Roses & Rawhide (Colorado Dreamin’, Book 1) by @maddiejames is a Backlist Bonanza pick #romance #99c
Title: Roses & Rawhide (Colorado Dreamin’, Book 1)
Author: Maddie James
Genre: Western Contemporary Romance
She's roses... Playing good sport to appease her best friend was one thing, but sophisticated Kim Martin was hardly equipped for a Colorado camping trip. Especially when their mountain guide was a rough-edged cowboy who was as untamed as the wilderness. His outdoors style might jump-start some women but a strictly indoors woman like Kim found him - almost resistible.
He's rawhide... Thad Winchester's patience for city women was wearing as thin as the seat of his jeans. But there was something about Kim that was putting his hard-and-fast don't-touch rule to the test. The plucky blonde was just the woman to share his Flying W. Ranch. All Thad had to do was bring out the wildflower in the refined beauty, and convince her that he was her man. Bar nothing.
Pull on the stupid reins? Where in the hell are they?
As a stand of trees flew by, Kim Martin risked a glance to her hands wound tight around the saddle horn, the reins woven through her fingers, her ten perfectly manicured fingernails digging into her palms. Painfully. She couldn’t move. Her horse, Rosie, descended at a pretty fast clip.
Everything around her seemed contradictory, like silent slow motion and fast-forward, all at once. By now, everyone in the string of horses in front of her had stopped at the sound of her screams. Someone raced up the mountain toward her, shouting. She couldn’t tell who. She didn’t give a damn. All she knew how to do was hold on for dear life and pray she made it to the end of the string. Intact. She felt like flopping fish holding onto a bucking bronco—and knew it wasn’t pretty.
When this thing was through, she was going to kill her best friend, Jillie Abernathy, for bringing her to this godforsaken Colorado backwoods.
Kim fought back a funny clutching at her throat. Huffing out one thick breath after another, she suddenly felt dizzy...and a little nauseous. She wasn’t going to make it.
“Lean back in your saddle! And hold on!”
Good old Rosie…she headed straight for Muffin’s tail. Abruptly, the horse met her mark.
Unfortunately, Kim didn’t.
In a blur, she rolled over the horse’s neck and landed in an unflattering position on her fanny at Rosie’s front hooves with a “Humph!”
Or were they...boots?
Dazed, Kim shook her head, then looked again.
Boots. Definitely boots.
The toes of a pair of dirty brown boots were the first thing she saw after the dust clouds subsided and she’d rid her brain of the haze and fuzz. Or most of it, anyway.
Faded denims, slightly raveled and worn at the hem, fit tight over the dusty boots. Her gaze traveling upward found the Wrangler’s stretched over firm, muscular thighs. A braided leather belt with a dull silver and turquoise buckle wove through the waistband of his jeans. He wore a denim western-cut shirt with pearl snaps. His hands were balled into fists and parked on either hip. The cuffs of his shirt were rolled back to reveal wisps of dark hair on tanned skin.
She gulped. A strange, sinking sensation yanked at the pit of her stomach.
Squinting, she brought her hand up to shield her eyes, and searched for his face. The sun glared behind him, reflecting off the clear blue of the afternoon, so all she saw was a dark shadow framed by a black cowboy hat.
And all she heard was the deep resonance of his voice as it bounced across mountain and valley.
“What in the hell did you do to my horse!”
His horse? What did your precious horse do to me?
Kim jumped to her feet.
The last coherent thought she had then, before the bright lights sparked and the blackness claimed her, was that Cowboy Thad seemed a mite upset.
Thad Winchester knew, as soon as he’d set eyes on the pert blonde trying to get a foothold up on old Rosie, that this was going to be a long afternoon. He knew it because he and Mack had seen it all before. It was the reason why he was about to insist that they concentrate only on pack trips from now on. Then they could specify that experienced riders only were allowed on the trips.
Then he wouldn’t have to deal with the cute little vacationers who thought it was such a hoot to ogle the cowboys and play Annie Oakley for the afternoon.
He knew he shouldn’t be that way. When Mack had suggested they open up the ranch for trail rides and pack trips, at first Thad had balked at the idea. He was a rancher, pure and simple. His father had never resorted to other means to make a living, why should he? But times had changed and today, a rancher had to do what a rancher had to do to keep the wolf from the door. And since cattle prices were down and the Durango area pulled in a lot of tourist trade these days, well, he’d finally researched the idea and had found that with a little elbow grease and some planning, they might be able to develop a lucrative business on the side.
But it had turned into more than that. They had been turning quite a profit. In turn, Thad was becoming quite the businessman. And after three years, he took that business quite seriously.
That’s why he hated to see inexperienced riders on his horses. And why in the hell they decided to lie, make it appear they had more experience in the saddle than they had, he’d never know. Didn’t they realize that they were only making things difficult for themselves?
And everyone else.
Like the blonde. He’d heard her tell Mack that she used to ride when she was younger. Having your daddy lead you around on a pony twice a year does not constitute having ridden horses. And Mack, he was going to have to have another talk with him. He was so damned gullible when it came to a pretty face. He took their every word to heart.
So he’d put the cute blonde on Rosie. Rosie was a big horse, too big for the barely five foot and two-by-nothin’ woman, and used to someone who at least knew how to handle the reins.
He’d known there would be trouble from the git-go. And now, here he was, staring down at trouble like she owned the place.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
Roses & Rawhide is Maddie James’ first published book, originally released by Kensington Books as The Wild West and refreshed as an indie published title. Winner of the Calico Trails Cameo Award—for a heroine who embodies the spirit of women in the old west—Roses & Rawhide has received numerous 5-Star reviews and was a 2011 CAPA Award Nominee from The Romance Studio. Published in ebook, print, and audiobook formats, Roses & Rawhide is also available in German via Amazon Crossing. This book is the first in Maddie’s Colorado Dreamin’ Series. Book 3, The Cowboy’s Secret Baby, is the sequel to Roses & Rawhide.
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Maddie James writes to silence the people in her head—if only they wouldn’t all talk at once!
Whether writing traditional contemporary romance or building paranormal worlds, Maddie pens stories that frequently cross a variety of romantic sub-genres.
Affaire de Coeur says, “James shows a special talent for traditional romance,” and RT Book Reviews claims, “James deftly combines romance and suspense.” Maddie is the award-winning author of over fifty titles of fiction—from short stories to novels—and a Top 100 National Bestselling Author. Learn more at <