Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!
Today Bronwyn Jameson hosts a Guest Smooch from the fabulous Anne McAllister but first an announcement...
The winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Laura Russell. Congratulations, Laura. Can you please contact yvonne (at) yvonnelindsay (dot) com to receive your signed copy of Arranged Marriage, Bedroom Secrets.
And now for today's Smooch from Cowboys Don't Cry, by Anne McAllister.
Don’t Fence Me In!
When Wyoming cowboy Robert Tanner promised to help out the new owner of the Three Bar C, he didn’t expect to have to teach a city girl schoolteacher how to run a ranch. Worse, Maggie MacLeod was a beautiful feisty redhead with flashing eyes and kissable lips — a woman who could tempt a saint.
Tanner was far from a saint. He didn’t do permanent, he didn’t do relationships. The smart thing would be to leave. But a man was only as good as his word. Trouble was, the longer he stayed, the more Maggie got under his skin…
While showing his new boss around the Three Bar C, ranch foreman Robert Tanner notices a cow having difficulty calving. With Maggie’s help and some difficulty, he delivers the new baby calf...
Maggie dropped the rope and knelt down beside it. "Is it—" her voice was hollow, her face ashen.
Tanner didn’t answer. He hunkered down over it and cleared its mouth, waited. Nothing. He bent and blew in it, forced air down into its lungs once, then again. Again.
It gagged, then choked. All four legs twitched. One eye opened, then the other.
“It’s alive!” Maggie exulted. She laughed. She crowed. She crouched down and planted a kiss on its messy head. Then she looked at Tanner, her green eyes sparkling. "You did it! Oh, Robert! You did it!”
And then she launched herself at him and kissed him, too.
The force knocked Tanner flat on his back. His arms came up and went around her all of their own accord. All the breath went right out of him.
The warmth and the weight of her robbed him of whatever coherence the sheer impact hadn’t. Only his body responded, and his lips. Hers were warm and wet. His were starving. He couldn’t help himself. Desperation could only protect him so far. Common sense simply fled.
When her lips touched his, he kissed her.
It had been years since he’d kissed a woman like that. Fourteen long, hungry, lonely years. There had been women in his life since his divorce from Clare. But they had been few, and none of them had promised more than a night’s satisfaction.
Maggie did—as he’d known she would.
The notion terrified him. He jerked his head aside, then grasped her arms and tried to shove her away.
Maggie pulled back, her face flaming. But still she straddled him and he could feel the press of the juncture of her legs against him. He shoved himself up, but that only made matters worse.
"Oh!" She scrambled off him and he got to his feet, turned his back, adjusted his jeans.
"I’m...sorry," Maggie said in a tiny voice.
"It’s all right." It wasn’t. It was awful. It had felt so good having her on top of him, her breasts pressing against his chest, her lips on his. He reached over and snagged his hat out of the muck and jammed it on his head.
He hoped to God she hadn’t noticed the way his hands had gripped her waist, hadn’t felt the instinctive masculine response of his body to her touch.
He got to his knees and ducked his head, reaching for the calf and hauling it up next to the cow’s head.
She lifted her head, put out her tongue and gave it a tentative lick. The calf made a noise and nuzzled against her. Her eyes, rheumy and lacking luster, brightened. She licked again, nosed her child, licked some more.
"Mother love," Maggie said softly. Her voice sounded a little bit hoarse.
Tanner nodded. He didn’t answer because he knew his would have been a whole lot hoarser. He didn’t look at her either, just gathered up his rope, tugged his hat down harder, then got to his feet and moved toward his horse. Maggie started to follow him, then turned back.
"Look, Robert, just look at them," Maggie said. "Isn’t it wonderful?"
She was dirty and slightly disheveled and with just a hint of embarrassment still in her cheeks, she looked positively radiant—the most beautiful woman he’d seen in his entire life, Clare included.
"Wonderful," Tanner croaked and turned desperately back to his horse.
Excerpt from Cowboys Don't Cry, the first in Anne McAllister's THE TANNER BROTHERS trilogy, published in March/April/May 2016 by Tule Publishing.
Best-selling author Anne McAllister has written nearly 70
romance novels—long and short, contemporary, time travel, and single title. She
has won two RITA awards from the Romance Writers of America—for Cowboy Pride
and The Stardust Cowboy—and has had nine other books which were RITA finalists.
A former editor once told Anne that she wrote "died-with-their-boots-on cowboys", meaning rugged, realistic, down-to-earth cowboys who don’t own multi-national corporations on the side. She likes her cowboy heroes to be honourable, tough, competent and generous. Tall, dark and handsome also helps.
Are you a fan of the cowboy hero? What qualities do you admire in them?
Leave a comment and you will be included in the draw to win a digital copy of your choice of Anne's TANNER BROTHERS.
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from The Bridesmaid's Baby Bump by Kandy Shepherd will be posted!
Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver