Next month the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo will be here with ten days of wild cowboys and wicked music, not to mention the herds of cattle. My husband and I used to go every year and it was always a great experience. The ambience and heady environment inspired me to write Rodeo Heat, a book that came out two years ago but has suddenly taken on new life. It won The Romance Studio AWard for Best BDSM Book of the Year and the first 5 Sweetheart of the Year Award. So I thought this might be a good time to revisit it if you haven’t read it yet. It’s the story of a woman’s journey of sexual awakening and the man who takes her on that journey and opens a world of sexual pleasure she’d never dreamed of.
It could have been the animalistic heat of the rodeo, or the pin with special powers that the old woman had all but forced her to buy. But whatever it was, within seconds of meeting rodeo rider Ben Lovell, Grace Delany safe world crumbled in a voluptuous explosion of lust. Every night was something new. From the handcuffs to the intriguing sex toys to the taking of her virgin ass, , Grace gave in to it all, relishing her body’s. As Ben Lowell led her from one earth-shattering climax to another, as her body softened and opened to him, her juices lubricating the way, all she could do was hang on for dear life and follow his lead. But when it was over, could she really walk away from the man who had taken her on an outrageous journey of sexual self-discovery where there were no limits or boundaries?
The noise in the room was loud and distracting. Grace wanted to clap her hands over her ears, or else find a quiet place to hide but Melanie was dragging her along like a car on a towrope.
“There he is,” she trilled, waving her other hand. “Ross! Hey, sweetie, here I am.”
They finally made it through the crowded aisles to a lean, weathered man with light brown hair peeking out from the edges of his hat. Blue eyes looked at Melanie as if they wanted to devour her and thin lips turned up in a welcoming smile.
“Hey, Mel. About time you got her.”
“Ross, this is my friend, Grace Delaney.” She tugged Grace closer to her side. “This is her first rodeo. Give her a big old smack, why don’t you.”
Grace took a step back. She wanted to give Melanie a smack of a different kind. “That’s okay. I think a handshake will do. Nice to meet you, Ross.”
“Oh, sweetie, come on.” Melanie pulled on her again. “Unbend a little.” She winked. “Ross is a great kisser.”
“Maybe the lady’s not into kissing strangers.”
The voice was warm and deep, with a gravelly sound as if it wasn’t used much. Grace turned and stared at the man next to her, nearly bumping into him and trying not to gape. The clean male scent of him made her dizzy.
Tall and lean, the black work shirt he wore matched the onyx of his eyes which were bracketed by tiny lines. The faded jeans molded to his lean hips and muscular thighs. The black Stetson on his head was almost the same color as his raven-dark hair that hung below the collar of his shirt.
Ohmigod, she thought. It’s my cowboy. Was it the pin again, playing tricks with her mind? With a few brush strokes he could be a dead ringer for the cowboy in the poster. Or in her book. The last scene she’d read came flooding back to her. Heat rushed straight to her core, dampening her panties with moisture and making all her nerve synapses fire at once. Was her sudden addiction to erotic romances turning her into a slut? Remembering the daydream she’d lapsed into in the corridor, she dropped her eyes, hoping he didn’t notice the heat creeping up her face. My god, even Joe Delaney hadn’t affected her that way.
The cowboy nodded at the man seated at the end of the bench, deliberately ignoring Melanie. “How are you, Ross?”
“Doing a damn sight better than I was a few minutes ago, now that this ray of sunshine is shining in my life again.” He smacked Melanie on the butt, then pulled her onto his lap. “Mel, you know Ben Lowell, don’t you?”
Grace watched Melanie’s face close up.
“We’ve met.” She turned back to Ross, who was nuzzling her neck. “Careful, sugar. We’re in a public place.” She clamped her hand on her hat to hold it in place as Ross continued to nibble at her.
Grace saw the cold, hard look Ben Lowell gave Melanie and wondered what that was all about. Meanwhile her friend was playing kissy-face with Ross and she herself was getting weak-kneed over a man she’d just met. She’d known this was a bad idea to begin with and wanted out of there now.
“Listen.” She hoped she didn’t sound as desperate as she felt. “Why don’t I wander around the vendor booths some more while you and Ross get reacquainted? Just give me my ticket and I’ll meet you in the arena.”
A warm hand closed over her elbow sending tingles of sensation rippling along her flesh. “Why don’t I buy you a cup of coffee while Melanie and Ross do their thing?”
“Oh, that sounds terrific, if you’re sure you don’t mind.” Melanie’s enthusiasm was hard to miss. It wasn’t just a chance for Grace to meet someone. Melanie wanted to play games with Ross and set herself up for later. She dug into her purse and extracted a piece of pasteboard from her wallet, holding it out to Grace. “Here’s your ticket. We’ll catch up in the arena.”
Ben palmed the ticket before she could grab it. “Great idea.
“But—” Grace had a feeling things were spinning out of her control.
“And Ben?” Melanie gave him a hard look. “You be real nice to my friend. You hear me? I know you’ve got manners hidden in there somewhere.”
Grace chewed her bottom lip trying to think of a way out of this that wouldn’t be too awkward, even while her secret inner self was yelling, Go with him, stupid.
“That’s okay.” She would have backed away if the aisle between the tables wasn’t so jammed. “Just give me the ticket. I can keep myself busy.”
But Ben Lowell was already steering her away and suddenly she found herself moving along with him as if were the most natural thing in the world. They found a picnic table in a far corner of the room that was surprisingly nearly empty and he settled her on the bench.
“I know I said coffee,” he told her, “but the stuff they serve here isn’t much good except as a varnish remover. How about a cold drink? Or a beer?”
Grace wet her lips nervously. “A cold drink would be fine. Anything. I’m not choosy.”
She watched him walk up to one of the food counters with a loose, swivel-hipped walk she’d seen on cowboys on television and in the movies. Unconsciously she rubbed the pin which seemed to heat her skin right through her shirt, wondering if the woman had been right and it was directing the course of her life. Melanie had hit the nail on the head about one thing. That course definitely needed changing.
“Here you go.” Ben set two tall cups of soda on the table, then sat down across from her.
“Thank you.” She forced herself to look up at him. “We haven’t actually been introduced.” She held out her hand. “I’m Grace Delaney.”
He took her small hand in his larger one and the touch of his flesh against hers sent the lust spiking higher. Good god. It had to be the damn pin. Maybe she should take it off before she did something embarrassing. Like throw herself at this man.
No, not me. Pin or not, that takes more courage than I have at the moment.
“Hello, Grace Delaney. I’m Ben Lowell.”