Belt Buckles and Cowboy Boots
Thanks for having me here, LM! **huggz**
Hi there! I’m Bailey Bradford and LM has been kind enough to let me have a bit of her blog space today. Isn’t her new website and blog fabulous? *looks around* In fact, it’s making mine look a tad dusty… Well, I’ve always been kind of lazy unless there’s a mad dash for books, chocolate, coffee, or wine.
A little about me and what I write: I write gay erotic romances, and one MMF erotic menage romance . I’ve had several books out already this year, and another half dozen or so still to come. There’s cowboys—Belt Buckles and Cowboy Boots, Love in Xxchange Ten: My Heart to Keep, which’ll be out soon. Shifters—the new series, Valen’s Pack, books 1 and 2; Coyote’s Call, books 1 and 2. There’s a new vampire series, The Vamp for Me, starting up, too, which began on my blog. So, lots of books, lots of writing, lots of sexy fun.
I write because it relaxes me, it’s fun, I like making people happy, I love happy endings, and I love sex. There’s more to it than those things, of course, but if I had to name reasons off the top of my head, those are the ones that pop right out.
One of my favorite books that I’ve written this year is Belt Buckles and Cowboy Boots, which is about Colby, who has a thing for cowboy clothes but not so much for cowboys. He’s got some issues, and he’s had a hard life, but he’s never let anything or anyone knock him down. He’s a fighter, and a romantic who hides under the brittle shell of a cynic. I love, love Colby. When he meets Hunter-- and I love him too, but Colby just burrowed into my heart—it’s lust at first sight but both men are too cautious to dive right in.
Though they can only hold out for so long. Here’s a short excerpt from the book Belt Buckles and Cowboy Boots:
By the time he got up and peeled the sheets—and possibly some skin—off the next morning, Colby had sufficiently moved past any concern that he really did want Hunter. The man was roughly attractive, and he’d been nice, that was all. Colby wasn’t going to build a sweet little house with a picket fence around it with the man, not even in his imagination, so he shoved all thoughts of Hunter aside. Real life called and he had to live it.
On the off chance that the snarly jerk from the night before would come in again, Colby made certain there was fresh coffee available around the same time as he had the prior work shift.
It was just his luck that Christy got a phone call from one of the guys she saw when the mood suited her. She dashed to the back, assuring Colby that she’d be off the phone shortly.
He knew better. She might even have whichever guy she was talking to come up and meet her around back. Colby never asked what they did out there. He didn’t want to know.
A little after two in the morning, when he was trying to straighten up the cooler, Colby heard the buzz alerting him to customers entering the store. He peeked out from between bottles, shelves, and slots. Two men, each in dirty blue coveralls. Colby couldn’t see their faces but he did see that their hands were empty.
There hadn’t been a convenience store robbery in the small town in a decade almost. That didn’t mean Colby would let his guard down. With so many new people coming into and through the area, crime was increasing, too. He had no desire to die in a robbery—or in any other way, come to think of it.
Colby left the cooler. His skin prickled beneath his polyester uniform shirt the moment he stepped into the store proper.
He was met by a sneer from the customer who’d come in the night before. Olivares. AKA Asshole. Colby couldn’t quite muster a fake smile as he gestured to the coffee. “Christy just made it.”
“And where is she?” Olivares asked.
A chill went through him. He was all of five foot six and that was counting the soles of his tennis shoes giving him a lift. Before him were two big men, one sneering and the other… Colby just kept from arching his brows in surprise. The second customer was glaring at the first one.
“Brad, just get your damn coffee and stop being a dick,” the second man said.
His rich, deep voice brought to mind thoughts Colby needed to repress while working. Especially around homophobic customers.
“You fuck off, Hunter, unless you got a thing for little queer boys,” Brad retorted heatedly. “Guess he looks like a girl with that hair.”
Colby most assuredly didn’t look like a girl. He didn’t have soft features, but more masculine ones. Not that he was going to argue with Asshole.
Hunter turned his attention to Colby, and Colby froze in place under the man’s perusal. Dark green eyes framed with thick lashes, Hunter had prettier eyes than any man Colby had ever seen. His thick russet hair was sticking up in every direction, and he had a heavy stubble-scruff on his face. It didn’t hide his bowed top lip or the plump bottom one. Hunter wasn’t pretty, either. He probably wouldn’t be considered handsome, not with the break his nose had taken at some point that left it with a sizable bump and a slightly crooked lean to the left.
But he was sexy, big and strong, and not looking at Colby like he was a turd stuck on the heel of Hunter’s boot.
“You’re an idiot,” Hunter said distinctly.
At first Colby thought Hunter was talking to him, since Hunter hadn’t looked away from him.
But it was Brad who cursed and told Hunter to fuck off.
Colby unfroze then, stepping quickly aside before Brad could shove past him. He had no doubt the asshole would have plowed him over and laughed about it.
Hunter flicked a glare at Brad’s back before returning his attention to Colby. “Sorry. He’s…” Hunter finally shrugged, raising his hands palms-up. “Family.”
If Colby had been attracted at all, that right there would have killed it. Did kill it, because he’d thought Hunter was hot, even if he was kind of big and intimidating.
Colby didn’t reply. There was nothing to say, anyway. His family wasn’t his anymore. Apparently those family ties were only strong for other people. Or maybe it was just easier for the family to disown him because he was adopted and not who they wanted him to be. Either way, they weren’t a part of Colby’s life anymore.
Hunter watched him until Colby felt his face heating with a blush. He knew the customer was always right, but he was getting annoyed. Colby dared to give Hunter a narrow-eyed look in return. Hunter’s mouth lifted on one side in a crooked grin. The man touched two fingers to his forehead in some kind of weird salute to Colby, then joined Olivares, getting himself a soda from the fountain drinks instead of coffee.
Colby went around the aisle rather than passing too closely to either man. He was almost to the register when Christy came inside through the customer entrance, her lipstick smeared and her hair disheveled. There was a bright red hickey about mid-center of her neck. Her work shirt was buttoned up wrong.
Colby gestured toward it, mouthing for her to fix it. She ignored him and walked behind the counter to the register.
“Your lipstick is all over your face,” he whispered, almost hissing at her. Then he recoiled in horror as he spotted the dab of white liquid on her chin. “You—” He pointed. “Wipe it off!”
Okay, that almost came out as a screech. He had to chill out.
Christy took her phone out and used the photo app to look at herself. She smiled like she was pleased as punch over her just been fucked—or deep-throated—appearance.
Colby covered his face with his hands. “Christy, come on—”
He heard footsteps and lowered his hands.
“I got this. Shoo.” Christy did at least wipe at her chin and rub off her makeup. She still looked like a not-so-hot mess.
Colby joined her behind the counter but began straightening the cans of chewing tobacco rather than face the customers.
“This all?” Christy sounded like she really didn’t give a shit if it was or not.
There was a long pause, then Brad spoke, “Well, I’ll take some of what you were givin’ away.”
Colby spun around at the same time Hunter growled. The low rumble shot down Colby’s spine and curled up around his balls. It didn’t faze him at all. “Hey, you can come in here and talk shit at me all you want, but leave Christy alone.”
Brad’s nostrils flared and Christy retorted, “I wouldn’t blow you with Jessica Martin’s mouth, and that bitch puts it on everything. Seventy-five cents.”
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