Since every single person visiting this blog appreciates cowboys, I won’t go on and on about rugged boots and battered hats, rope and how many chiseled lines we can count on the image above. (drools for solid minute in silence)
Ahem. I’m going to talk about the heroines for a minute–the women who love these men.
Ladies, we put up with a lot from guys. Dirty socks on the floor and mud tracked in. But loving a rougher sort of man takes a little extra, if you know what I mean. It’s a little like living with a wild animal at times. They growl when hungry and they paw you away when you try to tend a finger they smashed fixing the tractor tire.
Usually men like these don’t spill their inner emotions to a lady–or anyone. They don’t shed a tear unless forced and even then you’ll think they’re squinting into the sun.
Putting up with this takes a strong woman. She can’t be afraid of working hard and she must accept her man for what he truly is. She might get him into a tux for his wedding day or the occasional funeral, but don’t expect penthouse treatment. His idea of being sweet is a swing on the front porch.
Loving a hardworking man takes grit. I think we need to give the heroines in the books we love a round of applause. And if you’re lucky enough to love a country boy/cowboy/ tough guy, you deserve a hand too.
Read on for an excerpt from my latest Dalton Boys novella–COWBOY CRUSHIN’.
*She’s out of the love game but Witt’s playing for keeps*
Witt leaned against the side of his truck, pumping diesel fuel into the tank in the bed. One of the Dalton boys came to town every so often to fill it. Today he’d drawn the short straw.
The summer heat was draining from Texas, thankfully. He’d had enough of sweating through his shirt before daybreak.
A horn blast made him look up in time to see a beat-up red truck roll by. The old farmer, a friend of his father’s, stuck a hand out the window in salute. Witt waved back.
Vixen boasted one blinker light to direct traffic through the main street, but no one bothered to slow for it. Two more trucks drove by at speeds that made Witt shake his head.
He went over his mental list of things to pick up at the general store. Matches and a new pair of work gloves. And Momma had requested soap.
He also needed to find something for her birthday. Hank’s wife was planning a surprise for her, complete with her favorite red velvet cake.
Witt glanced toward the coffee shop and the new candy store across from it. The pink sign boasted curlicues and a picture of a frosted cupcake that looked real enough to lick.
With his mind made up and the gas tank filled, he got into his truck and moved it to park in front of the new shop.
Through the wide glass window he saw patrons sitting at a café table surrounded by cotton candy pink walls. His boot heels echoed on the sidewalk. When he crossed the threshold, a bell jingled. Delicious scents struck him, reminding him how long it’d been since lunch and how much work he had to do before supper.
The glass case was filled with pastries and chocolates. They looked delicious—but were nothing compared to the woman behind the counter. He slowed his step, taking his time looking at her.
She was tall—maybe only an inch shorter than him. Honey-brown hair gleamed under the lights. Her mouth was too wide and entirely kissable. And her high cheekbones were tinged rose. But her eyes…
“What can I get you?”
Sweet Jesus, her voice was smooth and melodic. The small hairs on his nape prickled.
He snapped himself back to reality and approached the counter. Hooking a thumb in his front pocket, he eyed the case. “I’ll take a box of candy.”
She smiled, and his heart did an odd thump. “Any particular kind?”
“It’s for a gift.”
“Okay. Special lady?”
“You could say that.”
“Does she like milk chocolate or dark?”
“Both.” He couldn’t stop staring at her eyes, a clear, bottomless blue.
She grabbed a box and opened the case. When she reached inside, he noted her ring-less left hand. Of course, that didn’t mean anything—the woman in the bar hadn’t been wearing a ring either. He wasn’t about to ask her marital status, though. He wasn’t in the market for a woman anymore.
“How many would you like?”
“A dozen?” He bent to peer into the case and met her gaze through the glass. His heart rolled again as if he was a little kid looking at a puppy in a store window. Except that puppy was pretty and blue-eyed and created an ache low in his stomach.
“Creams, nut-filled or caramels?”
“All.” He watched her select the chocolates and fill the box. When she straightened and looked at him over the counter, his throat dried out like a Texas creek in July.
“What about you? Choose a treat for yourself,” she said.
He cocked his head and surveyed her. She wore a fitted top that showed off her body. She was athletic, not stick-thin like some girls. No jewelry adorned her, but she didn’t need it. She was beautiful without trying.
“I can’t spoil my dinner.”
“I insist. It’s my grand opening week and I’ve been giving every customer a free sample. Choose your poison.” Her eyes twinkled like a thousand stars on a dark winter’s night.
He swallowed. Right now his poison came in the form of a tall, strong woman with honey-brown hair and a bit of frosting dried on her shirt sleeve. “Well,” he drawled, unwilling to look away from her mesmerizing gaze, “do you have anything apple pie-flavored?”
Her face blanked. Suddenly, her cheeks grew red and she directed a tendril of soft hair behind her ear. The tender shell made him think of late-night nibbles and crickets singing in the grasses.
“I don’t have anything apple pie-flavored. I do have caramel.”
“No good,” he teased, feeling the corner of his mouth tipping up.
“You don’t like caramel?”
He’d like it fine drizzled over her long legs. A low fire began to burn in his groin. “I’ll pass on the treat. Maybe next time you’ll have something apple pie-flavored.”
“Uhhh. Yeah. Okay.” Was it him or was she as flustered as he felt? She fumbled to close the box lid and took two tries to tie a bow around it. When she raised her gaze to his again, a spike of awareness struck him. Her cheeks grew pinker. “Can I add a card?”
“Sure.” He didn’t say more. He didn’t want to end their exchange and knew damn well he was dragging it out.
She located a small blue card and a pen. “To?”
Her gaze jerked up to his, and he found himself grinning.
Available only on AMAZON
Buy book 1 Cowboy Crazy
book 2 Cowboy Bargain
Thanks for reading!
~hardworking heroes–in bed and out~