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Cowboy's Texas RescueCowboy's Texas Rescue

"It's nice to have someone with your--um, skill set--around when there's a killer on the loose."

Taking out bad guys is in Jake Connelly's DNA as much as strength, fearlessness and Greek-god good looks. So is rescuing women like Chelsea Harris, who's kidnapped by a brutal escaped convict. What isn't in the cowboy hunk's DNA, Chelsea fears, is an interest in relationships—especially with a jilted size-fourteen plain Jane like herself.

With the killer on the loose and a Texas-size blizzard raging, Jake and Chelsea take refuge in an icy farmhouse. Sudden sparks between them turn on plenty of heat! But Jake has sworn to put his black ops career before distracting emotions. He needs to stay focused to stop the convict's reign of terror--and protect Chelsea from the danger of falling for him?


"Cornelison's book is about following a life path that wasn't necessarily something planned or necessarily dreamed about or planned. Life has a way of throwing a curve ball. People choose which road to take. This is a lovely tale about reexamining choices.  Even though this TEXAS COWBOY'S RESCUE is froth with danger you can't overlook the wonderful feeling of joy and love infused in practically every page. Cornelison has written a page turner that is truly enjoyable from beginning to end. Just when you think the tale has come to an acceptable conclusion the author throws still another wrench into the works and the adventure continues. Anyone who loves cowboys will love the special ops agent in a black cowboy hat who is the hero in Cornelison's latest work. But even the toughest cowboys need a special damsel to save -- and this is a wonderful story about what happens when that damsel has the grit to match." -- Sandra Wurman, FreshFiction

"Cowboy’s Texas Rescue is the last in the series and one of my favorites. I’ve been watching Jake from afar since the beginning and I’m so glad he got his happy ending. He’s a tough, take no nonsense operative and he needed someone to break him down and stand up to him.

He got that with Chelsea. Like with the rest of the series, there’s action, suspense, heat, and romance. I loved the connection between the two of them and the way they fought, loved, and fought for each other and not just against each other.

Cowboy’s Texas Rescue is a great way to end the series and I can’t wait to see what this author does next." -- Nicole, Reviews By Molly

"Sometimes nothing but a good romance will do and this book certainly fit the bill. The main characters were both strong and interesting.  Can't wait to read other books by the author. She knows how to ratchet up the tension, both sexual and otherwise, and keep you turning the pages!" -- Jodi, GoodReads

"This book is full of dramatic action with element of suspense in it and the main characters are totally lovable. I love Jake for his strength and you can totally rely on him in making everything right. Overall, I enjoyed reading very much this story and couldn’t stop turning the pages as I wanted to see how the story progress. " -- Hsiau Wei, GoodReads

"Very good book with intense action right from the start...I really liked both Chelsea and Jake.  I really enjoyed the action in this book. I couldn't stop turning the pages because I wanted to see what was going to happen next. It sometimes seemed that Jake and Chelsea were never going to be able to escape. I really liked seeing Daniel and Alec from the first two books as they came to help at the end." -- Susan, GoodReads

"WOW this book was so good I read it again after I finished it. This is going onto my favorite’s list. ...The relationship between Jake, and Chelsea melted my heart. I also loved all the good quotes thrown into the story. This book is a must read! " -- Paula Legate, GoodReads

"I loved this story! It was a fantastic read from the first page to the last. The characters were wonderful and so fun to read about. I was cheering and turning pages to make sure I wouldn’t miss anything. This was worthy of 4 stars out of a five star review. The chemistry between the leads, Chelsea and Jake, was smoldering and hot. Jake is the kind of man you would want in any drastic situation and Chelsea never turned into a simpering whiny woman. She held her own and that is the kind of female lead you should always read about.

This is definitely worthy of a second read, and another, and well, you get the point!!!" -- Daniella, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

"Cowboy's Texas Rescue is full of drama and action. everytime I think the danger is over I get surprised.  The novel is dramatic and kept my intention. Did not want to stop reading till I had finshed." -- Rhonda, GoodReads

"I read Cowboy's Texas Rescue in one night. It was a quick read, but not due to any faults, rather because I just wanted to keep turning those pages to see how we might reach the end.  It was a read I did not want to put down..." -- Sharon, Sharon the Librarian Blog


A brutal winter storm was looming.

As she crossed the grocery store parking lot, Chelsea Harris cast a worried gaze to the dark clouds rolling in from New Mexico and quickened her step. She still had to stop for gasoline, or her mother's boat of a car wouldn't make it all the way back to their rural West Texas ranch house. The gas-guzzling 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood had been her father's wedding gift to her mother. Despite the worn seats—held together by the always-ready duct tape kept in the glove box—the rusting body and the seemingly monthly repair bills, her mother treasured the car and refused to give it up. Chelsea was babysitting the car, along with her parents' house, while her folks took a well-deserved and overdue three-week cruise to Hawaii.

An icy wind buffeted her as she keyed open the driver's door. Hawaii would be nice right about now.

Shivering, Chelsea brushed her long, wind-blown hair from her face and huddled deeper into her pullover sweater. This morning she'd raced out of her parents' ranch house without a coat, because the temperature had been a balmy sixty-five degrees. But since she'd left for work at the blood center, the temperature had plunged as a cold front moved through town. Thank you, fickle West Texas weather.

Dropping a grocery sack and her purse on the seat beside her, Chelsea cranked the Caddy's engine, coaxing the car with a muttered, "Come on, Ethyl. I know you hate the cold, but we gotta get home before the storm hits."

She breathed a sigh of relief when the engine finally caught, and she backed out of her parking space and headed to the gas station down the block. Her own apartment was only a few blocks from the blood center where she worked as a phlebotomist, so she usually rode her bike to work. But her parents' home, the ranch house she'd grown up in, was twenty-two miles from town, necessitating pressing Ethyl into service. The cost of gasoline to and from town was eating her paycheck for lunch. But how could she refuse her parents' ranch-sitting request after all they'd done for her through the years?

Chelsea pulled up to the gas pump, cut the engine and gritted her teeth, dreading stepping out into the wintery wind again. The sooner you fill up, the sooner you'll be home in a hot bath with a glass of wine. The promise of unwinding sounded heavenly, so Chelsea shouldered open the car door and stepped out into the cold.

As she turned toward the gas pump, she almost collided with a disheveled man in orange coveralls who appeared from nowhere. "Oh! I'm sorry. I didn't see—"

"Get in the car!" he growled, jamming something hard in her belly.

She glanced down at the object poking her, and a chill that had nothing to do with the weather raced through her.

A gun. The man had a gun!

Chelsea's throat dried. Her heart rate spiked. "I d-don't have any money. I—"

He crowded her, forcing her to step backward, and he opened the driver's door on the Caddy. "Get in!"

She jolted when he barked the command at her. He shoved the gun harder into her ribs, and panic flooded Chelsea's brain. Sheer survival instinct kicked in. With her heart pounding a frantic cadence, she slid back onto the driver's seat.

The gunman climbed in the backseat, moving the muzzle of his weapon to the base of her skull, and grated, "Drive."

"But—"

"Drive!" His shouted order brooked no resistance.

Hands shaking, Chelsea cranked the engine again and pulled away from the pump. "Wh-where are we going?"

"Just drive! And don't try anything stupid. I've already killed two cops today to make my getaway. I'll shoot you without blinking if you give me trouble."

He leaned over the front seat and snatched her mother's GPS from its mount on the dashboard. After he'd pushed a few buttons, the disembodied voice of the GPS intoned. "Go home?"

He tapped the screen, and the GPS voice said, "Continue west on Highway 244 for one point six miles, then turn left."

Chelsea's stomach pitched. The last thing she wanted was for this cretin to know where her parents lived. She bit her lower lip and met the guy's dark glare in the rearview mirror. Okay, maybe the last thing she wanted was to be raped and tortured to death. But having him know where she was staying ranked near the top.

"You live with anyone?" he asked.

"Wh-what?" Dividing her attention between the road and monitoring the man in her backseat, Chelsea fought the panic swelling in her chest. She needed to keep her head if she was going to survive, but the constant pressure of his gun against her skull made it difficult to think calmly.

"It's an easy question. Do you live with anyone? Will there be anyone else at your house when we get there?"

"It's my parents' house."

He jabbed her again with the gun. "And are Mommy and Daddy home?"

She considered lying for a moment, but the gun poking the base of her skull gave her pause. She wasn't a good liar, and if he guessed she was bluffing… "N-no. I'm house-sitting while they're out of town."

A leering grin twisted his mouth. "Perfect."

The lettering stenciled on the breast pocket of his jumpsuit caught her attention. Texas Department of Criminal Justice—Inmate. Her pulse spiked, and she sputtered, "Y-you're a prison inmate?"

He leered at her via the rearview mirror. "Not anymore."

Her mouth dried remembering his warning that he'd already killed two cops today. No doubt the gun he wielded had been stolen from one of the cops.

"Wh-who are you? What do you want from me?"

"For now, all I want is a ride out of town, maybe a place to hole up for a little while, until I can plan my next move."

She noticed he didn't give her his name. Not that she really expected him to.

"Then you don't h-have any place in mind you're heading? No one on the outside is helping you?"

"You're helping me now, aren't ya?" Another leer.

Chelsea swallowed hard. Dear God, she was aiding and abetting a criminal. But under duress. They wouldn't convict her for helping a prisoner escape under duress, would they? Her heart stutter-stepped. Lord, she hoped not.

As she approached the turn for the highway to her parents' house, she considered driving straight. The road to her parents' ranch was long and nearly deserted. She had a much greater chance of finding help if she stayed on this road. She accelerated as they neared the turnoff, then cringed when her mother's GPS reminded her to turn left.

"Turn, damn it!" he yelled as they reached the intersection.

Gulping oxygen, she cut the wheel hard, and Ethyl's tires squealed as they whipped a sharp turn at the last second.

The man shot her a dark look and jabbed harder with the gun. "You weren't gonna turn, were ya?" He smacked the back of her head with the butt of his gun, and pain ricocheted through her head.

Narrowing a lethal glare on her, he growled, "I warned you not to pull anything! Drive me to your house, or I will shoot you and drive myself! Got it, girlie?"

Chelsea drew a shuddering breath and nodded. Just do as he says, and you might stay alive, the voice of fear and caution whispered to her.

Tears filled her eyes as a sense of futility and helplessness rushed over her the farther she got from town. She didn't want to die. But she didn't want to go down without at least attempting to save herself either.

As her initial shock and panic settled into an even level of terror, Chelsea mentally raced through her options. Could she crash the car into something and make a run for it?

She glanced around the isolated stretch of ranch-land and saw nothing but miles of flat, empty earth. No trees, no roadside buildings, not even a highway sign substantial enough to make Ethyl undrivable. And if she did crash her mother's Caddy out here, where would she run? Her captor would shoot her before she took three steps.

Despair wrenched her chest, and she blinked back the tears that gathered in her eyes. Could she somehow get the gun away from him? He didn't look all that well muscled, but he was taller and was most likely stronger than she was.

She cut her eyes to her purse, where her cell phone was nestled in a front pocket. If she could distract him, could she dial 9-1-1 before he stopped her?

She met his gaze in the mirror again, and his eyes narrowed with suspicion before darting to her purse.

"Don't even think about it, girlie." He grabbed her purse and dragged it into the backseat with him. "You got a gun in here or something?"

"N-no."

He started rifling through her purse, and Chelsea's skin crawled, seeing him touch her personal things. She squeezed the steering wheel, searching for another plan of escape when Ethyl's engine coughed.

The man's head came up. "What was that?"

"I don't—"

The motor sputtered again, and a sinking realization settled over her, as dark as the clouds rolling in from the west.

Ethyl choked again as the man leaned over the front seat to scan the dashboard lights and gauges. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Nothing. But we—"

The engine sputtered loudly and cut off. Icy dread shimmied through Chelsea.

Her captor ground the muzzle into her nape and grated, "Don't screw around with me, sister. I'll blow your damn head off!"

Chelsea whimpered fearfully and cleared her throat as she coasted to the side of the road and stopped the car. "It's not me! I swear. W-we're out of gas!"

 

Black Ops Rescue
March 2013
Silhouette Romantic Suspense anthology
ISBN 978-0-373-27816-9

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