USA Today Bestselling Author
When disgraced bull rider Ty Sloane agreed to take a job as foreman at Falcon Ridge Ranch, he didn’t count on having to share his job or his cabin with twenty-one-year-old rising star barrel racer Maybelle Johnson. She tests his patience by day and drives him to distraction by night, but she’s off limits—too young and innocent for the likes of an ex-con like him.
As far as Maybelle is concerned, Ty Sloane can go jump in a lake. The cocky bull rider is a thorn in her side, both at the ranch and on the road. But he makes her feel things no man has ever made her feel, and as she learns about his past, she can’t help but develop a soft spot for him.
When trouble finds Maybelle on the rodeo circuit, Ty puts it all on the line for the sweet young woman who’s captured his heart, even though it may cost him his freedom.
I love Prairie and the Flint Hills, the characters created by Tessa Layne are very real and bring out so many emotions.
This book opens with preparation for Lexi and Jarrod’s wedding, before the ceremony the ranch is business as usual. Teddy Grace has hired cousin Maybelle to be foreman on his ranch. He’d had a hard time trying to find someone dedicated and capable to fill the position, and Maybelle has all that and more.
Teddy had also asked Colton Kincaid for assistance finding someone, and signals just got crossed big time.
Ty Sloane is being released from prison after serving time for assault. Although he was protecting a woman at the time, she changed her story resulting in his incarceration. When he’s granted parole he’s very surprised to see Colton waiting for him. They are the source of the new position as foreman of Falcon Ridge Ranch and Ty is happy to accept. They also have a part-time position in mind for him with their Bull-Riding school.
Arriving at the ranch, Colt drops Ty off at the foreman’s cabin and heads off to find Teddy.
This is a favorite scene.
This had to be some kind of a joke. Back on the circuit they’d been generous with their pranks. And Colt was a master. Reaching for his phone, he shot off a text to Colt.
Are you punking me?
Dots appeared on his screen, then a message. No?
Is someone staying here? Ty texted back in a hurry.
Colton’s answer came quickly. Cabin’s been empty for ages. If there’s stuff you don’t want, put it outside, we can take care of it later.
“Huh.” Ty shook his head, glancing about the cabin again. Seemed awful prissy for him, but Colt had mentioned one of the Grace sisters had lived in the cabin previously. Nevertheless, the cabin was his now, and that pink shit was going. He glanced down at the pile of very feminine clothing at his feet. Whoever lived here before must have been in a hurry to leave. “No wonder.” He scooped up the filthy clothes and tossed them on the porch. “The color’s enough to give you indigestion.”
He beelined for the sofa and pulled off the blankets spread across the back, ignoring their plush softness and the fresh-as-spring scent. He was too used to industrial cleaners and the smell of bleach permeating everything. The curtains were less cooperative. Whoever had hung them had obviously decided they weren’t coming down, ever. But they were, and as he gave a strong yank, the hardware pulled loose from the wall. Ty let out a startled grunt as he lost his purchase, dropping to the floor with a curse and coming face to face with an enormous white, fluffy, and very angry cat, who yowled and hissed as it scrambled away.
Alarm bells sounded in Ty’s head. What in the hell was a cat doing in here? He stood, dusting himself off again, and shot off another text to Colt. Does the cat come with the cabin? He wasn’t a pet kind of guy, let alone a white, fluffy cat kind of guy. But beggars couldn’t be choosers either, so he’d make do.
“H-hello?” a distinctly feminine voice asked.
“Hello?” the voice asked again, more firmly.
He turned toward the voice as a vision wrapped in a white towel stepped from what must be the bathroom, wielding a plunger like a baseball bat. His heart gave one enormous thud, then paused, suspended somewhere between shock and awe. She was a tiny thing, probably just over five feet in his estimation, with wide blue eyes the color of a mountain sky, a round face flushed pink, and a plump lower lip. Her towel covered full breasts — barely — and skimmed the top of long shapely legs. He half-wondered where she was hiding her wings, because surely no earthly being could be so perfect. Except for the scowl that pulled down her mouth, and the flash in her eye. And the plunger. It wasn’t much of a weapon, but he got the message loud and clear. He wasn’t welcome.
In spite of that, he couldn’t stop staring. An odd sensation rippled through him, so foreign, he barely recognized it for what it was. But when the energy balled low in his belly, a forgotten part of his brain snapped back to life. The sensation only intensified when the beauty in front of him spoke. “Who are you and what are you doing in my cabin?”
Her sweet southern lilt that was at once haughty and husky resonated in his bones. The old Ty would have turned on the charm, disarmed her with a grin, and sweet-talked the towel off in no time, in order to sample the garden of earthly delights and bring them both to the climax they both wanted. And it was clear she wanted. He didn’t miss the quick flash of desire in her eyes, or the way her gaze raked over his body. But he’d lost his taste for buckle bunnies. He was different now. Three years locked up and too much time to reflect changed a man. He was turning over a new leaf, making the most of his chance here at Falcon Ridge, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to blow it minutes into his first day. “I could ask the same of you,” he growled.
He’d touched a nerve. He could see it in the way she drew herself up and stared up her nose at him, as if she were some kind of a schoolmarm, instead of a sweet young thing, ripe for the picking. “I’m the foreman here, and it seems that you’ve dumped my clothes on the porch. Can you kindly put them back?”
She was the foreman? Something territorial sprang from inside him. He wasn’t going to give up his one chance to redeem himself to some young thing who sought to put him in his place. “Like hell you are,” he rumbled. “I’m the foreman here, and you’re trespassing in my cabin.”
“Trespassing?” she sputtered, taking a step closer and tightening her grip on the plunger. “Trespassing?” she asked again, voice quivering with indignation. “If anyone’s trespassing, it’s you. And it’s time for you to leave.”
He shook his head. “No can do, sweetheart.” He stepped forward, not enough to scare her, but just enough to make his point. “I’ll give you five minutes to get yourself dressed and skedaddle back to wherever you came from. Unless…” he paused, mouth twitching. “You prefer to vacate the premises in your… err… current attire.” His eyes swept over her, lingering at her curves. She was a beauty, no doubt about it. Young and lush, and he’d bet the ten bucks in his pocket — cotton candy sweet.
“What in tarnation is going on here?”
Ty whirled at the voice in time to see Teddy Grace burst through the door with Colton hot on his heels. Behind him, the plunger clattered to the floor. “That’s what I’d like to know,” he retorted. “Sir.”
“Uncle Teddy, he says he’s foreman,” she responded with a hint of a pout and a jerk of her head his direction.
Uncle Teddy? Lightning strike him dead for thinking even one of the x-rated thoughts that had ricocheted through his head. If she was Teddy’s niece, she was definitely off-limits.
Colton cleared his throat, eyes darting back and forth between them. “Seems like there’s been a bit of a miscommunication.”
Ty arched a brow. “Oh?”
“I’ll say there was,” interjected Teddy’s niece, stepping up next to him. Ty caught a whiff of vanilla, and something else delicious. It reminded him of summer, of long lazy days and warm sunshine. His chest gave a sharp squeeze.
Teddy shuffled his feet, looking like he swallowed a porcupine. “I ah… didn’t realize that Colt had found someone. I gave the job to Maybelle.”
Disappointment crashed through Ty, but he wasn’t about to let anyone notice. He needed to come up with a contingency plan, and fast. Maybe there was another ranch that would take him. Maybe he could be a line cook at one of the restaurants. Surely, there had to be something else for him? Dread pooled in his belly. What if there wasn’t? What if no one would take him? Heat rose up through his middle, then his spine and crawled over his scalp. He shot a look Colton’s way. Maybe he should have gone back to Steamboat Springs after all.
Colt cleared his throat. “We can work something out, don’tcha think?”
Teddy removed his hat and dragged a hand across the top of his head. “‘ Spose so. Lord knows I could use an extra set of hands.”
“Great!” Colt rubbed his hands together, a look of relief passing across his face. “It’s all settled then.”
“Not so fast,” Teddy said with a shake of his head. “Where’s Ty gonna sleep?”
Tessa Layne. Ride Hard: A Roughstock Riders Novel (Kindle Locations 241-298). Shady Layne Media.
Now working with Maybelle was one thing, but she’s also a barrel racer. There are rumors circulating about her trailer that have Ty’s hackles up.
Sharing the cabin with it’s two bedrooms starts to become a challenge as Ty and Maybelle find themselves heading into something other than just co-workers.
This is a fun read, with romance, new beginnings, some suspense and just the right amount of sizzle.
I can’t wait to see who Tessa writes about next in this new series set in the Flint Hills.
5 Contented Purrs for Tessa!
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Tessa Layne writes smokin’ hot contemporary cowboy and military romances filled with tenderhearted tough guys and sassy strong women who capture their hearts.She grew up in Colorado in the mountains at the edge of the Great Plains. There, she met her own smokin’ hot Cowboy and they had a whirlwind romance to rival any novel. She believes in Happily Ever Afters, loves fireflies, horses, and breathing clean country air. Her favorite thing to do is to sit on the porch swing with a glass of Rose, listening to her Cowboy pluck his guitar!
Feel free to drop her a line (links below) – She loves to hear from her readers!