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Mason - Remington Ranch Book 1 (ebook)

Mason - Remington Ranch Book 1 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy Romance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 8432+ 5-Star Reviews

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Mason Remington fell in love with his little brother's best friend, Gina, when she was still in high school. It seemed they'd found their forever early in life. But somehow it all went wrong. Now - ten years later - Gina's back in town. This time he doesn't intend to let her leave.

Mason spent the years he lost with Gina building a business, breeding and training horses, and helping keep his family's ranch going. Gina threw herself into a life in New York City where she has a career as a photographer…and a fiancé.

Gina needs to sell the ranch where she grew up and move her dad to New York. When she returns to Paradise Valley to finally close that chapter of her life, the last person she wants to see is the man who broke her heart all those years ago.

Mason isn't going to let the only woman he's ever loved walk out of his life forever without explaining what went wrong. He never understood why she left. Now he has one last shot to make her stay.

Available to Read on Kindle, Nook, iThings, Kobo, Phone, Computer, Tablet, Etc! Your eBook will be delivered to your provided email address by BookFunnel. 

Mason is the first book in USA Today Bestselling Author SJ McCoy's international hit Remington Ranch series, loved by over 1,000,000 fans of sweet and steamy romances. 

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter One

Gina stared out the window of her apartment—at a brick wall. In all the years she'd been in New York, she'd never gotten used to looking out at other buildings. She still felt claustrophobic here. Still missed being able to see thirty miles up to the top of the valley and on to the snowy caps of the Crazy Mountains, another fifty miles beyond that. She sucked in a deep breath. Tomorrow she'd see the mountains again. It'd been too long. She got back to see her dad whenever she could, but this time was different. This time she was going to help him put the ranch up for sale. Help him get ready to leave the valley and move to New York so she could keep an eye on him. She swiped angrily at a tear that escaped and rolled down her cheek. She had no choice! He couldn't make it out there by himself—financially or physically. And her own life was here now. She couldn't move out there if she wanted to. She'd have no way to support them. Her photography sold well in the city, and as much as she'd love to spend her days roaming around Montana with her camera, she had to be realistic.

Realistic. Just as she'd discussed with Liam. In his usual no-nonsense, businesslike manner, he had helped her work through the pros and cons. In his usual manner, he had completely ignored any emotional considerations in his assessment of the practical ones. The fact that her dad had lived his whole life in the valley, as had four generations before him. The fact that he didn't want to leave and claimed he’d rather be six feet under than live in New York. Those were emotional concerns that carried no weight with Liam. They were irrelevant. Gina sighed. They might be irrelevant to him, busy as he was at the gallery, staying safely here in New York. They were going to be all too relevant to her for the next couple of weeks while she was in Montana with her dad.

Two whole weeks. She hadn't been back for that long in years. Part of her couldn't wait to get there. Part of her was dreading being there. She was dreading what she knew this would do to her dad. And she was dreading the possibility that she would run into him. Mason Remington. She'd managed to avoid him for years. They hadn't spent more than five minutes in the same room since she'd left for her senior year of college. Although, good as she was at avoiding him in real life, she couldn't avoid him in her dreams. Not a week went by that she didn't spend at least one night with him. Laughing with him as they rode horses up in the foothills. Splashing with him as they floated the river on hot summer days. Screaming his name as he made love to her on a blanket out underneath the big, starry Montana sky. She felt guilty about it, but even when she was awake, it was still Mason she made love to. In bed with Liam she would close her eyes, pretend he was Mason. Pretend that it hadn't all gone wrong and that she was still there in the place she loved, with the man she loved.

She shook her head. She shouldn't be thinking like that. She didn't love him. She didn't even know him anymore. He'd been her first love. That was all. It was natural that a girl should remember her first. Natural to get a little nostalgic. But she had to be realistic. The future she'd dreamed they would share had turned out to be just that. A dream. She'd been young and naïve, and he'd been just a guy. Not a guy who loved her the way she'd thought, but a guy who had enjoyed her and then moved on to the next girl. It was the way things went. Especially between two young people. She shouldn't be mad at him. Shouldn't still hold it against him. But she did. She'd believed him when he told her that he would love her his whole life. He'd been her first. He'd told her he intended to be her last. That she was his and always would be. It still hurt her heart that while she had loved him with all that she was and had believed she would spend the rest of her life with him, he had just seen her as one of the many girls he'd slept with. Just another girl who'd been fun for a while before he'd moved on. All his beautiful words about forever? The words that had meant everything to her? They'd meant nothing to him.

She pulled her suitcase out from under the bed. She didn't need to be thinking about him. She needed to pack. Get everything ready. She'd be there for two weeks, and she had a lot to do in that time. She'd do her best to avoid him, but if she couldn't, she'd be civil. Chat with him like any of her other old friends in the valley. She smiled now. There was one Remington boy she was hoping she would run into. Shane. Shane who had been her best friend from kindergarten through high school. It wasn't his fault his big brother had turned out to be an asshole! She usually managed to catch up with Shane when she was there and always enjoyed his company. In the early years, he'd quizzed her relentlessly about Mason and why she refused to see him or talk to him. He'd eventually gotten the message though. She didn't want anything to do with Mason, and if Shane wanted to keep up their friendship, he needed to respect that. It would be so good to see him again. She bit her lip. Maybe for the last time. Her cell phone startled her.

“Hi, Liam.”

“Gina. Sorry, but I'm not going to make it over there tonight. So, safe travels. I'll see you in a couple of weeks. I thought when you get back we should probably start looking for a ring. We need to go through the calendar and find a date that will work for the wedding.”

Gina shook her head and said nothing. He hadn't even asked her to marry him. It had come up when he was helping her go through her books. She was hopeless at keeping on top of her taxes. He'd told her that they would both gain a significant tax break if they filed as married. And that, for Liam at least, had been all it had taken to determine that they should—and would—get married.

“Are you there, Gina?”

“I am. Listen, is there any way you can come with me? Meet my dad?”

“No. You know that. We've got the big opening at the gallery this weekend, and next week is fully booked, too.”

Gina was disappointed. It was a crazy idea, but she suddenly wanted Liam to see where she came from. “Well, how about next weekend? There's nothing on then. Come for the weekend? Please?”

He was silent for a few moments. Gina could picture him checking his schedule. “I could,” he said slowly, “but you know, it doesn't make much sense.”

She laughed. “Come on, Liam. Humor me? It doesn't need to make sense. Just say you'll come?”

She could hear the smile in his voice. He was a good man. “You know I try to humor you.”

“Thanks, Liam! You'll love it.”

He laughed. “But I'm saying no. It doesn't make sense.”

“Okay.” He was right. It didn't. But still…

“Travel safely, bye.”

“Bye.” Once he'd hung up, Gina made a face and stared at the phone. “You love me? Oh, I love you too, Liam! You're going to miss me? I'll miss you so much!” She blew out a big sigh and turned back to her packing. “Or not!”

Was this truly what it was like for grown-ups? Getting married was convenient for tax purposes and needed to be scheduled around other, more important appointments? Meeting your future spouse's family was something you would do just to humor them? She pulled herself together. Yes. This is how things work when you're a grown-up, she berated herself. Real life has to be taken into consideration. It's not all magic and romance. That's how you thought it was with Mason. You were a kid. And the way it worked out with him should have taught you what a fool you were. It's time to grow up.

~ ~ ~

Mason took a slug of his beer and looked across the table at his brother. Shane grinned back at him. Another Friday night here in the saloon at Chico was off to the usual start. Shane had already been flirting with a couple of girls who were standing at the end of the bar. He'd promised to teach them how to two-step when the band got going later. Mason checked out the older of the two. She smiled back at him. Maybe she'd do. She had long dark hair, a pretty enough face. Long legs, and even if they were encased in jeans that had never seen a day's work, they went all the way up to the kind of ass he liked to fill his hands with. Her friend had played right up to Shane while he'd been talking to them, so Mason would be left with this one. If he was up for it. He wasn't sure he was.

This was getting old. At one time, he'd enjoyed the game, enjoyed coming to the resort on the weekends. Throwing down a few beers and finding a sweet little thing he could throw down on a bed later, even if it was only the bed of his truck. It was a release after a week's hard work on the ranch. He enjoyed women. Hell, they enjoyed him. Coming out here instead of going up to town kept it simple. The women here would be gone by Monday. Everybody won. They got to go home with the memory and the story of the cowboy who gave them a night they wouldn't forget. He got to lose himself in a soft body that helped him to forget. Forget her. It was getting harder and harder to forget her though. To push her out of his mind. He looked up again at the girl who was now climbing onto one of the stools at the end of the bar. She was probably a bad idea. Last time he'd taken a girl with dark hair like that back to her room it had been too much. Too much like her. He'd had that girl under him, bent over the end of the bed panting and moaning as he pounded into her. He'd had a fistful of her hair, but all he could see, all he could feel was Gina. In his head, it was Gina who was taking him so deep, Gina's gorgeous round ass he was digging his fingers into. And it had been Gina's name he'd cried out when all the tension in his body had found its release. He'd felt like an asshole. The girl had been cool about it. Said she wasn't worried, it was just sex. She'd been up for more. She'd even laughed and said he could call her whatever he wanted if he'd stay the night and let her ride him as hard as he'd just ridden her.

She'd been okay with it. But it had freaked Mason the fuck out! He hadn't even seen Gina in years. He'd done his damnedest to forget her. To leave her where she belonged—in the past. But she had some kind of hold on him, a hold that only got stronger with each year that passed. Hell, these days it seemed as if it got stronger with each week that passed. He emptied his beer and slammed the bottle down on the table.

“Sorry Shane, but you'll have to figure out a way to work it by yourself. I'm not up for it tonight. I'm heading back to the ranch.”

Shane gave him a puzzled look. “But that one with the dark hair is more than up for it. Have you seen the way she's looking at you? You probably wouldn't even need to buy her a drink, you could just take her straight up to her room. She's squirming in her seat every time you look over there. I think she already came in her panties when you smiled at her.”

Mason laughed. “Then she's all primed for you or someone else to finish her off.” He stood up and put a hand on Shane's shoulder. “Seriously, little bro. I'm more interested in getting some shut-eye than getting a piece of ass tonight.”

Shane shrugged. “Whatever you want to do. I can fly solo.” He grinned. “Maybe I can talk them into a threesome, I'd hate to see one of them left wanting.”

Mason shook his head. “To anyone else, I'd say dream on. Knowing you, I wouldn't be surprised if you pull it off. Good luck.”

“Are you sure you're okay, Mase? Are you losing your touch? They have little blue pills for that these days you know.”

“I don't need pills. I'm just bored with it all. It seems pretty pointless, you know?”

Shane looked serious for a moment. “I'm going to say something and then dive for cover, okay?”

Mason laughed. “You can say anything. You know that.”

Shane chewed on his bottom lip. “Anything except mention a certain person's name, right?”

Mason gritted his teeth and stared at his brother. He could feel that little pulse in his temple that always seemed to pound when he thought about Gina. “There's no need to mention her name. She's history.”

“If she's history, why did I hear you shouting her name in your sleep? You did it last week when we were camped out at Overlook Point, and I heard you again last night when I got up to take a leak.”

Mason stared at him. “You did?”

Shane nodded solemnly. “I did. And…” Shane frowned, seemingly unsure whether to continue.

“And what? Spit it out.”

“Mom said not to mention anything to you, but I have to. I know it still eats at you. She's back.”

Mason sat back down heavily. “Back as in here? In the valley?”

“Yeah. Her dad's never been quite right since that fall he had. Since he broke his hip, he's been struggling to keep the old place going. Apparently, Gina wants to move him to New York to be with her.”

Mason let out a harsh laugh. “No way would Al Delaney ever leave his ranch! She must be nuts if she thinks he'd ever move to New York.”

“From what she told me, she's desperate, not nuts.”

Mason's whole head was pounding now, not just his temple. “You've spoken to her? She's desperate how?”

“I have. She's worried sick about her old man. Hates him being out here by himself and hates that she can't get out here enough to keep an eye on him.”

“Then she should move back here, shouldn't she! Come take care of her dad and their land. What the hell happened to her that she'd try to move him like that? That she won't do right by him?”

Shane was stone-faced. “A hell of a lot has happened to her over the last few years, Mase. You don't know the half of it.”

Mason slammed his fist down on the table, knocking his chair over as he stood. “I don't know the first fucking thing, do I, Shane? How can I when she won't talk to me?” He turned on his heel and left. What the hell was Gina thinking? She might have been able to leave the valley, to never look back, but she knew how things worked here for the rest of them. It was a hard life, a harsh environment. But for the people who lived here, who were born here, it was their world. The land was everything. They may say they owned the land, but in truth the land owned them. The families who had been here for generations—his own and Gina's included—were as much a part of this valley as the river and the creeks were. Like the junipers that dotted the landscape, they not only survived here, they thrived here. Harsh as it was, this environment shaped them and defined them. And just like the junipers, transplanting them elsewhere would slowly kill them. At least that was how he felt.

He strode across the parking lot and climbed into his truck. Damn, Gina! Apparently she was able to survive in the city. New York fucking City of all places. He would never have believed that of the girl he'd known. She couldn't seriously believe Al would be able to survive there. He turned the key in the ignition and then sat back to take a deep breath and calm himself. And why in the hell did he care anyway? What did it matter to him? He liked Al. Still considered him a friend. Helped him out when things got tough. Always sent him a team over to help—and was usually on it himself—at haying and calving. They managed to steer clear of any mention of Gina though. Damn. He pulled out onto East River Road and headed south. It was none of his goddamned business. He should forget about it, about her. If he wasn't going to be able to lose himself in a warm body tonight, he could at least head home and lose himself in the bottom of a glass of bourbon.

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