The Groom Wore White
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by Taylor Manning
Description: Texas rancher Winnie Davis had a husband and doesn't want another one. She keeps men at arm's length with wolf whistles, dragging them to the dance floor, and calling out her appreciation of the "stock." But her sassy behavior is only a wall to keep men away and protect the secret she has kept from everyone, even her very best friends. Winnie's great aunt, Miss Daisy Hemphill and the ladies of the Ophelia, Texas, Prayer Circle seek heavenly assistance in finding husbands for the town's single women. When they take on Winnie's case, she's not glad for the attention. Ophelia's new doctor, Will Barker, is fascinated by the sexy lady rancher, and intrigued by her brash sassiness. He's not looking for anything permanent while he establishes himself in his new hometown, but Winnie's charms are too much to ignore. To send the Prayer Circle ladies on to another victim, Winnie agrees to Will's plan for a pretend romance...until it becomes more.
eBook Publisher: Uncial Press, 2012
eBookwise Release Date: March 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [271 KB]
Reading time: 170-238 min.
"Get a room, you two." A tall man with jet black hair and a little curl falling over his forehead approached with two beers. "If you can take your hands off this lovely lady for a minute, Tex, here's your beer."
"Sorry, darlin'." Wolf leaned over and kissed the top of Livvy's head. "Priorities. Enjoying your drink?"
Livvy pouted. "Don't rub it in. Hi, Will."
Winnie gave Dr. Will Barker her usual cool appraisal. He was a nice-looking bit of goods, and she knew he was an excellent dancer, as she'd had the opportunity to experience his skill at Livvy and Wolf's wedding reception.
He made her nervous, though.
Her method of keeping men at bay was to go right at them. Make them the objects of leering comments before they did it to her. They usually melted in a puddle of quivering, uncertain jelly.
Will Barker had yet to quiver or melt.
Like now. He met her gaze head on with nary a sign that he would look away first. It was like playing chicken without the speed or danger of death.
Literal death anyway.
He was not going to beat her at her own game. She decided to up the ante. "Doctor, doctor, aren't you a fine looking specimen of medical man?"
"Yes, ma'am, Miss Davis, I certainly am."
"And may I say, you are the finest looking rancher I've seen all day." He stared into her eyes.
"Just all day?"
He laughed. "Ever."
"So, tell me, doc, do you ever play doctor with any of your patients?" She slapped Hannah's pinching fingers away from her thigh.
"Why are you asking?" His expression said the answer was of no interest to him.
Wolf, damn him, snorted into his beer.
"Didn't Logan come with you?" Hannah blurted as she looked around the roadhouse for her husband. "Oh, hey, honey. Come on over." She slapped her hand over her mouth. "Oh, my gosh, I just sounded like Winnie, didn't I?"
Livvy sputtered ginger ale on the table. "Yes, you did."
Winnie stiffened. Did she sound like that? No, Hannah was calling her own husband. That's something she wouldn't be doing. Ever.
Logan joined the group. "I see we are not welcome here, gentlemen. Let's go find our own table so we can gossip like the women."
"We are not gossiping, Logan Kimbrough." Hannah stuck her tongue out at him.
"Better be careful about what you're doing, Hannah. You might start something I'll have to finish later."
Will held up his beer. "Wait, boys. I still want to know why Miss Winnie was asking about me playing doctor with my patients. You aren't looking for a new doctor, are you Miss Winnie?"
Caught in her own trap, Winnie tried to put on a good face. "I'll tell you what, Doctor Sweetcheeks, I'll be sure you're on the top of my list."
That should make him blush and stutter.
She waited for it.
Waited for it.
A slow smile started at the corner of his mouth, where a dimple creased his sweet cheek. Her tummy got squashy at the sight as the smile spread to include his whole delicious mouth and a twin dimple appeared on the other side.
He took a draw off his beer, his gaze never leaving her face. The tip of his tongue slipped out and lapped at the foam on his lips.
Winnie's body temperature skyrocketed ten degrees. Ten more when he came around the table and leaned down over her. The spicy scent of his aftershave tickled her nose. The warmth from his body wrapped seductive tendrils around her.
"I'll tell you what, Miss Winnie. When you decide to change physicians, I'll make sure I've got an empty examination room."