Spotlight & Giveaway: Close Range Cattleman by Amber Leigh Williams

Posted May 3rd, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 38 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Amber Leigh Williams to HJ!

Hi Amber and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Close Range Cattleman!

Hello, Harlequin Junkie! Thank you for having me!

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Newly elected Fuego County sheriff Kaya Altaha knows dating cattle baron Everett Eaton is a risk. Their feelings for each other, however, will not be swept away. He wants her, and she most certainly wants him. However, when several bodies are found on his family’s mountain, he becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. There’s nothing Kaya won’t do to find the killer hiding in plain sight in her small town and Everett will do anything to clear his name. Will they succeed before someone else is killed?

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

“I don’t want you to kneel for me. Life’s brought you to your knees one too many times before.”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • He falls first…and he falls HARD.
  • Kaya is Jicarilla Apache and the first woman elected to the office of sheriff in Fuego County, New Mexico.
  • There are some major plot twists.
  • Everett and his family have a reputation for trouble so the news that one of them might be a killer doesn’t come as a shock to their neighbors.
  • The romance is hot!


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

Everett has lost a lot of people close to him and found himself in a really dark place until he met Kaya and she helped bring him out of it with her friendship. They’ve also saved each other’s lives a time or two so there’s a lot of mutual trust and faith in each other. He’s drawn to her strength, which is one of the things I find so sexy about him. Kaya is drawn to Everett because he continuously surprises her. While trying to solve the murder case, she finds herself going to a dark place, too, and he’s there every step of the way to make sure she doesn’t lose herself to it.


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

There are several scenes between Everett and Kaya that make me blush. The proposal scene made me cry and laugh out loud. It may be my favorite HEA scene. But the scene that I keep coming back to is Everett and Kaya’s first date because she knows dating him is a risk now that she’s sheriff and he’s knows his relationship with her is on the line and he goes all in. It’s the first time we see him shift from the anti-hero he’s been in previous books to the hero worthy of her heart…

“During my recovery—” he said carefully “—the one person I looked forward to seeing, or even really wanted to see, was you. The one person who never failed to make me grin like an idiot was you. And when the sheriff took a shot at you, I nearly lost that. It scared me more than I thought it could.”


“You wanted to hear,” he reminded her.

She settled back, a line digging deep between her eyes as it had earlier that evening.

“I’ve done a lot over the last several months to eliminate my fear,” he revealed. “I’ve lost people and I’m still dealing with it. It hasn’t been easy. It helps, whatever this is. You help…just having you here…lookin’ at you. I’m drawn to you, and I want to know why. I want to know you better. I need it.”

Her throat clicked on a swallow. “What if I’m a disappointment? You’ve put me on a pedestal, from the sound of it. That’s a tough way to begin a relationship. Expectation’s already through the roof where you’re concerned.”

“The hell with expectation,” he dismissed. “My question is, what took you so long to say yes?”

She measured the width of his shoulders. “You’re a complicated man, Everett. Some would even say you’re a hard man. I’m the sheriff, and you don’t have much regard for the law when it comes to your own.”

“So…you don’t want me because you assume I’m not an easy person to live with,” he weighed.

“I know you’re not an easy person to live with,” she retorted. “I have it on high authority you’re a verifiable pain in the ass.” She hesitated, looking down at her lap to fiddle with the cloth napkin she’d laid there. “And I never said I didn’t want you,” she added quietly.

Why did she have to look away? He wanted those dark eyes on him, always. “Damn, but I’d like to see you with your hair down. Just once.”


Readers should read this book….

If you love romance, suspense, family sagas, small town mystery, or stories of redemption, you’ll love Close Range Cattleman.

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I’m writing the Southern Justice trilogy for Harlequin Romantic Supsense. It takes place around New Orleans and follows three close friends who survived human trafficking together. The first book, Escape to the Bayou, launches in December. My next book, Colton’s Last Resort, hits shelves in January 2025.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: Today I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: What’s your favorite “he falls first” romance?”

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Excerpt from Close Range Cattleman:

“He might be looking at kidnap and murder charges if your theory pans out. And I will not let anybody stand in the way of putting that good-for-nothing behind bars once and for all. Not even you.”

“God Jesus, you’re incredible,” he breathed. “But you’re not alone in this. Not anymore.”

“I’m telling you what I need and you’re not hearing me,” she said. “Stay away from him.”

“You mean don’t fight for your honor,” he amended, frustration stretching against the bounds of his skin.

“I’m asking you to trust me to fight for my own,” she pleaded, “and the life and honor of every woman he’s taken.”

“You’re going down the rabbit hole again,” he cautioned.

“I’m not alone this time,” she recalled.

“No,” he agreed.

“Promise me,” she whispered, holding both his arms, “you will not harm a hair on his head.”

He scanned her face. Then he nodded, grimly, lips seamed tight.

“Thank you. Now kiss me, cattle baron. I’m feeling queasy and raw and I need you.”

He did as he was told, dipping his lips to hers in a slow motion. He kept it soft. He kept it tender. He felt the give in her muscles. He felt the release. He heard the longing report from the line of her throat and groaned in response, every bit as lost as she was.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

He’s looking for love…while she looks for a murderer.

Kaya Altaha is anxious to prove herself as Fuego’s sheriff. So it’s important to her to keep her relationship with Everett Eaton under wraps. But when four bodies are discovered on Everett’s ranch, he becomes a suspect and Kaya’s attraction to the charming cattle baron conflicts with her job. Now, Kaya must balance her desire for Everett with her need to solve the case.
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Amber Leigh Williams has been writing sexy small town romance and pulse-pounding romantic suspense since 2006. After hiking the Capulin Volcano in northeast New Mexico, she was inspired to write the Fuego, New Mexico trilogy. She lives on the Alabama Gulf Coast where she loves being outdoors with her family, her dogs and a good book.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |

38 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Close Range Cattleman by Amber Leigh Williams”

  1. Nicky Ortiz

    I don’t have a favorite. Honestly I don’t remember I just remember they both confess their love.
    Thanks for the chance!

  2. psu1493

    This sounds like a great story. I don’t know that I have a favorite story where he falls first.

  3. Laurie Gommermann

    Reese Ryan’s Valentine Dynasty series—
    A VALENTINE FOR CHRISTMAS featuring Julian and his quest to get Chandra to fall in love with him.

    My review-5*
    If you’re looking for a story with a perfect hero , meet DJ. He ‘s intelligent and caring. He offers unconditional love and emotional support even when it forces him to step back and give the relationship room to grow or to die.
    Chandra is a force to be reckoned with. She’s driven to prove herself after several setbacks both work and relationship related.
    When a surprise encounter on a plane introduces them, their chemistry and attraction catches both of them off guard. When they discover they both have family ties in Magnolia Lake fate seems to have stepped in. Life changing decisions loom ahead. I enjoyed Reese’s story. Believable characters. I look forward to to meeting the rest of the Valentine’s as they restore a winery.

  4. clickclickmycat

    I don’t have a favorite right off hand, because I’ve never given it any thought.

  5. marcymeyer

    I love when the guy falls first, but I honestly can’t think of any titles right now. But, I am really bad with titles anyway.

  6. Penney Wilfort

    My one is Love’s Emerald Flame by Willa Lambert around the 1980’s I loved that story.
    Sounds very good, love the review thank you

  7. Crystal

    I really don’t have any favorite.
    This book looks and sounds like an amazing read and experience.
    Love books like this

  8. Sue G.

    Driven by K. Bromberg. Colton wants Rylee and she wants nothing to do with him at first! 😉

  9. Amy R

    What’s your favorite “he falls first” romance?” – I don’t know as this isn’t something I normally pay attention to.
    Challenge by Amy Daws is a great one

  10. Summer

    Pride and Prejudice, that’s one of my many favorite things about that book.

  11. Janie McGaugh

    Halfway to the Grave/The Other Half of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

  12. erahime

    I can’t think of a true fave one, but I think two books with this trope that I liked are People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry and The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.