The Cowboy Earns a Bride (Cowboys of Chance Creek Book 8)

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Book: The Cowboy Earns a Bride (Cowboys of Chance Creek Book 8) by Cora Seton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cora Seton
Tags: Romance, Cowboys
striding up to them. He looked the bush over a minute. “A bulldog?”
    “I was thinking armadillo,” Cab said. “But I see what you mean about the bulldog.”
    Rob bristled. “It ain’t a bulldog or an armadillo. It’s a horse. Anyone can see that.”
    “Rose, any chance you could come with us to Thayer’s?” Mia thought it best to ask before an argument erupted.
    “Thayer’s? Are you two buying a ring?” Rose looked pleased.
    “Yes, I was hoping you could give us your… opinion.” Mia sent her a hopeful look.
    Rose nodded. “Of course.”
    “It’s the head that’s all wrong,” Jake told Rob.
    “It’s the legs,” Cab countered. “Look at them—stubby little armadillo legs.”
    “You know what? I need to get my ring cleaned,” Morgan said. “How about you drive to Thayer’s with me, Rose? We’ll meet you and Luke there, Mia.”
    “Sounds good. Bye, Cab,” Mia said, although Cab wasn’t paying attention. Mia didn’t blame him; the bush with its lumpy shape and bare spots did draw the eye in this winter landscape. “I hope Autumn likes her armadillo, Rob.”
    “It is not an armadillo. See what you started,” he said to Cab.
    “I can’t help it if your horse is vertically challenged.”
    When Mia and Luke reached Thayer’s, Rose and Morgan were already standing at the cash register, talking to Andrea Moore, the young woman who had taken over Rose’s position.
    “I’m glad Emory isn’t here,” Mia heard Morgan say to Rose. Emory Thayer owned the jewelry store and had been Rose’s boss when she worked there.
    “Emory’s in less and less,” Andrea told them. “He’s really slowing down. I think he’ll give up the store soon. Everyone will have to drive to Billings for rings.”
    “Someone will buy the store and keep it running, don’t you think?” Rose said. “Every town needs a jewelry store.”
    “Maybe you should buy it,” Mia said.
    Rose just laughed. “I don’t have the time or money. What I need is a gallery.”
    “Look around you!” Andrea waved a hand at the plain gray, mirror-lined walls. “There’s plenty of space.”
    “A jewelry store and art gallery? That would be pretty weird,” Rose said.
    Mia didn’t blame Rose for not being interested. Emory had been a strange boss at best—and he was also the father of the man she’d dated for years. When she broke up with him, things got ugly between her and Emory and she’d ended up quitting abruptly.
    “Andrea, do you mind if I help Mia and Luke pick out a ring?” Rose asked.
    “Not at all.” Andrea handed over her keys to Rose instantly and Mia had the feeling this wasn’t the first time Rose had acted the part of sales clerk since she’d left the position. She led the way to the engagement ring display cases.
    “Do you know your budget, Luke?”
    Mia’s heart squeezed again. They were buying a ring. She was marrying Luke.
    But when Luke named a number, Mia’s jaw dropped open. Where had he gotten that kind of money?
    “That will give you plenty of options,” Rose said, the surprise in her voice matching Mia’s. She bent over the cases. “How about this one?” She pointed out a simple, delicate ring. Mia felt a rush of gratitude for her friend. The ring was beautiful and she’d love to own such a thing, but she instinctively knew it wouldn’t break the bank.
    “Ooh, that’s pretty,” Morgan said. Her thick, dark waves swung over her shoulders as she bent to look at it more closely. Mia was happy the older woman agreed with her opinion. Morgan was so competent and self-assured; if she liked the ring, it had to be a good pick.
    Focusing on the ring again, Mia decided that if she’d scanned the cases for an hour she couldn’t have chosen a better one herself. She slid a look at Rose, wondering if what people said was really true—that she got a feeling from the engagement ring about a couple’s chances for happiness. Had Rose seen something promising in them? Is that how she’d been

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