Tina Leonard, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

His Callahan Bride’s Baby

Read the Excerpt

“The thing about the Callahans is that if they call you friend, there’s nothing they won’t do for you. But woe if they call you enemy.”
–Bode Jenkins, talking to a reporter

Rumor had it that Taylor Waters was one of Diablo’s “best” girls. She had a reputation for being wild at heart. Untamable. Men threw their hearts at her feet.

She walked on those hearts with a sweet-natured smile, and guys ate it up with a spoon.

Falcon Chacon Callahan studied the well-built brunette in Banger’s Bait and Tackle. He’d talked the owner of the diner, Jillian, into selling him one last beer, even though the diner usually closed at the stroke of midnight on weekends. It was his Saturday night and he hadn’t wanted to do anything but relax and consider what he was going to do with his life once his job at Rancho Diablo was over.

Taylor was a more immediate interest. She smiled that cute pixie smile at him, and Falcon sipped his beer, deciding on a whim–some might call it a hunch–to toss his heart into the Taylor-tizzy. Intuition had been known to save his life on several occasions, so Falcon believed in living by his spontaneous side. “I need a wife,” he said, and she grinned.

“So I hear. So we all hear.” She came and sat on the bar stool next to him. “You’ll get it figured out eventually, Falcon.”

Taylor worked hard to support herself and to help out her sick mother. There was no Pop Waters anymore, just mother and daughter trying to manage things on their own. Falcon understood how tough it was to be without a parent. “Marry me, Taylor.”

“I’ve only served you three beers and a plate of fa-jitas. I know you’re not drunk enough to propose, Falcon. You’re just crazy, as everyone in Diablo already knows.” She smiled so adorably all the sting fled her words. In fact, she was so cute that Falcon felt his chest expand with admiration.

“I leave crazy to my brothers. My sister is the nutty one. Me, I’m somewhere on the other side of the spectrum.” He leaned over and kissed Taylor lightly on the lips, not caring anymore that he had spent much of his life avoiding the marriage trap. To win the land north of Rancho Diablo, across the deep, winding canyons, he had to have a wife and family. Taylor would do just fine. She packed a generous fanny, and he thought that boded well for childbearing. She also had a nice rack, and that boded well for him.

He grinned. “What’s your answer, cupcake?”

“You’re not serious.” Taylor shook her head. “I’ve known you for over a year. Of all the Callahans, you’re the one the town’s got odds on being last to the altar.” She got up, sashaying to the register. His eyes followed her movements hungrily. “A girl would be a fool to fall for you, Falcon Callahan.”

That did not sound like a yes.

“Aren’t women supposed to be happy to do all that wedding stuff? Trust me, my offer’s good as solid gold.”

She laughed. “Jillian, Falcon wants to marry me.”

Jillian barely glanced up. “Don’t do it, honey,” she said. “No need for you to marry down.”

“Wait a minute,” Falcon said, sitting up straighter. “Marrying down is just as honorable as marrying up. Don’t tell her to pass on a rascal on principle, Mrs. Banger.” He looked at Taylor. “Good advice isn’t something you want to take every time, sugar.”

“Oh, goodness.” Jillian finally gave up on the receipts she’d been studying. “Falcon, why in the world would Taylor want a wild man like you?”

He smiled. “I didn’t say it was a good deal for her….