How to Wrangle a Cowboy

How to Wrangle a Cowboy

by Joanne Kennedy

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Overview

"A swoon-worthy cowboy, fun flirtation, blazing passion and a sweet little boy will have readers wanting to wrangle their very own cowboy."—RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ Stars, TOP PICK!

Ranch Foreman Shane Lockhart's livelihood—and sanity—are threatened when the ranch is taken over by the late owner's granddaughter, the most beautiful, exasperating woman Shane has ever met.

Inner-city veterinarian Lindsey Ward always loved visiting her grandfather's Wyoming ranch, so it breaks her heart to have to sell it. She'll miss the scent of hay and sagebrush under the wide-open sky, but at least the sale will help fund the clinic she's always dreamed of.

Ruggedly handsome foreman Shane Lockhart and his adorable son aren't making it any easier for Lindsey to focus on what has to be done. It's exhilarating going toe to toe with a rough, tough cowboy whose stubborn idealism matches her own, but it's Shane's tenderness that might tip Lindsey's heart over the fence.

The Cowboys of Decker Ranch series:
How To Handle A Cowboy (Book 1)
How To Kiss A Cowboy (Book 2)
How to Wrangle a Cowboy (Book 3)

Praise for How to Kiss a Cowboy:
"Kennedy's characters are sexy, smart, troubled, flawed—real. If you are a fan of Western romances, Joanne Kennedy should be at the top of your list of favorites." —Fresh Fiction
"The rough-and-tumble world of the Wyoming rodeo circuit is brought vividly to life. Readers will love her intensely complex characters and depictions of deep emotion." —Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402283727
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Series: Cowboys of Decker Ranch , #3
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Joanne Kennedy is the RITA-nominated author of ten contemporary Western romance novels, including Cowboy Trouble, Tall, Dark and Cowboy, and Cowboy Tough. The first book in her Decker Ranch trilogy, How to Handle a Cowboy, was named one of Booklist's "Best Romances of the Decade." She lives in a secret mountain hideout on the Wyoming border with too many pets and a retired fighter pilot. The pets are relatively well-behaved. Joanne loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website, www.joannekennedybooks.com.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

"Let's get this sucker in the ground." Grace Ward turned away from the gleaming casket and tugged at her escort's arm. "He was a good-lookin' sumnabitch and it's a shame he's dead, but, Lord, that preacher about talked us all into our graves already, and here he's getting ready to start jawing again."

The mourners surrounding the hillside grave gasped in unison. Grace Ward looked as delicate as the bluebells nodding at the graveyard gate, but her voice was as vibrant in old age as it was in her long-gone Hollywood heyday.

"My husband won't take kindly to me ogling some stranger, dead or alive."

Shane Lockhart, wearing his best black Stetson and his only suit, bent over the old woman and reminded her, as gently as he could, that the good-looking sumnabitch in the velvet-lined casket was her husband. Bud Ward had died suddenly at the intersection of a cowardly cow horse and a petulant porcupine, leaving Grace alone in the world. Her only remaining family was a granddaughter who'd run off to marry a man Bud disapproved of. So far, not even her granddad's death was enough to bring Lindsey Ward back to the Lazy Q, so Grace was on her own at eighty-one.

As foreman of the ranch, Shane felt bound by love and duty to look after his late boss's wife. It had been a challenge at first; she'd been inconsolable over his death. The job became considerably easier when an invisible Bud joined her for eggs and ham the next morning, so Shane had learned to welcome the brief appearances of Bud's ghost. His phantom presence kept Grace calm, and she was less liable to wander off if she believed he was home.

It was just too bad he'd turned up during his own funeral.

"Come on, cowboy." Grace tugged Shane's arm again, so hard he almost stumbled. "Bud's waiting, and all this sad stuff's giving me a headache."

The preacher paused at the interruption, and at the very moment, a meadowlark burst into song, shattering the sorrowful hush of the graveyard with unseemly, unfettered joy. Grace smiled up at the sky, her fringed, scarlet shawl fluttering like a flag in the breeze. She'd refused to wear black to the service.

"Bud and I were black and white in the movies," she'd said. "He always liked me in color."

Back in the fifties, she'd been a sweet Hollywood ingenue playing pioneer lasses in black-and-white Westerns, while Bud was a rough-riding stuntman, falling off horses and pitching himself out of second-story windows. He'd fallen harder for Grace than he'd ever fallen from a horse, and no wonder. For all her fragile appearance, she'd been able to ride as well as he did, and swear just as lustily.

A cloud drifted over the sun and she frowned, plucking at her shawl. "Where's Lindsey?" For the first time that day, her voice quavered. "I thought she'd be here by now. She promised."

Shane clenched his jaw, determined not to reveal his feelings for the prodigal granddaughter. If love for the two fine people she was fortunate enough to call family hadn't drawn Lindsey Ward to Wyoming, inheriting some portion of Bud's millions might do it. Shrewd investments and a fine head for cattle breeding had made Bud a very wealthy man, and Shane was willing to bet she'd show up for the reading of the will.

As the minister droned on, Grace's grip on his arm suddenly tightened. Shane followed her gaze down the narrow dirt path and spotted a dark figure in the distance. As it neared, it resolved into a slender brunette, dressed all in black right down to a pair of impossibly high heels.

Pausing, the new arrival stood on one leg, poised and dignified as a heron. Removing one shoe, she flexed her foot and replaced the footwear without wavering, then continued down the rocky path, navigating the ruts and stones with ease until she skidded on a patch of gravel at the graveyard gate.

Lindsey Ward. She'd finally arrived, slipping and sliding and flailing for balance despite her dignified funeral attire.

Grace lurched away from Shane to catch her granddaughter in a generous embrace before holding her at arm's length for an appreciative once-over.

"Lindsey, darling! Don't you look lovely!"

She did indeed. She'd evidently hurried to make the funeral, so her face was flushed to a very attractive shade of pink, and a faint sheen made her skin appear young and dewy as ever. Shane felt the same shock he'd experienced the last time he'd seen her, and it hit all the same bodily organs.

He'd never thought much of Lindsey back when she was a little tomboy hanging around the ranch every summer, but about the time he'd been promoted to foreman, she'd turned from caterpillar to butterfly. Her womanly curves had forced him to wrestle with a powerful surge of attraction, and he'd had to remind himself repeatedly that she was the boss's granddaughter, strictly off-limits to a man who'd sworn off serious relationships.

Around the time of Lindsey's transformation, her mother-Bud and Grace's daughter-had become progressively paler and thinner until she was just a wisp of a woman. On her final visit, she'd looked weak as a spavined mare, and her eyes had gazed past the horizon at a future as empty as the clear blue sky. She'd passed away soon after-cancer, they said-and Lindsey's visits had ceased until the fateful day she'd brought her fiancé to meet her grandparents.

Shane hated to even think of that day, when he'd played the role of the amorous cowhand to a very unappreciative audience. For his own selfish sake, he was relieved Lindsey had never come back, but he couldn't help wondering if it was his fault she hadn't been there for her grandparents as they grew old.

He shifted his gaze to watch her. Something about her had changed over the years-something hard to define. With a chill, he realized her eyes had become as pale and otherworldly as her mother's. She stared into the distance, looking past the crowd, past the graveyard, and past the hills beyond with a sadness far beyond any present grief. The sorrow in those eyes ran bone deep, and he wondered what had happened since he'd seen her last. He'd known her as such a carefree, happy child, and her grief made him want to touch her, take her in his arms, and...

Wrong. The answer, which came automatically to mind, was as loud and intrusive as a game show buzzer. Lindsey Ward was nothing to him, and he was less than nothing to her. She'd made that very clear on her last visit.

"I'm so sorry, Grandma." The absurd high heels forced Lindsey to bend nearly double to whisper in Grace's ear. "I had an emergency with a-"

Shane couldn't quite hear the rest. Something like a cockamamy, or maybe a cockapee. It sounded like some exotic, expensive bird, which didn't surprise him a bit. Lindsey looked pretty exotic and expensive herself with those ridiculous shoes and elegant clothes. He was willing to bet those shoes alone would cost him a week's wages.

Hopefully, she wouldn't stay long. If he was lucky, she'd spend a few days at the ranch, admire how smoothly and profitably it ran under his guidance, and go home to her fine feathered friends.

He watched her turn away from Grace and stare off toward the mountains again. She brought a hand to her mouth, and Shane turned away in disgust. She'd yawned. Yawned.

Bored, no doubt, by the minister's words of praise for her grandfather.

He felt a small hand clutching his pant leg and glanced down to smooth his son's dark hair. He expected Cody's eyes to be fixed on the casket as it was lowered into the grave, but instead the boy was gazing wide-eyed at the new arrival.

Shane sighed.

Of course he was. She was a woman. She had dark hair. And she was pretty, if you went for that type.

Which Shane didn't. No way.

Not anymore.

But his son looked like he'd just seen a fairy godmother, Glinda the Good Witch, and his own runaway mother, all rolled into one.

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How to Wrangle a Cowboy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Loved the book!
Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
Kennedy writes romance that’s real and characters that capture your heart. Her vibrant descriptions easily transport readers to this fantastic area where families stick together and working the land still means something. The plot of the novel is very character driven, creating an emotional yet extremely fun tale that I couldn’t put down. I loved feeling as if I were part of this story while I was lost in its pages. Cowboys are a breed apart. Kennedy definitely proves that with this novel. Shane is the epitome of a true cowboy with a dark past. I love how the author highlights his work ethic and caring nature. His mixed emotions really shine through, creating the full picture for me. Lindsey’s go-get-em attitude really makes her stand out as a character to watch. I loved how fun and strong she was, despite what she’d been through and what she was going through. Together these two make a great couple in the present, despite the fact that they’re regularly at odds, but that’s not all. Kennedy melds the present with flashbacks of the past to create a complete picture of the main characters. Knowing where these two came from makes it so much easier to understand where and who they are in the present. Once again Kennedy has created a story that epitomizes western life today while also filling it with romance and heat, creating the perfect mix. This is an author and a series that I’ll be following closely in the future. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
DebsIN More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars!! What a wonderful story of heart, perseverance, and romance. Although I have not read the other two in the series, I did not feel I had missed anything. Lindsey and Shane were both so scarred and scared of loving in this book. With the love of Lindsey's Grandmother, Shane's little boy, the people from the park, and of course the animals, you have a story that will melt your heart. I have to say, it was one of the most uplifting stories I have read in a very long time. I did love the bit of humor at the end of this HEA as well. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves romance and a wonderful story of overcoming the past. Joanne Kennedy is a wonderful writer and I have to admit, it has been a long time since I have read any of her books. I want to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks for gifting me the chance to read and review this one.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Lindsey Reed, was working a vet in the city, when her grandfather dies. She returns to Wyoming for the funeral and is surprised to learn that he left the ranch. She struggles to accept her new role and decides to stay in Wyoming until she can help her grandmother. She is recently divorced and is very suspicious of the ranch foreman, Shane. He was reunited with his son Cody and is unsure of his place at the ranch and with his son. Lindsey and Shane struggle to find their path, but eventually after a lot of hard work and miscommunication, to a happy ending. This a rich story featuring a hard working cowboy and a prodigal granddaughter who find themselves in an beautiful setting. I loved seeing the characters evolve and find the strength admit when they needed help. Overall it was well written and I would recommend this novel to fans of western romances. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Lindsay Ward is finally returning home. Unfortunately, it’s for her grandfather’s funeral. She left the ranch years ago when her and her grandfather had a blow out about Lindsey’s fiancée. When Lindsey chose to marry her fiancée, her grandfather disowned her. It was a rash actions that left a lot of hurt in its wake. Lindsay is shocked to discover that her grandfather left her sole owner of her grandfather’s ranch even though her grandmother is still alive. Lindsay must decide what is best for grandmother and the ranch but the ranch foreman, Shane, and Lindsay don’t see eye to eye. The will and the ranch become embroiled in a land grab and a disgruntled family member adds even more grief on Lindsay’s shoulders. The story was a hard won romance with a few side scenes that seemed to stall. Overall it was quite enjoyable, with lots of sparks between Shane and Lindsay. 3.5 Stars I received this ARC copy of How to Wrangle a Cowboy from Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for a honest review.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
If hearing of the passing of her beloved grandfather wasn't shocking enough for Lindsey Ward, hearing that he left his ranch to her was enough to knock her world off of it's axis. The last time they saw one another things were definitely left on bitter terms, and for that Lindsey has carried a lot of regret, and frequently thought she should make amends with her grandfather. But now that he is gone she won't get that opportunity, which is almost more than she can bare, especially since the person causing all of the turmoil between them is no longer part of Lindsay's life. Her grandmother reassures her that their little spat didn't change his love for her and that the best way for her to move on, is to just let the regret go, and try to turn her newly acquired property into something she can be proud of, and what her grandfather hoped she'd use it for... but Lindsay is swimming in debt and thinks she may have to sell the ranch, and let her dream job go. Shane Lockhart has spent the majority of his life working for the Ward family on their lavish ranch, and has enjoyed every minute it, but now that his boss has passed away Shane is concerned that he may not only be losing his home, but his job too. His bosses beautiful and highly tempting granddaughter is home to claim the ranch and sell it off to the highest bidder, but Shane isn't ready to let the ranch go or see her sell something that is so rich with family history to a complete stranger. Now he must find a way to convince her to keep the ranch, and also keep him from losing everything he has worked so hard for... This was my first experience with Ms. Kennedy's work, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it, so much so, I plan to make a return visit to the series very soon! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Shane and Lindsey's story, and watching them find their happy ending. The story line captivated my attention right from the start, and had me flying right through the pages, because I just had to know what was going to happen next!! If you like small town romance with a western twist, and handsome cowboys, then look no further...this is DEFINITELY the perfect read for you!! Shane is sure to capture your heart and leave you swooning like a lovesick fool!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by SourceBooks Casablanca Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.