EIGHT SECOND RIDE by Anne Jolin
Series: Willow Bay Stables #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
— SYNOPSIS —
Owen Daniels lives his life eight seconds at a time. The thrill of anticipation that comes with sitting on twelve hundred pounds of untamed power is unparalleled. The adrenaline rush that floods his system when the chute opens is one of life’s most unique and natural highs.
Ride eight seconds bareback on a bucking bronco—that’s his life.
When Owen’s stock horse, Remington’s Lady, is injured midway through the rodeo circuit, he trailers her back home to Willow Bay, Alberta, to remain in the care of the local vet, Ray Brookes.
Months later, with a truck bed full of buckles, Owen comes home to collect his Lady from the man he trusted to help her recover. Only Ray happens to be short for Rayne, and Rayne happens to be a woman.
And this woman wants nothing to do with a cowboy fresh off the circuit. As far as she’s concerned, he can take his buckles, boots, and spurs right back on out of her life.
Will Rayne keep them from holding on to their eight-second ride? Or will love buck out of the chute in time for a perfect score?
— EXCERPT —
<style=”text-align: left;”>Shoving the last (a bit too large) bite of bran muffin into my mouth, I push out the doors that led to the clinic’s driveway.
There was a dusty red pickup truck with a horse trailer hitched to the back blocking my view of the barn. Sidestepping around it, I opened the file in my hand to refresh my memory. We’d had Lady here for a little over four months, but I liked to cover all the bases with an owner before we discharged an animal from our care.
“Oh, here she is!” I heard Nora boom over the flat land.
Next was a deep and gravelly voice. “She?”
Lifting up my head, I choked on my muffin.
That was literally all I could see. A ten-gallon, tan cowboy hat and a Wrangler-clad ass. Somewhere in between, I was pretty sure I’d skimmed over some pretty impressive muscles, but that butt…
My coughing (from my choking) must have encouraged him to turn.
I declared the front wasn’t so bad either.
He stood at what I had to guess was at least six foot four and stretched across the broad expanse of his chest was a faded black T-shirt. The man looked rough, not in a bad way, but in the kind of way that made you wish you could spend a lifetime curled up in his lap. A five o’clock shadow darkened his hard jaw, and eyes as green as the summer grass watched me as I stopped a few feet from him.
“I’ll be on my way,” Nora muttered and disappeared across the parking lot.
The silence left in her wake made me uncomfortable so, after swallowing, I decided to fill it.
“Ray Brookes.” I held out my hand to him, and he studied it.
Eventually, he slid a much larger, calloused hand into mine and squeezed. “Darlin’, I’ve met Ray Brookes, and you sure as hell ain’t him.”
“Oh.” I tugged at my hand a little as a result of the odd backhanded compliment, but it didn’t budge. “I’m sorry.”
“Nothin’ you need to be apologizin’ for.”
He was rough around the edges but charming in a way that cowboys so often were. They were a legend after all, weren’t they?