The Cowboys #6
On Sale: August 1, 1999
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I've been told that my heroes ought to be rougher, more
dangerous, more brooding, but that goes against the grain
of my Southern upbringing. Southern men can be total
bastards to each other, but you treat a woman special.
After all, she is, or will be, somebody's mamma, and
mothers are sacred to a true Southerner
I guess that's a little bit how Pete Jernigan, the hero of
The Cowboys: PETE, feels about Anne Thompson. That's what
causes him to assume the identity of a dead man, to
pretend to be her husband, so he can save her from a
forced marriage to a savage old womanizer. Only trouble
is, once he's told the lie, he's stuck with it. If he
tells the truth, everybody loses. Then a rival is murdered
right under his own roof and Pete is the prime suspect.
Pete knows he ought to tell Anne the truth and leave
before she falls in love with him. He has to leave before
he runs out of excuses not to consummate their marriage.
But he can't leave without putting her in danger, giving
up his search for the money stolen from him (the reason
that brought him to the ranch in the first place), and
practically confessing to the murder of the man he's
impersonating. It becomes even more complicated when Pete
finds himself falling in love with Anne. His honor demands
one thing, his body and emotions the opposite. No matter
which he chooses, he loses.
Pete's not your typical, all-conquering hero. Pete acts
and speaks before he thinks which has gotten him in
trouble his whole life. His adopted family considered him
something of a burden because he used to be little and
they were always having to bail him out of trouble his
mouth got him into. But he's grown up now, and Anne thinks
he's perfect, that he can fix any difficulty, figure out
any problem. Pete tries mightily to live up to this
flattering picture of himself. And he does pretty well
until he falls into the clutches of the real villain. Then
it's time for Anne to discover she's not so helpless as
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