He was only in town for a short spell--long enough to lasso himself some female companionship before heading home for the holidays. Yet the minute rancher Hawk McKenna entered her restaurant, he knew Kate Muldoon was bound to be trouble. Her eyes spoke of long-hidden fears, but her lips and limbs had him hankering to take her to bed.Sure enough, Kate was desperate for his help, for his protection...for his hand in marriage? The sane thing would be to leave her and head for the hills. Despite his lone-wolf nature, Hawk couldn't turn away. Just how far was he willing to go to keep his lover safe?