Series: Weekend Cowboys , Book 1
By: Cathryn Fox | Other books by Cathryn Fox
Published By: Cathryn Fox
Published: Jul 29, 2012
ISBN # 9780987855978
By: Cathryn Fox | Other books by Cathryn Fox
Published By: Cathryn Fox
Published: Jul 29, 2012
ISBN # 9780987855978
Word Count: 25,000
Available in: Epub, Mobipocket (.mobi), Palm DOC/iSolo, Adobe Acrobat
Categories: Romance>Erotic Romance
DescriptionTired of the bachelor lifestyle, sports medicine doctor, and weekend cowboy, Chase Cooper, is ready to settle down. Late one night over a few drinks, he and his buddies come up with a plan. Invite the girls from their past—the ones that got away—to a weekend of fun at the ranch and see what happens next.
When lawyer, Julia Blair finds herself on a dude ranch half way across the country, only to discover the invitation was meant for her vivacious twin sister, she knows she has two choices. Go home alone, or walk a day in her sister’s shoes. When she sets eyes on sexy cowboy Chase Cooper, the choice becomes easy.
Coop can’t believe the mix up, but when he discovers Julia wants to play he decides to go for it. Except playtime leads to so much more and when he realizes she just might be the girl who got away he sets out to show her how good they can be together. And he’s not above using a set of leather horse reins and a few tricks of the trade to prevent her from fleeing again.
Reader Rating: (2 Ratings)
Excerpt:Chase Cooper stretched out his tired legs, tipped his Stetson back on his forehead and took a long, hard pull from his beer bottle. The icy cold ale went down nice and easy after a hot day riding the trails with his childhood friends and fellow hellions, Curtis Jagger and Tyler Mackenzie, otherwise known as Jag and Mac.
Coop enjoyed kicking back at the ranch’s rustic saloon, decorated to echo the flavor of 19th century Old West, with the two guys who knew him better than anyone else and pissed him off on a daily basis.
Despite that, all three had been best friends since their first day of kindergarten and to this day they all had each other’s back. They were a team, a brotherhood, weekend cowboys who fought together when the situation required and played together when the opportunity presented itself.
So as he sat here staring at his two best buddies, enjoying a couple of cold ones after an invigorating day on their sun-drenched ranch he couldn’t help but feel that something was missing from his life. Something that made him feel a little antsy, a little distracted.
Something he couldn’t quite pinpoint.
He frowned and when a strange, strangled noise rose from the depths of his throat he wondered what the hell was going on with him.
“What’s the matter with you, Coop?” The slamming of Jag’s beer bottle on the hard oak table pulled his focus. “You growing soft on us or something?”
“Maybe it’s his time of the month,” Mac piped in, grinning like the bad-assed son of a bitch he really was.
Jag nudged Mac. “I think he might need a tampon.”
Coop glared at the two clowns rousing him, taking their teasing jibes and easy camaraderie in stride, as always.
“You think you can spare one, partner?” Coop asked Jag in a fake western drawl that seemed to garner the attention of the pair of women lounging two tables over. With that Mac laughed out loud and Jag shot him a devious grin.
“I’ll tell you what I can spare—” Jag began.
“Save it,” Coop warned, sparing the saloon’s patrons from having to overhear one of Jag’s colorful comments.
Before Jag could retaliate, musical laughter drifted past their table and Coop turned in time to see a petite Barbie-doll blonde with suntanned skin and collagen-plumped lips drop her napkin on the floor, on purpose as far as he could tell. Coop’s blood warmed as he better angled his head to watch her retrieve it. As he studied her, it became obvious that she was drawing out the action until she had the attention of all three cowboys. While the guys all looked on with interest, she caught her bottom lip between her teeth in a playful manner and that’s when Coop noticed her manicured nails, which were far more suited for a plush office than a working dude ranch.
With an up close and personal view of her cleavage, Coop took pleasure in the sight of her lithe frame and pretty face. Judging by the mischievous look dancing in her eyes as they roamed over his buddy, Jag, Coop knew exactly what—or rather, who—the blonde bombshell wanted. He also knew his best friend was more than capable of giving it to her.
Coop remembered glimpsing the two women late last night when they were registering for their weeklong stay at the ranch. He’d passed them in the old farmhouse lobby after returning from his habitual, nighttime visit to the small cottage behind the main lodge.
But before he could give the vivacious pair any more consideration, the saloon’s heavy wooden door banged open and drew Coop’s attention. He slowly tilted his head to watch Jack and Nancy enter. With a nod, Coop exchanged a greeting with the retired couple—old family friends of his parents from way back. Unfortunately, Coop’s father was gone now and his mother, well, she wouldn’t remember them—not in her current condition.
When Jack carefully guided his elderly wife across the squeaky plank floor and pulled her chair out for her, a riot of foreign emotions pulsed through Coop, completely catching him off guard.
His breath seemed to stall as he watched them for an extra moment and when his gut clenched with longing and an invisible band fisted his heart he instantly knew what he wanted—what had been missing from his life—a lifetime commitment with someone he could share the good times with, and the bad.
As a strange new need gathered in the pit of his stomach, and he was pretty damn certain it wasn’t indigestion, he took a moment to mull over his sudden epiphany. While he enjoyed his bachelor lifestyle, he couldn’t deny that he’d been feeling a little out of sorts lately, like there was more to life than going from bed to bed, woman to woman, only to wake up alone. Lonely.
Maybe he really was growing soft.
Looking for a distraction before his buddies started razzing him again, he stretched his hands over his head and yawned. Dirt and debris fell from his clothes as he kicked back from the table. Thankful for the diversion, he shifted his focus and brushed the remnants of hay from his sleeve. The pungent smell of a busy day on the ranch hit him hard, and he longed to jump in the shower and call it a night.
“Any plans for the rest of the evening?” Coop asked Jag and Mac, wanting to get the hell out of there so he could wrap his brain around this unexpected turn of events. When they shook their heads no, Coop gestured with a nod toward the women. “Looks like you do now.”
A slow grin spread across Mac’s face, but Coop noted that his friend’s energetic blue eyes lacked their usual fire and enthusiasm—Mac certainly wasn’t a guy to pass up a sweet opportunity like the one presenting itself two tables over. And then there was Jag, who didn’t appear to be in any hurry to take the bait either. Odd really, considering how the women were working so hard to lure the two.
Jag stole a glance at the women and arched a curious brow. “One, two or three?” he asked, and Coop couldn’t help but notice that Jag’s voice held none of its normal eagerness when talking about the opposite sex, which begged the question—were they too getting played out?
Sure, all three of them had successful, professional careers back in Nova Scotia. Not to mention the fact that they all co-owned a working dude ranch in Alberta, one they could fly to whenever the desire hit. And of course he couldn’t forget that they all had a bevy of women to pick from when the mood struck. But despite all those luxuries, not one of them had a special person to bed down with at night, and more importantly, wake up to each morning.
“Two,” Mac supplied, as he casually examined the pretty women sipping their drinks.
The way Coop and his buddies saw it single women came to the ranch for one of three reasons: one, because they loved horses and wanted to experience life on a working dude ranch. Two, for their love of cowboys. Coop, Mac and Jag were always ready to help out in that department. Or three, the women were coming off a bad relationship and simply needed a quiet place to heal.
Honestly, if the trip was about finding sanctuary, then they certainly found the right place. Surrounded by towering mountains, the horse ranch was smack dab in the middle of nowhere. A person would be hard pressed to find a quieter town than Springvale, Calgary, which was why the guys flew from their hometown in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to the sprawling farm every damn chance they had. Well, at least that was one of Coop’s reasons.
Naturally, since they all worked in another province, the care taking and daily running of the place was left to Tessa Turner, ranch manager extraordinaire. Coop knew he could count on her on a professional level, as well as on a personal one.
A mixture of joy and sadness hit at the same time as he thought about the private reasons he flew to another province on a regular basis. If it wasn’t for Tessa and his complete confidence in her care taking abilities, he wouldn’t know how he could pull it off and make this whole situation work. And making it work was of the utmost importance to him—for numerous reasons.
“Definitely two,” Jag agreed with Mac, bringing Coop’s attention back around to the conversation at hand.
Jag stretched his arms out and when the leg of his chair scraped across the floor, Coop caught his glance. “So, if you both agree those ladies are here looking for a little adventure, what are you two doing still sitting here?”
Jag gave an unenthusiastic roll of his shoulder and said, “I think I’m going to pass. I have a tape that I need to go over before Monday morning.”
“Another cheating husband?” Mac asked as he raked his tangled auburn hair from his forehead.
“Yeah.” Jag scoffed and added, “Just another cheating bastard who forgot he had a wife and two kids at home while he went off with his secretary.”
“I think you became a PI just so you could watch people have sex,” Mac taunted and flicked his beer cap between his fingers.
Jag offered them both a cocky grin and said, “Hey, I’m a guy and I’m all about watching x-rated movies, but I don’t get off on watching married men cheat on their wives.”
Mac finished off his beer and pushed the bottle to the middle of the table. “Well I wouldn’t want to be the one to break the news.” He paused to give a mock shiver. “I can’t stand to see a woman cry.”
Jag gave a hard shrug, like it was no big deal to him. “It’s a job. It pays the bills.”
Coop studied Jag and didn’t miss the way his friend kept averting his gaze. Probably because Coop knew Jag better than the guy knew himself. And what Coop knew was that Jag’s profession was more than just a job to him—it was personal. Coop also knew that when Jag discovered infidelity through the lens of his camera he had a hard time separating himself from his emotions and rarely kept his temper in check.
Under his breath Jag added, “Why do these guys bother to get hitched, anyway? Doesn’t anyone believe in the sanctity of marriage anymore?”
“Says the guy who is still single and with a different woman every weekend,” Mac responded with an arched brow.
“Key word here being single, Mac. If I found the right woman, I’d be a one-woman kind of guy.”
As Coop thought about the right woman, his mind instantly rewound to high school, and to Mari Blair, the girl he’d always had a huge crush on. He might have been captain of the soccer team, and she might have been head cheerleader, but even as one of the popular guys he couldn’t hang on to her for any length of time. They’d dated a few times but she was a hot commodity: wild, bubbly, sexy, fun and always up for anything. Well, almost anything.
He wondered what ever happened to her. Would time have tamed her? Would she be married with kids? If not, would she be interested in rekindling a relationship with the immature jock who’d grown into a sports medicine doctor? As he considered Mari further, and thought about what could have been, his mind raced with wicked ideas.
Silence hung heavy as they all drifted off, lost in their own thoughts. After a long moment Coop broke the quiet and said, “Do you ever think you might have let the right one get away?”
Mac shrugged. “Sometimes.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Jag agreed.
After a moment of quiet reflection, Mac snorted and twirled his beer bottle on the table. Coop glanced up to meet his friend’s gaze and when he did Mac studied him intently. Then Mac gave a solemn shake of his head and questioned, “Don’t tell me you’re thinking about Mari?”
“Come on, Coop. You only want her because she’s the only girl who wouldn’t give it up to you.”
It was true. He’d never had her. She was fun, flirty and adventurous, and late one evening at Hubbard’s Cove they’d even stripped down together and went skinny-dipping, but at the end of the night she still refused to sleep with him. She’d even once said that she wasn’t the girl for him. If she wasn’t, then who was? Then before he knew it she was dating and sleeping with Jack Barns.
Mac slapped Coop on the shoulder. “Forget about it, pal. The past is the past is the past.”
Tamara’s boots knocked on the old plank floor and heralded her approach as she came to clear their empty bottles. She shot the guys a glance, stacked their bottles on her serving tray and asked, “Would you boys like another?”
As Coop’s wayward thoughts fired his blood and gave him a second wind quicker than a triple shot of espresso, all thoughts of hitting the sack early suddenly vanished. “Thanks, Tam.” He circled his index. “We’ll take another round.” When she stepped away, Coop turned to his friends and said, “Maybe the past doesn’t have to be the past.”
Jag arched a brow. “What are you getting at?”
He rolled one shoulder casually as he warmed to the wild and wicked ideas bouncing inside his brain like a runaway pinball. “Maybe it’s time to look up those girls we’ve never gotten over.”
Mac snorted. “You must have been out in the sun too long, pal. That’s crazy talk.”
“We have no idea where any of them are,” Jag pointed out.
Coop arched a brow. “Jag, aren’t you a PI?”
He looked at Jag and could practically see the wheels turning.
“So you want me to track them down. Then what? Tell them to give us a second chance? I’m sure that’ll sweep them right off their feet, Coop. Great idea you’ve got there.”
Coop grinned and turned to Mac. “Mac, you’re the marketing genius who can sell anything to anyone. Don’t you think we can make this proposal a whole lot more interesting than that?”
Mac leaned forward and when the fire returned to his blue eyes, Coop knew he had him, hook, line and sinker. “Okay, Coop. What, exactly, is it that you have in mind?”
Reader Reviews (1)
Submitted By: Calia on Jan 29, 2013I enjoyed this book, it was well written, and story line was unique. I would certainly read this author again.