Ryder Calhoun would rather face down an angry bull than commit to a relationship. And that’s exactly what every woman he encounters seems to be after. He’s a championship bull rider, and his family’s reality show is a big hit. He’s not into gold-diggers or Buckle Bunnies who are after the prize—him.
Joy Humphries is rodeo royalty—her dad is a big name in bull riding and she knows what the life’s all about. She also knows men like Ryder Calhoun. Strong, capable and reportedly dashing between the sheets, though Daddy wouldn’t let her hook up with a rodeo man even if she wanted to. But the more she’s around Ryder, the more she thinks he might be different. Or is that all an act for the cameras?
Ryder can’t complete a thought that doesn’t have Joy attached to it in some way. He doesn’t care if she’s slapping his face or letting him kiss her silly—just being around her is enough for him. Trouble is they can’t escape the camera crew, and her father seems to pop up around every turn. There’s also a not-so-little problem with her distracting him in the arena, and he needs these wins to help his family.
Maybe he should just give up on Joy, because the only thing worse than falling for a forbidden woman is doing it in front of reality TV cameras.
I really can’t imagine having cameras following me day in and day out. The Calhouns have made it work, albeit with some reservations. As this tale unfolds, we get a bit more into the rodeo side of and also see more of life on the ranch.
I love Joy, she is feisty and quick witted, a perfect foil for Ryder. Her home, a ranch, where her father coaches up and coming bull riders, hoping to find the next champion. A favorite scene is in the beginning of the book, when Joy first meets Ryder.
She stopped dead. Face-to-face with the hunky cowboy. The blonde stood in front of him, toying with one of the patches on his shirt right over his pec. The cowboy looked past the blonde and directly at Joy.
Her heart gave a weird wobble. He’s not that great. I just have a weakness for cowboys because they’re forbidden.
“Riding bulls must be so hard,” the blonde said.
Rolling his eyes, the cowboy lightly grasped her wrist and pulled her hand away from his chest. “It’s not like painting your nails.” He looked at the pink claws on the hand he was holding and dropped it.
Joy found the urge to laugh irresistible and let it roll up her throat.
The cowboy looked straight at her and his eyes creased— God, they creased so adorably— and he pushed by the blonde to reach Joy.
Shit, now she was stuck. She’d been caught listening and there was no getting away from this cowboy even if she could uproot her boots from the dirt.
Now that her mind had caught up to her libido, she realized she knew him. Recognized him from TV. “You’re on that reality show Rope ’n Ride.”
He groaned so low that she wondered if she’d imagined it. There was a lot of noise around them.
He reached for his hat brim and gave it a tug. “Ryder Calhoun.”
He blinked at her slowly. Then he let his gaze drop from her eyes to her lips and back to her eyes. She had her mother’s lips, too—“ kissing” lips some guy had once told her.
“Humphries. Are we talking rodeo royalty?” His drawl was back, deeper than before and doing brand new things to her body. The energy between them zapped her in all the right places, but she couldn’t act on it.
She nodded. “My father’s Thunder Humphries.”
“Damn, should I bow to you or something?”
She smiled and shook her head. “Maybe it’s you I should bow to. A big-time TV star.”
This time his groan was unmistakable, and she got the feeling he liked his position as much as she liked being the daughter of a famous bull rider. She never could be sure if people liked her because of who her father was or for herself.
“I’d kiss your hand, but they’re both full,” Ryder said.
She remembered the burger and lemonade. “Yeah, I’d better eat and get back to work. It was nice meeting you, Ryder.”
When she started walking away, she wasn’t surprised to find him keeping step with her, but unlike the last cowboy, she didn’t mind this one. Which was dangerous.
“Back to work? What are you doing here in Austin?”
“Helping my father. He’s coaching a few rising stars.”
“Ah.” The short response gave Joy the feeling he didn’t like having more competition, let alone ones coached by Thunder Humphries.
“Why aren’t you in the PBR? You’ve got what it takes,” she said, navigating around a cluster of guys standing in the way talking.
“Hmm, your father is a founder of the PBR, right? Are you selling memberships like Girl Scout cookies now?”
She laughed again— she couldn’t help it. Being back where she belonged made her feel so free and happy. And she liked having Ryder there. His body heat washing over her side made her skin prickle, but most of all she liked what she saw under his sexy exterior. So far, he’d revealed his disdain for a silly Buckle Bunny and his fame.
Maybe this cowboy had some substance.
Ryder (Rope ‘n Ride Series Book 2) (Kindle Locations 191-228). Kindle Edition.
There is a lot of family drama going on, and hostility toward the constant cameras. Finding time to be alone with Joy is one of Ryder’s goals, so he needs to get creative about it. Of course trying to keep it a secret from Joy’s father is a challenge as well. After all, he doesn’t want his little girl with a rodeo cowboy. Of course there are also the ever present Buckle Bunnies, they can give a girl cause to doubt her cowboy’s word. All that and a mix of sizzling hot sex, and maybe even a sniffle or too.
5 Contented Purrs for Em!
Em Petrova lives in backwoods, Pennsylvania, where she raises four kids and a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff. Her dream is to buy an old pickup and travel small-town USA meeting people and hearing their stories. Her heroes are hardworking—in bed and out—and she is known for panty-scorching erotic romance.