Welcome to the Cowboy Casanova Giveaway Hop
$5 Starbucks Gift Card
And an ebook copy of my novella The Birthday Fantasy
Cowboys love their coffee and you can enjoy a cup on me as you read your copy of The Birthday Fantasy…
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Ever wonder what it is about cowboys that makes a girl’s heart beat faster?
There are tons of things, but here are my top five and the ones I try to incorporate in my cowboys.
1. Cowboys ooze masculinity.
She ran her hand over the chipped white paint of the banister.
At the sound of the deep voice, she spun, her hand going over her heart. Seth stood up
from the swing hanging from the rafters on the other side. “Seth…”
She sucked in a breath and it caught in her throat. Time had changed him, but it had also made him even more devastatingly handsome. The dark tailored pants showed off his long legs and above-average height. The white dress shirt fit like a custom glove, outlining his broad shoulders. He’d lost the power tie he’d worn to the funeral. The top two buttons of his shirt lay open, and he’d rolled the sleeves to his elbows, showing off powerful forearms.
His coppery-blond hair curled over his collar and fell over his high forehead. A trimmed ginger-colored goatee hid the scar on his chin from a riding accident. The green ice of his eyes captured her gaze and made her heart race.
He gestured toward the pasture with a tall glass of what looked and smelled like whiskey. “I saw you and Mike. So, what happened? I thought you two would be together forever.”
She shrugged and turned away from him as he took a long sip from the glass. “I don’t see how that’s any of your damned business.”
A board in the floor creaked as he approached. She looked over her shoulder. He was so close. Her heart stuttered over a beat or two and something warm curled in her belly. How could he still affect her after everything he’d done to her?
He smiled, but it never reached his eyes. They remained two stormy seas ready to devour her in their relentless waves. “Oh, but I think it is very much my business. I want to see my daughter, Abigail.”
“You lost that right when you drove away that night.” She fisted her hands and faced him. “You lost that right when you let another man take your place in her life.”
He narrowed his eyes and leaned closer. His breath reeked from the whiskey. She wrinkled her nose at the painful memories of her father’s addiction to alcohol as much as from the stench.
“You know why I had to leave. It was my one and only chance. Goddamn it, you didn’t give me any other option.”
She snorted and squared her shoulders. “You had fame and fortune to chase. I’m glad you achieved your dreams. But it came with a price.”
“I told you I’d be back. But when I returned you were married to my best friend.”
2. Cowboys hold dear family, friends and country above all. And especially make great daddies.
From Gambling On A Heart:
With the worst of the dirt off her and on the washcloth, Mandy awakened enough to help him remove the dress and slip a nightgown over her head. He took her hand and led her into the bathroom across the hall where he helped her brush her teeth, then attempted to untangle her snarled hair with a brush.
Giving up on the hair, he carried her back to her bed and tucked the blankets around her small body. She yawned and folded her hands over her chest. With her eyes closed, she murmured the age-old bedtime prayer recited by children everywhere. “Now I lay me down to sleep…”
He sat on the edge of her bed and smiled as she asked God to take care of every member of her family, including her pony and horse.
“And let Momma know I love her, and me and Daddy miss her.”
He prepared for the twist in his gut when she asked God to send her mother home soon.
“And finally, Baby Jesus, keep Miz Tracy and Bobby safe. Amen.” She opened her eyes and smiled lazily up at him.
He swallowed past the thickness in his throat.
“I thought I should stop asking God to send Momma back to us, since I know now she can’t come home. It might make her sad because she can’t. But I thought it would be nice to add Miz Tracy and Bobby to my list.”
His smile grew stiff. He remembered their conversion over the wedding dinner. The little wheels in Mandy’s head were working. She hadn’t included Tracy and Bobby into her prayer without considering possibilities Zack didn’t even want to think about.
“That’s nice. Bobby is your friend,” he said past the dry tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth.
She yawned and shrugged under the hideously pink bedspread. The ruffle must have tickled her chin, because she pushed it away. “I like Miz Tracy, too. She’s your friend, isn’t she?”
Tracy and him friends…fat chance. He hoped he never had to deal with her again. “I suppose.” He patted her covered chest. “Nighty-night, baby girl. I love you.”
“Nighty-night, Daddy.” She grinned at him. “I love you more.”
He leaned over her and kissed her forehead. “I love you ’til the cows come home,” he whispered, and into her arms placed the stuffed bunny Lisa had given to her when she was a baby.
“We aren’t missin’ any cows.” She giggled and hugged the raggedy stuffed animal. “So, none of ’em needs to come home.”
It was an old ritual. He chuckled and stood, giving her one last kiss on her forehead and feathered back her black hair. “Then I’ll have an even longer time to love you. Now go to sleep.”
She nodded, yawning again. He tucked the sheet and comforter around her. For several moments after he’d turned out the light, he stood by the door until her breathing evened into sleep.
3. Cowboys will never, ever hurt an animal and will take them in when they can.
From A Hunter’s Blade (although considered a paranormal romance, Austin is a cowboy):
The soft sound came from the direction of the wood stacked up against the side of the garage. Austin peered in that direction and furrowed his brow. He was miles away from any neighbors and the previous owners had long ago vacated the property. He shook his head, convinced he’d imagined the cry, and headed toward the stairs to the front porch.
“Meow.” This time the sound was closer, more insistent. Austin turned and spotted the black kitten bounding toward him through the snow. “Meow.”
He glanced at the sky. The uncomfortable tingling over his skin told him dawn was fast approaching. He had to get inside and down into the room he’d created in the basement before the sun came up over the eastern mountains.
“Meow.” The kitten hopped onto the step of the porch and looked up at Austin with hopeful olive eyes.
The cat couldn’t have been more than three months old and was a pitiful looking thing with its black fur snagged with burs and its backbone sticking out bladelike. Austin knelt and smiled at his desolate visitor. The kitten was black with a spot of white on its chest and front left paw. Austin’s heart went out to the little fellow. It looked as lost as he was. “Hello, there. Where did you come from?”
Chuckling, he held out his hand. The kitten sniffed his fingers and looked up at him curiously. With one last glance at the purpling sky in the east, Austin stood and passed the kitten on the steps to the porch. “Well, c’mon. I have no idea what I’ll feed you, but…”
The kitten followed him into the house. It sat in front of the door and waited for Austin to make the next move.
4. Cowboys are sexy.
From current WIP Gambling On A Dream (this has not yet been professionally edited):
Whistling softly between her teeth, Dawn slowed her F-150 to take in the view in front of her. “Sweet mercy, isn’t that the sexiest thing on two legs.”
Wyatt pushed his vintage Harley on the side of dusty country road, the action showing off his muscular shoulders and forearms below his rolled up sleeves. His blue shirttails fluttered on either side of him indicating his shirt was open. His dark blue jeans hugged his ass and legs like a good pair of Levis should. The late afternoon sun glowed through his chestnut hair setting the red in it on fire. A black helmet hung from the handlebar and a black leather jacket folded over the worn leather seat of the bike.
He glanced over his shoulder as she approached and slowed. She wasn’t ready for the lusty clenching in her lower belly at the memories of Wyatt driving her crazy when they’d made love.
She bit the inside of her lip and tightened her grip on the steering wheel as primal need raked through her.
A pair of Aviator sunglasses covered his eyes. She pulled the truck off the side of the road next to one of the CW Ranch pastures. Wyatt propped the bike on its kickstand and ambled to the driver’s side window. Dust covered his boots and the bottoms of his jeans as if he’d been walking a great distance. But then, out here where miles and miles could separate one ranch house from another and the only living thing around were cattle and horses, getting stranded and hoofing it for miles before a person came along wasn’t uncommon.
“Aren’t you a sight for a weary man?” Wyatt smiled as he lifted his sunglasses to the top of his head and revealed eyes as blue and as the endless sky above them.
5. Cowboys protect those they love unconditionally, even if they take a while to admit that they are in love.
From Gambling On A Secret:
He looked down at the floor and clenched his fist. He hated not telling her the whole truth. “After the poisoning, the work has doubled. I won’t buy hay again, and getting it in from your fields takes both of us.”
“Oh.” She sniffed and didn’t look at him. “Maybe I should just hire a general contractor to do the work. Leon has offered his company.”
At the mention of the name, he turned her to look at him. “No. Not Ferguson.” Despite her glare, he headed off her argument. “If you want to hire someone to come in and do the work, that’s fine. As long as it’s not Ferguson.”
Her expression remained defiant. “What if I want Leon’s company to do the work? I’ve seen some of the houses his company has built. They’re beautiful.”
She shook her head and pushed his hands away. “Dear God, Dylan, I know you don’t like him, but it’s not like Leon himself will be driving the nails and painting my walls.”
“No, he wants you on your back and your deed in his name.” He stepped away with clenched fists. Heat crawled up his neck. “Maybe he’s already gotten you into bed, but I won’t let him take this land the way he swindled my grandfather out of his.” The moment the words were out, he regretted them.
“I can’t believe you! Do you have any idea how insulting that is?” Charli shot him through with blue-green fire. “Yes, Leon wants me, but I haven’t slept with him. I don’t want to!
And I can’t believe you still think he wants my land. Why? Why the hell would he want my ranch when he can buy whatever land he wants?”
“You can’t be this blind or naive. Think! You know everyone in town was shocked when you took the bid for this place out from under Leon. In all the years I’ve known him, he has never gone after a local woman, and then you show up and suddenly he’s all over you. Is being socially accepted by this town so damned important, you’d willingly fall for his act?”
The tears misting her eyes extinguished the fire. Damn, he didn’t mean to hurt her. “But why? Why does he want my ranch so badly?” She hugged herself again. Her face went pale, and she sat in the old chair in the corner by the door. Finally, he’d made her think.
He leaned his backside against the desk, facing her. “I wish I knew why. I only know Leon has wanted this place for almost as long as I’ve known him.”
He looked down at his crossed boots. “When we were kids, my family came to Oak Springs for Christmas. I was about seven, Leon was twelve or thirteen, I think. Anyway, we were fooling around like boys do, and we snuck over here. He wanted to check out those old derricks.
When we got to the bridge, Leon stopped the four-wheeler we were riding. I looked toward the house and saw old Jock standing on the front porch with one of his girlfriends and Johnny–Jock’s first son. He’s about the same age as Leon. And I figured they probably knew each other.”
He stared into the past as he spoke. “Jock looked up at us, and it was almost as if there was some silent exchange between him and Leon. After a moment, Leon looked at me with so much hatred in his eyes it scared me.”
As he submerged himself into the long ago scene from that mild winter day, he remembered the way Leon’s face turned hard at seeing Jock with his family. Something tripped in him. He looked up to find her watching him. “We were about halfway back to Oak Springs when he said to me, ‘I’ll own that ranch someday.’ I laughed and said something about Jock’s kid, and Leon looked at me and said, ‘His bastards don’t matter. Blackwell Ranch will rightfully be mine.’”
He paused, his mind buzzed with a hunch so outrageous he didn’t believe it himself. “I didn’t think anything about it until I’d heard about Leon firing three of his lawyers and his secretary when he discovered you beat him to the bid on this place. Then it slipped out he’d been trying for years to buy the ranch from Jock. Then Jock destroyed his will. The consensus at the time was he was just being a son-of-a-bitch by not giving it to his sons and letting it go to probate. Everyone chalked it up to his craziness. I’d say it’s because the last person Jock Blackwell wanted to have this place was Leon and that’s who would have bought it from the Blackwell boys.” He kneeled before her. “Suddenly those childish declarations didn’t seem so silly. Don’t trust him, Peaches.” He skimmed his fingers over her pale, damp, cheek. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”
I don’t want to be hurt if you turn to him.
So you tell, what do you love about cowboys? And remember to leave your email address to be entered into the giveaway.
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