A Girl Can’t Have Too Many Cowboys
I’ve got a new guilty pleasure. Cowboys. There’s something about Mr. Big, Tough and Rough, sitting there all silent and sure on his horse, that does something to me. Something sexy. They’re not always rolling in money, but they’re always honorable to the core, physical, get-the-job-done kind of guys. They’re the kind of men you want to have riding by your side for the next thirty or forty years minimum. Some of the best books I’ve ever read have been cowboy books. Sweet cowboys. Dirty cowboys. A girl can’t have too many cowboys.
My fascination with cowboys started when we moved. We’d always been in the Bay Area, California, but then we picked up and moved twenty miles north and it was a whole different universe. Friends joking announced we were moving to cow country—and they were right. There were acres of new homes—interspersed with old ranch houses surrounded by farming implements, pick-ups, RVs, and chickens. There were stores selling cowboy boots and hats, saddles and other mysterious leather implements. People rode horses and, yes, I saw cowboys.
I, of course, immediately wanted to write a book with a cowboy hero. I spent weeks reading up on ranching (and I can name five different kinds of cows, thank you very much), and quickly discovered that it’s a hard, gritty, 24/7 kind of job. It’s definitely not for the weak of mind and body. ONE HOT COWBOY’s Cabe Dawson quickly sprang to life. Ranching is a hard life and there are as many setbacks as there are victories. Cabe Dawson is all alpha, a man who has learned to be disciplined and resourceful, doing what needs to be done to keep his family ranch, Blackhawk Ranch, running. Water is always an issue for California ranchers and, when Cabe’s wells start running dry, he immediately begins looking for solutions. He finds water all right—but it’s on Rose Jordan’s land.
Rose, of course, doesn’t want to part with what’s hers. Sure, Cabe may be one sexy cowboy, but she’s digging her heels in. Here is the back cover copy:
Cabe Dawson is a cowboy at heart. He’s devoted a lifetime to running Blackhawk Ranch, carving out a Northern California empire for his family. When the cattle ranch’s wells run dry, he knows what he needs to do. Foreclose on the Jordan place and drill deep for water there. It’s just business. Nothing personal.
But, as summer heats up, keeping his mind on business just might be impossible. Rose Jordan left Lonesome, California, eight years ago and never looked back. Back then, she’d challenged Cabe’s authority–and his control. Though he wanted her fiercely, she was too young. Too rebellious. Now, with Rose back in Lonesome, business is getting very, very personal. She wants to keep her home, but can Cabe convince her to keep him instead?
Of course, I like cowboys because they’re sexy, so it isn’t long before Lonesome heats up as Cabe and Rose give in to the attraction building between them. Cabe turns the same fierce determination he has for holding his ranch… on Rose.
Scrubbing a hand over his head, he grabbed the Stetson from the passenger seat and jammed it on. Somehow, maybe dating back to Rose Jordan’s days here, he’d gotten himself a reputation for being a mean-ass, coldhearted bastard. Of course, he also didn’t give a damn about what folks said, which probably meant his fan club wasn’t all that wrong.
Getting out of the truck, he carefully closed the door behind him. No point in advertising his presence until he had to. Tonight’s trespassers were probably just kids, but, damn it, it wasn’t safe to swim out here unsupervised. He’d warned them not to come at night and never to come alone. He needed to know when there was someone on his land. Too many things could happen out here if a person wasn’t careful.
It took just minutes to get through the fringe of cottonwood trees ringing the swimming hole. Older than anyone now living on the ranch, those trees had seen plenty. His brothers had had a rope-and-tire swing here. They’d spent hours whooping it up, clambering into the tire, soaring out over the water, and letting go of the rope as soon as the swing was over the center of the pond where it was the deepest. That water was cold as hell, too, because it came from deep underground.
As soon as he reached the edge of the trees, his feet stopped moving; tonight’s swimmer was unexpected. He’d expected to find a few high school kids. Maybe a cooler of beer or a couple a little too busy discovering each other.
Instead, there was a woman in the water.
A damned fine, completely bare-ass naked woman.
She cut through the dark water with slow, lazy strokes. Not too tall and real damned curvy. He could see her sun-kissed skin even in the silvery moonlight. Water-slicked blond hair covered her bare shoulders and back. He should have been a gentleman, should have looked away. But damned if her swimming bare-ass naked in his swimming hole wasn’t the sexiest thing he’d ever seen.
She dove beneath the surface, giving him a spectacular view of her ass. He swallowed hard. From where he stood, those curves looked as soft as peaches and just as luscious. He wanted to cup both cheeks in his hands. Run his hands down that skin and explore every inch of her. Even the shadowed crease between her cheeks. Yeah, there, too, if she’d let him. He’d show her every dark, sweet pleasure.
A slow grin tugged the corners of his mouth. Hell, she’d have been safer if his hell-raising younger brothers had been the ones to find her.
He’d never pretended to be nice. He didn’t have to. His family owned this ranch. This world, this place, was his, and here she was, blatantly trespassing without so much as a by-your-leave.
His sexy swimmer reached a rocky outcropping and grabbed for a plastic bottle of shampoo. The scent of green apples filled the air as, with a little hum, she treaded water and lathered up before slipping beneath the surface of the water.
That body of hers was now slick with foam and apple.
Christ, he’d always loved apples.
And, even though he hadn’t seen her face yet, she looked good enough to eat.
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