Opposites don’t just attract in the West–they sizzle–and Wyoming has never been hotter than in the latest sexy Blacktop Cowboys® novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Hang Tough.
Growing up with three older brothers, Larissa “Riss” Thorpe defines the term tomboy–a moniker that never mattered to her until she crossed paths with sexy cowboy playboy, Ike Palmer. His declaration that he prefers his women soft and feminine is the one benefit to becoming his business partner. Since Riss is obviously not his type, there’s little chance they’ll mix business and pleasure when they’re in close quarters on the road together.
Former cattle broker Ike Palmer was ready for a new chapter in his life when he partnered with Riss, a contrary redhead who lords her mechanical abilities over him at every turn. Ike raised his three younger sisters; he knows a thing or three about how women work. The problem is…Riss is unlike any woman he’s ever met.
With the odds stacked against them, Riss and Ike will have to choose between the stubbornness that keeps them apart and the fiery attraction that could lead to something more…
An hour later, after the bride and groom were off on their honeymoon, Riss and Ike were watching the DJ pack his equipment and the guests retrieve their coats.
Riss heaved a sigh. “I’m whupped. Bein’ the maid of honor was stressful.”
“It’s certainly been an entertaining night,” Ike said.
“Coulda been better.”
“It doesn’t really feel like a Wyoming wedding unless at least one fistfight breaks out.”
“Just say the word, sweet cheeks, and I’ll track Ryland down and punch him in the face for you.”
“Aw, lookit you, Palmer. Showing your chivalrous side.” She cocked her head. “Or are you just itchin’ for a fight because it’s a Saturday night and you’re a cowboy?”
“I’m thinkin’ a concussion might erase the mental image of what profile pics the Mud Lilies intend to post on Tinder.”
“You certainly went the extra mile for them.” He paused. “Why?”
“Even though they were distracting us, they wanted advice or they wouldn’t have asked. Besides . . . I feel for them. Imagine outliving your husband after being married for so long. Sounds like they were used to getting it regular, and then wham! They ain’t getting any at all and they miss it. Maybe it’s unusual that they’re not looking for companionship—they’ve already got that with each other. It takes guts to try something new to reignite their sexuality. A need for intimacy is a human thing, not an age thing. I hope I still crave that lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ when I’m past what society considers my prime.”
Ike was quiet for a beat before he said, “You never fail to surprise me.”
Riss didn’t break the moment by asking if that was a good or a bad thing. Instead, she said, “And with that . . . I best be getting home. I have a drop-off tomorrow.”
“You okay to drive?”
“Yep.” She pushed her chair back. “Been an hour since that glass of bubbly.” She paused and debated on bringing up the subject they’d mutually avoided.
Those eerily beautiful blue eyes locked on to hers. “What?”
“Truth time: I’m all for extending this truce.”
Ike’s back straightened and his face turned stony. “Meaning?”
“Meaning, we need to seriously talk about my future runs with Jackson Stock Contracting. Last year didn’t shape up how I expected it—and we didn’t discuss it. So I’m not sure if I somehow didn’t measure up to JSC standards. Now we’ve proved that we can be civil to each other, so I’d like to know JSC’s plans for this year.”
He granted her that insincere salesman’s smile. “I promise I’ll e-mail you a preliminary schedule next week.”
Sure you will.
“And just so you know . . .” He seemed unsure whether to continue before he did. “I’ve had a blast doin’ all this wedding party stuff with you.”
“Really? I thought it sucked.”
His eyebrows shot up. “You did?”
“Nah. Just razzing ya. It’s been fun in a way I never thought it’d be.”
Ike unfolded that long lean body out of the chair, then stood close enough to cast her in shadow.
“Gimme a damn hug.”
Her heart pounded and that made no sense. “Why?”
“Because I suffered through your blow job philosophy, deflected rumors of our secret sexcapades, helped offer senior citizens hookup advice and interrupted our buddies consummating their marriage . . . all in the past four hours. I’m feelin’ vulnerable and I need a damn hug.”
“Whatever will people think?”
“Probably that we’re both hammered.”
Riss laughed. “Come here, baby, and let me make it all better.”
Ike wrapped her in his arms.
Oh yeah, the man gave great hugs. And he smelled amazing too. So maybe she held on a little longer than was polite.
But Ike wasn’t inclined to let her go either.
Then his breath teased the top of her ear. “Bet this’ll get tongues wagging all over town.”
“Kneeing you in the groin would stop the gossipmongers.”
“Always with the violence.” He kissed her right cheek, then her left. “You’ll hear from me soon.”
Another very engaging and sexy installment in the Blacktop Cowboys series! ‘Racked and Stacked’ is only the second book I have read in this series and in my opinion, these characters totally stand on their own. (I read ‘Saddled and Spurred’ and LOVED it!) Riss and Ike have been feuding for years but agree to a temporary truce so that they can coordinate the planning for their best friends’ wedding. The sexy banter between these two is fantastic and their undeniable attraction leads them to…something more.
Riss is a total tomboy and is single by choice (she NEVER dates!) She is a strong heroine with her own career as a trucker but is not interested in any kind of emotional connection. When she is seriously injured, Ike steps in and takes care of her. He is in the middle of a professional crisis which was a refreshing change of pace for a romance novel. Riss actually gives him some great career advice. Besides the unbelievably sexy scenes and amazing chemistry between these tow, I loved learning about the trucking industry in this book! I love an good small-town, blue collar romance and this book fit the bill.
This is a wonderful story about family, work, love and the modern West. The hero and heroine makes lots of mistakes and almost let their stubborn pride get in the way of their happiness. Lorelei James shows once again that she knows her setting (LOVED the Wyoming backdrop) and she writes a sexy Western romance like no one else! Fans of the Blacktop Cowboys series will love this latest installment in the series, and new readers will love the sexy cowboys and the smart, independent Riss.