Harlequin June Spotlight…Her Rancher Bodyguard by Brenda Minton



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Her Texas Protector

Bodyguard Boone Wilder isn’t keen on his latest mission: watching over a pretty politician’s daughter. Boone is from quiet Texas Hill Country, and Kayla is a showy city gal. But once safely settled at the Wilder Ranch, Boone watches Kayla enjoy cooking with his family, caring for his relatives and bottle-feeding calves. There’s more to her than he ever knew. Still, the former soldier’s wounds are way too deep to let Kayla close. But when he discovers that someone wants to hurt Kayla, Boone must risk his heart to protect what he cares about most.



Someone was following her. Kayla walked faster, not taking time to glance back over her shoulder to see if she could get a look at the man. For two months, the feeling would come at the oddest times. The uneasy feeling as she walked down the street. The prickling of fear when she walked through the door of her apartment.

At first she’d convinced herself it was her imagination. And then she’d told herself it had to do with her lifestyle. She’d been partying hard for a few years, trying to numb herself against pain and anger. But a few months ago she’d quit everything, just to convince herself she was in her right mind and not imagining things.

The footsteps drew closer, speeding up to match her own hurried steps. She’d panicked when she first realized she’d gone in the opposite direction of her car. The farther she went, the darker it seemed to get. These weren’t the streets she wanted to be on late at night, alone.

She reached into the purse that hung close to her waist. Her fingers curled around a small can. She turned, prepared to scream, to fight. Before she could do either, a fist connected with the side of her jaw. She jolted back, trying to stay upright. A rough shove and she fell backward, landing hard, her head hitting the brick building at her back. She caught a glimpse of blond hair and glasses. But the features were a blur.

Blinking, she fought to stay conscious. She heard a shout. Heard footsteps pounding. A hand reached for her arm. Unwilling to go down without a fight, she sat up, aimed and sprayed.

“Oh, man, you sprayed the wrong guy.” The words sounded as if they were coming through a tunnel. She tried to focus but her eyes were burning and her head throbbed.

“Go away,” she managed to croak out.

“Babysitting. I’m reduced to babysitting a woman who can’t even spray the right man.” Hands were on her arms. A face peered into hers. “Sorry, but I’m not going away.”

“I’ll spray you again.” She meant for the words to sound strong but they came out garbled and weak. She was still sitting on the sidewalk, her head resting on her knees. She took a deep breath that did nothing to ease the stabbing pain in her back and the headache that had clamped down on her skull.

“Take a deep breath,” he ordered, ignoring her threats. Strong fingers felt her back. She winced. Those same fingers moved to her scalp. She let out a yelp. “Relax. And drop the pepper spray. I’m the rescuer, not the assailant. He’s long gone.”

She blinked a few times, trying to focus on the stranger looming over her. Tall and lean with ropy muscles, the man fit the “tall, dark and handsome” label to a T. He wore a dark cowboy hat, T-shirt and jeans. Something he’d said sank in. “Babysitting?”

“We’ve been hired by your father to keep track of you. And it looks as if you need us more than he realized.”

“I can take care of myself.” Her vision swam a little as she rubbed her jaw, wiggling it to make sure it wasn’t broken.

“Of course you can take care of yourself. Do you know who that was?” he asked.

She shook her head and the movement cost her. The pain radiated from her head down. Her stomach wasn’t faring much better.

The man looming over her dialed his phone. “Lucy, can you pick us up? About two blocks down from the restaurant. No, I’m not fine. Neither is she. She’s got a pretty good gash on the back of her head. And she sprayed me with pepper spray. Stop laughing. I’m going to have to take my contacts out so you’ll have to drive us to the hospital.”

After ending the call he swiped a finger across each eye and tossed contact lenses she couldn’t see. But she did see that his eyes were watering and he tried to wipe the moisture with the tail of his shirt.

“Big baby,” Kayla muttered. She felt a little bit sick. The world wasn’t quite as sharp as it should have been. She wanted to tell him but she couldn’t get the words out.

“Can you get up?”

He squatted next to her and peered at her face. His features swam. She tried to shake her head but that resulted in a wave of nausea. Something pressed against the back of her head. She tried to push his hand away but he couldn’t be budged.

“You’re bleeding,” he said.

“I’m going to…” She didn’t say more. The world went dark and the last thing she remembered were strong arms picking her up as he yelled for Lucy to open the door.


Song Playlist: A prepared playlist of songs that embodies the book’s characters and their love story.

I WON’T GIVE UP- Jason Mraz

JUST A KISS-Lady Antebellum

PIECE BY PIECE-Kelly Clarkson


KISS A GIRL- Keith Urban



Friends in Low Places-Garth Brooks,


Love Lessons Learned: Real life romance lessons learned from the book.

Kayla and Boone are from completely different worlds and their relationship starts based on need and then builds into a friendship that becomes more. I think every lasting relationship has to be built first on a strong foundation of friendship. I’ve found that most people seem to work harder at keeping good friendships, so if your partner is also your friend, it makes sense you wouldn’t want to hurt or lose the other person.


Movie Star Cast: 

Oh, one of my favorite parts of the writing process, picking images for my characters.

Boone would definitely be Wilmer Valderrama.

Kayla would be played by Dakota Johnson


About the author:

I’m Brenda Minton, wife, mother, Sunday school teacher, cook, housekeeper…
And I write for Harlequin Love Inspired.


 This is where I tell about me, and try to make a pretty normal life sound interesting. I live in the Ozarks with my husband, three children, a few dogs and a cat that thinks he’s a dog.

I’ve been married twenty-eight years. My husband and I are best friends and I think that makes all the difference. We go on regular dates and in the summer you can find us on the front porch drinking coffee and talking. When we say we love the nightlife we mean: nightlife.  A summer night with a clear sky, coyotes howling, the occasional yip of a fox and the screech of an owl in the woods.

Random stuff about me:

I grew up on a chicken farm in a town with no population sign. We had TV but you had to turn the antenna to get a signal. I read a lot.

I love horses and love to ride, but I don’t own a horse at this time. (big unhappy face)

We lived in Germany and our first son was born there. He weighed just over 1 pound.

We traveled to Yugoslavia while it was still Yugoslavia. Beautiful country!

I’m a coffee addict.

I do love to watch bull riding.

I love all types of music. I grew up in a musical family. I inherited a love for music but no talent. Growing up our Saturday nights usually included my dad and his friends sitting together on the front porch playing and singing. Usually bluegrass.  

Favorite shows: NCIS. Covert Affairs. Justified. Last Man Standing.

Favorite Vacation Spot: All of them. We visited the Keys last year and loved it.

I love children’s ministry and ministering to couples.

I love canoeing and hiking.

Email me at:
brenda at brendaminton dot net

Touch base on facebook!


  1. Love this! Thanks!

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