This scene went out in my newsletter in July, but I wanted to make it more widely available to my readers. Possible spoilers if you haven’t read Brokedown Cowboy, but if you have, and want more Connor and Liss…this scene is for you!
Chapter One of Desired by the Desert King is up today! A new chapter will be posted daily.
Read it here!
Bad News Cowboy is available in most places you can buy books. If you like scrappy, tomboy heroines getting flirting lessons from their older brother’s best friend…you might like this.
You can check out a longer excerpt and buy links here.
Bound to the Warrior King is already out on shelves and will be available in ebook on September 1st!
Click here for buy links and an excerpt.
First of all, I owe you all a huge thanks for the support you’ve given this series. The fact that you’ve bought, read and enjoyed the books means a lot to me.
Which brings me to some news about the series. I’ve announced all of this in bits and pieces but I’m going to try and distill it here for clarity. (clarity isn’t always my strong suit when I’m exciting and bouncing all over the place like a ferret on Pixie Stix, but I digress)
I have a lot coming up in this series over the next year. All of these books are set in the town of Copper Ridge, but each book is a complete romance. Some connect more closely with each other, like the trilogy with the Garrett family, and some have a looser connection, like the novella, Shoulda Been a Cowboy.
November 1st A Copper Ridge Christmas comes out, this is a digital novella that will be available at e-tailers everywhere.
In April 2016 Take Me, Cowboy will be out in Harlequin’s Blaze series. I’m doing two books for Blaze, featuring the McCormack brothers.
So, what’s the deal with these Copper Ridge Blaze books? Blaze is one of Harlequin’s series romance lines. Here’s the description of the series on Harlequin’s website: Harlequin Blaze stories sizzle with strong heroines and irresistible heroes playing the game of modern love and lust. They’re fun, sexy and always steamy.
These books will be set in Copper Ridge, but will be just over 200 pages. A little more than a novella, a bit shorter than the HQN books. Copper Ridge is already a pretty sexy series, so the heat level will be about the same as what you’ve already read. I liked the idea of doing some books for Blaze, first off because I really, really love the line as a reader. Second of all, I liked the idea of doing Blazes for 2016 instead of novellas, because it would give readers a chance to buy the books in print as well as in digital formats. And allows me to hopefully have some shirtless cowboys on my cover. I’m a simple creature with simple needs.
So that’s Copper Ridge Blaze a nutshell!
In May 2016 the first book in the next HQN trilogy, One Night Charmer, releases. This trilogy will focus on the West family and will be connected much the same way the trilogy with the Garretts was this year. What’s the difference between HQN and Blaze?
HQN is Harlequin’s single title romance imprint. These books are almost twice as long as a Blaze and are on shelves longer, and also not shelved with Harlequin’s series romance books.
So here’s the abbreviated version:
You don’t have to read all the books in order!
There are more Copper Ridge books coming!
This is just the Copper Ridge schedule, I am still writing Harlequin Presents.
And here’s the schedule:
A Copper Ridge Christmas – Nov 1st, 2015
Take Me, Cowboy – Harlequin Blaze, April 2016
One Night Charmer – HQN, May 2016
Tough Luck Hero – HQN, July 2016
Last Chance Rebel – HQN, September 2016
Hold Me, Cowboy – Harlequin Blaze, November 2016
If you have questions, feel free to pop them into the comments, and I’ll be happy to do my best to answer them!
Also, if you want to keep up to date on what’s happening with my books, feel free to sign up for my newsletter!
If you enjoyed Connor and Liss in Bad News Cowboy and want to check in with them…well, me too. I wrote an extra scene with them that I’m going to include in my newsletter. I think you can guess what it might be. Click the invitation to sign up!
ALSO, if you haven’t read the first few books in the Copper Ridge Series, Shoulda Been a Cowboy is FREE right now across all platforms.
Bad News Cowboy has the very friendly digital pre-order price of $5.99 at all outlets.
Bad News Cowboy will be on shelves July 28th, and in the print version will be a copy of Shoulda Been a Cowboy at no extra charge. So bonus stuff for those who prefer print too! (I still like my print books, I can’t help it.)
If you’re new to me, or my books, I thought I’d take the time to highlight some of my backlist titles!
If you’re enjoying the Copper Ridge Series, you might want to check out Silver Creek.
In Unexpected, a mistake at an IVF clinic finds city girl Kelsey Noble pregnant with a stranger’s baby.
If you like things short and spicy, I wrote two Cosmo Red Hot Reads:
In Crazy, Stupid Sex, the geek girl gets the hot guy when she programs an app with can’t lose sex tips. And in Breaking All Her Rules, a buttoned up business woman accidentally swaps phones in a cab with a sexy cowboy.
If you’re enjoying The Forbidden Series, check out Fifth Avenue for more dark and dirty glamor in Manhattan.
Harlequin Presents is a series that’s close to my heart. They were my first published books, and I continue to write for the line. I’m always surprised when I talk to people at conferences who haven’t read one in years and think the line has no sex, or that it’s old-fashioned. The truth is, the line comes in a variety of heat levels (mine are pretty HOT). There are classic romances and more modern fairy-tales set in glamorous locations with super hot, alpha heroes.
These titles are a few of my fan favorites. A disgraced prince and a scarred nun, a virgin hero, a pregnant virgin, and a runaway princess who falls for the brother of the man she’s supposed to marry.
What is The Billionaire’s Intern?
It’s another multi-author series with Caitlin Crews and Kate Hewitt!
Does that mean it’s related to Fifth Avenue?
Yes! You will recognize characters who first appear in the 5th Avenue series. It also works as a standalone trilogy, but if you like catching glimpses of characters you’ve met before, you’ll enjoy this.
How hot is it?
When does it come out?
That’s a trick question. Because it’s a serial! And it has no marshmallows. Because it is a serial and not cereal. I have a lot of experience with cereal. But none with serials. So this will be a first!
June 7th – part one releases for FREE
June 9th – Part 2 – .99
June 11th – Part 3 – 2.49
June 14th – Part 4 – 3.99
And on June 17th you can just buy the full book rather than doing it in pieces. It will cost slightly less to wait and buy the full book.
Basically, you can binge read it by buying individual episodes (like itunes) or you can wait for the full season. Entirely up to your reading preference! But the good thing about part 1 being free is that you can at least read the first quarter and see if you’re into the story.
The same price model will be followed with The Billionaire’s Fantasy, and the Billionaire’s Innocent.
Here’s that schedule for you:
The Billionaire’s Fantasy by Kate Hewitt —
Part 1 – June 14th
Part 2 – June 16th
Part 3 – June 18th
Part 4 – June 21st
Full book – June 24th
The Billionaire’s Innocent by Caitlin Crews —
Part 1 – June 21st
Part 2 – June 23rd
Part 3 – June 25th
Part 4 – June 28th
Full book – July 1st
And now, since you sat through all that…an excerpt:
Logan Black looked out the window, directly across from his desk. The view of Fifth Avenue was both entrancing and slightly off-putting. Depending on his mood.
And his moods were subject to change at a moment’s notice.
The streets were packed with cars, nothing unusual, but the kind of thing that made his vision swim when it caught him off guard. Like it had just now.
He should have closed the curtains.
He turned his focus away from the view and leaned back in his chair, looking at the time displayed on his phone. Addison Treffen was due to arrive any moment. The beautiful daughter of the recently murdered Jason Treffen. If her brother hadn’t called in the favor, he would have happily chosen almost anyone else.
There was no place for soft, beautiful women in his life. Not now.
But Austin was one of the few people who tried to maintain a friendship with him since his return. And while Logan hadn’t done much to reciprocate, the gesture was appreciated.
Still, the idea of bringing Addison into Black Book, keeping her here…
It had seemed like it might work yesterday. Today, he was less certain.
He was used to that. To his moods changing like the tide. To New York feeling like a storm he could swim through one day – and one that would drown him in the depths the next.
Some days were much harder than others and he could never quite pinpoint what kind of day it would be. It usually started with shoes. That was often the biggest clue. How much did they bother him when he put them on? How much did he resent having to wear them?
If the shoes were a problem, it was a fair bet that the Manhattan streets would be too. That the traffic below would feel like his own personal hell.
Shoes had been a problem this morning. Which meant his meeting with Addison would be interesting indeed.
Though, it occurred to him he might need to put his shoes on before she arrived.
He looked down and at the pair of shoes and socks beneath his desk. Just a standard pair of black dress socks, and a pair of very expensive, handmade leather shoes.
He’d left them under there last night after he’d kicked them off.
Funny, he’d owned the shoes for something like five years now, but they’d rarely been worn. In part because they’d been new when he’d left, and in part because since he’d returned he’d worn them as little as possible.
He didn’t want to wear them. So he wouldn’t.
Ms. Treffen would learn very quickly what it was to work with him. He did not bend for convention. He forced others to bend to him.
But he was aware now, of what was necessary and what was simply an extra rule imposed by society. He’d been a man stripped down to nothing. A man at his simplest, at his darkest. Where there was nothing more than life or death. Where there certainly weren’t rules about what sort of shoes he should wear into work. Or if he should wear them at all.
Though, he realized that whether he cared or not, others did.
He also realized that sometimes there was a lot of power in making others uncomfortable.
There was a knock at his office door, and he knew it had to be her. Because she was the only person the front desk had permission to allow up. And because he didn’t like being paged over the intercom, a knock was the only way anyone could signal their presence.
There were a lot of things he didn’t like now. One of the many reasons his old friends, barring Austin Treffen, seemed to find him boring these days. But it didn’t bother him.
The feeling was entirely mutual.
“Come in,” he said, putting his hands on his desk, palms down, as strange, restless energy surging through him. It was like this with people. Always.
The door cracked open, and she led with her leg. A shapely, stocking-clad leg. There was no avoiding the fact that it was a nice leg. That wasn’t even up for debate. Even in his twisted brain, where things often seemed backward or upside down, a nice leg made sense.
The woman that followed the leg was even better than the body part in isolation. Blond, petite, with blue eyes that were like a deep, clear sea. Her lips were full, a pale pink not like anything found in nature on his island. It was far too delicate a shade.
She was wearing a white skirt that tapered to fit her shape, ending just below her knee, a matching, fitted jacket conforming to her curves.
And on her feet, adding, he had no doubt, to the shapeliness of her legs, were a pair of black high heels that added nearly four inches to her height and likely pushed her feet into a near impossible position.
He’d never given much thought to women’s shoes prior to his experience on the island. But now that he resented his own footwear so damn much, he couldn’t help but wonder just how contorted Addison’s feet would be in something like that.
Though the wonderment in no way detracted from her legs.
Every part of Addison Treffen was exquisite. Photos of her in the news didn’t do her justice.
“Mr. Black,” she said, his eyes level with his. “I’m Addison Treffen. My brother arranged this meeting and…”
“I’m fully aware of the details of the arrangement.”
She blinked, her expression remaining neutral. “Well, I had thought it possible my brother spoke with someone you worked for.”
“One thing you will learn about me, Ms. Treffen, nothing happens here without my approval. And no one would be permitted in my office, on my floor, in my hotel, without my arranging it.”
The hardness in his tone didn’t ruffle her. The petite, small framed woman with her smooth hair, skin and clothes, staring him down with an expression that bordered on serenity, was not at all what he’d expected. “Was the hotel room on offer for anyone who took up the spot?” she asked, her fingers shifting on her handbag, the only slight tell of nerves he’d seen since she walked in.
“Yes,” he said. “I understand that an internship, an unpaid one, is not the easiest thing to negotiate, so it seemed a nice offer.” And in addition to that, he rarely left the hotel. Which meant any assistant of his had to be here.
“Technically, that makes it paid in a way,” she said.
“If you like.”
She smiled and for a moment he was at a loss as to the appropriate social response. Smile back, obviously.
Buy links and more info here!
Wedding fever is coming to the little town of Marietta, Montana!
I’m so excited to let you know about the Spring Brides series launching in May! It kicks off with The Fairy Tale Bride by Scarlet Wilson. All of the stories will be connected by the celebrity wedding of the century…and the seemingly diva behavior of the bride!
You can find more info about ALL of the stories here:
Scarlet Wilson (May 4th)
Dani Collins (May 11th)
Nicole Helm (May 18thth)
Rachael Johns (June 1st)
Kat Latham (June 8th)
My story, Finally His Bride is closely connected to Nicole Helm’s Bride by Mistake. In her story, good girl Kaitlin Shuller has had enough of behaving. The man she loves is marrying someone else and she’s ready to be bad for once in her life…with her older brother Luke’s best friend, Beckett Larson.
In Finally His Bride Luke Shuller gets his chance at love with his best friend and cake baker extraordinaire, Melanie Richards.
Finally His Bride releases May 25th
And here’s the BCC…
Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…
As the whole town goes crazy over the celebrity wedding event of the century, Melanie Richards decides she’s tired of blending in. It’s time go after what she wants. Her to do list:
1.Get a sexy dress
2.A little liquid courage
3.Lose that pesky virginity
Luke Shuller can’t believe is eyes when he walks into Grey’s and sees his best friend trying to pick up some drunk cowboy. Melanie wants to start hooking up? She can practice on him. At least he’ll keep her safe. And as a bonus, their pretend relationship will help him deal with a family crisis.
But when pretend gets real, Melanie can’t tell where the charade ends and reality begins. When the dust settles, will she get thrown back into the friend zone, or will she finally get the man of her dreams?
Luke Shuller walked into Grey’s craving violence and whiskey, not necessarily in that order.
His knuckle still throbbed from where he’d landed a solid punch to his ex-best friend Beckett Larson’s face, and his cheek still throbbed from where his friend had returned the favor. But neither burned worse than the rage that was still roaring through his veins.
Beckett was just lucky that Luke hadn’t killed him on the spot. Seeing as the other man was about to be a father. Because, he had knocked up Luke’s little sister. Luke had spent his entire life protecting Kaitlin. And in the end it had been a guy who was only around because of Luke who had ruined everything.
Yeah, he really needed that drink. He had gone straight from their fight to pack a bag so that he could head down to Marietta to keep an eye on his sister, to make sure Beckett didn’t do any further damage. He didn’t know what he was going to do, only that he needed to be here.
It was Saturday night so most of the town was hanging out, and most of them had already had a few drinks. Luke could only be envious.
Luke walked up to the bar and slammed his hand down on the wooden surface. “I need some Jack.”
The bartender nodded once and set about pouring the drink, sliding it toward Luke, who in return pushed a few bills in the other man’s direction. He lifted the glass, turning away from the bar, leaning up against it, surveying the room.
He needed something to take the edge off of his rage. Hopefully, the alcohol would dull some of it. Getting laid might help fix the rest. But he was in Marietta, and he didn’t hook up in Marietta. There were too many people here that he knew far too well. Too many people he’d grown up with, who were related to people he’d grown up with, or related to him in some obscure way. It was one reason he liked living in a slightly larger city. Anonymity, he found, was necessary for anonymous hookups.
And here in Marietta, there just wasn’t much in the way of anonymity. Beckett usually preferred anonymous hookups himself. Except in this instance. The bastard. Luke had to wonder if this was retribution for accusing Beckett of theft. But Luke would never have accused Beckett of theft if he weren’t certain that’s what had happened. Beckett was the only one with access to all that stuff in Shuller Automotive. Luke had given him access. Luke had trusted him. More fool him.
He lifted his glass to his lips, relishing the burn of the alcohol as it slid down his throat slowly. He welcomed the pain.
For the same reasons he couldn’t get laid here, he couldn’t really pick a fight here either.
Maybe coming home hadn’t been the best idea after all.
Luke looked across the crowded bar, his eyes drawn to a woman sitting in the corner. He couldn’t see her face, just her long blonde hair and hints of an excellent figure, expertly displayed by the tight black dress she was wearing. A dress that was riding up high on very shapely thighs. Unfortunately, the woman was already talking to a man. A cowboy, already drunk, his hat tipped back on his head, his face red as he leaned in close to whisper what Luke doubted were sweet nothings. More like very sexual somethings.
Of course, the fact that she was with someone didn’t really matter. This was still Marietta. And every woman in this bar was still off limits. Unlike Beckett, Luke had some scruples.
The woman shifted in her chair slightly, brushing some of her hair away from her face. And just like that interest turned to recognition.
Basically the only friend he had left in all the world, now the Beckett was dead to him. And she had no call to be out here, in a bar, sitting across from some random dude who was clearly drunk off his ass. The guy grabbed hold of Melanie’s hand, lifted it to his lips. Luke saw Mel’s frame stiffen, her entire body going rigid from her head on down. Too bad her buddy didn’t seem to notice. He tugged her forward, pulling her halfway out of her chair and planting a kiss on her lips.
Before he could stop himself, Luke was walking across the room. He’d gotten his drink. He supposed now it might be time for the violence.
He reached down, grabbing the guy’s shirt collar and wrenching him away from his friend’s lips. “I think you’re done here.”
The guy stood up, his expression furious. The fury dampened a bit when he realized that Luke was a good head taller than he was. Good. “We’re on a date,” the other man slurred.
“Not anymore you’re not.”
Melanie scrambled out of her chair, almost knocking it over in her haste. “Luke, what are you doing? What are you doing here?”
“I’m being chivalrous.”
“Why are you being chivalrous here? And at me?”
“You needed chivalry, obviously. And aren’t I allowed to come visit?” He crossed his arms over his chest, keeping his eyes on Melanie’s “date”.
“You’re allowed, but it’s weird. And also, I don’t need your help.”
He whirled around, looking at her fully for the first time. His heart slammed hard against his rib cage, his mouth going dry. He would love to blame the alcohol but it took a lot more than half a drink to make him feel like the floor was tilting beneath his feet. Still, the fact remained the floor had definitely tilted beneath his feet.
He’d just seen Melanie last month at his younger sister Sierra’s wedding, and then again a couple weeks ago when she’d come in to Bozeman to visit her grandmother and stopped by to see him. Both times she had looked very much like he was used to her looking. Blonde hair in a braid or ponytail, maybe a little bit of lip gloss, and some sensible outfit that could most definitely be worn in church.
The dress Melanie was currently wearing would get her sent to confession, along with half the men in the room.
Bless me, father, for impure thoughts abound.
The insubstantial garment clung to her curves like a second skin, molding itself to curves that were a bit more generous than he’d realized. She was wearing mascara too, and some kind of gold eyeshadow that made her eyes look impossibly large and blue. Then he found himself staring at her mouth. It was temptation red if he’d ever seen it. Like a piece of forbidden fruit that obsessed a man with the need to taste it the moment he set eyes on it.
If he didn’t know better he would think she was trying to attract attention. But Mel didn’t do that. So it was impossible.
“You obviously do need my help. Hey buddy,” he said to drunk-ass cowboy, “get out of here.”
“You her husband?”
“Yeah.” Luke crossed his arms over his chest and gave the guy his meanest stare. Which, he had a feeling tonight was pretty damn mean.
“No, he’s not,” Melanie said.
But the other guy had already put his hands up, and was backing away. “Hey, I don’t want to get in the middle of anything.” He mumbled his parting words, then turned and stumbled the other direction.
“What a hero,” Luke muttered. Feeling pretty annoyed that he hadn’t even been able to throw a punch.
Mel stared after the would be Romeo for a moment, before whirling around to face Luke, her expression thunderous. “What. The. Hell.”
“I think the words you’re looking for are thank you.”
“I am not thankful that you got rid of him. I’ve been looking for a guy to take home with me all night. Joel was looking really promising. And you chased him off!”
Now the floor didn’t feel like it was tilting, it was just gone. Like the bar had split open, revealing a cavern beneath that was threatening to swallow Luke whole. “Excuse me?”
“Well, why did you think I was here? It wasn’t to learn how to line dance.”
“I don’t even know what to say to you right now.”
Melanie was… Not this woman. Melanie was fragile. Damaged by a past with her abusive father. Cautious. Melanie was someone he lived to protect. From the moment he’d first seen her at her grandmother’s house, a skinny twelve-year-old with too-serious eyes and bruises on her arms, he’d wanted to shield her from the entire world. Which was why he’d gone straight to her aid when that drunk jackass had grabbed hold of her.
“Why do you sound angry? I didn’t screw up your chances of getting some tonight.”
Molten heat pooled in his gut. “Outside. Now.”
She crossed her arms beneath her breasts, pushing the already accentuated body parts into greater prominence. “No.”
Later, much later, Luke would realize that tonight would be talked about as the night Luke Shuller threw Melanie Richards over his shoulder and carried her out of Gray’s like she was a ten pounds sack of potatoes. But in the moment he wasn’t thinking of notoriety. He wasn’t thinking much at all. So, when he bent down and grabbed ahold of her bare thighs, hefting her over his shoulder, then straightening and heading for the door while she struggled, he didn’t much think about the people around them, or how his actions would spread through the town gossip chain like fire on dry brush.
Even if he had realized, he wasn’t sure he would have given a damn.
Just a quick note to let you know that on Tuesday, March 17th, I’ll be sending out my next newsletter. In it, you’ll find a Part Time Cowboy sneak peek and more importantly, a coupon for a dollar off your purchase of the print book.
The coupon is valid in the US and Canada only, and doesn’t work at Barnes and Noble, but it’s accepted everywhere else books are sold! Sign up! Save some coin, read a cowboy!