Do you know what time it is? Time for Mid Week Tease of course,where my author friends and I post a little something from a WIP, flash fiction piece or from some of our published work for you, the readers. Thanks to fellow author Sandra Bunino for creating this weekly event! .
This week I'm going to be taking ya all down to West Texas to visit. Welcome to Paradise will be releasing from Roane Publishing on August 18th. This contemporary erotic western romance novella will kick off my new series called Paradise Ranch.
Just three days before her thirtieth birthday, acquisition editor for Starling Press, Sutton Callaway, has buried the last of her family in the cemetery on the plot of land that she inherited.
After turning down the powerful and wealthy owner of Triple Bar-S Ranch to sell her inheritance and walk away from the obligations of running one of the biggest cattle ranches in West Texas, Sutton puts her Dallas condo on the market, resigns her position from SP, packs the contents of her life into boxes, and heads for the one place filled with bittersweet memories—Paradise Ranch.
Will Sutton be able to handle the pressures of being the newly appointed cattle baroness, the rough and tumble men under her employ, and the temptation of a sexy mystery man? Or will walking in her grandmother’s matriarchal boots be too much to fill?
Here's a exclusive sneak peek where Sutton finds herself in a tangle with a bull named Twister and her sexy ranch foreman, Flint.
My fingers were tapping on the steering wheel as I pulled up to a fenced-off section within a portion of the north pasture. The large gate, which was the only portal for entrance and exit to the pond, was closed. I pushed in the clutch, took the truck out of gear, and put the emergency brake on before I opened up the door and took my leave of the driver’s seat. The blub-blub-blub of the Ford idling echoed around me, followed by the clanking of the metal chain I unhooked from the top slat before pushing the gate open, wide.
I headed back to my pick-up and jumped in, hearing another familiar song. Brad Paisley was on the radio. I reached for the knob and cranked the volume. While I was eager to catch up with Flint and ask him to schedule an all staff meeting so that I could do a meet and greet with everyone who worked for me, and totally interested in learning all I could about one particular person, I found my thoughts drifting into the more than likely dangerous territory of shirtless cowboys.
With my hand on the gear shift, and foot on the clutch, I glanced up, but before I could go through the gate, I saw a huge black Brahman bull, barreling toward the opening I just created. Panicked, I bounded out of the truck, ran for the gate, grabbing the painted metal frame, and hurriedly attempted to close off the escape route for the animal I guessed to be Twister.
Snot flying from his big nose, he was gaining on me. Flint and another man riding like the wind on horseback rounded the slight hill in the not too far distance, coming my way.
“Let him go!” Flint’s order floated toward me on the wind. “Don’t tangle with him!”
Heart pounding, I tugged, not ready to throw in the towel and admit defeat just yet. The problem was, besides the fact my body happened to be in the way of a thundering bull on the run, there was an issue with the gate. Apparently when I opened it, the part of the chain dangling from the top slat caught in the barbed wire of the fence I’d pushed toward.
My head shot up and I stared at the bull, gauging the distance. Working over my bottom lip with my teeth, I looked down at the fence. The chain. Fumbled with an unsteady hand, untwisting….
“Get out of the way!” The man with Flint yelled.
When I looked up again, Twister had his head down. The muscular bull had switched into charge mode, black eyes fixated on me. Clearly I’d become the target for his pissed off mood.
I dropped the chain, ran for my own freedom, and hopefully the safety of the truck.
I heard, “Son of a bitch!” mix into the sounds of thundering hoofs.
When the snorting sounded out too close behind me, I willed my feet to run faster, but terror, along with the realization that I wasn’t going to out maneuver the rampaging bull seemed to have me.
My feet were off the ground. The wind knocked from me.
For a second I thought I was a goner—the bull had head butted me. My jumbled nightmare had me airborne. I figured I was too injured, or perhaps pumped full of adrenaline to really feel the pain, but Flint, full-on in a gallop, had bent and scooped me up. That insight happened when I plopped down on his chaps as he reined in the horse, slowing him down to a trot right about the moment Twister barreled past us, swiped the front of the pick-up, breaking out the right head light, and kept on a going.
Shaking like a leaf, I gulped in air, feeling my lungs expand. Flint’s arm was around my waist, and there I was, in one intact piece, bouncing on his lap in a side saddle position.
He called out, “Whoa.” The big white steed stopped, throwing his head, mane whipping. “You all right?”
The horse settled.
“I-I think so,” was my wobbly answer.
“What in tarnation were you thinking?”
I crooked my neck to look at him. His lips were pressed together in a hard line. Brow crinkled. “I thought I could close the gate in time.” Flint’s chocolate brown eyes were shadowed by the brim of his black Stetson, but even in the shade, they flickered at me. “I didn’t want to be responsible for letting Twister out,” I admitted, sheepishly.
The muscles in his clenched jaw worked. “When you have an animal like that coming toward you, it’s better to get out of the way, let them go. Never put yourself in harm’s way.” He loosened his arm from around me.
The gentleman on the other horse, stopped beside us. “Ma’am,” he said to me then turned his attention to Flint. “Boss, you want me to go after Twister?”
“Naw,” Flint said. “Let him run the piss out of himself.”
The ranch-hand gave a jaunty tilt of his head.
“Better ride on back and let Dillon know to take the cattle trailer on down to the round top,” Flint said.
“Won’t Twister get out?” I asked as Flint’s riding companion rode off.
“If he really wanted to get out, none of our gates could hold him.” Flint’s face softened a bit. “We’ll round him up later.”
“But how will you know where he is?”
He gave me a crooked grin. “He’ll be a mingling with the ladies.”
“Oh.” I paused to gather my thoughts. “Don’t we have other bulls?”
“Won’t they tussle?”
“Twister pretty much rules the roost around here,” said Flint.
“Oh,” I said, wiggling.
Flint put a big hand on my back, swirling his palm between my shoulder blades as if to settle me like he would settle his horse, or perhaps a child, before he stared down at me. “What are you doing out here, anyway?”
“I was looking for you, Mr. Palmer.”
My ranch foreman, who I would guess to be just shy of forty, smiled. Brilliant white teeth sparkled. “Well, Ms. Callaway,” he said in that drawl of his. “Looks as though you found me.”
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