Studs in Spurs: Slade
"sweet and intense" ~ USA Today
When country boys meet a city girl, everyone is in for a wild ride.
Slade Bower and Mustang Jackson are living the high life on the professional bull-riding circuit. The prize money is big, the bulls are rank, and the women are willing. But something is missing.
Romance writer Jenna Block has a problem: her agent thinks a cowboy book will jump start her career. A born New Yorker, Jenna doesn’t do cowboys, not on paper, and definitely not in real life. Luckily for her there are two cowboys ready, willing and able to take her out of her comfort zone in every way that counts…and some ways she hadn’t counted on.
Unridden was originally published by Linden Bay Romance - Samhain Publishing. This edition is a reissue, reedited but without any substantial additions or changes to the story.
Voted BEST WESTERN ROMANCE in the 1st Annual Authors After Dark BOOKIE Awards
“So? What did you think?”
Much like an accused man watches the faces of the jury returning with a verdict, Jenna Block held her breath as she studied her literary agent’s expression.
Marge Collins of the Collins Agency had a reputation for not pulling any punches. Swallowing hard, Jenna guessed Marge’s tightly pursed lips and hesitation were not good signs. She had a feeling her delicate writer’s ego was about to get a lesson in humility.
The manuscript sat on the desk between them like an eight-hundred-pound gorilla.
Her agent sighed. Another bad sign.
Suddenly feeling like a child seated in front of the wide desk, Jenna straightened her spine. Was her chair lower than Marge’s? That sneaky, power-grabbing ploy on the part of her agent wouldn’t surprise Jenna one little bit.READ MORE
Marge peered over the top of her reading glasses. “Jenna, there’s really no market for straight contemporaries right now.”
Jenna frowned, confused. She’d assumed the sale of this book would be a slam dunk.
“There was a market last year when you found a publisher for my last straight contemporary. In fact, you had no trouble contracting my last three novels.”
Marge nodded. “You’re right, but the trend in the industry has shifted.”
“In under a year?” Jenna asked, not believing the woman.
“That’s why it’s called a trend, I guess.” Marge shrugged.
Biting her lower lip, Jenna tried to digest the idea of totally scrapping the novel she’d spent a considerable portion of the last year writing and starting fresh with a new one. In a different genre no less.
The thought had her stomach twisting with dread.
How in the world was she going to write a new book and get it sold before this apparently fickle and ever-changing romance market shifted yet again?
Not sure she wanted to hear the answer, Jenna asked, “So what’s the new trend?”
Please don’t say historical romance.
She absolutely loathed research, which was one reason why she wrote only contemporaries.
Marge leaned back and steepled her fingers. “The publishers want cross-genre, out-of-the-box stories.”
What the hell did that mean?
Panicked, Jenna did her best to keep her expression neutral. “Okay. Like what for example?”
“Well, I just sold an erotic, multi-partner, paranormal romance with elements of bondage about pirate vampires in space.” Marge waited, as if Jenna would leap up and say that she had written a book just like that and had it stashed away on her hard drive.
Jenna sat perfectly still, hoping her face didn’t show her horror. Bondage issue aside—how did an author research that subject—her brain stalled on visions of her brother hiding the remote control and making her watch agonizing hours of the SyFy Channel on television when they were kids.
Was she destined to now spend her days penning tales of horny vampire space pirates with ball gags?
Jenna swallowed the ever-growing lump in her throat. “Um, anything else selling?”
Marge shuffled a few pages on the desk. “There is a publisher who put out an open call for submissions for their new cowboy line of romances.”
Cowboys. Okay, she could do cowboys.
“Space pirate cowboys?” Jenna asked with probably a bit more attitude than was wise considering her writing career and the fate of her future manuscripts were in this woman’s hands.
Eyes narrowed, Marge pressed her lips together but finally answered, “No. Regular cowboys.”
“Contemporary or historical?” Jenna could fake knowing about modern cowboys.
She’d just have them wear jeans and boots and chew on a piece of hay or spit tobacco or something. But writing about the Old West would require actual research.
Even if Jenna had the desire, she didn’t have the time for that. A writer was only as good as her most recent book. Readers tended to move on to another author if a writer didn’t keep feeding them new books. She couldn’t let too much time pass between new releases.
Marge finally ended Jenna’s suspense and said, “Any time period and setting is fine, so long as it has a cowboy theme.”
That was good news at least.
Still overwhelmed by the idea of starting over from scratch, Jenna let out a sigh. “When’s the deadline for submissions?”
Marge glanced down at the paper in her hand and cringed. “A month and a half from now.”
“A month and a half?” Jenna nearly choked on that information.
“Can you do that?” Marge raised one eyebrow dubiously.
With a romance convention coming up out west, book signings scheduled, on top of interviews and a virtual tour online to various chats, reader groups and blogs, Jenna had countless other things to do over the next few weeks besides plotting out and completing this new book.
She wasn’t a slow writer, but she wasn’t super fast by any means. “What length are they looking for?”
Again, Marge consulted the paper that had delivered more bad than good news so far. “They want between fifty and sixty thousand words. And they’re looking for stories that are fun and light in tone.”
Jenna snorted out a laugh. “Fifty thousand words in a month and a half on top of everything else I have going on? It’s going to be light. Don’t worry about that.”
She sure as hell didn’t have time to do heavy, though she doubted anything about this would be fun for her.
Standing, Jenna let out an overly loud breath. “I guess I better go home and get started.”
There went her plans for some retail therapy in the stores while she was in Manhattan for the day. She would have to hop right on the subway and get home to her laptop.
Marge pushed Jenna’s manuscript across the desk. “Don’t forget this.”
Jenna eyed the sheaf of papers with sudden, undeserved hatred. “Don’t you want to keep it, just in case?”
“I guess I could try to dump it on one of the smaller presses. Most of them don’t pay advances, but it’s better than nothing. Email me the electronic file when you get home and I’ll see what I can do.”
Dump it. Great.
Jenna forced a tight and far from sincere smile. “Thanks, Marge. You’re a sweetheart.”
“No problem, Jen. See you in six weeks.” Marge slid her glasses back up her nose and turned her attention to the next stack of papers on her cluttered desk.
Apparently, Jenna had been dismissed.
Stifling a groan, she mumbled a goodbye and gladly retreated from the office.COLLAPSE
Ashley on Blackraven’s Reviews wrote:
"sweet and intense"
Tanya on Joyfully Reviewed wrote:
Voted Pick of the Week by Blackraven's Reviews
”Yowza, what a smoking’ hot read! Unridden is an extremely erotic book that will warm you up right away, no doubt. One of the best menage books I’ve ever read, complete with two very sexy cowboys!”
“Wow! UnRidden is a seriously fast paced and erotic start to the Studs in Spurs series…"