Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Reluctant Rancher by JD Faver on Excerpt Day

As promised, here the excerpt from The Reluctant Rancher by JD Faver.  Enjoy!! 

E.J. Kincaid has one thing on his mind. He wants to get the hell out of Dodge, or in this case, Langston, Texas. He sees nothing but miles and miles of Texas panhandle, even though his daddy does seem to own most of it. He wouldn’t be here at all, except that his father committed a heinous crime, for which he is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison. E.J. feels obligated to stay and try to hang onto the land and cattle empire his father built for him. He has also infuriated the local veterinarian, Jenna Lewis, who thinks he’s a complete jackass.

In spite of their thorny relationship, a prank of E.J.’s turns the tables on the lovely red-head who proves to be both a worthy adversary as well as a fiercely loyal ally. As his world starts to fall apart, it’s always Jenna who stands by his side. When murder, cattle rustling and kidnapping occur right in his big back yard, E.J. turns to one of the local ranchers who hates everything about him, especially his name. Will E.J. be able to rescue the woman he loves, or will his efforts result in forfeiting both their lives?

Cowboys, murder and romance. Oh, my! Grab your copy and read a spell...

(After some verbal sparring with E.J. Kincaid earlier, Jenna, the local veterinarian, has gone to the Eagle’s Hall to hear the live band and dance. She has just left the dance floor and returned to the bar.)

She turned back to her beer and jostled the tall man standing beside her. He spilled his shot of whatever he was drinking. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said and reached for a stack of napkins. She turned to the man and began mopping at his sleeve.

“Thanks a lot, Jenna. That’s a nice thing to do for a jackass.”

She gazed up into the smirking face of the biggest jackass in her entire frame of reference. E.J. Kincaid. Her napkin-wielding hand froze in mid-air. “Sorry,” she muttered and wadded the wet napkins into a ball. She lobbed it over the bar and into a trash can on the opposite wall.

“Three points.” E.J. toasted her with what was left of his drink and tossed it down. “You must have been a star of the girls’ basketball team.”

She huffed out a disgruntled sound. “As a matter of fact, I was.” She looked him over. Too freakin’ perfect. “I don’t suppose you dirtied your lily-white hands to play sports, did you?”

He chortled and signaled the bartender for another drink. “As a matter of fact, I did.”

“Okay, I’ll bite. Did you go out for theater arts or floral design?”

“Soccer, rugby, la crosse, field hockey, tennis, equestrian and, yes…I did play basketball.”

“Well, consider me impressed.” She didn’t tell him what she thought of all those fancy, private school so-called sports. Soccer? Hadn’t he heard of good old American football? “Let me pay for your drink, since I spilled it all over you.”

“That would be nice, but I can’t let you do that,” he said. “We jackasses always pay our own way.”

She sucked in a breath and took another sip of her beer. He’s not going to let that one go anytime soon.

The bartender poured a shot of Patron in the empty glass and E.J. motioned for him to leave the bottle.

“I must say, Jenna. You look amazingly attractive tonight.”

She arched an eyebrow. “Amazingly?”

“I should say, I have never seen you look as pretty as you do this evening.” He lifted the glass and let the tequila roll down his throat.

“You’re not feeling any pain, are you?”

He snorted. “You think I’d have to be drunk to compliment you?”

“Well, it sure doesn’t hurt.”

“Nooo,” he drawled out. “I always thought you were pretty. Just didn’t think you knew how to be a woman.”

“Wha-a-a?” She drew herself to her full height and stared up at him with her mouth open. “I’ll have you know I’m more woman than you could ever handle.”

“You’re probably right,” he grunted and finished off his drink. “Come on. Let’s dance. Then you can say you’ve danced with a jackass.”

He grabbed her hand and led her to the middle of the dance floor. Just as he twirled her into his arms the band finished the fast song they had been playing and changed to a slow one.

She found herself staring up into impossibly blue eyes and pressed against a chest as hard as concrete. She knew for a fact that this guy didn’t work at much of anything. Maybe he got those pecs by lifting his hairdryer.

He pulled her closer and began moving to the music. He was easy to follow and led her around the dance floor without running into anyone. That was a plus. And when the next song started up, he slid right into a two-step without any hesitation.

Okay, he can dance…and he’s got a great body, I’ll give him that. And he’s gorgeous to look at, but he’s still an arrogant jackass.

When the song was over, he tucked her hand in the crook of his arm and escorted her back to the bar. “Do you want to sit down?” he asked.

“Yeah, I guess so.” She wondered what the regulars were thinking of her dancing with Eldon Kincaid’s fancy-pants son, but when she looked around, no one was paying any particular attention.

“Bartender, another glass.” E.J. motioned to the bartender who brought him a second shot glass. He picked up the bottle and both glasses and directed her to a table on the far side of the dance floor.

She nodded and led the way, conscious of every head that turned her way. Well, now they’re checking us out. Great!

E.J. set the bottle down and pulled out a chair for her and then seated himself. At least his manners are impeccable. Maybe if he just doesn’t talk.

He filled both glasses and offered her one.

Oh, what the heck! She picked up the glass and clinked it against his before throwing the fiery liquid down her throat. She sucked in a breath of air and it seemed that her entire gullet and esophagus were enflamed.

After the next round of dancing, E.J. refilled her glass and it didn’t seem quite so scorching this time.

She was surprised that he could actually carry on an intelligent conversation. At least he could make her laugh. Well, she was on her home turf. All her friends were here, although they seemed to be keeping their distance. Probably intimidated by the big, rich E.J. Kincaid. But, she wasn’t afraid of him. What could happen?

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J.D. Faver lives near Houston, Texas. She writes steamy contemporary romance and romantic thrillers/mystery/suspense. She loves to kill people...on virtual paper, that is. Although she writes daily, she still finds time to enjoy family and friends. She is a foodie and an adventurous cook. Determined to preserve generations of family recipes, she is publishing a series of cookbooks entitled A Texan in the Kitchen.

Gardening is another passion (and linked to the food thing) since she has an orchard of fruit trees and berry bushes/vines in her back yard. Tomatoes and other veggies round out her kitchen garden.

All other interests (painting, drawing, sewing, quilting, crocheting, weaving, stained glass and pottery) have taken a back seat since they require hands-on participation which is difficult if your fingers are always on the keyboard.
An active member of several Houston writer's organizations, she belongs to National RWA and is a member of Houston chapters.

She is owned by two cats and a small, yappy rescue dog. As a former educator and healthcare professional, she is an advocate for children, animals and elderly/disabled individuals.

She would rather be sailing or on a beach somewhere, but if not, you can probably find her with her fingers on a keyboard, pouring word images onto the virtual films playing in her head.
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