Champion rodeo rider Dane Bowden is eight seconds from winning under the Vegas lights, one last hurrah before reluctantly returning to his family’s Montana ranch. But his bull has other plans. When Dane wakes up, he’s sure he’s died and gone to heaven . . . because the doctor who comes to his aid is the same girl who saved his life and disappeared years ago.
Bell would do anything for Dane. He’s the fantasy that always kept her going. A child genius hidden away by her family, Bell was the secret no one talked about, the girl no one wanted. Despite finding success as a young surgeon, she’s still the awkward girl who’s never had a boyfriend. So why does Dane, a notorious playboy and sizzling-hot cowboy, insist on taking her on a real date?
Bell is the only woman in Dane’s heart. When a rodeo rivalry turns deadly, it’s his turn to save Bell’s life—because he sure as hell won’t lose his guardian angel again.
Bowden Ranch, Montana
Eleven years ago
Dane was flying.
One moment he was riding his horse across the far reaches of his family’s land, the next his horse reared up and kicked his massive hooves in the air, spooked by some unseen threat. Dane let loose the reins and fell sideways, hoping the horse didn’t trample him. Dane’s left foot hit the ground first, his ankle twisting painfully as his body slammed into the packed dirt and weeds. His shoulder hit next, breaking most of his upper body’s fall, but his head smashed into a jagged rock. Pain exploded through his head.
Hombre galloped away. Alone now, Dane rolled and lay flat on his back, staring up at the canopy of tree branches overhead. The sound of the rushing river next to him added to the thrashing heartbeat in his ears. He rubbed his hands over his eyes, hoping that cleared his spotty double vision. His left hand came away wet and sticky with blood from the gash swelling on his head.
He closed his eyes tight, his hands falling limp on his stomach. When he opened them moments later, he stared into a pair of dazzling blue eyes. The young girl’s dark hair hung down, covering most of her pale face as she stared at him. The most beautiful girl he’d ever seen.
“Are you okay?”
Such a soft, sweet voice. Where had she come from? No one lived out here. He liked the peace and quiet. The solitude.
“I must be dead. You’re an angel.”
Those ethereal eyes went wide with surprise. “Trust me, I’m no angel.” She filled those soft words with as much shock and disbelief as showed on her pretty face.
Calling her a liar probably wouldn’t make her like him.
She crouched, opened her hand, and set a long blue feather on his chest before touching her fingers to his aching head. The sting made him hiss in pain. Definitely not dead. Which meant she was real. Despite his prone body and inability to think clearly, one thing came through loud and clear. He wanted to know this girl.
“I need to stop this bleeding.”
He must have torn his T-shirt when he hit the ground. She ripped a piece free, walked to the edge of the river, and dipped it in the icy water. His vision blurred. He closed his eyes and moaned when she pressed the cold cloth to his head.
“There now. You’ll be okay.”
At fifteen, the last thing he wanted to do was ask for help, but his head swam and his ankle throbbed in time to his heart and the headache pounding in his head. No way he’d get home on his own. “My ankle hurts. Please, you have to get my dad. Find one of my brothers.”
Her soft hand settled on his chest over his heart. “You’ll be okay.” She snatched it back, like touching him burned her. He missed the sweet contact.
She reached for his foot and carefully pulled off his boot. He tried to bite back the groan, but it burst from his tight lips when the pain shot up his leg. Not cool to look like a wuss in front of a pretty girl, but with his head busted open, he was in bad shape.
She ripped his shirt again and used the long strip to bind his ankle. It actually felt better.
She sat beside him, her hands clenched in her lap. “I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t have touched you. I’m sorry.”
He didn’t understand her distress. He tried to sit up and comfort her, but he fell back to the ground, his eyes closing as blackness swamped his dizzy mind.
I love when there’s a backstory in a romance. Bell is the girl that saved Dane and then disappeared. When she reappears in Dane’s life, this second saving kept me turning the pages. Their story unfolds slowly but in a way that keeps you invested and needing to know what is going to happen.
Along with a bit of danger and suspense, Her Lucky Cowboy is a sweet cowboy romance that will tug your emotions. I am loving Ryan’s Montana Men and can’t for for the next.