High school librarian Jana's best friends Kim and Tracy accuse her of being a professional spinster, still single at twenty-seven. On a bet with them on the weekend of the big rodeo, Jana goes to the favorite night spot of the rodeo crowd to try to pick up a cowboy.
Before the night is over, she knows the steak dinner she'll win from her friends is by far the least of her prizes. Once she gets acquainted with Ty, the phrase "ride 'em cowboy" takes on a whole new meaning. She just might run her brand on this one!
Jana Tucker paused on the sidewalk outside the Club El Paso. She needed a moment to gather her courage. Over the door, the garish neon sign flashed, dazzling her eyes. No time like the present. I'll never win that bet with Kim and Tracey if I don't try. Squaring her shoulders, she pushed the door inward and stepped into hazy cacophony.
Inside the club, a well-amped country and western band rocked the room while the smoke was so thick she could barely see two feet ahead. She paused to let her eyes adjust to the dim light, feeling as out of place as a sheepherder at a tea party.
Why did I ever let myself get talked into this? Damn old friends who know you can't resist a dare!
From what she'd heard, the bar was crowded every weekend, but tonight, with the big rodeo in town, the dimly lit room reminded her of the proverbial sardine can, packed to the brim. She hesitated, trying to get her bearings. The club had live music every Friday and Saturday night, but this time it was a name band, not just local talent like Alvie and the Muleskinners.
Down and Dirty performed for the capacity crowd of cowboys and cowgirls, buckle bunnies and locals. On the body-jammed dance floor, couples gyrated to the driving beat. From what she could see, every small table around the dance floor was occupied. With a final crescendo of twanging guitars and pounding drums, the band ended the set. The musicians stood to indicate it was break time. The dancers reacted at once. Time to grab another long neck, and maybe step outside for a breath of hot but fresh air.
As the crowd parted, a lane opened across the room to the end of the bar. A cowboy sat on the farthest stool, hunched over his drink. The stool beside him was empty as if his dark mood kept the revelers at arm's length. In an instant, Jana recognized Tyler Parton. Nobody else wore those retro-styled red and black shirts that had become his trademark -- the ones with contrasting piping around the yokes and embroidered roses, fore and aft. Straight out of the forties. This one was black.
Gawd, he's one hot looking man. An ass to die for, too. Those tight Wranglers really showcase his buns.
Jana's lusty thoughts surprised her. Hardly typical of a prim high school librarian, her normal persona. Maybe it was the atmosphere. The musky odor of beer, hot bodies and rodeo dust would stir anyone's libido.
Better make this good, girl.