I’m delighted to welcome Kristina Knight, author of What a Texas Girl Needs!
My Favorite Cowboy Moments
Cowboys have been near and dear to my heart since I was a little girl. The only times I was allowed to skip bedtime were Saturday nights when, more often than not, my grandpa (we called him Big Daddy) would find an old spaghetti Western on television. It might start at 10 and not get over until midnight, I might yawn and snooze my way through Sunday School and Church the next morning, but I was always allowed to stay up and watch.
From John Wayne and Gary Cooper to the cowboy-types played by James Dean, I watched them all. Some I’ve found on DVD, some live only in my memory but they all hold a special place in my heart. As I got older I realized very few of them actually had a love story – sure, the cowboy would get the girl, but we never saw them falling in love. So when more modern Westerns started to come out, I was once again enthralled. I wanted to see the cowboy beat the bad guys but I always wanted to see the love story.
Movies like 8 Seconds, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys and Wyatt Earp have been added to my favorite’s list and have lengthened my favorite Cowboy Moments, too. But there are three movies – from the modern era – that take cowboys to a whole new level. At least for me.
Here are my top three cowboy movie moments:
#3: Please don’t throw rotten tomatoes because in my top three is John Travolta in city-slicker-cowboy garb. It was the 80s, people! And you have to admit John Travolta was it in much of the early 80s. For me John’s Urban Cowboy mode was ohsomuch better than his Saturday Night Fever mode. And I absolutely love when Bud finally tells Sissy he loves her. And I even found a clip for ya:
#2: This one was hard for me to put in number two because Tom Selleck is just so…Tom. Quigley Down Under is probably one of my favorite cowboy movies, even though it takes place in the Australian Outback instead of the American West. But when Quigley finds Cora in town, when he says his name is Roy – not Quigley – I just melt a little. Every. Single. Time. Because he’s had a hard road – he isn’t Roy and he shouldn’t want to be Roy…and yet because it will save both their lives, he accepts the name.
#1: I love the movie Walk The Line, because nothing is sweeter to me than a real life love story – and Johnny and June Cash certainly had that. So, even though Johnny isn’t technically a cowboy, I have to give him the top slot. Because he might not rope cattle or ride horses but he certainly had the attitude of a cowboy: he took care of business, he spoke his mind and he stood up for the people and things that he believed in.
What a Texas Girl Needs
Blurb: Vanessa Witte is ready to finally claim her life. The middle of three daughters born into the Witte family – a powerful Texas name – she’s been content to float through life. Being dumped by her shady ex? A blessing in disguise. Having a one-night-stand with Matias Barnes? Not one of her more stellar moments. But she’s back in Lockhardt with a secret and a reason to start fresh: A baby.
Matias Barnes knows all about society women – it’s part of the reason he left his wealthy family behind and took a job on a ranch. He doesn’t like the endless string of parties, the inane conversation, or the gold-digging tricks those women have perfected. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting Vanessa Witte. Mat knows she’s so not right for him, but with her back in Lockhardt, can he resist her charms long enough to really let her go?
“I’ll take the bill, Vern,” she said, holding out her hand. It was about time she started paying her own way. One tank of gas wouldn’t exactly repay the family, but it was a start. Added bonus, paying her own bills might help overhaul the character she’d found so seriously lacking in the last few months.
“It’s easier for ol’ Mitch to keep his records if I just add it to the ranch total.”
“I’m not a ranch employee. This isn’t a ranch vehicle. I’ll take the bill.” Vanessa couldn’t remember ever paying for a tank of gas here. Come to think of it, unless she was trying to impress someone, she had rarely paid for anything to this point in her life.
Vern handed her the receipt. Fifty bucks? Holy crap, how much did gas cost? Stupid question, Van, obviously it costs fifty dollars. She reached into her bag for her credit card and then remembered that was part and parcel of the Witte upbringing. Paying with Grandfather’s credit card? Not character building. She pawed through the baby blue Coach bag but only came up with two twenties and some loose change.
“Just charge it to the ranch, Vern.” Mat Barnes’s voice echoed under the station’s overhang, chilling Vanessa. “The Double Diamond will cover it.” We always cover her bills, his tone implied.
Vanessa squeezed her eyes closed and swallowed. Her fingers closed over another bill. Please let it be a twenty. Or a ten. She opened her eyes.
Three twenties. Triumph!
“I’ve got it Mr. Barnes, thank you,” she said, chilling her voice as she handed the cash to Vern. He looked from Mat to Vanessa, obviously confused over what was going on between them. Vanessa held his gaze for a moment. Vern took the cash and hurried inside.
“I think we’re past the ‘Mr. Barnes’ stage, don’t you?” Mat watched her from beneath the tipped-low brim on his cowboy hat, his coal-black eyes boring straight to her soul. Yes, they were past the Mr. or Miss stage, technically, but not calling him Mat helped her keep her distance.
The way her heart raced at the mere sight of him she desperately needed that space.
She looked away, crossing her arms over her chest. Her gaze caught on the frayed edge of his jeans—which were worn in all the right places, she noted—and today’s tee, tight across his shoulders, read, ‘Chicks Dig Scars’ over his well-muscled chest.
Who was she kidding? Calling him Mr. Barnes didn’t keep her from noticing just how delectable Mat was. Nothing could do that. Not in broad daylight. Certainly not the twinkling fairy lights during Kathleen’s wedding reception.
“I don’t think a night spent in my grandfather’s hayloft makes us best buddies,” she said, hoping against hope he would just leave her alone.
“Ahh, but what we did in that hayloft is another matter.” He lounged against the side of her Porsche as if he might stay there forever.
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and three-year-old daughter. Happily ever after.
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