These cowboys all have a little experience under their belt buckles and they’re gonna to put their hearts on the line one more time.
In Donna Alward’s Nothing like a Cowboy, Brett isn't interested in another run at love, but when he's matched with Melly by an online dating site, he seriously considers getting back in the saddle.
In Something About a Cowboy by Sarah M. Anderson, Mack is furious when his grown sons sign him up for online dating, but he goes to meet Karen anyway, and is blown away by the instant chemistry. But it might be too much, too soon for this widowed cowboy.
In Jenna Bayley-Burke’s Anything for a Cowboy, Notmy1strodeo.com declares Ray and Jacy a perfect match. The first time they meet, sparks fly and an insatiable desire flares between them. Their fire burns hot and fast, but will her little white lie smother the flames forever?
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking...and is a Masterpiece Theater addict. You can visit her on the web at www.DonnaAlward.com and join her mailing list at www.DonnaAlward.com/newsletter.
Jenna Bayley-Burke is known for her fun, sexy romance novels, baking banana bread and over-volunteering. She thinks she has the best jobs in the world—mother, wife and author. When she’s not lost in her latest story, she can be found pursuing whatever hobby her characters are enamored with—photography, yoga, shoes, gardening, crafts and cooking up a storm.
Sarah M. Anderson is an award-winning author who writes contemporary snarky and sensual romances featuring cowboys and bull riders as well as billionaires with and without babies. She won RT Reviewer’s Choice 2012 Desire of the Year for A Man of Privilege. The Nanny Plan was a 2016 RITA® winner for Contemporary Romance: Short.
Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and billionaires. Find out more at www.sarahmanderson.com and sign up for the new-release newsletter at http://bit.ly/sarahalerts.
By day, Jenna Bayley-Burke is faster than a speeding toddler, stronger than a stubborn husband, able to leap tall Lego structures in a single bound...but by night, while the family sleeps, she writes romance novels where no one ever has to scoop up after the dog, change diapers, clip coupons, drive carpool, do laundry, mop floors, get Silly Putty out of hair, vacuum, empty the vacuum bag (gross!), exercise, count calories, apply Band-Aids, clean up puke...wait where was this going? Oh, Jenna writes romance because it is glamorous.
Read an Excerpt
Not My First Rodeo
Three Novella Boxed Set
By Donna Alward, Jenna Bayley-Burke, Sarah M. Anderson, Heidi Shoham
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Donna Alward, Jenna Bayley-Burke, and Sarah M. Anderson
All rights reserved.
Brett Harrison stared at the computer screen in horror.
"Jesus, Manda. Are you crazy? You put me on a dating site?"
He stared at the picture of himself filling the top quarter of the monitor. It was a cropped shot from Manda's wedding last year, when he'd been dressed in a suit with a string tie and all the groomsmen had worn matching black Stetsons. It wasn't a bad picture, he supposed. But it did look like he was ... well, posing for it, which made things worse. It made him look like he actually cared. Like he was serious about looking for love ... when he hadn't even known the site existed. And if he had known about the profile, he would have taken it down. Immediately. Like he was going to do right now.
If she wasn't five months pregnant, he'd strangle his twin sister.
Manda perched on the side of the desk. "Hell yes, I put you on a dating site. It's time you got back out there. You're never going to get laid if you hole up in your office or in the barn or wherever."
He frowned. "My love life is none of your business."
"Right. And when you go around snapping at everyone? I want my kid to actually like his Uncle Brett. Trust me, big brother. What you need is a hot night of —"
"Of nothing," he interrupted, trying really hard not to be slightly amused. Trying to be mad. Ever since she'd gotten married, Manda had suddenly become an authority on romantic bliss. But to his mind, only desperate people used dating sites. The facts were just full of lies or inflated truths at best.
He wasn't that desperate. Was he? He wondered what Manda would say if he confessed that he hadn't been with a woman since his divorce. Or maybe Manda already suspected, and that was why she was pushing. Meddling.
"I can find a date if I want one." He scanned the rest of the profile and had to admit, Manda had been pretty honest. Of course, she'd only played up the good parts. He had faults. Lots of them. Sherry had been quick to point them out, too. It wasn't much wonder their marriage hadn't lasted, considering how little she'd thought of him.
Apparently, he wasn't romantic enough. Didn't tend to a woman's needs. Wasn't — and this was what stung the most — smart enough. Too rough around the edges. If he'd known she felt that way all along, they never would have made it down the aisle in the first place. And that wasn't an experience he was eager to repeat. He'd almost lost his share of the ranch in the settlement. He wondered what his ex would say now that the situation had changed substantially. The ranch was in better shape than ever, and they were seriously looking at expansion.
Manda scoffed, giving him a slap upside the head to emphasize her point.
"Listen, you know as well as I do that offerings are pretty slim around here." He looked up at her. "Let's just take this thing down and forget all about it."
But Manda was stubborn, and she raised an eyebrow at him. "So which is it? You don't want a date or there's no one you like? Maybe you need to head into Gibson for a bit, hit the bar, whatever. Stop being so damned choosy."
"Manda." He was done fooling around, and he let his tone communicate that. "I don't want to be on a dating site. Take down the profile or I'll do it myself."
She grinned. "No. And you wouldn't know how anyway, because you're technologically challenged." Her expression turned smug. "Besides, you already have a date."
For five seconds, Brett was sure his head was going to blow off. "What do you mean, a date?"
Manda got off the corner of the desk and reached around him to slide the mouse over the mouse pad and click on an icon. "See? Melissa. Melly to her friends. You sent her a hat tip."
"A hat tip?"
"Well, yeah. The guys have to make the first move here, you know? See? She's checked off divorced, spring, and mutton busting." She straightened, crossing her arms with satisfaction.
"What the hell does that all mean? Manda, pregnant or not, you're walking a fine line here."
"It means" — she sighed with impatience — "that she's divorced, she's under thirty, and she wasn't married very long."
He raised a dubious eyebrow and looked closer at the screen. For the love of Mike, the criteria the site used was downright hokey. His profile, on the other hand, listed him as divorced, summer because he was over thirty, and his marital experience as bull riding.
"Sounds great." Sarcasm dripped from his tongue.
"Yes, it does. Because you invited her for coffee."
He tamped down his absolute frustration at his sister's taking over the situation and replied through gritted teeth, "I didn't invite her anywhere."
"Well, I did for you. See? A coffee date. Very public place, limited time if need be, daytime. Women try to be really safe on first dates. She'll probably have a wingman ready to text her with an emergency if she needs an escape route."
It was sounding more like a military maneuver than a date. "What if I'm the one who needs an escape route?" Manda grinned. "So you're going?"
"I didn't say that." He pinned her with his sternest glare. "Manda, you had no right to do this. To pretend to be me. To set this up. It's my life. I wish you'd respect that."
She stared right back. "I did it because I love you and I'm worried about you and I knew you wouldn't go do this for yourself."
"You're damn right —"
"And you've been licking your wounds ever since Sherry left. You need to get back out there, Brett. This girl doesn't have to be the one. But she might at least be a start to you realizing that not every woman out there views being a rancher as a handicap that needs to be overcome. This site, it's specifically for people like you."
"People like me? What on earth does that mean?" There was actually a site for hermits? Desperate recluses? Eunuchs?
"Not My First Rodeo. It's for cowboys and ranchers, sweetie. And ones who've been around the matrimonial block and lived to tell the tale."
"And want to again, which I clearly don't. You forgot that part."
"You just think that." Manda frowned and put her hand on his shoulder. "Will you at least look at her profile? Buy her a cup of coffee? If you back out now, she's going to feel like crap."
"Then you can be the one to explain. I'm sure you'll let her down easy."
Manda's lips formed an ominous line. "Fine. Don't go. Whatever. Just stop moping around here and growling at everyone. We're sick of it."
She left the office, slammed the door, and silence fell in her wake.
Brett sighed, stared at the now-closed door and counted to ten. Why was it Manda always knew exactly what to say to get under his skin? Little sisters were the bane of his existence — and he had three of them. Manda, he took great pride in reminding her, was a whole seven minutes younger than him.
Hell, they were probably all in on this. Manda was the oldest and most often the spokesperson. Particularly now that she was pregnant with his first niece or nephew. Everyone knew he was a soft touch.
He turned in the chair and let his gaze fall on the monitor again. The screen showed the messaged conversation between himself and this woman. Melissa. Melly, he mentally corrected. Who the hell went by the name of Melly?
He clicked on her name, her profile popped up, and his mind went utterly blank for a few minutes.
He wasn't sure what he'd expected, but the woman on the screen was attractive. Really attractive. The picture was casual, looked like the background of house siding behind her, and she wore a simple blue plaid shirt, like she wasn't too worried about what she wore for the photo. Neither did she wear a lot of makeup, but she didn't need to. Her eyes were an intriguing almond shape and a soft, chocolaty brown, just a little darker than the smooth waterfall of hair that fell over her shoulder. A half smile touched her full lips. What on earth was a woman like that doing on a matchmaking site? Surely she didn't have any problem finding a date.
He went back to the message window and read what she'd written to Manda. Polite, modest, and claimed that she had never signed up for a dating site before. He wondered if that were true. Wondered if everything on her profile was true. It said she was twenty-nine, five-foot-nine, and taught high school English. She was divorced and still hopeful there was a Mr. Right out there.
Well, wasn't that just sweet?
Brett pushed back his chair a bit and sighed again. Okay, so the photo had caught his attention. And the details weren't bad, either. But did he trust them?
Still, his details were accurate. Maybe hers were, too.
Hold on. Was he really considering going through with this farce of a date? He thought about what Manda had said. It wasn't this Melly's fault that Manda had impersonated him and set up a date. She'd be at the Daily Grind coffee shop tomorrow evening, waiting for him unless he told her otherwise. Standing her up was not an option. His mama had raised him better than that. And the idea of messaging her and calling it off ... Manda was right. Canceling would probably make her feel like crap. It had to take a lot of guts to put up a profile and actually send someone a message.
He shook his head. What the hell was wrong with him? Why did he suddenly feel flattered that she'd said yes to a question he hadn't even asked?
He looked at the messages once more. "A cup of coffee sounds perfect," she'd answered. "I'm really looking forward to meeting you, Brett."
He was going to have to go through with it. But just one date. One coffee date. They could meet and be friendly and go their separate ways, and that would be that. And his profile was coming off the site as soon as it was over.
Damn straight.CHAPTER 2
Melly stood outside the Daily Grind, her right hand gripping the strap of her handbag as she reconsidered for about the millionth time.
Why was she putting herself through this again? Was Brett already inside? What if he didn't show, like the last guy hadn't? What if he did but looked nothing like his picture? For a split second, she considered turning around and walking straight back to her car and heading back to Helena. Why had she ever thought that online dating would be a good idea?
But she wouldn't stand him up, because that would be rude. Besides, it was time she got back into the dating game. Sometimes she felt like she'd forgotten how to flirt. Banter. Have fun. Be herself. Fun Melly. Unfortunately, Fun Melly hadn't come out to play since signing up on NotMy1stRodeo.com. Her dates so far had been disasters.
One man had looked promising from afar, until he'd come closer and her nose had alerted her that he'd come right from the barn. There had still been manure on his boots, for God's sake. She was all for cowboys and ranchers but expected a man might clean his boots and change his shirt before meeting a woman for lunch.
Then there'd been the man who was at least fifteen years older than his picture and had only half the hair she'd expected. He'd been polite, but there definitely wasn't any spark. At all. The date had been painful and blessedly short. She'd felt relieved but also a little offended that he'd seemed to be in such a hurry to get away. And then, of course, the no-show. Wow.
She'd decided to throw in the towel, and then Brett had sent her a hat tip. She'd closed her eyes and sent a wink back to him before she could change her mind. The offer for coffee had come shortly after that. One more try, she'd thought. And when it didn't work out, maybe she'd let her BFF, Leanne, set her up with the gym teacher at her school. She'd been nagging Melly for ages about that —
She spun around at the sound of her name being spoken, her bag swinging with her, sliding off her shoulder and dropping to the crook of her elbow with a heavy thud. Yep, being herself sometimes translated into being a little klutzy and awkward. She scrambled to push the straps back over her shoulder while at the same time attempting a smile. Holy crap. She struggled to keep her composure, but her first thought was that his picture hadn't lied.
"You must be Brett. I'm Melly." It came out stronger than she expected, and she tried a smile with it, proud of herself. "Melissa. Melissa Walker."
The repetition of her name had probably wrecked any calm factor she'd achieved, hadn't it? She held out her right hand to shake his and whoomp. The bag slid off her shoulder again, jerking her hand downward. Her own damned fault for cramming it with her phone, wallet, emergency makeup, and a hardback novel in case she ended up waiting ... or worse. At least he hadn't stood her up. That was a good sign, right? She swallowed and held the smile, trying not to look like she was staring. Hells bells, Brett Harrison looked yummy enough to eat.
Once more, she shoved the handbag straps to her shoulder. "Sorry," she apologized, her cheeks hot, and he smiled in return. He had incredible blue eyes, she noticed. Nice and clear, with the tiniest of crow's feet in the corners and a fringe of light brown lashes. He hadn't worn his hat today, like he had in his profile picture, and she studied his hair, cut short around his ears, a little tousled on top, the same blondish brown as his lashes. The toffee-colored hair and blue of his eyes set off his tanned face, which she supposed came from working outdoors much of the time.
And his body ... Well, it was impossible not to notice the tall, strong build. His stats had said he was thirty-two. Her heart gave a solid thump as she realized that Brett Harrison's profile had been 100 percent accurate. He was exactly what she'd had in mind when she'd signed up on the dating site. A gentleman cowboy. And the way his sky-blue gaze settled on her now, a sexy one to boot. Maybe the other dud dates had been leading up to this. Who said persistence didn't pay?
Brett merely smiled at the awkward moment as she clung to her purse strap. "I have a mother and three sisters. I'm familiar with the phrase, 'my life is in my purse.'"
"It really is," she said, letting out a sigh of relief now that the initial introduction was over.
Brett gestured toward the door with a hand. "So, uh, how about we get that cup of coffee?"
She nodded, suddenly shy. Brett opened the door for her, and she scooted inside and then waited as he followed and they went to the counter to order their drinks.
"What'll you have?" she asked, determined to keep her chin high and confident, even though inside she was nervous as hell. The beginning had been less than auspicious, but there was time to turn it around. Be bright and sparkly. "My treat."
"I'll get the coffee," he said, reaching in his back pocket for his wallet. He was turned a little to the left and she got a passing glimpse of the square of his back pocket, a little more faded than the rest of his jeans. And resisted the sudden urge to fan herself.
Instead, she put her fingers on his arm, only briefly as she suddenly realized it probably seemed a little too familiar. "Brett, I'd like to buy you a coffee. Will you let me do that?"
James had been a stickler about paying for everything. He'd hated her trying to pay, like it was an insult, an assumption that he couldn't afford things, an affront to his masculinity. She really hadn't realized how much financial trouble he'd been in until he'd filed for bankruptcy. Anyone she dated had to get over that sort of male-pride thing. She figured this was a good first test.
He met her gaze for a long moment and then nodded. "I guess that'd be all right." He raised an eyebrow. "This once."
Meaning there'd be a next time?
"Good. Now what'll you have?"
He grinned. "A big mug of black. I'm a man of simple tastes."
She smiled back, encouraged. "You got it."
She ordered his coffee and then her own, which was slightly more complicated as there was a flavor shot and some steamed milk involved. But within a few minutes, they were headed to a table in the back corner of the shop that looked out over Gibson's Main Street. To her surprise and pleasure, Brett held her chair for her and waited for her to be seated before sitting across from her. Good looking — check. Manners — check. She wondered what else he had going for him?
"So," she said, laughing nervously. "Here we are."
"Here we are," he echoed, one corner of his mouth tipping up a little. He raised an eyebrow. "Let me guess. You're mentally going over my profile and trying to figure out if I lied."
Her cheeks heated again. "Clearly, you didn't." Rustling up her courage, she added, "If anything, the reality's better than the profile."
His laugh was low and warm and sent tingly feelings rushing through her body.
"I have to come clean," he confessed. "I didn't set up that profile. My sister did. I didn't even know about it until two days ago."
Excerpted from Not My First Rodeo by Donna Alward, Jenna Bayley-Burke, Sarah M. Anderson, Heidi Shoham. Copyright © 2017 Donna Alward, Jenna Bayley-Burke, and Sarah M. Anderson. 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.
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