Title: The Forbidden Brother
Series: The McNeill Magnates #7
Author: Joanne Rock
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2018
Release Date: July 1, 2018
A night of passion and mistaken identity means unmistakable consequences...
Jillian Ross craves adventure. And she gets it, when her new career as a movie location scout leads her to the ranch owned by the wealthy Wyoming McNeills. A close encounter with the playboy McNeill causes havocâsince itâs actually his reclusive twin, Cody, sheâs fallen for! Now sheâs pregnantâand still canât get enough of her reluctant rancher. Is this adventure just beginning?
âYouâve improved my Saturday night a whole lot, too.â He liked the feel of her, his hand warming the cool skin through the thin blouse she wore. âItâs been a long time since Iâve thought about anything outside of work.â
Her eyebrows lifted. âLeading me to wonder what you could be thinking about right now.â Her lips curved. âAdmiring the Wranglerâs decor? Or maybe remembering how much you like a good George Jones tune?â
He laughed appreciatively. âI do respect a bar that still plays a classic. But the vinyl upholstery in the booths isnât doing much for me in the decor department.â His gaze skated over her features; he was looking forward to making her blush again. âAnd I was thinking about you more than anything else.â
His directness might have caught her off guard. She nibbled her lower lip briefly before meeting his eyes. âI havenât been the center of anyoneâs attention inâ¦a long time.â
There was a story there. He heard it in her voice. Saw it in her eyes.
âYou arenât involved with someone else?â He needed to be sure before he let this go on any longer. But his pulse was already thrumming. âI donât see a ring, but I have to ask.â
âI am very much unattached.â She shook her head, red curls catching the overhead light as she moved. âWhat about you? No one waiting at home?â
âThe only ones who might be missing my presence right now are a couple of rowdy shepherds back at my ranch who would have preferred the night off.â He swayed with her. Her knee brushed his now and again in a way that fired right through him. âBut no girlfriend. No wife.â
He respected that she asked, even though she was clearly feeling the same spark as him. And now that those formalities had been cleared away, he could simply enjoy the moment. The completely unexpected pleasure of having a beautiful stranger in his arms. He didnât want to let go of her now. He wanted to take her outside into the fresh, rain-cleaned night and kiss her. See if she tasted as good as he imagined.
âThe stars are aligning for us so far, arenât they?â She peered up at him with something like wonder in her eyes.
He couldnât remember a woman ever looking at him quite like that. As if he was the answer to a question. An answer that pleased her.
âIt feels that way.â He didnât want to scare her off with empty pickup lines, or come across as some lowlife playing games with a woman in a bar. But as the music shifted againâthis time to an even slower, modern country love songâCody wondered if he could convince her to let the spark between them run wild. To follow the heat wherever it led. âAnd since the stars aligning would be a first for me, I wonder if can ask you just one thing.â
He halted them in the middle of the floor, now that the two-step was done. Bringing her fractionally closer, he swayed to the slower tempo in a barely moving loversâ dance.
She followed him seamlessly, her gaze never straying from his. She was fully focused on him. Framed by dusky brown lashes, those green-gold eyes reminded him of new grass and spring.
âSure. Ask away.â Her voice had a sweet-sultry quality that made him want to listen to her speak more.
âDonât you ever wish you could forget about the expectations of the world around you and justâ¦choose your own adventure?â He remembered books like that when heâd been a kid, where you could test out different endings to a story.
For someone whoâd always taken the safe route in real life, he had liked the option of seeing how another choice played out. At least in a book. Cody couldnât do that with ranching. Or his family. But he could take a chance here. Tonight.
Her lashes swept down for a long moment, hiding her expression. But when she tilted a glance up at him again, there was a new curiosity there.
âAre you asking to share an adventure with me?â She sounded disbelieving. But maybe a little intrigued.
âI suppose I am.â He would never have made such an outrageous suggestion to a localâa woman who knew him or his family. But she had âtouristâ and âtemporaryâ written all over her. Surely there couldnât be any harm in drawing out the flirtation? âWhat would you say to throwing away the rule book for a little longer?â
He let go of her hand for a moment to tip her chin higher, to see her face in the dim overhead light of the dance floor. Feminine interest flickered in her eyes. He inhaled as she released a pent-up breath. He could almost taste her in the space of silence between them.
Then he leaned closer to press his cause. âChoose me tonight.â
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn't like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly--love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she's not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.