We are excited to bring you an excerpt of First Kiss with a Cowboy by national bestselling author Sara Richardson. Her stories are about love, friendship and family, and hot cowboys.
About First Kiss with a Cowboy:
Shy and sensible romance writer Jane Harding’s carefully ordered life is crumbling around her. With her latest novel due and her teaching contract at an end, returning home to help plan her best friend’s wedding is a welcome distraction. Yet when Jane discovers that the too-hot-to-handle boy who once tempted her is now the best man — and the rodeo circuit’s sexiest bull rider — her distraction is in danger of becoming a disaster.
Toby Garrett is no stranger to risk. But this latest injury could end his rodeo career for good. Thankfully, his recovery at home isn’t as awful as he’d imagined it to be, especially when he comes face-to-face with Jane. The kiss they once shared still fuels his fantasies, but when she had walked away, he had let her go. Now Toby is determined to fix his mistakes. Can this sweet-talking cowboy prove that the passion still burning between them is worth braving the odds?
“Actually, would you two mind staying back to clean up?” Beth asked sweetly…and a little suspiciously. “I really have to pee. Ethan and I can lead the way down. You two can catch up in a little while.”
Jane narrowed her eyes. “You can’t wait ten minutes for us to pack up so we can all head down together?” She wasn’t buying the act. Toby wasn’t either. Their friends obviously wanted to give them some alone time.
“Nope. I definitely can’t wait.” Beth dragged Ethan away. “Come on people! Mount up! We’re heading back. Follow Ethan and me.”
Shaking her head with a small smile, Jane watched the group pack up, but she sat still while the group got their things together and headed off down the trail. As soon as the last horse disappeared, she lay on her back and stared up at the sky again. “That was real subtle.”
Toby laughed. “Beth is never subtle.” He lay down on his side next to her and guided her face to his. “I’m not trying to put on some big performance you know.” He realized sometimes it just happened. “I won’t say anything I don’t mean. Not to you.”
Her eyes shied away as though she didn’t know what to do with that. He didn’t either, but he’d also gotten tired of fighting that pull between them. Why did he have to figure it out now? Maybe he should quit worrying about the future and live now.
“I’m not sure what to say to my parents,” he admitted. The admission drew Jane’s eyes back to his.
“I know you had a great relationship with your dad. You were close to him.” He propped himself up on his elbow so he could stare steadily into her eyes. “But I don’t have that kind of relationship with my parents. I never have. My parents and I have never discussed how I felt about anything. Ever.” So, he wasn’t good at this. Talking about real stuff. Figuring out how to fix the underlying issues. He was much better at distracting himself.
“Maybe that could change,” Jane suggested. “Maybe talking to them will turn that around.”
“Maybe.” He didn’t let his doubts show. Instead he shot Jane a grin. “Would it have changed things between us in high school?”
“What’d you mean?” she asked warily.
Toby inched closer. “I mean would it have made a difference if I’d told you how I really felt about you after I kissed you?”
“How did you feel about me?” she half whispered.
She didn’t know. She’d never known. “It caught me off guard. That kiss…it was different.” The chemistry between them had taken him by surprise. “I liked you. I wanted you.” Maybe he always had, he didn’t know. Maybe that’s why he’d always teased her and challenged her.
Jane stared past him at the mountains. “I liked you too. But you said—”
“That kiss terrified me. And I was so embarrassed when everyone saw us kissing.” Jane turned her face back to his. “I didn’t want to like you. I’m not sure I want to like you now. It’s not safe.” An honest doubt lingered in Jane’s eyes. He could see it there holding her back.
“I understand. But my feelings for you are real.” That’s all he knew. His feelings for Jane ran deeper than his doubts. Toby brought his hand to her jaw and guided her lips to his. Jane’s chest rose with a sharp intake of breath, and he knew she felt it too — the same desire pouring through him. He savored the taste of her lips, the heat of her mouth, the quiet whimpers that came from her throat.
Jane swung her leg over his hips, and he shifted to his back, guiding her to lie over his body. Their lips found a rhythm, moving together, opening so he could explore the wet heat of her mouth with his tongue.
Jane raised her head for a second, her eyes closed, her breathing ragged, and Toby took the chance to kiss his way down her neck, lingering just below her ear.
“I definitely want to like you now,” she gasped.
Toby pulled his lips away from her skin. “Thank God. Because I sure as hell like you.” He pushed up to a sitting position and Jane repositioned herself so she was straddling his lap. “Back in high school you always looked at me like I annoyed you.” She’d roll her eyes at him or discount the answers he gave in class.
“Well you did annoy me.” A smirk plumped her swollen lips. “But you were hot. And pretty nice most of the time. Obnoxious as hell, but also pretty nice.”
“I’m even nicer now.” Toby leaned in and brushed his lips across her neck.
“You’re hotter too,” Jane murmured. “But we need to pack up and meet Ethan and Beth to finish the party.” She scooted off his lap.
The party? What party? Toby eased onto his knees and distracted her with another long, sultry kiss. “When can we finish this?” he asked.
Jane wrapped her arms around his neck. “I guess we’ll wait and see.”
About Sara Richardson:
Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. She’s climbed to the top of a 14,000-foot peak at midnight, swum through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders. Sara lives and plays in Colorado, still indulging her adventurous spirit, with her saint of a husband and two young sons. Her new book, First Kiss with a Cowboy, releases on May 19th. She will be publishing her first trade paperback called Home for the Holidays this fall.
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