The Maverick Cowboy
Author: Macie St. James
Series: Cupid Ridge Dude Ranch, #1
Publication date: January 6th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Western
He’s slow to trust. She can’t seem to keep a secret. Can they overcome their differences to find their happily ever after?
Joshua Ludington is slow to trust. After being betrayed by the woman he loved, he vowed to take a hiatus from dating. But when Lucie Cooper drives onto his family ranch, he finds the beautiful chef hard to resist.
Lucie Cooper is at Cupid Ridge Inn to do a job. They need an interim chef for their dude ranch guests, and she’s determined to fill that position. When she runs into handsome cowboy Joshua Ludington, at first she’s excited to show off her cooking skills. Soon, though, it becomes apparent that what she’s feeling for him goes beyond gratitude for the job.
Although Lucie knows Joshua has been burned, she’s determined to show this handsome cowboy that he can count on her. But Lucie is notoriously bad at keeping secrets, and working for the Ludingtons means keeping things quiet. She means well, but she might just destroy her new relationship before it gets off the ground.
The Cupid Ridge Dude Ranch series is a sweet, clean contemporary western romance series filled with swoon-worthy cowboys in a small-town setting.
“I don’t feel like I even have a home right now. I’m just…waiting.”
“But you do have a home.” He turned to look at her. “You always have a home at the inn, with us.”
Did that sound cheesy? It definitely came across as cheesy. He was better at sitting home alone by himself than trying to win over a woman.
But she was looking at him, and something in her eyes told him maybe he hadn’t totally blown it. “Thank you,” she said.
They were speaking in quiet tones, as though someone might overhear them, but that wasn’t the reason for the hushed voices. No, on his end, it was because he was battling the urge to move toward her. Judging by the way her expression had softened and her gaze subtly lowered to his mouth, then moved to his eyes again, she didn’t want him to battle it.
“For…being you.” She smiled.
And then, she moved closer, stealing what little breath he had left. He met her halfway, lifting his hand to her face, his thumb caressing her cheek as he pressed his lips to hers.
He was kissing Lucie Cooper. It was hard to believe. The teenage version of him was cheering that the grown-up version was kissing the Lucie Cooper.
But somewhere mid-kiss, things shifted. He was no longer the teenage boy who looked at the teenage cheerleader as some beautiful, popular girl. This was Joshua Ludington, sharing a very big moment with a woman he had a real connection with. A woman he was starting to fall for.
All he could hope, as the kiss deepened, was that she wouldn’t break his heart. He wasn’t sure he could handle it if she did.
about the author
USA Today Bestselling author Macie St. James has written most of her life. After earning a degree in mass communications, she worked in public relations and technology for the government. She spent a full decade as a content writer before realizing her dream of being a full-time novelist. She lives in Nashville with her husband and dog, a spaniel mix.
Visit Macie’s webpage at MacieStJames.com. Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free e-book of The Coolheaded Cowboy, the prequel to the Cupid Ridge Dude Ranch series.