on the hunt for a suspected murderer, he finds more than he bargains for in the form of schoolmarm, Eliza Woodpen. Copper has a mission, but his efforts are impeded by two young boys who mistake him for a deer.
Eliza has been hiding from a past she'd rather forget, but a chance newspaper article promises discovery from a powerful foe. Salvation comes when two of her students bring a wounded man to her home. Can she open her door and her heart to the man who can unlock secrets she’s held for three long years?
“So sweet, I wish... I wish we had met during a different time and another place. I think you could be just the woman to settle my roaming heart.” Copper hated that he’d made her cry.
“Oh, God. Don’t say those words to me. I can’t feel anything for you. I won’t feel anything for you. This is all wrong. We’re all wrong.” She twisted away from his searching hand. “You don’t know anything about me.”
“I know that your generosity of heart gave sanctuary to a wounded man. I know your kisses taste of home. And I know that your voice warms a tender spot in me that I can’t ignore much longer.”
Eliza stood. Wringing her hands and twisting the apron she wore, Eliza stared down at him. She straightened her spine and readjusted her glasses. “There will be no more kisses, Mr. Reeves. We will just forget that this happened. You’re feeling beholden to me for helping you. As soon as you are back on your feet, these feelings you think you have will pass.”
“Perhaps. And then perhaps they will keep you awake at night with the same fantasies that I’ve been entertaining,” he replied.
“Indeed. I think you flatter yourself too much. That kiss was a nice experiment, and I want to thank you for that, but it was just a kiss. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have dinner to make.”
He ignored her taunt about the kiss and focused on the comment about cooking instead. “I didn’t think you cooked.”
“I normally don’t. We might starve before the end of the week.”
“So what’s on the menu?” he asked with just a hint of suggestive speculation.
“Not me, so you can keep that particular appetite to yourself.” She pushed the wire rims farther on her nose to punctuate her opinion.
“In that case, I could handle a steak, medium rare, with lots of mashed potatoes.”
“You’re getting stewed chicken with carrots.”
He scrunched his features. “I despise carrots.”
“And you’ll eat every bite if you want desert.”
“You definitely need children, Miss Woodpen.”
“Maybe, but they won’t be yours, Mr. Reeves. Let’s get that straight right now.” She marched out of the room before he could respond appropriately. He smiled. Yes sir, that woman could get a man to thinking all right. When he was fully recuperated, he had unfinished business in Brownwood. Once that job was completed, he would take some time off and come back to Banjo. Copper Reeves liked challenges, and Eliza Woodpen would be worth the time and effort. There was a certain spark between them that he’d never felt with any other woman. He needed to find out if that spark could lead to something more.