Nothin's hotter than summer in Texas unless it's the Annual Cowboy Auction!
BOOTS AND ROSES
by Myla Jackson
Welcome Back to the Ugly Stick Saloon
Bunny Leigh really shouldn’t care that her ex is days away from getting remarried. Yet the fact he’s getting hitched to the woman he cheated on her with stings more than she cares to admit.
It’s that sting that drives her to impulsively throw a bid in the annual Ugly Stick Saloon Cowboy Auction. To her surprise, she lands not only one of the best-looking men in the tri-county area, but two. The prospect of keeping up with two younger men has the shy florist quaking in her flower pots.
Little does she know, best friends Cory McBride and Jack Monahan made doubly sure their favorite florist won them both. But now they have their work cut out for them, convincing her they want more than one steamy night. They want a chance at forever.
Warning: A cop, a cowboy and a flower shop owner make the petals fly! And look what happens when the Ferris wheel stops at the top. Bring a fan, the heat’s rising at the Ugly Stick Saloon.
“I don’t need a second chance. Once was bad enough. I don’t think I’m ready to float that boat again.” Although the two men on the stage could more than set her sails. Holy hell, they were built like brick houses, all muscle—hard, finely chiseled muscle.
“If not for love, then date for fun or a release from stress.” Audrey threw her hand in the air.
Why not satisfy your sexual fantasies? Anything to get you out of your shell, girlfriend.”
“One thousand dollars!” Charli shouted into the microphone. “Ladies, this is twice the spice for the money. Don’t stop now.” She nodded toward the throng. “One thousand one hundred from number forty-one.”
“A thousand dollars?” Bunny did the math in her head. “I’d have to sell a lot of roses to afford those two.”
“Raise your paddle. Remember, I’ll double whatever you can afford.”
Even as Bunny shook her head, her fingers tightened around the paddle’s wooden stick. “I can’t.”
“Yes. You can. It’s just a date,” Audrey insisted. “Think about what Cory can do with that whip. And Jack has handcuffs.”
Cory cracked the whip, and number thirty-seven raised her paddle, bumping the bid up another one hundred dollars.
Bunny’s heartbeat accelerated. She had over two grand in savings for a rainy day and maybe to pay off her ex when she got a little more saved. That money was not earmarked for a hot date with two sexy men.
It still galled her to no end that Ray got half of her business in the divorce, Texas being a community property state. Out of the “goodness of his heart” Ray had let her keep the flower shop, as long as she paid him for his half over time, as a loan. He never let her forget it either, always giving her his unwanted opinion on how to run the flower shop. Spending so much money on a date would have him questioning her ability to stay in business. He might even foreclose on his loan.
“Going once,” Charli said.
“What?” Bunny’s breath caught and she leaned so far forward on her stool she almost slid off.
“Going twice.” Charli paused. “They’re a steal at twelve hundred dollars. Come on ladies, won’t one of you bid thirteen hundred?”
Bunny’s hand shook, her grip clenching on the paddle. Before she could analyze her actions, she raised her paddle.
“Is that Bunny Leigh back there near the bar?” Charli shielded her eyes from the glare of the stage lights.
“Y’all gonna let Temptation’s best florist go home with the two most drool-worthy men in the county?”
Cory and Jack stared across the room, straight at Bunny, both smiling.
Her pulse accelerated until she thought for certain her heart would jump right out of her chest. Her gaze panned the room, praying someone else would raise a paddle quickly before she bought the cowboy and the cop.
Charli grinned, and before anyone else could get a paddle above shoulder-high, she pounded her gavel on the podium and shouted, “Sold!”
Other Authors Participating in Snippet Saturday:
Mandy M. Roth