|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||333 KB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Next up, Kennedy Rawlings!”
Dawson Conway squinted against the bright, midday sun and looked toward the ring as the announcer called out the name of the next competitor. Across the dusty showground, he picked out his boss and Mrs. Rawlings from the crowd. The middle-aged couple stood close together near the bucking chute.
Even from this distance, the young ranch hand could see the unease and worry in their faces and frames. Jake Rawlings stood tall and stiff. It was rare to be at an outdoor event in their small town and not hear his pleasant laughter spreading infectiously through the crowd, but today he stood silent without a hint of a smile. His eyes stared out at the quickly clearing ring, but Dawson knew the only thing he really saw was the chaos and confusion of last year’s train wreck.
Beside Mr. Rawlings, his wife nervously watched as the previous round’s unsuccessful rider was helped from the ring by the pick-up team. Her left hand was fisted tightly in the extra fabric of her denim skirt, while her right hand gripped her husband’s forearm. Molly Rawlings was a sturdy, strong woman, but today, as she clung to her partner for support, she looked fragile and vulnerable.
In all his years working on the Rawlings’ ranch, Dawson had only seen her look this way once before; recalling the shock of her unexpected weakness that day, and the heavy fear it had spread through his own body, he looked away quickly.
It wouldn’t do his nerves any good to remember something like that today.
Instead, he focused on the rest of the audience. Word had spread through their small Alberta town that Kennedy would be competing in the women’s rodeo again this year, and the rumors had certainly drawn a crowd.
Normally, the women’s events didn’t draw in half the spectators that the professional rodeos did, but today the fairground was packed. Dawson wished he could believe it was all in support of herand certainly a number of the onlookers were there for exactly that reasonbut he could tell from the hushed whispers following her name, and the excited ripple spreading through the crowd, that the majority of the spectators had only come in the hopes of seeing another show.
To keep his anger from showing on his face in case the Rawlings or one of their sponsors spotted him, Dawson pulled his Resistol down over his eyes and crossed his arms. For the big rodeos, the ranch usually hired him out as a pick-up man riding a good-natured mares, but they never asked it of him for the women’s rodeos, and he never offered. With his jacket collar turned up and his worn-out hat pulled down low, he simply stood by the south-west corner of the paddock like a sentinel on guard, watching, waiting, and worrying.
A sudden hush then a flurry of excited whispers heralded her approach. Flicking the brim of his hat up, Dawson glanced back across the showground as Kennedy advanced. Like all the Rawlings, she was impossible to mistake, even in a crowd. That family carried their personalities in their gait, and Kennedy’s stride spoke of confidence, fearlessness, and a fierce, indomitable pride.
He grinned openly as she boldly cut her way through the crowd. Her shoulders were rolled back, her chin was thrust out, and her hips swaggered like a true vaquero.
At nineteen, Kennedy had finally grown into the long-legged, awkward body she had been teased for all through school. She was a tough, tall girl with a solid, athletic build. Like the champion stock her father bred, she was broad-shouldered and muscular. Rough-mannered and rough-spoken, she had a reputation for always speaking her mind. She could be quick-tempered at times, and although she was by no means reckless, she had a fiercely stubborn, competitive side. Like her father, when she set a challenge for herself, she would push herself to her absolute limit to see that goal reached.
It was a trait that had brought Jake Rawlings his early success as a young man working the circuits, and had become the driving force behind Kennedy's decision to carry on the family tradition by competing in rodeos as well.
Her career choice wasn't unusual for their community. Their town always had a strong showing of participants in the women's rodeo, and a handful of local girls also competed in the professional circuit. Kennedy’s family certainly would have supported her if she had shown an interest in following a similar professional path, but she’d bristled at the idea. The pro competitions were too restrictive; women could only compete in a handful of events, the bulk of which were timed ones. Although Kennedy was a natural at barrel racing and team roping, her heart wasn't in it.
She lived for the rough stock events; she thrived on the risk and danger of testing herself physically against the raw power and strength of the broncos and bulls.
As a result of both her appearance and interests, Kennedy had a reputation for being wild and fearless. Even her parents held that opinion of her, but Dawson knew better. She wasn’t as thick-skinned as she let on.
Dawson’s mind strayed to the night before. He had just finished checking over the stock at the end of his shift, and was about to make his way back toward the main house when a shadow fell across his path.
Kennedy leaned against the side of the barn a few meters ahead, unsmiling.
He paid no mind to her unpleasant expression. The fact she’d waited outside the barn so long her impatient pacing had worn a noticeable furrow in the dirt spoke more clearly to her current mood than her forced scowl did. She was desperate to see him.
Dawson felt his lips curl up affectionately at her contrariness. He had known her for yearsthe six years he’d worked on her family’s ranch and a full decade of school before that. They’d grown up together.
Even as a child, she’d hidden her emotions behind a mean look, but he’d never been put off in the least by her posturing. In all honesty, it was what had first drawn him to her. He’d always wanted to see what type of girl hid behind all those harsh glares and curt words.
He flashed her a cheerful smile and tipped his worn hat in her direction. Evening, Miss Rawlings.”
In the low light, he saw her roll her eyes, but also smile faintly. Shut up, Dawson,” she snorted, as she shouldered past and slunk into the barn.
The amused ranch hand turned and followed, too curious about her presence to leave, even though he knew his weekly paycheck and a warm dinner were both waiting for him up at the house.
Pulling the barn door shut behind him, he watched her. She seemed restless and agitated. Her shoulders were tense under her thin flannel shirt, and she carried her Stetson in her left hand, slapping it against her thigh with every second step, distractedly. She wandered past each animal’s stall, but seemed completely oblivious to the lifted heads and soft whickers of greeting.
He quietly trailed behind her, petting each animal he passed soothingly. He was beginning to worry. Kennedy was usually tirelessly devoted to the animals, particularly the horses. As she disappeared into the tack room, he hurried after her.
Reaching the small room’s threshold, he paused and watched her pace to the end of the room, then stop and stare blankly at the row of harnesses.
Are you looking for something?” he asked.
She glanced over her shoulder and met his concerned gaze, but didn’t reply.
They stared at each other for a long moment before Dawson risked a more personal guess. Do you want to talk about tomorrow?”
Kennedys eyes finally came alive. There’s nothing to talk about. I’m fine!” she snapped, visibly stiffening.
So that’s what was bothering her. Dawson took an apologetic step back, and raised his hands in surrender. Sorry, Ken. No harm meant. Just trying to be helpful.”
I don’t need any help,” she said, her voice gruff.
He nodded and leaned against the doorframe. Course not. You’re practically a pro.”
She answered his teasing with another derisive snort, but this time with less anger behind her gaze as she looked at him.
He knew where her mind was wandering. Last year’s fall had shocked them all, but none more so than Kennedy herself. She had come out of the bucking chute sitting strong and tall on the bronco. As soon as she marked the horse out, she gripped her thighs tight and began to count down the eight seconds. The horse’s first jump didn’t stir her in the least, and a confident grin had spread over her face. However, the look was short-lived.
With his second buck, the horse shook her loose. She lost her grip on the rigging and instinctively reached down with her free hand to try to grab her mount’s mane. She knew she was disqualifying herself with the action, but even that illegal move wasn’t enough to restore her balance. With his next powerful kick, the bronco threw her off.
She landed hard.
The pick-up men had all rushed into the ring. Before she could be trampled, the agitated horse was distracted by the obnoxious, efficient rodeo clown. He lured the gelded male to the pipe, where he was calmed and quickly herded back into the bucking chute. On the other side of the ring, the attending medic knelt in the dirt beside Kennedy’s prone form.
As the Rawlings rushed through the gate and across the dirt towards him, Dawson suppressed a sinking heart and rose, wiping his sweaty hands on his pants, and began the unenviable task of trying to reassure them as they waited for the ambulance to arrive.
Kennedy woke up in the hospital two days later with a concussion, a broken arm, and a handful of fractured ribs. Under her mother’s anxious eye, she had slowly healed over the next few months.
Knowing she was too competitive and determined to quit with such a tarnished performance record, her father had reluctantly helped her back into her saddle as soon as she was physically able, and her training had resumed.
Now, a year later, she was fit and capable of competing again, but her confidence was still injured from the incident. With her return to the rodeo less than twenty-four hours away, he could see she struggled with self-doubt and anxiety.
In the soft voice he used to coax and calm skittish horses, he whispered, I just want to help, Kennie.”
Dropping her gaze to her scuffed working boots, she sighed. I just need to get my mind off of last time,” she admitted quietly. I need a distraction.”
Looking back up, she caught his eye and gave him a deadpan, serious look. Do you really want to help to me, Dawson?”
A loud cheer from the crowd pulled Dawson’s mind back to the present. He looked over to the pipe just in time to see the gate open and Kennedy explode out of the bucking chute in a blur of straining muscles, whipping hair and stomping hooves. Every gaze was on her as her round began.
As a concession to her anxious parents, she wasn’t riding bareback this year. She was balanced atop a specialized saddle and gripped the simple rein tightly. Her free hand reached up to the sky above her.
As her mount reared up for his first jump, she marked the horse, gripped down hard with her legs, and braced herself.
Watching her jaw clench as she struggled to balance herself despite the horse’s irregular rhythm, Dawson remembered how she had tightened her jaw last night as well after he had confirmed his desire to help her in any way he could.
Her face had been a hard mask as she stared him down, trying to judge the sincerity of his offer before finally nodding and stepping closer. Then take off your shirt,” she demanded.
When Dawson didn’t immediately reach up and begin to undo his buttons, Kennedy impatiently grabbed him by the front of his work shirt and pulled him into the room. Ignoring his weak protests, she pushed his back against the closest wall and pressed up against him.
Unlike the other girls who had propositioned him in the past, Kennedy’s body was hard and firm as she pressed it against his. She also didn’t waste any time on sweet words or weak promises.
Table of Contentsxx Riding Double Cari Quinn
xx NYC Cowboy Myla Jackson
xx Under the Southern Cross Cheyenne Blue
xx Banging the Cowboy Randi Alexander
xx Ladies Love Country Boys Cat Johnson
xx Drought Michael Bracken
xx Roped Charlene Teglia
xx Rough Stock M. Marie
xx The Ranch Hand Sedona Fox
xx Small Town Famous Lissa Matthews
xx The Storm Tahira Iqbal
xx Caught Unawares Nena Clements
xx Some Like it Dirty Kimber Vale
xx Raney’s Last Ride Chaparrita
xx Runaway Bride Delilah Devlin
xx She Don’t Stay the Night Anna Meadows
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
some authors/stories better than the others. ok read but I literally did not finish reading some of the stories because they were so boring
Reviewed by Nichelle Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Riding Double by Cari Quin This short story packed a wallop. I loved it. What happens when two sisters who are twins plan to seduce a cowboy? Absolute sexy mayhem is what happens. The author in eight pages delivered such a hot story with a great surprise. I can’t really give too much about the story as it’s so short that it would contain spoilers. What I can say is that the characters were believable and the plot was believable as well. I loved Danica and Colleen Yardley right along with their cowboy Jack Benton. This was a great first read in the anthology. Under the Southern Cross by Cheyenne Blue This is a cowboy tale from the outback. I found it to have all the things that a full novel has and a reader wants. Those things being excitement, sexiness, anticipation and some drama added with very believable characters. What fun. This sexy tale with hot sex and a hero to die for made me want to go to the outback The author does a great job in keeping the story flowing and not letting the reader down with a story full of holes. Great story. Banging the Cowboy by Randi Alexander Okay this was one hot read! I loved every bit of it. Rafe and Annie are one sexy couple. I found it engrossing from the start. Annie wants Rafe but does Rafe want Annie? I loved how the author got us to the point of reveal! The sex was hot and right on time in this little short story. I’ll be reading more from this author. Ladies Love Country Boys by Cat Johnson Her car breaks down and she has an hour to play. Nothing like a sexy cowboy to make you change all your plans. This is what Morgan Mitchell does to Julia when he meets her at a rodeo. This was a quick sexy read. Drought by Michael Bracken Amanda is in a sexual drought just like the Texas city she moved to. Until she meets Garrett and her drought is appeased. This had all the right sexual tension and then the perfect ending though I will have to say it made me want to read more. It’s great when you can get pulled into the story by an author and can really see the characters. It was really well developed. Roped by Charlene Teglia Damn what a sexy romp! I loved this story. Regan the city lawyer and Jonas the wealthy rancher. What a fun mix! This story has some secrets that when revealed make the story even better! I will be looking for this author again. Rough Stock by M. Marie This story was actually hard for me to get into. It’s shown from Dawson the hero’s perspective. Though that’s not the reason it was hard. The reason it was hard to get into was that it seemed rather short and really didn’t fit into the book like the others did. But in saying that, the story does have merit and the sex scene was rather hot. I just wished there had been a bit more in the way of dialogue for me. The Ranch Hand by Sedona Fox In this short story the heroine Charlene is basically part of a deal included in her father selling his ranch to a Mr. Forsyth. What a yummy, yummy tale. The tale is a historical western and Sedona Fox did it justice. This one is a must read in the anthology. I loved it and forever will. Small-Town Famous by Lissa Matthews This was a very cute story with a very hot and sexy love scene. Who doesn’t love makeup sex? Especially when that makeup sex involves kink. Bethann and Tommy are a very fun couple. I liked this story it had believable characters with believable emotions that most people feel. Though not sure most would go to this extent to get what they want, we read for the fantasy and this was fun. The Storm by Tahira Iqbal Candace drives off in a storm not realizing that it’s a truly bad one. One that is bad enough to cause her to be in an accident. When she comes to she awakens in the arms of her ex-lover Brent. The story is very sweet along with the sex being hot. It’s the one thing most women want when they break up with someone they love, to find their way back to them. Great story. Caught Unawares by Nena Clements Reese has been trying hard to steer clear of his best friends younger sister Lacy. When Lacy winds up in the pond and then sets her sights on him. Reese is unable to resist what he’s wanted for so long. Very sexy story. Some Like It Dirty by Kimber Vale Out in the middle of know where Jenna McManus car breaks down and she is in desperate need of rescuing. Nothing like a big, strong and sexy cowboy that literally sweeps her off her feet when he does rescue her. Rescued by a hot, dirty cowboy makes Jenna squirm in her designer clothing. Before the end of the story I realized who the cowboy really was but that didn’t make me stop reading. The sex was hot and the couple hotter. Great read. Raney’s Last Ride by Chaparrita All I can say about this story is wow. It really tugged at my heart strings, it was sad in as much as it was beautiful. The ending was a happy for now ending. I’d seriously love to see more done with this story. Would love to know what happens to Raney after this right along with her sidekick Whitfield. The story is one of love, great loss and revenge. The author really packed a punch with the story with this story set in the Old West. Kudos to the author for churning up all kinds of feelings with this story. The sex throughout is hot and will make you squirm Run Away Bride by Delilah Devlin I always love Delilah Devlin’s stories, this one wasn’t any different. Sammi Jo and Jackson are supposed to get married. Sammi Jo gets cold feet and runs because she doesn’t think Jackson really knows her. Jackson kidnaps her and plans to teach her a lesson. This was one hot story and Delilah Devlin doesn’t disappoint. This is a must read in the anthology. She Don’t Stay the Night by Anna Meadows This story just like Rough Stock seemed out of place for me in the anthology. I expected more punch with the last story in a great anthology. Buckley Carver is a boy Adabella finds roaming the area. He’s homeless and her family takes him in. It’s assumed he’s the same age as Adabella which is the young age of fifteen. He stays and works the horses as the other vaqueros do. Adabella eventually leaves to stay with her aunt so that her aunt can help her to become a lady. When she comes back at the age of eighteen and having had dreams of Buckley through all this time they were apart without contact. I feel there could have been so much more to this story. The Spanish woven within the story was beautiful and I think that had it been made into a longer story I would have connected better to it. Cowboys are a timeless passion of many and this anthology in its entirety really delivers that to the reader. Though there are a few stories that I didn’t truly connect with the anthology is a wonderful read and I would definitely recommend it.
In the forward Lorelei James tells the readers just how much she loves cowboys..The first story 'Under the Southern Cross' is made up of an exotic cowboy and an american beauty.This story brings mystery to new levels of pleasure. The second story,'Riding Double' is about jealous twins, one cowboy...each story compliments the next.A great read
This book is filled with story after story containing the inner-monologues and late-night fantasies of women across the globe. While I am not particularly drawn to cowboys in real life (I'm not exactly surrounded by them in California), Cowboy Lust teleported me to another world where the cowboys are a-plenty, the narrative is carefully witty, and the "rough lovin'" (as Annie puts it in the short story "Banging the Cowboy") will certainly have you trying to read faster than you've ever read before just to see what happens next (and how fast!) Some of the stories are more romantic and loving while others focus mainly on lust --which is great because this book covers a wide range of situations and emotions even though the main focus is on cowboys. If you're into erotica and are looking for something new and different, this book does just that.
If you’re into Western settings of hunky men in your erotica, then this is the story compilation for you. Each author brings a unique voice and twist to the cowboy motif. A couple favorites that got me going in particular were “Banging the Cowboy”, “Caught Unawares”, and especially “Raney’s Last Ride”, though each story proves to be more satisfying than the last.
Devlin does a great job of bringing together a wide variety of authors and stories that can go with the theme of “cowboys” in many different forms. We have historical fiction, contemporary, stories taking place here in the U.S. and across the pond in other countries. Each story takes readers to different places and times, while also keeping with the naughty aspects of the anthology. I think part of the magic of this anthology, is the differences in each tale. As you read through each short story (roughly 10-15 pages each), the common theme is apparent and utterly satisfying. There isn't a single story that I disliked, but I think perhaps Delilah Devlin’s addition the anthology spoke the most to me. Beyond the awesome theme and fun storytelling within this novel, I want to speak a minute on the foreword by Lorelei James. A huge fan of James, I loved her ideology on cowboy culture. “In traditional western fiction, the cowboy is the embodiment of all that is good, honest, and true. Not only is the cowboy the guy you’d want at your side or watching your back during a gunfight, or a bar fight, but he’s the stand-up guy other men look up to and ladies moon over. A cowboy’s values are at the core of who he is” Definitely a great book for this summer, “Cowboy Lust” will appeal to fans of Fifty Shades, Lorelei James, and Delilah Devlin. A fast read, very fun, and a great way to spend a summer evening!