One Rodeo Season

One Rodeo Season by Sarah M. Anderson cover image

When his past collides with her present, only true love can survive the wild ride…

Bullfighter Ian Tall Chief is determined to get off the reservation and onto the pro circuit. After a wild youth, and some big mistakes, he’s found his focus. The only person who can break his concentration? Lacy Evans, owner of the Straight Arrow Ranch.

But the beautiful cowgirl is dealing with problems of her own. She’s running the ranch alone, after her parents’ deaths. The macho rodeo world is not ready for a female stock contractor. And she’s discovered her parents were keeping secrets from her—ones that rock the very foundation of her identity. Can she trust Ian to be the good man he claims to be?

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Excerpt

She was so lost in thought that she didn’t see the tall figure in a white T-shirt flagging her down until she almost ran into him. But the man stepped to the side, neatly avoiding having his toes squashed, just as he’d avoided Rattler’s horns.

Lacy slammed on the brakes—at least she’d only been going about ten miles per hour. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been able to stop. “Dammit!”

Because it was Chief again. The pain in her neck, come back for more.

He leaned against her driver’s side mirror and waited for her to roll the window down, looking cool and graceful and hot all at once, dang it.

She lowered her window. “What now?”

“I’m sorry about the bull,” he said. “I’ll pay for any treatment he needs.”

She blinked at him. “What?”

“The bull.” He shifted and she realized the white T-shirt he was wearing was soaked through. It clung to his body, highlighting muscles and more muscles and then, down a little lower…

Chief cleared his throat, making Lacy startle. “Is he okay?” he asked again.

She needed to come up with something that wouldn’t have her breaking down in grateful tears that Rattler was, in fact, okay. It would be best if that something she came up with didn’t let Chief off the hook or give away the fact that she was having a hard time not looking at his chest. “I won’t know for sure until the vet checks him out.” There.

“Let me know.”

She nodded in agreement and waited for him to move back, but he didn’t. “Yes?”

The corner of his mouth curved up into the kind of smile women like her didn’t often get from men like him—confident and sensual and interested. If Lacy had been a normal single woman, it was the kind of smile that would make her want to melt into his arms and kiss him.

But she wasn’t a normal single woman. She had responsibilities.

“We got off on the wrong foot. I’m Ian Tall Chief.” He stuck out his hand.

And waited while Lacy looked at it. “Are you serious?”

He dropped his hand, looking offended. “Did I look like I was joking?”

Oh, hell—had that come out wrong? She wasn’t trying to make fun of his name. Actually, given that everyone called him Chief, she was relieved to hear that was not some sort of derogatory nickname.

So she clarified, “I’m not interested. I don’t hook up.”

That got both eyebrows up and moving as his face relaxed.

“Are you serious?”

“Look,” she said in exasperation, “I know how this goes. There are two kinds of men here. The first doesn’t think a woman like me should be anywhere near a bull because we might do better than them and that would obviously be the end of the world. The second thinks I’m nothing but a one-night stand that hasn’t happened yet.” She pointed a finger at him. “Guess which one you are.”

His lips—nice lips, rounded and full and—no, stop it, Lacy. She was not going to start thinking about his lips, which were twisting as if he was thinking about laughing at her but trying not to.

Unfortunately, in trying so hard not to stare at his mouth, her gaze drifted back down to his chest. The wet t-shirt left nothing to the imagination. Pecs, nipples—

She snapped her gaze to the front windshield. She wouldn’t look at him. That was the best solution.

“Have you considered,” Ian Tall Chief said in an amused drawl, “that there might be another kind of man here?”

“No.”

 

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