Typically, it’s the woman who jumps in with both feet to change her life, get a new job, even go back to school. For The Bull Rider’s Keeper, I wanted to explore what happens when a bull rider decides to give up the ropes.
I’ve been where Jesse finds himself at the beginning of the book. I’d divorced my husband of eighteen years, our only son was leaving for college the next fall, and I was bored with my job. I’d always been the good girl. After college, I accepted a full-time (secure) job with the state, one that allowed me to take care of my family when my husband decided not to work. I’d always wondered what if? Where would I have been if I’d stretched and went back east to attend college? Or hadn’t taken that summer job where I met husband number one?
The feeling of freedom to do anything was at once exhilarating and stifling. What if I again, made the wrong choice? What if, like my ex told me often, no one would ever fall in love with me? My confidence level was at an all-time low. So I took little risks.
Like taking off on a spring break to California to see my sister.
Or joining a dart team to learn to play.
I met new people, laughed, and for the first time in a long time, lived. I was more than my job and my family.
Believe me, I made mistakes in those years. Some pretty big ones. My biggest downfall was trusting people who took advantage of that trust. But isn’t that part of life? To learn who you can trust?
Jesse’s learning those lessons in The Bull Rider’s Keeper. The biggest difference between our situations is he is more confident and has a strong family and friends support system. But I made it through, and, somehow, so will Jesse.
Have you ever taken a risk you regretted later?
Lynn Cahoon’s a multi-published author. An Idaho native, her stories focus around the depth and experience of small town life and love. Lynn’s published in Chicken Soup anthologies, explored controversial stories for the confessional magazines, short stories in Women’s World, and contemporary romantic fiction. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.
Jesse Sullivan isn’t afraid of any thing, any man, or any bull. But when he decides to take a chance and carve out a life outside his rodeo career, he’s feeling like he’s walking on shaky ground. In typical Jesse style, he jumps at a chance to purchase Main Street Gallery, a Boise tradition in the art world.
Taylor DeMarco has two goals for the next year. Getting the gallery on sound financial ground to prove to her parents that she can keep her grandfather’s legacy alive is the first one. Moving out of the house and into her own condo by the Boise river, is the second. When she finds her folks are selling the gallery to Jesse, she vows to stop the sale, no hands barred.
When sparks fly between Jesse and Taylor, family gets in the way of reason, and they have to decide what is more important, their desires or keeping Main Street Gallery open and successful.
Time waits for no man, and as usual, Jesse was late. Peeking in the doorway of the class that was supposed to start any minute, he breathed a sigh of relief. Professor DeMarco wasn’t there. He crossed to the next door that led to her office, knocked quickly, then burst in. “Professor DeMarco, I need to leave early today …” He stopped two steps into the room, glancing at the open door for the name plate. Right office, wrong woman. Instead of the elegant art instructor, a very curvy Venus stood in a black bra and lacy black panties, holding a privacy sheet out from her body like she didn’t quite know what to do with it.
Her eyes widened as she realized he was in the room. “Get out of here!” she shrieked. Then, realizing she still held the sheet at arm’s length, she grabbed it and pressed it against her body.
Jesse could have told her it was a lost cause. What he’d seen couldn’t be unseen and she would be haunting his dreams for a while. Instead, he cast his glance regretfully downward and turned around. “Sorry, I guess I should have waited in the hall.”
He was closing the door behind him when he heard her response.