Portrait of a Cowboy

Sports photographer Kim is down on cowboys. Since her divorce, she is determined to go it on her own, and most of the rodeo crowd knows she won’t date a performer.
When she literally trips over hunky Wolf Voegler, she has to rethink her rule. Swept away by his gorgeous looks and his European charm, she rationalizes: surely one dinner date won’t hurt … or even one unforgettable night of passion.
Before it is over, though, she finds herself wanting more than just a portrait of this cowboy as a keepsake.

Excerpt: PG-13

“I am honored to make your acquaintance, Ms. Westbrooke. However, I am thinking that one as lovely as yourself should be in front of the camera instead of behind it.”

She started to snort her scorn at this blatant flattery, but something in the towering man’s tone made it sound so sincere she couldn’t. Well, hell, if a man this good looking wants to come on to me, who am I to run him off? She tilted her head enough to smile up in his direction as they started off. “I’m grateful for the help, Mr. Voegler.”

Wolf carried the bag all the way to the end of the bucking chutes where she was going to set up. “Please, call me Wolf. Sorry, but I must go now to make ready for my bronco ride,” he apologized. “But I can come back later to help you move your gear wherever you need to go next.”

She suppressed a chuckle. He reminded her of her two-year-old Rottweiler. Blitz normally behaved in similar fashion, so anxiously eager to please that he almost stumbled over himself. The man’s manner should have been ridiculous, but somehow it was instead utterly charming. She gave him her best smile.

“I’ll try to get a good picture for you,” she offered. “Thank you so much for your help.”

He beamed an answering smile before he loped off toward the opposite end of the chutes.

Although it took a full five minutes for her pulse rate to drop to normal, by the time the first of the bareback riders was announced, Kim was ready to go. She settled in a perch astride the top rail, her Nikon hanging around her neck and the camcorder aimed in on the gate. For the next twenty minutes she stayed busy, shooting as fast as she could. She usually got at least a few frames of every cowboy. Those with whom she had contracts to record their rides got more time.

Wolf was the next to last bareback rider out of the chute. Much to her amazement, he gave a very credible showing, scoring just a couple of points below the go-round winner. How had a foreigner learned to ride like that? He was very obviously not native of the American west, but his skill gave one no clue of the fact. She found herself hoping he would come around again, just so she could satisfy her curiosity.


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