The McGavin Brothers
Book 14

What happens when a Scotsman dons a Stetson?

Rory McGavin has never left Scotland, let alone traveled across the Atlantic. So when he hops a plane to surprise his cousins in Eagles Nest, Montana, the surprise is on him. He arrives on Ryker McGavin’s wedding day and is immediately expected to ride a horse, something he’s never done. He’s not about to admit that, especially when a bonnie lass named Damaris claims he’s the spitting image of the rugged Scottish hero from Outlander. With his manly rep on the line, Rory’s determined to turn himself into a dashing cowboy, no matter what it takes...

Excerpt

Rory walked with Damaris toward three saddled horses tied to the hitching post in front of the barn.
Damaris swept a hand in his direction. “Quinn, this is Rory McGavin, in case you haven’t guessed.”
He smiled. “I have. I’m quick that way.” He was holding a gray horse by the reins but he dropped them to the ground and came over to offer his hand. “Good to meet you, Rory.”
“Good to meet you, too, Quinn. But aren’t you worried that horse will just walk away?”
“He’s ground-tied.”
“What’s—” He caught himself before he’d revealed his ignorance.
Even so, Quinn gave him a sharp glance.
Damaris didn’t seem to notice. She’d gone over to stroke the neck of the gray horse. “Is this dappled gray for me?”
“He is. This is Fifty Shades.”
She laughed. “Of course he is. Pleased to meet you, handsome guy.”
“He’s on loan from Crimson Cliffs Ranch. So is the palomino April’s riding. We pulled from every resource we had.”
“I’m thrilled with this one. The genetics that produce such a color fascinate me.” She glanced at the other two. One was the color of light suede with a black mane and tail. His lower legs were black, too, as if he had on socks. “I see you have Banjo saddled. Who’s the third one? I don’t recognize him.”
“That’s Diablo. Should be perfect for you, Rory.”
“I’m sure he’ll be fine.” Diablo? That didn’t sound good. Although the brown horse didn’t look much like a devil with his head drooping and his eyes closed.
“Is Diablo from Crimson Cliffs, too?” Damaris looked him over. “I don’t remember a Wild Creek horse with that name.”
“He’s ours. Kendra and I found him a few months ago. Whoever named him has a sense of humor. Nothing devilish about this animal. He’s a sound fifteen-year-old with good manners.”
Some of Rory’s tension eased. He was on board with a sleepy horse who had good manners. Not even Diablo’s tail twitched. It wasn’t braided with ribbons, likely because he hadn’t been meant to ride in the wedding.
Quinn picked up the gray horse’s reins and glanced at Damaris. “Ready to mount up?”
“You betcha.” She approached the horse from the left, handed her bouquet to Quinn and put her booted foot in the left stirrup. Good to know that was the side to use. She mounted swiftly, despite the extra material of the split skirt. After retrieving her bouquet and riding away from the hitching post, she spun her horse around, clearly waiting for him.
He was torn. He wanted her company on the trip to the meadow, but if she stayed to watch him get on this creature, she might figure out that he’d never been astride one in his life.
He gazed up at her. “You’d best be goin’. Catch up with the others. I’ll be right behind you.”
“I can wait. We’ll make Ryker’s fourteen-hundred hours, no problem.”
“All right.” He turned toward Quinn. “Let’s do it.”
The light of amusement in Quinn’s gray eyes said it all. He knew he was dealing with a beginner. “Then allow me to introduce you to Diablo. I think you’ll like him.”
“I’m sure I will.”
“He may not look like it now, but having a rider on his back puts a spring in his step. He’ll make you look good.”
“Does he ever rear up on his hind legs?”
“Not unless you want him to.” Quinn lowered his voice. “You have zero experience, right?”
Denying it was stupid. This bloke wasn’t the type you could fool. “How did you know?”
“Son, I’ve been around riders all my life. You don’t fit the profile.”
“But I want to.”
“That’s an admirable goal. If you stay open to it, there’s much to be learned on the back of a horse. Here’s the deal with Diablo. He moves out as if he’s in a parade, but Kendra bought him because he’s great with kids.”
“It’s a horse for wee bairns?” Now he could breathe easy.
“I had a hunch you might not be ready for a more spirited animal. Need a boost?”
“No, thank you. I can manage.” He might not know what he was doing, but he could mount up with flair, like he’d seen in the movies.
Shoving his boot in the left stirrup, he pushed off with vigor. Too much vigor, it turned out. Somehow he overshot the saddle, lost his left stirrup in the process and was forced to slide to the ground on the far side of the blasted horse. The animal turned his head and gave him a long-suffering glance. Bloody hell


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Copyright 2001-2019 Vicki Lewis Thompson