Tag Archives: cowboys

Cowboy up! Cowboy for Hire…classic romantic comedy from Isabelle Drake

28 Aug

 

Cowboy for Hire-medium

A cowboy, romance, laughs, a sweet happy ending…Cowboy for Hire has all of that. It’s also one of my earliest releases – now rereleased from Riverdale Ave Books.

Remember Ellora’s Cave? I sure do. I had about twenty books with them. Cowboy for Hire was my second. It’s recently been releasesd and to say I’m excited is an understatement. For me, it’s like coming home. Some of my readers may not know this about me, but I wrote sweet, traditional romances before creating my first erotic romance, Everglades Wildfire. I was even a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist in the Traditional Romance category.

It’s natural for people to ask writers of erotic romance why they write such sexually explicit stories. Interestingly, people don’t ask that  of sweet romance authors. I think that’s because it’s apparent—everyone loves a love story. That’s what Cowboy for Hire is—a tender, light-hearted, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, story about two people getting past the tangles of their past and getting tangled together.

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Excerpt, aka, beginning of Chapter One:

Lang Thompson eased his foot off the worthless brake pedal and waited for the red Arizona dust to clear. A board swung above the cab of his truck, once, twice, three times. The rusty nail holding it gave up the fight and the weathered two-by-four smacked across the hood with a weary thump.

One more dent wasn’t going to matter.

He pushed back his beat-up Stetson, mumbling a string of words that in his childhood would’ve earned him an afternoon in the milk house. He didn’t need this.

Outside his window a hairy, black Australian shepherd barked and waved its tail.

“You don’t need to tell me, I see the mess.”

For a split second he considered backing out and leaving. The way the place looked, the owner probably wouldn’t even notice the new gaping hole.

No, he didn’t want any unfinished business hanging over his head when he hit the highway again to head south, away from the miserable memories he’d left behind. There was that and the fact that his conscience had an unfortunate way of popping up at the worst times.

He glanced down at the animal now sitting among the rubble that used to be the side of a barn. A tired, seen-better-days barn, but a barn nonetheless.

For the sake of his furry witness, he held back another string of words unfit for delicate ears as he shoved the door open and stepped out. He leaned against the truck and yanked his hat down to block out the afternoon sun. The owner had to be around somewhere.

“I guess I should’ve hung a no parking sign there.”

Lang turned to the shapely outline in the shadows. His bad luck kept getting worse. A woman. He didn’t want to shoot the breeze with a bored rancher’s wife.

3979abe550f21576c24f7d58d2210593.jpg“If you’ll tell me where to find your husband, I’ll straighten this out with him.”

As she moved into the sunshine Lang tried to convince himself he didn’t see her thick blonde hair or deep, blue eyes. He didn’t notice the way her breasts strained against that plain white T-shirt tucked neatly into her faded jeans, either. And that bolt of physical awareness that shot straight to his cock? It didn’t exist.

A blindingly bright smile spilt across her sun-kissed face. “I can’t do that.”

No, those sweet lips didn’t really have an effect on him either. But just to be sure, he stepped away as she came closer. “Do what?”

Raising her hand to shield her eyes from the desert sun, she glanced over her shoulder toward the mess. “Did you plow into my barn because you suffer from memory loss?”

Lang turned toward his truck. He had indeed plowed into the barn. Her barn. “Your barn?”

She nodded, then reached down to rub the dog’s ears, giving him the perfect opportunity to look down her shirt. Was that a white bra with pink lace trim?

Damn he loved lace.

Forcing his gaze back to her face, he asked, “You don’t have a husband I can talk things over with?”

Sunlight blinked off the golden strands of her hair as she shook her head and scratched under the animal’s chin. Her silence didn’t make sense. Why wasn’t she pissed? “Look, ma’am, I’m really sorry—”

While waving her hands to cut him off, she moved closer, her sexy, long legs making short work of the distance. “You don’t need to explain right now.”

Judging from the tilt of her head and the welcome in her eyes, he was missing some piece of a puzzle.

But what?

He stamped out his curiosity. He only wanted to take care of business, then get back on the road and find that ranch for sale his cousin Cole had badgered him into looking over. With that out of the way, he’d get back to his real goal, which was putting as much distance between the remnants of his old life and himself as possible. He tugged his gaze away from her all-too-easy-on-the-eyes face, glanced around but soon found himself looking her way again. “Where am I anyway?”

Her delicate eyebrows knotted together and her shoulders dropped. “You didn’t come about the ad for work?”

“Work?” He shook his head. “No. I was trying to turn around, get back on the freeway.”

Her kissable pink lips curved weakly, the glimmer in her eyes faded but didn’t go out completely. “You’re at The Circle Cat Ranch.”

“And where is that?”

“Cactus Junction.” She dipped her head the other way and a few tempting strands of silken hair slipped over her shoulder. “You do know what state you’re in?”

Arizona. Only a couple of hours from the Mexican border.

Her gaze circled his face, considering, then dropped lower, assessing. He straightened, planting his legs wide enough to place the bulge in his pants front and center. If she insisted on getting a good look at him, he might as well give her a view worth the effort.

As though she realized she was rudely looking him over like he was a colt on the auction block, she brought her attention back to his face and tried to cover her actions with a smile as she spoke. “You look like you could use a drink. I know I could.” She brushed past him without waiting for a reply. “Come on up to the house and have some lemonade.”

That place his cousin was so hot for them to buy was in Cactus Junction. At least he didn’t have much farther to go.

Not that he wanted to buy a place and start all over but Cole had cajoled him until he’d agreed to at least look it over. A promise is a promise. Even to a cousin like Cole.

The woman’s hips swayed invitingly as she strode toward the house. Each determined stride called to some better left unspoken part of him.

He grumbled and tore his gaze away. He’d written complicated entanglements with women off. For good.

The screen door smacked shut after she disappeared inside.

Why did it seem like the last shred of control he had over his life was slipping away? The hot wave of lust pooling in his gut shouted a warning, telling him to forget his so-called integrity and take the chance that once he got on the road he wouldn’t need brakes any time soon. He could always coast to a stop.

He groaned. All those hours in the milk house taught him more than to mind his tongue. He had to stick around and settle the issue at hand. That ranch for sale wasn’t going anywhere. With a quick glance down to be sure he wasn’t wearing any of his fast food breakfast on his shirt, Lang headed after the woman and the dog.

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Get your copy of this sweet but still hot cowboy romance direct from Riverdale Ave Books or Amazon.

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Isabelle Drake’s other new release, an erotic contemporary romance beach read, Make Me Blush, is currently available for free with Kindle Unlimited. Find her on Facebook or Amazon and follow her Instagram story for the most personal pics.

It’s RT Week and the Sexy Is High

1 May

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

The RT Booklovers convention burns through Atlanta this week, a hot time in the old town tonight. This is an inauguration year at RT for Lady Smut, and, in true Lady Smut style, we’re kicking it off with the “Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever” special reader event filled with crowns and swag…and sexy confessions. Later in the week, those of us here at Lady Smut who are not blessed enough to be attending with share a few naughty confessions of our own with you lovely readers. So be sure to keep checking in with Lady Smut as we work to bring the sexy all week long…in Atlanta and beyond.

While our intrepid bloggers are winging their way southward to the RT convention, I’ll be headed to the Great White North for a long weekend in Toronto. Speaking of Toronto, how in the WORLD did I miss these hilarious ads from Harlequin? What ads, you say? I’m glad you asked…

They may not be Ellora’s Cavemen, but a  Toronto-based advertising company has put together these fantastic ad campaigns for Harlequin Books featuring every woman’s current favorite hero: the viking and the cowboy. Have you ever wanted to go bowling with a six foot six viking? Or have a romantic mid-day lunch with a hot cowboy–horse and all? Well, these ladies are living the dream.

The ladies are professional actors who are in on the joke–and comfortable with improvising–but it’s the expressions on people’s faces as they watch the date unfold that kill me, especially when the viking lifts the woman’s leg up to put on the bowling shoe. And the looks they get when they start making out after Viking man bowls a spare? I giggled, I won’t lie.

Or maybe your dream has been to ride down the middle of a major metropolitan city on the back of a horse, arms wrapped around you cow-poking honey, who comes complete with chaps and a lasso? Rope ’em, cowgirl. When he flips the coat check girl at the swanky urban restaurant a quarter to stable his horse, I cracked up. Most of the lunchers in this one are women, so the looks our romantic couple garner here are much more of the envious variety. And really, who can blame them?

Want more Make A Date with Harlequin action? Head over to the “Make a Date with Harlequin” event at RT this week on Thursday morning from 8:30 to 9:45 AM. This is a chance for readers to meet their favorite Harlequin authors, but who know? Maybe there’ll be a viking or cowboy making a romantic appearance! Come back here to Lady Smut and tell me/us who showed up to make your morning!

This isn’t this ad agency’s first foray into the fields of romantic tropes on behalf of the romance novel publisher behemoth. Last year’s campaign was about how you could carry a myriad of romantic heroes in your moderately sized purse, helpfully sprucing up the hours of your humdrum life. What will they come up with next year? Paranormal in the boardroom?

The marketer in me is tickled purple by the campaign. The feminist in me has issues, and not only because these women think girly giggles are the way to go here. I’m not thrilled with the stereotype that women who read romance are on the plump and/or homey side of attractiveness, nor do I adore that the idea is that this romance is fantasy and not that romance is feminist fiction (because, it is). But I’m amused and entertained enough to let my feminist pique take a Diet Coke break.

Whatever direction you’re headed in this week–north or south–be sure to stick with Lady Smut all the way. If you’re at the RT conference, check out our Never Have You Ever, Ever party…and bring along your naughtiest confessions.Win crowns, fetish toys, books and more! Goodybags to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense.

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, has been nominated for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE award! Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

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