Wild About You

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780505525352
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/12/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.78 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Wells
Robin Wells

Robin Wells lives outside of New Orleans, LA

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Read an Excerpt



Wild About You



By Robin Wells


Dorchester Publishing


Copyright © 2003

Robin Wells

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-505-52535-6



Chapter One


<"Handlin' a horse is a lot like handlin' a woman," Emile
Armand declared, his Cajun accent as thick as gumbo roux. "An'
b'lieve you me, I'm an expert on handlin' the ladies." The
overweight oilman placed a dun-colored ostrich skin boot on
the bottom rail of the pasture fence and tugged at the
alligator belt that served as a retaining wall for his
enormous belly. "Yessirree-with both horses and women, you
gotta let 'em know who's boss an' keep 'em on a tight rein."

You're the one who needs a tight rein, Rand Adams thought
darkly. A rein as tight as your shirt, wound around your
overactive piehole. The old windbag had blathered nonstop for
the last two hours as Rand showed him around his ranch, and
Rand was sick of listening to his obnoxious boasting.

But Rand could put up with just about anything in the short
term if it would help him in the long run, and it was in his
best interests to humor this braggadocio moron. Landing the
account to train Emile's horses would bring Rand one step
closer to achieving his goal of building his Circle A Ranch
into the largest quarter horse breeding and training facility
in Louisiana.

Rand pushed back his black Stetson and wiped a bead of sweat
off his brow. It was only ten-thirty in the morning, but the
mid-July sun was set on broil, andhumidity hung heavy in the
south Louisiana air.

"What's your trainin' philos'phy, son?" Emile asked.

"I've always found that the best way to make a horse do what
you want is to make him want to do it, too."

The heavyset Cajun gave a derisive snort. "You're kiddin'."

"I'm dead serious."

"How the hell do ya do that?"

"Get to know the horse. Evaluate its temperament and figure
out what it responds to best, then use that to motivate him."

Emile ran a beefy hand over his sweating scalp. "Hmmph. Sounds
like a load of merde t' me, but you're shore doin'somethin'
right."

"I've been lucky enough to get some good horses, and I have
the best trainer in the business." "George Wright? Oh, yeah,
he's good, no doubt 'bout it." A trickle of sweat dripped off
one of Emile's overgrown eyebrows. "I hear tell you're fixin'
to expand your ranch."

"That's right." And if things go my way, you're going to help
finance it by giving me a nice fat training account.

"You gonna build more stables right 'ere?"

"I'm trying to acquire the hundred acres next door." It was
the one sticking point in his plan. Rand had negotiated for
months with the Lizzie Boudreaux, the elderly woman who lived
in the old Acadian-style home on the adjacent property. Just
as he'd finally talked her into selling the place, she'd up
and died on him, leaving the property to her older sister.

Which presented a problem: Rand had no idea where the sister
was. Rand had been out of town at a horse show when Lizzie
died, and by the time he got back, the sister and her husband
had come to town, buried Lizzie and left. The administrator of
the trust that handled Lizzie's estate had told Rand that the
sister's married name was Jones and that she and her husband
worked for a circus. But when Rand contacted the circus, he'd
been told that the Joneses had just retired, and no one knew
where they'd gone. With a last name like Jones, looking for
them was like looking for a horsehair in bale of hay.

"What all ya gonna build?"

"A new arena, new stables and a lodge."

"A lodge!" Rand nodded. "We're going to offer seminars and
clinics for horses and their riders. I'm going to renovate and
enlarge the house next door so folks'll have a place to stay."
When he got through, he'd have the first quarter horse
facility in the Louisiana to offer full-service
accommodations. It all part of his ten-year plan.

Emile let out a low whistle and shook his head. "Trainin'
horses is one thing, but trainin' people-who-ee, that's a can
of worms I wouldn' touch with a ten-foot pole. Unless, of
course, the person needin' trainin' was a pretty young thing."
Emile winked again. "In that case, I wouldn' mind touchin' her
with my own pole, if you get what I mean."

Oh, I bet the ladies are just lining up for that. Rand fixed
his gaze on his Emile's black Cadillac, parked in front of the
stables about fifty yards away. He was more than ready to
close this deal, pack this old geezer in his fancy car and
send him on his way. "So what do you think?"

"Looks like your place is first rate." Emile tugged on his
belt again. "I'm mighty partic'lar about my animals. I've
never out-placed 'em b'fore, but looks like you take as good
care of yours as I do of mine, so ..." He picked at his teeth
with his pinkie fingernail. "How many colts you think you can
'andle?"

A sense of victory pulsed through Rand. He frowned, determined
not to show it. "How many you got?"

"Six, right now."

He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "I imagine we could manage
that."

"Good. Real good. B'cause...." Emile's beady eyes strayed to
the pasture, then widened with alarm. His brow suddenly
creased like a folded horse blanket. He jabbed a thick finger
toward the mare and foal. "Mon Dieu-is that a bobcat?"

"Nah. Can't be. Bobcats don't live around ..." Rand's gaze
snagged on something that made his heart jerk to a stop.

A large, gray-brown wildcat skulked along the wooden fence
about twenty yards away, creeping toward Rand's best spring
foal. A first glance, it looked like an enormous housecat, but
when he looked harder, there was no mistaking it. Its large
ears were tufted with white, its tail a tell-tale short stub.
"Mus' be rabid." Emile took a step back. "You'd never see a
healthy bobcat out in broad daylight. Don't see 'em stalkin'
horses, either, 'less they're starvin'. "

No way a bobcat could be starving-not in southern Louisiana.
The thick woods that surrounded Rand's property were teeming
with so many rabbits and rodents that the cat probably tripped
over a few just getting into the pasture.

"See there-that beast's got foam comin' out its mouth." Sure
enough-the animal turned toward Rand, revealing a patch of
white froth on its chin.

"Those bobcats, they're nothin' to mess with," Emile said.
"They go straight for the jug'lar. I have a huntin' buddy in
Colorado who lost a foal and a calf to a bobcat las' winter."
The large cat crept closer to the foal, who was now nursing at
its mother's side. Rand's fingers curled in his palms, and his
lips pressed into a hard line. "Well, that's not gonna happen
here. I've got a twenty-two in my truck. That cat's as good as
dead." Rand had no sooner started toward his pickup than a
loud whinny made him whip back around.

Oh, dear God-the mare had spotted the cat. She backed up,
nearly knocking down her colt, and let out a shrill neigh.

The air left Rand's lungs. Wall-eyed in panic, the mare reared
on her hind legs, pulling black lips back over blunt white
teeth. Her front hooves flashed silver in the morning sun,
directly over her colt's head.

"Mon Dieu!" Emile gasped.

Rand's blood iced in his veins. Time slowed to a horrifying
freeze-frame pace as the mare's front feet came down like a
blacksmith's hammer, missing the colt's skull by a scant inch.

It was a long moment before Rand could breathe. He watched the
mare and the colt race away, the colt awkward on long, spindly
legs. Rand's heart galloped with them.

"Blessed Mother, that was close," Emile breathed.

Too close. And the damn cat was still there, sitting by the
fence like it owned the place, unmoving except for the twitch
of its stubby tail.

Well, he wouldn't be sitting there for long. Rand covered the
remaining five yards to his Silverado in about as many
strides, yanking his keys out of his jeans pocket as he went.
He didn't bother with the tailgate, but hoisted himself onto
the bumper and over it, climbing into the truck bed like a
swimmer out of a ladderless pool.

Squatting in front of the black built-in metal toolbox, he
rapidly unlocked it, yanked out his twenty-two, then slammed
the lid shut. He knelt on top of it, cocked the rifle and
leaned over the top of his truck, bracing his elbows on the
roof of the truck cab. He'd just aligned the crosshairs with
the wildcat's head when a woman's voice overrode the roar of
blood in his ears. "Bite me!"

Rand froze. He would have thought he'd imagined it, but the
bobcat froze, too.

"Come on, baby. Bite me!" The woman's voice wafted out of the
thick woods beyond the pasture, directly behind the bobcat.

"Who the devil is that?" Emile asked from his position beside
the truck bed.

"Damned if I know."

"Bite me!" The woman called. Her sing-song voice sounded
nearer. "Come here, you naughty boy."

Aw, hell. The property next door had become a popular necking
spot ever since Miss Lizzie had died. A couple must have
gotten tired of doing it in the car.

"Come on, sweetheart." The sound of snapping twigs accompanied
the still-closer voice. "Come to Mama and I'll give you a
special treat."

"What's goin' on here?" Emile asked.

Damn it all to everlasting hell. First a bobcat, and now this.
The woman sounded as if she were in the dense foliage directly
behind the cat, right in Rand's line of fire. Rand was a good
shot, but he couldn't risk accidentally hitting her or her
playmate. He muttered an oath and lowered the rifle.

The branches of a red oak swayed and parted behind the bobcat.
Rand caught a flash of blond hair and a long stretch of pale
skin before the branches snapped back together.

Emile's jaw fell open. "Holy Moses-is that girl nekked?"

Great, just great. Lady Godiva was about to walk right into a
rabid wildcat. Even if no one got hurt, Emile was going to
think he was running a side a show instead of a ranch.

The branches swayed again, and a blonde charged out of the
woods like a bronco out of a rodeo gate. She wasn't naked-not
entirely. She wore a leopard print bikini, black rubber boots,
and an assortment of leaves stuck in unruly blond hair pulled
up in a ponytail on top of her head. She stood on the other
side of the fence about five yards from the bobcat, directly
in Rand's line of fire, and smiled.

"There you are! Come here, sweetheart, and I'll rub your
special spot."

Who the heck was she talking to? A playmate still hidden in
the thick woods? Emile?

Rand?

Under any other circumstances, it would have been a tempting
offer. She was all lush, full curves and smooth, pale skin.
She bent and climbed through the slats of the fence, stepping
into the pasture.

The bobcat turned to face her, its head low, its muscles
tensed, as if it were about to spring. There was no time to
sort things out.

"Get back, lady!" Rand shouted.

The blonde whipped up her head, her expression surprised.
"Wh-what?"

Apparently she hadn't been addressing him. If he weren't so
worried about the rabid bobcat, he might have been
disappointed. "Step back, nice and easy, and I'll take care of
that cat."

Her eyes grew as large as Frisbees as she stood still and
stared at Rand. "Is that a gun?"

"Yeah. Now take a couple of steps back."

"Why? So you can shoot it?" "That's the general idea."

"You'll do no such thing!"

Great, just great. She wasn't just kinky, but a bleeding-heart
wildlife-hugger as well. "Lady, that cat is rabid."

"Bite me?"

That was a hell of a way to talk to someone who was trying to
save your life, Rand thought darkly.

"Who is this?" Emile demanded. "What's goin' on?"

"Good question." Rand's gaze was locked on the bobcat. The
creature was now sitting down and licking a front paw, calm as
a kitten in a Little Friskies commercial-a sure sign it was
one sick wildcat. Rand needed to take it out, but the woman
too close for comfort-and her boyfriend was still out in the
woods somewhere.

"Okay, lady-where's your partner?" he called.

"My what?"

"Your partner-or friend or date or whatever you call him.
Whoever you're frolicking with in the woods." "Frolicking?"
She stared at him, her eyes wide and wary, as if he were the
one with rabies. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Look, lady-I don't know what you call it or what kind of sex
game you're playing, but that cat is ..."

"Sex game?" Her eyebrows flew up in surprise, then pulled hard
together. She put her hands on her hips and stared at him.
"Are you crazy?"

Boy, was that the pot calling the kettle black. "Look-I need
to deal with this rabid bobcat, and I don't want anybody get
hurt."

"He's not a bobcat. "

This dame was clearly lacking the fruit in her loops. "You
just worry about where your pal is, and I'll handle the
wildlife I.D. Now, I'm a pretty good shot, but if your
playmate is in my line of fire ..."

She glared at him. "I don't have a playmate, I'm not
frolicking, and I'm certainly not playing sex games!"

"So who the hell were you talking to?"

"I told you. Bite me." She knelt down, held out her hand to
the bobcat, and made little smooching sounds. "Come here,
sweetheart."

"Is there a mental hospital somewheres 'round here?" Emile
asked in a low voice. "Mebbe she escaped."

The nearest institution was forty miles away, but this woman
would have had no trouble hitching a ride, not with a body
like that. Rand was in no mood to be admiring feminine assets,
but hers were pretty hard to miss-especially when she leaned
forward like that, causing her cup-runneth-over breasts nearly
spill out of her bikini top.

"Come on, baby. Come here. Bite me," she murmured.

Judging from the way the bobcat was creeping toward her, the
woman was about to get her wish.

Well, she needed to find a place besides his property to
indulge her masochistic fantasies. Rand uncocked the rifle and
jumped out of the back of his pickup. Tucking the weapon under
his arm, he ducked between the slats of the fence and strode
through the pasture toward her. "For the last time, lady-get
away from that bobcat before he attacks."

"He's not a bobcat. He's a little sweetheart."

Oh, jeeze-she was certifiable. He considered yelling to scare
the beast away, but he was afraid that might cause it to
attack. No telling the woman might do, either. His best bet
was to get close enough to get a clean shot if the cat lunged
for her.

Rand stopped a few yards away from the woman. The cat
continued slinking through the grass, creeping ever closer to
her outstretched hand. Rand raised the rifle, his heart in his
throat. If he was going to shoot, he needed to do it now. The
cat was only about a yard away from the woman. Rand peered
through the scope, his finger tensing on the trigger.

And then the woman's hand appeared in the crosshairs. With a
muttered oath, Rand jerked down the rifle, only to stare in
shock at the scene before him.

The bobcat was on its back, its paws in the air, letting the
woman rub its stomach.

"See?" The woman shot a triumphant I-told-you-so glance at
Rand. The cat's purr reverberated through the air, loud as a
motorboat. "I told you he was a sweetheart."

Rand cautiously eased closer. "He's tame?"

The woman nodded. "As tame as I am."

Which might not be saying a whole lot. Rand regarded them both
warily. "You've got a bobcat for a pet?"

She blew out a how-many-times-do-I-have-to-tell-you sigh.
"He's not a bobcat. He's a Highland Lynx, which is three
generations removed from a wild cat. He's completely
domesticated, and he can't have rabies because he's had all
his shots."

Rand continued to eye her with suspicion. "Well, then, why
does he have foam on his jaw?"

"That's just shampoo lather." She reached down and brushed it
away with her finger. "I was giving him a bath when he ran
away." Her fingers stroked the animal's fur and the cat closed
his eyes, apparently in the throes of feline ecstasy. She gave
the beast a chiding smile. "Bite me-you're a naughty, naughty
boy, aren't you, fella?"

There she went, weirding out again. "Why the hell do you want
him to bite you?"

"I don't."

"But you keep saying ..."

That's his name." Her voice held an exasperated,
explaining-the-obvious-to-an-idiot tone.

"Huh?"

"His name is Bite Me. He got it from his first owner.
Apparently he liked to nip at fingers when he was a kitten,
and he heard the phrase 'don't bite me' so often that he began
to think it was his name. The 'don't' part got dropped
somewhere along the way."

The damned bobcat was named Bite Me-only it wasn't a bobcat,
but some kind of half-assed hybrid. Rand wasn't sure if she'd
played him for a fool or he'd just acted like one. Either way,
he felt like one, and it irritated the hell out of him. "Why
didn't you just tell me that?"

"I tried to, but you wouldn't listen."

Rand felt his temper rise. "You didn't try too damned hard."

(Continues...)





Excerpted from Wild About You
by Robin Wells
Copyright © 2003 by Robin Wells.
Excerpted by permission.
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.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A fun romance

    In Louisiana, Rand Adams owns and operates The Circle A Ranch where he hopes to one-day breed and train world class quarter horses. He is all business, logically approaching life and his ranch in a methodical manner.<P> Moving next door to Rand is anachronistic hippie Celeste Landry. She opens up the Wild Things Fun Farm, a children's petting zoo. Her spread is loaded with circus retirees or rejects and other weird creatures. She feels fate controls life and her farm seems vry haphazardly managed.<P> No neighbors could be more different in outlook than Celeste and Rand. No two people on the planet could see life as differently as these two see things. In spite of her belief that he is a stubborn stuck in the mud and his conviction that she is a flower child born three decades too late, they fall in love. However, they will need four-legged assistance to help them find a mutually joining manner.<P> Readers will be wild about Robin Wells after reading these amusing opposites attract contemporary romance. The lead couple provides plenty of fun as they fuss and fight while falling in love in front of an assortment of jovial animals.<P> Harriet Klausner

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