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Blog Tour - Excerpt + Giveaway - In a Ranger's Arms by Donna Michaels


In a Ranger’s Arms

by Donna Michaels 
The Men of At Ease Ranch, #1 
Publication Date: November 28, 2016 
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Lovestruck, Contemporary Romance


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Synopsis: 

Former Army Ranger Stone Mitchum doesn’t have time for sex. Since starting a company with his brother and two buddies, he’s had more important things on his mind. Like transitioning veterans back into society. But when his curvy new tenant falls into his arms—literally—his libido snaps to attention.Jovy Larson has four weeks to prove she’s worthy of taking over the family business. Her challenge? Sell gluten-free, vegan food—in the middle of cattle country, Texas. It’s a tough task, but not half as tough as fighting her attraction to her sexy, surly landlord. Before she knows it, Jovy’s tangling sheets with the hot cowboy, stalked by a jealous cow, and strategizing ways to help Stone’s ranch. But by the time her lease runs out and the test is over, she’s faced with a new challenge…competing against Stone’s sense of duty to win his heart. 


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EXCERPT

When Jovy Larson’s grandfather had sent her to the middle of cattle country USA to open a gluten-free, vegan café in a contest to test her business skills against her cousin, she knew she would have to deal with some tough, and often unexpected, situations. Becoming a hit-and- moo victim of a rampaging cow had never made the list. Bovines weren’t exactly a common fixture in the City of Brotherly Love, despite the fact that Pennsylvania was one of the top five U.S. dairy farm states with over eight thousand farms. She’d never seen one up close. The clanging of the bell grew louder.

That was about to change. And fast. Mad-cow- charging fast.

With a startled gasp, she tried to scramble down the ladder, but it teetered under her feet and her hands ended up windmilling instead. Jovy’s last thought as she flew backward toward the large plate-glass storefront window was if she didn’t die, her cranky landlord was going to kill her.

Fully expecting to smash through the glass, she was shocked to hear a deep, sexy, panty-melting baritone claim, “I’ve got you,” a second before a tall cowboy appeared out of thin air to catch her with his rock-hard body. Two strong, muscular arms clamped around her before the momentum knocked them both to the ground.

Her mind was processing the fact that she was uncut and still alive, sprawled over the sexiest man she’d ever seen, when the stranger rolled them over to shield her from the falling ladder.

The impact vibrated through his stiff frame.

Holy cow. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah.” Warm breath rushed over her neck and shoulders as he drew back to stare down at her. During the tussle, his hat fell off to reveal short black hair that didn’t quite reach his collar.

“What about you? Are you all right?” Gray eyes, the color of a child’s prized marble, blinked at her in a worried frown.

Increasingly aware that she was now underneath the tall, sexy stranger, whose big, warm,firm hand was cupping her ass—and she liked it—Jovy cleared her throat. “Define ‘all right.’”

“Are you hurt?” He removed his palm from inside her shorts, the warm, tingling feeling dissipated along with his touch, until he shoved the ladder aside, sat up, and began to run both hands efficiently over the rest of her body.

Her sorely neglected body. A body doing an all hail Mr. Gray Eyes tremor. Lord have mercy, her good parts hadn’t been in contact with a male like this in over a year. Not since…

“Hey, miss? Answer me. Are you hurt?”

Hurt? She stifled a hysterical giggle. “No.”

Aroused? Oh, yeah. Big-time. And completely embarrassed by her reaction to the total stranger. She could explain away the tremors racking her body as shock, but not the beaded nipples plainly visible through her bra and tank top.

If he noticed them, he didn’t let on as his hands skimmed over her chest, neck, and shoulders.

She gritted her teeth, enjoying the scrape of his callus-roughened hands on her skin, doing her damnedest not to embarrass herself further by moaning.

Dumb body.

“You feel okay to me.”

Sitting up, she snickered. “Thanks, but…shouldn’t you buy me dinner first?” The stupid words were out of her mouth before she had the chance to swallow them down.

He stilled and met her gaze for a beat, then his head tipped back and a bark of laughter echoed down the covered walkway. The deep, sexy sound did nothing to lessen her arousal, but the sight of the cow, pushing her way past the fallen ladder to moo in his startled face, sparked her amusement.

Jovy giggled. “Looks like you have yourself an admirer there, cowboy.”

“Nah.” He shrugged, lifting a hand to stroke the cow’s neck. “Lula Belle is just a little overzealous.”

And bold, or maybe not. Jovy didn’t possess a wealth of bovine knowledge. But she did know it was plumb dangerous for livestock to be roaming free in town. “You should probably keep your cow at home.”

A smile tugged his mouth. “She’s not my cow.”

At this, Lula Belle bent down to lick his face.

Jovy quirked a brow. “Does the cow know that?”

Amusement danced in the stranger’s eyes, and the smile that had threatened claimed a set of kissable lips she had the sudden urge to taste. Her heart rolled in her chest. Dammit. He needed to stop doing that or she was never going to catch her breath. An instant later, his gaze dropped to her mouth, and what little air was left in Jovy’s lungs took a hike, leaving her with a racing pulse and fluttering stomach. No man had ever affected her this way, especially a stranger. But at the moment, she didn’t care. An odd, new, tangible current coursed between them.

If the heat entering his gaze was any indication, the stranger felt it, too. Good. She’d hate to be the only one stuck in this crazy-ass haze. The good-looking Texan was hard. Deliciously hard.

And dead sexy. Heaven help her, it took all of Jovy’s willpower to fight the impulse to press him onto his back and check his body for injuries…with slow and very thorough precision. That would be foolish. So damn foolish. Need trembled through her like a rampaging cow, but she continued to resist. The urges were so far out of her character she remained stunned.

And completely at his mercy. All the cowboy had to do was make a move, one little move,and she would lean forward and accidentally catch his lips with her mouth.

“Is everyone all right?” An older man approached, rope dangling from his hand…on a tractor?

She wasn’t in Pennsylvania anymore.

He was a welcome interruption. Her heated, sensitized, need-filled body wholeheartedly disagreed.

The cowboy blinked the desire from his eyes before he turned his attention to the newcomer.

“Yeah.” He gently pushed the cow back so he could stand. “We’re okay, Skeeter.”

Skeeter? There was a name she didn’t hear every day, but it fit the senior citizen’s friendly, weathered face. Her sexy rescuer turned and held a hand out to help her up, but before she could grab on, Lula Belle rushed forward to shove between them.

“Possessive much?” She scooted backward on her butt.

Skeeter chuckled and passed the rope to the cowboy, who quickly fashioned a loop and harnessed the cow. “Don’t mind Lula Belle. The old gal is sweet on Stone.”

She smirked. “Never would’ve guessed.”

Nor would she have guessed the cowboy’s name was Stone. Although whether it was his first, last, or nickname, it was 100 percent fitting, considering the rock-hard body that had just covered hers on the sidewalk.

Still chuckling, the older man held out his hand, and this time, the cow didn’t interfere as he helped Jovy to her feet.

“Thank you, Skeeter. I’m Jovy.”

“Welcome to Texas, Jovy.” He smiled and released her hand.

She glanced up and down the street. “Are there any other rampaging cows or livestock I need to worry about?”

“Not unless you count cowboys as livestock.” He winked, then grabbed the rope from Stone.

“Come on, Lula Belle. Let’s get you home. I bet Mr. Rawlins isn’t even aware you’re gone.”

With a nod and a few hard tugs on the harness, Skeeter led the protesting cow away.

She was definitely not in Pennsylvania anymore.

Jovy turned, intending to thank the stranger for saving her, but he was busy affixing her dangling sign to the hooks above the door. Without the use of the ladder.

Jeez. Just how tall was the guy?

“Small” was not a word used to describe Jovy’s five-foot- nine-inch frame. Tall. Sturdy.

Curvy. Heck, despite her dark hair, she’d even been nicknamed Marilyn by several guys back in her college days. But tiny, delicate, and small were all antonyms.

Until now. Compared to this man. He had almost a good half a foot on her, with broad shoulders and muscles bulging under the rolled-up sleeves of his denim shirt. The lean Texan made her feel delicate…and feminine. Not an easy feat.

He finished hanging the sign, stepped back, and frowned. “V-Spot Café?”

For a small, stupid moment her mind heard G-spot and her body responded with another damn tremor. Bet he knew where a woman’s…

Stiffening, she gave her head a small shake to get her mind back on track before thrusting out her hand. “Thank you for catching me.”

Warm and strong, his fingers curled around hers and tiny tingles of heat skittered up her arm.

She glanced from their hands to his bewildered gaze.

That was new.

He cleared his throat and released her. “It was nothing.”

Unsure if he was referring to his heroic act or the current flowing between, she pushed both thoughts aside. It didn’t matter. She wasn’t staying in Texas any longer than necessary. This crazy, weird attraction was best ignored.

“Well, I appreciate what you did. Thanks for your help.” She glanced at the shop and shuddered. “Man, my jackass of a landlord would’ve had a cow if that window had smashed. I’m sure he never would’ve believed the cause. Heck, I’m beginning to wonder if he’s even real. He won’t give me a phone number. I have to do all my dealing with him through emails. He even made me come down here a few days early or he threatened to give the place to someone else.

Talk about difficult. And strange.” She turned back to face him, noting that the amusement had disappeared from his eyes. “Oh, wow. I take it by your sour expression you’ve had dealings with S.B. Mitchum, too. I bet the S stands for ‘stubborn.’ Or maybe it stands for ‘strange.’”

Again, she was alone in her merriment. The cowboy didn’t crack a smile. Nothing. Zilch. In fact, his expression turned as hard as stone. Ah, crap. This was a small town. He probably knew the guy. She sighed. Great. Now she had to backpedal.

“Well, we’ve all been called stubborn and strange. Even me.” She shrugged. “Speaking of called…we haven’t been officially introduced. I’m Jovy Larson. And you are…?”

His chin rose a tick, and he leveled her with a cold gray gaze. “Stone Mitchum. Your jackass of a landlord.”




ABOUT DONNA MICHAELS


donna-michaels
It’s all my mother’s fault. She read to me when I was little and sparked my imagination. Now, my mind is the limit, and believe me, there’s no limit to my mind. Hello, I’m Donna Michaels, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Award winning author of Romaginative fiction. 

I write romance through the H’s—Hot, Humorous, Heartwarming reads with strong alpha cowboys and military men who are equally matched by their heroines. With a husband in the military fulltime, and a household of nine, and several rescued cats, I never run out of material. From short to epic, my books entertain readers across a variety of sub-genres, and one has even been hand drawn into a Japanese Translation.

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