Rhinestone Cowgirl (MF)
[BookStrand Cowboy Romance]
Poppy Dumphy is Beverly Hills born and bred, and she has everything money can buy—except a connection with her father. After his death, she learns why and leaves her posh life to expose a long-kept secret.
In Rowdy, Texas, small-town living suits Cale Hollander to a comfortable T. He runs his ranch, helps his neighbors, and is wary of strangers. The former rodeo bronc buster wants to return to his first love—riding. The last thing he needs is a distraction in the form of a petite blonde.
The pair butts heads at every encounter as intensifying attractions—and mounting suspicions—flourish. Neither is prepared for the other as they fail in their fight with temptation. If they give in, will they both lose all they cherish when the truth comes out? Or can they build a life together better than either ever dreamed of?
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
4 BOOKS: "Rowdy, Texas is most definitely not ready for California girl Poppy Dumphy. But to be fair, Poppy isn't ready for this small Texas town either. What brings her there, you may ask? That's simple. The truth. Poppy may come off as a little spoiled rich girl, but in all honesty, she isn't. Yes, her character had to grow on me, but it didn't take long. Poppy became accustomed to the small town fairly quickly. Though the folks in this town didn't welcome her with open arms, Poppy grew on them, too. Mistaken for a pampered brat, the members of Rowdy soon realize that Poppy isn't what she appears to be. She may have the hot looks, money, and the good life, but what Poppy lacks is emotionally deeper than all of that. And that's where I connected to her. Cale Hollander, the hero, is as country as you can get. He has a love of the rodeo, he's content with the small town life, he's friendly and kind. What more can one ask for? He's a man that knows what he wants, and his attraction to Poppy is only going to distract him from his goals. Rhinestone Cowgirl is a fun, charming small town romance. The author has put two characters together on a journey of self discovery and shows that despite their drastic differences in lifestyle, two opposites can come together and fall in love. Poppy doesn't reveal the real reason she's come to Rowdy, and the tension building during this deception kept me wondering what Cale's reaction will be. He's protective of his friends, and no matter what he may feel for Poppy, the fact that she's not telling him this could be a make or break deal. Who can resist a hot cowboy? Add in a well crafted story filled with romance, emotion, and characters that are easy to like, and you get a book that's hard to put down. I can't find a single thing in this book that I didn't like. It's a wonderful novel. The sex is intimate but not too graphic, it fits perfectly for this tender romance. If you enjoy contemporary romance with a western flair, then Rhinestone Cowgirl is a book you should consider." -- Sunflower, Long and Short Reviews
4 STARS: "Who doesn't love to read about a fish out of water? RHINESTONE COWGIRL is a great romantic comedy. Watching "Miss Beverly Hills" flourish in podunk America was extremely entertaining. Poppy Dumphy looks like sex on a stick when she hops out of her rental car teetering on her stilettos and smelling good enough to eat. After taking in the view of her too high heels and too short shorts, Cale Hollander decides that Poppy looks like a whole lotta trouble that he and the little town of Rowdy, TX don't need right now. Poppy is certainly out of her element--she is surrounded by strange people in a strange town and no one seems to like her much mostly because they can't get past her designer duds and posh zip code. "Pretty little princess", that's what everyone in town calls Poppy when they think she can't hear them, but she hears them and it hurts, but she is there for one reason and one reason only and it's not to win a popularity contest. On the outside, it might look like she has the perfect life of a princess but she is living proof that all that glitters is not gold. The only blip in the story was how the events unfold with the former rodeo star, Kib. Honestly, it took way too long to get to the heart of the matter where he was concerned and I never quite understood why. I would have preferred that aspect of the story to have developed much earlier so the focus could be more on strengthening bond and her relationship with Cale. Cale and Poppy have great synergy. They stir up so many emotions in each other, but she really gets him going. It's like she is the red flag to his raging bull. When they finally give in to temptation, it's fireworks galore! If you love cowboys and city girls, this is just the perfect book to rope you in for a weekend of fun and sexy romance." -- Bookie Nookie, The Romance Reviews
Cale Hollander could point her in the right direction. He’d be more than happy to run the woman right out of Rowdy. One article in a national magazine about Kib Morgan being one of Texas’ most eligible bachelors had done nothing but cause trouble for the entire town. It wasn’t Kib’s fault single women took it as an invitation to try and rectify his status. Everyone thought it had all ended when the last few stragglers left town over a month ago. Kib didn’t need another round of gold-digging, wedded-bliss-seeking women.
Cale tilted his hat back to get a better look at the gal. This had to be the youngest one yet. Young and beautiful with all her tangled curls sitting atop her head and the skimpy shorts showing off her shapely legs. But the last thing his friend needed was a bride young enough to be his daughter.
What was Gerri thinking renting this woman a room?
The woman swiped at the back of her neck again. He fought not to let his gaze drop where her top showed a peek of the creamy skin beneath every time she raised her arm.
“Granddad, can you grab a bottle of water for our guest?”
Grover eyed him. “What?”
His granddad grumbled but headed back to the house. Once he was out of earshot, Cale spoke again. “I don’t know what your game is, but we don’t want your kind here. So why don’t you turn around your sporty red”—he waved at her car—“toy and go.” Despite his granddad’s gruffness, if he’d heard Cale speak to a woman like this—even one intruding into their world—he’d have kicked his tail from here to Kib’s land.
Poppy blanched, though had he not been looking, it might have been hard to tell with her red cheeks. She took a step away from him. “I, um, I don’t know what you mean.”
Cale caught a whiff of her, all fruit and flowers, when she moved. She smelled better than any woman should be allowed. It distracted him almost to the point of forgetting what he was saying to her. “I mean”—he lowered his voice and leaned forward then yanked her shoe-heel from the ground, making her scurry backwards faster— “this is farm country. Not some place for a citified, pointy-shoed, little…”
“Here ya go, girl.” His granddad hurried across the yard and handed her a cold drink.
“Oh thank you.” She unscrewed the lid and downed the entire bottle in one greedy gulp.
For the first time, Cale was a little concerned for the woman. He’d attributed her rosy cheeks to embarrassment, but now he wondered.
He shook himself. It was no concern of his. “You missed the ranch by one turn in. Go back out the way you came in, turn right, and head up the road about another quarter mile. Can’t miss it. Twice.”
Miss Poppy Dumphy, high-heeled, short-shorts vixen, gave a wan smile and nodded then looked at her car. Dread filled her face as she rolled the empty plastic bottle across her forehead.
“Is there something wrong with your car?”
“Wrong? No. Well, the AC went out about two hours ago. It’s a rental.” She shrugged then glanced between him and his granddad. “I’m so sorry for intruding. Thank you again for the water.” She waved the empty bottle at the two men and hobbled back to the Mustang, but stopped before getting in. “Um, do you suppose…”
This is what Cale was waiting for, the helpless act all these city girls threw at a guy to keep him following behind, tongue waggling.
“May I have my heel back?” She held out her tiny hand.
Not what he expected, he stood there for a long moment.
“I might be able to get my shoe fixed. But I need the heel. Please?”
Cale handed the broken shoe part to her. He tried to ignore the little zip that shot through him when his fingertips brushed against her palm. Just static he thought. Though it was hard to convince himself that with the damned dry Texas heat enveloping him.
Poppy eased back into her car with a quick little wave and started the engine.
“C’mon, boy. Get your head outta the clouds. We got a rodeo to prepare for.”
Cale watched the dust trail disappear as she drove away. Despite her not simpering or acting helpless—maybe she was saving it up for Kib—he wondered how long she’d actually stay. If she was anything like the rest of the would-be wives, he’d give her two days at the most before she packed up and headed back to whatever concrete town she came from.
He’d learned the hard way that a city gal could only handle so much dirt, grit, and heat before they ran away. They couldn’t—wouldn’t—conform to Rowdy’s way of life.