Friday, 20 February 2015

Blog Stop & Review: Runaway Cowboy by T.J. Kline

Runaway Cowboy

Rodeo #3.5
By: T.J. Kline
Releasing February 3rd, 2015

Avon Impulse 

You had your chance, and you threw it away…“

Five years ago, Jen woke up with a ring on her finger and her fiancé nowhere to be found. She swore she’d gotten over the betrayal, but when Clay unexpectedly hires on with the rodeo for a week, she finds herself torn between passion and regret.

Clay left intending never to see Jen again. He’s been running from his troubled past for far too long, and it’s not a life he wants for her. But it’s hard to run from the past when the past is your own family, and Clay finds himself thrown back into the chaos he thought he’d finally left behind.

Will the truth drive Jen away, or is there a second chance at happily ever after for this runaway cowboy?

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Clay grabbed her arm, and she spun on him, wildly swinging her purse at his head and jerking her arm from his grasp. “Don’t touch me.”
He easily caught the purse in his hand and dropped it at his feet as he pulled her into his arms. “What do you have in that thing? Bricks?”
Let go of me, Clay,” she said through gritted teeth, twisting, trying to release herself from his grasp.
Only if you let me explain.”
Every inch of her that was in contact with him burned with icy flames. The heat of his hands on her arms sent warmth running down her spine to melt her limbs and ignite the desire pooling in her belly. She wanted to push him away, to run to her trailer and stay there until he went back to wherever he’d been hiding, but when her eyes met his, pleading with her to listen to him, she couldn’t deny herself just one more moment with him. How was she supposed to keep hating him when her body wouldn’t follow her commands?
You have five minutes.” One for each year she hadn’t heard from him. He released her cautiously. She walked back to the truck, knowing he would follow, and flipped the tailgate down. She hopped up on it, letting her legs dangle. When he sighed and scrubbed a hand over his jaw, she quirked a brow. “Time’s ticking Clay. Start talking.”
You know, for someone who seems to think she has everything figured out better than the rest of us, you sure can be irresponsible. What were you thinking going into that bar?”
Jen almost let her mouth fall open at the audacity of his accusation. She bit the inside of her cheek until the metallic taste of blood forced her to stop.
She jumped from the back of the truck. “That was some explanation. I can’t believe I waited this long for it.”
Clay’s fingers circled her wrist as she started to walk away. “I have at least three minutes left.”
He pulled her back toward him, drawing her against his chest as one arm circled around her waist. His other hand buried into her long hair, and she gasped in surprise as his mouth found hers. Her body betrayed her again, melting against him as her bones seemed to turn to molten lava. Her fingers dug into the muscles of his shoulders, but she wasn’t sure if it was to keep her balance or because she couldn’t resist touching him. His mouth was gentle, in spite of their argument, as if he wanted to savor this kiss, to taste her, to force the memories of the tenderness they’d once shared to the surface. Clay nipped at her lower lip, testing her resolve, and when she didn’t protest, he plunged ahead. His tongue swept against hers as she slid her hands over his shoulders before curling her fingers around the nape of his neck, twining into his hair.
Clay’s lips trailed over her cheek and jaw. “I’ve missed you, Jen. You have no idea how much.”

Five years ago Jen thought life was as good as it could get. She'd just become engaged to the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Hours later her heart is shattered when she wakes up to find the man she loves has left her with only a ring to remember him by. Clay left the only woman he'd loved because he had no choice. He did what he thought was right at the time. Now he's back to apologise and Jen wants some answers. Will they be able to ignore the feelings they still harbor for each other whilst Clay is back?

On the surface Jen is a strong woman who is comfortable in her own skin. Under the surface is a someone still struggling with events from the past that have shaped her life to how it is now. She mostly does a good job of hiding her insecurities with her sassy retort, but her nightmares give away a different story.

All Clay wants to do is apologise and head back out to his next job. He's almost grateful that Jen doesn't want to give him the time of the day. But actions can be deceiving... The problems that took him away are still very real and rear their head before Clay gets a chance to explain.

The animosity between the Jen and Clay is palpable. The obvious resentment is very clear as is the underlying sexual tension. The friendly teasing by Derek and Scott adds a fun element to the proceedings-after all they are the only ones who can see the whole picture!

I really enjoyed this novella, even though I normally avoid short stories. I felt that for this particular plot, everything was covered sufficiently without feeling anything was missing. T.J. Kline is one of my go-to authors if I'm looking indulge myself in a cowboy story. Runaway Cowboy is no exception when it comes to the quality of writing I associate with this author.

4 ½ Stars

***arc received courtesy of the publisher via Edelweiss***

Link to Follow Tour: HERE  

T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and rodeo queen competitions since the age of 14, She has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She has had several articles about rodeo published in the past in small periodicals as well as a more recent how-to article for RevWriter. She is also an avid reader and book reviewer for both Tyndale and Multnomah.

Author Links: Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads