Series: Moving Violations #1
January 29, 2019
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Oh lordy! This is differently the book for you if you are looking to be warmed up! Might want a fan nearby so you don’t get burned! One Tough Cowboy was full of suspense, intrigue, and lots of sexy times!
Samantha returns home when her aunt passes away to find her childhood crush, Hunter, is now the sheriff. Samantha and Hunter are determined to find out what really happened to her aunt, as well as figure out what other dark things are happening in the county.
Samantha is one of the feistiest heroines I’ve read in a while. The banter between her and Hunter was delicious because Hunter could give it just as well as he could take it. Hunter is certainly an alpha-hero as he is going to do whatever it takes to keep Samantha safe.
One Tough Cowboy will keep you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next, while so making you fan yourself while reading some majorly sorching scenes!
He hadn’t changed much. He seemed bigger, his shoulders broader. His signature thick, black hair was cut in a shorter style. As he got closer, Samantha noticed his face had changed quite a bit. Any boyish softness he’d once had was all gone and had been replaced with hard planes and angles, except for his full, well-defined lips. There were fine laugh lines fanning out from the corners of his steel gray eyes. Those eyes were more intense, hard. The easy laughter that lit them when he was younger seemed to be gone.
“Ms. Bell.” He nodded in greeting to the diminutive lady.
“Good of you to come by, Sheriff. Little Samantha is handlin’ all this by herself.” She winked and patted his arm. “She could use a little help, I’m thinkin’.”
Samantha wanted to walk away. She also wanted to throw her arms around Hunter and hold on for dear life. Not just because he still made her heart pound, but because he was a part of her life she thought she’d lost. She wanted to hold on to a stable, warm part of her past where she was happy and safe. Seeing him again brought those memories and emotions all rushing back. “Hey, Sam.” The smooth, deep bass of his voice was
quiet and soothing.
“Hey, Hunter.” His name left her lips with more com- posure than she felt.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the funeral, but I wanted to come by to extend my condolences, and to see how you’re doin’.” He stepped closer and rubbed her bare upper arm. “You holdin’ up okay?” His hand, a bit rough and callused from real work, was warm, reassuring.
She crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m okay, Hunter, thank you.” She cleared her throat. “Everyone brought food. The dining room table is overflowing. Help yourself.”
He followed her through the living room to the din- ing room. She turned and almost jumped back. He was standing inches away, looking down at her. His brows furrowed, his gaze sharply assessing her. He smelled in- credible, and he stood so close she could feel the heat from his body.
She opened her mouth to say something but forgot what she wanted to say. She must look completely ignorant gaping up at him like that.
“Are you sure you’re all right?” Sympathy and con- cern shadowed his expression, softening the harsher lines of his face.
“It’s been a long day. I’m fine, really.” She was a bas- ket case, and not just because of her aunt’s death.
Hunter gave her a gentle smile and pulled out a chair. “No doubt. Sit and talk to me for a while. I haven’t seen you in what? Ten years?”
Samantha welcomed the chance to get off her feet and get away from the crowd for a bit. “Yeah, about ten years, I think.”
He pulled out the chair beside her, turned it toward her, and sat, staring at her solemnly. “I’m real sorry about Dottie.”
“Me too.” She looked into his eyes, assessing whether she could or should continue. “I really didn’t get enough time with her. I’ll always regret that.”
Hunter shook his head. “Sam, you know Dottie thought the world of you. She knew you loved her and she loved you.”
Had she? Samantha couldn’t help but question the ob- servation. School, her career, and far too many emo- tions had seemed to always get in the way of returning to Deerhaven.
“Yes, I know, but I look around at these people and think of how some of them probably knew her even better than I did, her own niece.” Samantha frowned and gestured toward a blue-haired woman sitting on the couch sobbing, clutching another woman’s hand. “Mrs. Holt is devastated.”
She obviously had not talked to her aunt on the phone enough either, because Dottie had never mentioned the other woman.
A small smile touched Hunter’s far-too-sensual lips as he lowered his head and leaned closer. “Sam, Irene Holt never even met Dottie. She attends any and all fu- nerals and wails and carries on like that at every one of ’em.” Amusement touching his gaze.
Samantha looked at him incredulously until he raised his hand and said, “Hand to God. Every one of ’em.”
“Wow.” No wonder her aunt Dottie had never men- tioned the other woman.
“Yep.” Hunter’s smile broadened. “As for the rest of them, they’re just being neighborly or nosy. Most of ’em still remember your family and you. You were pretty hard to forget . . . Pixie Pest.” His brows lifted playfully. Teasingly.
Samantha narrowed her eyes. “Ugh. That nickname.
I don’t know which is worse, that or Sami Jo.”
She protested it. Just as she always had. That flare of warmth she felt whenever it passed his lips was still there, though.
“You earned it.”
“Psh, whatever.” She’d actually worked at it at the time.
Hunter chuckled and she nearly sighed. Lord, she’d missed his laugh, his smile, even the way he’d tease her. She’d missed him.
“Aw, you know I was always fond of you, Pixie. You were a great kid, even if you were a pest that was con- stantly following me around and giving my girlfriends hell.”
She had been such a tomboy with wild, young girl fantasies of being swept off her feet by the cutest boy in Deerhaven, or the whole wide world, for that matter. He’d called her his Pixie Pest whenever he’d seen her and tugged at her long, tangled hair.
“I’m not a kid anymore.” She held his gaze and couldn’t imagine how she’d gotten so bold.
Hunter’s gaze traveled over her body, a single black brow arching slowly in acknowledgment. “I’ve noticed. I’m trying really hard to remember what a pain in the ass you used to be.”
Samantha lifted a brow. “I can still be a pain in the ass.”
“I bet you can.” The look in his eyes was making her feel way too hot, way too needy.
She didn’t want to go there. Not now. After Tom No- vak, the very last thing she needed was another relation- ship. Besides all that, she was here to get answers, not to get laid.
Clearing her throat again, she changed the subject to the one on which she had to keep her focus. “Hunter, what really happened to Aunt Dottie?”