2020 Christmas Countdown: More Than A Christmas Cowboy – A Sweet Holiday Novella by Rhonda Lee Carver

More Than A Christmas Cowboy
A Sweet Holiday Novella
By
Rhonda Lee Carver

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She needs a holidate. He has a soft spot for feisty redheads. They’re a perfect match…until he kisses her under the mistletoe…

Rona Collins has wanted Stone for too long, but the time has never been right to tell him how she feels. When her sister plans a Christmas wedding at a private resort, Rona feels the time has finally come to plan her secret reveal. She’s single. He’s single. What could get in the way?

Then he shows up with a beautiful woman clinging to his arm, and Rona must find herself a holidate fast.

Kai Grey needs a break from the family ranch so a few days at a resort to watch his best buddy get married sounds like an opportunity for some peace and quiet. From minute one, his plans are turned upside down. Not only must he share his cabin, but his new roommate lassos him into pretending to be her Christmas date.

From the second he agreed to help her, he knew he’d live to regret it. Too bad she wants his best friend…or does she?

Kisses under the mistletoe and snuggling up to soft curves are definitely some perks to being a holidate, until a drunken fool and a dead fish ruin the Christmas cheer.

Rona’s sister Marti is getting married and she chose a very beautiful and romantic setting for it. This would be Rona’s chance to tell Stone how she feels about him, he’d broken up with his latest fling so he’s free again. However, Rona didn’t expect that her car wouldn’t make it all the way to her cabin. She wasn’t exactly dressed for a hike through the snow with her suitcase.

Kai is the groom’s irritating best friend. He’s really the last person Rona wanted to run into, but she knew he’d be here for Taylor.

This is a favorite scene.

The lane curved up another incline and she followed the snow-covered roadway, her boots slipping and sliding but she kept her balance. The curls that she thought were contained in the updo were starting to make a bid for freedom and bounce around her cheeks. She could also feel sweat beading up under her arms and between her breasts. The satin blouse would start to wrinkle.

The rattling of an engine caught her attention. A Jeep turned the curve and she anticipated that she could catch a ride the rest of the way, but all hope vanished when she saw the driver. Holy smokes. Of course, he’d have to be here for the week also.

She quickened her pace, hoping he wouldn’t stop.

No such luck.

He slowed and she looked back, cringing.

Kai Grey, Taylor’s obnoxious best friend, smiled from ear to ear behind the dirty windshield. The wipers swished back and forth, mimicking the sudden whooshing in her body. She didn’t like him. Not one bit.

She stared ahead, hoping he continued on his way, but she should have known better. He rolled down the side window.

“Need a lift, Red?” Kai was equally as handsome as Stone with sandy hair that he usually hid under a white Stetson and eyes the color of a top-shelf whiskey surrounded by absurdly long lashes for a man. Over six feet of broad shoulders, wide chest, and thick muscles he’d earned from working on his family’s horse ranch, he certainly did look good. Unfortunately, his attitude rubbed her the wrong way. He seemed to enjoy targeting her with his lame jokes and using the nickname he’d bestowed upon her when she met him. Red.

“I’m fine walking.” She didn’t even look at him as she attempted to stride confidently ahead.

“You’re going to ruin those fancy boots,” he said in a slow, drawn-out accent.

Keep your eyes ahead. Keep your eyes ahead.

She couldn’t resist.

Glancing over, her breath caught. His hat was now missing, exposing a mass of tousled hair that was a bit longer since she saw him last. His lopsided grin was present and his broad, clefted chin was cleanly shaven. His arm leaned halfway out of the open window and the rolled-up sleeve of his white T-shirt showed off most of the intricate tattoo of a cross wrapped in barbed wire on his flexed bicep. She heard him say once he got the ink while he was serving in the Marines.

“It’s too late. They’re probably already ruined,” she finally answered.

“Come on. It’s just a ride, not a marriage proposal. Your nose and cheeks are as red as your hair. By the way, is your hair redder?”

Lifting her chin and shoulders, she frowned. “Here we go with the insults. My name is Rona, not Red. Do you think it’s possible that you could manage not to make wisecracks about my appearance every time you see me?”

“How about that ride?”

“Not on your life.”

An easy grin turned up his full lips, engaging deep dimples. His irises reflected the snow making them brighter than usual. “Suit yourself.” He gave her a casual wave and a wink before he sped off. The Jeep’s tires kicked up slush, splattering her face. Grr.

The heat building inside helped her to momentarily forget the freezing temperature. Why did he infuriate her so much? Why did she allow him to affect her? Why had she allowed the schoolyard bullies to bother her when they made fun of her wild curly hair, her early-puberty-curves, and too-large glasses? By the time she reached high school she’d embraced her unique looks and all those kids who made fun of her wanted to be her friend.

Kai didn’t make her feel like those kids had. He made her feel…what exactly?

Angry.

Irritated.

Like she was on fire.

Huffing, she scrambled up the hill, her feet now wet in the leaky boots, pushing the infuriating cowboy out of her mind. This vacation would be pleasurable.

Finally she came to the tin-roofed cabin set back in the woods. Lighted garland wrapped around the railing of the porch and a large wreath hung on the red door. A swinging sign posted next to the shoveled sidewalk had the name “Kismet”.

This was her cabin. Relief spread through her, until she saw the Jeep parked in the driveway.

What is Kai doing at my cabin?
Rhonda Carver. More-Than-a-Christmas-Cowboy-with-TOC (Kindle Locations 146-179). Kindle Edition.

Sharing a cabin with Kai? So not happening, or was it. They really couldn’t impose on the couple about to get married. They had to reach a compromise.

When Stone shows up with a date Rona immediately takes action to get Kai to be her date. She didn’t want anyone to know how much she had hoped to be with Stone.

This book is so much fun as Kai and Rona figure why they irritate each other. A perfect Holiday read!

5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda Lee!

Rhonda lee Carver Rhonda Lee Carver

Rhonda Lee Carver is a published book writer with a collection of print and eBooks under her wing. She is also a freelance editor. Her first book was published with Wild Rose Press in 2010.

She writes everything from contemporary to steamy to paranormal to suspense…you name it, she’s written it. Her specialty is writing men who love to get their hands dirty—hardworking, blue collar, heroes in everyday life.

When Rhonda isn’t crafting edge-of-your-seat, sizzling novels, you’ll find her with her children and husband watching soccer, watching a breathtaking movie, traveling to exotic places (with Bora Bora on her bucket list), doing (or trying) yoga, saving cats and dogs, and finding new ways to keep life interesting.

Rhonda thrives on making her readers happy. She believes life can be a challenge, but reading is a place where fantasy comes to life. Her motto: “Everyone deserves romance—one page at a time.“

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