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by Carol Lynne
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: After the death of his father, Grayson Conner finds himself running, Sunset Ridge Stables, a prosperous horse breeding operation just outside of Wellington, Arkansas. Since riding a horse for the first time, Gray has known running the ranch would be his destiny. Years spent watching his father negotiate and build the ranch into a highly respected operation prepared him well. In need of a manager to oversee the hired hands, Gray hires Jack "Ram" Ramsdale, a sexy temptation that could spell nothing but trouble. For years, Gray managed to keep his sexual preferences away from the ranch, but the introduction of Ram into his life changes everything. Ram fell in love with Sunset Ridge Stables the first time he stepped foot on the ranch with its rolling green hills and views to take a person's breath away. The handsome ranch owner is definitely a bonus, but more than anything Ram is searching for a place to belong. With temptation at his fingertips, Gray gives in to his feelings and begins an intense affair with his new manager. For a few blissful months he believes he can have it all, the ranch and a man he loves at his side. When local gossip threatens the reputation of the Sunset Ridge, Gray and Ram are forced to make an important decision. Give up their relationship or lose everything they've worked for.
eBook Publisher: Total-e-bound, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: February 2012
16 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [145 KB]
Reading time: 89-124 min.
"...a straight forward love story with a heartwarming plot, two hot men, and even hotter sex...I'd recommend reading this book if you want to escape from the real world into an easy going, but satisfying love story." Queer Magazine
Riding over the crest of Tucker's Hill, Grayson Conner surveyed the ranch below. It was a beautiful place with neatly kept white clapboard buildings dotting the landscape. Sunset Ridge Stables consisted of the main house, barn, stables, bunkhouses and various other small outbuildings. From his vantage point the ranch looked like its own small town.
He kicked Bellamy, his dark grey stallion, into a canter as they rode down towards the ranch. Sunset Ridge was swarming with workers, everyone getting ready for the barbecue later that night. The party had been an annual event since Gray's father, Jeremiah, had run the stables.
Once a year the stable hosted friends and business associates from across the country. This year was no exception, even though Jeremiah had passed away not more than six months earlier.
Gray's jaw tightened. Jeremiah Conner had been an excellent horseman but a lousy father. His temper had been legendary and he'd often taken it out on his only son.
Gray's sister, Rebecca, had always been Jeremiah's little angel, a girl who could do no wrong in her father's eyes. Rebecca Conner was in fact as far from an angel as a person could get. She'd left home when she'd turned eighteen to follow a rodeo rider across the country. She'd returned eighteen months later with a baby girl. Raleigh Conner had been on the Sunset Ridge ever since. Rebecca had found a new man to follow not a year after she'd moved home, abandoning her own daughter.
Rebecca still showed up from time to time, mostly when she was broke and between men. Even after all that, Jeremiah had never had a bad word to say about her, but Gray had plenty. Raleigh had grown into a beautiful but very spoilt young woman. Until his death, Jeremiah had doted on his granddaughter.
As Gray rode into the ranch yard he saw Raleigh sitting on the front porch of the main house sipping tea. He shook his head. Gray loved his niece something fierce but she surely was a handful at times.
He dismounted Bellamy and handed his reins to John. "How's everything comin' along?"
"Real good, Mr Conner. Everyone's just puttin' the finishin' touches on the ranch."
Gray nodded. "Would you brush Bellamy down and put him in the corral for now? I want him locked up tonight but no sense in making him stay inside all day." He started to walk off but John stopped him.
"Sir, Miss Raleigh had me put Buttercup in the corral. I don't think you want the two horses together, do ya?" John looked down at his boots.
Rubbing his jaw, Gray looked towards the corral. "No, we definitely can't have that. Go ahead and put Buttercup in the pasture." He walked towards the porch, thanking his workers as he went. He took the steps two at a time and stood in front of his niece.
"Why did you have John put Buttercup in the corral? I've told you more than once to have her turned out into the pasture. The corral should be reserved for the stallions. They're the ones that need to be kept separate from the rest of the herd." He looked down at his bored-looking niece, waiting for her reply.
"I knew the hands would be busy later with the party, and I knew it would take me forever to get her into the stable if she were in the pasture." She looked pleadingly up at her uncle.
Gray blew out a breath and leant down to kiss Raleigh on the forehead. "I'll get her into the stable for you later, pumpkin, but you've got to keep her out of the corral."
Raleigh smiled and nodded her head. "Yes, Uncle Gray."
Gray smiled back at her. "You'd best get ready for the party. I 'magine folks'll start getting here in a couple hours." He kissed the top of her head once more and disappeared into the house.
Gray entered his study and sat at the big mahogany desk. Looking at the blank computer screen in front of him he reached over and turned it on. He needed to get on the Internet and find a new manager.
He'd terminated Jim Thompson two weeks earlier and had yet to replace him. Jim had been his father's yes man and when Jeremiah had died Jim had had the impression he was the new boss around the Sunset Ridge. After repeatedly explaining to the stubborn fool that he was in fact the owner and Jim was just an employee, the dumb ass had actually taken a swing at him. Gray had fired him on the spot, giving him one hour to clear out.
Gray surfed the net for the next hour looking for an available manager. He finally gave up and went to put Buttercup into the stables for the night. After taking a quick shower he changed into a pair of khaki pants and a plain white polo shirt. Heading downstairs he stopped at Raleigh's room.
"You about ready, pumpkin?"
"I'll be down in about twenty minutes."
Gray headed out of the front door and on to the deep front porch. The yards and buildings looked great. The ranch hands had even trimmed the bushes. The flowers along the porch railing and front walk were in full bloom and the smell in the air was sweet.
Ten minutes later the first of the guests began to arrive. A couple of his men stood out front and pointed the way to the parking area, which in reality was just the open field beside the barn. Gray walked down the steps to meet his arriving guests, most of whom had been coming to the party for years. He shook hands and greeted his visitors as he showed them to the party tent.
He heard his name and turned around. Bob Ramsdale, one of his father's old friends, extended his hand in greeting. "How're ya doin', Gray?"
Gray smiled, "Just fine, Mr Ramsdale, and you?" Gray couldn't help but notice the tall man standing behind the short and pudgy Bob Ramsdale. Gray allowed his eyes a moment to wander over the attractive sun-bronzed face of the stranger.
"I'm real good. Oh, hey, I'd like to introduce you to my nephew Jack."
Jack stepped to the side and then forward, extending his hand. "Nice to meet you, Mr Conner. My uncle Bob's talked about the Sunset Ridge for years. I was in town visiting and couldn't resist coming to look at your stables."
Gray shook hands with the most attractive man he'd ever met. The feel of Jack Ramsdale's hand in his sent sparks through his body. He gripped the hand a little tighter, not ready to release it yet. "I'm glad you came. I'll have to show you around later."