Ridin' the edge of lust is fun--until someone falls in love.
A Rough Riders book.
Goody-two boots AJ Foster has waited her entire life for her dream cowboy Cord McKay to see her as more than the neighbor girl in pigtails. Now that she's old enough to stake her claim on him, she's pulling out all the sexual stops and riding hell-bent for leather--straight for his libido.
Divorced rancher Cord has sworn off all women...until innocent AJ suggests he teach her how to ride bareback--and he realizes she doesn't mean horses or bulls. Between his responsibilities running his massive ranch, missing his young son and dealing with the sexual shenanigans of his brother and cousins, Cord is more than willing to take AJ up on her offer. On a trial basis.
The fun and games tie them both up in knots. AJ isn't willing to settle for less than the whole shootin' match with her western knight. But for Cord, even though the sexy cowgirl sets his blood ablaze, he's determined to resist her efforts to lasso his battered heart.
Sweet, determined AJ has the power to heal--or heel--the gruff cowboy...unless Cord's pride keeps him from admitting their relationship is more than a simple roll in the hay.
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March 17, 2008
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Excerpt from Cowgirl up and Ride by Lorelei James
Amy Jo Foster had loved Cord McKay her entire life.
It didn't matter he was thirteen years her senior. Or he'd once dated her older sister. Or his little sister was her best friend. She fell for him hard the day she'd fallen off her horse.
That hot, dusty afternoon teased the edges of her memory. She'd been clip-clopping along on the gravel road connecting the Foster and McKay ranches when a rattler spooked her pony and bucked her off. She'd twisted her ankle on the unexpected dismount, unable to scramble away from either the angry snake or the truck barreling toward her.
Her life flashed before her eyes.
But the tires on a big Ford dually locked up and the truck skidded to a stop. A young man jumped out, swooped in and picked her up. His work-roughed hands tenderly brushed rocks from her knees and wiped the tears from her dirty face. He carried her to the passenger side of his truck, burned rubber over the snake and drove her home, keeping hold of her hand as she sobbed.
Amy Jo had a devil of a time climbing out of his rig, not because of the injury to her ankle, but mostly because she hadn't wanted to get out. She remembered sitting in that truck cab, surrounded by the scent of horses, of chewing tobacco, of hay, dust and the underlying tangy aroma of his cologne, and she'd wanted to stay right there with him forever.
With his dark good looks, bold smile and gentle ways, Cord had become her ideal, her dream, her savior, her prince charming in battered cowboy boots and a sweat-stained white Stetson.
No man had ever held a candle to him.
She'd been a whopping five years old at the time.
So, Amy Jo secretly worshipped Cord McKay throughout the years. Even after he moved to Seattle. Even after he returned to Wyoming married to a floozy from the West Coast. Even after the woman birthed a son. Even after the idiot abandoned Cord and their baby Ky.
She'd especially loved Cord then because she'd ached to pick up the pieces of his broken life. To make him whole. To crack the bitter shell he'd erected around his heart. To show him real, everlasting love was worth waiting for. In her core, her heart, her very soul, Amy Jo knew she was meant to be that one special woman.
Problem was she hadn't been a woman at the time either; she'd been a shy eighteen-year-old girl.
The other problem was Cord hadn't seen her beyond the clumsy blonde pig-tailed friend of his little sister. Or as a family acquaintance with a neighboring ranch. Or recently as his son's babysitter.
That'd been the worst kind of torture. Being in Cord's house. Hearing Ky rambling from sunup to sundown about his father. Seeing Cord's unmade bed--one side rumpled, one side pristine. His lone coffee cup in the sink. Catching a whiff of his shaving cream as she lingered in front of the same bathroom mirror he used every day.
Seemed Amy Jo spent her life waiting for her chronological age to catch up with the age of her soul. Waiting for other people to believe she was old enough to know her own mind, even when she'd made it up at the tender age of five.
Now that she was twenty-two, she could stake her claim.
Standing in front of her bedroom mirror, she adjusted her cleavage in the skin-tight shirt the color of ripe apricots. She applied a coat of shiny pink lip-gloss. Finger combed her hair and inhaled a deep breath.
In all the hours she'd fantasized about Cord McKay, he'd never really noticed her.
Come hell or high water, Amy Jo would change that tonight.
* * *
Cord's beer stopped halfway to his mouth. His attention wandered to a woman swinging her hips on the dance floor.
Oh yeah. He'd make time for her in a heartbeat.
Holy hell. Her legs went on forever. His gaze started at the heels of her high-heeled silver boots, gradually traveling up along the sexy line of those shapely legs, ending at her luscious ass barely hidden beneath an extremely short denim skirt. When her dance partner twirled her, Cord caught a glimpse of bright red bikini panties.
Lust whomped him in the gut.
He'd been so busy checking out her ass he hadn't seen her face. Her backside faced him--not that he was complaining--and a cheap straw cowboy hat covered her head. Her strong, tanned arms slid around the wide shoulders of the lucky cowboy as she sashayed closer to grind her pelvis against his. The cowboy whooped, clamping his hands on her ass in a dirty dancing move that'd make Patrick Swayze jealous.
It caused a burst of envy in Cord too. Nonchalantly he asked, "Kade, who's the chick on the dance floor?"
"The one with the never endin' legs puttin' on the show in the miniskirt."
Kade squinted. "You mean AJ?"
AJ? Not a familiar name. "Yeah."
"She's quite the dancer, huh?"
AJ performed a shimmy-shake with her hips, while snaking her arms above her head. The movement caused her tight lace shirt to slide up, exposing the smooth curve of her lower back.
Cord withheld a groan. Nothing was sexier than that dimpled section of a woman's back above her ass. Nothing.
With the exception of those unbelievably hot legs.
Every wicked undulation of her hips resulted in the fringe on her skirt swishing across the back of her firm thighs. He'd never been jealous of a skirt before now, but he sure as hell was right then.
"She seein' the guy she's dancin' with?"
"Mikey? Nah. Not for lack of tryin' on his part. AJ doesn't lack for partners."
"She's sweet as the day is long. How your sister hasn't corrupted her is beyond me. She ain't as wild as Keely, but ain't for want of volunteers to take her for a walk on the wild side."
Walk? Hell, Cord would take her for a ride on the wild side. Binding her mile-long legs around his waist as he drove into her hard and fast. Feeling those slender thighs draped over his shoulders as she rode his face.
Jesus. Been an ice age since he'd had a woman, especially a buckle bunny cowboy-toy like her--built for speed with curves that'd lead a man straight into temptation.
Cord nursed his beer, his eyes never straying from her twisting form. Still, something about her seemed...familiar.
AJ threw back her head and laughed. Her straw hat tumbled to the floor.
Come on, baby doll, bend over and pick it up.
She twirled his direction and Cord finally saw her face.
If his lips weren't pressed against the beer bottle, his jaw would've smacked his knees.
The blonde sexpot with the killer legs and fantastic ass was none other than little Amy Jo Foster. His astonished gaze zeroed in on the cleavage spilling out of her V-necked blouse.
Nothing little about her now.