How to find a new career when you least expect it
For starters, get yourself injured pretty good. Get your leg smashed into a fence by an angry bull and snapped in two. That’ll give you plenty of time to think! Especially if you’re a bull rider. The professional bull riding circuit waits for no man.
But as with any sport, what’s the future after your winning streak? Retirement terrifies most professional athletes and bull riders are likely no exception. There are no more big winners checks coming in. No more adoring crowds. No fans. Fame and fortune quickly find a new poster boy and leave you by the side of the road. I think that’s exactly what professional bull rider Garrett Anderson feared when he considered retirement. It’s a form of abandonment, really. Made worse if you don’t have a plan.
When Garrett meets Cole, he hears the angels sing, but he doesn’t have a way to get from point A to point B. He’s a bull rider, through and through. He can’t even imagine not riding a bull. That is, until Spitfire smashes his leg and he’s out of the race. So far out he might as well – at the age of 32 – hang up his spurs and retire. It would be easier for him to do if he had a post-retirement plan, but he doesn’t. Not until he sees a need in the young up-and-coming star Fred Hastings and is able to fill it. Maybe Garrett’s one of the few men who can because he’s been there, seen that, done it. He coaches Freddy through a tough time and in the process, finds his own path.
The one that leads him back to Cole.
Saddle up cowboy!
Stay tuned for an excerpt from Perfect Ride.
Thanks for reading!
Professional bull rider Garrett Anderson lives for the next town, the next trophy and his next ride. When he rolls into Sheridan, Wyoming, the last thing he expected was to meet a cowboy like Cole—a man who corrals his heart and leaves him aching for the kind of love he’s been missing.
A bull tender on the PBR circuit Cole Richards secretly longs for a lover but wasn’t prepared for Garrett’s passion or the longing their one brief tryst kindles. After he is shot and recovering in his hospital bed, Cole can only watch Garrett’s disastrous ride afraid it could be his last. Heartbroken when the battered and bruised bull rider leaves town, Cole knows better than to hope to see him again.
Attacked again and knee-deep in trouble, Cole wants only Garrett at his side. But can his bull rider trade fame and fortune for a lifetime with his one perfect ride?
The rank bull spun right out of the gate, first right then left, then back again. He spun so fast Townsend dipped into the well and could not get out. On the bull’s next spin Townsend fell to the ground. The bull’s front hooves came down near his head—crushing the most vulnerable place on a rider. His windpipe.
Garrett could almost hear the snap of the man’s neck and feel the life drain from his body. His own throat constricted, and he swallowed around a lump as his gaze hovered over Townsend’s lifeless body saying a silent good-bye. “My God.”
The spectators fell eerily quiet. Everyone knew.
Garrett’s body turned stiff. The two bullfighters helped lead the bull out of the arena while the medics examined the rider. An ambulance came in and they loaded Townsend’s corpse onto the stretcher and hauled it away. The announcer said they’d check on his condition and report soon. Deep down Garrett knew what they were afraid to say. Joe Townsend had taken his last ride.
Freddy had the shakes. He looked like he might be sick. Was this the first fatality he’d witnessed? Hell, Garrett’s had happened so long ago he couldn’t even remember his. But Freddy was brand new at this and from the looks of things it hit him hard.
Garrett took one look at his whitening face and knew he needed to do something before the kid passed out. “Come on. Walk with me.”
Freddy gave a pale green nod and jumped down off the bleachers. The announcer encouraged everyone to applaud Townsend’s effort. That was the best way to send off a bull rider, and then he led everyone in prayer. Afterward, he said there would be a fifteen-minute break before the next ride.
Garrett led him back to the locker room and to the deserted showers. “Get under here.”
The kid looked at him like he might be crazy.
“Come on. Get your gear off and get under here.” He practically growled the order at the kid, using an authoritative voice he’d picked up probably back in his own training days. Those times had honed him, made him the champion he’d become. If Freddy was serious about following in his footsteps, he needed to learn the ropes.
The shaken kid stripped and got under the nozzle. Garrett hobbled over and turned on the spray. Full blast. Nice and hot. But Freddy must have been cold. He wrapped his arms around himself, still shivering.
“Now I want you to tell me what you saw out there.”
“Th-the bull killed Joe. He just stomped on him and…and….”
“And he died. Say it. Let the reality sink in.”
Freddy nodded, but didn’t say anything.
Garrett stood still for a couple minutes, watching Freddy’s reaction. Waiting for him to come down off the shock and adrenaline rush. When his breathing at last slowed, he prompted him again. “Talk to me.”
Perfect Ride is out now from Decadent Publishing. You can buy it here:
By the way, Shiloh and I are currently editing book II, which is young bull rider Freddy’s story. Look for it later this year!
Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers.
Shiloh Saddler likes to do research for her steamy romances first hand. She has invented a time machine and travels back to the 19th century on a regular basis. There are experimental settings on her time machine which could propel her into the future and even other worlds. She believes love and a good book makes anything possible.
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Eva Lefoy says
Thanks for hosting us Kerry!
Shiloh Saddler says
Thanks for hosting us!