Cowboys Like Us: Cowboys Like Us\Notorious [NOOK Book]


Real cowboys aren't born. They're made…

Logan Carswell has just kissed his professional baseball career goodbye. Goodbye dreams, career and future. For now, though, he's working at the Last Chance Ranch and the town saloon, where sexy bartender Caro Davis is definitely taking his mind off his troubles…

Caro's days have been so hectic, she's forgotten all about the finer ...
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Cowboys Like Us: Cowboys Like Us\Notorious

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Real cowboys aren't born. They're made…

Logan Carswell has just kissed his professional baseball career goodbye. Goodbye dreams, career and future. For now, though, he's working at the Last Chance Ranch and the town saloon, where sexy bartender Caro Davis is definitely taking his mind off his troubles…

Caro's days have been so hectic, she's forgotten all about the finer aspects of life. Like men. And sex. And really smokin'-hot sex with men like Logan. But when their two worlds collide—and boy, do they ever collide—they both realize that once the gear is off, a cowboy is still a cowboy!

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  • Taken Beyond Temptation
    Taken Beyond Temptation  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459209114
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Series: Harlequin Blaze Series, #630
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 123,737
  • File size: 541 KB

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Vicki Lewis Thompson’s love affair with cowboys started with the Lone Ranger, continued through Maverick and took a turn south of the border with Zorro. Fortunately for her, she lives in the Arizona desert, where broad-shouldered, lean-hipped cowboys abound.  Visit her website at

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Read an Excerpt

Present Day

Logan Carswell, former catcher for the Chicago Cubs, had two surefire remedies for a troubled mind, and he couldn't use either one. Booze was out because he'd taken pain meds for his knee so he could dance at Alex Keller's wedding reception in Shoshone, Wyoming. As for the second method, he didn't know any of the women in this tiny town well enough.

Eventually, in spite of the meds, his knee began to bother him. Retreating to one of the Spirits and Spurs's well–worn bar stools, he swiveled to face the dance floor, where Alex was two–stepping with his bride, Tyler. Logan had known him ever since they were both kids living in the same Chicago neighborhood.

Alex had never had trouble getting girls, with his all–American blond good looks. Add to that his natural charisma behind a microphone, and he'd been able to pick and choose. Apparently he'd chosen Tyler, a dark–haired Italian beauty, or she'd chosen him.

Near as Logan could tell watching the happy couple on the dance floor, they were both quite pleased with the situation. Alex was obviously in love and seemed to have his life together at last. Logan should be so lucky. But he refused to allow his problems to cast a shadow over this celebration. "Can I get you anything, Mr. Carswell?" Logan swiveled back to the bar and concluded that luck hadn't totally deserted him. Of the two bartenders working the wedding reception, he'd drawn the girl instead of the guy.

He'd noticed her earlier. She wore her sun–streaked brown hair in a no–nonsense ponytail and didn't seem to go in for a lot of makeup. Her hazel eyes tilted up slightly at the corners, adding a touch of the exotic to her girl–next–door appeal.

From her enthusiasm and ready smile, he guessed she might be exactly his type—a born optimist. He could sure use a dose of optimism right now.

As he gazed at her, he realized she was looking right back with similar interest. He'd built a night of outstanding sex on less. But Shoshone was a folksy town, and one–night stands wouldn't go unnoticed around here the way they would in Chicago.

Still, he could flirt with her a little without doing any harm. He tipped back the Stetson that Alex had insisted he buy, along with the requisite jeans, boots and yoked shirt. "I think this is the part where the teetotalling stranger orders a sarsaparilla." He wished he could remember her name, but if someone had mentioned it, he'd forgotten.

She laughed. "Sorry. Don't have that. But the root beer is excellent."

"That'll do."

After placing a coaster decorated with a bucking bronco in front of him, she picked up a glass mug. Her nails were short and unpolished, her movements quick and efficient. "How do you like Shoshone so far?"

"Friendly place."

"We think so."

He grabbed the first conversational topic he could think of. "Is it true that this bar is haunted?"

"So they say. That's why it's called the Spirits and Spurs." She filled the mug to the top, and foam oozed over the lip. "Personally, I've never seen a ghost in here, but some claim they have."

Logan had never considered root beer foam erotic, but as it slid down the side of the mug, his balls tightened. Not much, but enough for him to register the sensation. Yes, a good romp in the hay with someone cute and personable like this bartender would be therapeutic, but he didn't give himself much chance of having that any time soon.

She allowed the foam to settle before putting the mug on the coaster. "I've never talked to a major league ballplayer before." She sounded fascinated by the prospect.

Oh, boy. If she had a fantasy image of him as some big celebrity, he needed to nip that in the bud. "I'm afraid you're not talking to one now, either. I'm out of the game."

She met his gaze with sympathy in her eyes. "I know. Alex mentioned it. He said if you were still playing, you wouldn't have been able to come to the wedding."

"Right." He managed a smile. "At least some good came out of it."

"Still, it can't be easy. But kudos to you for putting on a brave face for the party."

A knot loosened in his chest. Just kind words from a complete stranger, but they soothed him in a way he couldn't explain. "No, it's not." He rarely admitted that to anyone, because nobody liked a guy who felt sorry for himself. But after tonight, he'd probably never see her again, so letting down his guard was easier.

"Josie said you were a starting catcher for the Cubs."

That made him smile for real. This adorable bartender didn't follow the game, or she would have known that fact without getting the info from Josie, Alex's sister. Logan's injury had come while defending the plate against a rather spectacular slide into home, and the news clip had been replayed a lot last year.

"Yes, I was a catcher," he said. At least she wouldn't be pestering him for gossip about the big–name players. Sure, his ego took a small hit because she wasn't a fan, but all things considered, he counted it a good thing that she wasn't.

He decided to extend the friendliness. "So how long have you been tending bar?"

"Not long. I was the restaurant waitress until recently, when Josie asked me to start easing into her job so I'll be comfortable with it by the time her baby's born and she has to take time off."

"You seem comfortable with it now."

"Only because she sent me to a crash course in bartending."

Logan nodded. "I know all about those. When I was in the minors, I supplemented my income serving drinks."

"Yikes. You probably know more about this than I do!"

"Nah. It's been several years. Excuse me for not remembering, but what's your name?"

"Caro. Caro Davis."

"Karo like the syrup?"

"Caro like short for Carolyn. Josie started calling me that a while back, and I like it. I feel more like a Caro than a Carolyn, anyway."

He thought the shorter name suited her. "Is Josie a good boss?" Logan remembered Josie as a pesky little kid who was constantly tagging after him and Alex. He had a hard time imagining her as a wife and mother–to–be, let alone the proud owner of a cowboy bar in Wyoming. She'd married Jack Chance, the oldest of the three Chance brothers, and seemed blissfully happy living at the Last Chance Ranch, located about ten miles outside town.

Caro grinned at him. "As if I'd tell you if she wasn't. But she's great. She managed to promote me to this position without upsetting Tracy, who's a little young to take over Josie's job, or Steve, who's a new hire but knows bartending. Either of them could have resented me getting it. Josie handled it beautifully."

"Hey, Caro." The tall guy sharing bartending duties glanced her way. "Orders piling up down here."

"Be right there, Steve." She smiled at Logan. "Excuse me. gotta do my job."

"You bet." He watched her walk away, ponytail bouncing. Damn, that smile of hers really cheered him up. He'd love to see more of it. He'd love to…no, he shouldn't start imagining how her perky self would react in bed. He shouldn't, but he did.

"Hey, Logan, don't be hitting on my best employee." Josie took the bar stool on his left and punched him playfully on the shoulder. She was more dressed up than he'd ever seen her, all blue satin and lace. Instead of braiding her hair in one strand down her back as she usually did, she'd created an upswept arrangement that made her look like a princess.

He winked at her. "Wouldn't dream of it."

"Yeah, right. You were sizing her up just now, and don't try to deny it."

"Just having some innocent fun." Thoughts weren't deeds, right? "By the way, you look terrific, Josie. This Jack character must be treating you right."

"Don't try to change the subject." But her gray eyes, so like Alex's, sparkled with obvious pleasure at the compliment. "Caro has enough on her plate without having you swoop in and dazzle her with your big–city ways."

"Big–city ways?" He pressed a hand to his heart. "You make me sound like an operator. I'm wounded."

"You know what I'm talking about, Logan. A guy can't live the life you have without picking up a boatload of polish and sophistication."

"Now that's more like it." He winked at her. "Thanks for the compliment, Josie."

"See, that sly wink is exactly what I'm talking about. And I can tell she's impressed with you."

"You think so?" His poor ego could take all the help it could get.

"Don't mess with her, okay?"

"I had no such plans." He'd already decided that getting cozy with a local girl would be a mistake. Now Josie was warning him off of this particular one, which was more than enough to cool his jets. He really wasn't here to cause more problems. He already had enough to handle, like what the hell to do with the rest of his life.

But he couldn't help being curious about the cute little bartender. "What did you mean when you said she has enough on her plate?"

"It wouldn't be my place to tell you."

"Man troubles?"

"No. Listen, take my word for it." Josie patted his arm. "Caro's become a close friend in addition to being an employee, so I can tell you with certainty that she doesn't have time for romance right now, and she especially doesn't have time for someone who will be gone in a couple of days."

"Is that when my guest privileges expire?"

She flushed. "Uh…no! You can certainly stay as long as you want. I just thought, with Alex and Tyler leaving on their honeymoon tomorrow, that you'd…well, you'd want to go back to Chicago."

She had no idea how much he dreaded going home. The season was in the middle of its usual August frenzy, with billboards and TV ads reminding him every ten seconds that some guys were playing ball and he was not. He was thrilled to get away from the unspoken message that he was a washed up has–been at the tender age of thirty–two.

"Well, yeah, I need to get back eventually," he said. "But I've never spent time on a ranch, so I was thinking, as long as I'm out here, I'd like to play cowboy for a few days. Unless I'd be in the way."

"Of course not. We'd love to have you. Are you thinking about riding?"

He wasn't sure what he was thinking about, except that the Last Chance felt like a haven, and he could use one. "Riding would be great. I'll need a little instruction, but—"

"What about your knee?"

"It's my right knee that's dicey, and I vaguely remember you mount from the left, so I should be fine."

Josie smiled at him, understanding in her gray eyes. "You can stay as long as you want, Logan. Glad to have you."

"I appreciate it." More than she knew.

"But leave Caro alone."

"You've got it." And to emphasize his willingness to ignore the lovely bartender, he left his half–full root beer on the bar and held out his hand to Josie. "May I have this dance, Alex's little sis?"

"Might as well. Can't drink!"

"That's right, you're on the wagon for the next few months. I'll bet you're popular as a designated driver these days."

"I am, at that." As they arrived at the edge of the dance floor, she moved into his arms. "I must say, you picked up country dancing really fast for a guy raised in the city."

Logan guided her expertly into the crowd of two–stepping couples. "Thanks. Guess it's the athlete in me."

"Guess so." She twirled under his arm. "The Chance brothers are famous for their dancing. You're not quite in their league, but given more practice, you could be."

Logan grinned. "See? I have the boots, the jeans, the hat and the dance moves. I'm halfway to becoming a cowboy already."

The rush of drink orders finally slowed, but when Caro returned to check on Logan, he'd hit the dance floor with Josie. He'd left his unfinished root beer behind, though, which meant he might be back. She felt a little jolt of excitement as she remembered the way he'd looked at her with obvious interest.

And she'd looked right back. She had no business flirting with anyone right now, but those deep brown eyes temporarily made her forget her obligations. And that, she realized with a pang of guilt, was nice for a change. She just couldn't let it get out of hand.

Her grandma Bonnie, who had raised her, joyfully and without complaint, deserved all Caro's free time. Caro had been a baby when her parents divorced, and Bonnie had welcomed her daughter and granddaughter into her house. When Caro was twelve, her mother had died in a blizzard on her way home from work. Grandma Bonnie's strength had seen Caro through those dark days and taught her that a person had to be resilient to survive life's tragedies.

Her dad had started a new family by then, but Caro had never seriously considered living with him. She'd stayed with her grandma in the only home she'd ever known. Selling that beloved house so that she could afford assisted living in Jackson for the increasingly frail Bonnie had broken both their hearts.

Caro visited her grandmother every day in hopes she wouldn't feel abandoned, but she obviously wasn't happy with the move, necessary though it had been. For the first time since Caro had known her, Bonnie had lost her resilience and optimistic outlook. Caro had to be optimistic enough for both of them.

Lately Caro had done nothing but work and visit her grandma. No wonder she'd been bewitched by a heated glance. Besides, she'd been predisposed to find this ex–baseball player intriguing.

Alex had warned everyone to tread carefully around Logan, whose wicked knee injury had ended his career and the dream he'd cherished from the age of seven. He'd made it to the big leagues and then to the Cubs, the team he'd always wanted to play for. Now he was done.

Caro had never been able to resist a person in need of comfort, a trait she'd picked up from her grandma. Besides, Logan was gorgeous, the kind of gorgeous that made her think of hot nights on cool sheets. Good thing he'd be gone soon. Once Alex and Tyler left on their honeymoon, Logan would have no reason to stay.

She filled several orders while Logan whirled around the dance floor with Josie, but somehow, about the time he returned to his root beer, she happened to be standing at that end of the bar. She hadn't meant to.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wanted: ex-baseball player turned cowboy...

    My first book in Harlequin's Blaze line and I wasn't disappointed. This book left me wanting more of the people of Shoshone, Wyoming and especially the men of the Last Chance Ranch. Ms. Thompson took me on an emotional and VERY sexually charged ride that I never wanted to get off of but had to put the book down a few times to fan myself.

    I'm ready to take on some cowboys and perhaps give contemporaries a little more love. This book had me tingling in places I didn't know existed and maybe take a cold shower or two. I thought either I or the book would end up in flames, the sex was HOT! And yes, ex-baseball players can be cowboys too. And small town bartender's can capture the heart of a big city man. I can't wait to read the next book in this series. The end left me wanting more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2012

    great story

    great story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Very good!

    This was my first book by this author and I really enjoyed it. Very easy read, loved the characters. Will def buy more from this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012


    great read

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    2 books in 1

    Their are 2 different stories in this ebook I liked the first one better. They are Harlequin Blaze so they have too many sex scenes for me.
    In Cowboys like us Logan Carswell is a former catcher for Chicago Cubs. Logan is at the wedding of good friend Alex Keller in Shoshone, Wyoming. Logan is feeling down because he doesn't know what he will do in the future with his knee problems now, all he has wanted to be is a baseball player.
    Caro Davis is up beat and positive attidude he likes right now. Caro all she does is bartending and drives to visit her grandmother in care center. Her grandmother raised her and is depressed that she had to sell her home and go into care center. Caro thinks Logan is hot and he will only be around a few days and she could use a break.
    Caro gets Logan to go to care center and he visits and talks baseball they want autoghraphs and he has a good time. Caro tells her grandmother about a program to help turn boys thats going to start and she wants to make quilts for the bunk beds to help welcome them.
    Her grandmother thinks that is a good idea and she could help and then looked around her and realized that a lot of people can help. Organizing and makeing quilts gets her grandmother out of her depression and back to her old self.
    Helping out at care center has helped Logan to feel useful again.
    I liked this story and would like to read the other books about chance. I was given this ebook in exchange for honest review.
    Notorious is the second book. notorious is all about sex with little else to plot line.
    Noah Garfield is in Las Vegas for a friend wedding and he is the last single guy among them. Why his walking past a strip joint he sees Keely about to go in and thinks she their for job interview not a article interview for her job as magazine. Keely left his ranch ten years ago after she modle nude in magazine. Her father and sister still work for him and she has not seen or talked to them since.
    Noah thinks she is homeless and offers her to stay in his room for weekend and he will help her find better job.
    Keely has wanted him since she was 16 and he turned her down and lets him think he can help her. Keely plans to seduce him and he plans to not take advantage. So Keely is always talking dirty about sex and walking nude to tempt him.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    Cowboys Like Us--Only 148 pages

    The "free" book is longer than Cowboys Like Us. I already own Notorious, so I feel that this is a huge rip-off! I basically bought the same book twice!!

    The story of Cowboys Like Us is good, but it feels rushed. The other books in the Cowboy series are much better.

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Vulnerable alpha male...

    My Review:
    Girls, we all love a hot alpha male who is vulnerable and needs saving. Caro, the heroine of this book, is just like us and she sees in Logan a hot sexy alpha-male that needs a little help. He's just lost his life's dream of playing baseball and is floundering without a purpose in his life. To focus completely on his baseball goals, he never made a Plan B for his life if something happened to his career like a player sliding into home and ruining his career as the starting catcher for the Chicago Cub. Now he's wallowing in the loss of all of his dreams.

    Caro has her own life-stresses, but this eternally upbeat heroine refuses to let them get her down. She knows that Logan is only in town temporarily, but she doesn't have time for more than a fling anyways, so she jumps into bed with Logan with clothes flying figuring that he'll be a welcome diversion and maybe she might be able to help him along the way too.

    I love the way that these two connected. Not just physically (although wow...that was really hot, too,) but they connect to each other viscerally and on a really emotional level. Caro can see what Logan doesn't say and it's the same for him with her. They "get" each other almost immediately. This translates into really incredible scenes in the bedroom too, but overall it makes for a truly beautiful romantic story. Logan is wounded mentally, but Caro doesn't try to brush over things to save his feelings. She talks to him about what is happening and calls him to the mat. She's honest when he really needs her to be (and when no one else will be,) but she's all the way there and completely supportive when he needs her to be.

    They both know that their relationship can't go anywhere although neither of them are really happy about that fact. They are simply trying to embrace and enjoy the time that they have together without getting too emotionally involved. His life is in Chicago. Hers is in Wyoming and neither of them can see that fact changing anytime soon.

    There is a lot of growth and development for Logan in this book. He has to redefine his life and his notion of self and, quite honestly, the life rules that he's used for his entire life. But it's a fabulous development and when it was all done, I was crying happy tears. Just a gorgeous story.

    ...And it looks like there are three more Sons of Chance stories coming to us next summer, 2012. YEEHAW!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    These are two fun lighthearted wedding gala romances with plenty of blazing sex

    "Cowboys Like Us". When he injured his knee, Logan Carswell knew his baseball career with the Cubs was over. The former catcher struggles with what next after the Major Leagues. He arrives in Shoshone, Wyoming to attend his friend's wedding where he finds himself attracted to bartender, Caro Davis. She reciprocates and they have a tryst, in which both know he will leave soon, but the rolling stone finds he keeps delaying his departure.

    Bonus reprint: "Notorious". Though he has been to Las Vegas before on the rodeo circuit, Saguaro Junction, Arizona rancher Noah Garfield only returns for the wedding of an old rodeo friend. Being in town makes Noah sadly contemplate on the state of his relationships as all his friends have one woman in their lives. He reflects back a decade to Keely Branscom posing as the centerfold for Macho magazine when he sees her entering a strip joint. Noah immediately assumes that Keely is about to peel the flesh again. Keely is a reporter for Attitudes Magazine and does stories on sexual fantasies. Never forgiving Noah for his rejection of her, she decides to let him think the worst of her, not that stripping is a bad occupation in Keely's mind.

    These are two fun lighthearted wedding gala romances with plenty of blazing sex though different in tone as Notorious is humorous while Cowboys Like Us contains less horse play.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 19, 2011

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