Remy, the second novel in the Daughters of Texas series
Will be available in eBook format soon. Check back often for updates.
Busy squeezing every bit of enjoyment out of life in her 20s, Remy Fordson-Kesson is happily living in the small town of Buckle, Texas, busy running her salon, hanging with family and friends, and indulging her passion for firearms. Wary of twenty-first century twenty-something guys, Remy carefully guards her heart, content to wait for her perfect Mr. Right.
Cash Dallas Bush, favorite son of the oil-rich Midland, Texas Bush Facebook mily, has the looks and southern charm to go with his family money, and his bad-boy attitude guarantees him a date with a different woman every weekend. But deep down, he yearns for the woman of his dreams; one to settle down with. One to love above all else.
When Remy meets Cash Dallas Bush at a benefit for breast cancer research, she immediately dismisses him as a player. Cash Dallas, on the other hand, is convinced he’s met the woman of his dreams. Taking up residence in Buckle, Cash Dallas pursues Remy, but she retreats, then retreats some more. His determination finally pays off and they fall in love, but Cash Dallas’s thrill-seeking ways may spell the end for them.
He is drawn to the brutal sport of bull riding; the one thing Remy can’t roll with. The thing that kept her own father away from her for years.
Will their love survive? Join sassy Texas girl Remy, and her posse, Brinn Baylee Brooks, Ryder Madean Gage, and Lucy Claire Ravenel, as she skillfully navigates her affair of the heart with Cash Dallas Bush.
Excerpt #1 "Not the Best of Beginnings"
“Were you admiring my ass?” (Remy Fordson-Kesson)
“Why, yes m’am, I believe I was. You can’t fault a man for admiring such a beautiful ass.” (Cash Dallas Bush)
“I’d punch you in the throat for that, but I kind of like the way you look.” (Remy)
Excerpt #2 "Pursuit"
It’s that player from the breast cancer benefit. Persistent little bugger, I thought, equal parts aggravation and flattery blooming up in my chest. First, the ostentatious display of roses and now this. Was this guy a stalker? Breathing deep to calm myself, I gently laid down my fork, stood up and started for his table. Hands on my hips, I waited for him to acknowledge me, but he stubbornly kept his head lowered, the bill of his cap hiding his face.
Bump this. I was fixin’ to plant the toe of my boot dead-center in this good-looking player’s shin, if he didn’t look up at me. Three seconds passed, and, impatient by nature, but re-thinking the “kicking thing,” I just blurted it out. “Hey, player,” I said, loud enough for all of the regulars in Shooters to sit up and take notice, sensing possible entertainment.
He slowly raised his head, beautiful eyes, a deeper blue than I remembered, and a sweet, cocky smile that I was not likely to forget, gut-punching me and throwing me off my game for a minute.
“Yeah, you. Are you stalking me?” I demanded.
Lazily giving me a head-to-toe once over, he took his time replying. “I’d prefer to call it ‘pursuing you,’ Remy-from-Buckle-Texas. How are you this morning? Did you get the roses?”
“I got the roses. They creeped me out,” I said. “I donated them to the Piggly-Wiggly across the street; it brightened up their decor, for sure. Why are you here?”
“Oh, babe,” he said. “Remember what I said at the breast cancer benefit. ‘I’m going to find you, Remy Kesson. Buckle, Texas, right?’ You weren’t that hard to find. There’s only one stunning, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Remington Fordson-Kesson living in the thriving metropolis of Buckle, I discovered.”
Thawed just a hair by his flattering words, and automatically remembering the manners drilled into me by my much-loved, but prickly sharped-edged mother, Maelyn Mercury Fordson, I did the right thing, a “thank you” for a gift and a visit being required behavior for a Southerner, even if the giver-slash-visitor might be a stalker.
“Well, thanks for the flowers, and umm…the visit. I gotta’ run, or I’m going to be late for work,” I said, starting to back away.
“Before you go, babe, about that first date,” he said, an expectant look on his face.
“You’ve got the wrong girl, buddy. Have a nice trip back to Dallas,” I said, as I turned and headed for the door. As I started to push open the door, I could swear I heard him laughing, but I didn’t look back; not even a glance. No, not my style.
Excerpt #3 "Cash Dallas--Seek and You May Find More Than You Bargained For"
Full from an excellent steak and baked potato at Ariels, and surprised to find, in this little town, a steak that rivaled the ones at The Palm in Dallas, I made my way down Main Street. My destination: a place called the Junk Chic Boutique. According to my research, one Maelyn Mercury Fordson was a part-owner of the establishment, along with Kay Fordson Broussard and Etienne Lizbeth Fordson. Had to be Remy’s family, I knew; that many Fordsons in Buckle couldn’t be a coincidence. I purposely skirted Elm Street. The property records showed a building at 8713 Elm, a spa, owned by Remy Fordson-Kesson, encumbered by a small mortgage held by Joss Robert Butler Broussard and Kay Annalea Fordson Broussard; more of Remy’s bunch. I was sure of it. I wasn’t ready to corner my lioness in her own den just yet, so I steered clear of her salon. She was already plenty pissed at me about the flowers, and for showing up in Buckle earlier in the week and interrupting her breakfast.
My plan was just to check out the place, and the people, and hope I didn’t land on my ass in the street. At our first meeting Remy had mentioned something about a “gun nut family,” so I was carrying myself, as usual, my small frame .45 comfortable in the holster at my back, covered nicely by a white T-shirt and a leather bomber jacket. It wouldn’t come to guns or a fistfight, of course; they were a bunch of women, for crying out loud. But, still, I was more comfortable with a level playing field.
As unromantic as it sounded, I was approaching my pursuit of Remy like I would any other deal; gathering intel so I could form a plan. I knew from our first meeting that she was confident, bull-headed, and careful about men. I meant to break down her walls and get to the heart of her. Getting a look at her family, her surroundings, was a good first step to finding out what made her tick.
THE MINUTE I HAD LAID EYES ON REMY, after she busted me admiring her butt at the breast cancer benefit in Dallas, I knew she was “the one.” It hit me like a bolt of lightning. I hadn’t really believed in love at first sight until she walked into my life. She had my name written all over her.
With decent looks and the crude oil Bush family money behind me, I had been lucky to just about have my pick of women, and admittedly, I had gone through a lot of them. But none of them had ever touched my heart. There was one girl who came close. Becca Wagner, from another oil family in Midland. We had grown up together, dated off and on through high school and college, and off and on again over the last few years. Our families always thought we’d settle down and marry one day. Becca probably thought it, too, and so did I, until I met Remy Kesson.
ARRIVING AT THE JUNK CHIC BOUTIQUE, I tried to do a good imitation of window shopping, but it was a stretch, since I didn’t know what the hell the Junk Chic Boutique WAS, and I was no window shopper. After five minutes of studying an old rocking horse through the window, I manned up and went inside.
A woman stood behind the counter, looking down at some paperwork. Hard to tell her age, but somewhere near a very good-looking, well-preserved fifty-something, I thought. A ridiculous little bell over the door had tinkled my arrival, but the woman didn’t look up right away, so I looked around at the displays like I had a clue until she spoke to me.
“Good afternoon,” she said, in a melodious Southern voice with a strong Texas twang. “Can I help you? Are you interested in the rocking horse in the window? I noticed you looking at it. It’s a beautifully repurposed piece from the Arts & Craft style.”
“Yes, I agree,” I said. “I’m partial to the Arts & Craft style, myself.”
The woman gave me a long, hard look, then a smile lit her face. “It’s French Country and you don’t know a damn thing about rocking horses. So, why are you really here?” she asked.
Sharp lady, I thought, as a grin split my own face, “Busted. You’re right. I don’t know a damn thing about Arts & Crafts, Country French, OR rocking horses. I’m in Buckle to see Remington Fordson-Kesson and thought I’d take a look around town.”
Clapping her hands with what could only be described as glee, she called out. “Mercury, Tin Lizzy, y’all come on out front. Remy’s stalker is here.”
“I’m not stalking Remy, ma’am; I’m pursuing her,” I said, red-faced and feeling like a first grader in trouble and trying to explain my way out of it.
“Stalking, pursuing, whatever,” she said, extending her hand. “I’m Kay Broussard, Remy’s aunt. Nice to meet you.”
I heard voices and saw two other women approaching. Another fifty-something looker and an older brunette version of Remy, herself. Her mother, I thought.
“Well, well,” the older woman said. “I’m Remy’s granny. Tin Lizzy is my name, and son, all I can say is: you sure got a pair, stalking Remy.”
“No, ma’am, not stalking–” I tried to explain again, when the Remy look-a-like spoke up. “Momma, shut it,” she said to Tin Lizzy–was that really her name? Then she turned to me, smiled and extended her hand. “I’m Mercury Fordson, Remy’s mother. And you are?” she said, with a smile that didn’t reach her eyes.
“Cash Dallas Bush. Pleased to meet you all, and for the record, I am NOT stalking Remy,” I said sternly, trying to gain back the upper hand. “I met her at a breast cancer benefit last week in Dallas, and I’m doing my damnedest to pursue her; get her to go out with me. I sent flowers–roses–and surprised her at breakfast earlier this week, but I think she may be ready to shoot me, instead of go out with me. I’m not one to give up, though. I’m from Midland and I work in my family’s business in Dallas. I was headed for Remy’s salon, to see her, but thought I ‘d stop in here first. You see, I had to…umm…do a little digging in the Buckle property records to find Remy–all I knew was that she lived in Buckle–and I saw a bunch of Fordson’s owned this place and thought you must be kin to Remy …”
“That’s okay, son,” Remy’s granny said. “You can stop explainin’. Remy told us all about you. Figured it had to be you, since we know most everyone in town and her description included the words ‘a hottie, but probably a player’. I’d say that fits you to a tee.”
“You’ll have to excuse Remy’s grandmother,” Mercury said. “She’s our version of the crazy we put on the porch. So, you’re on your way to see Remy?”
“Yes, m’am, if she doesn’t shoot me on sight. Well, I hope I live to see you lovely ladies again, soon. Wish me luck,” I said, and turned to go.
“I’m afraid you’re going to need it–the luck, I mean, Mr. Bush,” Mrs. Broussard said. “Our Remy, she’s, umm…unique.”
“Watch yourself, Mr. Bush, Remy’s grandmother said. “Remy draws from her back, right-handed.”
“MOMMA, enough,” Remy’s mother admonished. “Mr. Bush, it was nice to meet you. Stop back by, would you, and let us know how your visit went.”
I had almost made it to the door when I distinctly heard “Granny” mutter: “bet y’all twenty she draws on him.”
Excerpt #4 "Remy--Go With The One You Know; It's Safer That Way"
Reed had picked me up around seven o’clock, and after a quick stop at Johnny’s Whip-In Market for mints–Reed was addicted to mints–we were on our way to Shooters for our usual Friday night hook-up.
Reed Mullins and I had grown up together. We had married each other in a ceremony on Main Street, in front of my mother’s store, the Junk Chic Boutique. The bride wore white and the groom was decked out in cargo shorts and a T-shirt. We were in the first grade. Reed was comfortable; safe. I didn’t have to worry that he would take my heart and twist it into something I wouldn’t recognize and couldn’t recover from. He was a pretty boy. Tall and lanky, with beautiful wavy, sable brown hair like McDreamy in “Grey’s Anatomy,” Reed had pouty lips, a dark fringe of eyelashes, and impeccable taste in clothing, food and women. I liked to think I had been grandfathered in on that “beautiful women” thing. We had kept in touch after Reed went off to college at the University of Texas in Austin, and now that he was back home in Buckle, working with his dad in the family business until he decided on a career path, we had picked up where we left off. Falling into our old pattern of texting/talking a few times a week and religiously hooking up on Friday nights for dinner, a movie, dancing, or whatever else we could find to do.
Was I in love with Reed? It was hard to say.
Excerpt #5 "The Good News Is This"
(Remy’s Aunt Kay, speaking to Cash Dallas Bush) Kay Broussard looked at me through narrowed eyes, measuring me, then began to speak. “I have loved Remy since the second she entered this world and for all her carefree ways and easy-going personality, she’s put in place an armor of steel around her heart. Steel will melt if the fire is hot enough, though, Mr. Bush; remember that. And the good news is this–loving a guarded girl like Remy is a beautiful thing. When she finally lets you in, it’s not because she needs you. Remy stopped “needing” people a long time ago. It’s because she wants you, and that is the purest love of all.”
Excerpt #6 Chapter Title: "THE HEART DON'T LIE" -Reba McEntire
(Remy) Arms wrapped tight around myself to control my trembling, I watched Cash Dallas drop to one knee.
“Take my hand,” he said, holding out his hand to me.
“I can’t,” I whispered, my eyes burning with unshed tears.
“Yes, you can, babe. With me, you can,” he said.
The moment, the one I didn’t even know I’d yearned for, was on me, but terror, a little voice inside me that said “this is gonna’ hurt when it’s over,” kept me rooted to the spot.
“Take my damn hand. I love you and I’m trying to ask you to marry me,” he said, a little velvet box materializing in his other hand, with the lid already popped open, revealing a stunning diamond solitaire that looked like it had been made just for me.
My left hand, apparently with a mind of its own, slowly extended towards him and he gently slipped that gorgeous ring on my finger. He got up from “on bended knee,” drew me close and touched me with hands full of intent, lowered his head and his mouth claimed mine. I swear I felt the rest of my life in that kiss. Held fast in Cash Dallas’s arms, I knew I was crossing a line. The line my heart had hidden behind since I’d lost Reed. I felt the first pure joy of my life. I felt terrified. I felt like I could take on the world. I felt I’d never be the same.
Lucy Claire had been right. The heart wants what the heart wants, and there is no power on earth strong enough to stop it once the wanting’s started.
It was an important beginning and we both knew it. A beginning full of sweet love and infinite promise.
The blow, when it came, was out of nowhere.