Although I have written a number of contemporary westerns, my hero Ty Morgan in HELL ON HEELS and TWO TO WRANGLE is a departure from my more traditional cowboys. Ty is a flawed character. He’s a divorced playboy who loves woman—but only in single serving sizes. He also has an alcohol problem that he’s mostly overcome. He’s got a smart mouth and talks a lot of smack about his ex-wife, but deep down takes responsibility for the failed marriage. He has countless “friends” but doesn’t let anyone get too close, with the exception of Oklahoma billionaire, Tom Brandt, his father’s business partner who took Ty under his wing after Ty’s father’s tragic death. After following too closely in his father’s footsteps, Ty leaves the world of professional rodeo to manage Tom’s Las Vegas hotel. The Hotel means everything to Ty. It’s his family and his future but Ty knows its days are numbered.
Little does Ty know that his fight will be with Tom’s invest-banker daughter, Monica Brandt. Monica has arrived in Vegas to take care of her father, which also includes taking control of his assets. She is fiercely protective of Tom, the only person who’s ever cared about her, and doesn’t trust Ty. But Tom and Ty share a dream that down-to-earth Monica can’t understand. Monica only wants to protect her father and his business interests from the cowboy she doesn’t or trust.
Ty left Tom’s, or rather Monica’s, office feeling like a loaded gun. He couldn’t even recall the last time he’d had a case of blue balls—probably nigh on twenty years. Although he knew any number of women who’d be more than willing to take care of his problem, a couple of them even in the hotel, it might be best to just take matters into his own hand. Deciding that option was the safest one, he headed down the hall toward the owner’s suite.
The elevator dinged as he passed, the doors opening to a pair of shapely legs. His gaze tracked appreciatively upward over generous feminine curves until it finally rested on Cassie Alexander’s familiar face. She was a voluptuous brunette with big, brown, bedroom eyes. She liked dirty talk and noisy sex. She also happened to be on his short list of women who’d be happy to solve his problem. He was quick to stomp that dangerous thought.
“Ty!” she gushed with a bright smile. “I was hoping to catch you. You didn’t answer my text. I’ve been waiting in the lobby for over thirty minutes. Did another meeting run late?”
He whipped out his phone to discover the last message he’d thought was from Monica was actually Cassie. Shit. He’d forgotten the appointment he’d made with her right after his fateful lunch with Tom. The stroke had immediately followed the phone call, and he hadn’t thought of it, or her, since.
Her smile wavered. “You didn’t forget about me, did you?”
Shit. He’d done exactly that. “Ah, hell. I’m sorry, Cassie. I’ve been real preoccupied. There’s some unexpected complications that came up.” He laid a hand on her arm. “I apologize that I didn’t think to call you—”
“It’s no problem, Ty. Really. These things happen. But if it would ease your conscience, I’ll let you make it up to me with dinner. How about we talk about it over the rib eye at Carnevino? They claim it’s the best in town.” She glanced beyond his shoulder and her eyes widened. “Or did you already have other plans?”
Ty didn’t have to turn around to know it was Monica, but he did anyway. She swept a quick gaze over Cassie. He’d seen that look a dozen times before, a woman assessing the threat of another woman. She might claim their relationship was pure business, but under it all she was still a woman. And women always tried to stake a claim to any man they got sexually involved with. He might have been amused by the hint of jealousy in her eyes if he hadn’t found himself in the middle of what could easily become a messy situation. It’d be best to handle it up front before it became something ugly and festering.
“Excuse me, Ms. Brandt, there’s someone here you should meet.”
“Oh?” She approached with a pasted-on smile.
He made the introduction. “This is Cassie Alexander of Adams & Alexander Architects. She’s one of the up-and-coming architectural designers in Las Vegas. Cassie, this is Monica Brandt, the new CEO of Brandt Morgan Entertainment.”
Cassie’s brows lifted. “But isn’t Tom—”
“My father recently suffered a stroke,” Monica volunteered.
“I’m so sorry,” Cassie offered sympathetically. “How is he doing?”
“Not well, I’m afraid, which puts me in charge of his business affairs for the foreseeable future.”
“I see.” Cassie nodded. “If that’s the case, perhaps you’d like to join Ty and me for dinner. We were going to review some conceptual sketches I made for the new hotel.”
“I’d really hate for either of us to waste your time, Cassie.” She slanted a pointed gaze at Ty. “The renovation project has been shelved. There’s a strong possibility I’ll be selling this property.”
“Oh.” Cassie looked to Ty as if seeking confirmation.
Ty cleared his throat with a forced smile. “There’s still a possibility of moving forward. But I’ll have to make a few calls about lining up some investors.”
“So the project isn’t completely dead?” Cassie asked.
“Not completely,” Monica interjected, “but I wouldn’t advise you to hold your breath waiting for a contract.”
“Right, then. I quite understand.” Cassie collected her drawings. “Another time then, Ty?”
“Sure, Cassie,” he replied, tight-lipped and silently cursing Monica for making him look like an ass. “I’ll call you.”
“Great,” Cassie replied. “I’ll look forward to that. It was nice meeting you, Ms. Brandt. Let me know if you’d like to do lunch one day. Ty has my number.”
“Oh, I’m sure he does,” Monica replied as Cassie headed back toward the elevator.
Ty waited until the doors closed before he spoke. “Resentful, Ms. Brandt?”
“What do you mean?”
“Afraid I’d get what you didn’t?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You didn’t want me seeing her.” He jammed the express elevator button, annoyed as hell that Monica had purposely sabotaged the dinner date. He had no doubt it was intentional, and by God, he’d make her pay.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she snapped. “I’d never be so petty. Besides, I’m the one who called it off, remember?”
Whether she wanted to admit it yet or not, their almost encounter counted. Maybe it was even worse because they’d left the personal side of their business unfinished.
“Yeah, I remember all right, but something tells me we need to revisit the situation we left unresolved in your office.”
“I assure you there isn’t any situation.”
“You’re a bad liar, Monica. If you’ve changed your mind, just say so. We don’t have to go far. It’s a hotel, after all.”
“I haven’t changed my mind. I just explained to her how things are, which you should have already done.”
“I would have—over dinner—but you didn’t give me the chance.”
“You should thank me that I saved you the trouble.” She smiled smugly. “And her the disappointment.”
“I don’t ever disappoint a lady, Ms. Brandt. It’s a point of honor.”
“You mean ego.”
He shrugged. “You’re splitting hairs. The motive doesn’t matter as long as she’s satisfied.”
“So you did have designs on her,” she accused.
“I’m not the one who issued the dinner invitation. Maybe she had designs on me.”
“You really do think a lot of yourself, don’t you, cowboy?” she snorted. “It takes more than a big dick to please a woman.”
Her mention of size was very telling. She still wanted him, all right.
“It sure doesn’t hurt,” he chuckled. “But for the record, sweetheart, I’ve never had any complaints about my hands or my mouth either, and I’d be mighty glad to prove it to you.”
The elevator doors opened. He pulled her inside.
He punched the button.
Monica braced herself against the far wall, watching him warily as if she anticipated him making a move on her. “What makes you think I’m interested in finding out?”
She could fake it all she liked, but the air around her still vibrated with unresolved sexual tension. Leaning against the opposite wall, arms crossed over his chest, Ty let his gaze slide over her. She’d put herself back together. Mostly, anyhow. Her hair was still a bit mussed, and the wrinkles in her clothes remained. He liked that look on her—maybe a bit too much. He wondered if she’d put her panties back on.
Their gazes met, then hers flickered downward, lingering far too long on his crotch. Her flush confirmed that she was thinking exactly like he was thinking. Even as pissed off as he was, he was having a damned hard time keeping his hands to himself. For the next twenty seconds he let his imagination run wild. They were back in the office. She was splayed out on the desk again, but this time he was buried to the hilt in her. The elevator dinged, ending his fantasy.
“Did you want to get off now, Ms. Brandt? Or maybe you’d like to stay and let me take care of that for you?”
“Thanks for the offer, cowboy, but I’m quite able to take care of myself.”
Fuck. That was one image he didn’t need. As if on command, his dick stirred back to life. His balls still ached something fierce, and nothing but release was going to bring him any relief.
She exited the elevator with a wordless smirk.
They may have called a truce, but the war was far from over.
PLACE YOUR BET…The Hotel Rodeo in Las Vegas has seen better days, but managing partner Ty Morgan has come up with a way to return it to its former glory. His plan looks promising until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Ty is working for the boss’s daughter. And Miss Monica Brandt, hot as she may be, doesn’t share his vision…
ROLL THE DICE...She left a fabulous career and a frustrated fiancé in New York to move to Vegas and save her father’s investment. But now Monica is locking horns with a sexy cowboy-turned-businessman. What does Ty think he can do that she can’t? All Monica knows is that she doesn’t dare trust him—or is it herself she doesn’t trust…
AND WIN…The battle lines are drawn. The stakes are high. And the attraction can’t be denied—especially the more closely Ty and Monica have to work together. Some odds are just meant to be played, and with chemistry this electric, it may be time to grab life by the horns… BUY LINKS: Amazon, B&N, Google Play, Kobo
Ty and Monica’s story continues in TWO TO WRANGLE coming February 15th
TWO TO WRANGLE (HOTEL RODEO #2) BY VICTORIA VANE
A COUNTRY BOY…Maybe having a hot and heavy affair with the boss’s daughter wasn’t the smartest move. But Ty Morgan didn’t regret a moment with city girl Monica Brandt…until she left Las Vegas to return to her life in New York. When devastating news sends her running back, Ty can’t help but open his arms. His heart, however, is another matter.
AND A CITY GIRL…Now that Ty has what he’s always wanted—controlling interest in Hotel Rodeo—Monica is certain their time together is at an end—until Ty asks her to come on board as a partner. Maybe it’s just her money he needs, but the chance to stick close to the sexy wrangler sure could make work a whole lot more interesting.
GET READY TO TANGO.. Their partnership doesn’t come without a heap of problems. The two can’t agree on anything—except their iron-hot attraction. As the hotel’s grand opening approaches, the truth is all too clear: Ty and Monica must find a way to mix business with pleasure if they have any shot at dancing off into the sunset together…
TWO TO WRANGLE EXCERPT
“Do you have some kind of wrap or shawl you could wear with that dress?” Ty asked, wanting a moment to set things straight for the intruding asshole. “You might get cold later in such a little bitty dress.”
“Give me a minute and I’ll look for something,” Monica replied.
“Sure thing, Sugar.”
Evan scowled at the pet name.
Both men watched her departing ass. Hot damn that dress was about to give him a heart attack. “You’d best stop looking at her like that. And I better never see your hands on her again either,” Ty murmured with a smile.
“She’s way out of your league, cowboy.”
“Is she now?” Ty remarked, stretching his smile.
“Are you actually implying she dumped me for you?” Evan asked with a snort.
“Apparently she knows a good thing when she see’s it. You didn’t.” Ty shrugged. “Guess that means I win. You lose.”
“Who says the game’s over?” Evan replied. “I never lose, cowboy. I’ve got more money and more influence than you could ever imagine. I always get what I want.”
“Is that right, Evan?” Monica stood in the doorway, wrap around her shoulders and bag in hand. “Did I just interrupt some kind of pissing contest? If so, I can end it now.” She looked from one man to the other, and then added with a smile, “For the record, Evan, Ty’s is bigger.”
“You’re welcome, Ty,” Monica replied tightly as they exited the hotel.
“I know you meant well, but that was emasculating as hell.”
“For you or for him?” she asked with a laugh. “You came out the clear winner.”
“That’s not the point. I didn’t want or need your interference, Monica,” he grumbled. “I can handle arrogant assholes like that. Been doing it my whole life.”
“So what did you expect me to do? Stand there and let him insult you? The way you two were eyeballing each other, I was beginning to think I might see some blood.”
“I doubt it would have come to that,” he said.
“So it was all just ridiculous male posturing?”
“Pretty much,” he confessed.
“He really does have more money and influence than you, Ty,” Monica said. “He made Forbes Top 100 mogul list just last year. There’s no way you could ever top him in anything related to business, but you are in fact much better endowed. That shut him right down, didn’t it?”
“Sure did. He may never get it up again.” He signaled the limo. “I miss my damned truck.”
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