August 28, 2018 8 min to read
Release Blitz: The Bull Rider’s Return by Joan Kilby
Title: The Bull Rider’s Return
Series: The 79th Copper Mountain Rodeo #2
Author: Joan Kilby
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2018
No good deed goes unpunished…
Rough rider Cody Starr relishes his reputation as the bad boy on the rodeo circuit. When he impulsively leaves his prize money as a tip for a struggling waitress so her little boy can get a heart operation, Cody keeps quiet about it, knowing he’s only atoning for past sins. His good deed is outed when Kelly Reid drives across three states to thank him in person. Despite the fact that Kelly forces him to confront his past and question everything, Cody starts to fall hard for her.
Single mom Kelly Reid thinks Cody is a Hero with a capital H. She believes in Cody, but she knows that nothing long term can come of their intense attraction until he believes in himself. Is Cody the love ‘em and leave ‘em guy he claims to be or could he possibly be the man of her dreams?
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LchfcV
There is a giveaway for a Tule tote, book swag, & a print copy of The Bull Rider’s Return by Joan Kilby (US only)
“Thank you, no,” she said to Cody. She was beholden enough to him and she didn’t want to add to her burden of obligation, especially when he clearly wasn’t happy they were even in town. “We won’t take up any more of your valuable time. We said what we came to say and now we’ll get out of your hair.”
“But Mom, you haven’t given him the present you brought for him,” Ricky said.
Reflexively she closed her arm against the woven tote tucked against her side. All of a sudden she felt embarrassed by her gift. It seemed presumptuous. Too personal. Too much and too little at the same time. She didn’t know what she’d been thinking when she’d spent hours sewing the fancy western vest for him. Well, yes she did. She’d been thinking about how good he would look wearing it. It was hard not to notice those broad shoulders and wide chest tapering to narrow hips. She’d been thinking of sculpted abs and glistening biceps rippling with ink…
Sewing had never aroused erotic thoughts in her before. No doubt about it, she was long overdue for some male attention. If she’d had any designs on Cody, though, clearly that would now be misplaced effort.
“It’s nothing,” she said, playing it down. Nothing but sourcing the best materials and staying up late every night for weeks to finish it. She wanted him to wear it and to love it, to think of her when he put it on. She wanted the vest to make him reflect on his amazing generosity because he seemed to be doing his level best to act as if he hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary.
A glint sparked in his dark eyes. “I’ll be the judge of that. Let me see.”
“It’s at the motel,” she lied.
“No, it’s not,” Ricky piped up and she squeezed his hand hard. “Ouch.”
Cody’s glance went from Kelly’s burning cheeks to Ricky’s aggrieved expression and a corner of his mouth quirked up. It was all too obvious that she had the present with her but he pretended to weigh up the situation. “Tell you what, you go back to the motel and get it and then meet me at the park in an hour.”
“You don’t have to do this,” she protested. “You don’t owe us any more of your time.”
“You came all this way.”
“We needed a vacation anyway.”
Ricky’s anxious gaze was going back and forth between them, waiting for the outcome. A long beat passed while Kelly’s heart thudded in her chest. How easily Cody gave up would tell her if he was just being polite or not.
“I’d like to see you both again,” he finally said gruffly.
Her lungs seemed to collapse with exhaling breath. “All right. Just for an hour or so.”
“It’s a date.” Cody tipped his hat. “See you soon.
“Oh, boy,” Ricky said, grinning.
Kelly watched Cody pick his way back across the stony ground. The lightness buoying her heart vied with the heavy certainty that she would be ultimately disappointed. But life was all about taking risks. Just ask a bull rider.
Oh boy was right.
Ricky tugged on his mom’s arm. “Give Cody his present.”
“All right.” Kelly wiped her fingers carefully and moved the soiled food containers out of the way. Then she reached into her tote bag and took out a folded article of clothing wrapped in tissue paper. “I hope it fits. I had to guess at your size.”
“It’s a lucky vest for you to wear when you’re bull riding,” Ricky spilled the beans excitedly. “Mom made it to match your chaps, didn’t you, Mom?”
“Yes, but Ricky, you know he has to wear a protective padded vest when he’s riding, right?” She glanced at Cody. “Usually he’s telling me how rodeo works.”
“I forgot.” Ricky’s small shoulders slumped. “If you can’t wear it riding, it won’t bring you luck.”
“Just owning it will do that, little dude,” Cody said. He held up the tailored black leather vest. The western-style yoke was trimmed in black snakeskin and the front closing studded with buffalo and Indian head buttons. All hand stitched from the looks of it. He ran a hand over the soft leather. No one had ever made him anything like this before.
“Thank you,” he said, incredibly touched. “I don’t know what to say. This vest is so special I’ll save it to wear for good.”
“I know it doesn’t begin to repay—” Kelly began.
Finally they were getting to the crux of her visit. Cody was shaking his head before she finished the sentence. “That money I gave you was a gift, no strings, no expectations. Seeing Ricky looking so healthy is payment enough.”
Seeing her looking beautiful and carefree was a bonus.
“Well, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m not sure I said that at the time.” Her cheeks pink, she gestured to the vest. “Try it on.”
He pulled the vest on over his chambray shirt and buttoned it up. “It fits like a glove.”
“Perfect,” Kelly agreed happily. “I’m so glad.”
“Honestly, you didn’t have to,” Cody said.
“Neither did you.” Her smile was so sweet it pierced his heart.
“I hope you don’t think that if I were to hit on you, that you have to give in because I paid for Ricky’s operation,” Cody said.
Kelly’s head came up swiftly. “I don’t think that.”
Another beat passed while he regarded her with an inscrutable gaze. “Maybe you think that no woman would want me unless I gave her a large sum of money?”
“No, of course not. That’s ridiculous.” She eyed his faint beard scruff, tousled black hair and his melted dark chocolate eyes. “You’re passably attractive.”
“Yeah?” An irresistible gleam lit his face and crinkled his eyes and the laughter lines around his mouth.
He was like one of those hot fudge sundaes with a donut and candies and whipped cream on top. Tempting and delicious and an indulgence she would no doubt come to regret, but one she would give in to, anyway. And love every decadent mouthful.
“Are you planning on hitting on me?” she asked.
“Do you want me to?” He tapped her forearm in mock attack, making her smile. His humor and tenderness were gradually neutralizing the poison of Dean’s insinuation.
She narrowed her eyes, thinking. “We don’t want to give Dean any ammunition.”
“Dean has no power over what we do, or don’t do.”
“Fair enough but this is a small town and we’ve seen how people talk.” The power imbalance between them was never going to go away. Not unless she won the lottery or inherited a fortune from a wealthy relative that didn’t exist.
“I don’t pay heed to what people say,” Cody said. “If I did, I’d have changed my ways long ago.”
Devil or angel, Kelly wasn’t quite sure. She was half afraid to find out…and one hundred percent looking forward to it.
Award-winning author Joan Kilby writes sweet, sexy contemporary romance with a touch of humor. When she’s not working on a new book Joan can often be found at her local gym doing yoga or being dragged around the neighborhood by her Jack “Rascal” terrier. Her hobbies are growing vegetables, cooking, traveling and reading–not necessarily in that order. Happily married with three children, Joan lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to hear from readers so feel free to drop her a line. For contact details and more info on Joan’s books, go to www.joankilby.com.