When Brock Wagner tells his three brothers to hire a housekeeper, he doesn’t expect the beautiful, maddening Zadie Porter who takes over his house and changes his life. She won’t let him enter the house with his boots on, and even worse, his brothers have given her his bedroom! She's got his brothers wrapped around her little finger, and they're insisting she stay. But there’s something about the woman he just can’t put his finger on. The woman has secrets, and he doesn’t trust her as far as he can throw her. And he hates how she’s starting to get under his skin, making him want to pull her into his arms and kiss her senseless. Zadie Porter is entirely too much trouble. The woman definitely has to go…
Age Rating: 18+ (Assault, Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, Stalker)
Brock, twenty-eight, tall, had dark hair and a muscular build. He was moody and serious, whereas his brothers were fun-loving and easy to get along with.
They all had brown hair, were smaller than their older brother but also had good looks.
The young women were always chasing after them, but Brock made it clear he wasn’t interested in any of them.
After the death of their parents, the land and everything on it was left to all the brothers. But since the triplets were too young and immature, Brock was in charge, making all the decisions.
The sun was beating down on Brock as he sat on his horse, looking over his land and cattle. He removed his hat and wiped the sweat from his forehead.
How he missed New York with its air-conditioned buildings and fancy restaurants.
But when his parents died, he had no choice but to come back and take over the ranch and raise his brothers. They were only fifteen at the time, and there were no other living relatives to take them in.
He also couldn’t see his parents’ home being sold; they had loved it and had worked hard building their cattle business. He came back but resented it; this wasn’t the life he wanted for himself.
To make matters worse, the woman he fell in love with ended their engagement when he told her he was moving back home and asked her to come with him.
He could still remember the conversation between them the day he told her about his parents.
FIVE YEARS EARLIER
“Sweetheart, I’m so sorry about your parents. Would you like me to go back with you for the funeral?”
“Yes, but I won’t be coming back.”
“Why not?” she asked, polishing her fingernails.
“My brothers are only fifteen, and they need me. I have to go back and run the ranch and raise them until they are old enough to take over. It will only be for a few years, and I want you to come with me.”
She looked at him as though he had gone insane. “You want me to live on some dirty old ranch with a bunch of teenagers? No damn way will I agree to that, so you can just find someone else to take care of them.
“I want to marry a successful businessman, not some smelly old cattle rancher. You have a choice: stay here and marry me or go back home.”
He looked at her with sadness in his eyes. “I love you, and I thought you loved me. But I have to go back.”
Shelby removed her diamond ring and threw it at him. “I could never live with or love a dirty, stinky cowboy. Goodbye, Brock. Have a good life.”
He couldn’t believe she walked out on him or the things she said to him. It was then that he felt his heart turning to stone.
He made up his mind that all women were nothing but a bunch of gold diggers and decided he would never love or trust another woman as long as he lived.
Brock had let the triplets leave early so that they could get ready for the dance being held in town. He never went to them himself. He preferred to stay home and drink beer on his own.
But tonight, he had to stay sober because tomorrow, he had to leave town with some of the cattle to go to the auction.
He never took his brothers, because he didn’t think they were mature enough, so he took his hired men with him instead.
The sun was about to set when he rode into the ranch. He got off the horse, removed the saddle, fed him, and then headed inside. When he entered the kitchen and saw the mess, he went crazy.
There were pots and pans sitting in the sink, and the stove and countertop were covered in leftover food. There were plates and glasses on the kitchen table.
At the top of his lungs he yelled out, “Cody, Rory, Lee, get your asses down here right now.”
All three men ran down the stairs and stopped dead in their tracks when they saw their big brother standing there waving his arms around.
“What the fuck is this mess in here? I cleaned everything up before I left for work.” He stared at each and every one of them, waiting for them to speak up. “Well, what have you got to say for yourselves?”
Rory was pushed forward by his two brothers. “Brock, we were in a hurry to get ready for the dance. You know we ain’t no good at cleaning.
“What we need is a housekeeper, someone to cook and clean for us. You said yourself we did, so why haven’t you got one already?”
“Don’t you dare turn this back on me,” Brock snapped. “You know I’ve been busy, and tomorrow I have to take a bunch of cattle to the next town.”
He looked around at the mess and scratched his head. He was way too tired to clean it up, so he looked at his brothers.
“I’ll be gone for four days. You have until then to find us a housekeeper and have this mess cleaned up before I get back.”
“Okay, can we go get ready for the dance now?” Rory asked, tightening the towel that was threatening to fall off his waist.
“Yeah, go on and keep the noise down when you get back,” he answered. Grabbing a beer from the fridge he headed outside onto the porch. He sat down, thinking about how it was when he first came back home.
He had hooked up with a couple of women during his first year back but only used them for sex. After that, he stopped going out.
His brothers were young and always bringing women back to spend the night after a dance.
He didn’t care as long as they stayed out of his way. He was thankful that his bedroom was on the top floor and it had its own bathroom, whereas the triplets’ bedrooms were on the second floor.
He woke up before the sun had risen and went down to the kitchen to make some coffee. He shook his head when he saw the empty beer bottles all over the table and counter.
It was obvious the boys had brought their dates back with them when he saw the purses lying on the floor.
He started the coffee and opened the fridge, and then swore out loud when he saw a pair of ladies’ panties sitting on the shelf.
He grabbed the milk and slammed the door shut. Before leaving, he left them a note, telling them to clean up the mess and to find a housekeeper by the time he got back.