TURNING A BRIT INTO A COWBOY – SORT OF
Hi everyone! Thanks so much for having me here today to talk about my new release, BEAUTY AND THE BRIT. I love this book because it’s got such a mix of characters and plots in it—and I got a chance to get to write about everyone from a gang member, to a teenager, to a tough-but-vulnerable inner city heroine, to an understated, handsome, soul-searching BRITISH hero!
It’s my yummy, accented hero David Pitts-Matherson I’d love you to meet today. I fell in love with David when he showed up in my second book RESCUED BY A STRANGER as the incongruous owner of a high-end horse stable in my small, Minnesota town, Kennison Falls. There he was in the middle of corn and soybean country with a duke’s accent, a crazy last name, a rather one-dimensional personality, but the protective wisdom of a hundred big brothers. Who the heck was this man? Was he really as mellow and easy-going as he seemed?
When he let me into his life and past I found the answer was a resounding . . . heck no , , , yes! David turned out to be an emotional enigma to say the least.
His background is anything but bland. David is an ex-soldier who served in Basra with the British Armed Forces. As a Boy Scout in his youth he took an interest in survival and tracking skills, and he’s a bit of a self-made expert. His CO in Iraq was more than happy to take advantage of his skills—until tragedy struck his unit, and David’s decision at a critical moment turned a routine scouting expedition into a life-changing disaster. Even though David made a correct assessment and choice, his military service ended in humiliation.
How that brought him to America and a life with horses has a lot to do with his father—a tough-minded ex-military man-turned-Olympic Equestrian—who couldn’t deal well with a son unable to toughen up for the Army. When he couldn’t live up to his father’s critical standards, David emigrated and found his home in the U.S.
But not exactly as a cowboy? He made himself into a mild-mannered, non-confrontational, businessman—and then he met Rio Montoya. And then he invited her and her teen-age sister to come and stay at his farm in order to protect them from a gang leader’s menacing threats. Rio—a product of the inner city—dreams of open spaces and hunky cowboys. What she gets as a safe haven is a stable where the riders where breeches and helmets, jump obstacles in English saddles, and are as far from cowboys as they can be.
Fortunately, steamy attraction for a strong-willed woman will lead a Brit to a Stetson faster than a dog to a steak. With a little help from a pair of chaps, a bareback ride and a secluded cabin—David found his inner cowboy. Along the way he found his inner strength, too..
I loved watching David learn to stand up for himself and accept his past. I loved hearing his accent and using subtle little turns of phrase to bring it alive on the pages. I loved the way he wore his jeans when he changed out of his sexy breeches I loved how Rio fell in love with her Brit just as hard and fast as I hoped she would!
So—that’s how I made my Brit into a cowboy. I might have stretched the cowboy promise a little—but I hope that you’ll read BEAUTY AND THE BRIT and think David looks just as good in a Stetson as any hard core cowboy out there!
Here’s a little taste from BEAUTY AND THE BRIT:
Rio’s stomach fluttered. “You aren’t too bad either. With your hair a little mussed like it is, that saddlebag over your shoulder . . . those chaps. If you took off your shirt you’d look just like the cowboy in the picture I used to have on my wall.”
Obvious pleasure pulled the corners of his lips upward. “We have the compliments well in hand. Excellent.”
“I know what you’re trying to do—keep me from being nervous about tomorrow. But I’m fine.”
“Apprehensive, but not scared. We’re meeting in a safe place that Paul chose. He won’t do anything.”
“I think you’re amazingly brave. I’m quite proud of you.”
She didn’t know how to respond. She wasn’t brave; she was desperate to be done with this and . . . and what? Go back home? Where was home?
“I’ve had a lot of help . . .”
She stopped midsentence and stared. David hadn’t moved, but he grasped the hem of his gray T-shirt with both hands and drew it up and over his head. It landed on the floor in a heap.
“Best I can do,” he said.
His best beat the lost cowboy from her old wall by miles. She didn’t speak. She barely kept drool off her chin.
“Not good enough, ’eh?” His teasing grin turned the flutters in her stomach into full-fledged trembles of excitement.
His hands dropped to the small buckle at the front of the chaps. Wordlessly he pulled the leather strap free of the buckle prong, then he bent forward and slid a zipper down the outside of the left leg. He did the same to the right. He pulled the chaps off with the slow flair of a Chippendale dancer.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Rio whispered, her throat dry. “Are you trying to turn me on?”
His brows arched. “Is it working?”
“It’s been working for the past three days.”
He strode to her in three steps as if his patience had evaporated, hauled her against his bare chest, and sent his fingers diving into her hair. The heat of his kiss flowed over her, melting her will, her knees, and their kiss into delectable sweetness. She explored his back, kneading and stroking the broad muscles, then she smoothed down his tapered waist and gripped the seat of his jeans.
“Now who’s trying to turn whom on?”
“I do love your proper grammar.”
“Dukes must have it.”
“There’s no duke here. Just some hot American cowboy.”
He released her, stepped back slightly for balance, and lifted her into his arms. “We’re going to build a fire and then pretend it’s a campfire. If you want cowboy . . .”
“I don’t see anything to build a fire with.”
“Leave it to me.”
Now I’d like to ask you—what’s your favorite foreign accent? I wax on about British accents but there are so many sexy ones out there. I’d love to hear.
Thanks again for hosting me today!
Tough and self-reliant Rio Montoya has looked after her two siblings for most of their lives. But when a gang leader makes threats against her sister Bonnie, even Rio isn’t prepared for the storm that could destroy her family. When their dreams are shattered in one dangerous moment, Rio seeks refuge for them all at a peaceful horse farm in the small town of Kennison Falls, Minnesota.
Rio should feel safe in Kennison Falls, but her budding romance with the stable’s owner, handsome British ex-pat David Pitts-Matherson, feels as dangerous as her past. The incredibly sexy David is as far from her type as any man could get, yet he tempts Rio in a way she never expected. But Rio knows that her time in Kennison Falls is limited, that her family is still in danger, and that she and David come from completely different worlds – a recipe for disaster.
David has his own secrets, and even the sparks he feels flying with the fiery and beautiful Rio may not be enough for him to let her into his heart. Can the beauty and the Brit ever find common ground? Or will their pasts stand in the way of true love?
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About the Author
Lizbeth Selvig lives in Minnesota with her cradle-robbing husband and a border collie that inspired the character Dug (”Squirrel!”) in the Disney movie Up.After working as a journalist and editor and raising an equine veterinarian daughter and a talented musician son, Liz entered and won RWA’s Golden Heart® contest in 2010 with her contemporary romance T he Rancher and the Rock Star. In her spare time, she loves to hike, quilt, read, horseback ride, and play with her nearly twenty four-legged grandchildren.
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