I'm used to getting fan mail from readers.
I am not used to being told off by bossy cowboys.
But that's exactly what Cord Decker does when he emails me.
According to him, I know nothing about the cowboys I write.
I'll never admit it to him, but he's right.
Which is exactly why I suggest his hometown for the annual Galentine's retreat.
I can't strangle him in real life.
But no one ever said I can't make him sweat in my next book.
I just have to keep him from figuring out who I really am…
And keep from falling for him and his gruff ways.
Easy peasy, right?
Ha. I'm in way over my head.
I don't know what prompted me to email Cassia Murphy.
But I can't keep the curvy blonde author out of my head.
I never expected to find her running for her life from one of my bulls.
Didn't expect to fall hard for her smart mouth either.
She thinks I don't know who she is.
This sassy little romance author is mine.
I plan to teach her everything she needs to know about cowboys…
In bed and out of it.
When this older cowboy rescues a hot mess author from a crazy bull, she learns a whole lot more than she anticipated. If growly cowboys, sassy heroines, and laugh-out-loud comedy make your heart pitter-patter, you'll love Cord and Cassia's steamy-sweet story!
What happens at the yearly writers' retreat stays at the retreat...except the bonds these authors forge and the stories they tell. But someone forgot to mention that to the men they find themselves falling for in stunning Lake Tahoe. From the small-town sheriff to the hot, bossy cowboy to the grumpy, reclusive mountain man, these romance authors have stumbled upon real-life trope-tastic heroes that sweep them off their feet. Sometimes literally. Get ready to laugh, cry, and swoon this Valentine's Day when these six authors bring you on a Galentine's Getaway you won't forget.
Galentine’s Getaway is a collection of steamy short romances brought to by six of your favorite instalove authors!
I opt not to answer her question. Just in case she is one. I've got nothing against vegans, hippies, conservationists, environmentalists, or anyone else really. But the fact that I raise cattle tends to rile most of them up. Never mind that my family and my ranch have done more to solve problems than they'll ever know.
"Are you hurt, pretty baby?" I ask.
"No." Her breath hitches when I call her pretty baby. And then she seems to catch hold of herself. Her stubborn little chin comes up and she swats at my hands. "Would you stop trying to touch all of my parts and let me up?"
"I'm checking for injuries."
"On my boobs?" she hisses.
I glance down and realize she's right. I've got a hand full of one perfect tit. It overflows my meaty palm, making me grin. God yeah, she's perfect. Exactly as soft as I knew she would be. The kind of sweet a man like me could drown in and not regret a second of it. Even dressed in all black—literally from head to toe—and covered in mud, she's somehow erotic as sin and as adorable as a day-old kitten.
"What the hell are you wearing, princess?" I ask, doing a sweep from head to toe. My brows rise as I really take in her outfit. Her black coat hangs open over a black long-sleeved t-shirt that stretches tight across her tits. Her matching leggings hug her thick thighs. They're soaked all the way to her knee on one side. She looks like a cat burglar. One ill prepared for the weather and the ranch.
"Clothes," she sniffs, pushing at my shoulders. Is it my imagination or are her cheeks red? "Will you get off of me, you giant bully? Jeez, you're bigger than that maniacal bull."
"Told you he was a bastard," I grunt, jumping to my feet. Hamburger stands a few yards away, his big body positioned between us and the herd. He's protective of the heifers…which is precisely why he still has horns. He's far better security than any cowboy with a gun. Meaner too.
I glance toward the ranch to see Jace and Toby hauling ass toward us. Of course, neither of them was smart enough to saddle a horse. It's a good thing Cassia isn't hurt. Fuck. I need to hire better help around here. I've got a ranch full of horny cowboys without a lick of goddamn sense between the lot of them.
"Excuse me?" Cassia sits upright behind me. "T-told me? I don't know you."
I turn to face her, wondering what the hell she's playing at. Surely she remembers calling me a video game playing basement dweller? The way she avoids looking directly at me tells me plain as day that she remembers me just fine. She just doesn't want me to know that.
"I'm a cattle thief," she blurts before I can sort out why.
"You're a cattle thief?" I blink down at her, trying not to laugh in her face. If she's a cattle thief, I'm a fucking ballerina. Why am I smiling so hard? Better question, why the hell couldn't her friend pick a better day to camp out at Cam's? I need him here to deal with…everything so I can carry this sassy little thing upstairs and plant my kid in her.
"Yes. A cattle thief. You should call the police and have me arrested."
"Right." I chuckle, running a palm over the top of my head. The only time she'll be going near the police station is when she's bypassing it to go to the courthouse to marry me. But I don't tell her that. I'm guessing by the panic in her voice, she doesn't want me to know who she is. Until I figure out why, I'll play her little game. But we're playing it by my rules. "Well, come on then, little cattle thief. Let's go."
"Oh, good, you believe me," she says, her shoulders sagging with relief.
"Any reason I shouldn't?"
"Nope, none at all." She beams at me, smiling so brightly the heavens part and angels actually fucking sing. My cock and heart throb, the blood in my veins resonating in time to that heavenly chorus. I've never been a religious man, but something about this wild woman has me ready to drop to my knees and praise Jesus.
Instead, I watch as she rolls to her knees. She tips her head back, her pretty eyes crawling up my body. I don't imagine the way they go glassy or the heat that steals across her round cheeks. Nor do I imagine the pink tip of her tongue darting out to wet her bottom lip.
"Not yet," I say, grinning ear to ear. "But I'm willing to change that for you, princess."
She scowls at me. "I mean you're half naked. It's winter. Wear clothes."
"Tore my shirt."
"How? Hulking out of it?"
"Fixing the fence."
"You didn't do a very good job. Your bull was in the woods."
"He doesn't like fences. Actually, he doesn't like much of anything but heifers and raising hell."
She's too busy staring at me to hear what I said. She likes what she sees, even if she doesn't want to admit it. It's a good thing because she'll be seeing a whole lot of it real soon if I have my way. I'm not much to look at. I'm an old bastard compared to her. This way of living is rough. I spend most of my time with the sun beating down on me, yelling at ranch-hands. Ask any of them and they'll tell you my bite is a helluva lot worse than my bark, which is bad enough. Soft, I'm not. But I don't get the impression this girl needs soft. She's a wild one, full of fire and spirit.
I've read every word she's written. I know what makes her tick, what she dreams about, what she craves on that soul-deep level. Cassia Murphy wasn't made for a soft ass man. She was made for me. She might not know it yet, but she will soon enough.
Her breath trembles as she stares up at me, want stamped into every line of her gorgeous face.
Soon, pretty baby. Soon, I silently promise.
She seems to understand my promise and narrows her eyes in suspicion before sniffing loudly. I grin when that chin thrusts stubbornly upward, her nose shooting into the air. Fuck me. Didn't think it was possible to be this hard over something so goddamn adorable, but here we are, my dick wedged so tightly against the zipper of my Wranglers, I pity the bastard.
"What's your name?" I ask, curious as hell to know what bullshit lie she'll tell me.
She nods miserably, curling in on herself.
Huh. She doesn't like the name.
"That's a terrible name for a cattle thief."
"Blame my mom," she mutters, wincing as she climbs to her feet. She favors her left foot, keeping her right off the ground.
"Shit. You're hurt." I take two steps toward her, kneeling on the ground at her feet.
"No, I'm not."
"Let me see it."
"Let me see it," I growl.
She reluctantly places one hand on my shoulder, holding her foot out to me. Her black sneaker is soaked. I peel it and her sock—also black—off. Her delicate little foot is so cold it's damn near blue. I'm not surprised to see black polish on her toenails, but it makes me smile anyway. Of course she painted her nails black for whatever bullshit she's up to today. I prod gently at her foot and ankle, but don't feel anything broken. Her pained whimper breaks my heart when I gently rotate her ankle.
"It's not broken, but it looks like you twisted it pretty good."
"Stupid root in the stupid woods," she mutters under her breath.
"No. A root tried to murder me, and a log decided to help."
I bite my lip, trying hard not to laugh at the offense in her voice. I tuck her sock into my back pocket and then grab her shoe before hauling myself back to my feet. She squeaks like a bird when I swing her up into my arms.
"What are you doing?" she cries. "Put me down!"
"You can't walk all the way back to the ranch with a twisted ankle."
"You're supposed to be calling the cops," she says, glaring at me.
"Cassiopeia…Can I call you Cassia?"
"Because Cassiopeia might have been beautiful, but she was a mortal queen. You're a fucking goddess, pretty baby. And you damn sure wouldn't have been placed in the heavens to be tortured for all of eternity," I growl.
"Oh," she whispers, her body softening in my arms. "I guess you can call me Cassia."
"Cassia," I say, fighting a smile when she softens further. "How do you expect the cops to arrest you way out here in the pasture?"
Her teeth sink into that pouty bottom lip as she looks around, sheepish. "I didn't think of that," she mumbles. "Fine. I guess you can carry me back to the ranch." Her eyes narrow on me. "But keep your hands to yourself or I'm telling."
"Yeah? Who you tellin'?"