Book 2, Crow Creek Series
Gay fiction, contemporary western romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 9/12/2013
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 55100/178
PUBLISHER – Jade Horse Publishing
COVER ARTIST – Sessha Batto
Former rodeo champion Jess Carpenter’s been rode hard and put up lonely. Lucas Santiago has anger management issues and a passion for the livestock in his care. When they meet, the fanboy crush on the older bronc rider turns into a fierce attraction, for both men.
But Jess’ visit to Crow Creek Ranch brings a complication—a history with owner Ash MacBryde that ignites an emotional firestorm. It threatens not only Jess’ budding feelings for the young wrangler Luc, but it also drives a wedge between Ash and his married partner Oak.
While Ash and Jess struggle to understand and control their still smoldering feelings for each other, the two young men who would love them unite in desperation, making the kinds of bad choices that lead to jealous rage and soul-searing hurt.
To save Oak, Luc will do whatever it takes, including jail time. To save themselves, Jess and Ash must finally confront what they’ve hidden for years.
Four men vie to hold onto the things they hold dear. Riding for the time. Riding for the glory. And it takes only one misstep to disqualify any one of them from the competition … and from love.
Ash MacBryde and Jess Carpenter share more than just a history. When Jess decides to visit Crow Creek ranch, it’s hard not to bring baggage along for the ride…
Ranches ran on the skills of their cooks and general staff. From what Ash had told Jess about Carmen, he was ready to worship on the altar of her carnitas, still simmering in a crock pot. If he hadn’t already been invited to stay the weekend and sample the pleasures of Crow Creek Ranch, he’d have gotten down on his arthritic knees and begged. As it was, his belly growled, despite just having finished a generous breakfast.
With a wink at Carmen, he turned to Ash and asked, “How the hell do you stay so skinny, bud?” Lifting the lid off the crock pot, he sniffed appreciatively and groaned his pleasure. Ash’s housekeeper ducked her head and bent over the sink to studiously scrub at an already spotless pot, the back of her neck reddening.
Ash grumbled, “Don’t even think about it, Sarge.”
“You know what. Poaching.” Carmen giggled.
“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He smiled, but it came hard, hearing Ash call him “Sarge.” Those days were long gone, and so were too many of the men and women who’d served under him.
Ash said, “Wait here a minute,” and disappeared up a long hallway. When the tall man returned he had two tumblers and the bottle of Carreta de Oro Jess had brought with him.
Glancing at the clock, Jess raised an eyebrow but followed his friend out the door to a small cabin shaded by pines. Ash dragged a folding table between two rockers and cracked the cap on the black bottle, pouring out a generous amount in each tumbler.
After handing Jess the glass, he sat down and sipped appreciatively. Nodding to his guest, he said, “You always did have excellent taste.”
“Figured you wouldn’t have access to the good stuff this far out in the boonies.”
Ash swirled amber liquid around the tumbler and chuckled. “What’s that saying?”
Jess laughed and sang out, “It’s only good if you don't remember it, one tequila, two tequila, three tequila … floor.”
“I remember hitting a shitload of floors back in the day.”
Jess grimaced, “We did what we had to do, you and me.” He looked over at his friend, knowing what he said wouldn’t insult or rankle him. “If it’s all the same, that’s water under the sand bridge.”
Nya Rawlyns is a writer, editor and hopeless optimist. She’s lived on a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay, ridden more than 1000 miles in trail competitions on horseback and been owned by two Newfis. She’s currently staff for a herd of cats and a herd of horses.
She writes edgy romance, where emotion is a contact sport, rough and often raw. It need not be pleasant, heart-warming or forever after. What she seeks is what lies beneath--a dance of extremes, the intersect of need and desire, and the compromises you make when pain and pleasure become indistinguishable.