THE RENEGADE RANCHER
The Renegade Rancher was originally called DOUBLE BLIND. It’s an identical twin story--and yes, the brothers do their twin-thing. This story is based on some of my mom’s experience as a land title secretary for twenty years. I had no idea that houses (and land) could be sold separately from their mineral rights. Did you?
In some places, mineral rights are clearly more valuable than others. So there’s a different twist. Just like there’s a different twist for this serial killer. Speaking of the serial killer…he’s the first I’d written (I have several now, along with the current suspense I’m writing). My critique partner at the time began reading and said I’d done a great job researching the BTK Killer from Wichita, Kansas. “Uh…what?” I asked since I hadn’t done any research. Personally, I didn’t see any resemblance, but others did.
Apparently, my mind works in a weird way. LOL This book happens to be my daughter’s and husband’s favorite. Tim because my hero actually says a line that came directly from him (clue: it involves drinking from the carton of milk) and my daughter because the hero is an EMT (which she had planned on being summers between college—she was a lifeguard instead). Read my post about NAVY SEAL SURRENDER to find out why both books are special to me.
Visiting Aubrey was more awesome inspiration. The old grain silos and train are definitely in the story. Oh, one more thing. I rediscovered one of the best lines I think I’ve written: This was the longest he’d ever been with a woman and he hadn’t met her yet.
Curious? Here’s an excerpt from The Renegade Rancher
Just his luck.
Brian knew it wasn’t him and could admit he had no business telling her earlier he’d rather take her to bed. Crass. Rude. Ungentlemanly. And a couple of other things if his daddy found out. Being nearly thirty years old wouldn’t stop the old man from giving him a good earful on how to treat a lady.
“One day the nightmare will be over.” He hoped. “Remember, we’re going to catch—”
“This creep.” She laughed, finishing his sentence. She dropped the partial braid she’d been nervously plaiting and slapped her jean-covered thighs. “I think that must be our mantra for this adventure.”
“And a damn good one to remember until we do.” Brian laughed. Easy, pleasant and infectious. “Adventure, huh? Ready to find out if Mac has running water and electricity?”
“Where are we?” she asked as they unloaded and unlocked the door.
“A little north of Fort Worth. Not too far out in the boonies.”
“It feels like the boonies. I’m horrible at directions, but it doesn’t seem possible that we’re still near Fort Worth.”
“We’re not far. Straight highway and we can be back at your place in half an hour. Good, he has lights.”
“You were just joking about the running water, right? I never did get that shower.”
“Try that door.” He pointed to one next to the small kitchen.
She cracked the door enough for him to see a sink, gave him a thumbs up and disappeared behind the closed—and locked—door.
But that wasn’t all that was itching. His skin was irritated by the T-shirt as he put away the last of the beer and wine. He was irritated at himself when he realized he was looking for an excuse to take it off. The idea of meeting Lindsey bare-chested prompted him to open the new stainless steel fridge and pop the top on a beer.
He took care of the basics, securing the doors and windows, getting the bed ready, putting a pillow and blanket on the leather couch. All the while having no trouble picturing Lindsey’s sun-kissed skin lathered in soap. And no problem imagining the small bubbles being rinsed away. Or how he wished he was in that shower with her.
“Damn it. Get a grip.”
The water stopped and he reached for another beer.
“You look like you’ve gone for a run,” she said stepping from the bathroom in a skimpy, short T-shirt and shorts cut up to her hip. Her hair was wrapped inside a stark white towel that made her skin all the more appealing.
He gulped down the cool liquid, swallowing the desire building low in his belly. Any sweat on his upper lip was purely from his heavy breathing, not any labor he’d done while she was cooling off.
She crossed the small area rug in her bare feet making him glad he was still in his boots. Maybe checking the perimeter one more time was a good idea. It would get him out of the house and out of arm’s reach.
“How do we start looking for someone we know nothing about?”
“We know something about him.” He tipped the end of his second beer between his lips and crushed the empty can before setting it on the table. “He can’t fight worth a Hoover Dam.”
“Well, neither can I.” Lindsey unwrapped the towel and shook her hair down her back, finger-combing and fluffing the damp wheat-colored strands. She dropped the towel over the chair next to him. “Seriously, where do we start?”
He had himself under control. Right up to when she batted those long lashes in his direction and those baby blues taunted him with their brilliance.
She took a step back and he caught her hand. With a little tug and footwork he remembered from the couple of times he’d danced in public, he had Lindsey securely wrapped in his arms. It might be very ungentlemanly, but he had every intention of kissing her until she admitted she wanted to see if the bed was as new as the kitchen appliances.
“How `bout where we left off?” he whispered, almost afraid to ask. He had to ask, of course. Because as much as he wanted to show her she couldn’t resist him, the decision had to be hers.
She didn’t move, but she was far from frozen. With his free hand, he traced the outline of her mouth. She sighed as her lips parted and her eyes closed. Her head tilted to the perfect angle for him to enjoy his prize.
He expected something to happen. An interruption. Someone handing him his hat or waving from the porch. But no one was there. They were alone. Far from his family or danger. No one would be stopping them but them.
He hesitated too long and she opened her soft, sexually charged eyes. Then she followed the path his finger had taken and moistened her lips. He was a goner. Had been the moment he’d sat at that table and finally spoke to her at the sandwich shop. His dad had told him more than once that when he fell it would be hard and there’d be no coming back.
Here’s what a couple of people thought…
“If you are looking for a book that's very well written, has well-defined characters and lots of action then this is the story for you. Angi Morgan had me holding my breath in anticipation of what was to come next so many times in this book. It really is a story that you can't put down until the very end, so you have all your questions answered and a very joyful HEA. I highly recommend this book.”
~Margie H, Amazon 5 Star review
“Once again Angi Morgan does and exceptional job of creating a complex but believable plot that had me holding my breath. Her characters are outstanding and relate-able, and their relationship sings. In the Renegade Rancher, the second in the two book Texas Family Reckoning, Brian has spent months trying to figure out who murdered a beloved teacher and framed him 12 years ago. He had spent too much of his life believing that his brother's negligence caused the death. So he stepped up and took the blame and faced vilification from the town and harassment from the local police. Now that he is getting closer to a solution, he realizes that a relative of the dead teacher is in danger from the same man. While they work together to find the monster who has been getting away with murder for 20 years, Brian's reputation and the idea that a killer could go unnoticed for 20 years makes dealing with the police impossible. With limited help from his brother, Brian must find a way to protect Leslie and help her locate the killer, before he locates them, again!”
~Jeanie J. Amazon 5 Star review
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USA Today Bestselling author ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publishers Weekly best-seller. She drags her dogs –and husband– around Texas for research road trips so she can write off her camera. They now have a map with highlighted roads they’ve traveled. Every detour somehow makes it into a book.