Her Cowboy DistractionBy: Carla Cassidy
The Cowboy on her Bucket List
She’d been watching the handsome rancher for a while, just a lone cowboy eating pie with an empty chair beside him. One night, Lizzie Wiles, Cowboy Café’s feisty new waitress, went over and dared to interrupt his tortured solitude. Daniel Jefferson seemed shocked by her boldness as he buried himself in guilt over his wife’s mysterious death. Lizzie tried to penetrate his gloom, but in the end, found herself falling in love. Having plans to leave town, she didn’t want to think of these consequences. Worse, someone really wanted her to disappear—now! Attacked and warned to leave, Lizzie had every reason to go...but she had one undeniable reason to stay.
“I need to get upstairs and take a shower.”
“Yeah, I need to do the same,” Daniel replied.
“We could always shower together and save water.”
She had to be joking, Daniel thought. But as he turned and looked at Lizzie there was no teasing light in her eyes. It stole his breath away.
She took a step closer to him, her whiskey eyes inviting him to imbibe, to become intoxicated with her. “I didn’t tell you about one of the things on my bucket list.”
“And what’s that?” he asked, aware that his voice sounded half-strangled with his need of her.
“To make love to a man I’ll never forget. I believe that you’re that man, Daniel. I want to make love to you, and when I leave here I’ll have the warmth of that memory of us together to carry with me for the rest of my life.”
I can’t think of anything more distracting that a hot and sexy cowboy with a hint of darkness in his eyes. In Her Cowboy Distraction, my hero, Daniel Jefferson, is that man.
There’s something enduring and solid about a cowboy, and I love writing cowboy heroes. This is the first book of a series that centers around a café in the small town of Grady Gulch, Oklahoma.
Daniel Jefferson has suffered enormous tragedy in his life and has no desire to ever reach out for love again. Lizzy Wiles is a woman on a mission and isn’t ready for a relationship with any man. But when she breezes into the Cowboy Café to take a waitressing job and becomes the target for a killer, her world collides with Daniel’s in a way neither of them could have expected.
I hope you enjoy reading Her Cowboy Distraction as much as I enjoyed writing it.
As always, thanks for your support.
Lizzy Wiles blew a strand of her long brown hair away from the side of her face as she poured George Wilton another cup of coffee. “How’s that meat loaf?” she asked the old man, who seemed to wear a perpetual frown every time he came into the café. She already knew what the answer would be because they had had this same conversation every Friday night for the past month since Lizzy had started working as a waitress at the Cowboy Café.
“Dry. The meat loaf is always dry,” George grumbled.
“George, every Friday night the special is meat loaf, and every Friday night you come in here and order the special. Why don’t you try something else if you don’t like the meat loaf?”
George’s grizzled gray eyebrows pulled together across his forehead. “But, I like Mary’s meat loaf. It’s just dry. Why would I want to order anything else?”
“Just asking,” Lizzy replied with a wry smile as she turned to put the coffeepot back on the burner. She grabbed a clean wet towel to wipe up one area of the long counter and gave a quick glance at her wristwatch.
Quarter to seven. On Friday and Saturday nights the café stayed open until midnight. For the rest of the five days a week the usual closing time was ten o’clock.
Lizzy came in at two in the afternoons and closed six days a week. She’d blown into the small town of Grady Gulch, Oklahoma, a month ago and had decided that the Cowboy Café was the perfect place to accomplish two of the items on her bucket list at the same time: meet a cowboy and work as a waitress in a small café.
Mary Mathis, the pretty owner of the café, had taken Lizzy under her wing, not only giving her a job but also a place to stay in one of the four small cabins directly behind the restaurant.
As she wiped the counter she glanced around the café. The dinner crowd had finally thinned out, and for the first time she felt as if she could take a deep breath and slow down the crazy pace she kept up from four to about six-thirty each evening.
She checked her watch once again. Five minutes and he’d walk through the door. Every Friday night that she’d worked there he’d always arrived at precisely seven o’clock.
He always sat in the same place, the third booth next to the window. Lizzy worked the counter, never the booths. She’d asked Candy Bailey, the waitress who worked the booth section of the restaurant, what she knew about the lone cowboy, but Candy had been working at the café only a few weeks longer than Lizzy and didn’t know anything about him.