Monday, April 16, 2012

Unridden, Cat Johnson - Studs in Spurs Series

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An excerpt from

 When country boys meet a city girl, everyone is in for a wild ride.

Studs in Spurs, Book 1
Slade Bower and Mustang Jackson are living the high life on the professional bull-riding circuit. The prize money is big, the bulls are rank and the women are willing. But something is missing.
For Slade, waking up in a different city with a different woman each morning is holding less and less appeal. Even Mustang’s creative attempts to shake things up don’t help. Then along comes a big-city author who’s like nothing they’ve ever encountered. Something about her makes Slade sit up and take notice—and Mustang is always up for anything.
Romance writer Jenna Block has a problem—her agent thinks a cowboy book will jump-start her career. A born New Yorker, Jenna doesn’t do cowboys, not on paper, and definitely not in real life. Luckily for her there are two cowboys ready, willing and able to take her out of her comfort zone in every way that counts…and some ways she hadn’t counted on.
Warning: This story contains two hot cowboys, one very lucky woman, hot ménage sex and lots of bull.

EXCERPT (rated G):
Evaluating that night’s possibilities, Mustang’s gaze swept the females in the stands until it landed on one woman who made him stop dead in his perusal.

He jumped up onto the rail of the chute and hissed to Slade, “Second section, fourth row back, reddish-brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, black turtleneck.”

In the process of tugging the rope that stretched beneath the bull and winding it once around his gloved hand, Slade frowned up at Mustang from the animal’s back. “I’m in the middle of taking my wrap and you’re pointing out some woman to me? In a turtleneck, no less? Since when are you interested in women whose chest isn’t hanging out?”

“This woman’s different, Slade. I can tell.” The bull hopped once in the chute and Mustang quickly reached over and grabbed the back of Slade’s vest, steadying him on the animal’s back.

“Dammit, Mustang, quit distracting me.” Slade settled himself again and then gave a nod. The cowboy on the ground swung the gate open to release both bull and rider into the arena.

“Talk to you more when you get off,” Mustang called after him.

As Mustang watched his friend disappear into a cloud of dust, Chase Reese hopped up onto the rail next to him.

“Slade’s amazing. It’s like he’s glued onto that bull. I wish I could do that. I went two for ten last series.” The kid had been favored for Rookie of the Year until he’d hit a dry streak.

That’s because you look at the ground.” Mustang followed Slade’s progress while the bull spun around to the left without deviation, from one end of the arena to the other.

The eight-second buzzer sounded and Slade released the rope wrapped around his hand. He jumped off the bull, hit the ground with his shoulder and then rolled to avoid a hoof to the ribcage before the bullfighters redirected the charging animal away from him.

“I do what?”

Seeing his friend was safe, Mustang took the time to answer Chase’s question. Damn, had he ever been this young? The kid probably didn’t even have to shave once a week.

“You’re looking down at the ground while you ride. If you look there, you’re gonna end up there. It’s a fact. Now, ’scuse me. I gotta talk to Slade.”

Leaving the kid with an amazed expression on his face, as if he’d just been handed all the secrets of the universe, Mustang jumped down to go meet Slade behind the chutes.

“Hey, man. Good ride. That bull was one hell of a spinner, huh?”

Slade laughed and pulled the tape from around his wrist where it held the glove on his riding hand firmly in place. “Hell yeah. They weren’t kidding when they said he came out of the spinner pen. Felt like I was on a ride at the county fair.”

“Now we’re both done riding for the night, we have to formulate a plan,” Mustang began.

“For what?”

“To reel in that woman I told you about.”

Slade dismissed that with a wave of his hand. “Just do whatever it is you usually do.”

Mustang shook his head. “The usual isn’t going to work on her.”

Slade sighed. “Where did you say she’s sitting?”

Ha! Slade had given in and was actually showing some interest. Smiling, Mustang narrowed his eyes and easily found her again in the stands. She was writing feverishly while trying to watch the rider in the arena at the same time. He tilted his head toward the section directly behind them. “Far end of the fourth row.”

“What the hell is she doing?” Slade frowned as he watched her.

“Hell if I know, but I think she’s taking notes. See what I mean? This woman is special. She isn’t going to just fall into our bed.”

Her hair wasn’t huge, she wasn’t made up like a showgirl and her clothes showed curves but not an inch of skin. She was different, which was what had drawn Mustang’s attention to her in the first place.

Since Slade had been in his strange funk lately, Mustang figured he’d try something unusual. Hell, even the two eighteen-year-olds going at each other in front of them barely got a rise out of his friend. Mustang was running out of ideas, but this woman… She was pretty much the opposite of their usual conquest and that might be exactly what they needed. It was worth a shot to cheer Slade up. Besides, never opposed to trying new things, he could use a bit of a change himself once in a while.

“Mustang, she’s probably a damned reporter. That’s all I need, to be featured in some exposé. I can see the headline now. ‘Slade Bower, third-ranking bull rider in the world, propositions reporter for a threesome with former Rookie of the Year, Mustang Jackson.’ That will go over real well with the fans in the Bible Belt.” Slade scowled at Mustang. “Pick someone else. How about the one bouncing up and down over there? She’s about to pop right out of that top. You might want to keep an eye on her.”

Mustang glanced her way. “Yeah, I saw her already. I’m set on the other one.”

Laughing, Slade shook his head. “Good luck ’cause I can just about see the stick up her ass from here. That one is wound tight, but you go for it, man, and I’ll enjoy watching you get shot down.”

Mustang raised a brow. “Is that a challenge, my friend?”

Slade let out a short laugh. “No, it’s the truth.”

“Well, I think you’re wrong. Sometimes it’s the quiet ones that are the wildest once you get them naked.”

“And you think you can get her naked?”

Mustang nodded. “Yup. I do.”

“Well, I’d like to see that.”

Grinning, Mustang slapped his friend on the back. “Don’t worry. You’ll be there too.”

Slade shook his head. “Maybe, and that is a big maybe, you might be able to get that woman naked, with enough alcohol and bull, but no frigging way will she agree to both of us. Never in a million years.”

Feeling cocky and never one to resist a challenge, Mustang crossed his arms and dug in his heels. “We’ll see. You willing to make a bet on that?”

Unridden is a medium length story but does not suffer for the short length. Instead this story does an amazing job, in a short time, creating a believable story.

Jenna Block is a romance writer who has found her stories nolonger marketable due to changing reader interests. Her agent suggests that she write a story featuring Cowboys and Hot Steamy Love Scenes. Unfortunately she knows nothing about Cowboys since she is a citygirl. And her love scenes havebeen criticized in the past for being too boring and uneventful. Lucky for her during her RomanceWriters convention there is a Bull Riding Competition going on in the same townpresenting her with the opportunity to interview Cowboys up close and personal.

Slade and Mustang live hard lives as Professional BullRiders. Traveling all the time andputting their lives on the line every night – they do what they love and lovethe adrenaline rush from it. However, once out of the ring their only source of comfort comes fromthe Buckle Bunny Groupies hanging around hoping for their own 8 secondride. But even that gets old soover time they become more and more inventive trying to keep it interesting.

Jenna however is completely different from the trashy, easygirls they usually encounter. Her smart, city girl personality has them instantly intrigued and holding theirattention like know one else has.

So I won’t go into more of the story line in an effort tonot spoil it since it is a shorter story. However, let me preface this by saying that I don’t normally read and/or like ménage books mostly because I have not found one before that did a good job explaining why the individuals would want that sort of relationship. I have to say this story was both refreshing and a truly believable compared to every other ménage I have read –well except for Paloma Beck’s story which is due to be released soon. What was so great about this is thatSlade and Mustang’s characters are well developed prior to them meeting Jenna. The reader understands whythey are sharing women and that it is just a way to spice things up. They are not doing it out of some needto always be with the same women but more because Slade isn’t the type to seekout women and would otherwise probably be alone if it wasn’t for Mustang’sefforts to keep him from a lonely depressed life. Mustang is the talker with a charismatic soul. He draws Slade out of his shell andencourages him to live life instead of falling into a rut due to their hard wayof life. As for Mustang, includingSlade is just for the kicks of making their encounters more exciting not out ofsome motivation to always have Slade around. When they meet Jenna the tendency to want to share her is doprimarily to the fact that they have been sharing women for months not necessarily because they are both interested at that point. Although both men find her fascinating and attractive the level of attraction varies between them. One guy, again I won’t give away too many details, wants her and pursues her for the challenge. But the other guy sees in her a woman that could be something to hold onto long term. Jenna acceptstheir proposition to be with them for many reasons. Although she is attracted to them both she too feels more ofa connection with one over the other. Her desire to rise above feeling old due to her birthday, too spice upher love life to help her writing abilities, and simply to take a chance on a once in a lifetime opportunity to be with two stunning men cause her to take achance.

In the end they each reach the end of the week in towntogether with their own conclusion and thoughts about the future and whether or not seeing each other again is a possibility. Although their “all together” encounters are hot it is the one on one time between two of them that really lingers in the couplessoul. It was refreshing to read a ménage that has one person stepping aside and leaving a healthy happy couple. I love a strong man who does not want to share once he has found “the one”. Ms. Johnson does an excellent job telling where eachcharacter is coming from and where their hearts are allowing a healthy end forall involved so that they can each continue to be friends regardless of theirchanging roles in the relationship. This story is very well written and sets the stage for a wonderfulseries full of great characters and more wild adventures. Simply a wonderful story…

Rating: I give this one 5 chocolate-dipped strawberries.
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