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Against The Rules

Against The Rules
Linda Howard

Revisit this engrossing fan-favorite story from New York Times bestselling author Linda HowardCathryn Ashe just wants to make a quick trip back to the ranch she's inherited before returning to her city life. But years ago, she and Rule Jackson, the ranch manager, had a torrid entanglement. Now, eight years later, she returns, sure of herself and her newfound independence and ready to challenge him again.But Rule, once wild and now old and wiser, has never been as passionate about any woman as he is with Cathryn. And as she stays longer, Rule can't help but fall for her all over again. If he wants a second chance at love, Rule will somehow have to show Cathryn that they are meant to be together.A thrilling romantic suspense story.

Revisit this engrossing fan-favorite story from New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard

Cathryn Ashe just wants to make a quick trip back to the ranch she’s inherited before returning to her city life. But years ago, she and Rule Jackson, the ranch manager, had a torrid entanglement. Now, eight years later, she returns, sure of herself and her newfound independence and ready to challenge him again.

But Rule, once wild and now old and wiser, has never been as passionate about any woman as he is with Cathryn. And as she stays longer, Rule can’t help but fall for her all over again. If he wants a second chance at love, Rule will somehow have to show Cathryn that they are meant to be together.

A thrilling romantic suspense story.

Previously published.

Praise for New York Times bestselling author (#ulink_3fe6fec1-dda1-5cd9-8e22-2a6765880f35)

“You can’t read just one Linda Howard!”

—New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter

“Linda Howard writes with power, stunning sensuality and a storytelling ability unmatched in the romance genre.

Every book is a treasure for the reader to savor again and again.”

—New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen

“This master storyteller takes our breath away.”

—RT Book Reviews

Against the Rules

Linda Howard

www.millsandboon.co.uk (http://www.millsandboon.co.uk)

CONTENTS

Cover (#u5fee6849-85c0-567c-a6e5-aff53515e853)

Back Cover Text (#ueee5c344-7368-5192-a196-7218af7e566c)

Praise (#ud2e5162f-dc5c-57fc-8cfc-eea3341b2928)

Title Page (#u26ed5269-5b60-5c0b-a6c5-2a2bb2e81fe5)

CHAPTER 1 (#u63e810bf-578c-5a3d-9553-411e2774edd2)

CHAPTER 2 (#uf1e93b1f-17c8-5791-ae05-f9633b396bf0)

CHAPTER 3 (#u836cdafe-04ce-53d0-b116-ce8f2125591e)

CHAPTER 4 (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 5 (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 6 (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 7 (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 8 (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 9 (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 10 (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 11 (#litres_trial_promo)

Extract (#litres_trial_promo)

Copyright (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 1 (#ulink_7b171604-9de5-521e-abbe-310f408e6fa5)

Cathryn wearily dropped her travel bag at her feet and looked around the air terminal for a familiar face, any familiar face. Houston’s Intercontinental Airport was crowded with holiday travelers over the long Memorial Day weekend, and after being pushed both backward and forward by people hurrying to make connecting flights, Cathryn stepped back out of the worst of the crunch, using her foot to push the travel bag along. Her flight hadn’t been early, so why wasn’t someone there to meet her? This was her first visit home in almost three years, so surely Monica could have—

“Cat.”

The irritated thought was never finished; it was interrupted by a husky growl in her ear and two hard hands curving around her slim waist, turning her around and pulling her against a lean male body. She had a startled, fleeting glimpse of unreadable dark eyes before they were covered by drooping lids and long black lashes; then he was too close, and her lips, parted in surprise, were caught by the warmth of his mouth. Two seconds, three...the kiss lingered, became deeper, his tongue moving in to take sensual possession. An instant before she recovered herself enough to protest, he released her from the kiss and stepped back.

“You shouldn’t do that!” she snapped, her pale cheeks becoming warm with color as she noticed several people watching them and grinning.

Rule Jackson thumbed his battered black hat farther back on his head and regarded her with calm amusement, the same sort of look he’d given her when she was an awkward twelve-year-old, all long arms and legs. “I thought we’d both enjoy it,” he drawled, leaning down to pick up her bag. “Is this all?”

“No,” she said, glaring at him.

“It figures.”

He turned and made his way over to the luggage claim area, and Cathryn followed him, fuming inwardly at his manner but determined not to let him see it. She was twenty-five now, not a scared kid of seventeen; she would not let him intimidate her. She was his employer. He was only the ranch foreman, not the omnipotent devil her adolescent imagination had painted him. He might still have Monica and Ricky under his spell, but Monica was no longer her guardian and couldn’t command her obedience. Cathryn wondered with well-hidden fury if Monica had deliberately sent Rule to meet her, with the knowledge that she hated him.

Unconsciously watching his lean body as he stretched and claimed the lone suitcase with her name tag on it, Cathryn shut off the rest of the violent thoughts that flooded her mind. Seeing Rule had always done that to her, driven her out of control and made her do things she would never have done except in the heat of temper. I hate him, she thought, the words whispering through her mind, but still her eyes moved over the width of his shoulders and down the long, powerful legs as she remembered....

He brought the suitcase to where she stood and one straight black eyebrow arched questioningly. After making her feel that she had imposed on him by having more than one piece of luggage, he grunted, “Not planning on a long visit, are you?”

“No,” she replied, keeping her voice flat, expressionless. She had never stayed long at the ranch, not since that summer when she had been seventeen.

“It’s about time you thought about coming home for good,” he said.

“There’s no reason for me to.”
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