My short story in the Cowboy Heat Anthology is a quick, hot look into the lives to two people who were lucky enough to be in the right place at the perfect time.
Book Blurb of Skin Deep: A pretty city girl and a scarred country cowboy discover love waits when you’re ready to look beneath the surface.
Layne Starwood drives all the way from Denver to a barely-there town in rural Colorado to drink away her self-pity in a watering hole aptly-named The Wrong Turn Bar. Taking a seat near one of the three customers, she orders a beer and begins her mission. Starting up a conversation with the quiet cowboy hiding in the shadow of his Stetson, she unburdens her sad story on him then is shocked to learn of his tragic history.
The scar on his face mirrors the ache in his heart, and after a long evening of talking, Layne realizes the man is as modest and kind as he is funny. She lets herself indulge in a touch, a kiss, and a wild, hot hour in his arms. Can she convince him to spend the rest of the weekend with her, or are his scars too deep for her to try to heal?
Excerpt from Skin Deep: Fifteen minutes before the band was supposed to start, the musicians came in and set up their instruments. Layne glanced around. More than half the booths were filled, waitresses carried drinks and food, and Ben had a woman helping him behind the bar. When had all this happened? She glanced at Kyle.
He blinked as he looked around. Evidently, they’d been deep in their own little world, and had filtered out everything else. “Be right back.” He headed to the men’s room.
She watched him this time: his slim hips, long legs and V-shaped torso were everything she’d expected in a real cowboy.
“Can I buy you a beer?” A young man, dressed for a Saturday night at a honky-tonk, squeezed in between her bar stool and the empty one next to her.
“No, thank you. I’m leaving in a few minutes.” She turned away.
“My buddies and I were hoping you’d stay.” He gestured to a pack of five guys all staring at her like she was fresh meat. “Dance with us.”
“No. Thank you.” She used her firm voice, the one that always sent guys fleeing.
“Okay, but when you get tired of that old butt face cowboy, we’ll be waitin’ for you.”
“What?” Her blood pressure spiked. “You know…” She turned to face him. “It’s bullshit like that that makes me hate pretty boys like you.” And he was pretty. “That cowboy is the nicest man I’ve met in a hell of a long time, and for you to judge him on his skin instead of his soul is narrow-minded and ignorant.”
Pretty Boy looked up, over her head, and with a sinking sensation in her gut, she knew Kyle was back.
The kid’s cheeks flamed red and he walked away.
She turned to the cowboy.
He stood next to his bar stool. “You don’t need to fight my battles.”
He spoke softly, but she knew he was angry, his bright blue eyes had darkened. Damn, she’d insulted him again. How could she tell him she was fighting her own battles, too? She’d always been the pretty one, the one men asked to dance first, never her girlfriends. Marshall, the jackass, had always commented on how lovely she was, never how smart or funny or interesting.
She’d had enough of acting like an idiot. As Ben walked by, she gestured to him. “Can you call me a taxi?” She didn’t want to walk in the rain, and who knew what that pack of pretty boys was capable of.
“Okay. You’re a taxi.” He grinned but shook his head. “We’ve got nothing like that out here, but…”
“I’ll drive you.” Kyle’s voice sounded too quiet.
Ben nodded. “I can vouch for him. You’ll be safe with him.”
She risked a glance at the cowboy.
He seemed to have drawn back into his quiet zone. Pulling out his wallet, he settled up for all their drinks.
She didn’t dare insult his manhood again by offering to pay her share, so she worked at finishing her last beer.
“All right, cowboys and cowgirls!” The band member’s voice came through the sound system. “We’re Lone Trail, and we’re glad to be here tonight.” A smattering of applause and the sound of guitars tuning filled the room. “We’ve got some special occasions tonight.” He held up a piece of paper. “It’s Flo Bauman’s fiftieth birthday today. Where’s Flo?”
Shouts from the far end of the bar revealed where her party was going strong.
“Okay, and we’ve got Layne’s bachelorette party. Where’s Layne and the girls?”
Layne looked at Kyle. His eyes were wide and staring right at her. She grimaced. “So…now might be a good time to leave, don’t you think?”
His lips twitched in a partial smile as he came around the corner of the bar, holding out his hand.
Read part of the first chapter of Skin Deep, and learn more about all the Cowboy Heat stories at my Website
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My Books – read the first chapters and find buy links:
–Tall, Dark and Alpha only $.99
–Redneck Romeo: A Red Hot Valentine Story only $.99
–Chase and Seduction
–Heart of Steele
–Double Her Fantasy
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–Cowboy 6 Pack only $.99
–Cowboy Jackpot: Christmas
–Cowboy Jackpot: Valentine’s Day
–Cowboy Jackpot: St. Patrick’s Day
–Her Cowboy Stud
–Turn Up the Heat
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