Welcome to the small town of Whistle Stop…where anything can and most likely will happen.
The notorious cowboy meets his match…
Cord Lawson instantly distrusted the young woman in a smart suit who’d just arrived in Whistle Stop. She was very pretty and clearly a city girl—but with memories of his failed marriage still darkening his mind, he’s determined to steer clear! But she’s sniffing around his land—land that has been in his family for generations.
Alexis Greer had one mission—close the deal on the Lawson ranch; without it, her father’s land development company would go bankrupt. But the word around town is to keep clear of Cord and to stay away from his precious land. However, determination was Lexi’s middle name. She just had to keep on trying to breach Cord’s barriers, to appeal somehow to his head and heart—even if it put her in danger of losing both of hers…to him.
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That was Cord Lawson—the man she’d flown across the country to meet?
Alexis Greer’s stomach plummeted into her suede heels. Getting on the cowboy’s bad side by making a fuss over the candy definitely qualified in her book as her third piece of bad luck. Oh, what mess had she gotten herself into this time?
Standing around fretting wasn’t going to rectify things. Alexis set off after the cowboy. She raced past the stuccoed storefronts with their brightly painted signs as fast as her high heels would allow. She had to catch up to him. She needed to smooth things over before the man dug his cowboy boots in any deeper about not selling the ghost town.
“Hey! Wait up!”
Cord slowed and turned. “You again. I already gave you my only candy bar.” He pulled at his shirt pocket. “See? Empty.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “That isn’t why I stopped you. I was wondering if maybe I could repay your kindness by offering you dinner?”
She couldn’t believe she’d just blurted out a dinner invitation to this sexy stranger. She’d written off men after Steven had lied and cheated on her. But then again, this invite was all about business and had absolutely nothing to do with the way his gaze made her stomach feel as though a dozen butterflies were fluttering around inside it.
The cowboy’s brow creased as he considered her offer. “No, thank you.”
“Come on. I just arrived in town, and I don’t know a soul here.” She once again flashed her most radiant smile, hoping to thaw his frosty exterior. If she couldn’t establish friendly terms with him, launching straight into her business proposal could constitute a monumental disaster.
“Besides, there’s something I’d like to run past you.”
He shook his head. “You can’t take no for an answer, can you?”
“Not when saying yes can be so easy.”
His warm brown eyes deepened to a shade of dark chocolate, alerting her to the fact that she’d once again chosen the wrong words.
“Are you implying I’m easy, Ms.—”
“Greer. Alexis Greer.” She extended her hand to shake his, but when he didn’t move, she lowered it back to her side. Not about to let his rebuff unnerve her, she lifted her chin and spoke with what she hoped was a confident voice. “And I wasn’t implying anything.”
He arched a disbelieving brow.
“Can we start over?” Why was he being so difficult? Was he always so distrusting? There had to be a way to get on his good side. “Join me for a friendly dinner. My treat.”
“There’s no need to start over, as I doubt we’ll ever meet again. As for dinner, I can’t. I’m not available.” His matter-of-fact tone left no room for persuasion. Without giving her a chance to say another word, Cord turned and strode up the sidewalk past the handful of quaint shops with colorful awnings.
What was up with him? Her shoulders slumped. She’d certainly blown that encounter. Was this a sign of things to come? Was she on the verge of messing up the entire deal? If she failed, her father wouldn’t waste time on words. He’d jump on the first plane westbound. Being a career-driven man, he’d disregard the risks to his life to save this deal for what would be the crowning jewel in his empire.
Alexis nervously fidgeted with one of her diamond stud earrings while worrying her lower lip. It wasn’t so much the thought of HSG going bankrupt that had her body tensing. It was the knowledge of what it’d do to the one person she loved most in this world—her father. Sure, he could be demanding, contrary and stubborn, but he could also be understanding, encouraging, and loving. Howard S. Greer III was a complex man, and she loved him with all of her heart. Without him, she’d be all alone in this world. The thought chilled her to the bone. Life without her father in it was totally inconceivable to her.
She moved her hand to her forehead and rubbed it, hoping to ease the throbbing. Sure, she’d hit a stumbling block with the cowboy, but this wasn’t her first challenge since taking charge of HSG, and it likely wouldn’t be her last.
Determined to take care of her father to the best of her ability, she leveled her shoulders. She couldn’t let this deal fall through. Correction: She wouldn’t let it fall through. This encounter had only been a small defeat. She’d regroup and try again.
Alexis slipped her fingers into her purse, seeking out the remainder of the chocolate bar. After standing on the sidewalk in the hot sun, the chocolate had softened, but that didn’t dampen her anticipation. She pulled back the plastic wrapper and sank her teeth into the now-creamy chocolate. As the rich taste spread on her tongue, her eyes drifted closed.
Tomorrow would be better.
She took another bite of the heavenly chocolate.
The cowboy had a price. Everyone did. She just had to figure out his.