Thanks so much for having me here today!! I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of Accidental Cowgirl, a sweet contemporary romance featuring two seriously-broken people finding their way to true love. Today I thought I’d share a little snippet of the book – a scene where the hero and heroine first meet. Kyla’s alone, has a flat tire, and a pseudo-cop is in the midst of treating her to a battery of sobriety tests. Luckily, a knight in shining … denim … comes along to save the day!
As she got to forty jumping jacks, Kyla heard a low hum in between her labored breaths. Could it be? She strained her ears toward the sound. Oh, thank God! There was another vehicle coming. She kept one eye on the road behind her car, and was elated when a black pickup came into view. When it pulled to a stop on the shoulder and a man slid out of the driver’s seat, she gulped and stopped jumping.
“Roscoe, buddy, it's been a long shift. Why don't you let me take over here? I bet Bess has supper ready.”
Kyla fought the little jump in her tummy at his words. As much as her fantasies might have starred a deserted highway, broken-down car, and rugged, handsome cowboy, her reality was a bit smarter. It was one thing to outrun the geezer. The cowboy? Not so much. Was she actually safer with the pseudo-cop?
Roscoe looked doubtful, but rubbed his stomach. “I don't know, Decker. You sure you can handle her? She's kind of a pisser.”
Pisser? She'd done everything he'd asked! She'd even called him sir, though by the time they'd gotten to jumping jacks, she was pretty sure he was faking the whole cop thing.
“Pissers are my specialty, old buddy.” The cowboy brushed his hand across his mouth like he was trying not to laugh. You just get in your truck and head back up to town. I'll take care of her.”
Roscoe turned toward his truck, then back to Kyla. He pointed at her and narrowed his eyes again. “I'll be watching you, young lady.”
Once he cleared the rise and disappeared, Decker turned back toward Kyla, shaking his head. “Jumping jacks? You let him make you do jumping jacks?”
"You saw that?"
"Why'd he pull you over, anyway?"
"He didn't. I have a flat tire. I was just sitting here when he came along, thinking maybe he was going to help. Instead, I've now had a whole battery of sobriety tests and I still have a flat tire."
He raised his eyebrows, glancing down at her skirt. "You don't know how to change a tire?" He shook his head as he peered around the back of the car to check out her wheel.
"I know how to change a tire, thank you. And I would have been perfectly capable of changing this one, but there's no spare."
"It's illegal not to have a spare."
"It's not my car."
"Whose is it?"
"A … friend's." Yes, a friend's. Definitely not a rental. Which means I'm definitely not a deserted tourist, got it?
"Where are you heading?"
Oh, no way she was answering that one. "North."
His eyes crinkled. "Where your biker-gang buddies are waiting for you, and if you don't show up in the next three point five minutes, they'll be right down?"
"Are you a cop?"
"Is he?" She pointed up the road where the blue truck had disappeared.
"Was. Trooper Roscoe Dubuque, Montana State Police."
"Does he forget that sometimes?"
"What? That he's retired?" Decker looked her up and down, then locked his eyes on
hers again. Kyla fought to match his stare, though her eyes longed to travel the length of him. It should have been hard, but his irises were such a deep blue that she couldn't look away. Good Lord, this man belonged in a catalog. “Roscoe believes he's doing the right thing. He really does. You want me to check out that tire?”
Kyla uncrossed her arms and glanced down, realizing she was still barefoot. She looked for the heels she’d kicked off and headed toward them as she answered. "Depends. Do you have a magic air pump?"
“No, but I've got something in my truck that might fix it temporarily.” He crouched down and poked at her tire. "Maybe." He turned and headed for his truck, shaking his head.
"Don't want to leave you out here for the bears." Kyla looked around, hardly meaning to, and Decker laughed.
"Sorta funny," he called, head buried in some toolbox in the truck bed.
She tried not to watch as he tossed around some tools, but to her chagrin, she was having trouble not following him with her eyes. His soft green shirt tapered into just-worn-enough Levis that hugged all the right parts in all the right ways. She shook her head. There is no greater trouble than a too-handsome man, she could hear Gramma telling her.
And Gramma, as always, had been one hundred and fifty percent right on that one. It was going to be a lo-ong time before she'd ever go down that path again. She kicked the flat tire with her toe, then jumped as Decker came around the back of her car.
“Don’t move,” he ordered as he walked slowly toward her, pointing a rifle.
So … I’d love to know - What’s your favorite kind of first-meet scene?
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