Meet sexy Jackson McKinney in an excerpt of Mustang Buck!!
We promise he will be "worth the ride" in this 99cent standalone by Sienna Parks!!!
Meet Jax & Savannah
“Uncle Jax! Can you stay and play? You do the best teddy voices!” I’ve been spending way too much time here lately. I need a drink… in a bar… with real people to talk to instead of stuffed animals and a three-year-old.
“I’d love to stay, but I have somewhere I need to be right now.” I hate saying no to her. Maddox’s daughter, Sally Rae, is the bright spot in my life. The moment she was born, I fell in love with her. She’s become like family to me, and since her momma walked out on her and Maddox, I’ve done everything I can to help raise her.
“Funner than painting my nails? Nothing is funner than that.” She folds her arms over her chest and furrows her little brow.
“Tomorrow night. I promise. Pinky swear.” She grabs my pinky finger with her tiny fist and finger.
As I grab my keys, Maddox appears beside me.
“Who are you doing tonight?” He loves giving me shit about my ‘relationship’ choices.
“Very funny. I don’t have a date.”
“Have you dispelled with the formalities of buying a girl dinner before you fuck her?”
“Fuck off, Mad.” He elbows me with a playful smirk.
“I’m just messing with you. Some would call it living vicariously through you!”
“Yeah, Maddox Hale, the champion bronc rider needs to get his kicks secondhand. You have a stunning girlfriend and a gorgeous daughter, woe is you! I’ll see you tomorrow.” As I say my goodbyes and jump in the truck, my mood shifts on a dime.
Lately, I look around, and it’s becoming clear to me that life is passing me by. I never intended to be working the ranch at this point. I was supposed to leave this town over a decade ago—that was my plan. Then Bobby asked me to help on the ranch, and the rest is history. When he died, he left me twenty-five percent of Mustang, so now I’m part owner with Maddox. It’s more than I ever could’ve dreamed of, and I guess that’s where I’m struggling right now. I seem to stumble from one situation to the next with everything happening to me instead of making a deliberate decision for myself.
I know Mad was just fucking with me back there, but for some reason, it’s gnawing at me as I drive through Kingsbury Falls. Even he thinks I’m just a fuck-them-and-chuck-them manwhore with no direction or purpose in life. Maybe I gave up the right to be offended by that a long time ago, so I may as well embrace it. I pull up outside Cardinals bar. A few shots of bourbon sound good right about now—major life reflection can wait a few hours.
Throwing my keys over the bar, my friend and owner of this joint, Kirby, grabs a bottle of Jack from the shelf and pours me a glass. He and I went to school together, and he’s seen the best and the worst of me. He is my voice of reason and sounding board.
“What’s going on, man? You look pissed.”
“I just need a drink. Or a few. Things have been… intense over at the ranch lately. Drink now, talk later.”
“Sure thing. I’ve got your keys. I’ll leave this here.” He slides my dear friend, Jack, over the bar before leaving me to stew in my own juices for a while. That’s the great thing about him. He doesn’t force me to talk or judge me for my choices. When I need space, I hand over the keys to my truck and let loose.
An hour and a handful of drinks later, the bar is almost empty. Tuesday night isn’t exactly busy. There’s a routine to this town. It’s both comforting and infuriating. That’s why you get sucked into the vortex of small-town living. On a good day, strolling through the square and knowing every face that walks by feels like the most natural thing in the world. On a bad day, I hate that everyone knows my business. Wherever I go, whatever I do, there isn’t a person who doesn’t know about it. Imagine all your high school mistakes being replayed on a loop year after year—the stories getting more and more distorted as they are retold.
All I want is a clean slate. Is that too much to ask?
I chat with a few regulars to pass the time, but no one holds my attention until I see a woman in the darkest corner of the bar. I don’t recognize her and yet there’s something familiar about her. It’s a rare occurrence in this town not to know everyone here and their shoe size. She’s been watching me for the last hour, but I enjoy the anticipation. The thrill of the chase is what makes it worthwhile. I like a woman who comes to me and shows a confidence that almost always translates to the bedroom.
There’s something different in this girl’s eyes, though. The moment I hold her gaze, she shies away, but within seconds, I can feel her stare. In my experience, a girl who is truly shy won’t even attempt to look your way again so quickly, and a girl who’s just acting shy tends to be less obvious in her ogling.
When I’m certain she’s not going to make the first move, I signal Kirby to send her another drink. Usually, that will get a woman to introduce herself to me. If that fails and I still want to pursue her, then I go in for the kill. It’s probably big-headed to even think it, but there are few women who can resist a cowboy’s good, old-fashioned Southern charm.
She gestures a tight nod of thanks before becoming unusually focused on the bracelet around her wrist. Trepidation emanates from her in waves. This girl is throwing off so many mixed signals, I can’t tell which way is up, but that only serves to make her more appealing. I wait another twenty minutes until she finishes her drink before going over there.
The moment she sees me walking her way, her eyes become wide as saucers. She looks like a deer caught in the headlights as she steps out of the comfort of the dark and into the dim light of the bar. It’s then that I realize why she’s so familiar to me.
It’s the girl from the funeral—three months ago. The one that got away.
I give my best panty-wrangling smile, but it doesn’t have the desired effect. She stands from the table and heads for the exit. I quicken my step, an uneasy weight settling in my chest as she slips out the door before I reach her, but I can’t go after her—only a stalker would follow a woman out of a bar. I look toward the bar to see Kirby mouthing the word burn at me.
In desperation, I decide to keep walking in case she waited, but when I step out into the humid night air, there’s no trace of her. She’s vanished into the night like a figment of my imagination. How is that even possible?
“You’ve been quiet today. You okay?” Mad knows me well enough to read between the silences.
“Shut the fuck up. I’ve known you since you were born, and I’ve never heard you utter those words before.”
“Lap it up, rodeo boy.”
“You don’t know her. Heck, I don’t know her.”
“You’re pining over a one-night stand?”
“No! I never slept with her. When I tried to talk to her, she fled faster than a scolded cat. I don’t need to tell you that was a first for me.” He throws his head back laughing hysterically at my misfortune.
“Boo-fucking-hoo! One girl in thirty-three years was impervious to your charm.”
“And tell me, rampant rider, how many girls have turned you down?” He smiles—smug bastard.
“Touché!” He takes a long swig of beer chuckling to himself.
“You missed the point. There was something about her.”
“The fact that she was unattainable? Don’t sweat it. Next week another woman will catch your eye, and this will be long forgotten.”
“I can’t forget about it… that’s the thing! I’m telling you, we had a moment. It’s not just a bullshit reaction because she walked out. I can tell when a woman’s vibing on me, and it was a mutual thing. I haven’t felt that kind of instant connection in a long time.”
“Is she local? Surely, you know every woman in this town by now?”
“You’re going to think I’m crazy… but I saw her at your dad’s funeral.” He spits his beer all over me.
“What the fuck?”
“Okay! Bear with me. I saw her at the service three months ago, then I saw her last night in Cardinals. The minute I moved in her direction, she hightailed it out of there. No one else spoke to her, and I’d never seen her around here before.”
“Maybe she’s here for business?”
“Then why would she go to your dad’s funeral? And why would she avoid talking to me after staring at me for an hour straight?”
“Why do you even care?”
“She was smokin’ hot, but that isn’t what got me. Her whole demeanor was a walking contradiction. Shy but aggressive, sweet but sexy as fuck. It worked for her. She looked a little younger than us, maybe twenty-five.”
“Being kind to us there, bro! A little younger? That’s almost cradle robbing at our age!”
“Speak for yourself, old man river.”
“Did you find out anything that could help you figure out who she is or where she’s staying?”
“No, and I can’t stalk her… calling the B&Bs in town borders on creepy.”
“You’re losing your touch and your marbles.”
“Fuck you, Mad.” We watch the sun go down and move on to lighter topics before I decide to make tracks.
Lazily driving through the streets I know so well, the odd person staggers home from Cardinals, but for the most part, it’s like a ghost town. I think I could navigate my way from the ranch to my apartment with my eyes closed. Nothing surprises me anymore except the woman standing in the middle of the road!
I slam on the brakes.
What the fuck is she doing? As she comes into view, I recognize her face—it’s my mystery girl. She stumbles to the sidewalk clutching her hands over her heart. I must have scared her half to death. My pulse is ringing in my ears. I throw open the door of the truck anxious to check she’s okay, but she’s already running toward the field.
“I’m so sorry, sir. It was completely my fault.” I lose sight of her as she disappears into the night.
“Wait!” I don’t know what to do. She’s not from around here. If she goes into shock, she could hurt herself. I sprint into the field calling out to her. I still don’t know her name. “Miss! Wait! I’m not going to hurt you!” I grab my phone from my pocket and set it to the flashlight. I can’t see anything in here. I stop running trying to listen for movement, but it’s an impossible task with the whooshing sound in my ears. I take a deep breath to slow my heartbeat and concentrate on isolating the familiar noises of nightfall.
I hear the trampling of hay to my left and start running. If I can chase down a mustang, I can do this. The air is warm in my lungs, my skin slick with sweat. I run flat out to the other side of the field coming to a grinding halt at the edge of town. There is no way she could outrun me, so she must still be in the field somewhere. I head back in and start methodically trying to cover as much ground as I can. An hour later, there’s no sign of her, and no audible evidence that she’s here.
I’m beginning to believe I imagined this whole night, this girl, and everything she represents. I take my time walking back to the truck. My arms are scratched to shit with blood dripping from them, but it’s too late to care. My mind is consumed with worry for the unknown woman who has me bewildered. She’s here for a reason, this is the third time I’ve seen her, and no one else seems to know anything about her either.
What does she want from me? Or not want from me?
By the time I get home, I fall into bed exhausted from the surprising twist my quiet evening has taken. With only a few hours until I need to be back at the ranch, my sleep is fitful at best chasing after the woman of my dreams… but she’s always just out of reach.
“Sir, I’m not at liberty to divulge details of my guests.” I’m about to throw this phone through the window.
“Cut the crap. You’ve had two guests in twelve years. You went to school with my dad. I’ve called everyone else. I just want to know this girl is okay. I told you what happened.”
“There may or may not be a young woman matching her description staying here. And she may or may not have gone to the pharmacy. Don’t you go chasing my guest away, you hear me?”
“Trust me. I want this girl to stick around even more than you do. Thanks, Bert.” I end the call grabbing my keys on the way out the door. I make it to the pharmacy in record time abandoning my car in the parking lot. Scanning the store, I see the telltale sign of someone who doesn’t know where to find every single product in this place and make my way over to where she’s investigating the shelves.
“Can I help you find something?” She turns at the sound of my voice.
“N… No. I’m just fine, thank you.”
“Are you sure? You were almost roadkill last night. I was worried about you.” She busies herself pretending to read the label of whatever she has in her hands which are cut to shreds. “Shit! You need to see the doctor. I can take you, she’s a friend of mine.”
“I’m fine. Nothing some antiseptic and a few bandages won’t fix. Thank you for your concern, sir. I need to get going.” Wow, this girl doesn’t want to talk to me.
“Have I done something to upset you?”
“You mean other than almost killing me last night?” Before I can protest, a devious smile appears. “I’m just messing with you.”
“Oh, you do, do you? And do I get the courtesy of your name?”
“Nope.” She takes what she needs and heads to the checkout. I follow close on her heels. Why is she so adamant about remaining a mystery? Or maybe that’s the point—mystery always makes a guy more intent on the conquest.
“Okay, different question. Why were you in the middle of the road last night?” She hands the cashier a twenty-dollar bill and doesn’t stay long enough to get the change. “What are you afraid of?” She stops dead turning to scowl in my direction.
“Really? That’s the best you’ve got? I’m not… scared… of you.” The stammer in her voice betrays her confidence.
“Okay, darlin’, have it your way. Do you have a pen I can borrow?” She reluctantly searches her purse and hands me a pen. I grab it taking her hand in mine before writing my number on her palm. “I’ll be seeing you around.” I hop in my truck. This isn’t what I wanted from our first verbal interaction, but it’s a start.
I’ve spent so many nights awake over the past three months wondering who that girl was and why she was at the funeral. There has to be more to her story. Today only compounds my confusion. If she wanted to leave a lasting impression on me, she succeeded. I find myself unable to concentrate on anything other than the contours of her face and the way her body twitches at the sound of my voice.
I have no idea why this girl is so against just telling me her name. What harm could it do? Then it dawns on me—she’s been here for a few days now—I’m sure she’s already been told to keep her distance from the town whore.
Lying about her virginity is her smallest secret…
Savannah Adams came to town for one man and found herself drawn to another.
Jackson McKinney is all wrong for her, but she can’t seem to stay away. She knew about Jax and his bad-boy reputation long before she ever set eyes on him. Will he still want her when he finds out who she really is?
The day Savannah arrives in town, all bad-boy Jax can think about is taming this wild stranger. He didn’t want to settle down because he doesn’t want to admit he may never leave Kingsbury Falls. Jax has been labeled a player by everyone around him, but this wrangler has a heart of gold, and his sights are firmly set on Savannah. She’s beautiful, fierce, and he can’t get enough of her. Having opened his heart to the possibility of happily ever after, nothing can prepare him for the revelations that are about to rock his world.
How many lies can Savannah tell before she gets caught?
One thing’s for sure, Jax is in for the ride of his life.
NOW ONLY $0.99 & FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
Sienna is a native Scot, but lives in Texas with her husband, two kids, and a whizzy little fur baby with the most ridiculous ears. She first fell in love with British Literature while majoring in Linguistics, 17th Century Poetry, and Shakespeare at University. She is an avid reader and lifelong notebook hoarder. In 2014, she finally put her extensive collection to good use and started writing her first novel. Sienna recently became a writer at Prism Heart Press, and is currently writing some exciting new projects.