Authors: Delilah Devlin
An Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication
Ride a Cowboy
ISBN # 1-4199-0512-0
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Ride a Cowboy Copyright© 2006 Delilah Devlin
Edited by Briana St James.
Cover art by Syneca.
Electronic book Publication: February 2006
This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written
permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 443103502.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales
is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.
The following material contains graphic sexual content meant for mature readers. This story has been
rated E–rotic by a minimum of three independent reviewers.
Ellora’s Cave Publishing offers three levels of Romantica™ reading entertainment: S (S-ensuous), E (Erotic), and X (X-treme).
love scenes are explicit and leave nothing to the imagination.
love scenes are explicit, leave nothing to the imagination, and are high in volume per the overall
word count. In addition, some E-rated titles might contain fantasy material that some readers find
objectionable, such as bondage, submission, same sex encounters, forced seductions, and so forth. E-rated
titles are the most graphic titles we carry; it is common, for instance, for an author to use words such as
“fucking”, “cock”, “pussy”, and such within their work of literature.
titles differ from E-rated titles only in plot premise and storyline execution. Unlike E-rated titles,
stories designated with the letter X tend to contain controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.
RIDE A COWBOY
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the
following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
U-Haul: U-Haul International, Inc.
Popsicle: Unilever Supply Chain, Inc.
Kevlar: E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company
Ride a Cowboy
The house Katelyn Carter had bought sight unseen was kind of like her—weathered
by storms and in need of a lot of TLC.
After a quick glance around the empty road, she set her truck into park and stared.
She let her eyes blur and tried to imagine how the old house must have looked once
upon a time before the harsh South Texas sun baked its exterior. She wasn’t
encouraged. Even seen from behind her dirty windshield, she could tell the one-story
ranch needed a lot of work, and at the very least, a fresh coat of paint.
A lone tear streaked down her face, surprising her, and she sniffed. One last cry—
she deserved that much. Then no more feeling sorry for herself. She had too much to do
and a whole new life stretching in front of her.
A loud honk sounded and Katelyn swung her gaze to her rearview mirror to find
that a dusty, older model pickup truck had pulled up behind her. She swiped away the
tears with the back of her hand, and then stuck her arm out the window to wave the
Instead, the driver-side door opened and a tall Texan in faded jeans and a creamcolored cowboy hat stepped onto the pavement.
Katelyn cursed under her breath and quickly tilted down the mirror to see whether
her mascara had smeared. She didn’t really care what a stranger thought—that was the
old Katelyn. Still, some habits died hard.
When boot steps stopped beside her, she glanced up…and found herself trapped
within a moss green gaze that raised the temperature within her cab a notch. The rest of
him was just as captivating. Dark brown hair peeked from beneath his hat. His jaw was
angular, his chin chiseled. Shallow crow’s feet surrounded those amazing eyes and
crinkled when he frowned—as he was doing now. But they were wrinkles cause by the
sun, not the weathering of a few years, like hers.
Here stood the first man she’d met since her separation who made her think
of all the steamy possibilities, and he was too young.
She didn’t realize she’d cursed out loud until his soft chuckle washed over her like
a silky caress. Her cheeks flamed instantly.
“Women don’t generally cuss me ‘til
they know me better,” he said, his
baritone voice thick as molasses.
The timbre and tone of his voice appealed too much. She lifted a single brow, trying
for off-putting and hoping he didn’t notice her lashes were still wet from tears.
“Obviously, they’re not too discerning.”
His smile dimmed and his eyes narrowed, sweeping over her face and body
hunched behind the steering wheel. “Not from around here, are you?” he asked,
She reminded herself she was alone, in the middle of a country road, with a large,
predatory-looking man looming over her—and she’d just insulted him. She hit her
automatic lock button.
“Whoa,” he said, lifting his hands. “I didn’t mean to scare you, ma’am.”
Now she really did feel like the spinster librarian she was.
“Look…” He straightened away. “I just stopped to see if you were having car
“Funny, but I wasn’t having any trouble at all ‘til you stopped,” she said, making
sure he understood her unsubtle dig, and hoping he’d take the hint and leave.
The cowboy looked around and then down the gravel road toward her home,
before returning to give her a questioning glance. “You lost then? The main highway’s
about three miles behind you.”
Ride a Cowboy
“Nope, I know exactly where I am.” She kept her response terse and lifted her chin.
No way was she going to encourage the conversation to continue—no matter how
handsome the man was—or more to the point,
he was so attractive. “Not that
it’s any of your business. I was just double-checking the address.”
He pushed back his cowboy hat and leaned down again. “Well, I wouldn’t want
you to waste any more of your valuable time,” he said, his gaze raking her face, “but
you’re at 118 Amman Road. The letters are worn off the mailbox.”
The longer he stood there, the more certain she became she needed him gone.
Something about him, his steady gaze and his large sturdy frame, made
her…want…something more, something she was better off not having right now.
“Then I’m in the right place,” she said, keeping her expression challenging.
His hand rubbed the back of his neck and he shook his head. “Well, I’ll be
damned,” he said softly. When his green gaze returned, his expression was hard to
read, but intense, almost searching.
Katelyn shivered. All that attention from a handsome man unnerved her. She
needed time alone to dam up her defenses against her unwanted reactions. Handsome
she’d had and wasn’t what she needed now.
“Seein’ as how you don’t need any help,” he said, “I’ll be on my way.” One last
glance with a naked promise she couldn’t misinterpret, and he left…taking Katelyn’s
breath right along with him.
In the mirror, her gaze clung to his broad back and nicely rounded backside until he
reached the door of his cab and glanced back. She whipped away her gaze and hoped
like hell he hadn’t caught her looking at his ass. Sinking in her seat, she burned with
embarrassment while he passed by, giving her one last smoldering glance.
Katelyn’s heart slowed and her hands released their tight grip on the steering
He was just a man—he had nothing she needed or wanted—
maybe sex. She did miss that. But she’d never have sex with entanglement again.
Complicating that fact, she’d come to a small town to start her life anew and couldn’t
afford the kind of scandal a fling with a younger man would cause.
Pushing thoughts of the tall cowboy aside, she pulled onto the long gravel drive
and forced her mind back to what needed doing before she could rest that night. Hard
work was what she needed—not anything the young cowboy had to offer.
And looking at her new home, she guessed she’d get plenty of cowboy antidote. A
long day’s work lay ahead of her—and that was before she could unpack the U-Haul
trailer laden with all her worldly belongings. She squared her shoulders. She’d make it
through the next couple of days like she had the last few years—one step at a time.
Her gaze lifted beyond the house to the field of ripening buffalo grass and broken
rock behind the chain-link fence surrounding the two-acre property. The landscape was
so different here.
Atlanta had just revealed the first hints of spring. Crocuses had pushed up through
the lawn. Daffodils bloomed beside the porch where she’d planted them during the first
year of her marriage to Chris, when she’d still had so much hope for their future
Here, the few live oaks that dotted the landscape looked like bushes in comparison
to the tall pines of her former home.
And good Lord—the heat! Only April and already eighty degrees and climbing fast.
Katelyn opened her door, grateful for the stirring breeze. It was Monday; Thursday
she started her new job and she wanted all her things in their proper place before she
began her new life. She’d begin as she meant to continue—building order out of the
chaos her world had been.
Besides its less than pristine appearance, she quickly discovered another problem
with her new home—the ancient air-conditioner didn’t work. She raised every window
she could and propped open the back door to let a breeze waft through the house.
Warm though it was, the temperature outside was still better than the stale heat inside.
Ride a Cowboy
After wrestling with her bed frame, mattress, and small nightstand, she decided to
get a good night’s sleep and start again early the next morning. She lay down on top of
cool crisp sheets and sighed her relief. But despite her fatigue, she tossed on her
mattress, unable to fall asleep.
She would have liked to blame her restlessness on the warm weather. But the
temperature of the room had little to do with the heat pooling between her legs and
everything to do with the cowboy in the faded jeans.
After pounding her pillow for the second time, she surrendered to her body’s