Look Inside — UNRIDDEN

Scroll down for an excerpt from the newly re-released UNRIDDEN, Book 1 in the Studs in Spurs series.

UNRIDDEN (STUDS IN SPURS)

 “sweet and intense” ~ USA Today

When country boys meet a city girl, everyone is in for a wild ride.

Unridden Studs in SpursSlade 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.

Each story in the series is standalone.

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

Unridden is Available in eBook and Paperback

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UNRIDDEN EXCERPT

Day one of the competition in Tulsa had Mustang evaluating that night’s possibilities. He swept the females in the stands until his gaze landed on one woman who made him stop dead in his perusal.

He jumped up onto the rail of the chute and hissed to Slade, “Second section, fourth row back, reddish-brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, black turtleneck.”

In the process of tugging the rope that stretched beneath the bull and winding it once around his gloved hand, Slade frowned up at Mustang from the animal’s back. “I’m in the middle of taking my wrap and you’re pointing out some woman to me? In a turtleneck, no less? Since when are you interested in women whose tits aren’t hanging out?”

“This woman’s different, Slade. I can tell.” The bull hopped once in the chute and Mustang quickly reached over and grabbed the back of Slade’s vest, steadying him on the animal’s back.

“Dammit, Mustang, quit distracting me.” Slade settled himself again and then gave a nod to the gateman. The cowboy on the ground swung the gate open to release both bull and rider into the arena.

“Talk to you more when you get off,” Mustang called after him.

As Mustang watched his friend disappear into a cloud of dust, Chase Reese hopped onto the rail next to him.

“Slade’s amazing. It’s like he’s glued onto that bull. I wish I could do that. I went two for ten last series.”

The kid had been favored for Rookie of the Year until he’d hit a recent dry streak.

“That’s because you look at the ground.” Mustang followed Slade’s progress while the bull spun around to the left without deviation, from one end of the arena to the other.

The eight-second buzzer sounded and Slade released the rope wrapped around his hand. He jumped off the bull, hit the ground with his shoulder and then rolled to avoid a hoof to the ribcage before the bullfighters redirected the charging animal away from him.

“I do what?” Chase asked.

Seeing his friend was safe, Mustang took the time to turn to answer Chase’s question.

Damn, had he ever been this young? The kid probably didn’t even have to shave once a week.

“You’re looking down at the ground while you ride. If you look there, you’re gonna end up there. It’s a fact. Now, ’scuse me. I gotta talk to Slade.”

Leaving the kid with an amazed expression on his face, as if he’d just been handed all the secrets of the universe, Mustang jumped down to go meet Slade behind the chutes.

“Hey, man. Good ride. That bull was one hell of a spinner, huh?”

Slade laughed and pulled the tape from around his wrist where it held the glove on his riding hand firmly in place.

“Hell yeah. They weren’t kidding when they said he came out of the spinner pen. Felt like I was on a ride at the county fair.”

“Now we’re both done riding for the night, we have to formulate a plan,” Mustang began.

“A plan for what?”

“To reel in that woman I told you about.”

“You mean Miss Turtleneck?” Slade dismissed him with a wave of his hand. “Just do whatever it is you usually do.”

Mustang shook his head. “The usual bullshit isn’t going to work on her.”

Slade sighed. “Where did you say she’s sitting?”

Ha! In spite of all his bitching, Slade was actually showing some interest.

Feeling justified his choice for the night was the right one Mustang narrowed his eyes and easily found her again in the stands. She was writing feverishly while trying to watch the rider in the arena at the same time.

He tilted his head toward the section directly behind them. “Far end of the fourth row.”

“What the hell is she doing?” Slade frowned as he watched her.

“Hell if I know, but I think she’s taking notes. See what I mean? This woman is different. She isn’t going to just fall into our bed.”

Her hair wasn’t huge. She wasn’t made up like a showgirl and her clothes showed curves but not an inch of skin. She was different, which was what had drawn Mustang’s attention to her in the first place.

Since Slade had been in his strange funk lately, Mustang figured he’d try something unusual. Hell, even the two girls going at each other in front of them had barely got a rise out of his friend last night.

Mustang was running out of ideas, but this woman . . .

She was pretty much the opposite of their usual conquest and that might be exactly what they needed. It was worth a shot to cheer up Slade.

Besides, never opposed to trying new things, Mustang could use a bit of a change himself once in a while.

“Mustang, she’s probably a damned reporter. That’s all I need, to be featured in some exposé. I can see the headline now. Slade Bower, third-ranking bull rider in the world, propositions reporter for a threesome with former Rookie of the Year, Mustang Jackson. That’ll go over real well with the fans in the Bible Belt.” Slade scowled at Mustang. “Pick someone else. How about the one bouncing up and down over there? She’s about to pop right out of that top. You might want to keep an eye on her.”

Mustang glanced her way. “Yeah, I saw her already. I’m set on the other one.”

Laughing, Slade shook his head. “Good luck ’cause I can just about see the stick up her ass from here. That one is wound tight. But sure. Go ahead. You go for it, man. I’ll enjoy watching you get shot down.”

Mustang raised a brow. “Is that a challenge, my friend?”

Slade let out a short laugh. “No, it’s the truth.”

“I think you’re wrong. Sometimes it’s the quiet ones who are the wildest once you get them naked.”

“And you think you can get her naked?”

Mustang nodded. “Yup. I do.”

“Well, I’d like to see that.”

Grinning, Mustang slapped his friend on the back. “Don’t worry. You’ll be there too.”

Slade shook his head. “Maybe, and that is a big maybe, you might be able to get that woman naked, with enough alcohol and bullshit, but no frigging way she’ll agree to both of us. Never in a million years.”

Feeling cocky and never one to resist a challenge, Mustang crossed his arms and dug in his heels. “We’ll see. You willing to make a bet on that?”

Mirroring Mustang, Slade crossed his own arms over his chest. “Yes, we will see and, yes, I am. What do you want to bet?”

Mustang grinned. Slade was showing more interest in their extracurricular activities than he had in weeks. Maybe he had really just been bored like he said.

Perhaps what they both needed was a good challenge. Mustang knew to his core this woman would provide at least that, but more than likely, so much more.

Besides, he really enjoyed a good bet.

“How about the loser has to buy the winner a new pair of chaps?”

Slade grinned. “I could use me a new pair of chaps, so you’re on.”

Glancing back at the stands to search again for the object of their wager, Mustang frowned. “Where the hell is she? Slade, she’s gone.”

Panicked and afraid he’d lose the bet on a technicality if she’d disappeared, Mustang spun back and found the last person he ever expected to see leaning over the rail behind Slade.

“Excuse me. I was wondering if I could ask you two a few questions.” His angel in black spoke with the sexiest voice he’d ever heard.

From the sound of her, she was from back east and definitely not a local, just like he’d thought. Mustang only hoped Slade’s theory about her being a reporter was wrong.

He saw Slade raise an eyebrow and cockily turn to him, waiting expectantly for Mustang to answer her question.

What had that been again? Oh, yeah, she wanted to ask them questions. Interesting.

“Um, yeah, sure, darlin’. What do you need?” Suddenly face-to-face with her, Mustang stumbled over his usually smooth tongue a bit.

Leaning forward, she extended her hand and broke out into a smile. “Great. Let me introduce myself first. I’m Jenna Block.”

Not remembering the last time a woman had stopped to shake his hand before they fucked, Mustang smiled. He took hold of her hand, noticing how her hazel eyes had tinges of both gold and green in them.

She had a good, strong grip too. He liked that in a woman. “Pleasure to meet you. I’m Mustang Jackson.”

Mustang took a second to admire the rest of Jenna, from the tip of her brunette ponytail to the tops of her shiny black, pointy-toed cowboy boots—and if those boots of hers had walked anywhere besides the concrete sidewalks of a city street before tonight, Mustang would eat his hat.

After the quick visual sweep, he continued the introductions. “This here’s Slade Bower.”

He turned to introduce Slade, only to find the man was in the midst of his own full-body sweep of Ms. Jenna Block.

Oh yeah, now which one of them wanted to get her into bed naked?

Jenna turned and shook Slade’s hand as he mumbled a greeting and barely wrenched his gaze up from the outline of her sweater-covered tits in time before she caught him with his eyes where they shouldn’t have been.

Mustang grinned. Yup, Slade didn’t seem bored anymore.

“Wow.” She released a breathy laugh, shaking her head and glancing from one to another.

Mustang raised a brow at that. “Wow what?”

She blushed prettily. “Sorry, I’m being silly. It’s just that I recognize your names from television. It’s a pretty big coincidence that I saw you on TV just yesterday and now I’m talking to you in person.”

“You watch bull riding on television?” Her surprising statement had knocked some coherent words out of Slade.

“Mmm hmm. Well, I mean not usually but I have recently. It’s a long story. Look, would you be willing to let me buy you both a drink so we can sit down while we talk and I ask you a few questions?”

The shock on Slade’s face at her proposing they get a drink together nearly made Mustang laugh out loud.

Oh yeah, those new chaps were as good as his, and it was Slade’s wallet that would be a little lighter after the purchase.

Mustang controlled his glee long enough to answer for both of them, forcing himself to sound casual as he said, “I guess we could sit down with you for a few minutes.”

Before they went back to the trailer and he could show Slade that there was no stick up her ass, though there could hopefully be some Mustang in there . . .

Oh, he was a dirty boy.

Maybe Ms. Jenna Block should spank him. Mustang had never tried that. Could be interesting. He’d keep it in mind for later.

Mustang enjoyed that vision as the woman in his newest fantasy flashed him her perfect smile again. “Great. Is there somewhere within walking distance we can go? I came in a cab.”

“Well, there’s our trailer. It’s close and the drinks there are free.” Mustang grinned, waiting for her reaction while knowing there was no way she’d fall prey to them that easily. Anyway, what would be the fun if there wasn’t even a little bit of a challenge?

She didn’t prove him wrong as she raised one brow cockily. “Is there someplace public we can go?”

Mustang smiled at her sidestepping the invitation as Slade jumped in and said, “There’s a bar across the street. We can walk there.”

“Wonderful.” She looked around at the rapidly emptying stands. “Is this thing over for the night or is this an intermission?”

Controlling his smile at the intermission comment, Mustang said, “We’re done for tonight. We just have to stash our gear . . .” And possibly shower in case they did end up in bed. Mustang had never wanted to get a woman naked this badly. “Can you give us ten minutes then we’ll meet you right over there by the exit?”

She nodded. “Sure. Sounds good. Thank you.”

“My pleasure.” He grinned. Never had truer words been spoken.

As she waited safely behind them by the entrance, Mustang led Slade out of the public part of the arena, grabbing his rope along the way from where they’d looped them over the railing.

“Okay, admit it. You like her,” Mustang accused Slade once they were out of hearing range.

Slade scowled at him as they walked. “Doesn’t matter either way. We’re not taking her back to the trailer because I’m telling you I’m convinced now more than ever that she’s some kind of reporter. She shook your hand, for God’s sake.”

Mustang considered that as well as her odd choice of the turtleneck when the rest of the females in the crowd had worn T-shirts or boob-baring low-cut numbers.

Her dark blue jeans had an actual crease down the leg as if she’d ironed them. Then there were those shiny black boots that city folk wore for fashion not utility, and the huge black leather satchel slung on her one shoulder that most likely carried the notebook he’d seen her writing in.

Not to mention the way she carried herself, with confidence and polish.

But that she seemed to know their names but nothing else about bull riding confused Mustang the most.

If she was a true fan or a sports reporter she would have known that with Slade ranked third, barring any re-rides, the second and first-place riders that had followed him were the final two rides for the night and the competition would continue tomorrow.

Mustang shook his head as they walked into the rider room. “She’s something, I’ll give you that much, but I don’t think it’s a reporter.”

“We’ll see.” Slade shoved his vest and rope into his gear bag.

“Yes, we will.” And in just a few minutes too.

This could be the most fun he and Slade had had in a long time.

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