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Book Spotlight: Book of Love by Constance Bretes

17 Dec

Book of Love by Constance BretesBook of Love

A librarian, a mechanic, and a psychotic ex. What could go wrong?

When her marriage came to a devastating end, Janice Meyers moved to Montana to try to escape her past and get a fresh start. She’s sworn off men, but she didn’t anticipate meeting Chris.

After the death of his wife, Chris Jamisen focused all his time and energy on running his auto repair shop and raising his children. He’s not looking for love, and when he first meets Janice, the town’s new librarian, he never imagines they might embark on a relationship. Sure, he’ll admit he finds the smart, sexy blonde attractive, but the frustrating woman expects miracles from him. Her vehicle is practically beyond repair, but she insists he has to keep it running.

As Chris gets to know Janice, he begins to develop feelings for her, but he’s reluctant to pursue a relationship. He’s Native American, and he worries about the complications of a biracial relationship. He’s experienced prejudice first hand, so he knows how difficult it can be.

When Janice’s ex-husband shows up seeking revenge, things could reach a horrible end. Will Chris save Janice in time? And will he and Janice be able to set aside their painful pasts and give their relationship a chance?

Content Warning: contains some sexual content


Janice had butterflies in her stomach as five o’clock came and Chris arrived at the library.

“Hi, Chris,” Janice said.

“Hello. What’s this all about?” he asked pensively.

“I wanted to take you downstairs to the basement and show you something,” she said.

They walked down the stairs, Chris following Janice. When she turned on the light a rat slithered across the floor, and she let out a shriek. Chris looked around the room.

“We have all these books here,” Janice said. She lifted one of the old books and opened it to the pages and within where some were eaten away. “The vermin and bugs have been attacking these, and in some cases, the books have disintegrated. See here? This is a book about Colstrip back in the 1800s and we can’t even open the book to read it because it has totally disintegrated inside. Some of these books are real gems. This is one of a first edition, Samuel Clemens, do you know of him?”


“His pen name is Mark Twain. He wrote Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.”

“Oh,” Chris replied.

“Look at his book. It’s totally destroyed, and it would have been worth a lot of money now, if it had survived.”

Janice went over to the ladder and stepped up on it to show Chris the books on the top shelf. The ladder gave way, and she came crashing down. Chris caught her before she fell to the floor.

“Are you okay?” he asked, concern in his tone.

“Um, yeah, I think so.” She put her feet on the floor and turned, facing Chris, her breasts against his chest. His arms were around her waist, holding her tightly. His breath mingled with hers, and he was looking down at her lips.

Oh, she wanted him to kiss her. Please, please kiss me. The sweet, intoxicating musk of his body overwhelmed her. He bent slightly toward her, and his lips touched hers softly. She kissed him back, lingering, savoring every moment. She felt the kiss all the way through her body as she put her arms around him. A loud rustling noise broke their kiss with a start.

Chris looked around and saw that there were rats in the corner rattling paper. He turned back to her. “Are we finished here?”

“Yes, I think we are.” Janice hoped she had convinced him that there was work to be done in the basement.

When they went upstairs, he turned around and asked her huskily, “What was the purpose of our little meeting, Janice?”

Janice thought about how she should answer the question then said, “I submitted the request to the mayor’s office for several things, and I heard that you would probably be the one person that would oppose spending any money for the project I’m suggesting, so I wanted to show you the benefit of my proposal and the problems we are faced with currently.”

Chris had a gentle smile on his face as he looked at her. “Good persuasion, Janice. Does that include the kiss too?”

Janice looked down at her feet, embarrassed. “No, the kiss was not part of the persuasion. At least, not on my part.”

You can find Book of Love at:

Barnes & Noble

Beachwalk Press

Constance Bretes, author of of Book of Love , a romantic suspense Constance Bretes, Author

Other books by Constance Bretes:

Delayed Justice
Can two former lovers set aside their differences and work together to bring a criminal to justice?

The Last Dig
Bones, Bodies and Love Rekindled

Love Songs
Separated by fame, reunited through music



Writing Quirks & Must-Haves by T.J. Kline, Author of Learning the Ropes

21 Oct

Learning the Ropes, a contemporary western romance by T.J. KlineI like to think that I’m fairly laid back compared to most people. When I hear about celebrities that demand a list of items at every appearance, I wonder what makes them feel so entitled. But then I started to think about what I feel like I need in order to write and I realize it’s not entitlement as much as it is having the right circumstances in order to best perform. Like an athlete eating a proper diet to fuel a workout, there are certain things that put me in the frame of mind to work at the top of my game.

1) Internet
I get that this might not make a lot of sense to some writers who find themselves distracted by the constant barrage of social media but I must have an internet connection. If, for no other reason, than I always have a thesaurus ready. I don’t have time to keep flipping in a physical one. I want a quick suggestion so I don’t lose my writing “zone.”

2) A clean desk
I don’t demand an empty desk by any means but I do insist that I don’t have papers strung out across my work space. It needs to be tidy, dust free and, preferably, have a window nearby for natural lighting so that, when I get stuck in a scene, I can stare into space and figure it out in my head. Too much clutter makes me cringe so I do a weekly paper purge where everything is either filed away or thrown away.

3) Coffee
It’s a bit cliché, I know, but I love my morning coffee. If I don’t have it, there better be a good reason (like Armageddon or a zombie apocalypse.) I like it strong, dark and with whipped cream. Hmmm, sounds like the hero of a romance novel. In my world, coffee is a hero!

4) Quiet
With three teens, a husband, three dogs and three cats, we have a busy household. That busy-ness can get loud, rambunctious and chaotic, which makes writing difficult at times. My best writing moments are usually when I can shut out everything around me and focus on the story so once the last child leaves for school in the morning, I have the peace and quiet I love.

5) Water
As much as I’d like to, my body doesn’t like to have coffee all day long. It does want to sleep at night. Once lunch time rolls around, I make the switch to water, and tons of it. I usually drink a gallon a day in the form of filtered water and seltzer water (coconut and apricot being my favorite flavored waters). And ice, lots of ice! I suppose I should add a bathroom to this list, as all of the water does make it a bit of a must.

6) Good chair
This is a recent addition for me. I love to sit and write on the couch, or in a recliner, but I’ve been noticing more nerve issues with my back lately and upgraded my chair in my office to a plush, ergonomic one. It’s made a world of difference and now, I’m spoiled. I want nothing less.

7) Music
I know, I said I like quiet but I also like the option of music to fit my story. Most of the time, that means country music but having Spotify (I am in no way affiliated, I just love it) I’m able to set up several playlists and pick whatever tunes fit my mood. I also love the fact that I can add and subtract music easily so that I don’t find myself singing instead of writing.

8) Colored pens
Colored pens are my little guilty pleasure. Recently, I found several packs in my desk, unopened, because I just can’t ever have enough. I love writing notes in color. I’m sure there is some psychological reason for it but I don’t really care. All I know is I will use a black or blue pen if I must, but if you give me a purple, turquoise or green pen, I’ll write notes and plot all day long without getting tired or bored.

9) Post-its
Yes, another guilty purchase but this one serves a purpose. I buy colored Post-its in various sizes but these are what I plot stories on. I keep a notebook nearby, labeled by chapter, and when an idea hits, it goes on a Post-it. Usually, one idea leads to several and I find I can plot entire chapters this way. Or, I take the notebook and Post-its with me on the road and plot while waiting in line. Each color will represent a different point of view (Hero/Heroine) or plot point (conflict/love) and the colors let me see if I have too much of any point of view, conflict or love scenes at a glance.

10) Melt Warmer
Who wouldn’t want their work area to smell nice? You know these things where you put a square of scented wax over a light bulb to melt. I have them in several rooms but I tend to keep scents to suit the seasons. Summer is vanilla or fruit, Fall is pumpkin or spices and Winter is some sort of peppermint.

I’ve come to realize that it’s not a matter of being an entitled diva to want these things but knowing they help me work better, faster and just make me a happier writer.

What are your workspace quirks and must-haves?

Learning the Ropes


Rule #1—Don’t lose focus…

Barrel racer Alicia Kanani has had a long road to the top – and she’s not quite there yet. Finances have always been tight, and in the glitz and glam world of professional rodeo, that means that second best is probably the best she can hope for. With the National Finals coming up, she’s certainly not looking for a pair of cowboys to distract her.

Rule #2—Don’t gamble what you can’t live without…

Playboy Chris Thomas is sure Alicia’s the perfect woman for his level-headed team roping partner, David Greenly. It seems like a match, until Chris realizes he wants Alicia for himself. The stakes have been raised; David and Chris are supposed to be a team, and this time, they’re on opposite sides.

Can Alicia rope this playboy’s heart, or will they find themselves too tangled up to let true love in?


“Remember that swimming hole off the highway, near Jackson Ranch Road?”

She laughed and nodded. “I haven’t been there in years. We used to go every weekend.”

“We need to go now.”

We? Was he asking her out? Or was this just a friendly outing, reliving old memories?

“You wouldn’t be trying to get me into a bathing suit just to see my tattoo, would you?”

Chris gave her a mischievous grin that made her stomach do a backflip. “So it’s something a suit won’t cover?”

She regretted saying anything and didn’t answer his question. “I could use a break and with Dad leaving this week for the show, there won’t be much to do that the grooms can’t handle,” she said, changing the subject.

“We can make a day of it. Take lunch and just hang out, like old times. I have to help Dad tomorrow. What about Tuesday?”

She nodded and heard the sound of a hoof hitting metal. “Do you think that’s yours or mine getting impatient?” She glanced at the trailers and saw Beast with his head hanging out the window. “Looks like it’s mine. I’d better get going.” She reached into her purse to grab her wallet.

“I’ve got it.”

He slipped his credit card to the waitress, signing for the meal and rising to walk out with her. His hand slid to her lower back and her skin tingled at his touch, lightning shooting from his fingers directly into her belly and down her limbs. She knew better than to make more of his simple gesture than it was but couldn’t help the pace of her heart. As she approached the trailer, she stepped onto the side rail to close the windows.

“Get your head in there, Beast. We’re going home.”

Chris moved behind her, with a hand on either side of her, and closed the window. She spun and found herself eye to eye with him, her breath catching in her throat as he stared at her lips.

“Um, thanks,” she whispered, surprised she could get any sound out at all. She laid her hands on his shoulders, prepared to step down when he moved.

Instead of moving backward, Chris’s hands found her waist and he lifted her from the side of the trailer and set her on the ground. She couldn’t get her bearings with his hands on her ribcage and her fingers slid down the muscles of his biceps to grip his forearms. His eyes were dark with longing and she realized what he intended only moments before his mouth met hers in a scorching kiss.

They moved backward until she was pressed against the side of her truck, with every inch of him heating her flesh, his hands buried in her hair. His lips tasted her, teasing, branding her, demanding a response. She couldn’t help herself as her fingers trailed up around his neck, drawing him down to her, closer. His lips moved from her mouth to her ear and down the side of her neck sending shivers of pleasure down her spine. His fingers trailed over her spine as she whispered his name, near frantic with yearning.

He growled and stepped away from her abruptly, leaving her trembling with longing. “Ali, what are we doing?”

She wasn’t sure what he expected her to say. Her mind was still spinning with the dizzy exhilaration of his touch. When her eyes met his, she could see regret. She wasn’t sorry he’d kissed her in the slightest. In fact, she wanted him to do it again, but she could see the guilt rising over him, drowning him with shame. Without another word, he turned and walked to his truck, climbing inside, leaving her standing beside hers with her hand over her kiss-swollen lips, wondering what just happened and how she was going to make it right.

You can buy T.J. Kline’s books at:

Learning the Ropes at

Rodeo Queen at

The Cowboy and the Angel at

Rodeo Queen, a contemporary western romance by T.J. Kline The Cowboy and the Angel, a contemporary western romance by T.J. Kline


T.J. Kline, Author of The Cowboy and the Angel, a contemporary western romance

Bio: T.J. Kline was bitten by the horse bug early and began training horses at fourteen as well as competing in rodeos and winning several rodeo queen competitions but has always known writing was her first love. She also writes under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her spare time, she can be found spending as much time as possible, laughing hysterically, with her husband, teens and their menagerie of pets in Northern California.

You can find T.J. at:

Facebook | Website/Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest


Interview With Charlotte Copper, Author of Heart Shifter

22 Sep

 Heart Shifter, a paranormal romance by Charlotte CopperI’m delighted to welcome Charlotte Copper for an interview and a look at hernew  paranormal romance, Heart Shifter.

Hi, Charlotte, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Heart Shifter.

Hi Babette, thank you so much for allowing me to visit your blog. Here’s the blurb:

Mitch Mingan has chosen to remain a bachelor; he doesn’t want anyone else to suffer his destiny. But when his cousin Ken dies leaving behind twin boys, it is up to Mitch to ensure his nephews are ready for what lies ahead. Inviting Ken’s widow Sarah and the boys up for the summer seems like a perfect start.

For Sarah, a summer up north is the perfect opportunity for her sons to get to know their father’s family. It’s also a chance for Sarah to learn the truth behind why her husband left his childhood home at such an early age. What she doesn’t count on is falling for their handsome host. She also doesn’t count on finding out the family legacy: Mingan means wolf!

What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?

I’ve been holding onto a piece about an angel and a witch, working title White Aura. I didn’t want to submit it until Heart Shifter was up and running, so it’s just with my editor now. Whether it will make it for this year or not, I don’t know.

What are your writing goals for this year?

I’ve got a novella that I’ve been working on. I’m stuck on how to finish, so I’m hoping Santa will bring me a great ending for it.

How do you balance writing and everyday life?

I don’t. I have far too much on my plate, and unfortunately I squeeze in writing where I can. My daughter will be heading to university in September 2015 and then I figure I will have TONS of free time to write.

What is your favorite memory from childhood?

I’ve never been a fan of squash and turnip, but my uncle always made one or the other at Christmas.  One year, my mother said “if you don’t eat it, you’ll go without dinner”. I said “fine” and went to the living room where my grandfather was just preparing to come to dinner. He asked why I wasn’t at the table and I told him. He said “oh don’t worry, I’m not going to eat it either.”  Needless to say, my mother was not impressed.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Although I’ve never been, I really, really want to go to Greece.

What is your favorite food to cook or eat?

I’m a junk food addict. I could eat hamburgers and pizza all the time, but my death-row meal would be a steak, baked potato & mushrooms.

What do you like to read?

I like to read paranormal romance, urban fantasy (especially the YA stuff like Hunger Games & Divergent), and horror (latest being Jack Kilborn)

Do you listen to music while you write? What are you listening to now?

The only time I listen to music is in the car, and even then I’ll often turn the radio off. I consider myself a very good multi-tasker, but not when it comes to listening to music and writing.

Who first introduced you to the love of reading?

I can remember catching the bus with my grandmother at birthdays and special occasions, and we go to this Christian bookstore where she would buy me books in the Felicia Cartwright series. (Or at least I think that was the name.)

What don’t most people know about you but you would like to share?

I have no depth perception (something to do with the fact that I don’t really look out of both eyes at once).  As a result, I always back into parking spots because that way I can’t get trapped into a spot that I can’t back out of.

These are few of my favorite things:

  1. Coca-cola
  2. Chocolate
  3. Action movies

And now Charlotte has two questions for our readers: I commented above about a Christian series that I think was Felicia Cartwright…does anyone else remember that series (assuming I have the name right)?  And if you weren’t into that, what do you remember being your first series? I remember Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prairie were popular when I was young.


Sarah stood to leave. “Mitch, can I ask you a personal question?”

“Shoot,” he replied.

“Have you ever been married?”

“No. I’m what you would call a lone wolf, I guess.”

She shivered as a breeze blew off the bay, across her wet, naked back. “May I ask why?”

He appeared thoughtful as he sipped the cabernet. “My life is too…complicated. A woman would have to put up with a lot around me. I don’t think it would be fair and I’m not sure I’m worth it.”

Nothing since she arrived at the camp caused her to think negatively of Mitch. She could not begin to guess what drove the wedge between the two cousins. The man who invited her up here, played with her sons, cooked a great steak, and was very easy on the eyes, appeared to have a lot to offer. Any woman would be lucky to find such a man to spend her life with. Even one night.

Forbidden territory, Sarah. But she couldn’t help herself. Quickly she got out of the hot tub. She wrapped a towel around her torso and picked her wine glass off the deck.

She opened the door and then stopped, turning around.

“You know, Mitch, I don’t think you give yourself enough credit,” she said before she continued into the cottage.

You can buy Heart Shifter at:

The Wild Rose Press

Charlotte Copper, author of Heart Shifter, a paranormal romance,Bio: Charlotte Copper lives in Stouffville, Ontario – that is in Canada, eh – with her husband, daughter, and two part-time step-daughters. When she isn’t working at her full-time job or driving her daughter around for volleyball, Charlotte likes to craft, read, go to the movies, and, of course, write. Charlotte admittedly tries to juggle far too many balls at once while working on a series of (mostly paranormal) romance stories. Charlotte hopes to have all of the stories published some day because, as a romance writer, she believes in happy endings!

You can find Charlotte at:







Interview With T.J. Kline, Author of The Cowboy and the Angel

26 Aug

The Cowboy and the Angel, a contemporary western romance by T.J. KlineI’m delighted to welcome T.J. Kline for an interview and a look at her contemporary western romance, The Cowboy and the Angel.

Hi, T.J., so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about The Cowboy and the Angel. 

The Cowboy and the Angel is the second book in the Rodeo series. This one focuses on Derek Chandler (from Rodeo Queen) and Angela MacCallister, a reporter doing an expose on the treatment of rodeo stock. They are both out to discredit the other but the sparks that fly between them ignite more than ire.


Reporter Angela McCallister needs the scoop of her career in order to save her father from the bad decisions that have depleted their savings. When the opportunity to spend a week at the Findley Brothers ranch arises, she sees a chance to get a behind-the-scenes scoop on rodeo. That certainly doesn’t include kissing the devastatingly handsome and charming cowboy Derek Chandler, who insists on calling her “Angel.”

Derek has a rodeo to run and a chip on his shoulder. He has no time for the fiery woman who is clearly hiding something. But for some reason he can’t keep his hands off of her. Their connection is instant and explosive, but Angela’s secrets could threaten his family, and Derek needs to prove that he’s not the irresponsible kid brother anymore.

When the rodeo dust has settled, will the Cowboy and his Angel allow themselves to give in to the attraction that threatens to consume them both?

What inspired this story?

The entire Rodeo series is inspired by my own experiences and involvement with the sport of rodeo, horse training and cowboys. I spent so much of my youth at rodeos and riding that I wanted everyone to share that same experience.

What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?

The Cowboy and the Angel just released on Aug. 5th and the third book in the series, Learning the Ropes, will be available Sept. 30th. I just finished a novella in the series which will tentatively be out in February 2015. Right now, I’m beginning a new contemporary romance series with the same small-town, western feel.

What are your writing goals for this year?

Every January, I sit down and write out my goals for the year. This year, my goal was to have 4 complete novels written and edited, ready for sale. Right now, I just finished number 4 and I’m planning on writing at least another 2 before the year is out.

How do you come up with ideas?

I get asked this a lot and I never have an answer that helps people understand. It’s not some mystical, magical process. I don’t think it is for any writer. Like everything else, I believe the more you write, the more your brain is wired to invent new plot lines and stories. Characters pop up when you least expect it, but your mind is constantly moving, creating and devising new ideas to write about, so it becomes easier. They aren’t all winners but there are always some worth pursuing and you learn to cultivate those.

Can you share with us “the call” story?

I have a slightly different “call” than most people who are picked up by a publishing house. I have been writing for a long time but never focused on it until I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo in 2012. I penned Rodeo Queen and saw that Avon was taking NaNo submissions and would let you skip the slush pile. I polished my manuscript and sent it in, never giving it another thought and not telling anyone. In fact, so much time went by, I nearly forgot about the submission. In April of 2013, I had an email from an editor at Avon telling me she would like to discuss the manuscript with me. After speaking with her, I signed the contract and the rest is history. (And, yes, I still do NaNo each November. What can I say? I’m a superstitious sort of cowgirl.)

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Tough question because there is so much I enjoy about writing…I think it’s the ability to create a world of my own making, both good and bad. In real life, there are so many circumstances that are completely out of our control but when I’m writing, I control it all. I get to decide the reaction of each character and what will happen next. I guess it’s sort of like playing God with imaginary people (or like a Sims game) but in my world, hope and love always win.

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?

I start with plotting and characters. I usually have the ideal main characters in mind for the story and develop them as I go. I do plot skeletal points of the story around the characters but I know the main points I need to hit from the beginning. Research is something I do as I’m plotting and, later, as I write because I don’t want to waste time researching something that might be pulled from the plot entirely. That said, I do have a historical western I wrote years ago that required A LOT of research, both before and during. It’s time consuming and you can easily get sidetracked. I’m in awe of historical writers who turn out books quickly when there is so much research involved.

What is the best thing about being an author?

Getting to work in my pajamas and drink coffee all day, every day. J Actually, there is nothing better than the feeling I get when someone reviews my book (or reads it and emails me) and I can tell they “got it.” Some people don’t and that’s okay. But when someone else does…it’s like a new mom being told her baby is beautiful. You can’t help but beam rainbows and light all day.

What one thing would you change about your writing career?

I’m an impatient person. I want it all and I want it now. The one thing I’d change is to be further in my career faster – a best selling author NOW. But, the realist in me knows that it’s worth the wait and the work so I continue to strive toward that goal, knowing that consistency always pays off.

Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?

I usually get up before everyone else in the house, have a cup of coffee and write first thing in the morning for an hour and then again mid-morning through early afternoon. It’s quiet in the house and I can focus on my characters and the story completely until everyone gets home. Evenings are practically impossible for me to find time to write unless I’ve sent everyone off to bed and stay up late (but I do that too).

What is your favorite scene from this story and why?

There is one scene where Derek is showing Angela around the ranch and they stop to have lunch at a small lake on the property. It really shows Derek’s playful, flirtatious side and Angela beginning to thaw her icy shell she shows everyone. It was a fun scene to write and really heightened the chemistry between the characters.

How do you balance writing and everyday life?

Our house is a busy, chaotic mess. I have three teens (two boys who play football for different teams and a daughter getting ready to head off to college). I usually meet myself at the door coming and going and our schedule is constantly in a state of flux so I have to be extremely greedy about my writing time and fight the things that would distract me (Facebook, phone calls, non-urgent emails).

I also reward myself with things I like to do for meeting deadlines (visits with friends, a night on the town, a new outfit.) One of the things I learned was to set a word goal for each day and make it something I could actually do consistently. I keep a daily tally and usually go far about the daily goal.

Do you listen to music while you write? What are you listening to now?

I listen to music at times. It can help me get into the mood of the story. However, I also love to sing and more often than not, I find myself singing instead of writing. That’s when I’ll usually change up my playlist or add new songs I don’t know. Right now, I have my playlist on Spotify if you want to take a peek: Rodeo Playlist

Who first introduced you to the love of reading?

My mother and my grandmother were avid romance readers. I started reading very early, not long after I began to talk, and tried to read my mother’s romance novels (or at least pretend I was reading them). My grandmother had an entire closet filled with shelves of romance novels.

What don’t most people know about you but you would like to share?

That my husband was my high school crush. We dated a little back then but he was the only guy I ever dated to break up with me. We stayed good friends throughout but I always had a crush on him (he was HOT!) After high school, we kept in touch and later decided to try dating again. It was a matter of always having the right person but now it was the right time.

These are few of my favorite things:

  1. My family (ALL of big family)
  2. My fur-babies (All three dogs, three cats and two horses)
  3. Coffee with whipped cream (YUM!)

And now T.J. has a question for you all: What is the one thing you’ve always wondered about cowboys or rodeo (or horses) that you never knew who to ask?

Don’t forget to check out T.J.’s Rafflecopter giveaway.


Here’s a sneak peek of Derek teaching Angela to saddle a horse:

Angela took a deep breath and reached for what looked like a torture device. She cupped her palm around the metal piece the way he did and put it against the horse’s lips. The stubborn animal stood there, unmoving, ignoring her attempt entirely.

“Come on,” she muttered, pushing the metal bar against the animal’s mouth just a bit harder. Still nothing.

She glanced over her shoulder at him and saw he was trying to hide a smile. “Try putting your thumb in the corner of her mouth, right here.” He slipped his thumb into the corner of the horse’s mouth and she immediately opened her mouth. “See?”

“Ew.” Angela wrinkled her nose. “You said not to get my fingers in her mouth, that she’d think they were a carrot,” she pointed out, grimacing as she pushed her thumb into the wet corner of the horse’s mouth.

The animal immediately started chewing on the metal bar. “Pull it up over her ears now.” Under his watchful eyes, she lifted the bridle over the horse’s ears carefully. “They don’t have teeth right there, so you’re safe. You did it.”

Angela stepped back and admired her accomplishment. “I did, didn’t I?” She patted the animal’s neck. “We might become friends after all.”

The horse tucked her head against Angela’s stomach. She was almost touched by the sweet, trusting gesture and reached to pet the horse’s neck. The animal flipped her head, knocking Angela backward off her feet. Strong arms circled her, caught her, and lifted her back onto her feet even as Derek’s chest vibrated against her back with his deep laughter. Embarrassment flooded her face, coloring her cheeks as she realized his arms were pressing against her breasts. So far, the only good coming from this lesson was how often his hands were ending up on her.

“Are you all right?” Derek felt her tremble and the laughter died in his throat. This wasn’t the way he’d hoped this would go. This lesson was quickly turning into a disaster. “Angela?” He turned her to face him, his hands on her hips.

“I’m fine,” she said as she looked up at him. Laughter bubbled from her throat and he decided in an instant that he loved her laugh. She tossed back her head and let the humor of the moment overtake her. “Either you’re a horrible teacher or I’m the world’s worst stu—oh!” She squealed as Honey flipped her nose into Angela’s lower back, throwing her into his arms again.

He caught her against him, his arms encircling her, but this time the mirth died in his throat as their bodies pressed together. He felt his desire ignite like a wildfire, his jeans suddenly becoming incredibly uncomfortable. With her breasts pressed against his chest, her soft curves molding against him, and the silken skin of her shoulders under his fingers, he inhaled deeply, enjoying the sweet scent of her. None of the women he’d held had ever tormented his senses and scattered his logic like this one.

“Maybe that’s enough ground work for one day.” His fingers slid over the satin skin of her upper arm.

Derek forced himself to step away from her, hating that the movement was almost as painful as if he was tearing a limb from his body.

This is bad.

Derek knew better than to allow himself to fall for any woman as dangerous to his family as this one. He needed to keep his mind focused on the task at hand, which meant showing her that her theory about animal abuse was unfounded and escorting her from the ranch as quickly as possible. He took a deep breath. The churning desire made it difficult to keep his hands off of her. He shoved them into his pockets, shifting awkwardly.

“Let’s get you into the saddle and we’ll work on the basics in the corral before I take you out.”

You can buy T.J. Kline’s books at:

Rodeo Queen at

The Cowboy and the Angel at

Rodeo Queen, a contemporary western romance by T.J. Kline


T.J. Kline, Author of The Cowboy and the Angel, a contemporary western romance

Bio: T.J. Kline was bitten by the horse bug early and began training horses at fourteen as well as competing in rodeos and winning several rodeo queen competitions but has always known writing was her first love. She also writes under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her spare time, she can be found spending as much time as possible, laughing hysterically, with her husband, teens and their menagerie of pets in Northern California.

You can find T.J. at:

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