Friday, February 21, 2020

Gage, Nevada Cowboys Book 1

I have a love affair with Las Vegas. For every person who hates it - and some hate the glittering, neon-ringed, gambling den with a passion - I can come up with a reason to love it. Not all of those reasons are found on the Strip, either. Some, of course, are.

Like, the neon. I know, I know. Neon is ugly during the day, it's wasteful, the old signs clutter up landfills. I know all of these things. But after the sun goes down and before the moon comes out, you can look out of your hotel suite and the Vegas Strip is transformed into a fairyland. Twinkling lights, brilliant colors and fantastical displays as far as the eye can's a very modern display, but it is also very beautiful.

Or, if you're not into neon, you can go into the desert to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. Sunrises and sunsets over the ocean are my favorite, but there is something completely other-worldly about the grey-to-pink-to-blue changes that take place over the Canyon at daybreak or as the sun finally takes your breath away.

And then there is the food. We've been to Vegas at least 5 times now, and I've never found one of those mythical 99-cent buffets. Even if I did, I probably wouldn't eat there because there are places like the Original Lindo Michoacan and a local brick oven pizza place that we stumbled onto just off the strip, there are the fancy named-after-a-chef options at Cesar's and the Luxor..there are so many food options it’s easy to avoid any and all of the chain restaurants and never feel as if you’re missing out on a favorite meal or dessert or drink.

I love vacationing in Vegas, and that's part of the reason I set my Nevada Cowboys trilogy there - because it gave me an excuse to go back (it was a business expense!!) while researching the books...and it also gives me the chance to go back every day that I'm drafting or editing or just thinking about one of the books.

Tell me, where is your favorite vacation spot?

Hot Las Vegas nights get even steamier for these three powerful, wealthy businessmen with cowboy roots and the strong, independent women who fall for them. What happens in Vegas certainly won’t stay there as these successful tycoons win at love.

Gage: Nevada Cowboys Book 1 (Release Date 2/21/20)

Hot shot property developer Gage Reeves is taking Vegas by storm – that is, until his brother makes him the face of desperate bachelors everywhere. Enter Callie Holliday, who is trying to get a new, upscale spa off the ground. Callie’s connections in Vegas run just as deep as Gage’s, but unlike Gage’s family past Callie’s is pristine. They make a deal: her business venture, his building but what starts off strictly professional turned decidedly personal. Will Gage and Callie risk their professional success for a shot at love?

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Connor: Nevada Cowboys Book 2 (Release Date 3/17/20)

Vegas Nightly publisher Connor Reeves is close to meeting a big-time career goal: making his magazine a state-wide must-read. The only problem? His biggest competition, a larger publisher based in Colorado seems to know his every move. Miranda Clayton is tired of society parties and shopping, but her tycoon father refuses to take her seriously. Her solution? Beat him at his own game by going to work for his top competitor, Connor Reeves. Connor isn’t fooled by Miranda’s act for a second. He knows exactly who she is; the question is what does the lady want?

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Jase: Nevada Cowboys Book 3 (Release Date 4/17/20)

Jase Reeves lives his life by rules: never get emotional at the poker table and never get emotional with women. But when he meets self-help author Sabrina York all bets are off. Sabrina enjoys fame and fortune writing her female-empowerment books, but she could do without the reputation – that of the Oldest Living (Supposed) Virgin in Vegas. Blowing up her entire life because sexy gambler Jase Reeves has shown an interest in her? Sabrina has already written the book on that, but staying away from Jase isn’t as simple as closing the cover of her favorite book. And for Jase, melting the heart of the Vegas Virgin might be his greatest gamble yet…

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Excerpts ---


Standing still in an elevator really shouldn’t be this hard. The mirrored doors had swooshed closed about five seconds before. Callie stood beside him, leather attaché slung over her shoulder and hands clasped before her, watching the numbers count down, down, down.

Gage resisted the urge to pull at his tie. But counting down the numbers on the elevator screen wasn’t nearly as interesting as watching Callie.

He’d been watching her, goading her a little, since he’d realized it was her across the table from him and not a stranger. Not that he could call Callie a friend when he hadn’t spoken to her in ten years. She was an acquaintance. That was a good word.

The fact did nothing to temper his response to her. She’d heated up the office. Now she was turning the elevator into a veritable inferno. From the top of her oh-so-blonde head—had her hair always been this shimmery?—to the tips of her oh-so-red toenails, she made him want things.

Drinks on the beach. A quiet dinner by candlelight.

He’d never thought of her this way in the past. She was just Callie. The girl who helped him master calculus, cheered at his football games, and rode her favorite horse beside his lake on hot summer days. The gorgeous woman standing beside him was so different from the buddy he remembered.

The old Callie was smart and tenacious, which made the new Callie a good investment. The old Callie was dedicated to her work—another mark in New Callie’s favor. The biggest mark in her favor, though, was the empty space in his new development. A space that would be perfect for Callie’s business, while also filling a hole in his.

Plus, under the polish of her suit, he could still see his friend. The mistiness of her gaze when she talked about her parents leaving town, the fierce grip when she squeezed her hands together as she made her pitch.

“Have you been to a Rebels game since you got back?” he asked.

Small talk. He hated small talk.

“I’m not much for basketball.”

“It’s actually still football season, but the first preseason basketball games start in a couple weeks. We should catch a game sometime.”

Shut up, Gage. Just shut up. He didn’t ask business associates out. What the hell was wrong with him?


“You love football.”

A smile spread across her face. “Mostly I loved the space that cheerleading took up in the ‘extracurricular’ column of my college applications.”

“Oh.” How had he never caught that she wasn’t into sports?

Better question: how had his radar missed Callie, in general, all those years ago?


Connor tilted his head to the side. “Ground rules like?”
     “No public displays of affection. When we’re at work, we work. There is a lot to do with the new magazine launch, and we’re still not out of the woods with the existing publications.”
     “So you won’t be coming into my office at odd moments with empty file folders and a desperate need for my body?” His beautiful mouth twisted in a wicked smile.
     “As the male form goes, yours is quite good. But I think I can control myself between the hours of nine and five.”
     “So no nooners. Bummer. Any other rules we should abide by?”
     “No nicknames.”
     Connor blinked. “I shouldn’t call you Love Muffin within earshot of anyone in the office. Got it.”
     “You shouldn’t call me Love Muffin anywhere.”
     “No love muffins?”
     Miranda wrinkled her nose. “Definitely not.”
     “No nooners. No love muffins. So far, so good. Rule number three?”
     “We shouldn’t advertise the fact that we had dinner tonight, or any other night. And we shouldn’t mention the kisses from before, either.”
     “Damn it, I was planning on talking about that with the pressmen tomorrow.”
     Miranda pursed her lips. “I’m serious. This doesn’t have to be a state secret, but we don’t need to advertise the fact that we’ve been on a date, either. At least, not until we know where this is or isn’t going.”


 “One more hand. Winner buys the loser a drink?”
      She tilted her water bottle toward him. “I already have a drink.”
      Jase snickered but was careful to keep the sound light and friendly. “That’s not a drink.” He lifted his glass of soda water with lime to his mouth. Most people wouldn’t consider the contents of his glass a real drink, either, but he rarely drank when he played. Alcohol and cards did not mix well in Jase’s opinion. “What do you have to lose?” he pressed.
     “We’ll see,” she said, not meeting his gaze directly, and he was 75 percent positive she was on her way to a yes.
     The dealer switched decks and then dealt the cards. Jase had random cards in his hands, but he didn’t care. The woman studied her hand, one manicured nail tapping against the cards. Considering.
     “Twenty,” she said, throwing a chip on the table.
     “Raise to forty,” Jase said, tossing two chips on the table. The best plan of attack when the cards in his hand were useless was to make her think he held something amazing. He didn’t bluff in real card games, but despite her two wins, he didn’t peg this woman as a true card player. If she were a regular player, she wouldn’t be so transparent about what she held in her hands.
     The woman blinked, and her teeth began nibbling at her lower lip.
     “Are you in?” he asked, a bit more forcefully than was necessary.
     Her finger tapped faster against the cards in her hand. “I’ll take three,” she said and slid three cards to the dealer.
     As soon as her new cards were in her hands, Jase said, “I’ll stand.” And he stacked his worthless cards with all the careless confidence he used in high-stakes games around the globe. The kind of confidence that made big-time, big-money gamblers think twice about going against him in the second betting round.
     The woman circled her index finger around her remaining green chip, considering her options. Call, take the gamble, lose, and have a drink with him. Of course, it would take a truly pitiful hand to lose to what he held. She could fold and have a drink with him. She could also call his bluff and, depending on the cards in her own hand, win. He didn’t like the thought of her winning, but if her winning at the table landed the two of them at the bar, was it really a loss for him?
     “Call,” she said, and Jase felt a wave of admiration for his opponent. Which was not good, because if she was calling she had to have something in her hand, and he had a big, fat zero. Which meant she would win. Jase didn’t like to lose, especially at poker, not even when it was a friendly game instead of a high-stakes match with thousands of dollars to lose.
     She laid down her cards: three queens, a two, and a ten.
     “Three of a kind. Nice.”
     “I was hoping for a full house.”
     “I was hoping you’d fold, so I could buy you that drink,” he said and laid his cards—all four suits, random order—on the table.
     “Nice bluff, I almost folded.”
     “If it had been a better bluff, you would have folded.” He watched her for a moment across the table. “Now you have to buy me the drink; all in all, not a bad night at the table.”
     The woman pushed back from the table, pulling the pot in the middle to her side. Jase pocketed the chips he had left in his stack. “I never agreed to that bed,” she said, and her hands stilled over the chips. Her gaze flicked to his, and despite the dim light, he saw the flush that crept over her cheeks.
     “And here I thought we were just talking about a drink. I have to tell you, I’m not the kind of guy to go off to a strange woman’s hotel room after a lousy hand of poker,” he said with mock outrage.
     “Bet. I meant bet.”

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