Today I welcome one of my favorite western romance authors, Wendi Darlin! Wendi's erotic romance Cowboy Games is a Linda Howard award-winner and deserves a spot on your keeper shelf!
Amber, thank you for inviting me to join you today. I’m always thrilled to be in such talented and fabulous company. And you know I don’t mind being around cowboys!!!
Lovin’ cowboys sure doesn’t take much effort, does it friends? LOL What’s not to love about a slow drawl, rough hands with a gentle touch, and those nice fittin’ jeans! I’ve written several cowboy romances with more on the way, but today I thought I’d take a step back in time and feature my first cowboy romance which is now a retro release and editors’ pick at Siren-BookStrand.
Below you can read the beginning of chapter 1 of COWBOY GAMES. For my other titles, you can visit www.wendidarlin.com.
CONTEST: Leave a comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing for Tim McGraw’s Greatest Hits 3 CD.
Cowboy Games by Wendi Darlin
A year later
The line for baggage check-in at Charleston International Airportmoved, and Rebecca wheeled her suitcase forward another foot. At six a.m.the line should be shorter, but apparently everybody and her sister got up atthe crack of dawn on the first day of spring to jump on an airplane. She adjusted the shoulder strap of her carry-on and took a breath to quiet thebutterflies in her stomach. It was a pretty safe bet not a person in line wasgoing to the same place she was.
“Todd would think this is funny. Don’t you think?” Rebecca asked.
“Who wouldn’t? This is hysterical,” Melinda said, her eyes glued to thefull-color glossy brochure for Fantasy Ranch. “Listen to this: Are you readyfor the ultimate ladies’ vacation? Come on darlin’, kick off your boots andstay awhile at Fantasy Ranch where the cowboy of your dreams is yours. That’s right, for one romance-filled week on an authentic ranch with one ofthe most spectacular views in Wyoming, a real-life cowboy will be yoursand yours alone. Not only can these boys wrestle steer to the ground, theywill wine, dine and treat you like the lady you are.”
“Can you imagine who comes up with this stuff?” Rebecca asked.
“If I didn’t know you, I couldn’t imagine who would actually go to this place.” Melinda pushed the brochure over to offer her sister another look atthe dozen cowboys seated on a fence. Hats, boots, rugged good looks and lazy smiles on every one of them. Snowcapped mountains stood in thedistance behind them. “They’re hot as hell, but you’re still out of your mind,” she said.
“Life’s a game, might as well play it.”
“Roulette’s a game too, but you won’t catch me playing that,” Melinda said. “And this is the worst false advertising I’ve ever seen.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“First of all, these guys have to be models,” Melinda said. “There’s no way they all work in one place, and second of all, Fantasy Ranch is probablya front for some perverted serial killer’s garage.”
“What kind of serial killer targets women who have a thing for cowboys?”
“One who always had to be the Indian when he was a little boy.” Melinda’s lips curved into a smile. “I have two psychology classes under my belt. I know what I’m talking about, and there is no way this place really exists. Not like this anyway.”
“Have a little faith,” Rebecca said. “You don’t trust anyone or anything.”
“With plenty of reason.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring that up.” Rebecca placed her hand on her sister’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “But seriously. It’s not too late to get a ticket, and there’s plenty to go around. Look at this one.” She pointed to an olive-skinned hottie, with movie star eyes. “Says he likes riding bareback, sleeping under the stars and taming mustangs, but when it comesto the ladies he’s got velvet hands.”
They both laughed.
“It’s probably another identity theft scam,” Melinda said. “A creative one. I’ll give them that.”
“You have to give them all kinds of personal information for the required background check, don’t you?” Melinda asked.
“Yeah, but I did my homework.” Rebecca pulled her suitcase forward another couple of feet and closed the gap in the line. “I called the Canyon Creek, Wyoming Chamber of Commerce.”
“And,” Rebecca continued. “The lady that answered the phone laughed,but she said Fantasy Ranch is owned by two local cowboys named Garrett and Gavin Carter, and they’re very easy on the eyes.”
“She say anything else?” Melinda asked with renewed interest.
“She said the staff changes regularly, but she’s never received any complaints about them. They’re running a legitimate operation with a steadystream of customers flying in from all over the place.”
“Do they have their own little cowboy out there pointing out ‘da planes’ when they land?”
“Everybody left that island with what they came after,” Rebecca reminded her. “It says you can ride horses and picnic alongside ‘a pristine mountain stream.’”
Melinda twisted her lips, looking anything but convinced, andturned to the next page of the brochure. “At least you won’t need to pay extra for the riding lessons.”
Rebecca had been riding horses since she was five. Somewhere in her attic at least fifty ribbons from jumping competitions were collecting dust. She still spent weekends at the stables exercising the horses whose owners didn’t make enough time for them. “I already did.” Rebecca’s smile was purely wicked. “It ought to be fun having a cowboy show me how to do it his way.”
“I’d pick that one.” Melinda shoved the brochure toward her andpointed to a man with smoldering green eyes, an easy grin and jeans that lay nicely over the muscles beneath them. It was hard to tell with his hat on, butRebecca guessed he was blond. “Which one did you pick?”
“I’ll have to take whatever’s left. I booked on short notice.”
“It’s like getting to the meat counter during the last hour of the sale,”Melinda said. A woman behind them in line chuckled.
“They all look beefy enough to give me what I’m after. Remember the real stuff will be up to me anyway.” Rebecca laughed and lowered her voice. “Fantasy Ranch, rule number one: NO SEX.”
After skimming past the legal gibberish, the contract was simple. A background check was required of all guests, and there were two stipulatingclauses: 1) No sex; and 2) No contact or attempted contact after the week isup. Clause number two was accompanied by a clear warning: Any attempt at contact will be considered ‘criminal stalking’ and treated as such. A sure sign the cowboys were very good at making women think they had fallen in love.
BUY LINK: http://www.bookstrand.com/node/795592
And don’t forget to enter my contest by leaving a comment. Good luck!
Thank you, Wendi, for bringing the excerpt! I don't think I'm the only reader who wishes Fantasy Ranch was real. Readers, Wendi's contest is open for entry until midnight EST Monday, January 11th. The winner will be announced Tuesday, January 12th here at Cozy!
Tomorrow we stop by for some suspense and intrigue - cowboy-style, of course!