A Single Dad Reconnects with His Estranged Daughter in Jennie Marts’s ‘How to Cowboy’ [EXCERPT]

Cowboy and horse
A single dad shows his daughter the ropes in How to Cowboy. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Once an up-and-coming rodeo star, Cade Callahan has to build new dreams after he’s injured. When his teen daughter Allie is suddenly put in his custody, they must learn to be a family, a task that is easier said than done. But then Nora, a pretty physical therapist, arrives on the scene. Will she be able to help them heal? And can the three of them find their way together? Find out in Jennie Marts’s new swoon-worthy novel, How to Cowboy. We hope you love this excerpt from the book. Enjoy! —J&H

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Twenty minutes later, feeling refreshed and smelling like one of the jasmine-scented shampoos she’d found in the welcome basket, she stepped out of the bathroom. Her hair was wet but combed, and she’d wrapped a towel around her to cross the hall to the bedroom.  

Halfway there, she froze at the sound of footsteps in her living room.  

Holding her breath, she stood motionless in place as she listened for another step. Had Cade come back? Surely he wouldn’t have just let himself in. A soft scuffling sounded across the hardwood and what sounded like a grunt. Or maybe it was more like an oink. 

An oink? What the heck?  

She scanned the hallway for any kind of weapon. Seeing nothing, she reached back into the bathroom and grabbed the hairdryer from the sink then took a tentative step forward. She paused as she considered her options—she could either shrink back and hope whoever, or whatever it was left on their own, tiptoe forward, or charge loudly into the room in an effort to scare her assailant or thief away.  

Her knuckles turned white as she gripped the hairdryer and silently counted to three. Emitting a primal yell, she charged into the room. “Get out of here!” 

Her yell turned into a scream as she faced the intruders currently making themselves at home in her new bunkhouse apartment. 

She blinked, not quite able to believe her eyes. A giant hog was lounged out across her sofa and a black and white Billy goat was standing on her coffee table calmly eating the peanut butter and jelly sandwich her mom had made her for supper. A corner of the torn paper sack was stuck to the side of his lip.  

“Get out!” she yelled as she brandished the hair dryer like a pistol then took a quick step back as the goat finished the sandwich then climbed down from the table and advanced toward her.  

Jennie Marts' HOW TO COWBOY
Sourcebooks Casablanca

“Get away goat,” she commanded as she backed toward the kitchen. The goat took another few steps toward her, blocking her path to the hallway and forcing her toward the front door.  

She pushed back her shoulders, attempting to appear taller as she tried to hold her ground. She was bigger than him, but he had those scary looking horns. She swallowed as she watched his gaze drop. “Don’t even think about it,” she said. She wasn’t sure exactly what he was thinking, but she could see that goat’s wheels turning and knew he was contemplating something. And it couldn’t be good.  

The goat licked his lips then leapt forward and grabbed the bottom corner of her towel. Gripping the cloth between his teeth, he drew back his head…and pulled.  

“Ahh,” she yelled as she dropped the hair dryer and clasped the towel around her chest. She kicked her foot toward the animal. “Let go, you beast!”  

The goat seemed adept at this game and nimbly evaded her kick. 

“What’s all the yelling about?” a man’s voice asked, just as she yanked back and ran smack into a solid wall of muscle.  

She shrieked before she realized she’d once again landed herself in the arms of Cade Callahan. “Help, this goat is attacking me.” 

“It’s okay. He’s not attacking you. He just wants your towel,” he said, a hint of amusement in his voice. 

“Well, he can’t have it. I’m currently using it at the moment.” 

“That’s Otis, and I have to admit his social graces are a bit lacking. Not like Tiny there,” he gestured to the pig lounging on the sofa. “She’s a real sweetheart. That was nice of you to turn on the television for her. She loves that show.” 

“I didn’t turn it on for her. I just got out of the shower, and she was here. Along with this brute.” She leaned back again, pulling on the towel as it slipped further down her chest. “Now that we’re through with the introductions, could you please free my towel from that dang goat’s grip?” 

Cade pressed his lips together in what looked like an effort to keep from laughing. “Sure. Since you said please and all.” He wrapped a hand around the goat’s mouth and tried to pry the towel from his teeth.  

Otis set his feet and yanked back.  

“Eep,” Nora squeaked as the towel inched even lower. “Cade, I know we just met, but we’re about to get to know each other a lot better if you don’t free my towel from that goat’s teeth.” 

He chuckled. “Now you’re just teasing me.” His gaze did a quick slide over her bare shoulders and down to the top of her breasts, which were about to break free of the edge of the towel. His lips curved into a roguish grin. “Would you think poorly of me if I admitted I’m half-tempted to let the goat have it?”  

Heat surged up her spine, and she could feel the warmth coloring her cheeks. Thankfully Cade turned back to Otis instead of waiting for her to respond. He pried the goat’s mouth open again and this time successfully wrested the fabric free.  

He let the towel drop, and she quickly hiked it up, adjusting it as best she could to cover all her essential bits. “Oh my gosh. Thank you.” 

“No problem.” He opened the door and shooed the goat outside. “You want the pig out too, or do you want to let her finish this episode?” 

She laughed. She had too. This situation was just too hilarious. “I’d prefer to have her out too. At least until I’m dressed.” 

“Come on, Tiny.” He held the door open as he called to the pig, who gave him a huff and an annoyed oink, but climbed down off the sofa. “She apparently thinks she’s a dog. She was raised by a teenager who treated her that way.” 

“That explains it.”  

“She’s a pretty sweet pig though, all things considered.” 

Tiny shuffled toward the door, but stopped in front of Nora, tipping her head up and offering her what Nora swore looked like a smile, before trotting outside to lay down on the porch. “I think that pig might have just smiled at me.” 

“Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.” 

“Everything about this day, and this place, is surprising me.” Including the flirty comments from the cute cowboy. She clutch the towel to her chest. “My heart is still racing.” 

“Your heart is racing? Darlin’, I’m the one who just missed out on seeing a naked woman having a tug-of-war with a goat.” 

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Synopsis banner

For fans of Carolyn Brown, Maisey Yates, and Jennifer Ryan, this steamy, emotional cowboy romance has all your favorites:

  • A hunky single dad showing his daughter the ropes
  • A heroine looking for a fresh start
  • Leaning on each other through hard times
  • Irresistible attraction
  • Rescue horses and ranch animals with lots of personality

How do you heal a broken heart?

After one injury too many, Cade Callahan gave up the rodeo for a simpler life working at his cousin’s horse rescue ranch. But his life turns upside down when his estranged daughter is placed in his custody after a tragic car accident. Wanting nothing to do with her father, thirteen-year-old Allie struggles to adjust to her new life.

Newly single and living out of her mother’s basement, physical therapist Nora Fisher doesn’t think twice about taking a job as a traveling therapist for Cade’s daughter. The trouble is, she doesn’t know anything about horses, or hunky cowboys. Now both in way over their heads, can Cade and Nora find a way to help Allie, and trust in the attraction building between them?

Praise banner

“Full of hope, humor, and undeniable swoon.”

—A.J. Pine, USA Today bestselling author

“Funny, complicated, and irresistible. Sometimes a cowboy isn’t perfect but you got to love him anyway.”

Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author for Caught Up in a Cowboy

“The perfect blend of humor, grit, and sexy cowboy spice. Delicious!”

Kari Lynn Dell, award-winning and bestselling author for Wish Upon a Cowboy

“Deliciously steamy but still sweet, with a secret at its heart.”

Joanne Kennedy, award-winning and bestselling author for Wish Upon a Cowboy
About the Author banner
Jennie Marts
Jennie Marts

Jennie Marts is the USA Today bestselling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books laugh-out-loud funny and the perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam. Fic Central claimed one of her books was the most fun I’ve had reading in years.

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books include the contemporary western romances of the Cowboys of Creedence and the Hearts of Montana series, the cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Cotton Creek Romance series.

Jennie loves to hear from readers. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Amazon, and BookBub. She also invites you to visit her at JennieMarts.com and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest news and releases.

HOW TO COWBOY
By Jennie Marts
336 pp. Sourcebooks Casablanca. $8.99.

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Purchase How to Cowboy direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

How to Cowboy is brought to you in association with Xpresso Book Tours.

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Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card from the folks who are bringing you How to Cowboy. Giveaway is not presented by Jathan & Heather, Jathan & Heather Books, Jadeworks Entertainment, or any of its subsidiaries.


About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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