Author: Shanna Hatfield
Publication date: November 30th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
Will an innocent offer of help lead two obstinate hearts along the road to love?
Truitt Lucas is the guy who brings laughter wherever he goes and refuses to take life too seriously. Beneath his carefree exterior, though, he yearns for more adventure and excitement than he’ll find working on the family ranch alongside his cousin and grandmother. When the opportunity arises to assist a trick rider, Truitt eagerly lends a hand. However, he soon finds himself drawn to the perplexing woman who barely tolerates him.
Jolee Judson is living her dream as a trick rider on the rodeo circuit, using her lifelong passion for horses and gymnastics to wow the crowds. But when her partner unexpectedly abandons her, Jolee is just desperate enough to accept a good-natured cowboy’s offer to help. Fascinated and infuriated by Truitt and his shenanigans, Jolee struggles against her growing feelings for him. Falling for Truitt could spell disaster for her future and derail everything she’s worked for.
Can the two of them find common ground where trust is earned and love becomes a cherished gift?
A sweet holiday novel full of the magic of Christmas, Tricking Christmas brims with small-town humor, heartwarming moments, and wholesome romance.
“Ready?” Jolee asked, her knees tightening slightly as she wrapped her feet behind his back to secure her position.
“Ready,” he said as the announcer finished his intro. Truitt made a kissing noise, and Nell started forward. By the time they entered through the arena gate, Nell was running at a gallop. People clapped and cheered as Jolee and Truitt waved to them while circling the arena.
Truitt pulled Nell back to a lope, then Jolee did a few moves to work her way off his shoulders until she was hanging off the side of Nell. When she was out of his way, Truitt rose on the pad, keeping a tight grip on the handles, one leg extended behind him.
He heard several women gasp and wondered if the back had split out of his britches, but he didn’t feel air blowing across his undies and assumed that wasn’t the problem.
Rather than let anything distract him, he tuned out the spectators, the lights, the noise, the smells, and focused on the spot between Nell’s ears. That spot—that intent focus—was the only reason he hadn’t totally gone bonkers during the practice sessions with Jolee. Blocking everything from his mind had been his only means of doing what was required without falling off the horse with Jolee wrapped in his arms.
Truitt felt Jolee swing onto his back and could tell from the position of her hands and knees, she had her feet and head pointed toward the night sky.
“Focus, focus,” he chanted under his breath, doing his best to keep thoughts of her stretched out on his back at bay. Then she slipped beneath him, her arms holding him, her leg wrapped around his, and Truitt realized he could live a long, long life, and the feel of her so close to him would be imprinted in his memories as long as he drew a breath.
He looked down at her, saw the joy and wonder on her face, and smiled at this woman who’d turned his world upside down.
Although he was sure she hadn’t planned it, she pulled closer against him, and her lips fused to his in a tender connection that was unlike anything he’d ever known.
Truitt had kissed so many girls that he’d lost track of the tally before he’d turned twenty, but never had one kiss affected him like this meeting of lips and hearts that he experienced with Jolee.
She pulled back, her cheeks bright red—not from the rouge she wore. She seemed as lost in the moment as he felt.
It was then Truitt noticed the quiet. The crowd had grown utterly silent, and the only sounds he could hear came from the waltz playing over the speakers and the creak and groan of the chutes where bulls were being loaded in preparation for the upcoming bull riding event.
With far more presence of mind than he felt, Truitt grinned at Jolee and tipped his head toward the stands. “I think this is where you let go so I can move,” he prompted. Everything in him shouted for another kiss but now wasn’t the time. Not with thousands of people watching.
about the author
USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes sweet romances rich with relatable characters, small town settings that feel like home, humor, and hope.
Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
When this farm girl isn’t writing or indulging in rich, decadent chocolate, Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller. She also experiments with recipes, snaps photos of her adorable nephew, and caters to the whims of a cranky cat named Drooley.
To learn more about Shanna or the books she writes, visit her website http://shannahatfield.com or find out more about her here: linktr.ee/ShannaHatfield