The Bachelor's Baby (Bachelor Auction Book 3)By: Dani Collins
A Bachelor Auction Novella
When I wrote my first Montana Born book, Hometown Hero, I wasn’t thinking it would turn into a series. Marietta is a small town and, as authors, we try to cross-over each other’s stories and settings to provide a stronger feeling of community for the reader. It wasn’t in my mind at the time to create that within my own series of books.
But I had no sooner turned in Hometown Hero when I was asked if I wanted to write a Christmas story. It made sense to me to open Blame The Mistletoe at a cocktail party in the home of Skye and Chase from Hometown Hero. Marietta is a small town. I made Blake and Skye from neighboring ranches, so she would have extended an invitation to her lifelong friend. The stories were only loosely linked, but again, I really wasn’t planning to write a series.
Then the bachelor auction came along. I was still writing Liz and Blake’s story and had no idea who my characters for the auction would be. I had Blake’s sister, Meg, come home unexpectedly for Christmas. Family does that, right? Just for good measure, I had her remark on the ‘sold’ sign on the ranch down the road. I figured that would be a good place for a bachelor to live. And I very briefly mentioned Liz had a brother, just in case he might make a good bachelor.
Linc Brady bought that ranch and he is not Liz’s brother. No, you’ll meet Liz’s brother, Bastian, in my bride story, which is coming out this May. Because, apparently, I have written a series. And this is Book Three, both for me and within the Bachelor Auction series.
This is also one of the sexiest, most hilarious premises I’ve ever been lucky enough to be part of. I hope you enjoy my renegade from the oil rigs. And if you’d like to be notified when the next in this series becomes available, please sign up to my newsletter through my website at danicollins.com.
Meg Canon often reminded herself she was lucky, especially when she didn’t feel it. Today was one of those times. She was lucky to have been adopted into a good family. She was lucky to still have her brother. She was lucky to have caught a few breaks with her career. She—
“Oh, why me?” she railed aloud as the truck fishtailed, refused to catch as she tried to recover, then spun before the back end hit the berm of snow at the side of the road, jerking her to a stop.
Part of her believed in karma. Therefore, she knew exactly what she’d done to deserve her misfortune. Self-disgust roiled in her like a washing machine full of dirty laundry these days. Once she’d realized her mistake, she couldn’t stop thinking about it: the one thing that had burned in her psyche her whole life, the obsession that had driven her to Chicago and into television—the search for her birth parents—had set her up for exactly what she was suffering. She was reaping what she’d sown. She had no one to blame but herself.
And because her mind was so deep in her own self-reproach, she had let the damned truck hit a patch of ice and slide its back tires into what would have been the ditch if it wasn’t overflowing with a winter’s worth of plowed snow.
“Curses!” She’d only gone six miles from the end of the ranch’s driveway, but it was a mile to the next neighbor’s, then another down their drive.
And it was winter in Montana. Butt freezing cold out there.
“Lucky,” she muttered facetiously, mentally listing the ways this could have been worse: There were places the road edged a twenty foot drop into the river. Another car could have been involved. She could have hit a deer.
This was an inconvenience. Just like the way she’d had to change her routines in Chicago was an inconvenience. If she would just quit thinking of herself as a victim and accept her situation, she’d be fine.
But every little change made her feel like she was hiding from herself and that made her squirm.
She stared into the blinding afternoon of sparkling hills. The storm two days ago had flash frozen layers of snow onto the trees and fence rails. The February days were slowly getting longer, but the sun was still low, bouncing along the tips of the mountains in the distance. The peaks looked like whipped cream against the intense blue of the sky. Deceptively soft and pretty.