Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and love to tempt author buddies into doing the same.
Well, a brilliant time was had by all at last Sunday’s Australian Romance Reader Association booksigning in Sydney. There were lots of new reader faces and plenty of familiar ones, as well as author friends new and old. I had so much fun. My voice is a bit hoarse from all the chatting though. If I get the chance, I’ll make up a blog post of the photos to give you a bit of insight into the event.
On to what we’re here for: some teasing!
This week I’m delighted to host another author for you. She’s a Hunter Valley local too, which means she’s extra special. We don’t just produce beautiful wines in the region, we nurture wonderful writers too.
Ann B Harrison writes Aussie rural and USA-set cowboy romances. Make that LOTS of cowboy romances. You’ll be hard-pressed to run out of backlist to read with this lovely lady. Her heroines are strong, her heroes sexy, and you know you’re in for a punchy, emotional read when you pick up one of Ann’s books.
Ann’s latest release is The Convenient Cowboy. Here she is to tell you a little about it and share a tasty teaser.
Nate Hansen desperately needs a reboot to his playboy image that doesn’t involve women, drinking and fighting. Rehabilitation and building a solid future proves elusive as he can’t land a permanent job until someone mentions local widow Joy Mitchell who’s advertising a full-time ranch job. Perfect.
Joy Mitchell is desperate for a ranch hand to help keep her dead husband’s legacy alive out of the greedy grasp of her manipulative father-in-law. Nate’s reputation precedes him, none of it good, but the ranch is running on empty, and Joy make the hard choice. Problem is the job she’s offering isn’t exactly what Nate had planned.
Nate knows what it’s like to lose everything, but seriously, become a mail-order groom? But Joy won’t or can’t compromise.
“Mrs. Mitchell? I’ve come about the job.”
Joy stared at the man on her doorstep. Someone had to be playing a joke on her. This cowboy was nothing like the other applicants. He looked familiar but her frazzled and over tired mind couldn’t put a name to his face. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“Someone told me you had a job going. I’m in need of employment. I’d prefer permanent but if you only have casual work, I’ll take that too.” He looked down at Toby clinging to her leg and smiled. “Cute, aint he? Anyways, as I was saying – I’m looking for work and I’m pretty sure that Kurt Whistler will give me a reference. Been filling in there for one of his men.”
“Did Kurt tell you what the job was?” Joy swallowed. Nobody had applied in person before and she had to hold down the wave of doubt and embarrassment that had pushed her to this point.
“No, ma’am, but I’m sure I’m up to the task.”
Oh, he so was. Tall dark and handsome didn’t quite sound good enough for the cowboy that stood at her door. He had nervous energy running through him that would worry most people, almost like a caged mountain lion who’d had a bad week hunting.
She was too desperate to be picky and the two others that had applied already for the job didn’t have the least bit of appeal to them. Not that she’d seen them face to face, nor did she want to. They’d applied by mail via the newspaper office where she’d placed the advertisement. The first applicant was too old to even consider. She’d be the one looking after him if his age was anything to go by. The other gentleman was looking for his fifth wife and Joy didn’t intend that to be her. Last thing she wanted was a fortune hunter and that greasy suck up letter had oozed its writers character from the smell of cheap aftershave he’d drenched the envelope in to the flowery words he’d used.
She needed a hardworking cowboy that would take care of her and her son. Not someone who’d get a ring on her finger, a foot in the door and an attitude that screamed ‘takeover in progress.’ The man standing before her was used to working. His hands were calloused, his jeans worn and his boots dusty and in need of re-heeling. Even his hat had a work worn battered image to it.
“What’s your name, cowboy?” Toby put his arms around her leg, leaving jelly marks from his sticky fingers on the worn denim. Some clean up job that’d been.
Oh heck! No wonder she thought she recognized him. Big sister Cassie had fallen for the love ‘em and leave ‘em man last fall and she’d pointed him out in the street once. He’d broken her heart and she still bemoaned how he was perfect for her. Seemed he didn’t agree as they never got past the third date.
“Seems your reputation precedes you. Not sure I’m willing to employ someone who cares more about drinking, fighting and flirting with every lady in town. I need someone who’s prepared to work an honest day’s work, not play.”
He looked down at his feet and sighed before meeting her gaze. “Mrs. Mitchell, give me a chance. I’ve been doing my best to mend my ways, to make a go of it ever since my grandpa died. I know my reputation and I’m doing everything I can to move on from that, I promise. My brother Jethro is running the ranch and there ain’t enough work for all of us. But if you want references, I know there’re people who’ll give you one, tell you how hard I work.”
“But what have you done long term, other than drink and fight?” And break girls hearts.
“Guess you got me there. Only work around has been short term, you know. That’s why I’m keen to take on something I can sink my teeth into, something permanent where I can make my mark. If you’ll give me a chance, I’ll prove to you that I’m a good risk. I’ve changed. Ask my brother or his lawyer if you like. I know she’ll vouch for me too.”
“Who’s his lawyer?” It was so tempting to take him on but something still niggled in the back of her mind. Could she trust him after what he did to her sister?
“Sadie St. Martin and Layla Watson.”
Joy swallowed back her relief. Her lawyer and the lady who wrote up Bradley’s will when he found out he was going to die. “I know them.”
“Great, so you’ll call and at least get a character reference then?”
Joy gripped her son’s hand and lifted him up onto her hip, ignoring the sticky jelly fingers as he clutched her shirt. Toby tucked his head into her neck and watched the stranger at the door. “I guess I can do that.”
“So, what’s the job then?”
“I need a husband, Mr. Hansen. And I don’t have much time left to choose one.”
Wowsers!! Now how was that for a hook-me ending to Ann’s teaser?
You want this book, oh yes you do! Find out what happens between Nate and Joy by grabbing a copy of The Convenient Cowboy right now from these stores:
iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble
If you’d like to learn more about Ann and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using @AnnBHarrison. And don’t forget to follow her on Bookbub to get notifications of more deals and news.