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Courageous

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Courageous

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The life of a paid mercenary makes sense to Special Forces Officer Winslow Grange. The jungles of South America may make his former job as a ranch manager for his friend Jay Pendleton look like a...
The life of a paid mercenary makes sense to Special Forces Officer Winslow Grange. The jungles of South America may make his former job as a ranch manager for his friend Jay Pendleton look like a...
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  • The life of a paid mercenary makes sense to Special Forces Officer Winslow Grange. The jungles of South America may make his former job as a ranch manager for his friend Jay Pendleton look like a cakewalk, but it's nothing that the former Green Beret can't handle.

    A woman's heart, however--that's dangerous territory. Back in Texas, Grange's biggest problem was avoiding Peg Larson and all the complications being attracted to the daughter of his foreman would entail. Now Grange will need all his training to help General Emilio Machado gain control of the tiny South American nation of Barrera; when Peg arrives unannounced, she's a distraction he can't avoid. She's determined to show Grange she can be useful on and off the battlefield. Once she breaks through his armor, traversing the wilds of the Amazon will prove an easier task than defending himself against her winning charms....

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    "I don't want to go to the Cattleman's Ball." Winslow Grange was emphatic about it. He glared at the other man. His dark eyes were hostile. Of course, they were usually hostile.

    His boss just smiled. Jason Pendleton knew his foreman very well. "You'll have a good time," he said. "You need the break."

    "Break!" Grange threw his big hands up in the air and turned away. "I'm going to a South American country with a group of covert ops specialists to retake a country under a bloodthirsty dictator..."

    "Exactly," Jason said blandly. "That's why you need the break."

    Grange turned back to him, with his hands deep in his jeans pockets. He grimaced. "Listen, I don't like people much. I don't mix well."

    "And you think I do?" Jason asked reasonably. "I have to hobnob with heads of corporations, government regulators, federal auditors...but I cope. You'll be able to deal with it, too."

    "I guess so." He drew in a long breath. "It's been a while since I led men into battle."

    Jason lifted an eyebrow. "You went into Mexico to liberate my wife when she was kidnapped by your current boss."

    "An incursion. We're talking about a war." He turned back to the fence, leaned his arms on it and stared blindly at the purebred cattle munching at a rolled-up hay bale. "I lost men in Iraq."

    "Mostly due to your C.O.'s idiotic orders, as I recall, not to your own competence."

    Grange said grimly, "I loved his court-martial."

    "Served him right." Jason leaned against the fence beside him. "Point is, you lead well. That's a valuable ability to a deposed head-of-state who's fighting to restore democracy to his country. If you succeed, and I believe you will, they'll erect a statue of you somewhere."

    Grange burst out laughing.

    "But the ball is a local tradition. We all go, and donate to important regional causes at the same time. We get together and dance and talk and have fun. You remember what that is, Grange, don't you? Fun?"

    Grange made a face.

    "You ex-military guys, honest to God--" Jason sighed. "Don't start with me," Grange told him. "You just remember that my military experience is why Gracie isn't lying dead in a ditch somewhere."

    Jason shook his head. "I think about it every day." He didn't like remembering it. Gracie had almost died. Their courtship had been rocky and difficult. They were married now, and expecting their first child. Gracie had thought she was pregnant soon after their marriage, only she'd been mistaken. She wasn't this time. She was six months pregnant and beaming. They were happy together. But it hadn't been an easy path to the altar.

    "I was going to ask her out, just before you married Gra-cie," Grange said to irritate the other man. "I even bought a new suit."

    "It wasn't wasted. It's still in style. You can wear it to the Cattleman's Ball. Besides," Jason added with a grin, "you have no cause for complaint. I gave you a tract of land and a seed herd of purebred Santa Gertrudis."

    "You really shouldn't have done that," Grange told him firmly. "It was overkill."

    "It wasn't. You're the most valuable employee I've got here. It was a bonus. Well deserved."

    Grange smiled. "Thanks." He made another face. "But you didn't have to throw in Ed Larson and his daughter."

    "Peg's sweet, and she cooks like an angel."

    The dark eyes glared. "She's after me. All...

About the Author-
  • The prolific author of more than one hundred books, Diana Palmer got her start as a newspaper reporter. A New York Times bestselling author and voted one of the top ten romance writers in America, she has a gift for telling the most sensual tales with charm and humor. Diana lives with her family in Cornelia, Georgia.

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