Taming Mr. Right
Part of the Rom-Com
Vivian Westwood is smart, practical, and has always followed the rules. She prides herself on her work ethic and climbing her way up the ladder where she just got promoted to her dream job as head horse trainer at the Lady B Horse Farm, leaving her little time for anything more in her life.
Cowboy Clay Preston likes his women like he likes to train his horses, fast. When he answers the help wanted sign at the Lady B Horse Farm, he sets his eyes on Vivian Westwood. He is use to getting what he wants and just because she’s his boss doesn’t stop him.
Vivian plays hard to get. Just when Clay ropes her, the secrets from his past turn their new life upside down.
Taming Mr. Right
Part of the Rom-Com
Taming Mr. Right
Moving day. Who in their right mind loved moving day? Not. Me.
The old farm truck groaned around the curves of Versailles Road. Through my rearview mirror I kept an eye on the furniture in the bed of the truck that I had stacked up sky-high with only a thin rope tying it all together.
“Stay put. Just a few more miles,” I warned the teetering bed frame.
I swept a strand of my brown hair that didn’t make it into the ponytail behind my ear as the worries of moving put knots in my stomach.
I had lived in my own house off of Nicholasville Road since I had graduated from college. I loved my two-bedroom, two-bath patio home with a dine-in kitchen. It was perfect for what I needed at the time. Plus the back yard was fenced in which gave me privacy. But I was a freak about living alone. I had gone as far as nailing the windows shut and digging holes around the perimeter for the multiple spare keys I had buried in case I got locked out of my house and needed one.
Crazy. I knew it was, but to me, I’d rather be safe then sorry. Though my house wasn’t on the best side of town it was what I could afford since I was just a farm hand at The Lady B Farm. The farm that was like home to me.
With my new job position and raise at the farm—I was now in charge of breaking the new foals—I felt like it was a good idea to live in one of the newly remodeled cottages on the property, which were very secluded and safe, giving me the privacy I loved.
Plus my best friend, Luvie Beiderman, was living in the cottage next to mine. After all, it was her family’s farm.
Nineties music blared on the radio. I rolled down the old truck windows to let the wind blow in, lifting my spirits.
“Livin’ la vida loca!” I sang along with Ricky Martin at the top of my lungs and I couldn’t stop a little dance move or two. Excitement washed all over me at the thought of living exactly where I loved being most. With the horses.
I beat the wheel with my thumb along to Ricky’s beats. I turned down the radio when I noticed a Dodge dually truck pulled over on the side of the road with the hood propped up.
I geared the old truck down and drove slowly past. I was constantly pulling over to help a driver who was in distress on these country roads. I was lucky in the mechanic department and knew just enough to get a truck up and running.
“Nice,” I whispered when I passed and looked at my side-view mirror as I got a good view of the backside of the guy who was hunkered down under the hood.
The view wasn’t bad from the waist down. My eyes zeroed in on the light blue wranglers that fit perfectly over the guy’s backside. I gazed down and silently groaned. I loved a guy in cowboy boots.
In fact, I had a list of three things that made up the perfect guy. One, he had to love horses as much as I did. Two, he had to wear cowboy boots. Three, he had to love my momma as much as I did.
Three simple things. That was it. Unfortunately, those three things didn’t exist. At least not in my world. That was why I had thrown myself into my work all these years. Even if my momma did drop hints about wanting grandchildren one day.
I was practically rolling along when he turned around to find me gawking. His confident set of shoulders, the firm features, and compelling blue eyes watched me intently.
“Shit.” I wished he hadn’t looked up because he might have been the one stranded driver I might not have helped. But those eyes. “You look as good as your ass,” I muttered.
Those blue eyes showed intelligence and an independent spirit I appreciated in a man.
“Shit. What is wrong with you?” I asked myself. I pulled the truck on the shoulder of the road and threw the gearshift in park. “He is probably taken, not that I’m on the look out.”
Who was I kidding? I took a quick glance in the mirror and retucked the strand behind my ear. Too bad I didn’t bother with putting on mascara or longer shorts this morning.
The old truck door squeaked when I opened it and the dusty gravel made a plumb of dust when my boots hit the ground. I tugged on my short cut-off jean shorts and untucked my shirt hoping it would hang a little longer to cover my butt, but no such luck.
“You need some help?” I hollered out and walked a little closer.
The closer I got, the faster my heart beat. There was a plaid shirt dangling off the side of the open hood. The muscles rippling under his white shirt quickened my pulse, forcing me to take a few quick breaths.
Get it together, Vivian. My head was trying to wrap around the situation. You’ve done this a million times before.
Only the million times before it was pimply-faced teenagers or old people who never checked their fuel levels and ran out of gas. I kept the red plastic cans in the back of the old truck full at all times.
“I knew I should have kept my old junker like yours.” He gestured toward my work truck with the wrench in his hand. “Thanks for offering though.”
He held his head up with pride.
“I’d be happy to take a look.” I shrugged and curled up on my toes and looked under the hood.
“Darlin’, I think I got this.” His face melted into a buttery smile.
My eyes narrowed. He thought I was some dumb gal who belonged in the kitchen. I’d seen the look many times before. It was written all over his face.
“Vivian. My name is Vivian.” I didn’t know why I had always taken offense to men who enjoyed calling women names like Sugar, Darlin’, Sweetie. But I was not a Darlin’.
“Well, Vivian,” he laughed in a deep, jovial way. “Go ahead. Let me know what you see that I don’t.” Amusement set in his eyes.
I quickly looked away, trying not to hit him or get lost in those eyes.
I rolled up on my toes and peered inside at the engine. I tugged on a few of the hoses, but everything looked to be attached and in order.
“Where are the keys?” I stuck my hand out for them. I figured I’d take a shot at starting it to investigate the sound of the turnover before I plunked myself on the ground and dragged myself under the big hunk of fancy metal to see what was going on underneath.
“In the ignition.” He nodded his head. “Darlin’—” he started, but I glared, “Vivian, it’s not going to start,” he added with mock severity.
“I’ll take a look for myself if you want my help.” My eyes grew. I wasn’t going to take his shit. “I’m more than happy to leave you sitting right here on the side of the road until the next person comes along. And God knows when that will be.”
He looked at the large, stainless steel, fancy watch on his wrist. With a slight tilt of his head, he pointed for me to go ahead. Obviously, he needed to be somewhere and so did I.
The driver’s door slid open with ease, unlike my old farm truck and I hopped in, sliding on the leather seat. I held on to the steering wheel so I wouldn’t go crashing into the passenger side door.
“Nice and new,” I murmured, looking around. It was one of those fancy new trucks with all the bells and whistles. “Here goes nothing,” I whispered and turned the key one click. The one click that lights up the dash. My eyes scanned all the red lights to see if any were popping out at me. When I saw what was wrong, I smiled from ear-to-ear. “Idiot.”
I turned the key off and jumped right back out.
“You have to turn the key to try to turn it on,” he mocked me again.
I walked past him and didn’t bother looking at him. Obviously he was hot and good-looking but dumb.
“I have exactly what you need in my truck,” I said over my shoulder and strutted a little more.
I could feel his eyes staring at my ass. I might not ever see this guy again, but I wanted to give him something to remember.
I pushed back the bed frame in the truck bed and reached in the old truck for the trusty red plastic gas can.
“You have got to be kidding me?” His voice was low and smooth.
“Gas.” I held the plastic red can in the air. “You need some diesel, Sugar.”
“Touché.” He smiled benignly, as if he was dealing with a temperamental child. He reached out for the can. “I think I can take it from here.”
I held it out. Our hands touched, creating a little static spark. My body tingled from the contact. I withdrew quickly.
My eyes slid to his, noticing the devilish look he wore. I looked away.
“You can keep it.” I waved him off and started back to my truck.
My heart told me this was dangerous and my life had no room for dangerous. I was at the peak of my career. I was a manager of multi-million dollar farm that was in a bit of financial trouble and I had no room for social calls. Besides, men like this cowboy were always taken.
I didn’t bother turning around to see what he was saying. I hopped back in the old truck and veered back onto Versailles Road.
“Shit, shit, shit!” I beat the wheel as I continued on to the farm.
I had been so careful not to be attracted to any man over the past few years. My job was my life. The horses. The farm. The business.
“May I help you?” A voice echoed out of the black box after I pulled up and pushed the button at the entrance of the Lady B’s wrought-iron gate.
“Hey, Momma.” It was good to hear her voice.
My mom, Lillian, had been working for the Beidermans for years. She used to be a seamstress at a local dry-cleaners and always altered Lucia Beiderman’s clothes. Lucia loved my mom so much, she hired her to be their housekeeper, which might have seemed like a bad job, but it wasn’t. The Beidermans treated us like family and that was how Luvie and I had become best friends.
We spent many nights playing all around this farm. Like I said, the Lady B had become my home and moving here was all part of it.
I felt like I was coming home.
“Hey, sweetie,” Momma called out and buzzed the gate to open.
“What the hell?” I asked when I saw cowboy and his fancy Dodge pulling up behind me.
“What did you say, young lady?” Momma scolded me.
One thing Momma didn’t put up with was cursing and I did my fair share of it.
Cowboy saw me staring at him in the rearview mirror. An irresistibly devastating grin crossed his face and he gave a slight wave along with a nod.
I threw the old truck in gear and he followed right along behind me.
end of excerpt
Taming Mr. Right
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