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A romantic, spanking, Dominant cowboy with a dog named Jinx, finds himself drawn to a gutsy, determined young woman; a blazing barrel racer who wears hot pink chaps and rides a gleaming black horse called Licorice.
Dot Anderson has been in crush with Matthew Montgomery since she was a skinny, awkward teenager saddled with braces, thick glasses, and short, mousey brown hair. Hanging around the cafe where he'd stop for coffee, she would pet his dog, Jinx, just to be near him, but time has passed, and the ugly duckling has blossomed into a swan. Dot has become Dusty, an enticing female with long flaxen hair and deep green eyes.
After winning the divisional barrel racing finals, she bumps into the handsome cowboy. Her feelings are as strong as ever, but he doesn't remember her, and moments later, when he invites her out for coffee, shocked and hurt she explodes in fury.
"If I go out with someone it will be because they're genuinely interested in me, and they want to spend time with me because of who I am, not how I look."
They were suddenly locked, eye to eye, two wild beasts in a standoff.
"You know what you need?" he said quietly, leaning forward, a deep furrow carving his forehead. "You need an old-fashioned, over the knee spankin'."
"Maybe I do," she hissed, "but it sure as hell won't come from the likes of you."
Dumbfounded, he watched her pick up her trophy and storm off.
As their crackling love affair evolves, so does a mystery involving Dusty's champion steed. As Matt attempts to uncover the secret, he must deal with his growing attraction to the willful young woman, and protect her from the danger that lurks in the shadows. Spanking, bondage, graphic sex, and a sizzling chemistry scorch the pages of this deeply romantic tale.
� If Matthew Montgomery hadn’t decided on a second cup of coffee before leaving for work, he might never have seen her, and as he gazed out the window of his truck, that very thought crossed his mind.
������ Standing outside his favorite cafe, Annie’s Eats, there were three cowgirls dressed in western show clothes, their competitor’s numbers still tied around their waists. It was the long, straight blonde hair that initially caught his attention. Her back was towards him, the lower half of her body hidden behind a parked car, and he was about to look back to the road ahead when she and her friends started meandering forward.� As her body came into view, Matthew did a double-take.�
������ The girl was wearing hot pink chaps.
������ “Damn,” he muttered under his breath.
������ His border collie, Jinx, let out a whine in response, and gazed up at his master.
������ “You don’t wanna know,” Matt sighed.
������ Jinx repeated his whine, but ignoring him, Matt focused on the blonde locks cascading down the girl’s back.
������ She was closest to the street, and pushing his sunglasses to the top of his head, he caught his breath as he followed her slow, ambling walk down the street. The hot pink chaps framed an appealing derriere that was packed into a pair of dark blue jeans, and almost as though she could feel his eyes, she turned around and looked directly at him.
������ The impatient honk of a driver behind him made him jump, and glancing up he saw the light had turned green. Accelerating, he risked another quick glimpse as he drove slowly forward.
������ Her long blonde hair was falling around her shoulders, and the white T-shirt tucked into her jeans did little to hide her shapely figure. To his surprise she was still staring at him, but she wasn’t smiling. Her look was one of puzzled curiosity, verging on anger, as though he’d missed something important. Slightly unnerved he continued on, dropping his sunglasses back on to his bridge of his nose.
������ “Damn,” he repeated, shaking his head. “That should be illegal.”
������ �Jinx raised his paw and touched Matt’s arm.
������ “Again, you don’t wanna know,” Matt chuckled.
������ The dog continued to stare at him, then barked twice.
������ “Think, white poodle wearing a pink rhinestone collar,” Matt joked.
������ As if understanding, Jinx dropped his paw and began to happily pant.
������ “Sometimes I think you really do understand English,” Matt laughed.
������ Rounding the corner towards his office, he turned up the volume on his radio and listened to the morning talk show. The topic was, of course, the horse show. It was a six week event nearing the end of its run, and the community had been bustling.
������ Riders had trailered in their horses from neighboring counties to compete in everything from team penning to western pleasure. The show was a big deal, and Matthew was a part of it, though not as a competitor. Matthew Montgomery owned and ran Silver Streak Saddlery, a company his father had started many years before, and it was one of the major sponsors. The rider named Show Champion would win a Silver Streak custom-made saddle.
������ Growing up in the workroom, he’d fallen in love with the smell of the leather and watching the skilled craftsmen build the high-end, ornate saddles. Determined to build on his father’s success, Matt studied business in college, and followed the latest advances in the developing technology of saddle-fit. His education, talent and passion, had transformed Silver Streak Saddlery into a highly respected, national brand. The saddles were now listed in all the best catalogues, and sold in the finest western stores around the country.
������ He’d received offers to branch out into other products for the western rider, everything from a clothing line to horse care products, but he’d turned them all down.� His business was saddle-making, and he had no desire to sink his teeth into anything else.
������ As he rolled into his parking lot, the image of the girl in the hot pink chaps made him chuckle, and shaking his head he jumped from his truck, watched Jinx bound out after him, and ambled inside.
������ “Morning Matt,” his secretary and receptionist smiled. “You’re late. You’re never late.”
������ “Needed that second cup,” he remarked stopping at her desk.
������ “You also need to settle an argument.”
������ “I do?”
������ “You do! Pete and Bob are fighting over who should take the saddle over to the show’s office.”
������ “Say what? Since when? Neither of them wanted the job, not that I blame them. Who wants to deal with Sharon King? She’s a nice enough lady, but a five minute stop turns into an hour, and that’s if you’re lucky,” he remarked.
������ Sharon King was the show secretary, and though she was efficient and excellent at what she did, once in her company it was impossible to escape. The woman loved to talk.
������ “I have no idea what the attraction is, they won’t tell me.”
������ “Thanks, Jeanette, I guess I’d best find out,” he sighed.
������ Jeanette Thompson had been his father’s righthand since the company had opened its doors. When the doctors ordered him to stop working, and Matt had to takeover the reins, he had begged Jeanette to stay on.
������ “Yes, Matt, you’d better, and soon,” she said raising her eyebrows.
������ �“It’s an easy argument to settle,” he grinned. �����
������ “Well, sure,” she smiled. “You deliver it.”
������ “Exactly!” he chuckled. “I’ll just suffer through an hour of gardenin’ advice, or some other such nonsense. Come on, Jinx, let’s go and see what all the fuss is about.”
������ Walking down the hallway he stopped at the first door, punched the security code into the high-tech keypad, and slid a card into the slot along the side. There was a beep, a green light blinked, and he pushed open the heavy steel door.
������ Tens of thousands of dollars in saddles and raw materials sat inside, and Matt spared no expense to keep them safe. Walking into the large space, Jinx running ahead of him, the door swung shut behind him, and Matt heard the locks click into place; he always found it a reassuring sound. Peering around the expansive room he finally saw his two best salesmen standing by the coffee machine.
������ Striding forward he waved his greetings to the various workers who were cutting the leather, punching out personalized silver ornamentation, and crafting the saddles. He loved the sounds and smells, and knowing how much his father missed it, Matt made it a point to bring him in at least twice a week. ����
������ “I understand you two have a debate goin’ on,” he said as he approached. “You wanna tell me about it?”
������ Matt was about their age, but his deep knowledge of the business, combined his natural authority and common sense, had earned their respect. Even the older, grizzled craftsmen who had worked side-by-side with his father in the early days of the company, held Matt in high-regard.
������ “Not really,” Pete grunted.
������ “I will,” Bob offered.
������ “I’m listenin’,” Matt frowned feeling the tension in the air.
������ �He saw the company has one big family, and while he knew there would always be spats, he did his best to shut them down quickly, with as little drama as possible. Pete and Bob were naturally competitive but they enjoyed a camaraderie, and Matt didn’t like the obvious discord that had sprung up between them.
������ “We’ve been tryin’ to figure out who should take the saddle over to the show office,” Bob began. “I suggested a coin toss, but-”
������ “Hold on,” Matt interrupted. “Last I heard, neither of you wanted the job. What’s changed?”
������ The two men exchanged a look.
������ “Does this have somethin’ to do with a woman?” Matt asked. “Is there some girl in the office you both have the hots for?”
������ “Yeah, I guess you could say that,” Bob mumbled. “Her name is Dusty somethin’, and she’s been cleanin’ up in the barrel racin’ events.”
������ “Okay,” Matt said slowly, completely mystified by their quarrel, “and why does that have anything to do with deliverin’ the saddle?”
������ “She has everyone talkin’,” Pete said finally joining the conversation.
������ “Talkin’ about what? Tell me more.”
������ “She has this black geldin’ who’s supposedly as fast as a bullet train.”
������ “You’ve both seen plenty of fast horses. What else?” Matt pressed. “Come on, the whole story.”
������ “She wears hot pink chaps and-”
������ “Hot pink chaps?” Matt interrupted.
������ “Yeah, can you believe it? She wears hot pink chaps and has blonde hair almost to her ass, and she’s hot, like, sizzlin’ hot. I’m dyin’ to see her ride. Hell, I’m just dyin’ to see her, period.”
������ “Yeah, well you’re not the only one,” Bob chimed in. “You’ve got a girlfriend. I’m the single guy around here.”
������ “I’ll ask again,” Matt said becoming totally exasperated. “What does this have to do with deliverin’ the saddle?” ��
������ “We’ve heard she’s good friends with Sharon,” Pete said. “She goes over there and hangs out a lot, helps Sharon around the office, so we figure she’ll probably be there at some point.”
������ “Finally!” Matt exclaimed. “I have a suggestion. Let’s all go, the three of us. If she’s there we can all salivate together. I’m gonna pick up dad and bring him here, and then we can load the saddle into my truck, and caravan it over there.”
������ “Damn, Matt, that’s why I like workin’ for you,” Pete laughed. “You always know the right thing to do.”
������ “If she’s that good lookin’ and that sexy, she’ll be taken anyway,” Matt reasoned, “and speakin’ of goin’ to the show, how many saddles have you sold since it started? A dozen or more?”
������ “About,” Pete nodded.
������ “Let’s end with a bang. Whoever brings in the most sales by the end of the week will get a bonus.”
������ “What kinda bonus?” Pete asked.
������ “An extra 5% on every saddle sold.”
������ “Blow my whistle,” Bob exclaimed. “That’s a deal.”
������ “Just don’t kill each other,” Matt grinned. “Come on, Jinx, up to the office. I’ve got work to do.”
������ Jinx bounded towards the staircase that led up to Matt’s office, and as Matt followed him up the stairs, he flashed back to the girl he’d seen on the street.
������ It has to be her. How many girls have blonde hair past their waist and wear hot pink chaps? The boys are right, she’s as hot a tin roof in the middle of summer. The way she looked at me though, almost like she was pissed. Huh. Weird. Probably had nothin’ to do with me.
As Matt was settling down to work, Dusty Anderson had just arrived at the show office. It was housed in a temporary trailer, and Dusty was delivering a cappuccino to Sharon King, the show secretary, but Sharon wasn’t just a good friend, she was her aunt.
������ “Thanks, Dot. Sure is good having you out of college. I know you didn’t go away but it felt like you did. I missed you. I never got to see you.”
������ “I missed you too, Auntie Sharon, but please call me Dusty. Dot is just not who I am anymore.”
������ “Dusty,” she sighed. “If that’s what you want.”
������ “It is. I leave my competition in the dust! That’s part of why I like it.”
������ “You’re not going to tell me the other part?”
������ “No, maybe one day.”
������ �“What’s the matter?” Sharon asked studying her. “You don’t look so happy. Are you worried about the race this afternoon?”
������ “Not at all. Licorice and I will win,” she said confidently, “and it doesn’t matter. I’ll still be the division champion and go to the State Finals even if I don’t.”
������ “That is so exciting,” Sharon beamed, “but something has upset you. What happened, honey?”
������ “I saw someone,” she sighed. “Someone I used to know.”
������ “A boy I’m guessing?”
������ “Not anymore,” Dusty said shaking her blonde locks. “We’ve both grown up.”
������ “You’ll always be a little girl to me,” Sharon smiled, “but this, uh, man, tell me about him.”
������ “Nothing much to tell. It was a lifetime ago.”
������ “Sounds like you still have feelings for him.”
������ “I’ll always have feelings for him, but he doesn’t even remember who I am,” Dusty lamented.
������ “I’m guessing he’s going to. When he does, and gets in touch, I’ll be right here if you need to talk.”
������ “Thanks, Auntie Sharon, but I’m not so sure about that. Why would he? It was just a coincidence, a fleeting moment, that’s all.”
������ “Funny thing about those moments,” Sharon remarked. “A few seconds either side and they don’t happen. You stop to tie your shoe, you look the other way, you grab an extra cup of coffee, the moment doesn’t happen.”
������ “What’s your point?”
������ “The moment happened. That’s fate. You’ll be seeing him again, you mark my words.”