About the Book:
Title: A COWBOY’S SWEETHEART (Rodeo Academy #1)
Author: Crista McHugh
Pub. Date: June 25, 2018
Publisher: Crista McHugh
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pampered New York Socialite and dressage rider, Kensington Pope, has been exiled by her jet-setting parents to her aunt’s Rodeo Academy in Wyoming. She wants nothing to do with the rough and tumble students there, especially one particularly handsome cowboy, Javier. But she won’t be there for long. She has a plan in place to break out after her next international competition.
Javier Cruz takes one look at the spoiled city girl and instantly dismisses her. The school of tough knocks has already educated him on what the important things in life are, and he has bigger things on his plate. He’s counting down the days until his eighteenth birthday when he can pull his younger siblings from the foster care program and reunite his family. But as he gets to know Kensi, he sees a kindred spirit and discovers there’s more to her than meets the eye.
Kensi begins to question her desire to flee the ranch as her relationship to Javier deepens and she learns the importance of family. But when he discovers her escape plan, will he be able to trust her again? And when tragedy comes to the ranch, will Kensi be able to step up and take her place in the family?
Classical music blasted from the practice arena, luring Javier toward it like a siren. Definitely not the type of music the Ramos family preferred. Brad Paisley, sure. Jason Aldean, absolutely. Maybe some Zac Brown Band when they wanted to push the envelope. But as far as he knew, their idea of the classics was confined to the three Gs—Glen Campbell, George Jones, and George Strait. This sounded more like Beethoven than Blake Shelton.
Sierra stood on the bottom rung of the gate on the bull chute, a small video camera in her hand, following her cousin’s movements on horseback.
Kensi was wearing a spotless black blazer and riding helmet. Her uptight posture matched her prissy outfit, unyielding as the bay hopped and pranced around the sawdust floor with an exaggerated gait, his hooves rising high to the beat of the music.
“You’re bouncing too much,” a woman with a harsh German accent bellowed from the loudspeaker over the music. “There should be no jiggling. Kiener!”
Javier searched for the source, but as far as he could tell, he, Sierra, and Kensi were the only ones there. He mosied up alongside Sierra. “What’s all this?”
“Kensi’s dressage practice,” she whispered, her eyes never leaving her cousin.
Of course it would have an equally prissy name.
“Ain’t it pretty?” Sierra asked. “It’s like watching the horse dance.”
He propped his elbows on the top of the gate and leaned forward, understanding why Sierra was so mesmerized. It did look like the horse was doing some sort of trotting ballet across the arena. Just when he figured out the gait, Westley smoothly transitioned to a new one, all while his rider stared blankly ahead.
“Volte!” the German woman barked.
With just the slightest tug on the reins, Kensi steered her horse into trotting in a tight circle.
“Still looking sloppy,” the woman reprimanded.
Javier searched the arena one more time before nudging Sierra. “Where’s that coming from?”
“Kensi’s coach in New York, Hilde. I’m recording it, and she’s watching it in real time and giving Kensi feedback.”
“You look like a fat potato on a bucking bronco,” Hilde added.
“More like insulting her every chance she gets.” Javier squinted to see where the criticism lay, but as far as he could see, Kensi rode with pure elegance. “No wonder she has a sharp tongue.”
“I have a feeling people back east in those big cities are so uptight, they’ve forgotten how to appreciate the little things like being patient and polite.” Sierra’s grin widened as Westley crossed the rink in a diagonal line, hooves crossing over each other in the process. “Ain’t that one of the prettiest things you’ve ever seen?”
His gaze drifted from the horse up to his rider. A rich, rosy hue infused Kensi’s lips and cheeks, but her expression remained determined and focused. As far as he could tell, she didn’t even realize there were other people in the area. Her attention never wavered from the precise movements her mount orchestrated from one end of the floor to the other. For the second time that morning, he saw her as something other than the spoiled little rich girl. She was as devoted to her sport as any other student at the Double Buckle Academy, and an ounce of respect sparked inside him. “Yeah, pretty,” he agreed.
Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She also writes fantasy with a little less kissing and bit more action (outside the bedroom) as C. A. McHugh.
Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.
She currently lives in the Tesla-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician on the occassional weekend.
Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.
And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)
Find Crista online at:
1 winner will win a Kindle Fire 7, US Only.
1 winner will win a $20 Amazon GC, US Only.
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