The Buckskin Brotherhood
Book 5

Denied by his bride...

Wrangler Rafe Banner proposed to ranch cook Kate Gifford two months ago. Her refusal destroyed their friendship.

Now Kate’s wealthy aunt will put her little sister through medical school, but there’s a catch. Kate must get married and Rafe’s her only hope. Will he agree to a marriage of her convenience?

Rafe’s determined to step up and be the friend Kate needs. It’s gonna hurt like hell.


Kate might not be home from the dining hall yet. Hadn’t figured on that, but it didn’t matter. He’d wait.
Sure enough, her truck wasn’t parked in front of the cottage and no lights were on inside. Rafe shut off the motor, got out and leaned against the fender.
Had it only been twenty-four hours since he’d barreled out of there, filled with rage?
Driving around for an hour after leaving her house had helped some. Talking it through with Leo and Garrett had helped some more. He’d had a heart-to-heart with Nick while they’d mucked out stalls this morning.
But despite their understanding and support, his anger had stuck with him, simmering under the surface. Then Jake had revealed Kate’s self-sacrificing plan and the anger had drained away.
He’d underestimated the depth of her commitment. He shouldn’t have. Going to the mat for her baby sister was totally in character.
At the sound of a truck engine, he pushed away from the fender and stood. Headlight beams swept the parking area as she pulled in. She slowed the truck, creeping forward as if buying time to compose herself.
He hated that his unexpected appearance caused that reaction. She used to greet his surprise visits with a happy smile. They used to be friends.
Walking to her truck, he opened her door. “Don’t be scared. I’m not mad anymore.”
“That’s not what I heard from various sources today.”
He swung the door wider and offered his hand. “That was before I found out about the idea you’d come up with.”
She hesitated, but eventually put her hand in his. “Where’d you hear about it?”
“Jake.” He loved holding her hand. Used to do it all the time when he’d helped her out of his truck and when they’d danced at the Moose. All that had ended in August.
“So Millie told him and he called you?”
“It wasn’t quite that straightforward.” Once she was out of the truck, he let go of her. “This is Jake we’re talking about. The point is, I know.” He fought the urge to take her hand again. She steadied him, and he was about to make a commitment that made his chest feel like a war was being fought in there.
“All right. You know. Why are you here?”
His heart hammered. “Because I don’t want you to work out a deal with some random guy who answers your ad.”
“Too bad. I’m—”
“I’ll do it, Kate.” He cleared the huskiness from his throat. “I’ll marry you.”

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Book 9

Book 10

Copyright 2001-2021 Vicki Lewis Thompson