Rode Hard

Book 2 of the Rough Riders Series

Workin’ up a hot, sticky sweat is pure pleasure with a hard-ridin’ cowboy….

Widowed, struggling stock contractor Gemma Jansen swallows her pride and tracks down former bull rider Cash Big Crow to offer him a job managing her ranch. Cash agrees on one condition: it won’t be a strictly working relationship. She’s the boss during the day, but once she’s corralled in the bedroom, Cash calls the shots.

Meanwhile, Carter McKay is spending his summer at the Bar 9 Ranch preparing for an art show. But he’s definitely not prepared for the immediate visceral connection he feels to Cash’s sexy and sassy daughter Macie Honeycutt. Lust flares between them and Macie proves she’s up for any dirty fun and games that sweet and wild Carter dreams up.

Gemma struggles with her feelings for Cash–except this time, Cash has grabbed the bull by the horns. He has to convince Gemma he’s playing for keeps.

The more time Macie spends with Carter the harder she falls for him. But will the brooding artist understand that trust is just as important as love?

It’s going to be a long, hot summer in Wyoming.

Praise for Rode Hard »

  • This continuation of the Rough Riders not only gives readers the wild, sexy ride the title suggests, it delves into the emotions and motivations of both couples. Secondary characters complement the action of intertwining plots that consistently entertain…Definitely a keeper.

    RT Book Reviews Magazine

  • Lorelei James definitely has a talent for telling hot cowboy stories that will have readers longing for one of their very own…the sex is hot, but it’s the emotional context that ensures it’s a story you’ll remember.

    Romance Junkies

  • This book was like having two romances in one. The dialogue was excellent… you could easily visualize the scenes and the transitions from Gemma/Cash to Carter/Macie, didn’t distract from the super hot sexy romance between the couples.

    The Romance Studio

  • Rode Hard is a multi-generational Western saga that I found highly enjoyable. Ms. James intricately weaves all four characters into one cohesive story…plenty of steamy love scenes that will have you reaching for your own hottie! I hope that Ms. James will return to this setting, giving us more of the McKay family’s stories in the future.

    Just Erotic Romance Reviews

  • Rode Hard is a well written and plotted gem of a read that easily handles two emotionally and physically intense relationships at the same time, artfully weaving them into a cohesive story that I found myself racing to finish…The story is fast paced, and filled with witty, sexy dialogue and realistic situations.

    Literary Nymphs

  • A great cowboy treat as well as being a hot story… For all who want two stories in one, I would recommend this book highly.

    Fallen Angels Reviews

Excerpt »

“Has Cash Big Crow been in here?”

The man lifted one pierced brow. “You’re the second person to ask me that. No one’s been in here for a coupla hours. Been a yawner today.” He refocused on the girlie magazine on the exam table.

Damn. Where could Cash be? Hopefully he hadn’t left.

Gemma cut through the contestant’s area, steering clear of the motor home, which housed the rodeo headquarters. She’d been in and out of that rig several times in a fruitless endeavor to convince rodeo promoters to give her a shot as a rough stock contractor.

As much as westerners claimed gender bias or prejudice no longer had a foothold in the western way of life, it simply wasn’t true. After her husband Steve died, Gemma had gradually been shut out of supplying stock for nearly every rodeo on the circuit. She was beyond frustrated with the “old boy” system but she was too stubborn to quit.

In the meantime, her ranch needed attention and she couldn’t concentrate on expanding her rodeo stock operation until she fixed the problems that paid the bills.

A bank of gray clouds floated overhead, covering the sun, sending dark shadows skittering across the chalky vanilla-colored dirt. She glanced at the paddock across from the arena and noticed the stocky cowboy leaning on the white metal corrals.

Her heart slammed. She hadn’t seen him for almost a year, yet she’d watched him often enough she’d memorized how he looked from behind. A braid swung against his broad shoulders, the rest of his coal black hair remained hidden beneath a beat-up cowboy hat. Tight Wranglers showcased his tight ass. The toes of his boots pointed out, as he was a little bowlegged. She knew his face was a little worn, but handsome. When she was within twenty yards an anticipatory smile bloomed.

The smile died when a shout caused Cash to turn. A young woman launched herself straight into Cash’s outstretched arms. Cash kissed the woman and spun her in a circle, causing a feminine squeal of delight.

Gemma froze, unable to slink away from the intimate exchange. Cash set down the hot chickie and squeezed her curvy body tightly against his. While she talked a blue streak, he tipped her head back, tenderly smoothing away a section of her long brown hair.

Gemma’s lips tingled in remembrance of when Cash had touched her that way. Reverently. Confidently. Sweetly.

She could’ve had that. Could’ve had him looking at her that way. Instead, he was grinning at the Indian princess like she’d hung the moon and the stars.

There was no fool like an old fool. Gemma backed up, preparing to retreat. But a gust of wind ripped off the young woman’s straw hat and blew it directly toward her.

Cash gave chase until he caught the hat ten feet from where Gemma stood. His gaze started at the scuffed toes of Gemma’s dirty ropers and traveled up her body to lock on her eyes. He blinked. “Gemma? Is that really you?”

Rather than snap off a smart answer, Gemma escaped. Cash shouted her name but she didn’t slow down until she’d reached the area where she’d parked her horse trailer. She zigzagged through the maze of silver and black steel until she found hers. Leaning her forehead against the heated metal, she fumbled for her keys.

Fool fool fool. Dammit. Why had she hoped Cash would wait around for her to get her head on straight? Especially after she’d told him she didn’t want to get involved with him at all? What had she expected? And why in the hell had she bolted like a spooked filly the second she’d seen him? Lord. She was forty-eight years old, not eight.

Dry grass crunched behind her and she wheeled around.

Cash’s luminous, coffee-colored eyes stared back at her. “Dammit, Gemma, I know you heard me yellin’ at you. Why didn’t you stop?”

“Because I didn’t want to intrude.”

“Intrude on what?”

She turned, shoving the key in the locked door. “Don’t tease me, Cash.”

“Tease you? I know I ain’t always the brightest bulb in the box, but what the devil are you talkin’ ’bout? Intrude on what?” He grabbed her shoulder and forced her to look at him.

“You and—”

Just then the gorgeous young Indian princess sidled in behind Cash. Silent. Watchful. A stunning vision of youth and beauty. A sharp reminder of everything Gemma was not.

“Me and who?” he demanded.

Her. “Never mind.”

“Huh-uh. I ain’t seen you in almost a year so I wanna know why you were lookin’ for me.”

Gemma ground her teeth together.

“If you were so hell-bent on findin’ me why’d you race off without sayin’ a word?”

“Because once I found you, I realized it was a bad time. I didn’t mean to interrupt you…and your girlfriend. Besides, I figured I’d catch up with you later.”

A sly smile lit up Cash’s face. “Then why am I the one who had to chase you down, eh?”

Crap.

“Lemme tell you what I think.” His breath tickled her ear as he whispered, “I believe you took off because you’re jealous.”

Jealous? More like mortified. Gemma had half a mind to crawl under the horse trailer and hide until Cash and his jailbait buckle bunny disappeared. She managed a small snort of disgust. “Jealous? Not hardly.”

“Really? You want an explanation for what you saw by the corrals?”

Yes. “No.”

“Or an introduction to my girlfriend?”

The girlfriend gasped.

“You don’t owe me nothin’, Cash. Just forget it.”

Cash grabbed the young woman’s hand, dragging her front and center. “I’d love to milk this jealous side of you for all it’s worth, but I ain’t that mean. Or that patient. Gemma, meet my daughter, Macie Honeycutt. Macie, Gemma Jansen.”

LJLA, LLC
(November 3, 2014)
340 pages
ISBN: 978-1941869987

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