Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Brenda Jackson | Exclusive Excerpt: THE MARRIAGE HE DEMANDS

April 12, 2021

Brianna Banks entered the attorney’s office the next morning. “Good morning, Lois.”

The older woman glanced up at Brianna and smiled. “Good morning, Brianna. You’re early.”

“Is Mr. Cavanaugh in?”

“Yes, he’s here, and since you and Mr. Outlaw are the only two needed for the reading of the will, we can get started as soon as he arrives.” Lois Inglese then leaned over the desk and said in a low voice, “I didn’t know Ellen had a son. Did you?”

Brianna drew in a deep breath. She liked Lois. Had known the fifty-something-year-old woman all her life. The one thing she also knew was that Lois had a pen­chant for gossip. More than once, Lois had gotten in hot water with Mr. Cavanaugh for discussing things that should be confidential.

“I’d rather not say, Lois.” Brianna checked her watch. “If you don’t mind, I’ll take a seat over there and wait.”

Lois’s smile faded when she realized Brianna would not divulge any information.

Brianna crossed the room to take a chair by the win­dow that overlooked Eagle Bend River. Although she had known about Ellen’s son, Lois was the last person Brianna would admit anything to. She’d also known of their strained relationship, which was the main reason Brianna was prepared to not like him. Besides, there was a chance he might not show up today.

She picked up a magazine, deciding that whether the man showed up was not her concern. Brianna was thankful that Ellen had thought enough of her to in­clude her in the will. She would appreciate whatever Ellen left for her.

Everything Brianna had done for Ellen in her final days had been because Brianna had wanted to do so. Ellen had been there for her when she’d been a kid who lived on the Blazing Frontier Dude Ranch. Brianna’s mother had managed the ranch and her father had been head foreman.

Brianna glanced up when the door opened and a tall, handsome man walked in. She recognized him immediately. She had seen a picture of him once, when he’d been ten years or so younger. She’d thought he was a hottie then. However, the man she saw now was so strikingly handsome, she could say she had never seen a man who looked that gorgeous before in her life.

The man was none other than Ms. Ellen’s son, Cashen Outlaw.

From where Brianna was sitting, on the other side of the huge potted plant, he couldn’t see her, which gave her the perfect opportunity to ogle him. He was dressed to the nines in a dark business suit. Very few men in Black Crow wore business suits; they proba­bly didn’t even own one. That included the attorneys and politicians. This was strictly a jeans and Western shirt town. Heck, they didn’t even dress up for church.

The only time she saw a man in a suit these days was at funerals or when she drove into Laramie. Even Jackson, which was considered the top city in Wyo­ming when it came to education, jobs and other ame­nities, still had a very casual dress code. But she had no problem looking at this man, especially when the suit appeared tailor-made just for him.

She figured his height was every bit of six-two or three, and all she saw was his profile. That was enough to send sensations she hadn’t felt in months—even years—flowing through her. She couldn’t hear ex­actly what he was saying to Lois, but it was obvi­ous the older woman was hanging on his every word. That proved a woman was never too old to appreciate a nice-looking man.

She really couldn’t blame Lois. Cashen Outlaw had a commanding presence. A prime example of raw male power and self-confidence.

At that moment Henry Cavanaugh’s office door opened and the older man, who’d been practicing law in Black Crow before Brianna was born, stepped out wearing jeans and a crisply starched chambray shirt.

Mr. Cavanaugh smiled at her and said, “Hello, Bri­anna.” He shook her hand before moving toward the other man, introducing himself.

That is when Cashen glanced over at her, seeing her for the first time. The moment their gazes con­nected she felt weak in the knees. Lordy, he had beau­tiful almond-colored skin, a striking pair of dark eyes and hair that was neatly trimmed. He had a square-cut jaw and a wide, firm mouth with full lips that was perfect for his face. What really had her heart racing was a sexy pair of dimples that came into full display when he smiled.

He moved to stand beside Mr. Cavanaugh, and she saw how well his suit accentuated his solid frame. She had a feeling he would look absolutely male in any­thing he wore. And he smelled good. She was certain the arousing scent was him and not Mr. Cavanaugh.

“Let me introduce the two of you,” Mr. Cavanaugh was saying, breaking into her thoughts. “Cashen Outlaw, this is Brianna Banks. She is the other person named in your mother’s will.”

If Mr. Cavanaugh’s revelation surprised him, the man didn’t show it. He merely extended his hand out to her. “Nice meeting you, Brianna.”

“Same here, Cashen.”

His smiled widened a fraction when he said, “Please, just Cash.”

“Cash,” she repeated, not able to tear her gaze from his. He was still holding her hand and his touch felt downright overwhelming.

“The two of you can step into my office.”

With Mr. Cavanaugh’s statement, Cash released her hand and said, “After you, Brianna.”

“Thank you.”

She followed Mr. Cavanaugh, and Cash brought up the rear. She did not have to glance over at Lois to know the older woman’s eyes had watched their every move. At the moment Brianna didn’t care. Her main concern was how she would share the same space with Cash Outlaw and keep herself from drooling.

(c) Brenda Jackson, Harlequin Books/Harlequin Desire, 2021. Reprinted with permission from the publisher. 


Westmoreland Legacy: The Outlaws #2

The Marriage He Demands

In the wilds of Wyoming ranch country, he needs something only she can give him. What price is too high to pay? Find out in this sizzling contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson!

This ranching heir wants it all, including the woman who stands in his way!
Businessman Cash Outlaw has inherited almost all of his late mother’s Wyoming ranch…but still needs the fifty acres left to her former caretaker. As negotiations with beautiful, determined Brianna Banks become much more intimate, she reveals she’ll only sell him the property…if he gives her a baby! Cash’s counteroffer? That the mother of his child must become his wife!

From Harlequin Desire: Luxury, scandal, desire—welcome to the lives of the American elite.

Love triumphs in these uplifting romances, part of the Westmoreland Legacy: The Outlaws series.
Book 1: The Wife He Needs
Book 2: The Marriage He Demands
Book 3: What He Wants for Christmas

Multicultural African-American | Romance [Harlequin Desire, On Sale: April 13, 2021, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781335232823 / eISBN: 9781488070518]

About Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling.

Westmoreland | The Protectors by Brenda Jackson | Catalina Cove | Forged of Steele


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