Done and Dusted

A Rebel Blue Ranch Novel

Paperback

Audiobook Download

October 24, 2023 | ISBN 9780593869499

Apple BooksGoogle Play StoreKobo

Ebook

About the Book

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • She’s off-limits, but he’s never been good at following the rules.

Discover the sizzling, small-town brother’s best friend romance that went viral on TikTok—now a special edition with an exclusive sneak peek at the next book in the series and a Q&A with the author!

“A sweet slow burn . . . sunshine in written form.”—USA Today bestselling author Lana Ferguson


For the first time in her life, Clementine “Emmy” Ryder has no idea what she’s doing. She’s accomplished everything on her to-do list. She left her small hometown of Meadowlark, Wyoming; went to college; and made a career for herself by doing her favorite thing: riding horses. But after an accident makes it impossible for her to get back into the saddle, she has no choice but to return to the hometown she always wanted to escape.

Luke Brooks is Meadowlark’s most notorious bad boy, bar owner, and bachelor. He’s also the unofficial fifth member of the Ryder family. As Emmy’s older brother’s best friend, Luke spent most of his childhood antagonizing her. It’s been years since he’s seen her, but when she walks into his bar and back into his life, he can’t take his eyes off her. Despite his better judgment, he wants to do a whole lot more than just look at her.

Emmy’s got too much on her mind to think about romance. And Luke knows he should stay away from his best friend’s younger sister. But what if Luke is just what Emmy needs to get her spark back? Or will they both go up in flames?
Read more
Close

Praise for Done and Dusted

“This steamy read delves into the world of forbidden love set in a small hometown. With plenty of tension and heat, this book will definitely keep you up at night.”Wide Open Country, “The 20 Best Books of 2023, according to BookTok”

Done & Dusted is a sweet slow burn that feels like sunshine in written form.”—Lana Ferguson, USA Today bestselling author
Read more
Close
Close
Excerpt

Done and Dusted

Luke

I saw her the second her black cowboy boots crossed the threshold of my bar. She was Meadowlark’s sweetheart, a giant pain in the ass, and my best friend’s little sister.

Clementine Ryder.

The last time I saw her was during the holiday season before last, but she had been leaving Rebel Blue Ranch as I was arriving. Because, as usual, I’d been late.

Gus had told me Emmy’s schedule had been pretty intense over the last few years. Considering she was damn good at racing, I’m sure that was true. Considering the Ryders were the only real family I’d ever had, Emmy was a constant presence in my life, even though I rarely saw her these days. Occasionally, I was with Gus when she called, or I saw in the paper that she’d won another title, but that was different from her walking into my bar on a Friday night.
Looking like that.

Holy hell. Had she always looked like that?

Or was it just the way she looked in the neon glow? Her hair was reckless and messy. It looked even longer than when I last saw her, hitting the middle of her back. She was wearing a skirt made out of some sort of shiny material; satin or silk, I think. It moved over her body like water. It made me wonder how she’d look wrapped up in bedsheets. But not just any bedsheets–my bedsheets.

Shit. Where the hell had that come from? What was wrong with me? It had obviously been too long since I’d gotten laid. I didn’t want to think about how long.

That’s your best friend’s little sister, dipshit.

Two words rang in my head like alarm bells: off limits.

But damn. She did look good. It was okay for me to acknowledge she looked good, right? She was a grown woman. I was a grown man who generally enjoyed looking at beautiful women. I just hadn’t seen one in a while.

At least, not one this beautiful. It wasn’t like anything was going to happen between us, anyway. She couldn’t stand me.

Joe, who was tending bar tonight, flagged me down, jostling me from my inappropriate thoughts about Emmy Ryder. What the hell was she even doing here?

Usually, I heard about her visits because Gus wouldn’t shut up for a few days leading up to her arrival, but I hadn’t heard a peep out of him since he’d left for Idaho yesterday. Plus, when she did come home, she didn’t leave the ranch. It was no secret that Emmy had always wanted to get out of Meadowlark. The only thing stronger than her desire to leave was her love for her family, and that’s what dragged her back a couple of times a year.

“Brooks! We need change at the bar, man,” Joe called over the music. Right, that’s what I was doing before a certain brunette walked through the door and stopped me dead in my tracks. Since when did the youngest Ryder have any sort of effect on me?

Since now, apparently.

That was f***ing annoying.

I looked back and gave Joe a quick nod, letting him know I’d heard him. That’s when I noticed a redhead flirting with one of my horsemen at the bar. I recognized her bouncy-ass ponytail before I saw her face: Teddy Andersen.

If I would’ve seen Teddy first, maybe I could’ve prepared myself for Emmy’s arrival. When it came to those two, one thing was certain: where one went, the other was sure to follow. It drove Gus bat-shit crazy.

He always thought Teddy was too much—too loud, too vulgar, and too much trouble.

I liked her. She’d always been a good friend to Emmy and was one of the few people who didn’t shy away from Gus’s general asshole-ness.

Plus, I could always count on my patrons to spend a little more money, and give my bartenders slightly bigger tips, when she was around. Teddy was good for business, but Gus didn’t think she was a good example for his little sister. I thought Emmy deserved a little more credit. She was quiet, but she was scrappy. It’s what made her and Teddy a good pair. Not that I’d ever tell Gus that.

Emmy was none of my business.

Teddy caught my eye, and her stare bore into me.

I couldn’t place the look on her face, but then I saw her gaze shift to Emmy and then back to me. F***. I’d been caught staring where I shouldn’t be staring. I turned quickly and made my way through the bar to my office. It was right behind the stage where my house band, Fiddleback, was working through a lot of Waylon, as usual.

The Devil’s Boot had had a live band for as long as I could remember, but usually only on Fridays. Since I’d taken over, the house band played on Fridays, and other local bands covered Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. They could play a few originals as long as they supplemented the set with the classics.

My patrons loved to sing. Loudly.

On the other days of the week, we went old-school on the jukebox.

I tried, and failed, to keep my eyes off Emmy as I made my way to my office. Catching a glimpse of her just as she slid her denim jacket off, revealing a low-cut white top that showed off her toned arms. Christ.

Between that and the f***ing skirt, I wanted to scream.

Change, Brooks. Joe needs change. Just get the change.

I would get Joe his change, and then I would make myself the world’s busiest bar owner. I just had to make it through the night, because in the morning, the neon glow would be gone, and Clementine Ryder would look like my best friend’s little sister again.

Hopefully.

My office was small, but it had the essentials: a desk, a small couch, and a bottle of whiskey in one of the desk drawers. I didn’t spend a ton of time in there. When it came to business, I usually did any work that had to get done out at the bar before we opened. I liked watching the place transform from day to night. It was like magic.

I never saw myself as a business owner. No one had. I wasn’t exactly known in Meadowlark for being responsible, but this bar made me want to be more than other people’s expectations of me.

I didn’t know if I was getting there.

Because my office was right behind the stage, I could feel the kick drum. Its vibration shook the glass and whiskey I’d pulled out of my top drawer across my old oak desk. I poured myself a shot and threw it back, hoping it would dull the new effect Clementine Ryder was having on me.
Why was this happening to me?

I waited for the burn in my throat to go away before grabbing a wad of cash for the bar. I didn’t count it, but based on the size, it should be more than enough to get them through the night. I, however, would probably need a few more office shots if I was going to have to look at Emmy all night.

I didn’t even want to know what Gus would do to me if he knew what I was thinking about his little sister.

Maim me, at the very least. Murder me, probably.

I walked out of my office, cash in my back pocket, and locked the door. When I looked up, I had a perfect view of Emmy flirting with none other than Kenny f***ing Wyatt.

That slimy little bastard. Sure, Kenny was the town golden boy, but Emmy’s older brothers and I had not forgotten how he’d left Emmy for another girl at their senior Homecoming.

Describing Emmy’s oldest brother as protective was the understatement of the century, and her other brother, Wes, was the same, but in a less intense way. Gus would be the one to beat the shit out of someone who hurt Emmy, and Wes would be the one to make sure she was okay.

I didn’t have much of a family, but I had the Ryders, so I usually got dragged along when it was time to defend Emmy’s honor, which happened more than one might think.
To this day, I don’t think Kenny knew how his precious Mustang ended up on the other side of town with four flat tires.

And now, that piece of shit had one of his hands on Emmy, and she was smiling at him, so I did what Gus and Wes would’ve wanted me to do: I got his grimy little hands off of her. That’s the only reason I did it. For Gus and Wes. Not for me.

Not because I was jealous.

I wasn’t f***ing jealous.

The look on her face as soon as she heard the steel guitar kick in was priceless. As a bonus, her hand immediately dropped from dickwad’s arm. Good. But his hand stayed on her waist as she started to look around the bar—looking for me, probably. She had to know Gus was at that rancher’s thing in Idaho, and I was the only other person who enjoyed pressing this button of hers.

I did my best to ignore the way Kenny kept his hand on her–like she was his–or else I would walk over there and break it. I watched her look around the bar. She was laser-focused, and I could tell she was madder than a hornet. There was something in her eyes I hadn’t realized was missing when I’d looked at her before: fire. I started walking toward her, unable to help myself, ready to get burned.

Rebel Blue Ranch Series

Lost and Lassoed
Swift and Saddled
Done and Dusted

About the Author

Lyla Sage
Lyla Sage lives in the Wild West with her loyal companion, a sweet, old, blind rescue pitbull. She writes romance that feels like her favorite things: sunshine and big blue skies. She is also the author of Done and Dusted and Swift and Saddled. When she’s not writing, she’s reading. More by Lyla Sage
Decorative Carat