Happy end of May, everybody! Today we’re celebrating this month’s release of THE RANCHER’S SECOND CHANCE, the fifth book of my Kansas Cowboys series.
He wants his ranch back…she won’t give it up.
Here to answer a few questions about the story are Nell Sutherland, a born cowgirl, and Cooper Ransom, the tough ex-Chicago cop who’s come home to stir things up.
Thank you both for joining us. But with so much friction between you two, what on earth made you hire Cooper as foreman, Nell, of the NLS ranch?
Nell: You’ve probably heard the old saying: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer (gives him a jaundiced look). Guess which category fits Cooper?
Cooper(crosses his arms): You’re just trying to get my goat…or I should say, cattle. Not going to work, Nell. Close? Why would I get involved again with a woman whose sole interest is in proving to her grandfather she deserves to inherit this ranch?
Nell: Yes. All of it. That includes your former land. It’s part of the NLS now—and will be mine someday. Or are you one of those people like PawPaw and even my dad who think I should marry and have kids instead? Let a man take over this ranch?
Cooper: Whoa, Nellie, as your grandfather might say. When did I ever give you that impression? I know you’re still living in a man’s world here, but I’m trying to support you. And for the past fourteen years, I’ve minded my own business in a different state (stares at his boots). I, um, never gave you a thought.
Nell (with a little frown): No surprise, but you were also nearly killed there in an ambush. You’re not kidding me now. You threatened my grandfather you’d come back one day to reclaim the land you lost. So, believe me, I know what you want .
A-hem. I feel I’m losing control of this interview. Cooper, some might disagree and say you’ve never forgotten Nell. Any truth to that?
Cooper (puts up both hands): I plead the fifth. I may have fallen for her way back, but I have enough trouble now dealing with that pack of murdering coyotes she’s so worried about. Last thing I need is to get close to my boss who’s always a heartbeat away from firing me—and wind up on the wrong end of her shotgun. I wouldn’t dare admit to wanting a second chance with Nell.
Nell: I’m…glad to hear that (looks away). We were never right for each other. Nothing has changed.
Cooper (in a too-lazy tone): Oh, I don’t know. Or weren’t you there the other day when we rode over to Ransom land and my old home? The room where we—”
Nell (blushing): That is beside the point. If you think you can sweet talk me again—”
Cooper (trying to suppress a smile): Into what, exactly?
Now, now. This interview is G-rated. Nell, what happens when your grandfather comes home from his fishing trip and learns Cooper is your foreman?
Nell (ignoring the question): I meant fixing up your old house for your mother.
Cooper: That’ll be a start. And I’m sure your grandfather won’t like finding me here. We need to figure a way around that—because I’m not giving up (sends her a pointed look).You still serious about that question you asked me before?
Nell(her blush deepening as she glances at the interviewer): Please, that’s a private matter.
Cooper: You said a marriage of convenience. Another way of ‘keeping your enemy close?’
Nell: Well, I did ask that. But only as a temporary business arrangement to give PawPaw what he wants. Which is to see me married (her look turns sly), And, of course, to beat him at his own game.
Thank you both again. I think I hear wedding bells…or was that a call to battle? May the best man or woman win!
Which one do you think it will be?
I hope you enjoy THE RANCHER’S SECOND CHANCE. In the meantime, hop on over to http://www.facebook.com/leighrikerauthor to enter my May Giveaway, which ends on the 31st.