It’s just a belated goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.

Foolproof Love #3
Katee Robert
Releasing Oct 3rd, 2016
Entangled: Brazen

It’s been

thirteen years since Hope Moore left Devil’s Falls, land of sexy cowboys and

bad memories. Back for the weekend, she has no intention of seeing the man she

never got over…or the two of them getting down and dirty. It’s just a belated

goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.

Until six weeks later, when her pregnancy test comes back positive…

Daniel Rodriguez hasn’t forgiven himself for how things went down with Hope all

those years ago. He knows she’s better off without him, but when she shows up

on his doorstep, panicking because she’s pregnant with his baby, he can’t help

seeing it as a chance to make up for the past.

Too bad Hope has no intention of going along with his plans.

 Chapter One
Hope Moore held her breath as she passed the sign declaring Welcome to Devil’s Falls. She hadn’t

crossed the town boundary in thirteen years, not since she sat next to an open

grave as they lowered her brother into the ground. Not since she turned her

back on her entire life here, whisked away by her parents to the best medical

facilities Texas had to offer.

She touched her

knee. She’d never cheered again, never run track, never done any of the things

she’d had planned when she was eighteen and had graduated high school with

stars in her eyes.

Stars in her eyes,

and love in her heart.

Neither had lasted

past that car crash.

Oh, it had taken the

love a lot longer to die than it had her knee, but Daniel Rodriguez made sure

she knew where she stood with him.

She caught herself

taking her foot off the gas and picked up speed again. There was no telling if

she’d see him while she was here, but it couldn’t matter. She’d moved past what

happened that night, moved past the disappointment that she’d almost let sour

everything else about her life. It might not have happened like she planned,

but she’d made the best of her college experience, and she’d gone on to create

a successful little niche for herself, helping people and institutions with too

much money on their hands create trusts and scholarships for those in need.

And now Hope was back

in town to finally do that in her brother’s memory.

She pulled onto Main

Street, heading for the only lodgings someone out of town with no relatives to

stay with would consider—Sara Jane’s B&B. It was a nice little place, but

Sara Jane was nosy to a criminal degree and gossiped more than anyone Hope had

ever come across. The second she checked in and went up to her room, everyone

with a phone would be getting a call letting them know that she was back in


It wasn’t that it

was a secret, but she couldn’t help but feel that she’d always be John Moore’s

little sister, the one who survived when her older brother—her better in a lot

of ways—didn’t. She knew that was her own insecurity. She’d had too many

years of therapy to believe anything else, except in her darkest heart of

hearts, the place she didn’t let see the light any more than strictly


But it was hard to

ignore that little voice when driving through Devil’s Falls. No, not through.

To. This was her destination.

Her parents hadn’t

been too thrilled about her coming back, even for a limited time, but even they

couldn’t deny that this scholarship she was here to set up was a good thing—the

right way to honor John. He’d been in the middle of a full ride at the

University of Texas when he was killed, and it made sense to set it up to allow

other kids the opportunity he’d never be able to realize.

She pressed a hand

to her chest and pulled into the nearest parking spot against the curb. God,

even after all this time, it still hurts. Most days it didn’t. He’d been

gone long enough that she’d processed her grief as much as one person could

process grief, and she was able to focus on the good memories.

Most days.
Her eyes focused on

the sign she’d been staring blindly at, and she frowned. Cups and Kittens. That was new. In a

town as mired in the past as Devil’s Falls, change was something of a novelty.

Or maybe she was biased in a negative way, because the only thing this town

held for her was memories. Some bad, mostly good, all dust now.


grateful for something external to focus on, she climbed out of her car and

looked at the cheery window painting depicting kittens frolicking in between


The B&B could

wait a little while longer. Her meeting with the town board wasn’t until tomorrow,

so there was no reason she couldn’t do a little poking around in the meantime.

Thirteen years was a long time. If anyone had asked her, she would have joked

that she hadn’t expected anything about Devil’s Falls to change while she was


Apparently she’d

been wrong.

She pushed through

the door and froze in the face of a pair of cats staring at her from their

perch on a table overlooking the big window in the front. The sight surprised a

laugh out of her. “Cups and Kittens, indeed.”

“In the most literal


She glanced over at

the woman behind the counter, a third cat lounging near the register.

Familiarity rolled over Hope. “Jules Rodriguez.” Daniel’s little cousin. Not so

little anymore. Last time she’d seen Jules, the girl had been lanky to an

almost awkward degree and had braces with bright green bands. She’d grown up

pretty, and there was more of Daniel about her now than there had been when she

was a kid.

Or maybe I’m just

back in Devil’s Falls and seeing Daniel wherever I look.

Jules’s dark eyes

cleared. “Hope? What are you doing back in town?” She hesitated. “I don’t

suppose you’re here to sweep my brooding cousin off his feet and shove him back

into real life?”

Her mind tripped

over itself trying to keep up with the other woman’s verbal gymnastics. Jules

had always been like that, now that she thought about it—a bright and bubbly

steamroller. She tried to weed her way through what the woman had just said,

but there was only one thing she could focus on. Daniel. Always Daniel. “What

do you mean, back into real life?”

“Well, you know.”
No, she really

didn’t. She studied Jules’s face, the way she wouldn’t quite meet her eyes. “Is

he okay?” She hadn’t missed the way Quinn Baldwyn had frozen up when she’d

asked that same question a few weeks ago at his sister’s wedding, and worry had

been simmering in the back of her mind ever since, no matter how many times she

told herself it wasn’t any of her business. Daniel was a grown man, and he had

always been more than capable of taking care of himself—and everyone else

around him. Things changed, but she couldn’t see that changing.

Jules shifted, her

hand darting out to pet the calico on the counter and then darting away when

the cat swiped at her. “Define okay.”

It was none of her

business. It stopped being her business a very long time ago.

But that didn’t stop

her from clearing her throat and asking, “Is he…is he married?” Did he build

the house we always talked about and have those two wild boys and one sweet

girl? Does he bring his wife waffles for breakfast in bed on the weekends?

Oh my God, stop.
But Jules was

already shaking her head, her mouth turning down. “Nope. No wife, no kids, no

serious relationship in, well, thirteen years.”

Hope blinked.

“You’re joking.”

“I wish I was.” A

calculating look came into her eyes, but then she shook herself and it was all

guileless enthusiasm. “What are you doing for dinner?” She rushed on without

waiting for a response. “We’re having a little thing with Quinn and my friend

Aubry, and, well, I kind of went and married Adam Meyers.”

Some things really do change. She remembered Adam, the wild-eyed boy who’d

grown into a wild-eyed man, better than she remembered Jules. No one had

expected him to come back to Devil’s Falls after he blew out of town that last

time, let alone to settle here and…get married. “Wow. What’s Daniel have to say

about that?”

“He was best man at

our wedding.” Jules laughed. “Though he was pretty furious at the beginning.

Here, sit down. You look like you could use a coffee, and I’ll tell you the

story since we’re generally pretty dead Thursday nights. Then I’ll close up and

we can go to dinner. The boys will love to see you. Quinn was just talking

about you the other day.”

Hope wasn’t sure she

actually agreed to any of it, but the next thing she knew, she was drinking

coffee while a cat curled up in her lap and listening to Jules’s wild tale

about a fake relationship that turned into a real relationship. Somehow in the

middle of that, she was bundled up into Jules’s truck, and by then it was too

late to change her mind.

She settled into her

seat, consoling herself with the fact that Jules had very specifically not

mentioned Daniel’s name. There was no reason to think he’d be there, but it would

be nice to reconnect with some of her old friends. As much as it had hurt when

things went south with Daniel, knowing that she’d lost Quinn and Adam, too, had

just been salt in the wound. She’d chased them around since she could toddle

after her big brother and his friends, and they’d turned into true friends over

the years. She understood why they hadn’t reached out, but she wasn’t going to

turn down a chance to catch up with them.

It would probably be

the only nice thing about being back in Devil’s Falls.

“Not interested.”
“You haven’t even

heard what I’m asking.”

“Don’t need to.”

Daniel Rodriguez leaned down and unbuckled Rita’s saddle and hefted it off the

horse’s back. They’d had a good run today, the hot sun making it impossible to

think too hard about anything other than whether a human being could roast

alive in Texas in August. He hadn’t yet, so that put the odds ever so slightly

in his favor.

All he wanted was to

finish here and head back to his place for a cold shower and an even colder


It would just

fucking figure that the universe had other ideas. He glanced up, but Aubry

Kaiser hadn’t moved. In fact, with her arms crossed over her chest and her chin

up, all signs pointed to this adding up to an argument he couldn’t possibly


Damn it.
She frowned harder.

“It’s your birthday. You can’t just sit at home by yourself.”

“Since it’s my

birthday, this is the one day a year I should be able to do exactly that

with no one bitching at me.” He regretted the harsh words almost as soon as

they were out of his mouth, but Aubry wasn’t like his little cousin. She was

meaner than a rattler and twice as likely to bite.

She narrowed her

amber eyes at him. “Your cousin misses you.”

That explained why

she was out here when he knew for a fact she thought horses were akin to

goats—as in, the devil’s own creatures. Hell, she was giving poor Rita a

suspicious look even while guilt-tripping him using the one person in his life

he couldn’t say no to.

Which doesn’t

explain why Jules herself isn’t here.

“She sees me on a

regular basis.”

“This is your

birthday.” Aubry sighed and rolled her eyes, looking put-upon. “Look, it goes

like this—Jules has worked really hard to put together a surprise birthday

party for you, and if you don’t show up to be surprised, she’s going to be


He stared. “I don’t

want a surprise birthday party.” The fact that it was no longer a surprise said

a whole lot about Aubry’s priorities, and he couldn’t blame her for that.

“Look at my face.

This is the face of a woman who doesn’t give two fucks what you care about.

What I care about is Jules, and that means you’re going to go shower off

the smell of that animal and show up at their house in an hour, right on time.”

She paused, her brows slanting down in an expression that was downright

forbidding. “You helped me out not too long ago, so I’m going to do you a solid

and give you the lowdown. Ready?”

Fuck, no. “Sure.”
“Jules is worried

about you. Really worried. If you don’t show up tonight, she’s going to take

that as a sign to go forward with plan B.”

He knew he was going

to regret it, but he still asked, “What’s plan B?”

Aubry gave a tight

smile. “A full-scale intervention with everyone in your life, including your

parents. The kind where they sit you down in a circle and each speak their mind

in the most uncomfortable way possible until you’re ready to beg the ground to

swallow you whole.” Her smile dimmed. “She’s worried about you, Daniel.”

Everyone seemed

worried about him, though they usually did him the courtesy of at least trying

to hide the looks exchanged when they thought he wasn’t looking. The whispered

conversations with his various cousins and his parents. The never-ending work

that was only there because they were throwing him a goddamn bone. It didn’t

seem to matter that he hadn’t done anything requiring an intervention. He’d

just stopped enjoying the company of people, mostly because he was such shitty

company these days. But try telling that to the family, and they acted like he

had just confessed to being an ax murderer.

At least Jules had

mostly stayed out of it. Up until today.


grabbed the curry brush and went over Rita’s back. Aubry was right. Showing up

to a party he didn’t want on a day he sure as fuck didn’t feel like celebrating

was vastly preferable to the alternative. “Explain to me what the plan is.”

She gave a grin that

did nothing to reassure him. “Dinner and drinks. It’ll be nice. Adam and Quinn

miss you.”

“I see those

assholes every day.” Kind of hard not to when they worked the ranch alongside

him. It felt right to have Adam back, to have Quinn there, but at the same time

it was a constant reminder that they were a man short.

And it was his


“It’s different and

you know it,” Aubry continued, obviously enjoying how miserable he was. She’d

always been a mean one, which never failed to amuse him because Jules was her

polar opposite—as bright and happy as a spring day. Rita shifted in her stall,

and Aubry went even paler than she was normally. “Dinner starts at six. Don’t

be late.” Then she was gone, moving at a clip fast enough that a less cautious

man than Daniel would call it running.

He waited a good

five minutes before he followed, hauling the saddle into the tack room and

sorting out the bridle. He didn’t begrudge Quinn his happiness—or Adam, for

that matter—but sometimes it sure as fuck was hard to be around them and their

women. The fact that one of those women was his little cousin barely entered

into it.

He headed for his

truck and took the pitted dirt road leading around the edge of his parents’

property to the little house he’d built a few years ago. It wasn’t anything

fancy, but it got the job done, and it was far enough outside town that most

people thought twice before stopping by unannounced.

Most people not

including his family.

The shower did

nothing to ward off the feeling of pending doom. It wasn’t that he didn’t like

Jules or Adam or Quinn or whoever the fuck else was going to be at this damn

party, but he wasn’t in the partying sort of mood. Truth be told, he hadn’t

been in that mood for over a decade. It was almost enough to make him call the

whole thing off, but the knowledge that Jules would have no problem bringing

the party to him got him moving again. Not to mention the potential intervention

he needed like he needed a hole in the head.

At least if he went

there, he could hang out for the appropriate amount of time, make his excuses,

and slip out while everyone else was occupied. Two hours, tops.


significantly better, he pulled on a pair of his favorite old jeans and a

T-shirt and grabbed his keys. It struck him as he walked out the door that he

was thirty-fucking-four years old. How the hell did that happen? He

shook his head. He knew damn well how that happened. One day turned into a

week, a month, a year, a decade. All while he kept on keeping, the world

changing around him, but never changing enough.

He glanced at his

watch. “Two hours starts when I get there.”

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee

Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance

novels at age twelve and they changed her life. When not writing sexy

contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games

with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and

planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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