When Sherry is around every scene gets livelier. She does nothing by halves, and it was great fun to write her. Because she is so strong in her convictions, upsetting her world causes a good deal of emotions of which she is NOT fond. But she gets through it, because she has a fighting spirit.
I adore Sherry Forrester and her family. Luke Calhoun becomes quite worthy of her, and it was very satisfying to give both of them their happy ending.
Sherry has no wish for a husband, but one night with a Texas Ranger…why not?
THE RANGER'S VOW
One night can’t become two…
Sherry Forrester has her life just as she wants it. No attachments. No pressure from her parents to marry. A little bit of money and the freedom to be the lady she desires. When a stranger rolls into town, mysterious and gorgeous, her interest is piqued. Sherry swore she wouldn't give away her heart, but she longs for one night of passion, and the newcomer is perfectly capable of supplying that.
Texas Ranger Luke "Rip" Calhoun is hoping for a few diverting weeks in Pike’s Run. Along with promising to help the local sheriff catch a wily garter thief, he looks for challenging card games, good whiskey and a willing woman. When Sherry Forrester catches his eye—who wouldn't want her after stumbling upon her skinny dipping?—he does the hardest thing ever and waits for her to choose him to warm her sheets for a night. And only one night. For Luke made a long-ago vow never to let love ensnare him.
But what neither plans on is the hand of fate changing their paths…
Luke caught a flash of pale skin as someone arced beneath the water. His breath stilled when the figure broke the surface, revealing a woman about twenty yards from him swimming to the opposite bank. Luke froze, careful not to move a single muscle lest this be a dream and he woke.
All he could see of the woman was her head as she glided away from his side of the creek. Was she naked? He glanced toward the other side and discovered clothes folded on a rock. He could determine the colors, and white peeked between light blue fabric. He knew plenty about women’s garments, and most of their underthings were white pieces of angelic sweetness. Which meant the lady enjoying the water was as bare as could be.
A smile tugged the corners of his lips, but before he could be accused of peeking more than he already had, he dismounted and used his horse to hide her from his view. At the moment, he couldn’t pull Zeus away for anything, so Luke was stuck until the animal decided he was finished. Of course, Luke didn’t want to leave. While he couldn’t see, and hadn’t seen a damn thing, it was nice being near a woman who courted risk and went skinny dipping.
Hell, there was nothing between her and that water. Not one stitch. His mind conjured all sorts of images as the sounds of her body cutting through the stream reached him.
When a screech met his ears, he knew she’d caught sight of the drinking horse and perhaps its owner’s legs. He let out an exhale and waited for the outburst.
“Who’s there?” she cried. “You get out of here.”
He should, but he wouldn’t. He was never more grateful for his stubborn mount. “I can’t, ma’am. My horse has a mind of his own.”
“Ha! A gentleman would find a way.”
He used his bandana to wipe his brow as he remained hunched over in order to keep hidden. “A man has to take care of his horse, ma’am. Can’t survive without him.”
There was a splash. Had she left the creek—or hit the surface with an irritated hand?
“A convenient excuse so you can spy on me.”
He chuckled. “Ma’am, I can’t see, and didn’t see, one thing, I assure you.”
“You assure me? And what good is that? I don’t even know who you are.”
Damn, but he wished he could look at her. “Nope, you don’t.”
A silent moment, then, “That’s it? You aren’t gonna tell me your name?”
“You gonna tell me yours?”
“Not on your life. Why would I let some drifter know who I am?”
“Drifter? Is that what I am?” He’d been called worse.
“Well, how would I know?”
“Then why’d you call me that?”
Zeus lifted his head, looking toward the lady who shared his creek. Luke kept himself from pushing the horse’s nose back to the water in order to prolong this moment normally only possible in nighttime fantasies. Of course, in his dream the lady usually invited him in.
“Would a gentleman spy on a woman as she bathed?”
“If he’s smart, he would.”
“Ha! So you did peek.”
He grinned and watched a grasshopper jump over the toe of his boot. “I admit I looked, but it’s just my luck I couldn’t see anything. You’re too far away.”
Zeus snuffled then turned his head toward his master. He blinked at Luke as if he wondered what the hell the woman was doing skinny dipping in his drinking water. Luke stroked the black then exhaled. He’d have to leave this sprite.
“I feel sorry for you that you didn’t manage to see anything,” she continued, her tone without an ounce of pity. “I don’t mind telling you I’m as pretty as a picture.”
He laughed outright. “I’ve no doubt of that, ma’am, and I can promise you my mind paints a perfect image, so don’t you fret.” He tugged on Zeus’ reins.
She made a noise that was half-laugh, half-disbelief.
He left the idyllic setting, Zeus following behind him. A smile stayed on his lips as he mounted up once he was out of her line of sight. What a damn fine welcome.