Love Me, I Dare You! (Hell Yeah) by Sable Hunter
Joshua Long, World Champion Cowboy, is known wide and far as the ‘cowgirl whisperer’. His looks are fallen-angel handsome and his talents in the bedroom are legendary. Josh prides himself on being able to give a woman sheet-clawing, back-arching, toe-curling multiple orgasms. But at the peak of his career, Josh loses it all when his knee is shattered by a one-ton bull and his reputation is shredded by a scorned woman.
After investing blood, sweat, and years into the rodeo, he has lost his career and the lucrative sponsorships that went with it. Returning to his hometown of Kerrville, a place he hasn’t always felt welcome, Josh is uncertain of the direction his life will take. But sometimes fate is kind and the lifeline that we need to hang onto our hopes and dreams appears just within our grasp. Josh has such a moment when he walks into Isaac McCoy’s HARDBODIES bar. There, surrounded by old friends who offer him a second chance, Josh’s gaze lands on a beautiful, blue-eyed redhead who draws him like a moth to a flame.
Emma Zachary has lived life on a dare. There is nothing she won’t try, she grabs onto happiness with both hands, embracing every moment of joy she can find. Unwilling to accept the hand that life has dealt her, Emma refuses to let her blindness hold her back. She intends to make all of her dreams come true, especially the ones that include a certain cowboy who seems to always be there when she needs him. Emma longs to know what it’s like to be loved, so she takes a dare and bids on a date with rodeo Romeo, Josh Long. What she discovers is that one night in Josh’s arms will never be enough.
Josh is tired of his reputation. He wants to be more than his father’s son; he wants to be more than just a buckle-bunnies fantasy man. Joshua wants a woman who sees him for who he really is, failures and all, and loves him anyway.
Emma is tired of being alone. She needs someone who will look beyond her faults and want her in spite of the challenge she faces.
Their journey together is filled with laughter, tears, danger, and sex hot enough to set the Hill Country of Texas on fire. Join Emma and Josh as they learn the true meaning of love.
I dare you.
**Content Warning: This book contains adult language and situations. It is intended for 18+ ONLY**
Josh frowned. She had a weird sense of humor. “I never know what you’re going to do or say. One minute you’re dancing on the bar and the next you’re feeding me.”
“Hey, the man dared me. Plus, I believe in the barter system – trading something you have of value for something someone else has that you want. The dance earned me the right to milk a cow for the first time. Last week I sang with the band on a dare and earned myself a ride on a Segway. The week before that I helped a guy train his dog for some fresh vegetables.”
He shook his head, then realized she couldn’t see him doing it. “You’re something else. I wish I had something to trade so you’d cook for me every once in a while.”
They did say the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, but Emma wasn’t under any illusions that she stood a chance of winning his heart or even catching his attention. He’d been kind to her and she wanted to be kind to him. “You don’t have to trade anything, I love to cook and I always cook too much. I can have a plate waiting for you any night you say.”
Josh was taken aback, watching her fill another mug from the tap. Instead of putting her finger over the edge to monitor how close to full it was, she seemed to be testing the weight.
“I don’t know…”
He didn’t get to finish before Isaac’s voice sounded over the loudspeaker. “It’s time, ladies.”
“Oh, no.” Josh said. “Here we go. I guess I’d better go get into position.”
“Oh, you’ll do great.” Emma encouraged him as he went to join the other men. He might do fine, but she didn’t know about herself. She hated the idea of another woman gaining his attention. Which was stupid. From what she’d learned, women flocked to Josh in droves.
Isaac continued. “To my left, lined up against the wall and ready to parade in front of the bar are a dozen…count ‘em…a dozen of Kerrville’s…”
There was a slight pause and Emma wondered what was happening, but in the next heartbeat Avery started speaking.
“Give me that microphone, Badass. Only a woman can do this special moment justice.”
Isaac barked out a laugh and there was the distinct noise of a kiss being shared.
“As my handsome husband was saying, we have a dozen of Kerrville’s handsomest hunks ready to strut their stuff for you. Noah McCoy, my smart brother-in-law will be in charge of the money and my sister-in-law, Jessie, is going to be our auctioneer. The rules are simple, raise your hand, wait to be called upon and give your bid. Jessie will give you all the information on each gentleman so you can make an…shall we say…informed decision. “Avery ended her speech with a flourish. “So…if our band would give us some Chippendale-worthy background music, we’ll begin.”
At her cue, the band cranked up and a countrified burlesque tune filled the air. Emma would’ve given her eyeteeth and a year or two off of her life to have been able to see what was going on.
Josh would’ve given his eyeteeth and left nut to be anywhere else. He was last in line, bringing up the rear on a pair of crutches. His knee wasn’t paining him too much, but he was beginning to itch a little. As he scanned the crowd, he felt like he was looking at a school of toothy hungry sharks. There was no question he liked women, and hooking up with them was a joy he never wanted to give up. Right now, however, he sorta felt like bait.
One thing he never gave up was control. He might not be a Dom like Isaac, but he needed to be in charge. As the seconds passed and the first poor schmuck was introduced and the bidding began, he felt that much cherished control begin to slip through his fingers.
“Second up, ladies, for you ogling enjoyment is Denver Bolden. He’s a sexy cowboy who works at Tebow. Just imagine him going for a ride without a shirt. Denver has made plans for dinner and dancing on one of the most romantic rooftop clubs in downtown Austin.”
The women tittered and Josh moaned. The guy in front of him snickered and punched the man ahead of him, pointing to the bevy of women who were sending obvious sexual signals their way.
At the bar, Doris walked up to Emma. “I swear I have never seen so many good-looking men in such a small place before.”
Emma sighed. “Care to give me a running commentary?”
“Ha!” Doris laughed. “That I can do. Well…” As the music played and the money flew, Doris kept Emma entertained with a blow by blow description of every man who was put on the auction block. “You ought to see this one, Emma. Oh, my land-sakes-a-Goshen, his muscles have muscles.”
“Yes, ladies, up next is Canyon Brady. His plans for an evening together is a hot-air balloon ride over Lake Travis and a romantic evening at a Tuscan vineyard. He is our town blacksmith and lord-have-mercy he’s built like one. Wouldn’t you just love to see him glistening with sweat after swinging a big hammer…”
At Jessie’s description, Emma burst out laughing. She might not be able to witness this spectacle with her eyes, but her imagination was working overtime.
“I don’t know about you, but I need something cold to drink. I seem to be getting a little overheated,” Doris confided as she slipped both of them a beer. “Here, on me.”
“Thanks.” Emma took a swig, listening as the bidding went well over a thousand dollars. “I wonder if he’s going to be worth the price.”
“I don’t know,” Doris whispered, “but I sure would love to shake him down to see.”
“Who’s next?” Emma asked, not wanting to just come out and inquire about Josh. Earlier, she’d entertained the idea of putting in a bid herself. After some debate, she’d talked herself out of it. Dare or no dare, she hated to think her first date would be one she had to buy.
“I don’t know his name, girl, but he is red hot.”
“Our next bachelor is Devon Lancaster, another Tebow cowboy. And don’t tell my husband I told you this.” Jessie winked at Jacob who was sitting at a table right in front of her. “But I have seen this man use a rope. And ladies…you are going to beg him to tie you to the bedposts. He’s offering an evening of dancing on 6th Street and dinner on a riverboat sailing down Lake Austin.”
“Oh, my goodness!” Emma giggled. “Jessie is as bad as Avery. What is it about these McCoy women?”
“I can tell you what it is.” Doris leaned in to confide. “They’re all rode hard and put up well-satisfied, that’s what.”
Emma blushed at the thought. After Devon went for twelve hundred, Emma was trying to mentally calculate how many were left. “Was that the last one?”
“No, Mr. Rodeo Romeo himself is coming this way. You ought to see him, Emma. Josh Long is dressed in all-black. The man is fallen angel handsome. His shoulders are wide, his eyes are dreamy and if you don’t bid on him, I will.”
Inside of her chest, her heart was beating a rat-a-tat rhythm, her palms were sweating and Emma felt like she might jump out of her skin. Just the thought of spending time with a man like Josh made her dizzy.
“Now, the man you’ve all been waiting for ladies…” Jessie’s voice rang out. “Mr. Joshua Long, cowboy extraordinaire. The date he’s planned is a romantic one, watching the sunset together, then a horseback ride in the moonlight and a picnic on our own Guadalupe River. Doesn’t that sound amazing?”
Before Jessie even called for bids, a multitude of voices rose, shouting numbers at Jessie. “Order, order please.” She banged the little gavel in her hand and looked toward her husband for help. Josh watched all of this, his mood varying between fascination at the array of females all clamoring to be with him and a slight feeling of panic. “Lord have mercy,” he whispered.
Emma was very conscious that he was standing right in front of her about to step up for his turn.
“You’re about to twist that dishrag in two,” Doris quipped under her breath.
“Sorry.” She laid it down.
“Step-up, Joshua Long and let the women get a good look at you.” Jessie directed to the squeals of the crowd.
“Bid, Emma!” Doris elbowed her to Emma’s chagrin.
Josh heard the bar manager addressing Emma. “That’s right, Miss Emma, save me,” he whispered loudly.
“A thousand!” one voice cried out.
“Twelve hundred!” another yelled.
“Fifteen hundred!” came yet another bid from the back.
Jessie was repeating the bids, the numbers piling higher and higher.
“Eighteen hundred!” A woman enthusiastically screamed while standing on a chair. Josh’s eyes widened, amazed at the frenzy.
“Eighteen hundred!” Jessie repeated.
Another voice rang out. “Twenty-two hundred from me and my twin. We want a ménage!”
Josh coughed, choking down a laugh as he caught Isaac’s eye who was watching the process with amusement.
“All right!” Jessie cheered enthusiastically. “Twenty-two hundred? Any more bids? Going once…going twice…”
Emma was on her tiptoes, every nerve straining. She knew Josh had been teasing, but a feeling was rising within her that this was it – this was her chance. Josh Long was the first man that she’d ever felt a connection to, a drawing, like maybe when he looked at her, he saw more than just a blind woman. Yea, it was a lot of money, but for a good cause. People might suspect she was buying a date because she couldn’t get one otherwise. But what the heck, there was one thing she’d learned in her life, if you didn’t go after what you wanted, you didn’t have a chance in hell of getting it.
Do it, Emma, I dare you.
Emma smiled. She didn’t know if that thought had originated in her heart or in her mind – all she knew was that she was going for it.
Doing a quick mental review of her bank account, she took a deep breath and shouted.
“Two thousand five hundred!”
“Sold!” Jessie declared with a quick strike of her gavel. “Miss Emmalyn Zachary just bought herself a man!”
About the Author:
Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of nearly 50 books in 7 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales where the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream