Authors: Janet Wellington
Tags: #romance novel
COWBOY FOR SALE—a Second-Chances Spicy Romance
All I need is one cowboy for one night.
Salon manager Lacey Murdock has to find a handsome single cowboy fast! And he has to be willing to be auctioned off...for charity, of course! So, what’s a girl to do but go boot-scootin’ and cowboy huntin’ at San Diego’s most popular country music club. There she runs smack into Jared Dillon. Tall, dark, and definitely handsome, Jared is the kind of man any woman would want to date—and he’s perfect for the bachelor auction. Too bad he’s married...
Or is he?
Single dad Jared loves his young daughter more than anything, and has worked hard to create an idyllic life on his alpaca ranch, just the two of them. The last thing he needs is to get involved with another single-minded career woman used to the big city lights instead of star-filled skies. Pretty Lacey’s the kind of woman who is off limits for more reasons than he can count. But why can’t he stop thinking about her? Nope. She’s just not for him...
Or is she?
When one of the bachelor cowboys is a no-show at the charity auction, Jared steps in at the last minute and gallantly saves the day. One thing leads to another and Lacey and Jared are off on a romantic Dream Date Weekend at a mountain getaway designed for cozy evenings by the fire and luxurious nights in a four-poster bed.
Trouble is, Lacey’s not looking for a man, let alone a much-too-hot cowboy. Her career is right on track and she’s finally bouncing back from a bad breakup. No matter how he makes her feel, Jared definitely doesn’t fit her logical list of “must haves.” There’s sizzling chemistry, for sure, but she’s vowed she’ll never fall for another single father again. Losing at love is one thing, but losing the love of a child...that’s quite another...and a heartbreak she won’t go through again.
But....add together: champagne, a hot tub, a dangerous game of twenty-questions, a romantic fire and two lonely hearts…and the delicious trouble begins. Jared knows falling for Lacey isn’t the right thing for him or his little girl...but how’s a cowboy supposed to resist?
COWBOY FOR SALE
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events or locales is entirely coincidental.
COWBOY FOR SALE
This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you’re reading this eBook and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author.
Copyright © 2013; Revised October 2013 Janet Wellington
. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical without the express written permission of the author. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.
Grant + Gratitude = Where Every Book Includes a Gift
A percentage of the author’s royalties for COWBOY FOR SALE will be donated to the
Cover Designed by Janet Wellington
Alpacas: Gregory Johnston/dreamstime.com;
Cowboy: Cover Photo of Model Jimmy Thomas by
Logo: Janet Wellington
Sugar Plum Serenade
used with permission by Lil Rev
Written by: Lil Rev. From the Ukulele album:
The Happiest Way To Be Sad
(Visit “Storefront” to listen to snippets from each album!)
Version 2013 Kindle Edition
Dedicated to RM, for sharing my love of alpacas,
and for her constant support of my writing…and my heart.
It’s always fun to acknowledge others who have helped me along the way. But, there are so many!
My mother must come first—an amazing woman who is still teaching after 70 years! She is truly a role model and has always been someone who believes I can do anything I set my mind to. That helps, believe me.
My writing roots reach deeply into the San Diego Chapter of Romance Writers of America, as well as the Orange County RWA Chapter. I’ve spent many days absorbing everything presenters had to offer at chapter meetings and conferences I’ve attended. Writers are typically a generous group, and I have been privileged to know many who have shared so much—I’d need an ebook to name them all!
And to you, dear readers—thank you for giving me a reason to write!
All I need is one cowboy for one night.
Lacey Murdock closed her eyes and focused on this one thought as she waited in her car in the parking lot of the Rockin' Ranch, one of San Diego’s most popular country music clubs. Early, as usual, she planned to use the extra time to calm herself and fight the beginnings of a nasty little panic attack.
Her present state? Her heart thundered and felt like it was ready to jump out of her chest. Her mouth was parched. Cotton mouth, she thought.
She unfastened her seat belt. Suddenly it felt much too confining, the shoulder belt threatening to literally choke the courage out of her.
I can do this
Forcing herself to breathe several even breaths, she powered down the window, immediately feeling relief as the balmy evening air cooled her clammy skin.
Tilting the rear view mirror toward her she stared, taking a critical look at herself.
At least her hair had behaved today—her thick, wavy dark hair fell to the middle of her back and shone with newly foiled deep auburn highlights she’d had done a few days ago by the latest stylist she’d hired. A generous spritz of spray gel so far was keeping her hair’s tendency to frizz to a minimum, even with the humidity of the warm night.
In the mirror she stared at her carefully made-up face—the pale lavender eye shadow made her hazel eyes look green in the dim light. She reached up and blended the color with the tip of her little finger and checked for eyeliner smudges. Her makeup application was much heavier than she was used to wearing and the colors a shade brighter. Her salon’s esthetician had insisted on doing her face before she’d left that evening, convincing her it was just the look she’d need in the dim light of a club.
Ironic. I spend every day helping men and women enhance their looks, try new things, and I just can't quite transfer the idea to me.
Shaking her head, she readjusted the mirror then pulled the keys from the ignition and slipped them in the pocket of her skirt. Then she draped the skinny strap of her new, tiny “going out” purse over her shoulder. Her stomach tightened with nervousness.
I just need to relax, replace the oxygen, breathe deeply five times.
Lacey stayed in the car just long enough to take five measured breaths. The technique almost always helped to calm her nerves and she used it many times during her busy day—whenever there was a difficult salon client, whenever the cash drawer wouldn't balance, whenever she had to counsel one of the other stylists.
Why am I so nervous?
Old habits die hard, she decided. She’d spent too many years feeling insecure, doubting her abilities and decisions. And that feeling was all too familiar tonight. Shoot, anyone looking at her life would definitely see quite a few false starts. Like most of the women she knew who hadn’t gotten married and started families, she’d followed a traditional route of going to college and working a variety of jobs. Somehow, though, it hadn’t felt quite right. Nothing made her feel fulfilled.
The day she’d decided to turn her back on what she thought she was
to be doing and followed her bliss instead, she finally started feeling successful. Her confidence had blossomed.
Now at the age of thirty-five she was finally making a decent living as the working manager of a mall-based upscale hair salon in a quiet suburb of San Diego. And she'd managed to survive a pretty rough year—mostly by working hard, keeping herself distracted, and surrounding herself with happy people. People who really cared about her. Finally she felt like she was “in a good place.”
Tonight, though, her new calm was being challenged and the breathing exercise didn't seem to help much.
Now, standing outside the car, she listened. The music and conversation drifting out the open windows of the Rockin’ Ranch was loud—and a tad too cheerful for her current precarious mood. She’d much rather be home reading a book or watching a DVD...anything but what she was doing right now. How long had it been since she’d…
…put herself out there?