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One Night with a Cowboy
     

One Night with a Cowboy

4.5 16
by Elizabeth Otto
 

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Jobless, broke, and struggling to support herself and her invalid mother, paramedic Sophie Miller doesn't have time or energy for a relationship. Especially with her mother's clock ticking down. So when the sexy cowboy she meets at a carnival proposes a no-strings, one-night stand, she's all over it. Until her one-night stand shows up again and turns out to be

Overview

Jobless, broke, and struggling to support herself and her invalid mother, paramedic Sophie Miller doesn't have time or energy for a relationship. Especially with her mother's clock ticking down. So when the sexy cowboy she meets at a carnival proposes a no-strings, one-night stand, she's all over it. Until her one-night stand shows up again and turns out to be everything she's ever wanted.

Tucker Haywood has his hands full running Paint River Ranch and trying to deal with all the changes pulling the rug out from under him. His past has taught him it's better to keep women at arm's length, for their sake. Stubborn and temperamental, Tucker doesn't have a clue how to deal with a city girl who's scared of squirrels and dirt.

So when Sophie gets under his skin, he has to do whatever it takes to push her away. Even if it means losing the part of himself he never thought he'd find.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622663293
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
05/12/2014
Series:
Paint River Ranch
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
258
Sales rank:
145,973
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

One Night with a Cowboy

A Paint River Ranch Novel


By Elizabeth Otto, Liz Pelletier

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Otto
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-329-3


CHAPTER 1

She was five-minus-two seconds away from throwing up. Grabbing the sides of the whirling carnival ride seat, Sophie Miller squeezed her eyes tight and dipped her head. She had no idea how her eight-year-old nephew Ethan talked her into getting on this contraption. A pile of puke in his lap was about to be the reward for his insistence.

Surrounded by tinny music, colorful flashing lights, and the smell of heavenly fried food, Sophie had been glad they'd come to the street carnival. She loved the noise and the smells and the crowd. It was the perfect way to spend her first night back in Montana in six months, giving her the opportunity to catch up with her sister, Carla, and Ethan, while relieving a little of the stress that had plagued her for the past several months.

And then Ethan had talked her into getting on the Scrambler, and suddenly the carnival wasn't so fun.

A hard lump burned in her throat, and Sophie pressed a hand to her mouth to hold back nausea. Just when she thought she might lose it, the ride began to slow down. The milling crowd swirled and faded below her only to reappear again as their cart went round and round a little more slowly each time.

She tried to focus on the crowd below, hoping it would keep her lunch firmly in her stomach. A tall, broad-shouldered cowboy in a white hat and light blue shirt stood out from the mass of people surrounding him. The snippet of his face she could see as the cart whirled around became clearer on the next rotation when he looked up. He had a strong, square face and eyes that seemed to grab a hold of her, even from the distance. A long body with narrow hips made a drool-worthy contrast to the broadness of his shoulders.

Mmm, nice. Not bad for a focal point.

Since people-watching seemed to be helping her nausea, she was more than willing to keep eyeballing the cowboy. There he was once, twice, three times as she went around and around. Living in the city as long as she had, Sophie had no real experience with country boys and the cowboy's rugged hotness reminded her she really needed to make up for that. A one-nighter with a hot cowboy to remind her of the pleasures of life? Yes, please. Sophie admonished the thought with a grin and eye roll. That was the last thing she had time for right now, but as the thought skipped away, she realized her fear had, momentarily, lessened.

She found him in the crowd again and then, mercifully, as his image faded away once more, the ride stopped. Sophie's brain jostled inside her skull as she closed her eyes to try and find equilibrium.

"Coming, Aunt Sophie?" Ethan grabbed her fingers as he opened the cart door and jumped down.

She paused as the metal ride jiggled under the weight of its disembarking riders. The entire world seemed unbalanced as the dizziness took hold, sort of like her life had been in general lately. The phone call she'd gotten from Carla three days ago, saying that their mother's health was declining, had rocked Sophie more than losing her job as a paramedic a few months ago. The ride had given her a few terror-induced moments to forget why she'd really come to Montana, but that reprieve was short-lived.

Especially since standing right now seemed detrimental to her health and possibly everyone around her if her stomach let loose. She glanced around, looking for her hot-cowboy focal point, but he was gone. With a frown, she stepped down and sighed when she felt solid ground beneath her feet. A group of kids raced past her to climb onto the ride, and Sophie let out an amused breath. Twenty-nine and she still hadn't conquered motion sickness. The fact that she hadn't actually thrown up on Ethan, though, made her feel like maybe she finally had.

Take that, stomach! She mentally high-fived herself and unsteadily followed Ethan through the crowd. Ethan pulled her hand and urged her to walk faster. Sophie pulled back to rein him in a little — faster wasn't going to happen.

"There's mom." He called out for her and waved to catch her attention. Sophie squinted, Ethan's slight form suddenly fuzzy like a blotchy oil painting. Sounds rushed her ears, lights from the overhead poles were suddenly blinding. A cramp stabbed through her gut, making her dizzy. Six years of riding in the back of a speeding, bumping ambulance as a metro paramedic and she couldn't handle one silly carnival ride? There was something seriously wrong with that little twist of irony.

Sophie made out her sister's form and groaned, recognizing Carla's trademark impatience despite the distance between them. Carla was waiting near the mini-doughnuts truck, one hand on her hip.

Sophie gave Ethan a half-hearted wave. "Go ahead. Tell your mom I'll catch up. I just need to ..." Ethan took off for his mom before she could finish. He knew better than to keep Carla waiting. Smart boy. Judging by Carla's stance, Sophie considered motion sickness a good trade for a few minutes away from her controlling sister. There was a reason she and Carla lived thirteen hundred miles apart and in the few hours since they'd been reunited Sophie had been reminded why. Cats and dogs had nothing on their relationship.

A twisting knot of pain made her middle clench. Sophie closed her eyes and took a deep breath, mindful of the people walking around her. She moved to the side where the crowd was thin and her foot caught on something hard and unyielding. Her body tilted backward, once again thrust into quick motion that sent her brain into a tailspin. Firm hands caught under her arms just before her butt hit the ground.

Instead of the dirt-meet-posterior slam she was expecting, she was lowered down gently. Her left hand instinctively reached out, grabbing onto the nearest object for support. Denim. Warm, soft, well-worn denim. Before she could register any more, a haze of stars exploded behind her eyes.

A deep chuckle and silky voice floated down as she lay on the ground.

"I'm used to women throwing themselves at me, but this was a little fast, don't you think?"


* * *

This was turning into a helluva good day. Tucker Haywood flipped a toothpick from one side of his mouth to the other. When his client had wanted to meet here to let his kids run around while he and Tucker talked business, Tucker had initially resisted. It was a carnival — loud, flashy, and crowded. Everything he hated. He'd rather stay home at Paint River Ranch and hold the meeting in his office. But if going to the carnival meant selling a horse, he'd relent and collect a big, fat check for his trouble.

Now he had a beer in one hand and a pretty woman at his feet.

Go figure.

He'd noticed her on the ride, even chuckled at the comical grimace on her face while the boy sitting next to her had clapped and whooped as the contraption flew by. Tucker had almost walked away, but then he noticed her eyes latching onto him. Not just once, but each time the ride went 'round. Something about the stubborn, albeit nauseated, expression on her face made him hang around until she got off the ride. He wasn't looking for a woman tonight, but it had been a while since he'd had a little female company, even if it was just for a drink and a laugh.

Noticing how green she looked just now, Tucker figured he'd be lucky to get that far. A white tube-top dress clung to full breasts and narrow waist, the hem stopping just above her toned legs that shone golden in the overhead light. A yellow string that peeked out from beneath the dress and tied around her neck promised a rocking bikini underneath. Light freckles dotted a straight nose and heart-shaped face. She was pretty, even with her eyes clenched tight and her full lips pinched white. It might even be worth getting puked on to find out a little more — especially if there was a bikini involved.

Tucker hunkered down next to her on one knee. "Hey, I was just kidding. You all right?"

She grimaced. "I'm dying."

Tucker grinned. "You're not dying." He nudged her arm with his hand, her skin warm and silky to the touch. The ride next to them dotted her hair and dress with bright polka dots of multi-colored lights. "Can I help you up?"

Her eyes widened. "Are you crazy? I'm dying here!" The left side of her mouth tugged up in what might have been a smile trying to bloom. A zing of warmth shot straight through him. Pretty and feisty — a dangerous combination because he liked both.

He tipped his hat back and shrugged, giving in to the urge to tease her a little. "It was just a ride."

She pulled her arm away from her face and pushed up on her elbows. Color seeped back into her skin. Thank goodness. But just when he thought she was on her way to recovery, a sudden frown clenched her face and she lay back down.

"That ride is the devil. I need some Zofran." She flipped off the six-armed, silver Scrambler that swirled in a tangled mess of chairs and bodies. Tucker chuckled at the unexpected gesture. Dimples curved beautifully in her cheeks when she managed a small smile.

"Hear that?" He tilted his head toward the ride where shrieks and giggles rang out. "I think those four-year-olds are laughing at you."

She groaned with a furious twist to her pretty lips. Well, look at that little hellcat, Tucker thought with an appreciative flutter in his stomach Yep, there it was. She riled up real nice, and dang if he didn't like the fire in her eyes.

"See how well you do in the hot seat, cowboy." She nodded toward the ride. "Go on."

Tucker reached a hand out and to his surprise, she took it. Her fingers were soft and warm. She trembled just a little as he carefully guided her up and his thumb swept the back of her knuckles, her skin smooth, her nails daintily curved with white tips. Not the hands of a ranching woman, that's for sure.

"I'm smart enough not to get on a ride like that," he teased with a wink, watching her closely.

She pulled her hand away, cocked her head, and smoothed the front of her dress. "Meaning?" she asked, swallowing hard and picking grass from her shoulder-length hair. Her hair was two-toned, the ends a few shades lighter than the rest, like they'd been dipped in light blond paint. He swept his gaze over the length of her, drinking in the bracelets dangling on her right wrist, the bright red polish on her toes, and the shiny little blue purse slung over her shoulder. Everything about her screamed city girl. Tourist, most likely. She was the complete opposite of the women he was usually attracted to, but it was there. Attraction — pure and insistent.

He flicked his toothpick. City girl or not, she had his attention. All of it.

He smiled wide. "Meaning, I'm smarter than you, apparently."

Her arms crossed. "Are you smart enough to get lost before I punch your wise-ass mouth?" There was humor behind the challenge and, with just a little more ribbing; he might coax a full smile out of her. He liked spirited things for the most part: hard-to-handle horses, ornery cows, and the unpredictable Montana weather. It made life interesting and kept his restlessness in check.

He never was one to back down from a challenge.

"Honey, anything you want to do with my mouth is fine by me," he drawled, giving her a once over that he wouldn't have been able to avoid if he'd tried. Which he didn't. She gave him a long, hard look before a slow smile tipped up her lips. His hand itched to touch her, run a thumb over that full lower lip. There'd be a million and one ways to set off fireworks with a woman like her. Tucker bit down on the toothpick and reined in the thoughts making his blood hot. Something in the crowd caught her attention — a woman standing with a young boy across the crowd gave a wave. She gave an encouraging wave back, in the kind of way that said she'd catch up later.

Turning back to him, her gaze roved over his chest and down his middle, pausing at his thighs before flicking back up to his face. Tucker heated under the intensity of her appraisal — not realizing he'd been holding his breath until his chest started to ache.

The woman couldn't handle a carnival ride, but had no qualms giving him a blatant once-over. He was used to women looking his way — never had trouble finding a little company when the inclination arose. In the past few months, the female attention he usually craved left him unsatisfied and uninterested. Until right now. He'd been holed up at the ranch too long, and this silky, curvy, hot-tempered beauty had his interest by the balls, and then some.

"How about I buy you another drink?" she offered, tilting her head toward his beer. "That should keep your mouth busy for a while." She smoothed one hand over the back of her hair.

Oh, yeah. Coming to the carnival had definitely been a good call.

Tucker put a hand on the small of her back. Sweet warmth met his fingers, driving him to draw his hand up the fabric of her dress to the bare skin of her shoulder blade. He paused for a fraction of a second to see if she'd shy away from his touch. She didn't.

Tucker leaned close to her ear. The curve of her neck was delicate and beautiful, her skin radiated heat. Notes of coconut wafted from her hair.

His voice dipped low. "And when that's gone? Then what?" He steered her away from the ride.

She leaned toward him, as if pulled by his touch or his voice — maybe, hopefully, both. A soft rise of goose bumps lit along her back, followed by a gentle shudder. The smile on her lips promised everything he told himself he wanted to avoid. No more complicated one-night stands. No more messy, near-miss relationships. He was alone for a reason, though the sultry sapphire color her eyes had become made him forget exactly why.

She bumped against his shoulder. The heat of her body seeped through the fabric of his shirt, giving him a hard internal tremble and driving home what he wanted.

Her. Under him.

She smiled sweetly, gripping his shirt hard. "Don't worry, cowboy. I'm sure we'll think of something."

CHAPTER 2

When she'd left St. Paul, Minnesota two days ago, Sophie figured her fate in Missoula, Montana was pretty well pre-determined: be weighed down by guilt over her mother's medical condition, and fight over a constant stream of stupid nothingness with her sister, Carla, as usual. Both proved true in the first hour she'd parked on Montana soil. She and Carla had never been particularly close; they were on opposite ends of the personality spectrum. When they combined, it usually resulted in a nuclear explosion.

Carla was never shy about reminding her how disappointed she was that Sophie didn't come to Montana more to help with their mother. Sophie didn't bother to remind her sister that she'd been working overtime in Minnesota in order to help pay for their mother's medical bills, leftover credit card balances, and other expenses. Simply packing up and leaving her jobs hadn't been feasible, but now that downsizing in the hospital system had robbed Sophie of her highest-paying gig, she wasn't sure what to do. Her jobs had been her security, something she needed to function.

She'd had an interview at the Minneapolis Children's Hospital for a unit coordinator position. If she landed that job, which would begin in a month, she was definitely going back. Something had to crop up soon. She'd used almost all of her savings to stay afloat after being let go.

Oh, life and its troubles. Thank goodness the hot cowboy next to her offered a very delectable distraction. She snuck him a look as they meandered up to the beer tent. The top of her head barely came to his chin and, if the impressive breadth of his shoulders and bulge of bicep under the pale blue shirt were any indication, the man was built hard. When he turned a little and gave her a perfect view of the strength of his back and tight ass, she had no doubt.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from One Night with a Cowboy by Elizabeth Otto, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Otto. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Otto grew up in a Wisconsin town the size of a postage stamp, where riding your horse to the grocery store, and skinny dipping after school were perfectly acceptable. No surprise that she writes about small communities and country boys. She's the author of paranormal, and hot, emotional, contemporary romance, and has no guilt over frequently making her readers cry. When not writing, she works full-time as an Emergency Medical Technician for a rural ambulance service. Elizabeth lives with her very own country boy and their three children in, shockingly, a small Midwestern town.

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One Night with a Cowboy (Paint River Ranch) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
13gpb28 More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed this book. I had not read a cowboy inspired book in awhile and this one was awesome. A one night stand becomes so much more. Take a woman who is dealing with some very sad personal situations and enter a tortured, sexy cowboy who does not know his worth and BANG. Fireworks, chemistry, great banter, drama, and a HEA makes this book a great quick read. I have added the author Elizabeth Otto on as another new automatic read for me. This is a stand alone book but is part of ongoing series about brothers. This one is about Tucker and his love. Sophie. Enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow!!!!!!!! This is a fantastic book. I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved sofie and tucker's relationship. A great romance. J... :-@
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely fell in love with Tucker. Don't get me wrong I wanted to strangle him, punch him on several ocassions. He made me very angry but I could feel through the writing the underlying person he really was. How he felt like he had to keep that person inside because he was not worthy of love because of his "old man". How she felt like she had to much on her plate to even contemplate anything more than a fling and they both grew to realize that they wanted and needed each other. My only downside of this was it ended short. I felt it could have played out a little more with where they went once they figured they wanted each other and how if at all her relationship with her sister changed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Snoopydoo77 More than 1 year ago
  To be honest I didn't expect much from this book. But I ended up loving it, it was so much better than I thought it would be. This was a easy, fast and very enjoyable read. I read it in one sitting ended up staying awake till 2 am to finish it because I couldn't put it down. It was a heartwarming, sad, happy, funny and steamy Book all in one. Both of the main Characters Tucker and Sophie are well written and were really easy to relate to. I give this book 5 ¿ and recommend it to all romance and contemporary romance fans I’m looking forward to reading more books by Elizabeth Otto. *Received an arc copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the transition of these characters as they both realize they want more. The ending is emotional and well done. Can't wait for the third in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really loved this story. Laughed. Cried . Author told a wonderful story with lots of humor and hearbreak. Definately found a new author to read more of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow starting off, but got better as the story went on. I thought the beginning of the book was rushed. At first i didnt think i was going to finish this book just because of how the story started off with them sleeping together so fast. But as the book progressed the story unfolded and it got alot better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Otto took my breath away with this story. The book is filled with so much heart breaking emotion and pure sexual tension that I couldn't stop reading. Sophie Miller decides to have one night of freedom from her problems and has a fling with Tucker Haywood. Neither realize that their lives will never be the same. Tucker doesn't believe in love or happy ever after. He doesn't want or need love. This should work out for both of them, but fate has other plans. They have a passionate relationship which is extremely erotic. They fight their attraction but they can't stay apart. Their growth and acceptance of their love makes this relationship special. Their story brought me to tears. Don't miss One Night With a Cowboy. It's the second book in the Painted River Ranch series but it can be read as a standalone.
kdjohnston73 More than 1 year ago
I have most definitely found a new auto buy author! I adore Elizabeth Otto's writing!! I really enjoyed A Night with a Cowboy! A fun sexy read!!! I had been looking forward to this book since reading book one in the series and Ms Otto did not disappoint! LOVED it!
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Paint River Ranch is an amazingly beautiful place. But it's also a working ranch - run by Tucker Haywood - who is everything a cowboy should be. But Tucker has a strict policy of not seeing the same girl more than twice, so why can't he get Sophie off his mind.  Sophie is in town for the worst of reasons. Her mother is dieing and she has come to spend as much time with her as possible before she goes. Tucker turns into a great way to release some tension and have a little fun. Sophie is the typical city girl - there's a scene involving a squirrel that is beyond hilarious. Sophie was a really fun character, but some of her reasons for not wanting to get involved fell a little short for me.  The story is fast paced and very exciting - with a few near death experiences for some side characters. I had a lot of fun following Sophie and Tucker and almost cried when Sophie's mother passed away. It was an amazing emotional ride. I wish the couple from book one had been in this one, I loved the daughter (Birdie) and would have enjoyed seeing her again.  *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
Nicola_1202 More than 1 year ago
One Night with a Cowboy has it all. Elizabeth Otto has brought us a beautifully crafted addition to her Paint River Ranch series; I adored it and Tucker Haywood has stolen my heart. Sophie Miller has temporarily left city life behind and moved to the country to help her sister care for her ailing mother. Jobless and penniless, a relationship is the last thing on her mind. I loved her and despite all the difficulties she is facing she's snippy, feisty, funny and kind lady. Tucker is manning the fort at Paint River Ranch whilst Cole is away with his family. Brooding, stubborn and protective, the man oozes sexy and just has a presence. I swooned myself silly as not only he is exceptionally inventive on locations for horizontal/vertical activities (who needs a bed) he also has the most amazing way with words; “My move includes finding a soft place to lay you down, getting rid of this dress and kissing your body until you scream yourself hoarse.” Go for it cowboy. I don’t need my voice. With no intention of settling down, Tuck is a one-night-only man and a lover of a challenge. But when a beautiful woman falls at his feet after escaping a carnival ride, there's instant chemistry; despite Sophie fighting to prevent herself from puking on his boots. It’s a wonderfully passionate, sexy, heartfelt journey of discovery and with humour balanced with moments that made my heart ache, I felt every emotion Sophie and Tucker experienced. Their banter made me smile, their intimacy made my heart (and other places) flutter and when a book has me sobbing, well I know I’ve found one that I will read time and time again. Cole and Tucker have set the bar high and I can’t wait to see how youngest Haywood brother Levi’s story turns out. A book and a series I can’t recommend highly enough. I received a copy of this courtesy of Entangled Publishing for an honest & unbiased opinion
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Wow; this one was so much more than I expected! Even though it grabbed me right from the beginning--the very first evening Sophie and Tucker meet, they engage in a literal roll in the hay, which just tickled me--both characters were so emotionally closed off that even though their "one night" kept magically repeating itself I wasn't sure that Elizabeth Otto could pull this one off. I was so glad to be proven wrong. If the beginning had me doubting, the final third was just amazing--the sheer emotional impact was fantastic. In the midst of great personal stress and tragedy, both Sophie and Tucker manage to pull themselves together to make some pretty significant gestures. Unfortunately for Soph, hers isn't initially received as it should be (bullheaded man!) but Tucker pulled his head out of his butt eventually and showed her effort the appreciation it deserves. And then...happy sigh...a definite feel-good ending. (I did not realize, however, that Ms. Otto had such a sadistic streak. The teaser for Levi, the third brother's novel? Just cruel. She'd better make up for it by giving us adequate cuteness between Tucker and Sophie in book three. With some Rylan, Cole, and Birdie adorableness thrown in for good measure.) In the mean time, I may never again look at a covered bridge in quite the same way. Or squirrels. ;) Rating: B+ / 4 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the first Book of this new series and loved this one as well.. Maybe I need an excuse to cry once in a while LOL... Tuckers story is both fun and sad and Sophie (God I love that gal) also had a story to relate to... Ms. Otto has again hit all the "buttons" with this tale of love, loss and found... Highly recommend this story and the previous one as well... Now we wait for Levi (currently a Marine in Afganistan) to come home in the next book... If he is as sexy as his two older brothers it should be another very good read...