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A Maverick for Christmas (Montana Mavericks: The Texans Are Coming! series Book 5) by [Leanne Banks]

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A Maverick for Christmas (Montana Mavericks: The Texans Are Coming! series Book 5) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 ratings

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About the Author

Leanne Banks is a New York Times bestselling author with over sixty books to her credit. A book lover and romance fan from even before she learned to read, Leanne has always treasured the way that books allow us to go to new places and experience the lives of wonderful characters. Always ready for a trip to the beach, Leanne lives in Virginia with her family and her Pomeranian muse. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

It had been a long day and it was colder than a well-digger's backside. Cade had been working like a dog and wanted a little reward. He wouldn't be getting it from a woman tonight, so Cade Pritchett looked inside the cafe, trying to decide whether or not to indulge in a slice of cherry pie.

Cade looked away. Since that insane moment he'd proposed to Thunder Canyon's beauty queen, the woman he'd dated casually the past few years, he'd become all too aware of his burning need for a family of his own. It didn't make sense because Cade wasn't interested in falling in love. He'd done that once and lost the woman to an accident. He wasn't interested in risking his heart, but he wanted more than what he had now. A partnership in his father's business, his own spread just outside of town and his hobby rebuilding motorcycles. Oh, and his hound dog, Stella. He should have listed her first.

From his side, he heard a sniffling sound. Curious, he glanced over and saw Abby Cates wiping her nose as she leaned against the cafe window. His stomach clenched. Abby, little sister of the woman he'd asked to marry him during the Frontier Days celebration. That had been a monumental mistake.

He heard Abby sniff again and Cade felt a surge of concern. He should check on the girl. The poor thing looked upset. He moved toward her.

"Hey, what's up? Or down?"

Abby glanced up in shock, her wide eyes blinking in surprise. "Hi," she said and gave another sniff and surreptitious wipe of her nose with her tissue. "What are you doing here?"

"Thinking about getting a piece of pie," he said. "Long day."

She nodded and blinked away her tears. "This is the beginning of one of your busy seasons, isn't it?"

"Yeah, how'd you remember?" he asked.

"Osmosis," she said. "I guess I eventually noticed during the last few years when you didn't hang around the house as much."

"Yeah," he said. "So, what's with the sniffles? I don't think it's allergies or a cold."

She shrugged and lowered her gaze, her eyelids hiding her emotions from him. "I don't know. Lots of changes going on at my house. I guess I'm going to miss

Laila now that she's getting married," she said, then froze and met his gaze. "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to say—"

He waved his hand in dismissal. "No problem. My pride was hurt more than anything else. Laila and I were never crazy in love. I shouldn't have been such a darned fool by proposing to her," he said.

"You weren't the fool. Laila was. She should have never let you get away," she said.

Cade laughed and shook his head. It felt nicer than he'd like to admit for Abby to rush to his defense, but he knew more than most that romance and emotion could be fickle and elusive. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his sheepskin jacket. "You shouldn't be out here in the cold," he said. "Let me buy you a cup of hot chocolate."

She met his gaze for a long moment, and he saw a flurry of emotions he couldn't quite name except one. Defiance.

She licked her lips. "I'd like something a little stronger than hot chocolate."

Surprise punched through him. "Something stronger," he said. "You're a little young for that, aren't you?"

She gave a husky chuckle. "Are you suffering from a little dementia due to your advanced years? I'm twenty-two."

"Whoa," he said. "When did I miss that?"

"I guess you weren't looking," she said wryly. Her chocolate-brown eyes flashed with humor, and his gaze slid over her silky, long brown hair.

"I guess not," he said. "So you want to go to the

Hitching Post?"

"Sure," she said with a shrug, and they walked down the street to the town's most popular bar and hangout. It was crowded when they walked inside, so he hooked his hand under her elbow and guided her to the far end of the bar.

"Hey, Abby," a young man said from halfway across the room.

She glanced up and shot the guy a smile. "Hi, Abby," a young woman called. "Hey, Corinne," she said.

"You seem pretty popular here," Cade said, finding a space next to the bar. "How often do you come?"

She shook her head and rolled her eyes. "I know those people from my classes at college. I'm usually too busy to spend much time here. They're probably surprised to see me here."

He nodded. "What do you want to drink?"

"A beer's okay," she said with a shrug.

He noticed her lack of enthusiasm. "What kind?"

"Whatever you're having is fine," she said.

He felt a twinge of amusement. "You really don't like beer."

"I'm working on it," she said. "At least once a year."

He laughed out loud. "I'll get you one of those pink girly drinks. Cosmo," he said to the bartender. "And a beer for me. Whatever you have on draft."

Moments later, she sipped her pink martini and he drank his beer. "It's loud in here," he said.

She stirred her drink with the tiny straw. "Yeah, I guess that might bother you older folks," she said with a naughty smile.

He shook his head. Her teasing gave him a kick. "Yeah, I'm thirty. Don't rub it in. What have you been doing lately?"

"School. College," she corrected. "I'm also working at the youth center. And as you know, my family can get a little demanding. I have a part-time job teaching skiing lessons at the resort when I can fit it in. What about you? How's that new motorcycle coming?"

He was surprised she'd remembered. "Close to perfection, but I'm still tinkering with it."

"You wouldn't know perfection if it slapped you in the face," she teased.

Cade liked the way her long eyelashes dipped over her eyes flirtatiously. Someday, Abby could be trouble, he thought. "What do you mean by that?"

"I mean you have that perfection complex. Nothing you do is ever good enough. Not with your woodworking. Not with your motorcycle."

She nailed him in one fell swoop, taking him off guard. "How'd you know that?"

"I've known you for years." She took the last sip of her cosmo martini. "How could I not know that?"

For one sliver of a second, she looked at him as if he was a dork then shrugged. "You want another one?" he asked.

She shook her head and smiled. "No. I'm a lightweight. Already feel this one. I'll take some water."

Cade ordered water for her and continued talking with Laila's little sister with whom he'd played board games and computer games when he'd been waiting for Laila. He was distracted by her mouth. Especially when she licked her lips after taking a sip of her water. Her lips were plump, shiny and sexy. He shouldn't notice, but he sure did.

"So you're busy at work," she said and took another long sip of water. "Bet your father's driving you crazy."

"Yeah," he admitted. "No need to repeat that."

She laughed. "I won't. That could be tricky working with your dad. I mean, I love my own dad, but I can't control him."

"That's for sure," he said, thinking of his own father.

She clicked her half-empty water glass against his beer and dipped her head. "We agree. Cheers."

"So, what are you majoring in?" he asked.

"Psychology. I finish next spring, but I may need to get an advanced degree. I like working with the teens."

"I can see where you would be good at that," he said, thinking that although Abby appeared very young, she was pretty mature for her age.

"I don't know what I'll do after I graduate. I haven't decided if I'll leave Thunder Canyon or not," she said.

Her statement gave him a start. "You would leave town?"

"I may have to if I want to get an advanced degree. Plus, with everything going on with my family, it may be time for me to strike out on my own by then."

He nodded. "If you wanted to stay, you could get an advanced degree online. And just because you move out of your parents' house doesn't mean you have to move out of town."

She smiled. "You almost sound like you'd like me stay. That can't be true. You barely notice me."

"You're a quality girl—" He broke off. "Woman," he corrected himself. "I hate to see Thunder Canyon lose a good woman like you."

"Ah, so it's your civic duty to encourage me to stay here," she said.

He felt a twist of discomfort. "Lots of people would miss you."

"Well, I haven't made any decisions yet. I need to finish my classes first. I'm just glad the end is in sight. What do you think about the rivalry between LipSmackin' Ribs and DJ's Rib Shack?"

Cade would have had to have been deaf and blind not to know about the controversy between Thunder Canyon's longtime favorite barbecue restaurant DJ's Rib Shack and the the new rib place, which featured waitresses dressed in tight T-shirts. "I'm a DJ's man all the way. I don't like it that the Hitching Post started featuring LipSmackin' Ribs on the menu and I refuse to order them. I'll buy drinks here, but no ribs."

"So you've never even visited LipSmackin' Ribs?"

"I went a few times just to see what the fuss was about," he said.

"You mean the skimpy uniforms the waitresses wear," she said.

He shook his head and rubbed his jaw. "I pity your future boyfriend. He won't be able to pull anything over on you."

"Future? How do you know I don't have a boyfriend right now?" she asked. "I don't, but I certainly could. There are even some men who think I'm attractive, some who ask me to go out with t...

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B005JSRAPG
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harlequin Special Edition; Original edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 1, 2011
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 477 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0373656335
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 24 ratings

About the author

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Leanne Banks is a national #1 best-selling author with over fifty romance novels to her credit. Leanne was born and raised in the wonderful town of Roanoke, Virginia. Growing up in "the star city of the south" had a huge impact on her outlook and her writing. Her B.S. in Psychology only qualifies her to treat fictional characters and she began writing when her two children were very young. Leanne believes in the transforming power of love, so writing romance novels comes naturally to her. Her muse is a 4.5 lb Pomeranian who is happy to snooze beside Leanne while Leanne creates. Leanne loves travel and trips to the beach, but what's most important to her is family. Leanne's home on the web is To get the most up-to-date scoop on Leanne, visit her on facebook!/leanne.banks

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