For those of you who don’t know, my sister Elle James and I started out writing stories together. We were busy learning the craft and leaning on each other’s strengths. One of us was better at dialogue, the other better at description…one of us was better with love scenes… In the end, we wrote several stories together before heading off in our own directions. One thing we loved writing together was romantic comedy. When we brainstormed a new story, we’d have each other in stitches from laughter. We wrote a series of comedies, all set in Texas (we were both living there at the time!), about friends who’d made it big but hadn’t yet found their true loves. This post is just a reminder that there’s an entire series of fun awaiting you…
Here are all the Texas Billionaires Club stories…
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Tarzan & Janine
See what happens when a secret billionaire and an aspiring actress get a little wild in Texas
A man with a soft spot for women…
Closet Texas billionaire, Tanner Peschke has three months to prove he can make a profit at the family used car dealership or he will lose his job, disappoint his father and break his promise to his dying mother. The root of his problem is women. He can’t resist them—any of them. All it takes is the scent of delicate perfume or a misty-eyed gaze from an elderly woman with a sob story, and he becomes silly putty in the hands of his feminine customers. Until, with a stroke of luck and a buck of a mechanical bull, he hires Janine Davis to star with him in the dealership’s live TV ads.
A woman who won’t let a handsome cowboy get in the way of her dream…
Determined to make a name for herself, Janine needs to pay the bills between acting jobs. The offer to do a series of commercials for Peschke Motors is a chance to get her face “out there”. Recognizing a player when she sees one, Janine agrees to co-star with her handsome employer fully intending to keep their relationship strictly professional. First break she gets, she’s heading to Hollywood.
Their jungle-themed commercials take a crazy twist, and Tanner finds himself falling…from a sales banner while chasing a monkey. But more importantly, he’s falling for Janine. She’s just the one woman to tame this cowboy’s wild heart. Convincing her to stay with him might be harder than catching a mischievous monkey.
“It’s time, Miss Davis,” came a male voice, not Tanner’s, through the hollow panel of the bathroom door.
“I’ll be right out,” she called. Alternating between tugging down the hem of the bottoms to cover her fanny, and pulling up the top to cover her breasts, she stormed out of the bathroom, across the showroom floor, and out into the lighted car lot.
Judging by the gauntlet of wolf calls she passed through to get to the television crew, every salesman in the dealership must have stayed late. They all wanted to witness the live filming by a group of college students Tanner hired to keep the budget low. As part of the crew’s curriculum requirement, the commercial would air live on the university’s public television station.
A man carrying a spider monkey approached and shoved the critter into her arms. “This is Spunky. You need to keep a hold on the monkey at all times, or he’ll take off. Catching him will take us hours.”
“Hey! Nobody said anything about a monkey.” Janine pushed the little guy back at his handler, but the jerk turned and trotted to a position beyond the spotlights. Her chances of being taken seriously as an actress slipping through the seams of her skimpy costume and the busy fingers of the monkey, Janine suppressed the urge to scream.
“Quiet, everybody. Two minutes to take,” the young director’s voice boomed through a megaphone. “Where’s Tanner?”
The animal handler called to Janine from the sidelines. “Remember, whatever you do, don’t let go of the monkey.”
“Right, don’t let go of the monkey.” Janine’s head swiveled side to side in search of the nutcase who’d talked her into this crazy commercial. She’d felt more in control on the bucking mechanical bull at the convention than she did right now.
Suddenly, the crowd of used car salesmen parted. Tanner strode toward her with his long, loose-limbed gait and all the confidence and charm of a professional actor. Tanner, dressed casually in his ever-present blue jeans, chambray shirt, cowboy hat and cowboy boots, smiled as he worked his way through the crowd of onlookers.
Janine snorted. I’ll bet he’s never ridden a horse a day in his life.
He walked right up and turned the full force of his smile on her.
Damn. Her knees went weak, complementing the butterflies in her stomach and the monkey fidgeting in her arms.
As the cameras moved into position, panic filled her. “You never told me what my lines were. What am I supposed to say?”
“Just stand over there and look beautiful. I’ll do all the rest.” He adjusted his hat with enough confidence for both of them. “And smile when I introduce you. That frown makes you look mean.”
Janine opened her mouth to carve his enormous ego down to size and remind him she was an actress, not a model.
Before one word could cross Janine’s lips, she was cut off by the cameraman. “Mr. Peschke, I hope you’re ready because this is not a rehearsal, you’re going live in five…four…three…two…” He pointed ‘one’. The camera was trained on Tanner, the red button lit, and the feed was direct.
Without missing a beat, Tanner smiled, looking completely at ease in front of the camera. “Howdy, folks. It’s a jungle out there. We know how difficult wading through the gimmicks and sales jargon is when buying a used car.”
She had to admit he sounded charming and genuine. After sabotaging her job with BS-Squared, he’d conned Janine into taking this job. She bet he could sell ice to Eskimos.
Spunky’s hairy little hand slipped beneath the bra of her outfit.
Janine slapped at his hand, eliciting a shriek from the monkey. “You must be a male,” she muttered, wishing Tanner would fall on his pretty face in front of the camera.
“Are you sick of the new car prices and immediate depreciation when you drive a car off the lot? Let us take the monkey off your back…” Tanner swung an arm in her direction.
Spunky crawled up on her shoulders and played with her hair. How about getting this monkey off my back? Crap. She’d spent hours trying to fix her hair beautifully for the commercial. Great, when they finally get the cameras on me, I look like the monkey.
“…and show you what we’ve got in low mileage, pre-owned vehicles at rock-bottom prices.”
At that moment, the creature latched onto the strings holding her halter-top in place. She felt her boobs dip and her stomach knotted.
“Stop that, Spunky,” she whispered, making a grab for both of his tiny, dexterous fingers and the tail that seemed just as facile.
The monkey ignored her, chattering happily, hands and tail dodging her flailing attempts.
“Join us this weekend for our ‘Monkey Off Your Back Sale.’ We’ll be servin’ free banana milkshakes to all the folks who come out.” Tanner’s voice kept up the running monologue despite the monkey’s antics, true to form for a car salesman.
Janine simmered as she struggled for control. Let’s get this over with before this monkey craps on me.