Stone Cold Cowboy
Montana Men, #4
Genre: Western Romantic Suspense
Date of Publication: February 23, 2016
Number of pages: 389
With their hearts' desires on the line, nothing can stop the Montana Men
Sadie Higgins has a bad habit of bailing her brother out of trouble. But when he rustles a herd of cattle from the tough, honorable Kendrick brothers, it's Sadie who's in for it. Because the cowboy tracking them down is big, silent, and forbidding as hell.
Rory Kendrick is on the hunt to find out who's been stealing from him. When he stumbles upon Sadie in the woods, he barely recognizes the quiet, vulnerable beauty who has always taken his breath away. His mission shifts in an instant: He will do anything it takes to keep her safe... and make her his.
Sadie has always protected her family—no matter the price. But when Rory ropes her heart, she's forced to take a look at her life and make a dangerous choice—one that could cost, or gain, her everything.
“Stop touching her. Let’s just go and get the damn cattle to the trailers before we get caught.” Connor stared down at her, lying on the ground practically naked.
What the hell? Her gaze locked on the man crouched beside her, his hand gripped around her upper arm, keeping her from scrambling away. Fear tore through her body. The cold bit into her skin and froze her bones. She clamped her aching jaw down tight to keep her teeth from chattering. She pushed up to sitting, her knees drawn up, and covered herself with her hands. Her cheeks heated with embarrassment. She scanned the area for her missing coat, jeans, and shirt. At least the asshole hadn’t gotten her out of her panties and bra; still, it wasn’t enough coverage to make her feel safe, or keep her warm.
“Give me back my clothes.” Her sharp words didn’t hide the fear shaking her voice.
“Shut up, or I’ll clock you again.”
Scott and Tony, Connor’s so-called friends, stood over her smoking cigarettes. The three of them collectively added up to one brain. None of them came up with a good idea, but they sure could turn a bad one worse one-upping one another. Now that she was awake, their gazes shot from her breasts to her face, then off to the scattered clouds overhead.
Connor pushed away the guy beside her, someone she didn’t know. “You don’t need to strip her. You fucking lay another hand on her and I’ll kill you.”
She appreciated her brother’s bravado, but the big dude with long, greasy dark hair; devil tat on his neck; and the wicked knife in his hand he whipped out from behind him could probably kill her brother with a look from his cold eyes. Her throbbing jaw attested to the guy’s powerful right hook. If he’d hit a woman, no tell- ing what he’d do to her brother.
The devil dude, as she immediately thought of him, stood and took a menacing step closer to her brother. “Your sister has one hot body. She’d look damn good in lace.” He raked his gaze over her figure, grimacing at her cotton bra and panties. “I say we teach her a lesson about butting into my business.” The devil dude smacked Scott on the shoulder, trying to get his agreement.
Scott and Tony continued to look uncomfortable, shaking their heads and toeing at the dirt, avoiding looking the devil dude right in the eye. They probably needed another hit of whatever they were on. Despite the cold, sweat broke out on their faces. Her brother didn’t look much better.
“She’s not going to say anything. The last thing she wants to do is get me in trouble.” The assurance her brother tried to put into his words fell short, making him sound more like a sniveling child.
“You do that all on your own,” she snapped, glaring at all of them. She stood up, realizing too late she didn’t quite have her head on straight yet. Dizzy, she stumbled a step, then caught herself. She spotted her clothes tossed a few feet away and rushed toward them, hoping to grab them, run to her horse, and get the hell out of there before things got worse. She definitely didn’t want to get hit again. The fear building in her gut that the devil dude might make good on his ominous threats, both spoken and unspoken, made bile rise to the back of her throat. She needed to get away now, before it was too late.
She wrapped her arms around herself, warding off another round of shivers, not all of which resulted from the cold, but the bone-deep fear they might not let her go.
“Where do you think you’re going?” The devil dude grabbed her arm and spun her around. She took him by surprise, stepping in close and kneeing him in the nuts. He fell to his knees, his hands on his balls, the knife sticking out toward her.
“Sadie, no,” her brother shouted.
“I’ll make you regret that, bitch.” The devil dude lunged for her.
She expected him to grab her, but she couldn’t get out of the way fast enough. His hands clamped on to her shoulders. The knife handle dug into her arm, but fear for her life made her act. She brought her arms up and broke his hold. Surprise showed in his eyes, but they narrowed with determination. He grabbed her wrist and yanked her forward. She plowed into his chest with a thump. His cold leather jacket chilled her skin even more. He wrapped his arms around her back, squeezing her close. She head-butted him, hitting him more on the chin than nose than she’d like. He shoved her back to the ground and swiped the back of his hand over his face. Slumped in the dirt and grass, she stared up at him, trying to clear the haze from her aching head and vision, wishing she’d broken his nose.
She tried to think fast, but the guy came after her again, falling to his knees, straddling her hips. His heavy weight pushed her butt into the soft earth, and a jagged rock dug into her spine. He pressed the knife to her neck. The menacing smile on his face reinforced the dangerous look in his eyes. He’d do it. He’d kill her and not think twice about it.
Today, we welcome Jennifer Ryan to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!
I am so excited to be here today! Thanks for inviting me over.
Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?
Since I write suspense, interrogation is right up my alley!
Is your writing style more plotter or pantser?
I like to say I’m an organic writer. I usually have the seed of the story in the form of the opening scene and then I let it grow from there. (Can you tell I’m from California?)
When is your favorite time/place to write? Do you write structured or patchworked?
I have 3 kids, so my time has to be planned out. I drop kids at school in the AM, then write until 1 pm. I eat lunch and watch Days of Our Lives. That’s right, I love that soap. I pick up kids, then get back to it until dinner. My kids are big, so for the most part, they don’t need my help with homework. I cook dinner every night. Most nights I work a little more, but if Blacklist or Blind Spot are on, I’m on the couch with Mr. Ryan.
I write linear from beginning to end. I can’t jump around, mostly because my plots have to be set up to carry the suspense element throughout. I do have to go back and revise certain things to be sure the plot points match up as I reveal things throughout the book.
How do you deal with Writer's Block?
I have found the best method for this is to go with dialogue. I ask myself, “What would he say?”, “What would she say back?” and go from there. I can fill in the narrative later, but this helps me move the story forward when I’m not sure where I’m going.
For whatever reason, I get the best ideas in the shower. So when all else fails, I use that quiet alone time to let my mind wander.
What one thing do you wish someone had told you before you started writing?
There will be a lot of rejection and criticism that will hurt and make you sad, but if you take what you can use and what works for you to improve your writing, you will be a better author.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to work in the garden, but you’ll probably find me watching a movie on TV. I love TV. I also love country music, so you might find me reading a book with my headphones on.
What was the last movie/concert/show that you saw?
We took the kids to see Star Wars. My husband got me Adele tickets for Christmas, but the concert isn’t until July (taps fingers on table impatiently waiting).
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I want to fly, because that would be so awesome to see the world from that vantage point.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who are rude or impatient.
You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
Books. Chocolate. Laptop with an unlimited battery life so I can write.
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Greek yogurt, broccoli, milk, cheese, strawberries, blackberries, watermelon, eggs, chocolate pudding cups, condiments, lunch meat, leftovers, tortillas, and apples...if my kids haven’t eaten it all by now.
AM or PM? PM
Mountains or Sea? Sea
Italian or Chinese? Italian
Coffee or Tea? Coffee in the AM. Tea in the PM.
Cake or Pie? Yes, please.
Dead Tree or Electronic? Dead Tree
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Never give up. Always be kind.
Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.
To connect with the author online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads