Taylor Brand had always played by the rules. Almost twenty years into her marriage and career, she’d managed to convince herself that her less-than-perfect life was perfect for her. Until the day her husband came home and asked for a divorce.
At nearly 40, Taylor had to start over, and she decides to do something drastic: sell her house, take a leave of absence at work, trade in her BMW for an early-model VW bug, and head west to her Uncle Hank and Aunt Barbara’s ranch in Montana. It was time to fulfill her dream of horseback riding along the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).
Professional bull rider and cowboy-for-hire Clint McAllister had already lived a rough and rowdy life. Too banged up to chase the rodeo circuit for another year, he’d returned to the only other life he knew: wrangling cattle at Bent Tree Ranch. He never expected to be babysitting the boss’s niece on the CDT.
Nor does Taylor want some ill-mannered cowboy as a personal bodyguard on her trek to self-discovery. But, she’s using her uncle’s horses and camping gear, so she’s stuck following his wishes.
On their ride along the Continental Divide, a mutual respect develops and grows into friendship and an undeniable attraction. That’s when Taylor comes up with a plan to take one more shot at the one thing in life she’s always wanted: to get pregnant.
Clint likes Taylor and is attracted to her. But when Taylor, who’d spent years of her life and thousands of dollars on fertility treatments without any success, approaches him with the proposition to pay for his sperm donation, he immediately declines. He’s desperate for money, but not that desperate.
Then comes the message that his truck and fifth wheel—his only home and means of getting back to rodeo—have been repossessed. Clint changes his mind, and Taylor draws up a contract offering him enough money to get his life back on track and releasing him from any financial or familial responsibility for the child. So, they strike a baby bargain—one that lets them both, separately, get what they most want.
Falling in love wasn’t part of their bargain…