Sunday, March 20, 2016

Anatomy of a Cowboy: Meet Dean MacKinnon

Giveaway Alert!

Howdy, readers! And thank you for hosting me today, Maureen.

I have a burning question for you.

What is it about cowboys?

I’ve often asked myself this question. Is it the swagger? The quiet competence? The way he’s good to his family, his horse, his land, his dog, even his truck? The old-fashioned manners? The hat tip and half-smile? Perhaps…the Wranglers?

Cowboy Resurrection is the second book in my Cowboy Cocktail series. It’s about a businesswoman and a bullfighter who reluctantly join forces to produce a rodeo in their tiny hometown.

Monica and Dean lock horns from the moment they meet, but they slowly discover they have more in common than they think. Through their relationship, I tried to explore the different ways vulnerability can be sexy, particularly in two individuals who are fighters at heart. 

Because Monica is so tough, Dean has to be strong enough to meet her toe-to-toe. Here are a couple things that make this cowboy tick.

1. He’s a rancher’s son.
When I say “California,” your first thought is probably not “cowboy.” But that’s exactly what Dean MacKinnon is! He’s a third-generation rancher in the Central Valley, California’s enormous rural heartland. His family own and operate MacKinnon Ranch, an organic cattle ranch and almond orchard. Dean has been on the road for the last ten years. When his father falls ill, Dean must come home to help his mother and brothers.  

2. He’s fearless.
What has Dean been doing for the last ten years? He’s been working as a rodeo bullfighter. Once a bull rider bails out or gets bucked off, it’s the bullfighter’s job to distract the angry, 1800-pound bucking bull so that the rider can get to safety. The job is incredibly dangerous, attracting cowboys who are quick, highly athletic, and stone-cold fearless.

3. He likes to read.
Constantly on the move, Dean spends lots of time waiting in airports and train stations. He’s become a voracious reader, a fact that surprises Monica. I imagine Dean is a fan of Elmore Leonard, James Ellroy and any books that star intelligent loners just like him.

4. He doesn’t talk much.
Dean’s younger brothers constantly bust each other’s chops, but Dean is gruff and serious. In his father’s absence, Dean is the Alpha, their calm and clear-headed leader. When it comes to women, Dean’s laconic cowboy image has served him well—until he meets Monica, who challenges him to open up at last.

5. He’s hotter than a two-dollar pistol.
Hmm. I think I’ll let Monica tell you about this in the excerpt below.

Ball-busting businesswoman meets no-holds-barred cowboy. He’s gonna need a longer rope.

Cowboy Cocktail, Book 2

Marketing hotshot Monica Kaur has put her big-city life on hold to help bail out her brother’s failing business. Now she’s got three months to plan and promote a rodeo, the first her tiny hometown has ever seen.

To ensure the rodeo’s success, Monica enlists a local hero, a rancher’s son who’s made a name for himself on the bull-riding circuit. Problem? She can’t stop daydreaming about the cocky bastard—and all the things she longs to do to him out behind the chutes.

Professional bullfighter Dean MacKinnon is home helping his family while his father fights cancer. Haunted by bad memories, jaded by love, Dean finds escape in a no-strings-attached go-round with brainy, sexy Monica, whose close-knit Sikh-American family would sooner run him out of town than see her with a notorious rodeo romeo.

In private, Monica and Dean play as hard as they work. But as the rodeo draws near, that clean break they promised each other is getting more and more hung up in the rigging.

Warning: Contains rope play, motel nooners, a blue-eyed charmer with a taste for kink, and a brown-eyed princess with a taste for cowboys.


Monica stared at Dean’s naked chest. She couldn’t have imagined a hotter sight if she tried. Broad as a door, he was tan and tight and beautiful. Well-built shoulders sloped down to rounded pectoral muscles and abs packed together like six shiny apples in a gift box.

Her eyes raked over him. Random scars marred his skin, silvery stripes, wide jagged slashes and puckered lines where stitches had been put in and taken out. Dark hair covered his chest, narrowing into a trail that led down past his shallow belly button until it disappeared behind the shiny buckle of his belt. The name Cecilia was tattooed over his heart, the ink faded to slate green. A second tattoo covered his right biceps, ornate knots and spidery lines.

“You all right?” He slid his hand across his abs, as if he needed to draw any more of her attention to his body.

“Who’s Cecilia?” she asked.

“My mom.”

God, how many women had ogled him like this? Did he enjoy seeing the looks on their faces when he took off his clothes? Did he even care anymore?

Monica cared. The sight of a shirtless Dean MacKinnon had already burned itself into her memory. She’d remember it until she was an old lady in her rocking chair.

That one time I had me a cowboy, she’d think to herself. A long time ago.

Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends. When she’s not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good "teacher voice" and "teacher stare." She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.


Win an ebook copy of Cowboy Resurrection and a $5 Amazon gift card!  Two random readers will win this prize. To enter, answer this question in the comments below: What is it about cowboys that readers love so much? Enter Rafflecopter Contest here!


  1. What I like about cowboys is that they are always rough and read type of men. They are tough enough to wrestle a steer but gentle enough to help birth a calf.

    1. Hi Jo-Anne. You put this beautifully...both tough and gentle. A powerful combination!

  2. First thing that pops into my head is, yeah, that swagger. :D

    Part of the appeal—for me, at least—is that cowboys are from a very different world that I'm not exactly familiar with. They're usually alpha without going totally overboard; responsible and reliable when it comes to daily routine and hard work; and they're drawn and tied to the land around them in an all-encompassing way.

    1. That's how I feel, too, Kanoko. There's something powerfully sexy about this type of self reliance...the swagger is deserved!

  3. hardworking

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Yes! The hardest thing I have to do in my own life is tackle my inbox.

  4. They are generally hard-working, hard-playing, respectful, have swagger, slow drawl, and tight jeans. :-)

    1. That drawl, Ruth! It's like catnip to me. Lots of California Cowboys have a sexy Southern comes from the Dust Bowl migration, survived a couple generations. So hot.

  5. I love their code of honor and the way they look in jeans!;)

    1. Oh, man. Colleen, nothing looks better than a cowboy who wears his jeans well.

  6. I love that they are hard working, respectful, and the tight jeans don't hurt :)

  7. Those jeans absolutely don't hurt, Emily! One day I'll send a thank you card to Wrangler.

  8. hardworking, honorable

    alysap at yahoo dot com


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