JUST A COWBOY AND HIS BABY
When I thought about Gemma’s book, I just figured she and Creed Riley (Ace’s brother from One Hot Cowboy Wedding) would move past the flirting stage and get down to serious business of falling in love. But Creed went out to the
Welcome to the rodeo!Now a launch party wouldn’t be a party without food and drinks, would it? So in honor of this being a rodeo tour we are serving from the rodeo vending wagons today. Step right up and have a rodeo burger (Gemma’s choice of lucky foods) or a hot dog (Trace’s choice of what would bring him luck).
Grab a good cold beer out of the icy tub, and then move on down the line and get some fried ice cream.
While you are eating take a moment to read an excerpt:
Eight seconds could damn sure change the whole world and knock a rider off his pretty pedestal. Trace would have to work harder, keep his mind on the ride better, because if he didn’t final and didn’t win the big event in
he could kiss his Uncle Teamer’s ranch outside of Goodnight good-bye. Las Vegas
He’d planned on sticking around Cody for a few hours after the rodeo to toss back a few beers and bask in the glory of the win before he began the thousand-mile journey to
. But suddenly a
party didn’t look so inviting and he was eager to get on the road. He made up
his mind that as soon as the rodeo personnel removed his saddle from Hell Cat,
he intended to load up and point his truck and trailer toward the west. By the
time the sun came up tomorrow morning he’d be more than a third of the way
“Hey,” Gemma said so close to him that he jumped.
“Good ride,” he said stiffly.
“Not my best. I could have done better, but thanks,” she said.
“Guess that puts you where I was yesterday.” Trace’s drawl was deep and very Texan. He slumped down on a rough wooden bench beside the chute he’d ridden out of just minutes before, stuck his long legs out, and crossed them at the ankles.
“Guess it does, but the night is still young. Anything could happen before the finals.” Gemma sat down on the other end of the bench, pulled a knee up, and wrapped her arm around it.
“What are you ridin’ for?” he asked.
Vibes bounced around in the space between them like a bucking bronc without a time limit. He wanted to move closer to see if the flames were hotter the closer he got, but he sat still.
“Glory of being the second woman to win the title. And you?” she answered. Her voice had just enough grit to be sexy, and it went with that dark hair, those red lips, and green eyes.
“One of us could be very happy when December rolls around.”
“And the other one is going to have a few dollars in their bank account,” he finally said.
“You going to
she asked. Colorado Springs
“Which one?” he asked grumpily.
“Both! It’s a lot of driving, but it’s doable and I need the money to put me in the finals.”
Gemma didn’t look forward to a thousand miles in two days to
and then thirteen hundred back to St. Paul .
But at least there were five days between Colorado Springs
and St. Paul so she
wouldn’t have to drive for hours and hours on that stretch. She hadn’t been a
greenhorn when she started the circuit. She’d known there would be fast drives
as well as those that could be taken leisurely. It was the way of the rodeo
circuit. Drive hard. Hurry up to get to the next rodeo and wait for the eight
seconds to ride hard. Then get in the pickup truck and do it all over again. Colorado Springs
Tonight she got to put another shamrock on her construction-paper lucky horseshoe. There were still miles and miles between that four-leaf clover and the one that she was saving for when she won the Vegas competition. There would be a lot of riding, a lot of driving, a helluva lot of waiting, and a lot of missing her family and friends, but the night she got to glue the biggest, shiniest shamrock on top of her lucky construction paper horseshoe, it would make it all worthwhile.
Gemma stood up and settled her hat on her head. “Well, I’ll see you there.”
“And I’m going to win,” Trace said.
“Don’t bet on it, cowboy. Tonight is just the beginning of a long line of victories. You might as well go on home to Good-bye,
forget about it.” Texas
“Right back atcha.” She grinned.
“No, not Good-bye, Goodnight.”
“I’m from Goodnight,
not Good-bye.” Texas
“Tomato, tomahto!” she quipped in a slow Southern drawl.
She’d done her homework and she knew exactly where Trace Coleman hailed from. She knew his statistics, how tall he was, and when his birthday was. And she had not made a mistake when she said “Good-bye.” She’d made a joke. Evidently he didn’t think it was funny.
He quickly stood up and fell into step beside her. “So you’re in it for the long haul for sure, no matter what?”
“Yes, I am, so let’s clear the air and get something straight right now. If you ever try to ruin my ride with a comment again, I’m going to leave your body so far out that the coyotes will starve huntin’ for it.”
Instinctively she reached out to push him, but he caught her arms and used the momentum to pull her tightly to his chest. She had intended to send him ass-over-spurs into the dust like she did her brothers when they were all kids and she pushed one of them in anger, but suddenly she was listening to his heartbeat. She leaned back to look up at him and his eyes were fluttering shut. She barely had time to moisten her lips before his mouth covered hers in a sizzling kiss that left her wanting another and yet wanting to slap the shit out of him at the same time.
“If you ever try that again, I’ll…” she stammered in a hoarse whisper.
“Darlin’, either fight your way to the top with the big boys or go home and lick your wounds. I’m not one bit afraid of you,” Trace said.
“That’s a big mistake, Mr. Coleman.” She turned and walked away from him briskly, fringe on her chaps flopping with each step, leaving no doubt that she was stomping instead of walking.
It was a wild romp traveling thousands of miles with Trace and Gemma but I loved the trip. We started in the summer and we spent six months together ending our journey on Christmas day.
Thinking of Christmas, I’d like to thank Sourcebooks for a fabulous year, my readers for continuing to buy my cowboy books, and everyone who spreads the news when I’ve got another one on the market. Merry Christmas to you all!
Now go on over to the beer tub and the food table and have another burger and beer! And to those who leave a comment, I'll put your name in the famous red boot for a drawing this evening. One lucky person, no matter where you live, across town in Davis, Oklahoma or somewhere on the other side of the earth, will get a signed copy of Just a Cowboy and His Baby.