The sequel to A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS
Ranch hands Justus White and Dakota Washburn have known each other forever, or at least since fifth grade when Melody Zane, the coolest girl in school, gave them both valentines. That Valentines Day ended in a school yard fight, and a lifelong friendship. 12 years later, they now both live and work on the Maverick ranch and have vowed never to let a girl get between them again… Until they meet Melody in a bar, all grown up. Then they decide to preserve the friendship maybe the best thing to do is to keep her between them.
From the rear of the dimly lit bar, Dakota watched Justus standing close to Melody as she sipped on her beer—the beer Justus had bought her. She seemed to be drinking it in the most seductive way possible. How could Justus not see she was the same girl she had been way back then? She’d probably be happy to see them rolling around on the beer-splattered floor fighting over her while the rest of the folks in the bar cheered them on. She’d probably be wearing a big old grin the entire time, just like she’d done in fifth grade when she’d orchestrated their first and only fight.
Well he, for one, was not going to allow it to happen, no matter what Justus said or did. Scowling, Dakota walked back to the pool table. Justus glanced up, and must have caught on to his unhappiness from the expression on his face, because his smile disappeared.
Justus’s brows drew down in a frown as he looked at Dakota. He turned back to Melody and hooked a thumb in the direction of the restrooms. “Ah, Melody, I’ll be back in a sec. Okay?”
“Sure.” She smiled sweetly.
“Stop looking so pissed off.” Justus leaned close and hissed.
Dakota’s eyebrows shot up. “Then you stop acting as if she’s changed.”
“Whatever. Try and be nice while I’m gone.” Justus let out a huff of breath and pushed past Dakota, heading back to the bathrooms.
“Whatever,” Dakota mimicked Justus after he’d walked away. That had to be the most annoying word in the English language, and the fact his best friend was saying it to him in such a nasty tone was proof that Melody was trouble. Nothing but trouble.
Luckily, Dakota was good at dealing with problems. Hell, he dealt with difficult issues all damn day, and sometimes all night, at the ranch. Compared to stubborn young bulls and a couple of hundred cows about to give birth, one stuck-up chick shouldn’t be too hard to handle.
Dakota made his way back to where he’d left his beer on the table and picked the mug up. Taking a swallow, he leaned against the pool table again—these new going-out boots weren’t broken in yet and they were starting to pinch.
“So, you’re back and looking for work.” They’d covered this topic already, but Dakota enjoyed it so much the first time, he decided to revisit the subject.
“You don’t like me very much, do you, Dakota?”
“Nope.” He shook his head and sipped at his beer.
She laughed. “Well at least you’re honest about it.”
“I’m always honest, which is more than you were when you invited Justus and I to fight over you in front of the whole fifth grade.”
“First of all, I can’t believe you’re actually still upset over something that happened in fifth grade. And second, I was being honest back then. I really didn’t know which one of you I liked best.”
Dakota’s brows shot up. “So you thought you’d see which one of us could beat the crap out of the other? Then what? You’d suddenly like the winner best? Nice.”
“No.” Her dark brows knit in a frown. “I really wanted to kiss you both. You two are the ones who started fighting. I never wanted that.”
“Bullshit. You smiled through the whole thing.” He knocked the brim of his hat back a bit so he could better glare at her.
“Because I couldn’t believe you both liked me enough to fight over me.” She put her mug down on the table with a splash and planted her fists on her hips.
“You’re right, fifth grade is long gone. That shit doesn’t matter now.” He made direct eye contact with her to make sure she knew he was serious. “But I’m telling you one thing—Justus and I are closer than brothers now. We’re not ten years old any more and we sure as hell ain’t gonna be fighting over you again. So if you’ve got any ideas in your pretty little head about pitting us against each other in some sort of competition for you, you can just forget about it.”
Movement caught his eye and he turned to see Justus standing nearby, watching them. Dakota spun to face him, silently daring him to contradict what he’d said.
“Dakota’s right, Melody. He and I aren’t going to be fighting over anything.”
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“I thoroughly enjoyed this story… How can you go wrong with two hot cowboys and a willing woman? This is a must read for anyone who likes a well written western ménage.” Terri, Night Owl Reviews
“I fell in love with Dakota and Justus right on the playground when they not only duke it out for Melody, but even more when they made their life-long pact of friendship. Valentine Cowboys is a very sexy story … Cat Johnson is a queen at storytelling and I adore her cowboys.” Kim, Book Obsessed Chicks Book Club
“…full of scenes that are sure to fog up the windows. You won’t be disappointed.” Lee, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews