Tuesday, June 21, 2022

When is a Cowboy not a Cowboy? By Kathleen Lawless @kathleenlawless

Merriam Webster defines ‘cowboy’ as an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks.

Then I saw this other definition: One having qualities (such as recklessness, aggressiveness, or independence) popularly associated with cowboys.

Lightbulb Moment!

Thus inspired, I created Blaze, a dare devil stuntman who wears leather chaps and rides a Harley instead of a horse.  And like any cowboy who loses his ability to rope and ride due to an accident, Blaze has to reinvent himself after a failed stunt nearly kills him. Which is when we meet him.


“You’re early.”  Kaitlin opened the door to see a man clad in dusty, formfitting leather, his shaggy caramel-colored hair badly in need of a trim.  She stepped back a pace.  “Come on in. Let’s see what you look like under all that road dust.’’

The stranger stepped past her and into the front hall. “You must be Kaitlin. Steve said—’’

“My brother knows I can’t resist a challenge.’’ Kaitlin circled the man, eyes narrowed as she inspected him from all angles. Actually, in the right clothes, this one should clean up quite nicely. And he did possess a certain undeniable something.

“One good thing. We should be able to fit you off the rack. There’s no time to wait for custom tailoring.” Broad shoulders tapered to lean hips, which were hugged by a modern-day version of cowboy chaps in supple-looking black leather.

“But those chaps. The look is all wrong unless you’re auditioning for a cowboy commercial.” The garment in question sheathed him like an intimate glove, up over snakeskin boots to hug an impossibly long length of leg, before ending in a V of faded denim below his belt. The scrap of exposed denim was the exact same shade as his eyes.  Realizing where her gaze lingered, she looked away and hoped she wasn’t blushing.

He rocked back on his heels and crossed his arms over his impressive chest.  One side of his mouth quirked up in an endearing half-smile.  “I wasn’t expecting an audition.”

Dead silence hung between them and Kaitlin felt herself flush.  Weren’t people supposed to outgrow adolescent blushing?  Apparently not her. Even her ears were burning. “Somehow, I get the feeling you’re not my brother’s friend/wannabe model I was expecting.”

“Is that what he told you?”  The newcomer braced one shoulder against the doorframe as if he had every right to be there, thumbs hooked in the pockets of his jacket. His half-smile turned into the real thing.  The change in expression deepened the grooves in his cheeks and gave him a lazy look that matched his careless pose.

His smile was addictive and Kaitlin caught herself starting to smile back. “How about I introduce myself properly? The name’s Blaze.” Lazily his right hand stretched toward her, broad and sun-browned with a faint line of scars visible across the first two knuckles. “I’m your date for the weekend.”


One Fantasy Fall is on sale in the US for only 99cents this week.  Grab your copy here! 

1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

Nice ending to that excerpt, Kathleen!! Congratulations on your new release. I'm already drooling, lol.