When I think of contemporary romance archetypes, soldiers and cowboys dominate in my mind. I love a bad boy billionaire as much as the next girl, but I admit a preference for a more attainable hero. Personally, I’ve never met a bad boy billionaire. But I have met men who served our country. And even though we currently live in New York City, I like to think I married a cowboy. (My husband was raised on a farm in Oregon and still wears cowboy boots.)
I had my heart set on writing military heroes, but never thought about combining the two until I read a review of HORSE SOLDIERS: The Extraordinary Tale of a Band Of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan by Doug Stanton. My first thought? Cowboy + Soldier = Amazing Romance Hero! Enter U.S. Ranger Hunter Cross, the hero of my debut novel, COMMAND PERFORMANCE, a soldier who rode a horse on a mission in Afghanistan. I started researching and writing. As I dug deeper, I learned my cowboy/soldier was not a fan of the “cowboy” label. Especially when he discovers his one-night stand is determined to write about his heroics on horseback and he is under orders to control the message of her book.
Curious how it all plays out? Here’s an excerpt from the cowboy/soldier’s perspective
Control her. That was his objective. The getting- laid happy feeling turned up a notch. Wasn’t that what Maggie had begged for Saturday night? For him to take control? Sure, she’d been talking about sex, but of all the women he’d ever met, Miss Maggie was the most likely to follow his orders both in bed and when it came to her book.
Images from Saturday night flashed in his mind like a highlight reel. Hunter’s smile fell as he reached the end where she walked, no, make that ran, for the door. If she’d been so into it, why had she run away while she thought he was sleeping?
He glanced up at the woman behind the podium, the only woman in the room. It took balls to stand up in front of decorated generals. A woman like that didn’t hand over control of her work. And if he tried to take it? No way she’d invite him back into her bed.
“Good morning, gentlemen.” Maggie’s steady voice cut through the room, silencing the mutteringgenerals. Hunter watched her face, but she didn’t look up. Not once. She kept her gaze glued to her notes. She sounded confident, but he knew better. Her hands moved a mile a minute against the side of the podium. Bold and nervous, that was his Maggie. Except he had a sinking feeling she wasn’t his now and she wouldn’t be anytime soon.
“Thank you for your time.” The first slide appeared on the screen behind her. “America’s Cowboy Heroes,” she read. “My book focuses on the team that completed a successful mission without the aid of most modern warfare tools, including cars. The men who rescued three aid workers while riding horses provided by an Afghan warlord.”
Cowboys? Hunter rolled his sore shoulder. He might have ridden a horse through the Afghan mountains, but he’d done it out of necessity. If he’d been driving a tank when he was sent in to save those women, he wouldn’t have gotten shot, with or without his teammate’s error. But their friendly Afghan warlord host hadn’t exactly shown up at the meeting point with a fleet of armored vehicles.
What is your favorite type of hero? Soldier? Billionaire? Cowboy?
COMMAND PERFORMANCE Blurb
Subject: Chief Warrant Officer Hunter Cross
Mission: Keep Margaret Barlow distracted…using any means necessary!
Ranger Hunter Cross is the army poster child—excitement, danger and no strings in sight. And he’s been in town exactly three hours before a curvy blonde named Maggie flashes him a look that says “You belong in my bed.” It’s a night of wicked satisfaction. And it’s a night they can never repeat….
All Professor Maggie Barlow wanted was an orgasm—or three— from the dead-sexy Ranger. Having him as her official army liaison while she works on her new book? That wasn’t in the plan. Especially when she learns that Hunter has orders to “control” her. Little does the army know that when it comes to their deliciously naughty nighttime activities, Hunter is at Maggie’s complete command….
Uniformly Hot! The Few. The Proud. The Sexy as Hell.
After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream—writing romance novels. Armed with a firm belief that dreams do come true, she sat down at her keyboard to write fun, sexy stories like the ones she loved to read. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Visit her online at www.sarajanestone.com, or become a fan of Sara Jane Stone on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter: sarajanestone.
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