Excerpt from THREE WEEKS WITH A BULL RIDER “The Kiss”

THREE WEEKS WITH A BULL RIDER releases in trade paperback and eBook one month from tomorrow and the advanced reviews are beginning to roll in. One review mentions the first kiss and ensuing physical encounter between enemies-to-lovers, Jace and Tara. Heartbroken and young, Tara is damaged hero Jace’s best friend’s little sister, so you see there are issues. In this scene he’s trying to do the right thing while she’s doing her best to try his patience and push the boundaries. He’d just found her playing a very adult version of “Seven Minutes in Heaven” with 2 rookie bull riders and, acting in the place of her protective older brother, Jace dragged her out of the bar. I’m calling this excerpt ‘The Kiss’ but it really should be called “don’t go to a boy to do a man’s job”. 🙂 Enjoy!

THREE WEEKS WITH A BULL RIDER EXCERPT:

Three Weeks with a Bull Rider

“You really think letting some kid kiss you is the way to prove to everyone you’re grown up? Is that what all this shit in the closet with Klint was about?”

“Yes!” She stamped her foot and proved his point that she was behaving like an adolescent.

“Then that just proves what a foolish child you are, Tara. You don’t go to a boy to do a man’s job.”

“I had no one else to go to. You’re like a watchdog, chasing everyone away.”

The stupidity of Tara putting herself in a compromising position on a whim pissed him off. Deep down, Jace knew she’d do it again—probably every chance she got—just to teach him a lesson for trying to stop her.

“You really wanna be kissed that badly?” Jace’s anger made his voice sound husky. Deep and intense.

“Yes, I do.” Her eyes flashed with defiance.

“Fine.” Jace leaned closer until a crease furrowed Tara’s brow.

If she insisted on putting herself into a closet with a kid she knew nothing about because she wanted a damn kiss, Jace would give her a kiss. One she’d never forget. One that would make those rookies seem like kindergarteners. And he wouldn’t scrape her face raw the way Klint had doing it. Jace shaved every night before the competition because real men didn’t have anything to prove by showing the world they could grow some hair on their chin.

He grabbed the back of her neck with one hand, much as he had when he’d hauled her out of the bar, but his intentions were very different. He pulled her closer until their faces were inches apart.

Her lower lip trembled as her big blue eyes widened. For once, she focused on his face. Jace didn’t ask her again. He brought his other hand up, cupped her cheek and took possession of her lips, determined to kiss the childish pout right off them.

It started out hard. He wanted to punish her. Teach her a lesson. Scare the stupid out of her so she didn’t try anything so risky again. But she didn’t back off like he thought she would. Instead, she kissed him back.

He’d expected her lips to be hard and unyielding, just like her attitude toward him most days. They weren’t. They were soft and giving, receptive to his taking. He took a step closer. With one booted foot between her feet, his thigh fit perfectly between her legs.

Angling his head, he changed the kiss, worked her lips as he marveled at how different it felt to kiss a mouth he didn’t know intimately. It had been quite a while since he’d kissed anyone other than his ex.

Exploring the new sensations, Jace moved his right hand down Tara’s back, landing on the slender curve of her hip. At the same time, Tara had gone from bracing against his chest, to wrapping her arms around his waist. When she slipped her hands into the back pockets of his jeans, he had a feeling she was planning on being there for a while. Fine. A girl as stubborn as Tara needed a long, thorough lesson.

She opened her lips beneath his. Jace didn’t ignore the silent invitation, but he also wasn’t going to rush to give her what she wanted. She needed a lesson in patience as much as—more, actually—than a lesson that she shouldn’t go into closets to kiss men.

He drew her lower lip between his and scraped it with a good bit of teeth. She drew in a shuddering breath that had him smiling against her mouth, thinking that Klint probably hadn’t gotten that reaction from her. Stroking her face beneath his thumb, Jace decided to give her a bit of what he knew she wanted. He ran just the tip of his tongue along the inside of her lower lip, and then repeated it with the upper one.

Tara opened farther for him and he didn’t deny either of them. He plunged into the wet heat of her mouth. She met his tongue with her own, stroking against him in an erotic dance that had him pressing his lower body against hers before he realized what he was doing.

Somewhere, somehow it had gone from Jace proving a point, to him being rock hard in his jeans and ready to take whatever Tara wanted to give.

That realization had him breaking the kiss. But damn the devil inside him, he didn’t pull back. He stayed pressed up against her, his mouth a breath away from her face. “That kiss good enough for you?”

Tara’s gaze moved from Jace’s lips to his eyes. “Yes.”

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Share the Love Giveaway Hop (CLOSED) and an EXCERPT from THROWN

Share the Love Bloghop
As we count down to Valentines Day, this blog hop is a little different. I’m sharing the love and surprising a few of my author friends by giving them the gift of your Facebook Likes and Twitter Follows. In exchange, each one you Follow/Like will be a bonus entry for you to win my prize, an advanced digital ARC of THROWN. And for those of you who aren’t on FB or Twitter, you still get to enter. All you need is an email address to do so. And as an additional thanks, I’ve posted an all new excerpt from THROWN at the end of this post.

Don’t forget to visit the host blog, Herding Cats & Burning Soup for links to all the other participating blogs where there are more prizes and chances to win!

TO ENTER: The entry form is hosted at the embedded MOBILE FRIENDLY LINK (or copy and paste this URL http://prmo.me/cYVz6N ) My apologies that WordPress doesn’t allow me to embed the whole entry form here.

The Fine Print: Contest ends 11:59 PM ET Feb. 14, 2014. PromoSimple will generate a winner from the entrants. I will email the winner of my prize, an eARC of my May 20th release THROWN, as well as post their name here on Feb 15th.

THE WINNER IS FROGGY! SHE HAS BEEN CONTACT BY EMAIL.

Thanks for helping me share the love! And as a thank you, I’m posting below a never-before-seen excerpt from my May release, THROWN (Studs in Spurs, Book 6). This book, and the next one coming in the series, CHAMPION, show how love can happen at any age. The hero and heroine in THROWN are young (Skeeter 21 and Reilly 19), but in the next book, CHAMPION, the hero Cooper (Skeeter’s bull riding teacher) is in his 40s and the heroine Hannah, Skeeter’s mother, is nearly 40. The two books are standalone love stories. Enjoy! Cat

THROWN (Studs in Spurs, Book 6) by Cat Johnson

Thrown Studs in Spurs Cat Johnson

This ain’t their first rodeo…but there are a lot of other firsts they can experience together

Skeeter Anderson was born to ride bulls. He bypassed college to shoot straight to the top of the elite pro tour, but lately all he can seem to do is hit the dirt.Unwilling to admit his career might be over at twenty-one, Skeeter brainstorms a bull-riding boot camp with his buddies, which will put him closer to a girl who’s caught his eye—a stock contractor’s daughter called Riley.

Riley Davis lives and breathes bulls. Since her mother’s death, she’s been her father’s business partner as well as the apple of his eye—until a coronary rips him out of her life. Now, at nineteen, she must find a way to hang onto the family business. When Skeeter hears about Riley’s dad, he drives straight to Mississippi to lend her a hand, his buddies hot on his heels. Suddenly Riley has more help than she can shake a stick at, and an attraction to Skeeter that’s heating up by the minute…

Warning: Contains cowboy yoga, cowboys in love, and a romance that hits so hard and fast, it makes being thrown from a bull look like a friendly game of hopscotch.

EXCERPT from THROWN (rated G)

10 Years Ago

Glen walked over with the bull rope that had fallen off the bull right after Skeeter had. He looped it over the rail and shook his head. “Damned if he don’t remind me of you, Coop.”

“Oh, really?” Cooper cocked a brow.

“Yup. You get that same look in your eye after a ride.” The man grinned.

As Glen walked away in the direction of the barn, Cooper’s gaze shot to Skeeter. “If that’s true, then God help you, boy. You’re bound to have a tough life ahead of you.”

Skeeter could handle it. His life hadn’t been a piece of cake so far anyway. But the life of a professional bull rider like Cooper? He was ready for whatever that threw at him.

The sound of gravel crunching on the driveway caught Skeeter’s attention. He turned to see his mother’s car inch its way toward the ring. He hardly held himself in check so he didn’t go running toward her. The only thing preventing him was that he didn’t want to act like a little kid in front of Cooper.

She seemed to take an eternity to park and then walk toward him. She stepped carefully through the dust and the sparse grass. Her waitress uniform looked so out of place next to the practice pen it might have made Skeeter laugh if he hadn’t been so excited, but his mom didn’t seem to notice or care that she didn’t fit in here dressed like that.

Cooper must have noticed her uniform though. He was staring at her as she made her way from the parked car to the ring.

Skeeter jumped to explain. “My mom works at the diner weeknights after her shift at the hospital is over. She works there on Saturdays too. That’s why she’s wearing that uniform.”

“That’s a lot of work for one lady.” Cooper shot Skeeter a sideways look. “What’s your daddy do for a living?”

“I don’t know. He doesn’t live around here.”

After a second, Cooper nodded. His gaze shifted, moving to Skeeter’s mom and then back to Skeeter. “There ain’t nothing wrong with having two jobs and working hard, son. Except I suppose it doesn’t leave her much time for herself, now does it?”

“Sure, it does. She has Sunday mornings off. We go to church and then she and the ladies there have coffee and cookies together while the kids go play outside.”

Cooper nodded again, but by then Skeeter’s mother was close enough he could tell her about his ride. “Mom! Cooper said I did great and I can ride again tomorrow.”

She raised one brow. “Is that so? And it’s proper to call him Mr. Holbrook.”
Cooper grinned. “That’s fine, ma’am. Cooper works for me.”
“As long as it’s all right with you.” His mother didn’t smile even though Cooper was smiling at her. In fact, she looked a little sad as she looked at Skeeter. “But I’m not sure about another lesson so soon.”

No! She couldn’t say that.

“I need to keep practicing if I’m gonna get good.” When she pressed her lips together in a move Skeeter had seen many times, his heart sank. She was going to say no. It was no use, but he had to try anyway. “Please.”

She drew in a slow breath.
“Ma’am. If I might step in here for a second?”
Finally letting out that big breath, she glanced at Cooper. “Sure.”
“I could use someone to help me out here. If you dropped him off for a few hours a couple of days a week, he could do a little work around the place and then I could get him on a few bulls. It would only be when I’m around, of course. I do a lot of traveling, but if I’m here, he’s welcome.”

She bit her lower lip before she nodded. “That would be real nice of you, Mr. Holbrook.”

“Nah, he’d be doing me the favor helping out. And it’s Cooper, remember?”

“All right. Thank you.” A small smile tipped up her lips and Skeeter’s heart began to pound. He was going to get to work and ride with Cooper, almost like they were partners. That was even better than just taking lessons.

“It’s my pleasure, ma’am.”

She swiped one hand across her eyes and then turned to Skeeter. “Come on. We’ve got to go. I need to get a load of laundry in so my uniform’s clean for work. You need to thank Mr. Hol—Cooper.”

PREORDER: AMAZON KINDLE

In defense of Jace EXCERPT #2 Three Weeks with a Bull Rider…

THREE WEEKS WITH A BULL RIDER CAT JOHNSONIt’s interesting to sit back as an author and watch readers react to your characters. I’m finding that particularly so with Jace from the Oklahoma Nights series. He’s not perfect. I know. I wrote him that way. There are reasons for his flaws and for his behavior, but you, the readers don’t get to see all that until his book, Three Weeks with a Bull Rider. Some readers of Book 2 complained about Jace as a character. What I would hope is that readers realize that if I can make him bother you in Book 2, I have the skill to turn both your opinion and his character around in Book 3.

In real life no one should judge another person until they’ve walked a mile in their shoes because what we see of each other is only the tip of the iceberg of a complete world that makes up each of us. More than that, not one of us is perfect. George RR Martin, author of Game of Thrones, says his favorite characters to write are the ‘gray’ characters because they are the most true to life, and I think, more interesting. I want to throttle perfect characters. They are cardboard, two-dimensional beings. Real people make mistakes. Real people are capable of great deeds, and even greater mistakes and stupidity.

Jace, on the surface, is a fickle womanizer, a player and a fool. Dig deeper and you’ll find a man who’s tortured, Be Kindwrestling with a past he can’t close the door on, as much as he tries to move forward.

Here’s a never before seen excerpt from Three Weeks with a Bull Rider. It’s a peek into a dark side of Jace’s life, his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. They dated for 7 years and even now, a year after their break-up, she’s still a drug he can’t resist. But just like an illicit drug, she’s toxic to him and he knows it. In this scene he’s given his best friend’s sister a ride home from a rodeo because her car broke down. READ THAT EXCERPT HERE But his ex-girlfriend, who likes to keep tabs on him even though they are broken up, is angry at him for being in the truck with another woman…

EXCERPT

Jace drove to the next block, and then pulled to the side. Letting the truck idle, he picked up his cell phone and dialed Jacqueline. He was tired. Bone deep exhaustion began in his heart and had nothing to do with the competition tonight.

Jacqueline answered on the second ring. “It’s after eleven o’clock.”

“I told you I’d call when I got to Stillwater so I’m calling.”

“It doesn’t take that long to drive from Shawnee. What did you do? Pull over and fuck her?”

“Yeah, Jacqueline. I fucked her nine ways ’til Sunday, right here in the truck. Then I dumped her off with her brother—my best friend—and told him what a great lay she was.” Jace’s heart pounded as hard when he fought with Jacqueline as it did when his hand was strapped to the back of a ton of bucking bull. That kind of stress couldn’t be healthy.

“Then why did fifty miles take you over an hour? I know how fast you like to drive.”

“It’s closer to sixty miles and I was towing her car behind the truck. I had to drive slow. Then I had to take the time to unhitch it when I got to Tuck’s place.” Jace gripped the phone tight and tried to maintain calm.

Maybe she’d believe he was telling the truth. Maybe not. That was always up in the air when it came to Jacqueline. He heard the sniffle and the shaky intake of breath.

“There’s nothing to cry over.” He was safe, back in Stillwater and alone. What the hell more could he offer her? Still, the tears always did him in. It seemed more so now that they were broken up. “Hey, you know what else? I came in second. And even better, I didn’t get hurt.”

Jacqueline let out a snort. “Too bad.”

Jace smiled at that. She’d stopped with the accusations about other women and resorted to insulting him. He knew they were on the upward slope of the fight. “This should make you happy. A young kid riding injured beat me out of first.”

“That’s because you’re old.”

“Pfft. Those young guys don’t know shit. You know that. Now me, I’m old enough to know where everything is and how to use it.” Jace’s voice dipped down, low and suggestive.

“Do you have to work early in the morning?” Jacqueline’s tone had softened.

“No.” He never scheduled jobs for the morning after he rode. There were times he needed the recovery time, or a visit to the hospital. Either way, he didn’t want to leave a customer expecting him and then not show up.

“Can you come over?”

His cock heard the invitation in her voice and immediately rose to the occasion. The damn thing was like his parents’ dog when he was growing up. Buster could be at the other end of the house, hear the can opener and come running, thinking it was time to eat. Like a reflex reaction, Jace’s dick heard Jacqueline’s voice and figured it was time for some lovin’. Truth be told, he hadn’t taken it out for a spin since the last time he’d been with her.

He drew in a shaky breath. “All right. I’ll be there in five minutes.”

Jace had taken his time on the drive from Shawnee to Stillwater, but he didn’t on the way over to Jacqueline’s apartment. He risked a ticket and sped down the dark, deserted streets as the clock on the dash told him it was getting closer to midnight. He wouldn’t stay the night. It would be too painful. How could he hold Jacqueline all night, wake up next to her in the morning in the home they used to share, and then get up and leave to go back to his empty apartment?

This was self-destructive behavior, and yet he was pulling his truck into her driveway, throwing it in park, and heading for the door . . . and her bed. They needed to talk. He needed to stop this. She needed to stop inviting him over. They both had to get on with their lives.

But not tonight. He’d come over tomorrow in the light of day when he wasn’t so tired and needy. They’d talk like adults and agree to be friends.

Jace felt satisfied with his plan as she opened the front door. He was good with it right up until she grabbed his shirt and pulled him inside and her mouth crashed into his. Then all rational thought was lost. He thrust his hands beneath the silky fall of platinum blond waves that hung nearly to her ass. She’d been the local rodeo queen the year he’d met her, and he had no doubt she’d still be able to take the title all these years later.

Yanking her head back, Jace took possession of her mouth. Without breaking the kiss, he backed her inside, kicking the door closed behind him.

Jacqueline wiggled both hands between their bodies. Blindly, she unhooked the buckle on his belt. After seven years of being together and a year of having sex while broken up, it was no surprise she could maneuver his belt as well as he could. She went to work on the fly of his jeans as he anticipated what would be next—her hands on him. Them on the bed. Him inside her.

He tugged the bottom of the tank top out of her pajama bottoms. Sliding his hands beneath the elastic waistband, he felt the bare skin of her ass. He loved how she slept commando. No underwear. Nothing beneath those PJs but his warm, smooth woman . . . except that she wasn’t his. Not anymore.

But for tonight—for the next hour or two—she’d be his.

Jace hoisted her up and she wrapped her legs around his back as he carried her to the bedroom. As he cleared the doorway of the room so familiar to him, he noticed she’d gotten a new lamp and painted the walls. The changes were physical reminders, like a fist to the gut, that they weren’t together. He tossed her onto the bed where she landed with a bounce on the mattress. He followed her down and knew with certainty they shouldn’t be doing this.

Yanking his T-shirt off over his head, Jace tossed it to the floor, realizing it wouldn’t remain there long. He’d put it on after they were done and drive home. In the morning, he’d wake up alone in his own bed. Tomorrow, he’d go back to wondering when the next phone call or text would come from her. When she’d ask him to come over again. And he’d do it, knowing it would hurt like hell afterward.

He didn’t want to live like that anymore.

The knowledge tickled the back of his mind, but the words never made it out of his mouth. Maybe because his mouth was too busy biting her neck, marking her. She raked her nails down his back, likely leaving marks of her own.

Their sex always had been intense. Rough. Passionate. Almost violent, just like their relationship. The worse the fight, the harder the makeup sex. Today’s argument had been nothing compared to their usual, but Jace was too needy, too deprived for too frigging long to not take her hard and fast.

Two fingers thrust inside her told him she was wet and ready. The damn woman always had gotten off from arguing with him. Jacqueline threw her head back, eyes slammed shut from the feel of his invasion. He could bring her to orgasm fast enough. Just a thumb or his mouth on her would do it. He knew her so well, it would take no effort at all, but he was mad and he needed to be inside her. Needed to pound away the emotions.

Jace reached for the drawer next to the bed.

“There aren’t any more in there. You used the only one left last time you were here.”

There’d been plenty of times he had gone without protection with Jacqueline throughout the years, but not now that they were broken up. Especially not after Tuck’s revelation about Emma and Logan’s unplanned surprise. He sat up. “I have some in my gear bag. Be right back.”

“You what? You carry condoms in your gear bag?” Her eyes opened wide.

Crap. He realized his mistake too late. Jace knew that tone, knew that look. He sighed. “Yes, I have a box of condoms in the truck.”

“Why? Who are you fucking at the arena, Jace? Her? The one I heard on the phone tonight?”

“I’m not having sex with anyone besides you, Jacqueline.”

He should lie and tell her he’d picked up a new box because he’d remembered they’d used the stash he always kept in her drawer, but she’d see the box wasn’t new. Some were missing.

He could tell the truth, that he’d started carrying that box around with him shortly after they’d broken up. Since he hadn’t been with anyone else, he’d never used even one. The strip missing were the ones he’d given to Tuck the night he met Becca. But there was no winning a fight with Jacqueline when she got jealous and irrational.

“You’re a pig! You fuck your little tramp and then come here to my bed?” Jacqueline reinforced her accusation by grabbing the phone next to the bed and throwing it at him.

Only his quick reflexes blocked it from hitting him in the face. It bounced off his forearms as he held them in front of him. She threw a pillow next, which was fine. That couldn’t hurt, but when she reached for the lamp—the new wrought iron lamp he’d noticed when he’d walked in—he took a step back.

Jace couldn’t count how many times he’d walked away from a fight with Jacqueline, scratched and bruised. Being a bull rider, he was always hurt, so no one questioned or even noticed a few more injuries. The physical stuff healed. The hurt inside . . . not so much.

Yanking the plug from the wall, she hoisted the lamp over her head and his anger broke through. Jace had never once laid a hand on her. Even when she’d broken his nose, he’d done nothing but try to protect himself from the blows.

No more. He grabbed her forearm and held tight, hard enough to leave bruises from his fingers. The way he teetered on the edge of losing his temper and his control, if she hit him with that lamp, one or both of them would end up in the hospital.

“No, Jacqueline. No more.”

“Don’t you dare tell me what to—”

“No. No more berating me, or jealousy, or hitting me. No more sex. No more phone calls. Nothing. I have never once cheated on you. Never given you cause to feel or act the way you do. I can’t do this anymore. Don’t call me. Don’t text. Don’t come by my house or my work. I’m sorry, but we can’t even be friends. We sure as hell are no good at it.” He managed to keep his voice calm even as his heart thundered.

The hand that held her shook, but still he held tight. He stayed strong. He couldn’t do this anymore. Live in limbo. Hang on to a small thread of a relationship that he knew deep down was toxic to them both. She’d begun to act crazy months after they’d started dating, but he’d lived in hope she’d get over it, that she’d realize he wanted to be with her and only her. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen.

Jace released his hold on her and remained braced to block a blow, but it didn’t come. She stood before him, wide-eyed and shaking, looking small and vulnerable and making him want to do the one thing he couldn’t let himself—wrap his arms around her and comfort her.

This woman drove him nuts. He’d survived two of the rankest bulls on the circuit tonight, but he’d be lucky to get out of her apartment without a concussion or a few broken bones from a hundred and twenty pound woman wielding a bedside lamp.

In the midst of it all, he felt sorry for her. How crazy was that?

Jacqueline was his drug, his addiction, his kryptonite, and because of that, the only thing to do was go cold turkey. Walk out that front door, drive away, and never look back. No matter how much it hurt both of them.

“Good-bye, Jacqueline.” He turned and headed for the bedroom door. Flinching at the sound of the lamp hitting the floor, he kept walking.

“Jace.” The sound of her footsteps followed him down the hallway. “Please, wait.”

He put one hand on the doorknob and turned it, ignoring her plea and the sob that followed it.

Outside, the cool night air hit his face as he strode for the truck.

“Fine. Never come back!” Her front door slammed behind him, hard and loud, the sound cutting through the quiet of the night. With the truck doors locked and the key in the ignition, he let himself glance at the house, half expecting to see her running at him with the lamp, or the baseball bat he knew all too well was in the hall closet. But the front door didn’t open again. He pulled away from the curb. Only then, did Jace let himself breathe freely again.

The first text came before he’d left her block.

I’m sorry. Please come back.

In the past, this would have been where he’d make a U-turn. Spin the truck around, go back, and bury the anger with makeup sex. Things would be fine until the next fight began. He couldn’t do it anymore. Drawing in a bracing breath, he stayed on course for his own apartment.

The second text followed before he’d driven five more miles.

Where are you? Going over to fuck her? Have fun!

Jace shook his head and swiped a palm over the moisture in his eyes.

This Jacqueline—the angry, irrational one—was a hell of a lot easier to resist than the soft, tear-filled one. He hit the button to power down his phone. He knew her. The texts and phone calls wouldn’t stop all night. In fact, there was a good chance she’d drive over, if not tonight, then by tomorrow at sunrise, and bang on his door until he let her in to prove he didn’t have a girl inside. In fact, given the mood she was in, it was almost a certainty.

Crap. He couldn’t go home. The battle would just continue there. Knowing that, he swung a sharp left and headed away from his apartment, toward the practice arena used by the Oklahoma State rodeo team he sometimes helped Tuck coach.

He’d slept in his truck before, and chances were he’d do it again. It was part of life on the rodeo circuit. Sometimes it was easier to pull over and sleep for a few hours rather than get a hotel room for the night. It was sure as hell cheaper. There’d been other times he’d spent the night in the truck in a parking lot, sleeping off a drunk. He didn’t drink and drive, but that didn’t mean he always took a taxi home. The truck was good enough for him for one night at times such as those, and it was good enough now.

Eventually, he’d have to turn on his phone again and go home. He’d figure out what to do about that later, after some sleep and distance.

Jace cut the engine and stared out into the night. Peace and quiet. Nothing but the stars and the empty practice arena. Easing the seat back as far as it would go, he tilted his hat lower, slumped down and closed his eyes. Tomorrow would be a better day. True or not, he had to believe it.

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THE COMMANDER (Red, Hot & Blue Series) New Release Excerpt #2

The Commander (Red Hot & Blue) Cat JohnsonJust when they thought they were out of last chances, love comes around again.

Red, Hot, & Blue, Book 12

To his men on his SpecOps team, Hank Miller is simply the commander. They treat him like he’s more than a mere man, but Hank would be the first to admit he is full of the same fears, feelings and desires. He just doesn’t let them show.

The military is his life, and that’s all he needs—until he travels to Pigeon Hollow for a wedding and meets the woman his men reverently call “Mama”.

Lois Gordon is nothing like Hank envisioned. Instead of the plump, older woman happily baking pies in her farmhouse kitchen, Lois is a smart, sexy powerhouse who runs Gordon Equine…and tempts him to break all his own rules.

The heat between them quickly flares into a weekend fling hotter than Lois’s oven. But with Hank’s dangerous career and two failed marriages between them, forever could be too much to ask for.

Product Warnings: Contains one smoking-hot mama and a man tough enough to not need pot holders to handle her.

EXCERPT

“I was just fixin’ to bring the last bag of trash from the living room out to the bins when I heard Mandy squawking.” Lois tilted her head toward the doorway.

“I can take it out for you.” Hank moved toward the hall. Lois jumped to follow. It was strange having a man around to do things like take out the trash. Jared was here, but he was so busy with the horses she handled the little things around the house herself.

She was sure there were a lot of things Hank could do for her—to her. Things no man had done in a very long time, and she wasn’t thinking about his cleaning the ashes out of the fireplace or anything like that.

Hank and his long legs reached the living room first. By the time Lois passed through the doorway after him, he was standing over the cardboard box in the center of the room, peering down into the contents.

Oops. She’d forgotten all about that.
He looked up as she entered. “What kind of party was this?”

“Just your average bridal shower/bachelorette party.” She bit her lip and almost laughed at his expression when faced with a box filled with sex toys. “One of the women in my book club sells personal pleasure devices at home parties. Those there are her samples. She’ll be by to pick them up in the morning. She had to leave the party early tonight to babysit her grandchild.”

“Her grandchild.” Hank looked a little horrified. “Okay.”

“Watch it. I’m about to be a grandmother now too, you know.” Like it or not. Lois moved closer to Hank and the box. She picked up the plastic package her friend had given her as a thank you. “A grandmother who now owns a vibrator, apparently. This was my hostess gift from her for having the party.”

Hank’s eyes narrowed as he focused on the object in Lois’s hand. He swallowed, sending his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. His gaze moved to her lips, then his steely eyes met hers. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any grandmother, much less such an attractive one, holding a vibrator before.”

Lois’s heart pounded, sending her blood rushing through her veins until she got lightheaded. They were standing close enough for her to see the beginnings of stubble on Hank’s chin. Then her gaze moved to his mouth. She bit her bottom lip before bringing her gaze back to meet his.

Leaning in, Hank brushed his hand against her cheek, hovering his lips temptingly close to hers. “Lois, if I’m about to make a fool of myself, stop me now.”

She shook her head. “You are many things, Hank Miller. But a fool is not one of them.”

He thrust his hand beneath the hair at the nape of her neck, cradling her head as he crashed his lips into hers.

Blindly, Lois dropped the vibrator back into the box and freed her hands so she could touch Hank. She ran her hands over the bulging back muscles beneath his shirt. It’s what she’d wanted to do since first seeing him get out of the car earlier that day.

Hank backed her up until her knees buckled at the edge of the sofa. She sat heavily and he followed her down, pressing her back into the cushions. God, how she’d missed a man’s weight on top of her and the feel of big, rough hands against her skin.

“Tell me to stop. If that’s what you want you have to say it, because I’m not going to do it on my own.” His voice sounded gruff and as breathless as she was. His eyes mere slits as he looked at her, Lois could only imagine how she looked herself.

She felt the heat in her cheeks. She hoped he saw the desire in her eyes. “Don’t you dare stop.”

SAMHAIN    AMAZON    NOOK    iTUNES

DON’T MISS THE REST OF THE RED, HOT & BLUE SERIES

TREY   JACK   JIMMY (3 novellas bundled for print as RED BLOODED)

BB DALTON (FREE Bonus Read)

JARED   COLE   BOBBY (3 novellas bundled for print as SMALLTOWN HEAT)

A FEW GOOD MEN (Novel-length)

MODEL SOLDIER (Novel-length)

A PRINCE AMONG MEN (Novel-length)

BULL   MATT   THE COMMANDER (3 novellas bundled for print as TRUE BLUE soon!)

www.CatJohnson.net/series-reading-order/

HOT NEW RELEASES THIS WEEK: Kelly Jamieson

I’m currently in the air flying home from Las Vegas to New York after my whirlwind trip to the PBR Finals, and while I’m a guest of Delta thirty thousand feet in the air and sans WiFi, Kelly Jamieson is manning my blog and bringing you news on her new release, coming tomorrow from Samhain publishing.

Please welcome Kelly! ~ Cat

__________________________________________________

Thank you, Cat, for having me here to celebrate our shared releases together! Your latest of your Red, Hot & Blue series, BULL, sounds fantastic, and Bull…well, yum. 😉

Yesterday I posted at the amazing Mari Carr’s blog a little about how Rhythm of Three came to be written. I’d never intended to write a sequel to Rule of Three, but as I mentioned yesterday, I did have a feeling there was more story to tell.

In Rule of Three, Chris, Kassidy and Dag talk through some of the problems they are going to face in a polyamorous relationship—how co-workers will judge him, how their families will react, how Dag is becoming part of an already established relationship. In Rhythm of Three, they actually face these obstacles, and more.

The one problem I did not want these characters to face was jealousy. I do believe that if there is jealousy in a polyamorous relationship, that relationship is not going to succeed. In Rule of Three, Chris, Kassidy and Dag did not feel jealous. Within the polyamorous community, the concept of compersion helps us understand how this could be. Compersion could be considered the opposite of jealousy:

“Compersion is a state of empathetic happiness and joy experienced when an individual’s current or former romantic partner experiences happiness and joy through an outside source, including, but not limited to, another romantic interest. This can be experienced as any form of erotic or emotional empathy, depending on the person experiencing the emotion.” Wikipedia

Here’s snippet from Rule of Three where Kassidy and Chris talk about jealousy:

She turned to Chris. “What about you? You’ve never been jealous of me and Dag.”

He moved his head slowly, side to side. “No. I never have been. I don’t know if I can explain it…” He paused, searching for words. “I feel happy when you’re happy―even if it’s with him. And I want to give to Dag. I feel like I’m giving him something when you and he…make love.”

“And I felt like you were giving me something,” she said with a smile. “Like you’d given me a special gift I didn’t even know I’d wanted.” And she wanted to give him that too. So much.

“There’s no room for jealousy in this,” Dag said in a firm voice. “For any of us. Ever. If anyone ever feels that way, you gotta say something.” And his gaze zeroed in fiercely on Chris.

Jealousy would have been an easy conflict for these three to face, something everyone would relate to, would almost even expect in such a relationship. But I didn’t want to go there because I felt if any of the three experienced jealous, the relationship was doomed. Here’s a short excerpt from Rhythm of Three where Kassidy could have been jealous—enjoy!

Rhythm Of Three Kelly JamiesonRhythm of Three

One woman, two lovers. Double the pleasure, or double the trouble?

Rule of Three, Book 2

Former goodie-two-shoes Kassidy now has three pairs of shoes under her bed—hers, Chris’s and Dag’s. While she relishes the hot threesome that makes her friends jealous, she can’t deny things are…complicated. Namely, whom to tell about their unconventional relationship, and whom to keep in the dark.

In the dark category? Definitely Chris’s parents, which should be simple, since they live far away. Except they’ve sprung a surprise for their son’s thirtieth birthday. They’re coming for a visit. Then there’s Kassidy’s best friend Danielle, who’s home from Europe, clueless to recent events, and flirting with Dag like crazy.

Awkward!

Family, friends, coworkers and a wedding put three lovers’ best intentions to the test, making them wonder if this unique brand of love has a chance in hell of working out.

Product Warnings: Contains three vulnerable hearts engaged in a ménage a trois, some man-on-man action, sizzling exchanges of graphic language, and rock-your-socks explicit sex. So yeah, it’s dirty, but also sweet.

EXCERPT:

Kassidy opened the door of the condo later that night and pushed inside with her big shopping bags. “Hello! Anyone home?” She tripped into the living room, a wee bit buzzed from several cocktails with the girls. The television was on but silent. She took in the trail of clothes—men’s shorts, T-shirt and boxers—and followed it to the bedroom, amused.

She paused in the open door and in the light from the living room saw Dag and Chris in bed, asleep, both on their bellies, faces toward each other, Dag’s hand resting on the middle of Chris’s bare back, the covers down around their waists. She smiled.

They were beautiful. Dag’s dark, messy hair contrasted with the white pillow, the skin of his arm darker against Chris’s golden tan. Her heart squeezed with love for them both.

She moved into the room, still carrying her purchases, and the noises caused Chris’s eyes to flutter open. “Hey,” he murmured, “you’re home.”

She sat on the bed next to him and leaned down to kiss his cheek. “I am. You guys are in bed early.” He met her eyes and she smiled at him, wordlessly communicating with him. His answering smile melted her. She touched his face with her fingertips as Dag stirred next to him. “Okay?” she whispered.

He caught her hand and kissed her fingers. “Yeah. Great. I love you so much, Kass.”

“Love you too.” She looked at Dag, blinking his long, dark eyelashes, and she leaned across Chris to kiss him too. “And you.”

“Babe. What time is it?”

“Just past ten.”

“Huh. Guess we crashed.”

“Yep.” Her smile widened.

“How was your girls’ night?” Chris asked, rolling over and shoving pillows behind him.

“It was…good. Except…” she sank her teeth into her bottom lip, “…Danielle sort of spilled the beans about us to Sarah and Tyra.”

“Oh.” Dag and Chris exchanged a look.

“You don’t look too upset about it,” Dag observed.

She sighed. “No. It was fine. Although…all we told them is that I’m sleeping with both of you.”

“Ah. Okay.” Another exchange of eye contact.

“Basically, they’re jealous,” Kassidy said with a grin.

“As they should be,” Dag said.

Chris and Kassidy laughed.

“I bought a dress,” she shared. “Wanna see it?”

“Sure.” Dag too sat up and leaned back against the headboard.

“I’ll put it on.” She stood, eager to show them her sexy new dress. “I got shoes too, and they’re so cute.” She took her purchases into the bathroom and changed in there, smiling at her reflection in the mirror, excited to show off for her two guys.

Her two guys who’d apparently just had sex with each other. And looked so happy and content and satisfied. Too bad she’d missed it, but she was happy it had happened. She knew they’d needed it. This relationship was weird, for many reasons, but it struck her that not only was there one relationship between all three of them, there were also three relationships between each of them. And each of those relationships was unique and had to develop at its own speed and in its own way. The relationship between Chris and Dag was different than between her and Chris, or her and Dag, but no less important, and she wanted to make sure that they had the time and opportunity for it to grow as it should.

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Samhain

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TWO TIMES AS HOT (Oklahoma Nights, Book 2) Excerpt

Oklahoma Nights Series by Cat Johnson

TWO TIMES AS HOT (Oklahoma Nights, Book 2)

Coming from Cat Johnson and Kensington Brava in Trade Paperback and eBook September 24th

“Impressively fresh. . .  (Johnson’s) dialogue lilts off the tongue, and her earlier characters continue developing alongside Emma and Logan, keeping returning readers engaged. Johnson’s fans will be looking forward to the next in the series.” Publishers Weekly

One Good Girl…

After her sister snags a hot Oklahoma cowboy, Emma Hart figures it’s her turn to saddle up. And with two country boys pursuing her at once, she’s in for a wild ride…

Two Sexy Guys...

Lieutenant Colonel Logan Hunt can’t deny the heat between him and Emma is fierce. But Logan isn’t looking for anything serious…just a chance to blow off some steam. So why is he crazy jealous when he sees pro bull rider Jace Mills trying to charm Emma into bed?

Winner Takes All…

Logan knows he and Emma could have something special—and not just because she’s smokin’ hot.   Now he has to find a way to prove that even a no-strings-attached guy like him can stick around for the long haul…

EXCERPT (G-rated)

Emma took the clear plastic box holding two wrist corsages and two boutonnières and rested it on top of one of the six-packs. Beer and flowers. It made for an interesting arrangement.

“Thank you for bringing these over.” She swung the door closed and turned to find Logan much closer than he had been before, his arm braced on the top of the fridge.

“My pleasure.” He smiled, his lips temptingly close. “Can I just sneak past you and grab a pop?”

Emma’s mouth grew dry. She licked her own lips and couldn’t seem to keep from staring at his. “Um, a pop?”

His dimples grew deeper as he smiled. “That would be soda to you northeastern girls.”

“Oh, sure. Of course. Sorry.” She liked right where she was, under the arch of his arm, but she moved out of the way so he could get into the fridge.

He opened the door and grabbed a can, glancing at her over his shoulder as he did. “I already had a cup of coffee, but I could sure use the extra caffeine this morning.”

She nodded. It seemed the closer Logan stood, the less she had to say, and Emma rarely found herself speechless.

“So, I guess I’ll see you later?” His eyes focused on hers.

“I look forward to it.”

He didn’t move. Emma didn’t feel compelled to, either, unless it was to step into his arms and see if his kiss was as good as she imagined it to be.

His gaze moved away from her eyes as he reached out and brushed a piece of hair that had fallen over her cheek. He tucked it behind her ear. The move felt as intimate as a caress. “You’ll look perfect however you decide to do your hair for the wedding, but I think it looks great just the way it is.”

Emma imagined Logan pushing her up against the fridge and kissing her while he tangled his fingers in her hair. She swallowed hard. “Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.”

The door from the house swung open and Tara stood in the opening. “Logan. What are you doing here?”

“He just dropped off our bouquets. They’re beautiful. Want to see yours?” Emma answered Tara’s questions for him, hoping her thoughts of a quickie in the garage with Logan weren’t written all over her face.

“Sure.” Though her focus never strayed from Logan, Tara moved into the garage. She reached out and looped an arm through his. “You’re so sweet to bring them to us. Isn’t he the best, Emma?”

“Yup, the best.” Emma did her best to tear her gaze away from where Tara touched Logan.

Emma had to remember she had no claim on this man. Heck, she even had another date for the wedding, so who was she to complain if Tara touched him and acted like he was hers, the way she was doing right now as her hands remained clasped around his muscle. Tara and Logan had grown up together, after all. They were friends. They had a history.

None of Emma’s lectures to herself worked. The green-eyed monster still took hold and squeezed.

Logan shook his head. “Not at all. Just doing a favor for Tuck. I, uh, gotta run now, though. I’ll see you ladies later.”

“Definitely.” Tara shot him a wide smile even as he disengaged her hand from his arm. “Remember, Logan, you promised to save me a dance.”

“We gotta get through the ceremony first. I better go. The photographer’s waiting on us.” Logan’s gaze cut to Emma. “See you later, Emma.”

At least Logan wasn’t hanging on Tara the way Tara hung on him. That was something. Emma retracted her claws. “Bye. Thanks again.”

With a nod, Logan departed and for better or worse, she was left alone with Tara. Emma yanked hard on the handle of the fridge. “So yours and mine are the two matching smaller ones. The big white bouquet is Becca’s.”

The door to the kitchen had slammed completely shut behind Logan before Tara would even look inside the fridge at what Emma was trying to show her.

“Oh, nice. Just wanted to get myself a pop. See ya.” Tara reached inside and grabbed a soda before she scampered off with her pop, probably in pursuit of Logan, if Emma had to venture a guess.

Emma was competitive in work. Even in play—don’t get her started in a heated game of Scrabble or the tiles might start to fly—but her love life was a different situation. She was in no mood to compete with Tara for Logan’s attention. Just as she had never wanted to compete with Jace’s ex-girlfriend for his time.

When it came to Oklahoma men, it seemed Emma was routinely too late. There was always a woman from the past. A woman who drank pop not soda.

She would always be the interloper, and there wasn’t anything she could do about it.

Want to read another never before seen excerpt from TWO TIMES AS HOT? It’s posted in the FAN ZONE on my Facebook Page!

PRAISE FOR THE OKLAHOMA NIGHTS SERIES

“Cat Johnson knows cowboys and the Oklahoma Nights series is a must read for fans of western romance.” ~ Lorelei James, NY Times Best Selling author

PREORDER :

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

DON’T MISS THE REST OF THE OKLAHOMA NIGHTS SERIES

ONE NIGHT WITH A COWBOY (Oklahoma Nights, Book 1)

TWO TIMES AS HOT (Oklahoma Nights, Book 2)

THREE WEEKS WITH A BULL RIDER (Oklahoma Nights, Book 3)

AND look for the related stories:

“Fish Out of Water” in the HE’S THE ONE anthology

“Two for the Road” in the In A Cowboy’s Bed anthology

Two Times as Hot (Oklahoma Nights Series)

Countdown to HE’S THE ONE Release Day EXCERPT

HE'S THE ONE Anthology "Fish Out of Water" Cat JohnsonHE’S THE ONE

Multi-author anthology releasing June 25th in mass market paperback and eBook

Finally, no more lonely nights…

LINDA LAEL MILLER “Batteries Not Required”

The only boyfriend Gayle Hayes has is the battery-operated kind. But when she returns to her small Montana hometown, rodeo bad boy Tristan McCullough gives her a whole new lesson in power surge…

JILL SHALVIS “Captivated”

James Scott warned his investigator ex-wife Ella to be more careful. Now he finds the irate woman nearly naked and handcuffed to the towel rack in his Mexican vacation condo. He should release her. Then again…

LUCY MONROE “Seducing Tabby”

Everybody always wants Tabby Payton’s beautiful sister. But not sexy English spy Calder Maxwell. He wants Tabby, body and soul, and he’s willing to take the seduction to new levels to prove it…

KATE ANGELL “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service”

Violet Cates is done surfing beach bums. She’s ready for a new wave, someone with more ambition than a grain of sand. Like Brad Davis. He looks like a beach bum, but looks can be so deceiving…

CAT JOHNSON “Fish Out of Water”

Carla Henricks is a cowgirl through and through, but her lasso has never met an English professor like Mark Ross. It’s true opposites attract. Staying together is the juicy part…  Don’t miss ONE NIGHT WITH A COWBOY by Cat Johnson for your first introduction to the sexy, nerdy English professor Mark Ross.

Preorder at   Barnes & Noble    Amazon US    Amazon Canada   Kensington

“FISH OUT OF WATER” BY CAT JOHNSON EXCERPT

The early morning sky, streaked with vibrant colors, made for a breathtaking start to the day. No doubt about it. For millennia, man had waxed poetic about sunrises this magnificent. Mark knew he should be more appreciative. Take note of the experience. After all, it’s not as if he was up and outside early enough to see the beauty of this natural phenomenon all that often. But instead, he couldn’t take his eyes off her.

To be fair, she was a natural beauty as well, silhouetted in profile against the hues painting the sky. She stood on the shoreline of the lake, holding a fishing pole. His first glimpse of her had him tripping over his own feet.

A few steps ahead of him, Tucker strode toward the lakeshore. “Hey, Carla. You catching anything?”

“More than you got while you were sleeping in, that’s for sure.” She turned and Mark got a better look as she faced them and teased Tuck with easy familiarity. Of course she did. Tucker wore a hat that looked almost a mate to the cowboy hat she wore. Or perhaps hers was a cowgirl hat. Mark didn’t know these things. That was probably obvious to the stranger from the canvas bucket-hat Mark had chosen for this excursion. It had looked pretty sporty on the mannequin in the store, but here and now, up against Tuck’s headwear, or even Logan’s baseball cap, not so much.

Mark watched the interaction between Tucker and the cowgirl fisherwoman. He didn’t recognize her as one of the faculty. Not that he knew everyone, but still, he thought he’d remember seeing her.

“Is she with our group?” he asked Logan.

Logan dumped a load of camping gear on the ground and glanced up. “Carla? Yeah. She coaches the rodeo team with Tuck.”

“Ah.” The university’s rodeo team had never been on Mark’s radar before. After seeing Carla, it would be from now on.

How could a woman manage to look so tempting this early in the morning? And while fishing?

Maybe it was the long brown braid draped over one shoulder. If he loosened that braid, set those waves of hair free, it would reach all the way down her back. Her cowboy hat was pulled low over her eyes so that it accentuated the heart shape of her face. He wanted to peer beneath the brim of that hat and discover what color those eyes were.

All in good time. For now, this view would have to do. And oh what a view.

The contour of her Cupid’s bow lips drew him. He couldn’t help but stare and want to see it all closer. Even this distance, just a couple of yards away from her, seemed frustrating. Was her complexion genuinely that rosy, or was it a trick of the light? He needed to find out.

She stood in the ankle-deep water with her jeans rolled to her knees. Most of the women Mark had dated wouldn’t even venture outside in the rain. Everything about her seemed to be the opposite of the females he was used to, and he liked the differences.

The weight of the overnight bag in his hand finally drew Mark’s attention away from his ponderings. He lowered it to the ground and glanced up to find Logan staring.

“I’ll introduce you if you want.” Logan wore an amused expression.

Mark managed to maintain a poker face while playing poker, but judging by Logan’s smirk, he wasn’t doing too well at hiding his interest in Carla now. He swallowed hard. “Oh, sure. That would be good, since we’ll be fishing together.”

Sure, fishing. That’s what he wanted to do with this vision in denim before him. Fish.

 LOOK FOR ANOTHER EXCERPT IN MY FACEBOOK FAN ZONE FROM LOGAN’S STORY, OKLAHOMA NIGHTS BOOK 2, TWO TIMES AS HOT, RELEASING SEPT 24

More Info at http://catjohnson.net/books-2/hes-the-one/

Preorder: 

Barnes & Noble

 Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Kensington