Free Read: RODEO KING!

What better way to start off a Monday, than with a freebie?

Today through Wednesday, CiCi (aka Char and Cheryl) is offering their very first book, RODEO KING, as a free download over at Amazon. This is the book that cemented a partnership and brought about the creation of CiCi Cordelia, who always Writes from the Heart.

From the Back Cover:

Caleb Johnson, ‘King of the Rodeo,’ is on his way to becoming Wyoming’s National Champion. Until an ornery bull sidelines him with a potentially career-ending injury. Returning home to recuperate puts him in the path of Rosemary Carmichael, the girl he deserted to become a rodeo star.

Now he’s got to figure out what he really wants: returning to the rodeo circuit and going for that big, National prize, or convincing the woman he loves that he wants a life with her . . . and the son he never knew he had.

We had so much fun writing contemporary Western romance, we knew we’d want to revisit that genre again. And of course we did, though we set our new series, Brides of Little Creede, in the past instead of the present. But when it comes to Western romance, it’s all good!

Here’s the link to RODEO KING!  Amazon:

We hope you’ll give it a whirl, and if you like what you read, we would surely appreciate a review.

And, here’s an excerpt to whet your whistle:

 

As Caleb walked down the mostly deserted streets, everyone inside drinking, having dinner, or shopping, with a few stragglers wandering about, he glanced at his watch. Six-thirty. There’d be time to catch a bite and a beer before grabbing a room. He might look up Mason. Word was his old buddy still lived here, and had the veterinary clinic he’d always dreamed of.

Good for him.

A tight knot curled in Caleb’s gut. He should have kept in contact with Mason, but he’d let their friendship fall away after sleeping with the man’s sister. He raked his fingers through his hair and blew out a strained breath.

When did I become such a bastard? But he knew. It was the moment he’d slipped from Rosemary’s bed and hightailed it out of town.

Now in serious need of a drink, Caleb hoofed it down the street, albeit at a slow pace, toward the local brewpub. It was a warm, muggy evening and his shirt stuck to his back as he approached the pub. He licked his dry lips, eager to taste the cold brew. As he headed up the sidewalk, a door flew open a few buildings from the pub, and a man stepped out, calling his name.

Caleb turned slightly and recognized Mason standing just outside the door under a sign lettered with ‘Mason’s Veterinary Service.’

He set his suitcase down again. “Damn, Carmichael,” he said, grinning, “how the hell are you, man?”

Mason’s expression darkened ominously and Caleb lost his smile.

Well, I guess that answers that question.

When Mason came toward him with murder in the tense lines of his body, Caleb didn’t even try to defend himself as the man brought his fist back and swung at him. He deserved the beat-down he was about to take. It wasn’t a glancing blow and pain radiated through his jaw as he fell onto his ass. His Stetson flew off his head and landed on the sidewalk.

He stared up at his former friend as he fingered his jaw, rotating it to see if it was broken. It wasn’t. Not yet, anyway. “Feel better?”

Mason stormed toward him, reaching down to grip the front of his shirt, and jerked him to his feet. The movement sent fire shooting through Caleb’s leg and he gritted his teeth against the pain.

“Not by a long shot, you son of a bitch.” Mason reared back to punch him again.

Caleb narrowed his eyes, but didn’t fight back, although anger bent the edges of his control. He’d let Mason get in a few more punches before he defended himself. It was the least he could do after sleeping with his pal’s baby sister.

But Caleb’s patience only went so far . . .

“Mason. Stop!” The feminine voice shot across the semi-darkness and both men froze.

Mason glared at him. “You have no damned idea what you did, do you?”

Caleb couldn’t help it as images of making love to Rosemary flooded his mind. He chuckled. “I’ve got a pretty good idea.”

Yep. He really did deserve the next punch Mason threw his way, reconnecting with his aching jaw and sending him back a few feet, though he managed to remain standing. The force of the blow made him bite hard on the inside of his cheek.

“Mason, no!” Rosemary rushed toward them.

A different woman’s voice called from the same direction. “Hit him harder next time, Mason.”

Caleb spat blood. “Are we done?”

“Not even close,” Mason growled.

Rosemary grabbed her brother’s arm and tugged. “Mason, don’t, damn it.”

Caleb shifted his gaze to Rosemary, and every muscle in his body seized along with his breath, as she flipped her long, wavy hair over one shoulder. She was even more beautiful than he remembered. He wanted to bury his hands in those thick red locks and take her sweet mouth in a kiss. Her heart-shaped face held a healthy freshness, her lips plump and rosy, but her figure now fully a woman’s, generously curved in all the right places.

Perfection.

His body responded to her lush beauty, just like it always had, and he was thankful for the dim light as he shifted slightly to relieve the pressure under his button fly.

Another woman he recognized from high school had come up behind her, but he couldn’t recall her name. A little boy held her hand, his small frame tucked against her leg.

Regret filled him. They were fighting in front of a kid. He turned back to Rosemary, ignoring her brother completely. “Hi,” he said softly, his heart pounding fast.

Her mouth tightened. She didn’t act happy to see him, and rather than return his greeting, she glanced up at her brother. “Let’s just go.”

Go? Hell, no! Caleb didn’t want her to leave, he just wanted to stare at her a little longer. She was like candy to his soul and he was starving for her. By the hard expression on her face, she didn’t want a thing to do with him.

And who could blame her?

What had he been thinking, walking away from this woman?

Mason’s posture relaxed as he glanced over to the woman and little boy. His kid? Caleb hadn’t heard about Rosemary’s brother getting hitched or anything.

“Mommy, can we go home now?” the boy asked in a soft voice.

“In a moment, sweetheart,” Rosemary replied gently.

Caleb’s world went black, and for a moment he couldn’t breathe as his legs shook beneath him, the implication of what just happened like a crowbar to the kneecaps.

He turned toward the little boy, peeking out from behind the woman who still held his hand. Inhaling sharply, Caleb stared into eyes that mirrored his own, a child wearing his face and shocking red hair like his mother’s.

His son.

Happy Monday, all, and Happy Reading!

 

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