The Last Cowboy in Texas
[book 7 in Deep in the Heart of Texas series]
BOOK BLURB: Country music princess Starlet Brubaker has a sweet tooth for moon pies and cowboys: both are yummy-and you can never have just one. Now Beckett Cates may not be a cowboy, but he certainly has the heart, soul-and body-to whet her appetite. He’s a sexy ex-Marine with a touch hotter than the scorching Texas sun and arms strong enough to catch her when she lands into trouble.
Playing bodyguard to America’s sweetheart isn’t easy for Beckett. But falling for her sure is. Unfortunately, Starlet has a reputation for keeping a guy or two wrapped around her finger and Beckett refuses to be anybody’s backup. So now it’s up to Starlet to prove that she’s put her cowboy-crazy days behind her. Otherwise, she’ll be singing solo instead of living in harmony with the man who’s loved her even before her fame and fortune.
She stood in the very center of the floor, the tiny dots of light from the disco ball dancing all around her. At first, he thought she was practicing some song for her next concert, but then a jazz singer’s voice came through the overhead speakers that sounded nothing like Starlet’s sweet country twang.
As the song continued, Starlet started to move. For the first time, Beckett noticed what she had on: A feathery dress that flared out on either side and reached to her knees. With the dress, she wore spiked heels that made her legs look a mile long as she swayed to the beat of the music. Even when she had weighed more than a bushel of apples, she’d been a good dancer. The night of her going away party, he had watched from the sidelines while one man after the other had swept her across the ballroom floor. Back then, he had been impressed. Now he was more then a little turned on. There was something about the way she moved that was as seductive as the jazz singer’s voice. Something about the way she held her eyes at half-mast as her arms came out to her sides—
Beckett’s eyes widened as the feathers of the dress parted for a split second then fluttered back into place. Suddenly, he realized that it wasn’t a dress she was wearing but two large feather fans. Two large fans that she proceeded to manipulate around her body in a swirl of white as she twirled and spun around the dance floor.
“Mooching off her?”
Beckett thumped the steering wheel with his fist. He was so preoccupied with his anger that he barely noticed the chunk of plastic that fell from the steering wheel to his lap. As if he needed to mooch off Starlet Brubaker. He had plenty of money in the bank. Okay, maybe not plenty, especially after his last withdrawal. But he had enough to last him until he found a job. And where did the woman get off calling him stupid? Hell, she hadn’t even gone to college, while he was only five credits and one dissertation away from getting his doctorate.
He pressed harder on the accelerator and shifted to a higher gear, or tried to. The piece-of-crap Nissan he’d bought from a corporal for two hundred bucks didn’t seem to have a third gear. Before he could finagle it, the engine stalled and the car rolled to a stop just inside the arched wooden entry to the ranch. An entry with no security gate. No camera. And no guard.
And Starlet thought he was stupid?
He fumed for a few minutes more before he restarted the truck. He had just popped the stick into first when a flash of lights had him looking toward the line of trees. Were those headlights? If so, what was a car doing off the main road?
An uneasy feeling prickled the back of his neck.
Shoving the gearshift into reverse, he turned around. Since the side passenger window had been knocked out, he heard the loud scream before he even reached the circular drive. He whipped the car up next to the porch steps, grabbed his revolver from the glove box, and jumped out. This time, the front door was locked tight. He tried kicking it in, but the solid mahogany wood held. With no other choice, he followed the high-pitched screaming to the open balcony on the other side of the house.
The vine-covered lattice served as a perfect ladder, and within seconds, Becket was jumping over the balcony railing and entering the bedroom. A bright pink bedroom with more satin and lace than a Victoria’s Secret store. He glanced around for an assailant, but all he saw was Starlet hopping around the room with a cat attached to her leg.
At the ridiculous sight, he thought about turning right back around and leaving the exact way he came in. But then Starlet noticed him. In one leap, she hurled herself at his chest, cat and all.
She buried her face in his neck, her warm lips brushing his skin as she mumbled incoherently. “Thank God you didn’t leave. I thought I was alone, and he would come back.” She took a quivery breath. “And when I looked up and saw the blood, I couldn’t stop screaming. And then Hero attacked me and wouldn’t let go, and I don’t know what I would’ve done if you hadn’t come back.”
Beckett tried to put a little space between his chest and the soft press of her breasts, but she wasn’t having it. With a strength that surprised him, she pulled him back and snuggled closer. Since he’d been without female companionship for more than a year, it wasn’t surprising that he rose to the occasion. Fortunately, she was too upset to notice.
“Calm down.” Beckett didn’t know if he spoke to Starlet or himself. Unfortunately, the only one to listen was the cat. He released Starlet’s leg, then walked as daintily as a fat cat could over to the bed and jumped up. Beckett tried not to think about the bed or the long, bare legs pressed against his. He cleared his throat. “What blood are you talking about? Did your cat draw blood?”
She shook her head. “No. I’m not bleeding. It’s the wall.”
He glanced around until his gaze landed on the dripping, blood-red letters written above the plush pink velvet headboard.
YOU OWE ME.”
REVIEW: I only read two stories from this author and I loved both very much. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Katie Lane is one awesome writer when it comes to writing comedic situations she puts her characters through. Hallmark Chanel needs to hire her to write some movies for them.
It looks like I’ve missed out on a really interesting and fun series by not reading Deep in the Heart of Texas, which has six other stories. I need to correct that and very soon.
‘The Last Cowboy in Texas’ is the seventh and the last installment of the series and it was such a great story.
I have to say that the characters in this story were all well developed and very unique, from our hero and heroine, to all the members of their family, to even the villains of this piece. But what drives this story the most is the push and pull of the relationship between Star and Becky [oh I so loved it when she called him that!]. That love-hate relationship between Beckett and Starlet so reminded me of the Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’.
Seriously, if you’re yearning to sink your teeth into a fun, fast paced and thoroughly delightful and entertaining read, this is it.
AUTHOR BIO: Katie Lane is the USA Today bestselling author of the Deep in the Heart of Texas and Hunk for the Holiday series. Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and when she isn’t writing, enjoys reading, going to the gym, golfing, traveling, or just snuggling next to her high school sweetheart and cairn terrier Roo.