FIRST KISS TUESDAY: from Montana Cowboy – a stroll down memory lane

I don’t know about you, but I feel like a stroll down memory lane. This stroll happened to be inspired by a photo on Facebook. That happens, doesn’t?

Me at a book signing at Epic Alpacas– where I did my research for Montana Cowboy. The book wasn’t out in print yet, so I only had copies of Montana Cowgirl to sign. But I still had fun and I got to hang out with some of the cutest critters on the planet. #Ilovealpacas

Montana COWBOY

Austen Zabrinski looks the part —

He’s got the ranch, the boots, the hat and even a few head of cattle, but everybody in Marietta, Montana, knows the former golden boy of Marietta High is a wealthy politician, not a cowboy. And even though that nasty scandal in Helena might have knocked him down a notch or two in the polls, what kind of a fool would trade access to the halls of power in Helena and a Harvard law degree for a ranch in western Montana? Possibly one whose new neighbor, Serena James–the woman the guys at Grey’s Saloon call “…the Red Hot Llama Mama”–makes him start to think about what he wants out of life, instead of what’s expected of him.

Serena James knows trouble when it hops her fence–

Moving to Montana and deleting her blog seemed like the perfect solution to her online stalker problem. Serena’s ready for a fresh start, but when her escrow on her ranch falls through, she has to scramble to find an immediate but temporary safe haven to rent for her herd of 50 alpacas, two llamas and one giant dog. Serena’s barely moved in when Austen Zabrinski–the man her landlord called “my absentee ranch owner brother who lives and works in Helena”–hops the fence in need of a lift. Even at first glance, Serena can tell he’s nobody cowboy, but who’s to say that isn’t a good thing? A little tryst with her gorgeous, sexy, here-today-gone-to-Helena-tomorrow neighbor might be the perfect welcome to Montana.

Excerpt © Tule Publishing

What’s his story?

Since they’d practically had sex–in her mind–she decided to ask.

Once he was seated with his safety belt snug across his flat belly, she turned the key in the ignition and put the truck in gear.

“So, fill me in. You own a ranch your brother called a tax write-off. You’ve as much as admitted you’re nobody’s cowboy. You wear three-hundred-dollar jeans. I don’t see a wedding ring. Your nose is sunburned. So I take that to mean you don’t have a wife or live-in girlfriend to remind you to put on sunscreen.”

He let out a gruff cough. “Very observant. The jeans are two years old.”

“But look brand new.”

“I don’t–didn’t–come to the ranch very often in the past.”

She waited.

“No wife. Never married. My last…friend-with-benefits wanted more than I’m in a position to give at the moment. I’m not sure we’re still friends. But I’m positive the benefits have been canceled.”

She’d always been a sucker for smart men with a sense of humor. The leftover dewy feeling in her crotch–and the fact she was a stranger in a strange land–made her bold. “So, if someone new to the area was interested in that sort of position–friends-with-benefits-no-strings-attached–how would one apply? Online? Or in person?”

He tossed back his head and gave a deep, masculine laugh that sent a stream of shivers down her spine, pooling conveniently in her already primed lady parts. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel.

Since they’d reached the end of her driveway and had no traffic behind her, she threw the shifter into park and turned to face him.

Before she could offer any slightly embarrassed disclaimer for such an obvious come on, he released the latch on his safety belt and moved closer.

“In person. I go with my gut. Usually one kiss will do. Either there’s chemistry or there’s not.”

“Chemistry. Crap. My least favorite subject in school. But I do like kissing.”

She leaned in, too.

#

Austen could have come up with a dozen–make that a trillion–reasons not to kiss this beautiful stranger. But, for all his reputed logic and claims he was a rule maker, not a rule breaker, he was lonely. And…as much as it killed him to admit the fact, he’d reached a point where he was unsure of what to do next. Him. Rudderless. Now, living in the moment seemed like the only rational choice he had.

Besides…she offered. It wouldn’t be neighborly to turn her down. Right?

He caught her lips, which were softer than he’d imagined. A perfect match to his. Her eyes remained opened…for their initial contact, then her lids lowered in a sultry, utterly into it way that made him give a low, unplanned growl. What was it about that moment of surrender that brought out the beast in him?

When her perfect lips parted to invite him in, he closed his eyes, too. She tasted good. Mint gum? Maybe just leftover toothpaste. But there was sweetness, as well. A hint of honey. And he wanted more.

While his mouth plundered, his hands moved down her back to pull her closer.

“Um, oh…no. Seatbelt,” she murmured.

He pulled back and looked down. “Oh. Duh.”

He stabbed the release button so she could slip free of it.

They stalled…for half a second before she grinned and plastered herself against him. “Um. You’re a good kisser. Very good. But I want you to be sure. No doubts.”

She wasn’t aggressive, just methodical. As if she were hitting all the bullet points in a textbook called Rules of Kissing. Austen could have stopped her at any point and said, “You’re hired.” But a part of him couldn’t wait to be taken to school.

She nibbled and teased. Her tongue engaged his in a clever, nonverbal debate. A first for him. Kissing had always been a mere step on the road to the big show. With Serena, a stranger, the playful exploration was fun.

What would sex be like with her?

Would? Hell, no. Will. What will sex with Serena be like?

He wrapped his arms around her possessively. He had to find out. Now. Right now.

Honk. Honk.

 

 Did that make you smile? It always does me. 😉 If you happened to miss this book, here are the links. 

AMAZON

iBOOKS

Google PLAY

KOBO

BN

If you prefer to read in print form, you’ll find this book in the Big Sky Mavericks Collection, Book I – Family Matters. https://amzn.to/2NgopzG

Happy reading,

Deb

 

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

What is it about February?

First, we agree to let an overgrown squirrel predict the weather, then we blithely allow the flower industry, candy makers and greeting card people to run rampant over our hearts.

Speaking of hearts. Did you hear that the candy makers who supply the bulk of the world’s supply of that Valentine’s Day staple “Conversation Hearts” blew it? Whoever decided to sell the company to another company too inept to look at a calendar–V-Day is FEBRUARY 14th, people…well, not my problem. https://www.delish.com/food-news/a22577659/necco-candy-hearts-shut-down/

I bought early because some traditions–even the silly ones–must be adhered to. 😉

One GOOD thing to come out of this Valentine mayhem is celebrating Romance Novels. I mean, why wouldn’t we? Boy meets girl. They have issues. True love prevails. They live happily-ever-after. People who don’t read romance novels call that a formula. I call it magic. Reading can be magical. A good book can transport you out of a life that might be missing conversation–let alone conversation hearts–into a world of rich emotion, forgiveness, and joy. There may even be chocolate.

And here’s my Valentine to you: 50% off BOOKS II AND III of the Love, Montana series in the Tule Publishing BookStore, using the code: LOVE50 (copy this code then click the links below)

HER ROGUE TO TAME – Tule Bookstore link: https://tulepublishingshop.com/products/her-rogue-to-tame

HER REBEL TO KISS – Tule bookstore link: https://tulepublishingshop.com/products/her-rebel-to-kiss

(The code is good for both titles: please share the love! Since Book I – HER HERO TO LOVE – is still FREE for one…more…day, that means you can read the entire series for less than a bag of Conversation Hearts. ;-))

Deb!

 

FINALLY FRIDAY: an unexpected perk of getting older

Triggered by the 30-year anniversary of the release of Die Hard, my hubby and I have started “re-visiting” some older movies, which thanks to the little touted perk of age–poor memory–seem like new releases to us. 😉

First up: Quigley Down Under – starring Tom Selleck and his moustache.

We truly enjoyed this movie for several reasons.

First, Tom Selleck’s hero never wavered. He carried the female lead (Laura San Giacomo) across a freakin’ desert and — be still my heart–when he left her to go finish off the bad guys, he did what every great hero does…he looked back. I cheered. My hubby rolled his eyes.

Second, to our complete surprise (“Is that… No, it can’t be…OMG, it is…) Alan Rickman played the bad guy. So well. With such smug, self-satisfied egocentricity, he could have been a politician. I miss him. 🙁

Third, we were reminded of the sad facts surrounding the treatment of native residents at that time. I’d never heard the term “pacification by force.” Some scenes were truly heartbreaking.

Do you have an older movie favorite we might enjoy? I’m making a list to get us through the cold winter nights. 😉

Cheers, Deb

P.S. – one of my Tule books is currently free and it has a pretty cool hero, too. FYI.