Meet Utah Davies, named for the state he was born and raised in. He’s an ex-football star turned recluse mountain man. When he comes out of the bush, he goes into town to buy some beer for the long, lonely nights, and a shovel to bury his horse.
He’s playful but he has knuckles of steel if you trip his trigger, as his brothers Clinton and Gunnison do. Oh, and a few other brothers.
Utah’s father had a secret–12 secrets, actually. While hauling freight across the country, he left a trail of children in several states, leaving Utah the oldest of fifteen. Yes, FIFTEEN. Now his father’s dead, and the lawyer will only speak with Utah about his secret siblings.
Utah lost Caroline early when she never showed up at the county line to elope. But once he sets eyes on her again, he knows exactly what he wants, and he’s not willing to back down this time.
EXCERPT from ALMOST A COWBOY:
“Tryin’ to remember what they looked like?” The drawl came from behind.
Utah pivoted to face Gunnison. Four years younger, he hadn’t achieved his full height or size the last time Utah had seen him. But his brother still had the same face—trademark Davies blue eyes slanted from squinting into the sun, straight nose, and lips quirked into a smirk.
“Gunnison,” his brother said. “In case you don’t remember what I look like.”
Fuck, this was going to be harder than Utah thought. He peered at Gunnison from under the brim of his hat. “I know well enough who ya are. You plan to give me nothing but shit while I’m here?”
Gunnison shifted his weight to the side and hitched a thumb in his jeans pocket. “Depends on how long you’re stayin’. If it’s a few days, then yeah.”
Utah faced him and stuck his thumb in his pocket too. It took a minute to realize they stood the same, moved the same, and glared the same.
“And if I stay for five years?” he asked.
Gunnison gnawed his lower lip and then released it. “You’re looking at four years and eleven months of shit.”
“What’s that?” Clinton asked from the doorway. Utah’s middle brother had filled out. Muscles bulged from the sleeves of his shirt, and his jeans strained over thick thighs. But he wore a pair of high-priced Lucchese boots, so the hard work that had put the muscle on his body was obviously paying off.
“Clinton,” Utah said with a nod.
“Were you discussin’ how long you plan to stick around this time?” Clinton asked.
Tension rolled off his brothers. The Davies boys were obviously looking for a brawl.
They stepped closer to Utah, creating a wall of flesh he’d do his damnedest to shove through.
He looked from one face to the other.
“You like what you see around here, Utah?” Clinton drawled out the end of his name.
“Can’t say as I do.” He held his ground. If the ranch was rundown, it wasn’t all his fault. Maybe his brothers should have picked up the slack.
Maybe our father ran out all the money on a bunch more brothers.
For the first time, curiosity piqued in him. Were there really twelve more? There had been a lot of photos.
“Ma and Pa spent the last of their years wondering what the hell they’d done to keep you away.” Gunnison clenched a fist.
Utah dipped his head. “Yeah, and for that I’m truly sorry. I shoulda tried harder with Ma.”
Clinton cocked his head and raised a dark brow. “With Ma? What about Pa? Gunn and I spent the last six years visiting with him, trying to keep his spirits up after his wife departed this world, and his oldest son took a trip to the Loony Forest.”
Utah riveted Clinton in his glare. “I see you tried to keep the place up during your visits too.”
“Fuck you,” Clinton spat. “I got me a wife and a baby. I work my ass off for them. I’m up at dawn and fall into my sweet wife’s arms at dusk, exhausted from a long day on my own ranch. I don’t have time for all this.” He swept a hand around the dim, dusty space.
“What have you been doin’ with your life, Utah?” Gunnison pressed. “You have a family you’ve been workin’ hard for?” He bobbed his head side to side. “I don’t see them. That must mean you’ve been workin’ hard for yourself and your own shortcomings.”
It was time for Utah to say it. “Fuck you.”
“No, fuck you.” Gunnison lunged at him.
Clinton grabbed Utah around the shoulders, and the three of them crashed to the floor. Utah took two blows to the gut before he hooked Gunnison in the jaw. With all his force, he raised a knee between Clinton’s legs.
I know you’re going to fall in love with this Davies man–and several more. Thanks for reading!
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