Hello again. I’ve decided to stick to my Short Snippet Saturday posts on an occasional Saturday instead of participating in the weekly Book Hooks Blog Hop.
Today, I’m bringing you a snippet from Imprisoned in a Cowboy’s Heart, Book One in the Two-Five Ranch Outlaws Series. With this book, I have a clear understanding of why series books sell better to a lot of readers. Book two was supposed to be published in 2020, and book three this year, but book two never made it in 2020. Therefore, I see less sales without another book in the series for a reader to rush into. I’ve heard that readers prefer to buy an entire series, or at least more than just one book. I think low sales on this book proves that to be true. Who knows, really.
This snippet features Tanyon and Karis, our hero and heroine in this book. Tanyon’s baby brother, Levi, and his older sister, Veronica, or Ronni to family and friends appear in this snippet. Tanyon is speaking to Ronni and Karis. Young punks Logan and Rudy, also make an appearance. They are troublemaking ranch hands, but Logan is bad to the bone. Tanyon has good reason not to like him. Rudy is tolerable. The babies Karis refers to are bottle calves.
*Plunge into the first book in Mary’s Brand-new Western Romance Series—Two-Five Ranch Outlaws.
Four knife-piercing words in a frantic phone call from her mother, caused Dr. Karis Sutton to leave her cowboy in Northern Arizona to return home. While grief-stricken over a tragic loss, she’d let the man she loved slip away instead of allowing him to console her in a time of need. Now, a year later, and ready to break free from her world of gloom, she drives north to seek a second chance with the moody yet irresistible alpha-owner of the ranch. But she’s forced back to Phoenix to fight to keep two fatherless kids. While doing so, will Tanyon think she’s leaving him again and give up on any chance they might’ve had? She’s pulled in different directions. How will she make it right with so much distance between them all?
Tanyon Outlaw never thought he’d see her again. Now, she’s returned as part of the summer crew on the Two-Five Ranch. In her sad eyes, he sees straight through to her pained soul while memories of their past love invade each thought. What will it take for his cold heart to grow warm toward her again? Then, when bad things happen on the ranch, it comes in droves. Karis is called back home. A lawsuit looms over his head. Fences are cut to maim or steal his cattle. Someone else has an eye for the woman he longs to love. He’s running out of time. How can he discover why people are out to get him while figuring out what his heart wants?
Once again, Karis and Tanyon have separate, life-changing matters to attend to, so how will they keep it all together and still find a way to capture the love they once shared?
*Heat Level: Rated “R” by movie standards – Steamy
Logan and Rudy, the double-trouble duo, rounded the barn on horses. Logan glanced their way, waited, then nodded. Tanyon ignored him. “I’ll tell you later. Please, listen to me for once?” He glanced at Karis. “Both of you.”
Karis responded with a nod. “I’ll saddle Joanie. You better have a talk with Max, as well, Tanyon, because of Brielle.” As she left them, Tanyon asked Levi to go into the barn with her until he finished with the calves.
“I’ll be happy to kick his sorry ass if he tries anything,” Levi muttered on the way.
In the barn, she walked past Logan and into the tack room for Joanie’s saddle and bridle. Levi brought his horse, Thunder Bay, a white paint gelding into the cross ties and brushed him. Logan and Rudy did the same with the horses they had ridden, but they finished way too soon to have done a thorough job. No surprise.
“How do you like feeding those babies?” Levi asked Karis.
She smiled as she used the round brush on Joanie. “I don’t know what it is… Feeding them with a bottle is remarkable, like I’m their mom!”
“Maybe one day you will be. I wouldn’t mind having another little niece or nephew around here.”
Karis gasped. “Shame on you, Levi. What a big assumption.” If she hadn’t left a year ago, maybe she’d be pregnant with Tanyon’s child by now. She shook her head to clear it from thinking of such things that had been out of their control.
Ronni entered the barn to get her thoroughbred from the stall. Logan strode over to her, offering to brush him down and tack the horse for her.
Ronni smiled at Logan, and Karis reckoned her smile had been fake. A keep their enemy closer type thing.
“Sure, you can help me.” Ronni replied, winking at Karis across the way.
Karis eyed them, hoping for Ronni’s sake it was a fake smile. If something went on with those two, no one would be able to keep the shotgun out of the Outlaw men’s hands, if he had anything to do with the lawsuit, but she couldn’t picture Ronni as a cougar.
Tanyon came in behind Ronni, frowning when he saw she and Logan brushing the horse together. Karis and Levi exchanged glances as they lifted saddles onto their horse’s backs, but neither said anything. She listened to what Tanyon had to say though.
“Hey, Logan, I heard you were in the loft with that little girl, Brielle. She’s fifteen years old. Unless you want to go to jail or get shot in the head by her dad, you better wipe that smug grin off your face and listen up. Stay away from her and the others.”
“You got it all wrong—”
“No, I don’t. I know everything that goes on around here. Everything,” he said narrowing his eyes. He strode over to Joanie to put her bridle on. “You almost ready, Karis? Fox is feeding the calves.”
She couldn’t picture hard-nosed Fox feeding any baby. “Uh-huh, but I need to get a bottle of water.”
Tanyon had taken Joanie out of her stall while Karis was gone and had waited outside the barn. The three of them mounted the horses and left the barn at a slow pace. Karis shifted in the saddle to look back at Tanyon standing in the doorway. He pointed to his watch. She’d be having dinner with him in a few hours. The thought made her tremble inside to think the ranch boss might find it in his heart to forgive her.
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