Thank you for coming back for another round of What to Read Wednesday. Today I have the wonderful Kristina Knight visiting. She’s sharing her third book in her TEXAS GIRLS SERIES titled What a Texas Girl Dreams.
Kristi will be talking about the draw of the cowboy hero and then sharing a smexy excerpt.
Take it away Kristi!!!
The draw of the Cowboy hero
Cowboys played a big part in my growing up years…so I supposed it’s no surprise that cowboys are my favorite character to write as a grown up. In books, whether I’m reading or writing, I can escape into cowboy-land where men are sometimes loud and direct. They know what they want. They go after it. I love a good underdog story, and a lot of cowboys are underdogs. I think we all like to be able to root for someone, whether in books or movies or TV shows, and someone who is brave, steady and fighting for right is always someone we can root for.
I grew up loving cowboys and no, I didn’t grow up in Texas, Arizona, Colorado or Wyoming. I grew up in farm country in the middle of Missouri. One of my grandfathers was a farmer (soybeans, corn, things like that). The other had a small cattle ranch and horses.
I lived for weekends visiting him and my grandmother – days spent riding my horse (a little pony called Beauty) or snuggled up with him watching an old John Wayne flick. His favorites were the early John Wayne movies – McClintock and The Quiet Man were favorites…but he wouldn’t turn his nose up at the post-Civil War Texas flicks like Rio Lobo or The Searchers.
He always smelled like sunshine, as I recall, and smoke because he was basically a chain smoker. He talked and walked like those old cowboys – he was kind of rough, direct and you knew when he was mad. Or annoyed. Or just couldn’t take one more reading of Dr. Seuss or Richard Scarry. He was also the gentlest man I’ve ever known, whether with animals or the people he loved.
In my new book, What a Texas Girl Dreams, Monica finds herself pitted against the last kind of man she thinks she needs: Trickett Samuels, a cowboy with strong roots. A man committed to his job, and who is quite content to never leave Lockhardt, Texas – the place Monica mostly likes to see in her rearview mirror. Can Trickett Samuels show Monica that having roots doesn’t have to mean clipping her wings?
“Trick…” She flicked a glance at him from under her lashes.
“Live dangerously, Mon. Kiss me, in the middle of the parking lot. Where anyone could see us.” His hand snaked out to capture hers, linking their fingers together. He leaned forward, his lips a breath away from hers. “Dare you.”
Monica swayed. Trick’s gray gaze twinkled in the twilight, and he grinned.
“You know you want to,” he whispered the words in her ear as his thumb drew intricate designs on the back of her palm.
She did want to. That kiss in the back of her horse trailer had started a hot burning in her stomach that still hadn’t faded a day later. It had blazed hotter the moment their gazes had met in the bar mirror, and now that Trick was mere inches from her, it threatened to consume her.
She wanted him. So badly.
There were no trucks on the road, no windows for the bar patrons to look through, no sound from the bar at all, since she’d followed him out the front door. Why not tempt fate, just a little?
Maybe, if someone saw, it would help her get control of this burning urge to be with Trick.
And if they didn’t, maybe one more night with him would ease the ache.
Monica reached up on her toes, the slick soles of her boots sliding a little against the gravel at her feet. She placed both hands on his shoulders, feeling hot, tight muscle beneath the thin cotton of his bright, red tee with Lockhardt Veterinary Services printed over his left pec. A light musk of beer hung in the air between them, but alcohol didn’t cloud his gray gaze and Monica had barely taken a sip of her beverage.
“I won’t kiss you because I’ve had a drink,” she said, nipping at his full, lower lip. “I won’t kiss you because you dared me.” She licked her lips, slow, and watched as his pupils dilated. “I’ll kiss you because it’s what I’ve wanted to do since the night I backed into your truck. Even after I left for that damned Utah rodeo all I could think about was you.”
Monica Witte has life the way she likes it. She comes home to be babied every few months and the rest of the time she has no strings holding her back. But after her horse is injured in a rodeo performance, Monica knows it’s time to come home and face her family – warts and all.
Trickett Samuels works best on his own. The large-animal vet likes his quiet life in the Texas countryside. When Monica Witte blows into town, demanding a quick fix to her horse’s big issues, his life is turned upside down. Trickett doesn’t understand Monica’s need to perform before perfect strangers or why she wants to keep the truth of their relationship from her family. And the more he gets to know her, the more he wonders if he can convince this Texas girl that having roots will only help her soar higher.
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police—no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and four-year-old daughter. Happily ever after.