Thank you to the ladies of Petticoats and Pistols for having me back again for the launch of my new series, Granite Junction! This is actually a spin-off of my last series, Redemption Ranch, continuing some favorite characters and the same world, but with new story arcs and new fun times.
The series features a favorite secondary character, Emma Holt, a guidance counselor who’s been in love with her best friend, rancher Cam Miller, for her entire life. Only, he doesn’t feel the same way and, in fact, is selling his ranch and leaving the town forever. Kind of a romance killer. His cousin, Gabe Buchanan, comes to town, completely blocked on his latest book, to help Cam with the ranch and looking for a little fun, nothing serious. His charming ways win over Emma and they begin a little affair, neither intending for it to go much further than a summer romance. Yet when the lines between casual and interested blur, neither can deny the chemistry between them.
Gabe is a fun loving guy, using his charm and wit to hide his insecurities and fears. One of their dates is fairly typical of dating today – a movie. Except in his case, it’s to the town drive-in theater to see City Slickers! Not your typical romantic first date movie, or even the scary one to get the girl in your arms. Nope, Gabe chooses a comedy to laugh and have fun. He sets out a romantic dinner in the bed of the truck, with all of Emma’s favorite foods (including French fries from the local diner) and they settle in for the movie.
Of course after, she has to ask about his loving the movie, especially since he grew up on a guest ranch and was supposed to take over that portion of the family business until he went rogue and decided to write books instead.
- Here’s a snippet from their conversation:
“No, I’ve always found City Slickers to be oddly profound and thought-provoking,” he replied.
She lightly punched him in the arm and laughed. “Only a guy would say that. You probably think fart jokes are funny too.”
“Funny, yes. Profound, definitely not.”
She turned on her side and propped herself on her elbow and looked down at him. “What do you mean by ‘thought-provoking’? I don’t think anyone has a deep, philosophical discussion based on City Slickers.”
He shrugged, his hands pillowing his head as he stared up at the stars. “Well, they should. Or maybe it’s something only a guy would get. But think about the whole premise. Three guys at major crossroads, all trying to figure out the secret of life. And a grizzly old trail boss has the secret and it’s so goddamn simple.”
She laughed. “They’re having midlife crises because one wants to keep dating younger women, one is afraid of his wife, and the other hates his job. It’s all pretty normal stuff.”
“Maybe. But the trail boss tells them that they’re complicating things. They need to find one thing. Just one thing and you stick to that and the rest means nothing. Basically, find the one thing that means everything to you. Mitch found it in the river, right? His family. Nothing else mattered. How simple is that? Yet we all focus on so many things, so many distractions. Narrow it down to that one simple thing.”
She lay back down, her mind suddenly focused. “Oh my God. You found something meaningful in a comedy.”
He grinned. “In every good movie, there’s meaning. Even the cartoons have it. Why not a comedy?”
“What’s your one simple thing?”
The silence dragged on for so long that she wondered if he had fallen asleep. Finally, he replied, “I’m still looking for it. But I’m close. And you?”
She paused. It was a loaded question. Before that night, she might have answered differently, might have automatically replied with her outline for her plan, the one that had been clearly defined for ten years and followed her from year to year, planner to planner. But now she hesitated. “I’m not sure.”
“Good. That one simple thing is not so simple and should require thought.”
“What other pearls of wisdom came out of the movie?” She asked, desperately trying to get back on firmer ground.
“Nope, I think that’s enough philosophy for one night. It’s getting late and I should get you home, though I doubt anyone will pull me over. That’s Cam’s problem tonight.” He laughed.
“You devil. Jo will be hunting him down and giving him tickets.”
He sat up and folded the blanket that covered them. “He’ll probably make me pay the ticket since I’m somehow to blame.”
She remained lying on her half of the blanket under them, her stomach clenching as she realized he was seriously ending the date and was not even going to try to kiss her. Disappointment morphed into outrage. How dare he not even try anything? She knew he found her attractive. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have come out here with her. No, he was putting distance between them, being careful with her, afraid to push her because of their earlier conversation, and it pissed her off. She had accepted her own issues and decided to go all in with him. She could have gone home, but now, damn it, she wanted the full date experience, especially now that they were at the infamous Granite Junction makeout spot, one she had never really experienced thanks to her overprotective brother and his best friend.
“You’re not even going to try and kiss me?”
He turned a hot gaze toward her. “I thought it might be best to end the night while I was ahead.”
She sat up. “You’re not ahead yet, Gabe.” She twined her fingers in his shirt and tugged him down so he lay half across her. “Now, let’s end this date properly.”
Of course, their date doesn’t end there. But you’ll have to read the book to find out who catches them and how Emma defines properly!
Check out The Wrong Cowboy, out now!
To get your name in the drawing for an electronic copy of The Wrong Cowboy, share what movie you find profound or thought-provoking that maybe other people might not? Let me know in the comments below!
Graduate from college? Check.
Land a school counselor job? Check.
Seduce her forever crush? Epic fail!
In fact, he’s not interested, period. But Emma is determined to change his mind until his cousin, Gabe Buchanan, puts a definite crimp in her perfect plans.
Gabe has come to help his cousin with work around the ranch while struggling to unravel his next book plot. The last thing he expected to find was literary inspiration in the curvaceous cowgirl pining over his cousin. Determined to prove he is the right match for her, he devises a plan to win Emma’s heart.
As much as Emma wants her childhood crush to finally take notice, she can’t help but be intrigued by the sizzling hot and funny Gabe. When he asks her out, she can’t say no. Besides, it’s just a friendly dinner. No big deal. Yet when the lines between casual and interested blur, neither can deny the chemistry between them.
Can Gabe fill every box on Emma’s checklist and give her what she needs the most? His heart and a future together?
Granite Junction is a spin-off from the Redemption Ranch series, with some of your favorite characters returning and making guest appearances, while others find their happy ever afters!