Red's Hot Cowboy is the second book in the Spikes & Spurs series and look out world because Wil Marshall and Pearl Richland have been turned loose. Trouble is walkin' in the door in the form of one hunky cowboy and one sassy independent woman.
HE WASN'T LOOKING FOR TROUBLE... But when the cops are knocking on your door, trouble's definitely found you. And this is where Wil Marshall finds himself after checking in to the Longhorn Inn. It could all be a big mistake, but Wil's not getting much sleep. Then the motel owner, who is drop dead gorgeous and feisty to boot, saves him from an even worse night behind bars. Now he owes her one, big time...
BUT TROUBLE COMES IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES...Pearl never really wanted that run down motel, but her aunt didn't leave her much choice. And then this steaming hot cowboy shows up looking for a place to rest. Next thing she knows, she wants to offer him more than just room serive. But if her calls he Red one more time, he won't be the only one accused of murder...
Sparks are definitely flying and before long, the Do Not Disturb sing might be swinging from the door...
Pearl is burned out with the high powered corporate life so when she has a chance to make a change, she does it in a big way. She goes from high powered executive to taking care of the Longhorn Inn, an old 50's style motel that she inherited from her Great Aunt Pearlita. It's acute cultural shock, going from spike heels to cowboy boots and from being a party girl to cleaning up motel rooms, but she's determined to survive. She's got a strong will and a yellow cat named Delilah to help her get through the holidays with no parties.And then on Christmas Eve, the lights went out in Henryetta, Texas! At least west of the bridge they went out. The Longhorn Inn's Vacancy neon sign still flickered brightly in the dark night. The motel was suddenly full of quirky characters and only one room was empty. She was about to turn off the neon lights of a bowlegged old cowboy pointing down to a blinking VACANCY sign out front when she heard the sounds of a pickup on the gravel parking lot.
And this is what happened next: Delilah leaped up on the counter and flopped down on her chubby belly, long yellow hair fluffing out like a halo around her body. She was seven years old and spoiled to that fancy cat food in the little cans. If she'd had her way she would have had her way it would have been served up on crystal, but Pearl figured making her eat it from a plastic cat dish kept her from getting too egotistical.Pearl pushed all the guest cards to one side and rubbed Delilah's soft fur. "The worst of it is over until tomorrow when we have to clean all those rooms."
The rumble of a pickup truck overpowered the noise of the north wind slinging sleet pellets against the glass door. It came to a halt right outside the lobby door, the lights glowing through the glass window.
Pearl pulled out a guest card and laid it on the counter beside Delilah. "Hope they don't mind newlyweds in the next room, and I damn sure hope they aren't noisy since they'll be right next to us."
One of Aunt Pearlita's favorite sayings was, "Life is faith, hope and chaos." The chaos factor had taken center stage when the lights went out in Henrietta. It really put on a show when the lobby door opened and a Catahoula cow dog rushed inside. Delilah was on her feet growling, every long yellow hair bristled and every claw ready for battle. She'd put up with a lot but not a dog in her territory, and no slobbering dog had rights in her lobby.
The dog took one look at the cat, raised up on the counter, and bayed like he'd treed a raccoon. Delilah reached out and swiped a claw across his nose, which set him into a barking frenzy. That's when she jumped on his back, all claws bared. Her yowls matched his howls, and the two of them set out on an earsplitting war. The dog threw his head around and tried to bite the varmint tattooing his back with its vicious claws, but the cat hung on with tenacity and vicious anger.
Pearl plowed into the melee, grabbed at Delilah and missed every time. The dog howled like it was dying. The cat sent out high-pitched wails that would rival a fire siren. Pearl yelled, but neither animal paid a bit of attention to her. They just kept on running in circles and creating enough noise to make the dead raise up out of their graves in preparation for the rapture. She caught a blur of cowboy boots and jeans and heard a man's deep drawl, loud and clear, when he yelled at her to get her damn cat off his dog.
"What?" she yelled back.
"I said for you to get your damn cat off Digger!"
Pearl reached for Delilah again, only to miss in the flurry of noise and fur. "Get your damn dog out of here!"
Delilah chose that minute to bail off the dog, bounce across the counter, and shoot through the door into the apartment. The dog followed in leaping bounds with Pearl right beside him. She slammed the door so quickly that the dog's nose took a hit and it howled one more time.
The man grabbed the dog and hauled back on his collar. "What in the hell happened?"
"That your dog?" she asked breathlessly.
He was panting from trying to get his dog under control and ending the commotion. "I opened the door and the wind blew it shut before I could get inside. Next thing I knew fur was flying and it sounded like poor old Digger was dying. Why did your cat attack him? He lives with cats out at the ranch. He wouldn't hurt one.""Tell that to Delilah and you are on the wrong side of the counter, cowboy," Pearl snapped. The adrenaline rush over, she looked at more than boot heels and jeans. The cowboy had a scowl on his face, jet-black hair all tousled from the cat and dog fight, and brown eyes with flecks of pure gold floating in them like a bottle of good schnapps. The whole effect sang, "Bad boy. Bad boy. Whatcha goin' to do?" in Pearl's ears. She shook her head to get the chanting to stop, but it didn't do a bit of good.
The cowboy took two steps and pushed through the swinging doors at the end of the counter. "All I want is a room, Red."
"You call me Red again, Mister, and you won't need one. What you'll need is a pine box and a preacher to read about you lyin' down in green pastures," she said.
He smiled and suddenly there was a whole orchestra behind the singer chanting about bad boys in Pearl's head. He was bundled up in a worn leather bomber jacket with a fleece lining that made his broad shoulders even wider and ended at a narrow waist, faded jeans that hugged a right fine butt that would have had her drooling if she hadn't been so damn mad, and scuffed boots that made him a real cowboy and not a drugstore variety that was all hat and no cattle. His dog was sitting beside him, looking up pitifully as if tattling on that abominable creature that had attacked him.
"Who in the hell is Delilah anyway, and what's she got to do with all this commotion?" he asked in a deep Texas drawl.
"Delilah is my cat," Pearl said.
"That is a good name for a she-devil like that thing. You got any rooms left for tonight? It looks like the parking lot is full, but the sign is still on."
If only he could have had a high squeaky voice, but no, he had to be the complete bad boy package with that Texas drawl. And Pearl had run from bad boys ever since she was seventeen.
Praise for Carolyn Brown's cowboy romances:
"An old-fashioned love story told well...the love story is a delight. Do not pass this one up." RT (Red's Hot Cowboy)
"Brown revitalizes the Western romance with this fresh, funny and sexy tale filled with likable, down-to-earth characters." Booklist (Love Drunk Cowboy)
"A spit and vinegar heroine...and a hero ho dances faster than she can shoot make a funny, fiery pair in this appealing novel." Booklist (My Give A Damn's Busted)
"Jam packed with cat fights, relunctant heroes, spirited old ladies and, of course, a chilling villian, Brown's plot driven cowboy romance...will earn a spot on your keeper shelf." Romantic Times, 4 stars (One Lucky Cowboy)
I'll be dashing around on a blog tour all month. For dates and times, visit my website at http://www.carolynlbrown.com/