(Book 8 of the Bluegrass Reunion series)
by Jan Scarbrough
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Release date: November 5, 2014
No one crosses Parker Stuart, caretaker to his family’s thoroughbred racing empire. Parker retaliates against anyone who dares slight him or his blue-blooded British family, especially Regina Ward and her poker-playing father. The previous spring, Reggie had had the nerve to walk out on him after a torrid, three-week affair. Now, when Parker arrives in Kentucky to collect his family’s winnings, he’s determined to settle the score with the lovely Ms. Ward.
Regina Ward doesn’t consider herself a damsel in distress. After all, this is America, and she’s accustomed to depending upon herself. However, when her father loses four of the yearlings from their central Kentucky horse farm in a poker game, Reggie knows it’s up to her to save what’s left of her family’s homestead and her proud Kentucky heritage. Can she do it when Parker Stuart, the most arrogant and infuriating Brit she’s ever met, shows up in the Bluegrass?
Official publisher link: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
Bourbon County, Kentucky
Parker Stuart cast a disbelieving gaze at the woman who’d met him at the airport. What was he, the youngest son of a proud British, thoroughbredracing family, doing in a mudcaked pickup truck sitting beside a woman who resembled a caricature of a mountain hillbilly? His chauffeur certainly looked nothing like the young woman he remembered from London—the woman he’d flown across the Atlantic to seduce…again.
Women didn’t dump him without regretting it.
Especially not the woman he’d fallen in love with and had planned to marry.
Revenge wasn’t a pretty sentiment, but it was just what he had in mind.
Love her and leave her. Like she’d left him. But he’d take four of her prized thoroughbreds home with him.
He should have known he was making a mistake, but three weeks spent in a haze of good sex— her body naked, writhing beneath him, driving him wild with desire—had fogged his brain. He had fallen in love, succumbing to an emotion he’d avoided for twentynine years.
Too bad she hadn’t stuck around after their short fling. In fact, she had run out on him, leaving him sitting in the restaurant for two hours, engagement ring in his pocket, before he’d finally checked his text messages. There’d been nothing sweet about her “dear John” goodbye.
For God’s sake, she’d dumped him in a text!
No, the woman driving this bloody pickup looked nothing like the charming woman he’d met in
London in the spring. That woman had possessed a quiet assurance and natural reserve. She’d had a genuine sweetness about her and a timeless beauty. Dressed in a classically feminine, floralprint cotton dress, she had worn a widebrimmed, Southern Belle hat on her thick, blond hair when he’d taken her to Ascot in June. She’d called it her “Derby” hat but had meant her derby, the one in Kentucky. Her American accent with its lovable Southern drawl charmed him, but most of all, he’d fallen in love with her shy, sensitive eyes, ones he couldn’t forget.
Eyes now hidden by dark sunglasses.
Parker looked away. The central Kentucky countryside whizzed past, but he hardly saw it.
Granted, the moment he stepped off the jet at the airfield in Lexington, he had admired her curvy figure, fully appreciating those long, shapely and tanned legs. Yet, there was something
objectionable about her dress, or lack thereof. She was wearing short, blue jean cutoffs with frayed cuffs, a skimpy white tank top that left nothing to his more than vivid imagination, and ankle- length barn boots—clunky, muddy, laceup boots that smelled as if they’d tramped around a stable only minutes before his arrival.
Her apparel was an affront to him. To their time together. More than any burst of anger or recrimination, it told him exactly what to expect from this trip. She was thumbing her nose at him
with her improper dress. She’d played him. He’d been a fool.
Not any longer.
Regina Ward, granddaughter of Corbin Ward, breeder of multiple stakes winners, had blood as
blue as anyone in Kentucky but not as blue as his aristocratic, British blood. Tainted only by the
introduction of an American grandmother, Parker’s blueblooded family was heir to the fabled,
Stuart racing stable, acres of prime London real estate, a historic estate in Kent, and a hereditary peerage granted to an ancestor by a reigning monarch five generations earlier.
No, this hayseed couldn’t raise a candle to him. Her family was nothing. Her breeding operation
was negligible. And he was going to drive a stake into the last of it.
Three years ago, Reggie’s drunken father had beaten his older brother in a game of poker, winning one of the Stuart’s prize stallions. Now, the stallion, Stuart’s Legacy, was dead after only three years in Kentucky. Although any horse could die from colic, Legacy’s death was another mark against Reggie and her smalltime horse breeder father, Sam Ward.
Parker blinked hard. Focus. Don’t let her get to you.
The countryside was not as lush and green as his homeland. He knew the Maury silt loam, with its underlying limestone base, made the soil perfect for raising horses. But thanks to the summer heat, the nutrientrich grass looked dry. Inhospitable. Just like his welcome to the Bluegrass State.
Barreling down a Kentucky back road, flanked by black or white wooden fences and an occasional stone wall built by ScotchIrish settlers with a mad woman behind the wheel, who he barely recognized, didn’t set right with Parker. Was he taking his life in his hands by being there?
He glanced again at Reggie.
“Does everyone in Kentucky drive this fast?” Parker added a touch of upperclass disdain to his
She glanced at him and grinned, gum popping in her mouth. “Until we get caught.”
He lifted an eyebrow. God, he hated women chewing gum. That more than anything put him off.
She must have recognized his distaste, for she grinned and smacked her gum louder.
Parker cleared his throat. “How far is it to your farm?”
She flicked the turn signal and spun the steering wheel right, throwing him against the passenger
“We’re here,” she said and popped her gum once more for good measure.
They bounced down a poorly paved country lane bordered by tall oak trees, up a gentle knoll and pulled around a circular drive, halting in front of a stately, Greek Revival house.
“Welcome to Richlawn Hall built in 1830,” she said with a touch of pride then opened her door
and left him sitting alone in the cab.
Heat and humidity sucked the air from his lungs the minute he climbed from the truck. Parker put his hands on the small of his back and arched, stretching his cramped muscles.
Reggie came around the front of the truck and saw him. He couldn’t read her eyes behind her
sunglasses, but he had her attention. He played to his audience, prolonging his stretch, and thought her gaze may have been fixed on the button fly of his classic Paul Smith jeans.
“Our house is on the historic register,” she informed him with an impish toss of her fiftiesera
“So is mine,” he came back then perversely added, “several of them.”
She fisted her hands at that. In the glare of the hot sun, standing in front of him, legs spread, hands on hips, she looked smug and selfassured, almost as if she was ready to do battle with an opponent. Him.
Brilliant! No matter how she tried to put him off with her gum popping and hillbilly attire, he was
ready to take on this woman. Parker set his jaw and returned her stare.
Miss Regina Ward had no clue he was about to even the score—and enjoy himself wholeheartedly while doing it.
Jan Scarbrough is the author of the popular Bluegrass Reunion series, writing heartwarming contemporary romances about family and second chances, and if the plot allows, about another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.
Jan also contributes to the Ladies of Legend series, collaborating with writers Maddie James, Janet Eaves and Magdalena Scott. Set in fictitious Legend, Tennessee, these romances bring together the small town family atmosphere so many readers enjoy.
Leaving her contemporary voice behind, Jan has written a medieval romance MY LORD RAVEN, and FREELY GIVEN, sensual Medieval short romances. Her Gothic romance, TANGLED MEMORIES, was a Golden Heart finalist. TIMELESS is her newest Gothic romance.
A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press.
Visit Jan at http://www.janscarbrough.com
You can also follow Jan on Twitter @romancerider
Like Jan’s Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1pZW7oy
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/janscarbrough
You might also enjoy these other books in the Bluegrass Reunion series
by Jan Scarbrough
published by Resplendence Publishing:
Bluegrass Reunion: They thought the men they loved were out of their lives. They were wrong.
The Bluegrass Reunion series are heartwarming, contemporary romances about family and second chances. Each romance stands alone.
The Bluegrass Reunion Series was published in this order:
- Kentucky Cowboy—Bull rider/veterinarian—She dumped him in high school, because he was a risk-taker.
- Kentucky Woman—Banker/exercise rider—She loved him when she was a teenager, but they never connected.
- Kentucky Flame—American Saddlebred Horse trainers—She had his baby, but he left not knowing the truth.
- Kentucky Groom—Teacher/software designer and Saddlebred groom—She can’t afford to fall in love with a lowly groom.
- Kentucky Bride—American Saddlebred Horse trainer/CEO—She rejected him once, but he’s willing to try again.
- Kentucky Heat—Country music singer/artist—She doesn’t need to take on another project, but he won’t take no for an answer. (Sequel to Kentucky Bride.)
- Kentucky Rain—Divorced single mom/security consultant—She has responsibilities to her daughter and herself, not to the handsome guy next door. (Mentions characters from Kentucky Cowboy.)
- Kentucky Blue Bloods—Kentucky horse breeder/British thoroughbred breeder and owner—She wants to save the family horse farm, but he has other ideas.