Excerpt: Win Me Over by Heather Slade (Contemporary Western Romance)
Hi romance readers! Today we have Heather stopping over to share Win Me Over. This is the fifth book in her Cowboys of Crested Butte series. This book stands on its own. So jump right in and get to know the characters.
Bullet Simmons never rides shotgun, but there is no question, Tristan McCullough has taken control of the wheel.
Bad boy, bull rider Bullet Simmons has a good heart, he just has trouble in the decision-making department. When he meets Tristan McCullough, he vows to win her over, and convince her that he is worthy of a Lost Cowboy sponsorship. But can he become the kind of man her family’s brand represents? Tristan says she doesn’t believe he can, but there’s something about the cowboy that makes her hope she’s wrong.
Hired as a hand with Flying R Rough Stock, Bullet Simmons, dreams of one day becoming a world champion bull rider. But after the death of his baby boy’s mama, he doesn’t know how he’s going to juggle raising his son, working for Flying R, and riding bulls.
Billy Patterson needs someone to convince his daddy to raise broncs on their ranch in Black Forest. Enter Bullet. If Bullet can help convince him, Billy says Flying R will not only sponsor him, but they’ll arrange for Bullet to have his own personal bull riding coach.
Tristan McCullough swore off bad boys in college when the bull rider she was certain was “the one,” broke her heart. When Lost Cowboy teams up with Flying R Rough Stock to sponsor competitors out on the rodeo circuit, Bullet’s twin sister, Lyric, challenges her to consider sponsoring Bullet. As much as Tristan tells herself she’ll never fall for another cowboy, this one particular bull rider becomes harder and harder for her to resist—especially when she finds herself alone with him for a week at Colorado Black Mountain Ranch.
As we follow Bullet and Tristan’s stories, we also take a peek into the history of beloved characters Bill and Dottie Patterson. What brought the two together, and why has Bill vowed never to have anything to do with rodeo for the rest of his life?
Favorite characters from the Rice and Patterson families pay us a visit, and also serve to help these two “lost” souls come together.
This is book can be read as a standalone with no cliffhanger.
What the hell was he going to do now? If Bill fired him from the Black Forest operation, he doubted if any of the Flying R partners would offer to let him work at one of the other ranches.
Bullet needed to pull his head out of his ass, again, and pay attention to what was in front of him. His kids. His job. And forget about women for a while. A long while. Especially one woman. Tristan. The more he tried to impress her, the more he did the opposite. Why did it matter what she thought of him?
Last night, as he held her in his arms when they danced, he imagined himself holding her all the time. She felt so good. Unlike Callie, who was more than a foot shorter than he was, Tristan was tall. Her head rested easily on his shoulder, and her body fit against his, as though it was made to.
When he closed his eyes, he could remember how she felt, her scent, his body’s reaction to her. It had been a while since he’d been with a woman, but it was more than that. It was her. There were plenty of other pretty women at the bar last night. None of them did it for him. He’d danced with a couple. They didn’t fit. Not like Tristan.
Maybe if he could seduce her, sleep with her, get a taste of her, he could get her out of his head. He was sure that was her allure, that he couldn’t have her. When had he ever given up on the challenge of a woman he wanted? Never.
Bullet only hoped he was right, that once he had her, she’d be out of his head and he’d be able to pay attention to his responsibilities. He needed to get laid. It was that simple.
But in the back of his mind lingered the feeling that he was wrong, that getting Tristan McCullough out of his head wasn’t going to be simple at all.
“I can’t believe you’re leaving already,” pouted Liv.
“You’re the one who told me to hurry up and produce this line. In order for me to do so, I have to get back and talk to my father.”
“I know, I just like having you here.”
Tristan understood. Her friendship with Liv meant more to her every day. She was easy to talk to. And fun. She loved her father and grandfather, but she missed being around another women. Biologically, Liv was old enough to be her mother, but their friendship wasn’t based on that. She had more in common with Liv than she did with Lyric, or Liv’s daughter, Renie, who were both her age.
“Damn stubborn,” they overheard Bill say to Dottie.
“Yes, he is. Now go right back out the door you came in, and apologize.”
“Apologize? Over my dead body.”
Dottie laughed. “I can arrange that.”
They heard the front door open and close, and Dottie came into the kitchen.
“What’s going on?” Liv asked.
“Bill and Bullet had an argument. Somehow, Bullet got it into his head that Bill was going to fire him. I can’t figure that out myself, but Bill told him he wouldn’t accept his resignation. Bullet said something about not resigning, that Bill was firing him. Anyway, the two of them are arguing on the same side, and neither one of them can set their stubbornness aside long enough to realize it.”
Tristan felt as though there was a rock in her stomach. If Bill fired Bullet, would she ever see him again? Would he go back to Oklahoma? “Why would Bill fire him?”
“He wouldn’t. That’s the point.” Dottie turned and looked at Tristan, smiling when she saw the worry on her face. “Uh oh. You’ve got it bad for the cowboy. My, oh my.”
“What? No. I don’t. That isn’t it. Bullet has a child to raise, that’s all. I’m just worried…”
Tristan stopped trying to explain when she realized Liv and Dottie were grinning at her.
“Stop it,” she barked at them. “It isn’t like that.”
Dottie patted Liv’s hand. “We’ve seen that look before, haven’t we, Livvie?”
“We sure have.”
“Stop it. I’m telling you it isn’t like that.”
“What isn’t like what?” Lyric shouted from the other room. Tristan hadn’t realized she was within earshot.
“Tristan and Bullet.”
“Oh, yeah, I know it. She’s in love with him.”
“Lyric!” gasped Tristan. “I am not. Don’t be ridiculous.”
“And what’s better, my brother is in love with her too.”
“Oh, stop it,” Lyric added. “Anyone with eyes can see it. Besides, twins know these things. Can’t argue with a twin.”
Tristan looked to Liv to defend her, but saw immediately that it was pointless. Liv, Dottie, and Lyric were grinning at her in a way that told her she shouldn’t bother protesting.
My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.
I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.
I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.