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Cowboys Like Us: Cowboys Like Us\Notorious Mass Market Paperback – July 19, 2011

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About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Vicki Lewis Thompson’s love affair with cowboys started with the Lone Ranger, continued through Maverick and took a turn south of the border with Zorro. Fortunately for her, she lives in the Arizona desert, where broad-shouldered, lean-hipped cowboys abound.  Visit her website at www.vickilewisthompson.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Present Day

Logan Carswell, former catcher for the Chicago Cubs, had two surefire remedies for a troubled mind, and he couldn't use either one. Booze was out because he'd taken pain meds for his knee so he could dance at Alex Keller's wedding reception in Shoshone, Wyoming. As for the second method, he didn't know any of the women in this tiny town well enough.

Eventually, in spite of the meds, his knee began to bother him. Retreating to one of the Spirits and Spurs's well–worn bar stools, he swiveled to face the dance floor, where Alex was two–stepping with his bride, Tyler. Logan had known him ever since they were both kids living in the same Chicago neighborhood.

Alex had never had trouble getting girls, with his all–American blond good looks. Add to that his natural charisma behind a microphone, and he'd been able to pick and choose. Apparently he'd chosen Tyler, a dark–haired Italian beauty, or she'd chosen him.

Near as Logan could tell watching the happy couple on the dance floor, they were both quite pleased with the situation. Alex was obviously in love and seemed to have his life together at last. Logan should be so lucky. But he refused to allow his problems to cast a shadow over this celebration. "Can I get you anything, Mr. Carswell?" Logan swiveled back to the bar and concluded that luck hadn't totally deserted him. Of the two bartenders working the wedding reception, he'd drawn the girl instead of the guy.

He'd noticed her earlier. She wore her sun–streaked brown hair in a no–nonsense ponytail and didn't seem to go in for a lot of makeup. Her hazel eyes tilted up slightly at the corners, adding a touch of the exotic to her girl–next–door appeal.

From her enthusiasm and ready smile, he guessed she might be exactly his type—a born optimist. He could sure use a dose of optimism right now.

As he gazed at her, he realized she was looking right back with similar interest. He'd built a night of outstanding sex on less. But Shoshone was a folksy town, and one–night stands wouldn't go unnoticed around here the way they would in Chicago.

Still, he could flirt with her a little without doing any harm. He tipped back the Stetson that Alex had insisted he buy, along with the requisite jeans, boots and yoked shirt. "I think this is the part where the teetotalling stranger orders a sarsaparilla." He wished he could remember her name, but if someone had mentioned it, he'd forgotten.

She laughed. "Sorry. Don't have that. But the root beer is excellent."

"That'll do."

After placing a coaster decorated with a bucking bronco in front of him, she picked up a glass mug. Her nails were short and unpolished, her movements quick and efficient. "How do you like Shoshone so far?"

"Friendly place."

"We think so."

He grabbed the first conversational topic he could think of. "Is it true that this bar is haunted?"

"So they say. That's why it's called the Spirits and Spurs." She filled the mug to the top, and foam oozed over the lip. "Personally, I've never seen a ghost in here, but some claim they have."

Logan had never considered root beer foam erotic, but as it slid down the side of the mug, his balls tightened. Not much, but enough for him to register the sensation. Yes, a good romp in the hay with someone cute and personable like this bartender would be therapeutic, but he didn't give himself much chance of having that any time soon.

She allowed the foam to settle before putting the mug on the coaster. "I've never talked to a major league ballplayer before." She sounded fascinated by the prospect.

Oh, boy. If she had a fantasy image of him as some big celebrity, he needed to nip that in the bud. "I'm afraid you're not talking to one now, either. I'm out of the game."

She met his gaze with sympathy in her eyes. "I know. Alex mentioned it. He said if you were still playing, you wouldn't have been able to come to the wedding."

"Right." He managed a smile. "At least some good came out of it."

"Still, it can't be easy. But kudos to you for putting on a brave face for the party."

A knot loosened in his chest. Just kind words from a complete stranger, but they soothed him in a way he couldn't explain. "No, it's not." He rarely admitted that to anyone, because nobody liked a guy who felt sorry for himself. But after tonight, he'd probably never see her again, so letting down his guard was easier.

"Josie said you were a starting catcher for the Cubs."

That made him smile for real. This adorable bartender didn't follow the game, or she would have known that fact without getting the info from Josie, Alex's sister. Logan's injury had come while defending the plate against a rather spectacular slide into home, and the news clip had been replayed a lot last year.

"Yes, I was a catcher," he said. At least she wouldn't be pestering him for gossip about the big–name players. Sure, his ego took a small hit because she wasn't a fan, but all things considered, he counted it a good thing that she wasn't.

He decided to extend the friendliness. "So how long have you been tending bar?"

"Not long. I was the restaurant waitress until recently, when Josie asked me to start easing into her job so I'll be comfortable with it by the time her baby's born and she has to take time off."

"You seem comfortable with it now."

"Only because she sent me to a crash course in bartending."

Logan nodded. "I know all about those. When I was in the minors, I supplemented my income serving drinks."

"Yikes. You probably know more about this than I do!"

"Nah. It's been several years. Excuse me for not remembering, but what's your name?"

"Caro. Caro Davis."

"Karo like the syrup?"

"Caro like short for Carolyn. Josie started calling me that a while back, and I like it. I feel more like a Caro than a Carolyn, anyway."

He thought the shorter name suited her. "Is Josie a good boss?" Logan remembered Josie as a pesky little kid who was constantly tagging after him and Alex. He had a hard time imagining her as a wife and mother–to–be, let alone the proud owner of a cowboy bar in Wyoming. She'd married Jack Chance, the oldest of the three Chance brothers, and seemed blissfully happy living at the Last Chance Ranch, located about ten miles outside town.

Caro grinned at him. "As if I'd tell you if she wasn't. But she's great. She managed to promote me to this position without upsetting Tracy, who's a little young to take over Josie's job, or Steve, who's a new hire but knows bartending. Either of them could have resented me getting it. Josie handled it beautifully."

"Hey, Caro." The tall guy sharing bartending duties glanced her way. "Orders piling up down here."

"Be right there, Steve." She smiled at Logan. "Excuse me. gotta do my job."

"You bet." He watched her walk away, ponytail bouncing. Damn, that smile of hers really cheered him up. He'd love to see more of it. He'd love to…no, he shouldn't start imagining how her perky self would react in bed. He shouldn't, but he did.

"Hey, Logan, don't be hitting on my best employee." Josie took the bar stool on his left and punched him playfully on the shoulder. She was more dressed up than he'd ever seen her, all blue satin and lace. Instead of braiding her hair in one strand down her back as she usually did, she'd created an upswept arrangement that made her look like a princess.

He winked at her. "Wouldn't dream of it."

"Yeah, right. You were sizing her up just now, and don't try to deny it."

"Just having some innocent fun." Thoughts weren't deeds, right? "By the way, you look terrific, Josie. This Jack character must be treating you right."

"Don't try to change the subject." But her gray eyes, so like Alex's, sparkled with obvious pleasure at the compliment. "Caro has enough on her plate without having you swoop in and dazzle her with your big–city ways."

"Big–city ways?" He pressed a hand to his heart. "You make me sound like an operator. I'm wounded."

"You know what I'm talking about, Logan. A guy can't live the life you have without picking up a boatload of polish and sophistication."

"Now that's more like it." He winked at her. "Thanks for the compliment, Josie."

"See, that sly wink is exactly what I'm talking about. And I can tell she's impressed with you."

"You think so?" His poor ego could take all the help it could get.

"Don't mess with her, okay?"

"I had no such plans." He'd already decided that getting cozy with a local girl would be a mistake. Now Josie was warning him off of this particular one, which was more than enough to cool his jets. He really wasn't here to cause more problems. He already had enough to handle, like what the hell to do with the rest of his life.

But he couldn't help being curious about the cute little bartender. "What did you mean when you said she has enough on her plate?"

"It wouldn't be my place to tell you."

"Man troubles?"

"No. Listen, take my word for it." Josie patted his arm. "Caro's become a close friend in addition to being an employee, so I can tell you with certainty that she doesn't have time for romance right now, and she especially doesn't have time for someone who will be gone in a couple of days."

"Is that when my guest privileges expire?"

She flushed. "Uh…no! You can certainly stay as long as you want. I just thought, with Alex and Tyler leaving on their honeymoon t...

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; 10 Anv Col edition (July 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780373796342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373796342
  • ASIN: 037379634X
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,148,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


New York Times bestselling author Vicki Lewis Thompson divides her writing time between nerd heroes and cowboy heroes and is threatening to dream up a book about a nerdy cowboy. The recipient of Romance Writers of America's Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, she has more than a hundred published books and has at least a hundred more story ideas swirling in her head.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Smitten with Reading TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 28, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My Review:
Girls, we all love a hot alpha male who is vulnerable and needs saving. Caro, the heroine of this book, is just like us and she sees in Logan a hot sexy alpha-male that needs a little help. He's just lost his life's dream of playing baseball and is floundering without a purpose in his life. To focus completely on his baseball goals, he never made a Plan B for his life if something happened to his career like a player sliding into home and ruining his career as the starting catcher for the Chicago Cub. Now he's wallowing in the loss of all of his dreams.

Caro has her own life-stresses, but this eternally upbeat heroine refuses to let them get her down. She knows that Logan is only in town temporarily, but she doesn't have time for more than a fling anyways, so she jumps into bed with Logan with clothes flying figuring that he'll be a welcome diversion and maybe she might be able to help him along the way too.

I love the way that these two connected. Not just physically (although wow...that was really hot, too,) but they connect to each other viscerally and on a really emotional level. Caro can see what Logan doesn't say and it's the same for him with her. They "get" each other almost immediately. This translates into really incredible scenes in the bedroom too, but overall it makes for a truly beautiful romantic story. Logan is wounded mentally, but Caro doesn't try to brush over things to save his feelings. She talks to him about what is happening and calls him to the mat. She's honest when he really needs her to be (and when no one else will be,) but she's all the way there and completely supportive when he needs her to be.

They both know that their relationship can't go anywhere although neither of them are really happy about that fact.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cinful1121 on June 29, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The 6th installment in the Sons of Chance series, although I didn't know about the series until the 4th book, I fully intend to backtrack and find the first three as I've enjoyed the 3 I have now read.

This is Logan and Caro's story. It is lighthearted yet steamy at the same time which seems unlikely to pull off but this author does. Logan suffers a career ending knee injury that leaves him drifting and landing him Shoshone and Caro's life. Carolyn "Caro" born and raised native is bartending Alex and Tyler's wedding reception when she crosses paths with Logan and it strikes like wildfire from the start. While she's overloaded with responsibilities he's grappling with "what comes now" never having thought of life without baseball. They're good for each other and the story keeps an enjoyable pace right to the end.

This being a 10th Anniversary Collector's Edition there was a bonus story "Notorious" the 2nd Branscom sister story about wild child Keely Branscom and Noah Garfield. I enjoyed this story and plan on reading the 1st Branscom sister book eventually. It's basically a role reversal kind of thing where Keely has been wild and posed for a nude centerfold at nineteen and Noah has been the prior rodeo bull riding cowboy who now holds the responsibility of running the family ranch. When their paths collide in Vegas of all places she brings out the wilder side of Noah and he eventually helps Keely realize she misses home and the upside to settling down. All in all a good story and good balance to this Anniversary edition book...can't beat they added the story for free.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Shoemaker on November 17, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This Sons of Chance series by the fabulous Vicki Lewis Thompson has been a pleasure to read. If you've read each book in the series you've learned about the history of the ranch and how Johnathan and Sarah met and married, and about the Chance sons. Sarah had two adopted sons and one through her marriage and she was an incredible mother to her sons and their new wives. Now more cowboys were working at the Chance Ranch and also falling in love. Each is a stand alone book but I encourage you to read all of the books in this series. What's not to love about a handsome, sexy cowboy?

Logan Carswell was also a guest at the Last Chance Ranch. He was here because his friend Alex Keller had just gotten married. Alex, at one time had also been a ranch guest, then worked PR for the ranch and fell in love. Logan was at loose ends due to an injury while playing baseball from the Chicago Cubs. He's also attracted to Caro Davis, a bartender at the Spirit's and Spurs Bar, a bar it was said to be haunted. The attraction between Logan and Caro was immediate and in the end, they ended up in Caro's apartment and made love.

There was so much for each of them to deal with. Caro was caring for her grandmother and Logan had to decide what to do with the rest of his life. Although he tried not to feel sorry for himself, it was hard. However, the hours he spent with Caro and out at the ranch making a baby cradle for an upcoming Chance grandchild.was enjoyable.

There were so many secondary characters in this book from the Chance men, to their wives, the Foreman, the cook, Sarah Chance......they all gave me the sense of family and community. However, I could see that Logan and Caro's relationship was changing especially when they decided to go public.
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