Lizbeth Selvig will be stopping by on Tuesday to answer a few questions about her new book, The Rancher and the Rock Star. You can also enter for a chance to win a copy of the book, and there will be a commemorative mug up for grabs on Tuesday as well. To get you geeked for the interview and the contest, here’s an excerpt from the book – please enjoy!
EXCERPT: “The Rancher and the Rock Star” by Lizbeth Selvig
His fitted, denim-colored T-shirt read “Dashboard Confessional,” but it wasn’t the band name that unhinged her jaw. Who would have known a singer could sport biceps and pecs like— She snapped her mouth shut. Get a grip, Abigail. You sound like Kim.
On second thought, no way did Abby want her daughter thinking what she was thinking.
“Forget it.” She meant her refusal of his help sincerely. “You’ll just get wet, too. I can handle this.”
“You can’t come close to getting all those hay bales into the barn alone, and I can’t stand here any longer watching a damsel in distress.”
Her flash of defensive pride had no time to grow. Two seconds later they were both soaked to the skin. After they each had a stack of hay safely in the barn, Abby took a moment to rummage in a corner for a pair of canvas work gloves. He thanked her with a silly smile, and she realized what a ridiculous situation she was in. His fame aside, they’d known each other fifteen minutes, and here he was in a downpour, ruining expensive-looking leather shoes and a perfectly good pair of jeans.
As they fell into a quick, efficient rhythm, there was no missing that Gray Covey’s pecs and deltoids were not merely for show. He didn’t need to get off the trailer and lug bales into the barn. Instead, he hoisted cube after bristly cube and launched them like javelins through the door. For every four bales she heaved, Gray tossed eight. His biceps contracted over and over, smooth and firm, and his hips twisted in fluid perfection with no wasted movement.
By the time they were three-quarters finished, she’d changed her mind—or lost it. He wasn’t ruining his jeans. He could have sold the sucked-on denim for a thousand bucks to any woman who saw it. It had been a long time since she’d seen anything finer than Gray Covey-slash-David Graham with his thick, rain-darkened hair slicked back to his collar and rivulets of water streaming from his cheeks.
They continued without words. Once in a while, when a bale flew well, she heard a guttural “oof” from his throat that gave her more chills than the rain did. She refused to dwell on the errant thoughts—they were so foreign she barely recognized them as hers. But even in the driving rain, with lightning crackling every half a minute and thunder following much too closely, Abby didn’t think she’d ever enjoyed any job on her farm as much.
In ten minutes they had every bale under the roof. She stood beside Gray in the deluge staring at the barn floor, which looked like the aftermath of the Big Bad Wolf versus the first Little Pig’s house.
“Woo hoo!” He uttered his first syllables since climbing onto the wagon. Blowing out a deep sigh, he bent and braced his hands on his thighs. He peered up at her and grinned. “Here I thought I’d have to miss the gym today. You were going to do this all yourself, Mrs. Stadtler? I’m damn impressed.”
The compliment pleased her ridiculously.
He straightened and held up his palm for her to slap. Their gloves made a pitiful, slurping smack, and Abby giggled, although embarrassment picked at the edges of her gratitude. She should probably tell him she knew who he was.
“I don’t know how to thank you. This defines above and beyond,” she said instead.
He tilted his head back and opened his mouth to the sky. His Adam’s apple convulsed, and Abby’s throat went so dry she could have been standing in a desert rather than a monsoon.
“Not what I expected when I left Chicago this morning. But it’s been a very long time since I’ve played in a full-blown thunderstorm.” He winked and licked the water from his lips.
“I’m a little worried about you if you think you’ve been playing.” She didn’t tell him that for over ten minutes she hadn’t once considered this work either.
He laughed. “C’mon. A celebratory dance before we get you inside.”
He linked their elbows and pulled her into a hoe-down spin on the wagon bed. To her astonishment, he started in on a pretty song she’d never heard on any disc in Kim’s collection.
“A storm-eyed girl took my hand one day,
and said, ‘Follow me, boy, I know the way.’
I went with open heart and soul,
till the rain came down and she had to go.”
He drew her into a waltz hold and hummed more of the beautiful tune. “Mmmm, mmmm, thought this was our dance. And she said . . .” He hesitated, then shrugged and grinned. “‘No, no, no, I’m off to France.’”
Gray spun her beneath his arm and let her go. When he bowed, she couldn’t draw enough breath to make another sound. He jumped off the wagon, reached for her waist, and took her weight to lift her down. She’d never been touched in such a downright sexy way.
“What was that song?” she asked to distract herself.
A slight flush darkened his cheeks. “Sorry, sometimes things just pop out of my mouth. Let’s just say you’ve heard its one and only performance.”
Check back on Tuesday to learn more about Liz and her book, and to enter for a chance to win The Rancher and the Rock Star!
You can also purchase The Rancher and the Rock Star from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below: