Read an Excerpt
“Hey, Benson. I’ve got a real nice assignment for you.”
Jamie Benson nonchalantly looked over her laptop at the editor of the East Plains News as he propped a hip on the edge of her desk. Lou Henderson was fifty-something, but pretended he was forty-something with his Donald Trump comb over.
Luck hadn’t been on her side since...since forever. Tipping her head to the side, she asked, “How so?”
A cross between a sneer and a grin spread across his broad face. “You get to cover the rodeo.”
Struggling not to cringe at the image of horse dung, psycho killer bulls with pointy horns and leather streaked with sweat, she forced her expression to remain neutral. “I thought William and Jane had that assignment.”
“Oh, they do, but I want something extra for next Sunday’s edition.”
“And that would be?”
“A feature story on one of the cowboys.”
Cowboys were wild west and slightly Neanderthal to her. Since she’d been exiled to this small Montana town, she hadn’t gotten a complete grip on her new reality yet. She’d gladly give her firstborn, if she had a firstborn, to return to Seattle, the big city where a constant hum of people and events had kept her adrenaline pumping.
As far as she was concerned, cowboys were all cut from the same mould. Tight Levis and over-sized white Stetsons.
The thought of approaching a strange cowboy slightly unnerved her. She’d been bred on civilised and cultured men. “Do you have a particular cowboy in mind?”
Lou shook his head, causing his Donald Trump comb over to bounce slightly. “Nope. You pick one, Benson. Steer wrestler, bull rider. The sky’s the limit.”
Jamie cleared her throat. “Are you looking for a certain angle?”
“What makes a cowboy tick?”
Horses, cattle and alfalfa hay, no doubt. “Sure thing, Lou. I’m on it.”
Lou pulled a yellow ticket from his blue shirt pocket. “Here’s your pass for tomorrow night. Better catch those cowboys before they start partying.” He stood up and dropped the pass on a stack of papers next to her laptop.
When he hiked up his slacks, Jamie couldn’t help but notice the amusement on his face. Yeah, real funny, Lou. Why not just send me to the local livestock auction to interview the auctioneer? “Consider it done.”
Lou turned on his heel before glancing over his shoulder at her. “Have fun, Benson.”
She pasted a smile on her face to hide her irritation and resentment. Lou Henderson just happened to be the cousin of her former editor. Since she’d refused to give up her source on a particular cavalier governor and his consorting with a high-priced hooker, she’d been banished to the ends of the earth—well, not exactly the ends of the earth, but as far as she was concerned Montana was close. Too close.
Jamie reached up and touched the tight bun in which she always wore her long brown hair. She smoothed her slacks before carefully picking up the rodeo pass.
Just great. Just freaking great.