For eight years, Melody Santos played the game of love and lost—big time. Now she’s back in her tiny hometown looking after her younger sister, making ends meet with an assortment of odd jobs. When her childhood best friend hires her to help him sell his family’s grass-fed beef, the last thing she anticipates is falling in lust with the legendary, brown-eyed player.
To put his family’s cattle ranch back in the black, Clark MacKinnon has his sights set on big contracts—gourmet chefs and restaurateurs. If that means long hours traveling from farmer’s market to farmer’s market, Clark doesn’t mind. Particularly since his new assistant is his childhood crush, all grown up and sexy as hell.
One night in bed leaves them breathless and hungry for more. But when his love-’em-and-leave-’em reputation collides with her trust issues, Clark and Melody must face the truth about what they’ve become: not friends, not lovers, but players in a game that’s impossible to win.
Warning: Contains filthy banter, raunchy sex, excessive Johnny Cash references, and hundreds of pounds of raw beef.
Clark MacKinnon had know Melody since they were kids, when her father worked on his parents ranch, and now she is back in his life, well working for him and despite of his player behavior, this cowboy knew that his feeling for Melody went deeper than that.
But after one night together Melody freaks out and quits! And Clark jumps through hoops to keep her in his life! But will Melody believe that this Cowboy Player is willing to hang up his spurs for her.
The plot of Cowboy Player is light and flirty, but it does deeper side when Clark shares his feeling with Melody. I have to admit that even though I thoroughly enjoyed Clark and Melody's characters, Harmony and Lucky's characters truly stole the book for me and I truly hope they will get their own book.
Mia Hopkins is a completely new author to me and quite honestly I enjoyed her writing style and I would be eager to read the next book in this series.
I give Cowboy Player 4 stars!
On the record player, the next track started. Guitar licks, drums, a little fiddle—Melody knew the song at once.
“Oh man,” said Clark. “‘Troubadour’. This a good one. Dance with me, Mel.”
He pulled her off the sofa before she could say anything. Wrapped up in the arms of a big cowboy was not a terrible place to be, so Melody danced with him, barefoot in her parents’ living room, the slow two-step a song both their bodies knew the words to. Her laughter died away, giving way to a quiet sense of vulnerability. The verses slid by like a dream, erasing the burden of loneliness she’d been carrying for so long. It had been months since she’d been this close to a man. It had been years since she’d felt this close to one.
Clark could read her mind. “So what was his name again?” he asked softly. “Scott?”
“A slow-motion disaster, that’s what happened.” She rested her cheek against the hard, hot wall of Clark’s chest. “He was a musician. Fun. Exciting. He said I meant the world to him. But I suppose the world wasn’t enough.”
“What do you mean?”
It was still hard to say aloud. “He cheated on me. It had been going on for months. When I found out and confronted him about it, he broke down said he was sorry. We tried to put it past us. We even went to therapy. But it was all a lie. He left me when my mom passed away.” At first, the pain had been excruciating, dulled only by grief and the weight of her new responsibilities. “Eight years, down the drain.”
“That’s a long time. Did you ever talk about getting married?”
“He said he didn’t like labels.” She sighed. “Which was also a lie, because he married the other woman in Vegas in February.”
“Jesus Christ. I’m sorry.” Clark gave her a squeeze. “You know, if you were mine, I’d hold on to you for good.”
“Sure. Until the next piece of ass came along.”
“Never seen a piece of ass like yours.”
“That’s the friend talking. Your dick might say otherwise.”
“My dick, huh?” Clark laughed quietly. “You’re welcome to check with my dick yourself. He doesn’t talk loud, so you’ll have to get down on your knees to hear him.”
“Seriously, Mel. You don’t know what you’ve got going on. Smart as all get-out. Hell, you run circles around me, and I’m a genius. And you’re funny too. Ain’t many women who can make me laugh. You’re one of them.”
She rolled her eyes. “Aw shucks, Ma. Next the cowboy told me I was real purty.”
“Fuck pretty. You’re beautiful.”
It was too much. Danger. “Clark—”
“So beautiful. I always thought so.” He gave her a sad smile. “Honest to God.”
The heat rising between them cooked her brain. She was at a loss for words. “Thanks.”
“No thanks needed. Just stating the obvious.” They danced until the song ended on a ribbon of steel guitar. Clark leaned down and pressed his lips to her temple.
Instead of pulling away, he traced a slow, agonizing trail of kisses along her hairline until he was kissing her neck just behind her ear.
Pleasure overloaded her nervous system, but her brain wouldn’t let her enjoy it. “Wh-what are you doing?”
“Something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time.”
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She's a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends.
When she's not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good "teacher voice" and "teacher stare."
She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.
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