Cowboy Up by Mary Winter
gay erotic equestrian romance
novella, approximately 35K
Release Date: 11/20/2014
Cover art by Unscramblet Author Solutions
When a torrid affair ruined his rodeo career, Rock Brennan turned to the sport of reining. Ready to reclaim his position at the top of his chosen sport, Rock arrives at the United States Equestrian Team’s training camp ready to focus on his riding until he meets his too-sexy-for-his-breeches roommate, dressage diva Andreas Thorpe. Andreas has always had a thing for cowboys, and Rock is no exception. What starts as a training camp fling quickly becomes something more, but Andreas’ lifelong need for control keeps him from giving his heart to one sexy, gay rodeo cowboy. But there’s one thing the cowboy has taught the dressage rider in love and life, sometimes you’ve got to cowboy up to face your fears.
Rock Brennan leaned on the fence to watch the leading members of the US Equestrian Team working in the indoor arena. Out of all the top American riders, only one caught his eye. A stately, tall man, riding a huge dark warmblood worked at the far end. His helmet obscured the color of his hair, and this far away Rock couldn’t see his eyes. He noticed the man’s muscular build. He looked exceedingly fit, and Rock made a mental note to talk to him about his workout regimen. Suddenly, another rider, a show jumper it appeared from the smaller saddle and greater knee angle, came in too close. The tall man snarled and gestured with his dressage whip.
Rock curled his lip in disgust, revising his mental picture of the man. What an ass! The rider turned away and rose in his stirrups, posting with the trot. What an ass indeed. In spite of the man’s rude behavior, Rock had to admit the tan breeches he wore outlined a pair of nice, hard gluteus muscles. He shook his head to dislodge the image of the man’s firm buttocks. Sharing the ring was a part of competition. What kind of hoity-toity fruity dressage rider did that guy think he was? Rock clenched the top board of the fence. There always had to be someone at these camps who thought he was the star and deserved special treatment.
Forcing his attention away from the dressage rider, even though he admitted the huge horse and its rider looked good together, he surveyed everyone else. A few faces he recognized and lots of newcomers he didn’t. His stomach rumbled.
Well he didn’t know what he’d expected to see, but he’d seen enough. He stepped away from the fence and returned to his truck. A nice big meal, preferably with a huge slab of rare beef, and a good night’s sleep were in order. Tomorrow, he’d figure out who the dressage diva was and try to stay out of his way. He had work to do.
A steakhouse down the road provided the big meal, but even as Rock devoured his fourteen oz. T-bone steak, he still thought of the dressage rider. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get the man’s image out of his mind. The rider had been a man completely devoted to his sport and it showed in every line of his body. Rock knew about such devotion, had clung to it, even when he faced ribbing and hazing on the rodeo circuit because he was gay. Too bad the dressage queen had acted like a jerk to that other rider. It might have been nice to get to know him a bit better.
He paid for his meal and returned to the hotel. Arrangements for rooms had already been made. The long drive wore on him, and now, all he wanted to do was fall into bed.
Rubbing the grit out of his eyes that only the last ten hours of an eighteen hour drive could cause, Rock Brennan leaned against the hotel room door. Inside, opera music sung by a woman who sounded as if a horse had stomped on her toe rose in scary volumes, and he shuddered to think what kind of person he’d be sharing a motel room with. Didn’t matter. He was here for two reasons: to get his horse, Hollywood Chexinit, ready for the North American Cup and put his past behind him.
Rock dropped his duffel on the carpeted floor just as the singing woman hit a painfully high note. Wincing, he swiped his card and watched the light turn from red to green, before cracking open the door. The musical volume, if he could even call it music, ratcheted up as he poked his head inside. Looking down the short, white-painted hallway, he saw the double beds. A portable stereo sat on the table in the corner, and in the center of the space, a man wearing only a tiny pair of gym shorts faced the wall as he cranked out sit-ups.
Rock’s mouth went dry. He picked up his duffle and stepped inside, letting the door click quietly closed behind him. Putting his bag down, he leaned against the wall and watched. In spite of the man’s horrible taste in music—Rock preferred George Strait or Trace Atkins—from what Rock could see, his roommate provided a vision of muscled flesh. His muscled back flexed with the motion, his gym shorts riding low on his hips. The man’s workout captivated Rock. He stood there, transfixed as the man counted out reps.
Ten sit-ups later, Rock realized the man wasn’t going to stop. He picked up his duffel and stepped forward. An open portfolio holding a legal pad and some dressage tests sat on the bed closest to the man, so Rock claimed the one near the door. All the better for slipping out to the barn for early morning workouts.
The man muttered under his breath, counting to one hundred, then rested his forearms on his legs and breathed deeply. Grabbing a towel from the table, he mopped his brow. He rose to his feet in a fluid motion and turned toward the bed. He stopped.
Rock took his time in sizing up his roommate. Hard abs with well-defined ripples and cuts told Rock this wasn’t just a pretty boy who sat on horseback. His gaze followed the terrain down below the waistband of the man’s gym shorts. If the bulge there were to be believed, this dressage rider had a heart-stoppingly large cock.
Rock stifled a groan and dragged his gaze to the man’s face. Tousled dark brown hair went nearly to his nape, grey eyes the color of a stormy summer sky, and the kind of features not out of place on a Roman statue. He was the same dressage rider Rock had seen in the arena. And they shared a room. Damn.
Sometime during his perusal, the opera music had blessedly faded into silence. The dressage rider’s gaze traveled from Rock’s booted feet up to his sandy hair and the cowboy hat on his head. A small shake of his head betrayed his thoughts. Double damn, as stuffy in person as he was in the arena. Well reining was now a FEI level equestrian sport, and this tight-ass in white breeches would just have to deal. And having seen him exercise, figured his ass was indeed tight. Rock’s cock stirred. Down boy. Not now.
“Andreas Thorpe.” The man shifted the towel into his left hand and held out his right. “I’m Prince Borealis’ rider.” He said it like it should mean something.