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My name is J.D. Faver and I write contemporary romantic suspense and romantic thrillers, mostly based in Texas. BADLANDS, my western romantic suspense, takes place in the Texas Panhandle. The sequel to BADLANDS, The Reluctant Rancher, will be released this month. I was encouraged to write it by enthusiastic readers who wanted another hero, E.J. Kincaid, to have his story told. And boy howdy! Does he ever have his own story! E.J. is the son of the land and cattle baron, Eldon Kincaid and he doesn't want to be in the flat Texas countryside. He spent his youth in Dallas, having gone to private schools. But, once he graduated with a MBA, his dad demanded his presence. Now, he's in charge of the whole shebang and none too happy about it. He keeps butting heads with the local veterinarian, Jenna Lewis, who had dubbed him a 'jackass'. Here is an excerpt from The Reluctant Rancher, which will be released later this month. After a run-in with E.J. earlier, Jenna has gone to a dance at the Eagle's Hall. She has been dancing and just returned to the bar. Leave a comment, with your e-mail address to be entered in a drawing for your own free download of The Reluctant Rancher and a Bad Girls Need Love Too...tee shirt.
She turned back to her beer and jostled the tall man standing beside her. He spilled his shot of whatever he was drinking. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said and reached for a stack of napkins. She turned to the man and began mopping at his sleeve.
“Thanks a lot, Jenna. That’s a nice thing to do for a jackass.”
She gazed up into the smirking face of the biggest jackass in her entire frame of reference. E.J. Kincaid. Her napkin-wielding hand froze in mid-air. “Sorry,” she muttered and wadded the wet napkins into a ball. She lobbed it over the bar and into a trash can on the opposite wall.
“Three points.” E.J. toasted her with what was left of his drink and tossed it down. “You must have been a star of the girls’ basketball team.”
She huffed out a disgruntled sound. “As a matter of fact, I was.” She looked him over. Too freakin’ perfect. “I don’t suppose you dirtied your lily-white hands to play sports, did you?”
He chortled and signaled the bartender for another drink. “As a matter of fact, I did.”
“Okay, I’ll bite. Did you go out for theater arts or floral design?”
“Soccer, rugby, la crosse, field hockey, tennis, equestrian and, yes…I did play basketball.”
“Well, consider me impressed.” She didn’t tell him what she thought of all those fancy, private school so-called sports. Soccer? Hadn’t he heard of good old American football? “Let me pay for your drink, since I spilled it all over you.”
“That would be nice, but I can’t let you do that,” he said. “We jackasses always pay our own way.”
She sucked in a breath and took another sip of her beer. He’s not going to let that one go anytime soon.
The bartender poured a shot of Patron in the empty glass and E.J. motioned for him to leave the bottle.
“I must say, Jenna. You look amazingly attractive tonight.”
She arched an eyebrow. “Amazingly?”
“I should say, I have never seen you look as pretty as you do this evening.” He lifted the glass and let the tequila roll down his throat.
“You’re not feeling any pain, are you?”
He snorted. “You think I’d have to be drunk to compliment you?”
“Well, it sure doesn't hurt.”
“Nooo,” he drawled out. “I always thought you were pretty. Just didn't think you knew how to be a woman.”
“Wha-a-a?” She drew herself to her full height and stared up at him with her mouth open. “I’ll have you know I’m more woman than you could ever handle.”
“You’re probably right,” he grunted and finished off his drink. “Come on. Let’s dance. Then you can say you've danced with a jackass.”
He grabbed her hand and led her to the middle of the dance floor. Just as he twirled her into his arms the band finished the fast song they had been playing and changed to a slow one.
She found herself staring up into impossibly blue eyes and pressed against a chest as hard as concrete. She knew for a fact that this guy didn't work at much of anything. Maybe he got those pecs by lifting his hairdryer.
He pulled her closer and began moving to the music. He was easy to follow and led her around the dance floor without running into anyone. That was a plus. And when the next song started up, he slid right into a two-step without any hesitation.
Okay, he can dance…and he’s got a great body, I’ll give him that. And he’s gorgeous to look at, but he’s still an arrogant jackass.
When the song was over, he tucked her hand in the crook of his arm and escorted her back to the bar. “Do you want to sit down?” he asked.
“Yeah, I guess so.” She wondered what the regulars were thinking of her dancing with Eldon Kincaid’s fancy-pants son, but when she looked around, no one was paying any particular attention.
“Bartender, another glass.” E.J. motioned to the bartender who brought him a second shot glass. He picked up the bottle and both glasses and directed her to a table on the far side of the dance floor.
She nodded and led the way, conscious of every head that turned her way. Well, now they’re checking us out. Great!
E.J. set the bottle down and pulled out a chair for her and then seated himself. At least his manners are impeccable. Maybe if he just doesn’t talk.
He filled both glasses and offered her one.
Oh, what the heck! She picked up the glass and clinked it against his before throwing the fiery liquid down her throat. She sucked in a breath of air and it seemed that her entire gullet and esophagus were inflamed.
After the next round of dancing, E.J. refilled her glass and it didn't seem quite so scorching this time.
She was surprised that he could actually carry on an intelligent conversation. At least he could make her laugh. Well, she was on her home turf. All her friends were here, although they seemed to be keeping their distance. Probably intimidated by the big, rich E.J. Kincaid. But, she wasn't afraid of him. What could happen?
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