UPDATE: The winner is Jennifer Beyer!
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Next Thursday, Reined In , Book 7 in the Lone Star Lovers series, releases—again. Yes, it’s another of the stories I got the rights to from Samhain when they closed their doors. If you’ve never read it before, then you can pretend it’s brand new. 🙂
This one’s a standalone, so you don’t have to have read any of the series to fully enjoy it. I’ve included an excerpt below to tease you. You’ll get to know my heroine and her two cowboys pretty well by the time you get to the end of the chapter, and then you can imagine what sorts of games they play as they rush toward their Happy Ever After!
If you’re curious about the rest of the series, just click on the covers!
For a chance to win one of the stories above, answer me this:
Do you think you could love living on a ranch?
Who says a cowgirl can’t have it all?
Stormy is a rancher’s daughter through and through, and although she went away to college, her soul is firmly rooted in home ground–and the cowboys she grew up tormenting. When she hears her father might be selling the ranch, she packs her bags and high tails it for home, terrified she might never get another chance to lasso the heart of one of her cowboys before the hands scatter to the four winds.
For Cam and Joe, foreman and wrangler on the ranch, Stormy was a pain in the seat of their Wranglers. But when she roars back onto the ranch, the spoiled brat they remember emerges from the cloud of dust in skin-tight jeans and spike heels and all grown up.
It only takes a hot second to figure out she’s hell-bent on seduction. But if she thinks they’re going to make it easy for her to pick which cowboy she wants most, she’s sadly mistaken. And who says she has to choose one?
Excerpt from Reined In…
The little red Miata ground to a halt, kicking up caliche to pepper the porch’s underskirting like shrapnel.
Joe Halloran suppressed a grin and tipped up the cowboy hat riding low over his brow with a lazy finger. Minutes ago, when the sound of an engine had screamed down the long private drive, he’d groaned because this was his first break of the day and he really wasn’t up for company. But as soon as he’d seen who it was, he settled deeper into his rocking chair.
Trouble had arrived. And about damn time.
Without moving from his chair, he slid his boots inches to the left on the porch railing to get a better view as the driver ground the gearshift into park. Joe glanced to the side. “What the hell do you suppose she’s doin’ here, Cam?”
Seated beside him, his buddy grunted from beneath the hat he had dipped low enough to shade his entire face. “Not a clue. Suppose her old man let somethin’ slip?”
Joe gave a snort, lowered his brim again and settled deeper into his chair, ready to play. What had been the end of a hellacious day of work had suddenly taken a mighty interesting turn.
A car door slammed. Between the porch slats, he watched a pair of long legs scissor with brisk precision. High heels tapped on the steps.
Still, he didn’t give a single indication he’d heard her. Instead, he took a deep breath and scratched his bare chest.
A fingernail dug into his forearm. “Hey, cowboy.”
He muttered but didn’t move a muscle. She knew his damn name.
She poked him again with her nail. “Cowboy, wake up.”
The hint of irritation in her silky voice gratified him in a way that didn’t bear too much introspection. He leaned back his head and squinted at her. “Peaches,” he exclaimed, a grin stretching his mouth. “Long time, no see.”
Stormy Jordan narrowed her gaze into a mean glare. Yeah, she hated the nickname because she knew he’d given it to her based on the shape of her little ass. To make matters worse, the name had stuck like glue when her daddy had begun calling her it too. Funny, she’d never told him why she detested it so much.
“Cowboy,” she said, her voice dripping with syrup. “How ’bout you move your butt and go get my bags?”
Again, he tipped his hat up to stare into a pair of silvery-blue eyes that cut him like a Ginsu knife. “You talkin’ to me, ma’am?” he asked, being deliberately slow because he knew it irked the hell out of her.
She lowered her pale brows over that cold stare. “Well, who the hell else would I be talkin’ to? My bags? I’d like to take a shower. I’ve been on the road since dawn.”
Still, he didn’t move. He let his gaze slide over her curves, taking a detour downward then back up. When his gaze reached her reddening face again, one side of his mouth twitched. He could almost hear the steam hissing.
She tapped a toe impatiently. “Since you don’t have anything better to do…”
Joe cut a glance at his buddy.
Cam’s lips tightened, but he settled deeper in his seat, resetting his hat to shade his eyes—giving Joe his silent approval to do his thing.
Hiding a grin, Joe bolted forward in his chair, rising so swiftly she didn’t have a chance to move back. “Sure thing, ma’am,” he said, crowding her against the rail. “I’ll get on it right away, ma’am.” Only he made another slow perusal of her body to make sure she knew he was talking about more than her damn suitcases.
She cleared her throat and sidestepped him. “Cowboy, don’t get ’em dirty.”
“Now, sweetheart, that would be a cryin’ damn shame.”
Cameron Mitchell hid a smile as Stormy stomped to the far side of the porch and Joe ambled down the steps to her car. Those two had always been at each other’s throats. Watching them spar was more exciting than any UFC fight and far bloodier.
Still, as much as they poked and prodded at each other, he’d never seen either of them back away. And Stormy always came back for more, so he assumed she liked it.
Cam and Stormy’s interactions were quieter, but no less intense. The woman had a way of setting a man’s libido on fire even while she did her best to make him feel two feet tall or like he had two left feet. It was a talent. One that had kept the boys flocking all over this very porch when she’d been in high school. Which had kept Joe mean and edgy, because he’d wanted her even back then when she was still jailbait.
The years hadn’t dulled the edges of her attraction. Sun-streaked blonde hair was held up in a clip, exposing her delicate neck and ears. Her black, button-down blouse was two sizes too small, emphasizing the swell of her B-cup breasts and revealing the sliver of bare skin between the shirt and the top of her short, fanny-hugging black skirt. That hint of firm belly was enough to make Cam hard enough to hammer a nail.
He recrossed his legs and interlaced his fingers to let them rest above the swell of his cock. If she looked close enough, she’d know how she affected him. Even after all this time.
Maybe it was wrong, but he’d lusted after Stormy Jordan since she’d sprouted breasts and learned to wag her bottom like a siren. He and Joe had come to the Jordan family ranch when they were in high school, looking for part-time work as wranglers, thinking cowboy work couldn’t be that hard. Hell, girls dug a man in chaps and a hat. They’d stayed long after graduation because of their love for the ranch…and maybe, their enduring attraction to a certain wild filly.
Both he and Joe had been objects of her youthful attempts at flirting, and out of respect for her daddy, they’d deflected her. But seven years ago, he’d had enough of dreaming about her and made the mistake of surprising Stormy with a kiss. He could still remember the softness of her lush mouth, the way her curves had fit against him. Something he’d never told Joe about and never would.
The kiss hadn’t meant a thing to Stormy. She’d probably only been experimenting and forgotten about it long ago. But he hadn’t. And sometimes late at night, he pulled out that memory when he needed release. Her face, that mouth, had inspired many a late-night fantasy. However, he knew she wasn’t for him. Stormy Jordan was destined to be some rich man’s trophy, not some cowboy’s girl.
Joe popped the trunk and walked around to the rear of her car. Two cases, both leather and with a designer logo stamped all over the hide, lay inside. He picked up the first and set it on the ground beside him, then hefted the second, larger case. Footsteps clicked down the steps, but he didn’t glance around the open trunk. He placed the large case on the gravel road and slammed down the trunk.
He bent to pick it up, but it slid to the side, landing hard. Dust billowed up and laid a fine powder over the burnished leather. He wrapped his fingers around the handle, but before he lifted the case to stand it up, a foot landed on the back of his hand, the heel grinding.
Joe pursed his lips and aimed a glare at the woman whose features were set, her eyes alert. “Better lift that shoe, sweetheart, or more than your suitcase is gonna be sittin’ in the dirt.”
“I told you to be careful,” she said softly.
“Darlin’, sometimes I can be,” he murmured slyly. “But I think this thing needs a firmer hand.” Without thinking of any consequences, only of his need to test her resolve, he let go of the case and twisted his wrist to grab her ankle. Then he slowly slid his hand up her calf and over her knee.
Her soft skin felt like silk. The temptation was too strong to resist. She didn’t pull away. Didn’t gasp or flinch. Joe kept on going, his hand rising up her inner thigh. When he was inches from feminine heat, she called him on his bluff and reached down to shove his hand away. “Think you can handle it from here, cowboy?” she said, her voice sounding strained.
Joe drew in a long slow breath, inhaling her spicy scent. “Why don’t you just wait and see?” He lifted the bag, reached for the smaller one and turned on his heel.
Behind him, he heard the crunch of her heels. He lifted his gaze to Cam’s and arched a brow. What the hell had just happened? He’d almost felt her up right there with an audience.
Cam’s expression was neutral, and he glanced away.
Joe’s cheeks warmed as he trudged up the steps, Stormy right behind him.
They had Stormy to themselves. Was she aware they’d be the only ones in the house for the weekend? His mind spun with the possibilities. Possibilities that didn’t have to leave Cam in the dust—if he was willing to play along. But mostly Joe thought about how soft her skin had felt beneath the scrape of his callused palm, and the little quiver he’d detected right before she’d snatched away the prize.
He had years of Stormy fantasies stored away. A whole damn menu of acts he wanted to perform—some not legal in most southern states. If she gave him even the slightest hint she was interested, he wasn’t going to let a little thing like the fact she was daddy’s little girl get in the way. Not this time. Not when Stormy’s daddy had all but given him his approval to do whatever it took to make sure Stormy figured out what she really wanted…or who.