New Yorker Cassie Bishop has one goal: produce the pilot episode of Try It On to get back in her boss’s good graces. She can handle a month of the dusty Texas outback, filming the social train wreck as a trust fund diva learns how to play cowgirl, if it means salvaging her career. But when the spoiled rich girl bails at the last minute, Cassie has only one option—take her place. Can anyone say yee-haw?
The only hitch is Ty Haywood, the real life, living breathing cowboy who is supposed to train her. He’s smart, funny, and makes a western shirt look tastier than a bag of hot candied cashews. Too bad he’s so deeply rooted in his Texas home.
As the film rolls, Cassie finds herself falling for the hunky cowboy, the raw beauty of the country, and the rhythm of small town life where city pressures—and ulcer medicine— are distant memories. When the month is up and the shoot wraps, will the city girl return home? Or will love and friendships convince her to give country life a try?
The pounding woke me.
I lurched up in the tub and my heart raced in my chest.
More pounding. Well, knocking actually.
“Cassie, you in there?” Ty asked through the door.
“Yeah, I—“ My hands went instinctively over my chest, even though the door was still closed, all too aware of what I wasn’t wearing beneath the layer of foamy bubbles. “Is something wrong?”
“Sorry to intrude,” he said. “Gen’s out collecting from the chickens.”
“I mean, I wouldn’t normally—“ He stopped and started again. “Gen should be the one to—“ Another hesitation. “You have a call on the house phone.”
“Oh,” I said. “Okay. Thanks. I’ll be right down.”
It had to be Bud, calling to check up on me. No one else had the Haywoods’ number.
Twisting myself up, I pulled the rubber plug from the tub drain and then grabbed the light blue towel I had set on the stool next to the bath. As the coconut lime bathwater swirled down the drain, I quickly dried off and wrapped the towel around my chest.
When I first followed Genevieve into the bathroom, I hadn’t planned on going back downstairs. I hadn’t thought to have clothes waiting—I had been single-mindedly focused on sinking into a day-erasing bath. And, I realized as I crossed to the door, the magic bath had worked. My leg muscles weren’t nearly as angry anymore.
Now all I had to do was to sneak down the hall to my room and pull on my pajamas before--
My feet slipped out from under me as I reached for the door handle. Instinct took over, and somehow I managed to stay upright and keep my towel in place.
“Cassie?” Ty threw open the door. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I—“ I made a fluttering gesture with my free hand. “I slipped on the wet tile is all. I’m fine.”
“You’re sure?” he asked, as if not quite trusting my insistence. His bright blue eyes scanned over my thankfully-still-towel-covered body.
Every inch of my skin tingled.
Creating a Love
Photographer Candi Marcus never wanted more than a casual hookup or one night stand. Until she met artist Owen Griffin. For the past two years, she’s only been with him. But it’s still just sex, or at least that’s what she’s told her friends. When he says he wants more, she can finally admit that she loves him.
Facing the past…
Protecting Owen from the illegal street art he did as a teen has already hurt two people he cares about. Now another woman from his past has come to collect her own debt. She needs a fake fiancé in order to get her inheritance and she’s not taking no for an answer. Candi knows the other woman’s in love with her real fiancé, so she convinces Owen to go along with everything, not realizing what it may cost her.
The right choice may cost them everything…
While the fake engagement isn’t easy on either of them, Candi and Owen know that their love is strong enough to handle whatever’s thrown in their path. Or is it? When Owen makes the only choice he can, he risks losing Candi for real. And as friends and family take sides, theirs may not be the only relationship to fall apart. Can an Art Boy prove to the woman he loves that she’s truly the one who owns his heart or will it be too late for her to listen to the reason behind his betrayal?
Creating their love was easy, but fighting for it is the hardest thing they’ve ever done.
Candi sighs, and finally moves to sit on the couch. “I was embarrassed about how much of a mess I am over everything. The talk of Mara’s photo on the building, and then Mr. Evans offering me the job photographing your engagement party—which I’m guessing you know about already?” I nod. “It’s just a lot. It hurt a lot. I want to be the one who people are considering putting on the building. And I-I want…dammit…I want to be the one who has an engagement party with you one day.”
She drops her head into her hands. I sit down next to her, and pull her onto my lap. Her face drops onto my shoulder as I rub her back. I let her stay that way for a few minutes before pushing her back a little, and lifting her chin so that she’ll look at me.
“First off, I never want you to feel embarrassed around me. About anything. I mean it. I don’t care how big or small you think something is. If you’re bothered or upset, I want to know. Whether it has to do with me, or work, or God forbid, some other guy you decide is better than me, I’ll always be here for you.”
“I told you before. There’s no one better than you for me, Owen.”
“I wholeheartedly agree. Now let me continue.” That gets me a smile, so I know I’m doing this right. “There’s no one and I mean, no one, other than you who I can imagine ever having their face on the Chicago building or anywhere else that has to do with me. Ever. Do you understand that and believe me?” She nods. “Good. As for the engagement party, I don’t know how I can get out of it. But I want you to think of it as just another party. To me and you, as well as my brothers, my niece, and our close friends, it’s not in any way, shape, or form my engagement party. I hope that we’ll one day have an engagement party for the two of us, too. That will be the real one, the one that matters.”
“I love you so much, Owen.”
“I love you, too.”