By: Victoria Vane
Releasing March 15, 2016
When Beauty Wants A Baby
Championship bull breeder and former Texas beauty queen Delaney McCall was having a heck of a time finding a daddy for the baby she craved. A failed marriage left her with no desire for another husband, but finding the right stud to satisfy her needs presents a bigger problem that she could have imagined.
And The Bullrider Wants Beauty
After hanging up his spurs, bull rider Zac McDaniel wants nothing more than to fulfill Delaney's dream of having a family. After all, his best friend's ex has been his fantasy for years. Zac, however, has no desire to be seen as just a means to an end. And when Zac insists on doing things the "old fashioned" way, their passion explodes like a bull out of the chute…
Some Bucking Is Bound To Happen
While insisting it's all just a passing fancy, the more Delaney sees the softer side of the rough and tumble cowboy, the harder it is to keep her emotions corralled. Zac, meanwhile, is more determined than ever to prove he's what she really needs, and will do whatever it takes to tear down the mile high fence around her heart…
At the end of the night, Alvaro finished with the championship, as expected, but to everyone’s surprise, Zac McDaniel’s was the highpoint ride, even with his hang-up.
After the bull riding, Kade and Zac returned to the hotel in full celebration mode. “The drinks are on me,” Zac called out to the bartender. “Ty saved my ass tonight.”
“I saw it all on the television,” Gabby said. “I can’t believe you did that, Ty. That bull could have killed you.”
“It didn’t,” Ty replied with a shrug. “I’ll have a beer.”
Zac ordered a whiskey, downed it in a swallow, and then called for another round.
The bar was quickly filling with fans from the bull riding. Within minutes, the three cowboys found themselves surrounded by a half dozen buckle bunnies. As the hero of the hour, Ty drew particular notice from a blonde name Josie, who was flaunting her double Ds in a low-cut tee. Rather than enjoying the attention, Ty looked about as edgy as a bull calf entering the chute for the first time. It didn’t take long before he said something and gave a nod in Monica’s direction. Josie replied with a toss of her blond head and moved on down the bar to wrap her arms around Kade, who pulled her full onto his lap.
Zac paid the women little heed, which, to his annoyance, only seemed to make them try harder, but even a whispered proposal for a threesome failed to get him excited anymore. He was too old for that kinda shit and had wearied of women with more notches on their belts than he had. Where was the challenge?
Ty had moved a few stools down to join Monica. He watched them exchange some heated words, no doubt over Josie, but the showdown ended with Monica wrapping her arms around Ty’s neck. He’d thought his buddy had won the round until Monica got up and left the bar alone. Ty watched her leave like a hungry man who’d just been served a prime aged T-bone only to have it swiped out from under his nose.
Ty was a ladies’ man from way back, but Zac recognized that his interest in Monica was different. Had Ty finally found a woman who could hold him for the long haul? It appeared so.
Zac felt a fierce stab of envy. In fifteen years on the circuit, he’d never wanted for female company, but in all those years there had only been one woman he’d ever truly wanted—Ty’s ex, Delaney. He and Ty had both met her at the Houston Livestock Show. He’d had his shot at her then but he’d blown it. Ty got the girl and Zac had to live with the worm of envy that ate a hole in his heart every time he saw them together. What made it all worse, Ty hadn’t made her happy.
Grabbing his glass, Zac straddled the stool beside his buddy, following Ty’s gaze with a fateful shake of his head. “Never thought I’d see you with another one like that.”
“What do you mean?” Ty asked.
“Big city. Big money. Didn’t exactly pan out for you the first time around.”
“That’s where the similarity starts and ends,” Ty said. “Monica’s nothing like Delaney.”
“If you say so,” Zac replied with a smirk and raised his glass to his lips.
“I mean it, Zac. There’s no comparison between ’em. Monica’s a successful investment banker who needs nothing from me. Delaney was a beauty queen who stole half my ranch.”
Zac raised his hand with a glare. “Look, ol’ boy. That ain’t how it was, and you know it.”
Ty hadn’t been any more ready to settle down back then than a bull in a breeding pasture, but he and Delaney had eloped anyway. Initially, Zac had thought maybe it was Delaney’s money Ty was after, but he’d proven that wasn’t the case. Instead of gaining from the marriage, Ty had lost half of everything. Zac still didn’t understand how it had all gone down, but the nasty divorce had left Ty embittered and disillusioned. But now, it was looking like Ty was considering giving it another go with Monica Brandt.
Delaney, however, seemed gun-shy as ever even eight years later. Their paths had crossed a few times over the past years, but no matter how hard he tried, she always turned a cold shoulder, as if her marriage break-up was somehow Zac’s fault. He understood in part, but wished she’d give him a chance. So far that hadn’t happened.
“All right. I admit I brought that shit on myself,” Ty said. “But that doesn’t give her the right to rub my nose in it for the rest of my life. You know that’s what she’s trying to do with the bucking bulls, don’t you? She’s sending two to the futurity this year and says she has a half a dozen more prospects for next year. She has shit-tons of money to put into a breeding program. I didn’t. She thinks I never wanted the ranch. That’s not true, but ranching takes money. That’s part of the reason I stayed on the road as long as I did. I’d hoped to win enough to keep the place going.”
“But now it’s done,” Zac said. “You’re here and she’s there. What’s the problem?”
“The problem is that she still wants something from me.”
Zac’s gaze narrowed. “Oh yeah? Like what?”
Zac choked on his drink. “What the fuck did you say?”
“You heard me right.”
His chest tightened. “Are you saying she wants to get back together?”
“Hell no!” Ty laughed. “She wants a kid but doesn’t want another husband. It’s that whole bio-clock thing that seems to have pushed her over the edge. She even tried to bribe me with an interest-free loan in lieu of a stud fee.”
Was she still carrying a torch for Ty? There was that worm again. Zac’s gut twisted at the thought of Ty and Delaney together. “Why the hell would she do that?”
“’Cause she’s out of her ever-lovin’ mind. Gotta be one of those hormonal things.”
“Why you?” Zac asked.
Ty shrugged. “Beats the hell outta me.”
“You gonna oblige her?” Zac asked, keeping his voice slow and his gaze on his empty glass.
“Shit no! If I ever father a kid, I’m gonna be there to raise him up right.”
“There’s gotta be plenty of other men who’d be happy to help her out. Hell, they’d probably line up for miles.” And I’d be the first to buy a ticket.
Zac signaled Gabby for another drink.
Ty gave a dry laugh. “Delaney might be a lot of things, but easy ain’t one of ’em.’ ” He sat back, appraising Zac. “You did better than me in school. What’s your IQ?”
“I dunno. Hundred twenty-eight maybe.”
“Beats mine by at least five.” He was still regarding Zac as if he were a bull on the auction block.
“What the hell are you looking at?” Zac snapped.
“You, Zac. Just wondering what kinda breeder you’d be. She says she wants above-average IQ, tall, and athletic. Seems to me you got that part in spades. I’m just wondering if it’ll offset your lack of looks and nonexistent sense of humor.”
“Fuck you, Ty.” Zac snatched up the glass Gabby slid in front of him.
“I’m serious. You need money. Maybe you should volunteer?”
Zac met his gaze. “And what if I decided to do just that?”
“Hell, Zac,” Ty laughed. “I’d consider it a personal favor. I’d even buy your damned ticket to Oklahoma. Come to think on it . . . how’s that hand?”
Zac set down his drink and held it up. His fingers were purple and sausage-like. “Fucked up, but I don’t think anything’s broken. Why?”
“There’s a good chance I’m going to need a new ranch foreman.”
“Wait a minute,” Zac said. “Isn’t that Delaney’s domain now?”
“It’s not Delaney’s place I’m talking about. It’s Tom’s. Or rather, mine now.”
“Yours? So Tom left you the Circle B? What are you looking to do with the place?” Zac asked, trying not to betray his intense interest. Ty had not only offered him a new start doing what he knew best, he’d also given him a second chance with Delaney.
“I want to expand the operation and get back to where I started.”
“Contracting, Ty? Thought you moved out here to get out of it.”
“I did, initially,” Ty said, “but things have changed. My plans have changed. If things work out for this hotel as I hope they do, I’m going to need bucking stock. I figure some of ’em might as well be mine.”
“What about ol’ Bart? Doesn’t he run the place?”
“He’s ’bout ready to retire. I’d be happy to leave him in charge of the beef operation, but I need someone who knows how to handle a rank bull. If you’re ready to hang up your bull spurs, the job’s yours.”
“I’d like more than just a paycheck, Ty. I’m thinking about my future too, and right now it ain’t lookin’ so bright. My place needs too much work. It’ll take every cent I just won just to get it back in operational shape. If you’re looking to contract again, I’d be willing to sell out and invest as your partner.”
“You would?” Ty asked with surprise.
“Damn straight. Bulls are what I love, Ty, but at this stage in the game, I’d be content to flank instead of ride.”
“Hell, Zac. I don’t know what to say. I’d be honored to take you on as a partner.”
Zac’s eyes held Ty’s as he slowly drained his whiskey. Setting the shot glass down, he offered his hand with a smile. “I think you just made me an offer I can’t refuse.”
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2016/01/beauty-and-bull-rider-
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/152536-hotel-rodeo
Victoria Vane is an award winning author of smart and sexy romance. Her collective works of fiction range from historical to contemporary settings and include everything from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria is the founder of the Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blogs.
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