Every Bit a Cowboy
Author: Jennie Marts
Series: Creedence Horse Rescue, #5
Publication date: March 7th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“Filled with humor, heart and real love.” —Michelle Major, USA Today bestselling author
USA Today bestselling author Jennie Marts proves there’s nothing quite like a cowboy.
No matter how swoony the cute cowboy is, romance is the last thing on Carley Chapman’s mind. But it’s hard to ignore Knox Garrison and the spark of attraction she feels every time he’s near. When a water line break floods her building, she’s forced to move her salon out to the Heaven Can Wait Horse Rescue ranch, and Knox shows up to help. But things get even more complicated when Carley’s no-good ex comes sniffing around and Knox “fixes” the problem by telling him they’re engaged…
Praise for Jennie Marts’s cowboy romances:
“Funny, complicated, and irresistible. Sometimes a cowboy isn’t perfect but you got to love him anyway.”—JODI THOMAS, New York Times bestselling author, for Caught Up in a Cowboy
“Full of hope, humor, and undeniable swoon.”—A.J. PINE, USA Today bestselling author, for How to Cowboy
“Deliciously steamy but still sweet, with a secret at its heart.”—JOANNE KENNEDY, award-winning author, for Wish Upon a Cowboy
Carley gestured to the kitchen island where she’d set out mini quiches, fruit, yogurt, and a mimosa bar. “Before we get started, you all make yourselves some plates. And I’ve orange juice and champagne if you all want mimosas.”
“I’m down for that,” the third bridesmaid, who Carley didn’t recognize, said, as she strode into the kitchen and grabbed the bottle of alcohol. Already gorgeous, with her long blond hair pulled up in a ponytail, she wore a bright teal Western-cut shirt, jeans tucked into tall, embroidered cowboy boots, and a rhinestone-studded belt held together by a large, shiny rodeo championship buckle. “I may not be able to make fancy invitations or frost a million cupcakes, but I make a mean mimosa that will either land you on your butt or in the lap of a hot cowboy, and I’m making one for all of you.”
Chloe nudged Carley. “That’s Stacey, Colt’s cousin. She’s a barrel racer, and the rumors you’ve heard about them are true.”
“But you love me anyway,” Stacey said then let out a whoop as she popped the champagne cork.
“Yes, we do,” Chloe agreed, laughing with her. “But I’ve already got my cowboy, and the last thing I need is to land on my tush at the wedding tonight, so make mine light on the champagne.”
Carley laughed, even as she couldn’t help thinking about how she wished all it would take was a mean mimosa to land her in a certain hot cowboy’s lap. “I want you all to have a good time this morning. I’ll do Quinn’s and Tessa’s hair first, then work on the bride’s, and then finish with Stacey’s.”
“Perfect,” Chloe said, accepting one of the mimosas Stacey was handing around.
“Here’s to the bride,” Stacey called out, holding up the last glass. “Now, let’s get this party started.”
An hour later, Carley was just starting on Chloe’s hair when the front door opened, and Knox walked in. He held up two boxes of Twinkies. “Who needs a little sugar?”
“Oh my word,” Stacey squealed as she bolted off the sofa and charged towards him. “Chloe, you little devil. You got us a stripper.” She circled around Knox looking him up and down as she went. “And da-amn, is he ever a good-looking one.” She gestured to his service weapon. “Hey handsome, are you going to show us your big gun? Is it already cocked?”
“What? No…I mean…this is a real gun,” Knox sputtered, putting his hand protectively over his holster.
“I’m sure it is, baby,” Stacey crooned, leaning forward and giving him a little shimmy. “How much extra for a lap dance? Because I’ve got an hour still to get my hair real mussed up, and I’ve got money to burn.”
“Stacey. Stop it,” Chloe said. “He’s not a stripper.”
“Good try,” Stacey said. “Look at those muscles. I know a stripper when I see one.” She gave Knox the “Matrix come forward” gesture with her fingers. “Come on, baby, show us what you got.”
Knox looked at Carley, as if hoping she’d save him. She’d never seen the deputy so tongue-tied, but he seemed completely flummoxed as he held up the cardboard boxes. “I just brought some Twinkies.”
“We know. And we want to see ’em.” Stacey hooted then let out a long wolf-whistle.
“Listen now,” Knox tried again. “I’m a deputy sheriff, and this is my official uniform.”
“Great,” Stacey said. “Now take it off. Then can I touch your gun?”
“What did I tell you?” Chloe said, shaking her head. “Barrel racers. You can’t take ‘em anywhere.”
“Sorry ladies,” Carley heard herself say as she stepped around Chloe and in front of Knox. “This one’s mine.”
Mine? Since when did she consider this man hers? Apparently as soon as some hot barrel-racer started flirting with him.
Knox stepped forward and wrapped his arm around her waist. Either her declaration or the steadiness of his hand holding her hip must have given him some of his composure back because his voice changed back to his normal charming tone. “Yep, that’s right. I belong to this one. Sorry ladies. Carley’s the only one I’m stripping for.” He grinned down at her. “Too much?” he asked quietly, before turning back to Stacey. “And she’s the only one who gets to touch my gun.”
Carley barked out a laugh then covered her mouth. “I knew I shouldn’t have had a mimosa.”
“I haven’t had nearly enough,” Stacey said, heading toward the kitchen. “I’m making another round. You in for one, Mr. Official Deputy Sheriff?”
Knox shook his head. “No thanks. I just stopped by to bring you all some snacks and to offer to help.”
Carley’s heart melted a little. “Aww. That’s so nice of you.”
“I was worried you would be having a rough time being out of your normal element and thought maybe I could do something. You already know my skills at washing hair. Do you need me to shampoo anyone?”
“No thanks,” Carley said. “I appreciate the offer, but updos work best when you start with dirty hair.”
“I’ve got dirty hair,” Stacey piped up. “In fact, I’m real dirty. So, you can shampoo all of me.”
“Stacey, seriously dude, you have to stop,” Chloe scolded. “Knox is Carley’s fiancé. He is not a stripper.”
“What?” Aunt Sassy asked from behind them as she pushed through the door of the bunkhouse. “You all got a stripper? I didn’t know you were getting a stripper. I would’ve skipped my dentist appointment entirely and come straight here if I’d known. Did he start yet?” She snapped open her handbag. “I know I have some cash in here. Do I need one-dollar bills, or do you think he can make change?”
Chloe raised an eyebrow at Stacey. “See what you started?” Then she called out to the other woman. “Sorry, Aunt Sassy, there is no stripper.”
“Dang,” she said, snapping closed her purse. “Is it too late to get one?”
about the author
Jennie Marts is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”
She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.
Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.
Jennie loves to hear from readers. Follow her on Facebook at Jennie Marts Books, or Twitter at @JennieMarts. Visit her at www.jenniemarts.com and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest news and releases.