Book 1 of The Wyatt Brothers of Montana Series

Classic Romance

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jane Porter kicks off her brand new cowboy series with a modern twist on an old-fashioned way of finding a wife.

After the only woman Joe Wyatt ever loved marries another, the Montana rancher swears off romance. He’s done playing the game. Only problem? He needs a wife, and kids he can pass the Paradise Valley cattle ranch to. So Joe takes the same no-nonsense approach to marriage as he does to running his family’s business…he places an online ad for a mail-order bride. The ad is a lot like Joe, straight-forward and to-the-point: Wife Wanted.

When Sophie Correia is left at the altar after her groom runs off with her maid of honor, she wants to get as far away from California and her dairy farming family as possible. Sophie doesn’t need hearts and flowers, but she’s fed up with men who can’t commit. And at thirty, she’s more than ready to start a family. When she comes across Joe’s ad, she thinks she’s found the perfect solution — head to Montana, get married, and move forward.

Can a contract for marriage lead to love, or will the arrangement cost them their hearts?

Classic Romance

Montana Cowboy Romance

read an excerpt →

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jane Porter kicks off her brand new cowboy series with a modern twist on an old-fashioned way of finding a wife.

After the only woman Joe Wyatt ever loved marries another, the Montana rancher swears off romance. He’s done playing the game. Only problem? He needs a wife, and kids he can pass the Paradise Valley cattle ranch to. So Joe takes the same no-nonsense approach to marriage as he does to running his family’s business…he places an online ad for a mail-order bride. The ad is a lot like Joe, straight-forward and to-the-point: Wife Wanted.

When Sophie Correia is left at the altar after her groom runs off with her maid of honor, she wants to get as far away from California and her dairy farming family as possible. Sophie doesn’t need hearts and flowers, but she’s fed up with men who can’t commit. And at thirty, she’s more than ready to start a family. When she comes across Joe’s ad, she thinks she’s found the perfect solution — head to Montana, get married, and move forward.

Can a contract for marriage lead to love, or will the arrangement cost them their hearts?

Montana Cowboy Romance

Book 1 of The Wyatt Brothers of Montana Series

Classic Romance

Themes & Archetypes

Cowboy

Tule Publishing

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Montana Cowboy Romance

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Chapter 1

Joe Wyatt rocked on his heels, trying to stay relaxed as he waited for his soon-to-be bride to enter the terminal. One hundred years ago, he would have been meeting her train in Marietta. Today, he was meeting her plane in Bozeman.

It’d been three months since he’d placed the ad that he was looking for a wife, three months since strangers began answering the ad. Three months where he’d questioned himself even as he explored options, but the questions and doubts were behind him. Sophie had been his first, and final, choice and he, apparently, was hers, as the daughter of California dairy farmers would be stepping through the arrival gate any moment.

He knew what she’d looked like. Medium height, brown eyes, high cheekbones, a strong brow, and dark brown hair. They’d had a half dozen calls before they had their first FaceTime conversations, and then two more FaceTime conversations after that where they discussed what they wanted, and expected, and how they’d break the news to their families if they really went through with it.

They’d agreed on a simple story. They’d met online—which was true—and they’d become very attached and wanted to be together. Thus, Sophie’s arrival today.

What their families wouldn’t know was that if Sophie and Joe clicked in person, they were planning on being married at the end of the week. They weren’t going to do a long engagement. Sophie was leaving her world behind, and he was determined to include her fully in his.

His granddad and mom knew he’d come to the airport today to meet Sophie’s plane. They didn’t know much else about her.

But why should they? He didn’t know much about her, either.

And then she was there. He spotted her immediately. Sophie Correia looked like a California girl as she walked through the sliding glass doors, wearing jeans, boots, and a cropped denim jacket. It was her waist length hair that gave her away, hair so dark it looked like coffee in the terminal lighting. She wore a backpack, and pulled a small roller bag, and had polarized sunglasses perched on her small, straight nose.

Her gaze scanned the crowd and, as she impatiently pushed a long strand of dark hair back from her forehead, she reminded him of a California movie star, young, glossy, pretty. Almost too pretty, and he felt a kick of disappointment because he had a sinking suspicion that she’d hate the ranch. The Wyatt Ranch was remote, high in the Gallatin mountains, thirty minutes from anything.

He cut through the thinning crowd. “Sophie? I’m Joe Wyatt.”

She looked up at him, lips curving into a smile. “Nice to meet you in person, Joe Wyatt.”

He hesitated only a moment before he took her hand, his fingers closing around hers. Her skin was cool, her palm soft, and yet he felt a tingle of heat and he dropped her hand to reach for her roller bag. “Is this all you have?”

“No, I’ve got two big checked bags coming. They said it shouldn’t take long.”

“It doesn’t, not here. It’s not a big airport,” he said, looking down at her. Her aviator style sunglasses reflected his own image, and Joe thought it peculiar that she was still wearing sunglasses inside. He wasn’t sure if it was a California thing, or something else, but then, as if she could read his mind, she removed the reflective glasses and slid them into a pocket of her jean jacket before shyly glancing up at him. That was when he saw her brown eyes were watery. Her long black lashes were wet. She’d been crying.

His gut tightened and he felt another kick of disappointment, along with a whisper of concern because she’d ended a serious relationship in the last year. He’d wondered if she was ready for a commitment so soon after that relationship had ended, but she’d assured him she was ready.

Tears worried him, though. Not because he couldn’t handle emotions, but Joe spent most of his day out on the property. He wasn’t available to do a lot of comfort and conversation. His future wife had to be strong, independent. Self-sufficient. She needed to be low maintenance as well.

Sophie had presented herself as all of that, and more, having been raised on a large family dairy farm, familiar with the long hours her father and brothers worked. But seeing her here in front of him, he had serious reservations.

The tension inside of him hardened into a ball inside his gut, even as a little voice in his head said this wasn’t a great start. Too soft, he mentally added to the earlier concerns of too pretty, too glossy. She’d never survive life on the ranch, and what he needed was a pragmatic, level-headed woman, who didn’t mind isolation or hard work.

He wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, though. Perhaps something had happened on the flight. Maybe she’d just gotten bad news. “Everything okay?” he asked gruffly.

She nodded, smiling unsteadily. “Yes. Everything okay at your end?”

“Yes, now that you’re here. Let’s go find those bags of yours.”

They didn’t talk much as they waited at the baggage carousel for her suitcases and the silence felt awkward. Joe shifted his weight from foot to foot, trying to not to read too much into the silence, thinking it was inevitable there’d be some initial awkwardness. She was here in his world; he was responsible for her.

Joe considered the different things he could say and finally asked about her flight. She said it was fine. He struggled to think of something else to say. “Was the plane crowded?”

“Every seat filled,” she answered, before adding, “but it’s a small plane.”

He nodded. More silence stretched, and it felt heavier and even less comfortable than before.

Sophie excused herself to use the ladies’ room and when she returned he noticed she’d put some makeup on, covering the traces of her earlier tears. She was so pretty she didn’t need makeup, but he took the mascara and whatever else she did to be a sign that the tears were behind her.

Her suitcases arrived a few minutes later and he tucked the smaller roller bag under his arm, pulling the two big cases through the terminal doors to the street. “Wait here while I drive the truck around,” he told her. “No sense dragging you and your bags through the parking lot. It’s pretty dirty from the melting snow.”

“You just had snow?”

“It’s pretty much gone now, but it’s made everything muddy. I’ll be right back.”

And then he was off, walking quickly, wanting to put distance between them so he could regroup before they were trapped in the car for the next forty-five minutes.

* * *

Sophie watched Joe Wyatt walk away from her, her stomach doing mad panicked somersaults, one after the other. What was she doing? What was she thinking?

This was insane. She wasn’t impulsive, wasn’t prone to mad adventures, and yet here she was, and it was definitely crazy. She didn’t know this man. She was in the middle of nowhere, and she was going to get in his truck? Drive to an even more remote nowhere?

He could be an ax-murder.

He could chain her up in a basement—

Sophie stopped herself, queasy.

She needed to calm down, fast. She’d done her research. She’d made calls, talked to ranchers, business owners and everyone liked the Wyatts, Joe, in particular. Everyone described them as honest, hardworking, trustworthy. The oldest son, Joe, might be a bit gruff and standoffish, but he was a man of integrity, with neighbors uniformly describing him as a good man.

But what did that mean?

What did she really know?

She should go. She should get on the next flight out of Bozeman and head home. She didn’t need to marry now. There’d be other opportunities later. Maybe.

And just like that, she pictured Leo, who was supposed to have married her, and the gorgeous wildly expensive wedding dress which had briefly hung in her closet, and fresh shame and hurt burned through her, just as hot and fresh as it had been when Leo had betrayed her.

For a moment, Sophie couldn’t breathe, her chest squeezing tightly with endless pain.

Worse, Leo was now part of her family. Leo would forever be part of her family. If she returned to her family in California.

She didn’t have to return home, though, if she ran back into the airport. She could jump on a plane and go anywhere. She could get a job in a different city… have a different life… a new life.

A big black truck pulled up in front of her and shifted into park. The driver door swung open and Joe climbed out and came around to meet her on the curb. His eyes met hers beneath the brim of his cowboy hat. He was taller than she’d expected, bigger, with broad shoulders, long legs, and a disarmingly square jaw.

“You okay?” he asked, eyes narrowing, expression grim.

He struck her as hard. Resolute.

Nothing like Leo, and that was good. Leo was a salesman—literally, VP of sales with his family’s company, Brazer Farms—and he was all about charm, being the favorite one.

She forced a smile. “Yes, I’m good. Thank you.”

He didn’t look like he believed her. “You were crying when you got off the plane.”

“I’ve never been to Montana before.”

He lifted a brow. “And that’s why you were crying?”

Sophie flushed, and huffed out an embarrassed laugh, thinking he probably hadn’t cried a day in his life. “This is suddenly very real, and very scary.”

Joe nodded, his stern expression easing. “I’d be worried about you if you weren’t a little nervous. It’s not every day one agrees to marry a stranger.”

“True.” She hesitated. “You said if either of us had doubts at the end of the week, we wouldn’t go through with the ceremony.” She tipped her head back to look him in the eyes, eyes that were a light cool, clear blue. “You mean that?”

“Yes. I’ve no intention of marrying someone that isn’t going to be happy… much less make my mom unhappy. She’s to think this is a love match, and neither of us are going to disillusion her.”

Sophie glanced down at her luggage. She’d arrived with two carryon bags and two big suitcases, everything she’d thought she’d need to start this new life as Joe Wyatt’s wife. But Paradise Valley, Montana was a long way from her family’s dairy farm in Tulare, California.

But wasn’t that what she’d wanted? A fresh start far from her close-knit community where everyone knew everything about each other, including Sophie’s humiliation when her groom ran off with her sister Sarah?

“Your mom knows I’m coming, though?” she asked.

“Yes. Granddad, too.”

Joe had told her they both lived at the ranch. Mr. Wyatt had raised his four grandsons after his son, their dad, died in a car accident. “And what have you told them?” she asked.

“We met online and have been talking and messaging and we’ve hit it off and so I’ve invited you out to meet everyone.”

It was what he’d told her he’d say, but she was double-checking, wanting to be sure the story hadn’t changed. “They’ll expect us to be a little… uncomfortable… around each other,” she said, looking up at him again, and then away, discomfited by the hard square jaw and the firm press of his lips. “Seeing as it’s the first time we’ve met in real life.”

“We’ve got a week,” he said, agreeing with her. “We either make it work in the next seven days, or I’ll drive you back here next Thursday and put you on a plane.”

“Doesn’t sound like there’s much wiggle room.”

“I’m thirty-three and I need a wife and kids and you’re either the right woman, or you’re not.” He opened the passenger door of the truck for her before loading her luggage into the back of the cab. “It’s time we find out.”

She stiffened at his brusque tone. “You have to be the right one for me as well. I’m not going to be a doormat. I want a husband who will respect me, and treat me like an equal.”

His gaze swept her face, lingering on her eyes and then dropping to her mouth. “It’s going to be an interesting week, Sophie. Welcome to Montana.”

end of excerpt

Montana Cowboy Romance is available in the following formats:

Tule Publishing

ISBN: 978-1951786915

April 2, 2020

Montana Cowboy Romance

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