By: Jodi Linton
Pistol Rock is many things - quaint, dusty, charming - but it’s for sure not a foodie destination. It’s slim pickings out here. If you happen to venture into the small west Texas town and you’re hankering for something to eat, you’ll more than likely find yourself seated at a table inside the Whispering Wind Café.
Like most small towns the diner is the place to see and be seen. But as Laney Briggs, the heroine of Pretty Reckless, soon finds out, sometimes it’s better to not be seen. Such is the case when she finds herself inside The Whispering Wind Café at a sit down dinner with an old flame, who she doesn’t trust any more than those wrinkled hot dogs on the rollers at the Filler-Up gas station, yet another of the dining options in Pistol Rock.
It was important to me that Laney’s first battle of wills with Texas Ranger Gunner Wilson was at the cafe, because I’ve had my fair share of experiences at local diners throughout Texas. My husband and I like to hit up these kinds of places as we’re driving across the state and we’re ready to not only get out of the car, but also eat something other than peanut butter and cheese crackers with luke-warm Dr Pepper. And let me tell you, there is no shortage of excellent little eating spots in Texas. It’s a good way to get to know the town folk and enjoy some good food. So it just came logical to place Deputy Laney Briggs and her ex-boyfriend’s first heated showdown inside the Whispering Wind Café. What better way is there than to hash out the past over a burger and sweet tea with half the town watching?
Now if you’re lucky enough to wind up in Pistol Rock and find yourself craving a burger, you’ll have the pleasure of rubbing elbows with Mable Dilby (the filthy-mouthed café owner who can whip up a to-die-for pie as easily as most of us can pour a glass of water), Ruby Jenner (the teenage waitress so desperate to see the world, or at the least Abilene), and of course Laney Briggs and Gunner Wilson. For your sake, maybe they won’t be at each other’s throats this time around.
Thanks for having me on, Just Romantic Suspense.
Jodi Linton grew up across the street from a cow pasture, where she was more likely to be seen selling Kool-Aid in a Dixie cup at ten cents a pop, or inviting neighbors over to watch one of her plays staged on her father’s Bass boat.
In 2001, she traded in the rednecks, cowboys, and mesquite trees of her hometown to chase destiny out west. After a few years of mucking it around with the roughnecks, dust storms, and droughts, she decided to dust off her boots and head home. With a History degree in one hand and a marriage license in the other, she followed her husband in 2006 to central Texas the heartland, fabulous Austin.
After settling into the Texas Hill Country with her husband and two kids, she joined the Austin Romance Writers of America, and signed with The Belcastro Agency. Today she can be found cozied up to the computer escaping into a quirky world of tall tales, sexy, tight jean wearing cowboys, and a protagonist with a sharp-tongue quick enough to hang any man out to dry.
Welcome to Pistol Rock, Texas where secrets last about as long as the sporadic west Texas rain showers.
Laney Briggs has long been considered reckless, but she’s turned herself around—she’s respectably engaged and she’s become a Pistol Rock deputy sheriff. Everything’s fine until a dead body turns up and her ex, Texas Ranger Gunner Wilson, decides to stick his boots into the town’s first murder case.
Laney will be damned if she lets Gunner trample all over her turf and her chance at a quiet, contented life. His seemingly endless ability to undermine her resolve and her libido is only outdone by her constant urge to butt heads with him. But when the bodies start to pile up, Laney has to ask the lethal bad boy for a hand—and a truce in exchange for his help.
Having an ex-boyfriend as an ally might not be the best idea, but Laney has always been pretty reckless…
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Tagline: She’s dead-set on giving one bullheaded cowboy the boot.
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His grin widened as he moved in for the kill, skimming his thumb down my cheek until his callused hand caught my chin. I bit my lip, knowing nothing good could come from me sneaking a taste—although, I would’ve given my right arm to melt in his arms and sample that sinfully delicious mouth again. He leaned into my personal space, placing his mouth at my ear. Ah hell, he still smelled as clean as a cotton sheet. His smile pressed into the side of my neck, electrifying my pulse.
“I took the job because we both know you want me back,” he whispered, tucking a piece of my hair behind my ear.
I gritted my teeth against temptation. “You’re an impossible man, Gunner Wilson.”
“So I’ve been told,” he admitted, reveling in tormenting me.
Instantly, I wanted away from the bastard. I dug a heel into the hard ground and spun around, stalking back toward the cruiser.
“Now, Laney, don’t be like that,” Gunner called, chasing after me.
As I stuck an assertive middle finger in the air, a droplet of rain breezed past the back of my hand. I lifted my chin and looked up at the sky. It had turned a hazy gray with pillowing clouds at the horizon and a chill starting to blow across the parched land. Perfect. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck out in the rain with Gunner.
Before I had a chance to take off in a mad dash for the cruiser, the rain came down in torrents.
“Looks like you could use a little help there, sweetheart.” Catching up with me, Gunner smiled and quickly covered my head with his hat. I turned my face into his chest, and we sprinted for the cruiser. When we got there, he opened the passenger door and slipped his arm from my shoulders. I lifted my face to him. He smiled and swept a wet piece of hair out my eyes. Gaze fixed on him, I slid inside the cruiser.
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