When Harper Lee Crockett returns home to Paradise Ranch, Wyoming, the last thing she expects is to fall head-over-heels in lust for Cole, childhood neighbor and her older sister’s long-time boyfriend. The spirited and artistic Crockett sister has finally learned to resist her craziest impulses, but this latest trip home and Cole’s rough-and-tough appeal might be too much for her fading self-control.
Cole Wainwright has long been fascinated by the sister who’s always stood out from the crowd. His relationship with Amelia, the eldest Crockett sister, isn’t as perfect as it seems, and with Harper back in town, he sees everything he’s been missing. Cole knows they have no future together—he’s tied to the land and she’s created a successful life in the big city—but neither of them can escape their growing attraction or inconvenient feelings.
As Harper struggles to come to grips with new family responsibilities and her forbidden feelings for Cole, she must decide whether to listen to her head or to give her heart what it wants.
Please welcome Lizbeth Selvig to Brooke Blogs! She’s stopping by with an awesome guest post and an excerpt. Thank you so much for coming by, Lizbeth!
Brooke, I want to thank you so much for hosting me here today. I love how pretty and uplifting your site is and I’m glad to be here to talk about the first book, THE BRIDE WORE DENIM, in my brand new contemporary romance series from Avon.
Releasing a new series is scary! The third and fourth books in my first series set in small town Minnesota had just come out when my editor and I started talks about starting something new. I absolutely love the characters and settings of those first four books. I’m a born and bred Minnesotan, and I’d had so much fun sharing the quirky parts of my state with readers. Plus, I had a crush on all my heroes and had (still have) plans for a couple more books. I didn’t want to leave any of them!
But as the ideas for the new series “Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys” took shape, the first trills of excitement started to win me over. Pretty soon I had discovered and was falling in love with a unique family and an equally unique setting: sisters descended from Davy Crockett and their modern-day, 50,000 acre ranch in western Wyoming called Paradise.
All the sisters left Paradise one by one to attend college, and they became highly successful artists, doctors, and entrepreneurs. They all had to return, however, when their father died of an unexpected heart attack. To everyone’s shock, they find the ranch is in financial trouble. Now each Crockett daughter has to decide if there’s a reason for her to stay—if her legacy is important enough to fight for.
THE BRIDE WORE DENIM is the story of Harper Crockett and her childhood best friend Cole Wainwright. She got over her schoolgirl crush on him years ago—because Cole loved her older sister. Even though that pair isn’t together anymore, Harper believes strongly there’s such a thing as a sister code. You don’t date the man your sister couldn’t have.
Besides, Harper’s career as a popular painter is just starting to explode—she has a life in Chicago. Cole wants to stay in Wyoming and live his legacy by raising the big family his parents couldn’t have. Neither he nor Harper has time for the other. But they sure do have the desire.
This story is full of all the things I love in a book: twisty, intertwined storylines; lots of quirky characters; horses and dogs; a hint of real-life controversy, and an unlikely romance that you root for all the way. It also shouts my favorite theme from every page: where you have family and home, you’ll find love.
So what’s the hard part of putting a new series out into the hands of readers? Wondering if there’s a chance in the world they’ll accept it and fall in love with the characters the way I did. I admit, it was a little weird getting to know a new cast of characters. But I hope after you read THE BRIDE WORE DENIM, you’ll take them all into your hearts—and let me know you loved them!
Harper has five sisters and a long-lost cousin she’s butted heads with for years. I’d love to know about your families. Tell me about brothers, sisters, or only-childhoods! I’d love to hear how your family compares to the Crocketts!
She looked up, surprised to see they’d walked from the chicken coop and nearly reached the long, triple-level back deck of the big log ranch house. The chickens might have the Hilton because of her father, she thought, but the family had this warm, wonderful place, Rosecroft, because of their mother. Bella Crockett had designed and decorated the big house, planning its charm from the ground up, including the name because she’d fallen in love with the tradition of naming homes during a trip to Scotland in her youth. It was the one place on Paradise Ranch Harper always missed.
To her surprise, Cole picked up her hand and squeezed it between both of his. He’d held it plenty of times in their lives—after school bus teasing, the first time she’d been bucked off a horse—but the strong, long-fingered, broad nailed hand engulfing hers caused as much trembling as it did comfort. “The bottom line is Sam Crockett left us too soon.”
“Not that long ago sixty-eight would have been old,” she murmured.
“He might have been an ass once in a while, but your father was not old.”
She nodded and sighed. “I figured he’d live forever.”
They both hesitated, as if heading up to the back door was something neither of them wanted.
“I hear you’re not staying long,” he said. “That’s too bad. Are you sure you don’t want to hang around another week or so? Take some rides around the old place, just for the heck of it?”
She debated only a moment before lifting her eyes to his, a slow burn of excitement taking the place of heavy sadness. “Can I swear you to secrecy?”
“Oh, intrigue. Sure.” He crossed his heart, eyes sparkling.
“Tristan, you remember me talking about him? He booked me a gallery showing.”
The genuine pleasure in Cole’s eyes thrilled her. “Seriously?”
She nodded, and before she could elaborate he crushed her into a bear hug and twirled her in place hard enough to swirl her wet skirt in a dripping circle.
“Tristan. He was that hippie-assed boyfriend of yours, right? The one who promised to make you famous?”
Tristan Carmichael was her defacto manager—a fellow artist with far more connections than Harper would ever have. He’d been a, what? A lover for a while. But a boyfriend? She laughed. “He’s definitely not my boyfriend.”
“Not what I heard,” he teased.
She frowned and finger flicked him on the shoulder. He laughed and set her down. “The point is,Tristan found a small, classy private gallery and gave them three of my paintings. The owner loved them, sold one the day he put it on display, and agreed to host a full show. It’s scheduled to open a week from tomorrow.” Her words came in a rush now. “The gallery is called Crucible, and it’s on the lakefront in Chicago, and I have a million things to do to get ready. So . . .”
He bent. To the shock of her entire body, he slipped a kiss onto her mouth, and she froze. Wrong. This was very wrong. But the kiss fit as if it had been custom made for her lips. Sparklers zipped to life deep inside her belly and she closed her eyes when she should have pulled away. Whatever scent or aftershave it was that made him smell like a spicy movie star turned her knees to rubber and she couldn’t stop drinking it in.
As kisses went, it was simple. No tongue, no sound. He opened and closed his mouth so lightly on her bottom lip she should barely have felt the butterfly touch, yet shivers rolled down her neck and across her shoulders like explosions.
This was insane.
About the Author
Lizbeth Selvig writes fun, heartwarming contemporary romantic fiction for Avon books. Her debut novel, The Rancher and the Rock Star, was released in 2012. Her second, Rescued By A Stranger is a 2014 RWA RITA® Award nominee. Liz lives in Minnesota with her best friend (aka her husband), a hyperactive border collie named Magic and a gray Arabian gelding named Jedi. After working as a newspaper journalist and magazine editor, and raising an equine veterinarian daughter and a talented musician son, Lizbeth entered Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest in 2010 with The Rancher and the Rock Star (then titled Songbird) and won the Single Title Contemporary category.
In her spare time, she loves being a brand new grandma to Evelyn Grace as well as to hike, quilt, read, horseback ride, and play with her four-legged grandchildren, of which there are nearly twenty, including a wallaby, an alpaca, a donkey, a pig, a sugar glider, and many dogs, cats and horses (pics of all appear on her website www.lizbethselvig.com). She loves connecting with readers—contact her any time!