The love and determination of a rough-riding cowboy face off against the stubborn pride of a champion barrel racer in my latest Western romance How To Kiss A Cowboy. Bronc rider Brady Caine has always admired Suze Carlyle’s all-or-nothing riding style, and an unexpected night of romance reveals that she loves the way she rides—holding nothing back.
Suze knows better than to fall for a heartbreaker like Brady, but when he gets her an endorsement deal worth millions, she agrees to ride with him for a photo shoot. Brady’s reckless riding leads to an accident that threatens to end her career, and he vows to care for Suze until she’s back in the saddle. But how can she ever forgive the man who took away her one and only dream when it was almost within reach?
I love to write about rodeo. For me, there’s nothing more exciting than the roughstock riders. I love to watch the way the fringe on their fancy chaps flies as they catch the rhythm of a rank bronc’s bucking, and my heart flutters when they spring to the ground after the buzzer and wave their hat to the crowd.
If you’ve ever dreamed of romancing a cowboy and becoming part of this wild Western world, you need to understand the rodeo lifestyle isn’t easy. Sure, the good times are great, but there are a lot of challenges to face, and every rodeo high is balanced by a disappointing ride or a bad draw. Here’s a quick guide to some of the difficulties you’ll face, and how to be the kind of woman who wins a cowboy’s love.
Do’s and Don’ts of Life with a Bronc Rider
Do expect him to exit the arena high on life with energy to burn. When he climbs on that bronc, his system is amped up with more adrenaline than he can possibly burn before that eight-second buzzer. If you’re lucky, you’ll benefit from what’s left over by getting some riding time of your own!
Don’t expect him to take you out dancing every night after the rodeo. It might look like he just hops on a rides his heart out, but he’s as serious as any other professional athlete, and his job requires him to stay focused, well-rested, and fit. The cowboys who win are the ones you don’t see at the beer tents and bars.
Do expect to spend a lot of time on the road—or a lot of time alone, wondering where your bronc rider’s spending that extra adrenaline. Your choice—and I think it’s a pretty easy one. Long rides mean long conversations, and you’ll get to know your cowboy a whole lot better if you become his favorite traveling buddy.
Don’t expect him to do all the driving. Those long nights driving dark highways from one rodeo to the next can be pretty sweet, with George Strait crooning on the radio and your cowboy sleeping beside you. That rough and tumble cowboy will look innocent and boyish when he’s sleeping, but he’ll wake up with a wicked grin on his face and you on his mind.
Do expect him to spend a lot of time with his buddies. They’re not just wasting time; they’re talking about scooters and bloopers, honest buckers and trash. They’re discussing floaters and loungers, chute fighters and high rollers, and they’ll poke fun at any cowboy who grabbed the apple while they shake their heads over that honker that threw them out the back door. If you didn’t understand a word of that, you’ll have more fun going out with your girlfriends than hanging out with him.
Don’t expect your cowboy to rise in the standings if you don’t give him time for these all-important conversations. What they’re talking about is how individual horses buck, and knowing what to expect from a rank bronc can mean the difference between a high-point ride and a wreck. It could even save your cowboy’s life someday, so let him swap stories all he wants—especially if he’s hanging out with experienced cowboys who tend to finish in the money.
And finally, the most important advice of all:
Do stay true to yourself. Don’t ever, ever let a man disrespect you, no matter how big his buckle is.
Don’t be clinging vine. Make your own friends and follow your own star while supporting him as much as you can.
Don’t nag, sulk, whine, or complain about petty things.
Do love him for what he is—a hard-working, rough-riding, all-American cowboy who loves you.
About Joanne Kennedy
Joanne Kennedy's lifelong fascination with Wyoming's unique blend of past and present inspires her to write contemporary Western romances with traditional ranch settings. In 2010 she was nominated for a RITA award for One Fine Cowboy. At various times, Joanne has dabbled in horse training, chicken farming, and bridezilla wrangling at a department store wedding registry. Her fascination with literature led to careers in bookselling and writing. She lives with two dogs and a retired fighter pilot in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
About How to Kiss a Cowboy
Between rodeo wins and endorsement deals, Saddle Bronc Champion Brady Caine is living a charmed life. But when he causes an accident that could end a promising barrel racer’s career, he decides that he’s done with loose women and wild rides. All he wants to do is erase his mistake by getting Suze Carlyle back in the saddle.
The last person barrel racer Suze wants to see on her doorstep is the man who ended her rodeo career, but she can’t help admire Brady’s persistence. Sparks fly between them, but when her barn is sabotaged she wonders if he’s really the straight shooter he seems to be…