The Lonely Hearts of San Sity
Genre: BWWM Interracial Enemies-To-Lovers Cowboy Romance
Jules and Peppermint were at Mitchel’s ranch thirty minutes later. Jules parked their rental car on the road, in complete awe of what stood before her.
The scene looked like something out of Little House on the Prairie.
Acres of luminous, rich land that ran for miles over the hill. Amid this living portrait sat a two-story, off-white house made of shingles with a black roof. An elegant pavilion brought a sophisticated Southern charm to the place. Two hammocks, a patio table and a vibrant display of flowers highlighted the architectural centrepiece.
Peppermint knocked on the front door, but no one answered. But the black Ford truck suggested Mitchel was around somewhere.
“Over there!” A forceful, masculine voice shouted through the breeze. “There, Annie! Get in line, Buck!”
“What in the world?” Jules headed off in the direction of the screams. The air overflowed with the overlapping sounds of cows mooing and horses neighing.
Jules hadn’t been on a farm or ranch in her life, nor had she wanted to be. She was a city girl through and through. She didn’t even like to go outside, let alone camp, or even be anywhere near animals. The only cow she wanted to see was on her plate.
“Where are we going?” Peppermint huffed and puffed, struggling to walk her little roly-poly body up the hill.
Jules had expected the ranch to smell like shit and she kept checking her shoes to make sure she hadn’t walked in any cow pies. But the ranch didn’t stink at all. She couldn’t get enough of the sweet yet slightly pungent perfume coming from the mouth-watering red apples hanging from the trees.
“Ah.” Jules stood on top of the hill and, when she saw him, immediately wobbled, falling backward.
“Whoa.” Peppermint caught her. “Are you okay?”
Peppermint’s words didn’t register. Jules heard nothing and saw nothing except this Adonis who sat on his horse, herding the wandering cattle.
“Over there!” He nudged a cow with his horse’s nose and the cow got back in line. “Line, line!”
“That’s him.” Peppermint huffed and puffed, sweating. “I told you he was perfect.”
Mitchel took his cowboy hat off and glanced in Jules’ direction, but not long enough to notice her. He was everything Peppermint said and more. Hell, he was even more attractive than Jules imagined.
She started sweating, but not from the sun. Her stomach flip-flopped like it did the first time a boy kissed her and her toes curled just at the sound of his voice.
Ranching did a body great because there were fitness trainers that had nothing on this man. By the length of his legs, he was at least 6’4”. He controlled his horse with strong, sturdy arms. Under his white tank top, Jules saw he had just the right amount of muscles. She didn’t like a really bulky man, but he had to be fit. And Mitchel… well, he was all that and then some.
He tapped the horse with his boots and he could probably smash bricks with those thick, toned thighs. Hands so big they could grab Jules’ entire ass with one scoop.
“Jules?” Peppermint nudged her. “Jules!”
“W… what?” She swallowed. “Oh, uh. My God. He’s… he’s the most handsome man I’ve ever seen.”
“I told you he was hot.”
“Hot is an understatement.” Jules felt like someone had knocked the wind out of her.
“Dan’s gonna love him when he sees him. He’s an instant star, right?”
Jules swallowed. “I wanna have his baby.”
“Jules, Jesus.” Peppermint laughed.
“I gotta get a video.” Jules took out her phone and recorded him. “Dan needs to see this for himself. Look at him.” Her heart jumped. “It’s so sexy how he’s so in control. Look at how the cows follow him.”
“Shit, as good as he looks, I’d be following his ass too.” Peppermint snickered.
“Fuck.” Jules slanted her phone, her nipples begging to be sucked. “He is… oh, he’s something.”
“Ah!” Jules turned to see a shapely redheaded woman who looked to be in her early to mid-twenties wearing cut-off denim shorts and a shirt that stopped at her midriff.
The Daisy Dukes wannabe grinned, raising the brim of her cowboy hat so they could see her emerald eyes. “Sorry if I scared you.” She chewed gum. “I’m Melanie. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Atlas.”
Jules nodded. “You know who I am?”
“Who doesn’t? You’re the most exciting thing to happen to this town in ages. What are you doing here? Did Mitch know you were coming?”
“No, but I really need to speak to him.” Jules put her phone up. “Think he can spare a few minutes?”
“Let’s find out.” Melanie yelled into her hands, “Mitch, you got visitors!”
“Whoa.” He stopped his horse and looked over at Jules.
“Hello!” She waved.
But instead of him smiling or showing any excitement, he rolled his eyes. “I’ll be inside in a minute!”
“Come on.” Melanie started down the hill. “I’ll let you in the house.”
Twenty minutes later, Mitchel Scott, the God himself, stood against the porcelain mantel in his living room, glaring at Peppermint and Jules as he loudly sipped from his glass of fresh lemonade. “You can’t be serious.”
“We are.” Jules cleared her throat, the cool glass of lemonade freezing her fingers. “You’re a star and I know stars.”
“Oh, yeah?” He wiggled his eyebrows. “Somehow I’m not convinced.”
Jules was so glad he’d taken that cowboy hat off because all it did was impede his beauty. With short, shaggy caramel-blond hair he had a rugged swagger that told you he didn’t give a damn what you thought.
His icy lavender-brown eyes and intense eyebrows matched his sensational features, a five o’clock shadow speckled across his hollow cheeks.
Jules tried to keep it together, but it was the toughest feat of her life. She never wanted a man so much. Some people were so attractive you wondered if they knew how good-looking they were. But with the way Mitchel Scott carried himself, you best believe he knew he was the shit, and he made sure everyone else knew it too.
Jules mentioned the shows she’d worked on and how many normal people were now household names because of them.
He shrugged, sipping. “I haven’t heard of those shows. I don’t watch TV.”
“Come on.” Peppermint grinned. “Who doesn’t watch TV in this day and age?”
“Me. I haven’t watched TV since I was a teenager.”
“Well, what do you do in your spare time?” Jules asked.
“Lady, I don’t have spare time. My time goes to running this ranch and if you haven’t noticed, it’s a twenty-four-hour thing.” He finished his lemonade and slammed the glass on the mantel. “Which reminds me I gotta get back to work so if you’ll excuse me—”
“Wait.” Jules jumped up in front of him. “I know this seems strange and you claim you aren’t interested but—”
“I’m not interested.” He got his hat off the table and put it on. “No offense but I want nothing to do with you or your show. Now excuse me.”
Peppermint blocked him. “I don’t think you understand how big of an opportunity this is, Mr. Scott. You could be famous. You have the looks, the body, the tough-as-nails persona women love and you’re a real-life cowboy! The women will drool so badly they’ll need paddles to get off their couch after the show is over.”
“I see. So you think I’m just some mindless beefcake you’re gonna use to get you ratings, huh?”
“No.” Jules stepped in front of Peppermint. “You are more than a pretty face and you can showcase that on the show. Besides, aren’t you single? Believe it or not, many people have found their true loves on dating shows.”
He rolled his eyes.
“It’s all about the women,” Jules said. “Women drive ratings for reality shows. At least audition. Will you do that?”
“I guess your line of work depends on you being persuasive, Miss Atlas?” He scrunched his forehead. “But honestly, it’s just getting on my nerves.”
“Hey, you don’t have to be rude,” Peppermint said.
“Everyone else in this town is fawning all over you guys but not me.” He pointed to himself. “I’m not impressed by either of you and I want nothing to do with that show. This is a town built on hard work and pride and I don’t appreciate you trying to turn it into some mockery.”
“We’re not trying to do that—”
“But that’s what’s happening,” he interrupted Jules. “Since you got here, the whole town’s going crazy to be on this show. They’re acting like animals in a circus but what happens to them once it’s all over? Do you even care?”
“Course I care.” Jules stomped her feet. “But this is business.”
“To you this is business.” He pointed at her. “To me it’s my home. You make these shows where you tear someone’s world upside down, leave them damaged, then move onto another show.”
Jules groaned. “For someone who doesn’t watch TV you sure have a deep opinion on reality shows.”
“I have the Internet so you can’t escape it. Plus my aunt’s obsessed with that junk.”
Jules squeezed her hands into fists, trying to keep her temper in check. “That junk has millions of fans and you insult them when you judge every reality show the same. Yes, some are junk but not all. Some are educational and valuable.”
“Laugh all you want but those people on those shows make a lot of money,” Peppermint said. “And no one forces them to be on them. Many are thankful for the opportunity.”
“Well, not me. I don’t want to audition for your show, I don’t want you guys in this town and I don’t want you coming to my ranch again. You got me?” He shoved them with his shoulders as he walked past.
Jules whipped around. “You’re a fool. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. Do you realize the money you could make? Don’t you wanna be rich and have more to look forward to than this ranch?”
“Get outta my house.” He tipped his hat over his eyes and stomped out the door.
Jules pointed to the door, looking at Peppermint. “You need an extra asshole because there’s one.”
“God.” Peppermint shook her head. “So much for being perfect. That man is the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Should’ve known something was wrong with him. But damn he’s fine.”
Jules rocked, rubbing her chin. “Asshole or not he’s the ticket to making this show a hit and my ticket to scouting for feature films one day soon. Oh, no.” She chuckled. “Mitchel Scott hasn’t seen the last of me.”
They exited the house.
“But we only have a few weeks here.” Peppermint followed Jules down the porch steps. “I don’t think you’re gonna change his mind in that little time.”
As they walked to the car, Jules cast a look at Mitchel as he sorted through hay with gloved hands. He looked up at her, scoffed and continued working.
“He thinks he’s had the last word.” Jules got into the car. “But I can be very persuasive when I wanna be.” She smirked at Peppermint as she started the car. “When I get through with him, he’ll be begging to be on the show.”
Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is an award-winning author of romantic suspense, mystery, thrillers, contemporary romance, historical romance and women's fiction books. She's written Top 100 bestsellers, and her work has been praised and reviewed in USA Today numerously. She loves writing stories that focus on main characters who rarely get the spotlight such as characters with physical disabilities, mental illness, and terminal diseases.
Stacy is known for bringing versatile stories to her readers. With her you never know what you're gonna get, which separates Stacy's work from the pack. Stacy's books are full of passion, thrills, intriguing characters and so much emotion you can't get enough! If you want something different and unpredictable then definitely check out her work.
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