Top 5 List & Contest: Joanne Kennedy

Roping In A Bronc Rider 

In How To Kiss A Cowboy, bronc rider Brady Caine and barrel racer Suze Carlyle are proof that opposites attract. He rules the rodeo nights, playing hard and breaking hearts, while she’s a disciplined athlete who dedicates every spare minute to training. When they ride together at a photo shoot for a Western wear company, Brady tries to woo Suze with his riding skills, but one of his daredevil stunts causes an accident that could end Suze’s career. Brady vows he won’t leave Suze’s side until she’s back in the saddle again. Unfortunately, getting past her stubborn pride is a bigger challenge than riding the rankest bronc on the circuit.

I loved writing about Brady Caine. He’s such a bad boy, but beneath that devil-may-care surface lies a heart that beats true. Success has always come easy for him, but he’s starting to realize there’s more to life than buckles, babes, and beer. When he and Suze first get together, he knows he’s found a girl he really respects—but Suze doesn’t have much respect for him. He’s determined to show her he’s worthy of her love, but she doesn’t make it easy. Watching the sparks fly between these two reminded me of watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, and I hope readers enjoy the show as much as I did. And in honor of the crush I have on Brady, I dedicate the following list to my newest hero—may he never be thrown off a bucking bronc again!

Top Five Reasons Bronc Riders Make Great Heroes

Have you ever counted the cowboy hats in your local bookstore’s romance section? Those bookshelves are loaded with what on of my friends calls “hat books.” Lots of ladies love cowboys, and there are a million reasons why. Here are five of them.

1. The clothes. Who doesn’t love to look at a man in tight Wranglers, a cowboy hat, boots, and—best of all—chaps! I swear, chaps were designed by the early cowboys to show off all a man’s best assets, front and back.

2. The body. The reason those clothes look so good is that a cowboy’s muscles are honed by everyday hard work, as well as the workout he gets riding bucking horses. Abs and arm muscles are an absolute requirement, and there’s a reason those Wrangler butts are famous.

3. The brain. It takes knowledge, technique, and intelligence to stay on board a snorting, bucking equine athlete, and you’ll find that most bronc riders are devoted students of the horse’s mind. Many go on to become trainers, using the understanding they’ve gained from trying to predict a horse’s next move and learning to read a horse’s personality.

4. The heart. It takes a special sort of courage to risk life and limb aboard rank bucking horses every day. Cowboys walk away from almost every ride with a new bruise, a few pulled muscles, and maybe even a broken bone or two. They never complain—unless the doctor tells them they can’t do it all over again in the next town along the way.

5. The cowboy way. Cowboys are old-fashioned guys, and the rodeo world is steeped in traditions that go back a long, long way. They believe in playing hard and working harder, in taking care of those they love, and in the importance of family.

It’s easy to make a hero out of a man like that.

Between rodeo wins and endorsement deals, Saddle Bronc Champion Brady Caine is living a charmed life. But when he causes an accident that could end a promising barrel racer’s career, he decides that he’s done with loose women and wild rides. All he wants to do is erase his mistake by getting Suze Carlyle back in the saddle.

The last person barrel racer Suze wants to see on her doorstep is the man who ended her rodeo career, but she can’t help admire Brady’s persistence. Sparks fly between them, but when her barn is sabotaged she wonders if he’s really the straight shooter he seems to be…

 

Joanne KennedyJoanne Kennedy’s lifelong fascination with Wyoming’s unique blend of past and present inspires her to write contemporary Western romances with traditional ranch settings. In 2010 she was nominated for a RITA award for One Fine Cowboy. At various times, Joanne has dabbled in horse training, chicken farming, and bridezilla wrangling at a department store wedding registry. Her fascination with literature led to careers in bookselling and writing. She lives with two dogs and a retired fighter pilot in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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