Spotlight & Giveaway: Rich rugged Rancher by Joss Wood

Posted January 16th, 2020 by in Blog, Spotlight / 22 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Joss Wood to HJ!

Hi Joss and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Rich rugged Rancher!

Hello lovely readers!

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Clint is a Texan oil rancher who lost his lower leg in a helicopter crash while serving in Afghanistan. He’s now Royal’s most famous recluse and is allergic to most relationships. Seraphina (Fee) is a feisty, loud-mouthed reality TV star who is a bit of a rolling stone.
Their chemistry is explosive but both are convinced that even the hottest flames die out quickly…
But what if they don’t?

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

He lifted his eyes to her face, his mouth dry. Yep, she had a rocking body but her face was one hundred percent gorgeous. A stubborn chin, a mouth made for kissing, high cheekbones and merry, mischievous, naughty eyes—deep brown—framed by long, long lashes and a cocky pair of eyebrows.
A straw Stetson covered her head.
She might be pint-sized but Clint just knew every inch of her was trouble
He jerked his head sharply. “Move.”
She cocked her head and sent him a slow smile. “No.”
Okay, admittedly he hadn’t had a lot of interaction with people lately but when he used his don’t-mess-with-me voice, people generally hustled. “What?”
“Say please.”
Clint stared at her, not sure he’d heard her correctly. Shaking his head, he tried again. “Lady, move.”
The smile grew sweeter. And deadlier. “No.”
What the everlasting…
“Have you heard of the phrases please and thank you?” she asked, cocking her head.
She was lecturing him on manners? She’d dinged his truck, probably putting back his restoration by months and months, had barely apologized herself and then had the balls to throw his manners in his face?
Red haze descending again, he didn’t trust himself to speak so Clint took the next easiest option. Stepping up to the car, he swiftly slid one arm under her knees, the other around her slim back and swung her off her perch.
But instead of placing her feet on the ground, he held her to his chest, fighting the wave of lust running through him. There was something about the soft, fragrant give of a woman, the curve of her hip beneath his fingers, the softness of her breast pushing into his chest. Her minty breath, the surprise in those deep dark eyes.
Soft, sexy lips he desperately wanted to taste…
God, he needed sex. It had been a while…another thing that changed when he lost his leg. He hated pity, from others and loathed a woe-is-me attitude but experience had taught him that normal women, women who weren’t loons and gold diggers, weren’t crazy about one one-legged guys with too many scars to count. His girlfriend sure as hell hadn’t.
“So, this is comfortable,” she purred, looking as relaxed as if she was stretched out on a lounger by a sparkling pool, margarita in her hand.
Did anything faze her?
Wanting to find out, Clint loosened his grip on her and she fell a few inches before he caught her again. Instead of squealing she just tightened her arms around his neck and those eyes, the color of his favorite dark chocolate, met his. “You wouldn’t drop me.”
“Watch me.” Knowing there was a half decimated, now loosely packed hay bale behind him, he whipped her around and released her. Her face reflected her horror and anger as she braced to hit the hard ground. When her pretty butt landed on the hay, her eyes widened and her comical what-just-happened expression almost made him smile.
But he didn’t. Because smiling wasn’t something he did anymore.


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • This is part of the Texas Cattleman’s Club: Inheritance Series. The series is one of Harlequin Desire’s favorite and longest-running series.
  • Scott Eastwood (in the Longest Night) was the character inspiration for Clint.
  • It was really important to me that Clint came off as being capable and strong, despite losing his leg.
  • Fee is probably one of the feistiest female characters I’ve written in a long, long time.


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

In Clint’s words…

Slim legs in skin-tight blue jeans, curvy hips and a teeny waist he was sure he could span with his hands. She wore a lacy, button-down shirt and a heap of funky necklaces. Two thick braids, deep brown at the top and lighter at the ends, rested on a fantastic pair of breasts.
He lifted his eyes to her face, his mouth dry. Yep, she had a rocking body but her face was one hundred percent gorgeous. A stubborn chin, a mouth made for kissing, high cheekbones and merry, mischievous, naughty eyes—deep brown—framed by long, long lashes and a cocky pair of eyebrows.
A straw Stetson covered her head.
She might be pint-sized but Clint just knew every inch of her was trouble

As for Fee…

Fee kept her focus on him, utterly entranced by his strong face, the blond stubble covering his chiseled jaw, the thin lips, the long, straight nose. The feeling of familiarity coalesced into certainty, she’d seen him before, this cowboy— here at Blackwood Hollow a few days before— but she couldn’t recall his name. Probably because he’d just fried most of her brain cells.
She wanted to see his eyes; no, she needed to see his eyes. On impulse, Fee clambered up to stand on her car seat.
God he was tall. Fee pushed the rim of his Stetson up with her finger, her eyes clashing with the deepest, saddest, green-gold-gray eyes.
Hard eyes, angry eyes, sad, sad eyes.
Fee couldn’t decide what she wanted to do more, hug him or jump him.
Save the horse and ride the cowboy, indeed.


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

Fee’s prosaic attitude to Clint missing a leg kept surprising me. She was never, not for a moment fazed. The following scene surprised me when I was writing it.
A bit of context: Fee spent the day helping fight a small fire outside of Royal and they are both filthy…

“It’s strange but nice,” Fee said. Hearing the release of air, she looked down. Clint’s bionic leg was in his hand and she could finally see what was left of his leg. Dropping to her haunches, she examined his injury. The top of his thigh was pure muscle, right down to wear his leg ended, an inch or two above his knee. There were scars, sure, lots of them but…
It wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t ugly or pretty or strange or unusual, it was…it just was. It was Clint. Fee risked placing her hand over the end of his leg, gently squeezed it and stood up. Handing him a crutch, she quickly stripped out of her underwear and ducked under the spray, groaning as she tipped her face up to receive the hot water.
After a minute, she opened her eyes and looked at Clint, who looked shocked. She was not going to make this a big deal, because it wasn’t. “Are you coming in? Because, you know, over here, I’ve got soap and skin and shower sex just waiting for you.”
Clint gestured to the crutch tucked under his arm. “That’s going to have to wait until I get you in my bed.”
Fee ignored the tremble in his voice. God, someone had really done a number on his head. “Oh, we’ll get to the bed but there’s a bench in here. I rather fancy sitting on your lap…”
Clint groaned and pushed his boxer briefs down with one hand. “At the risk of repeating myself, you are something else, Seraphina Martinez.”
Fee shot him a naughty grin. “So I’ve been told.”


Readers should read this book….

As per Kristen on Goodreads…

“Oof! This book hit my emotions hard. A wounded warrior hero and a fierce spitfire of a heroine. Their first encounter is absolutely explosive, and I wasn’t sure how Clint and Fee could possibly recover. “


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

I’m crazy busy this year– how lucky am I?
I am currently working on a Christmas story for Harlequin Desire and then I will be working on my first book for Harlequin Presents, set in an African game reserve! I’m so excited!

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: I’m giving away three ebook copies of Rich, Rugged Rancher.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Cowboys or CEO’s? Celebrities or Chefs? What’s your favorite career for a romance hero? Or do you not care? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from Rich rugged Rancher:

Clint hated surprise visitors—he never wanted to be caught without his prosthetic or using crutches—so he’d installed cameras all over the ranch and had them wirelessly connected so they sent an alert to his phone whenever he had company. He pulled his cell from the back pocket of his jeans, pulled up the screen connecting him to his camera feed and saw another convertible—red, this time—flying up his driveway.
Yep, she was back.
Clint, walking a mare that had colic, whistled and when Darren’s head popped out from a stall, he jerked his head. “Can you carry on walking Belle for me?”
Darren’s eyes widened with concern. “LT, I have no experience with horses and this one is, so I hear, one of your best.”
Clint smiled at the familiar nickname for lieutenant. “It’s just walking, Darren, and we’re civilians now—you can call me Clint. If you run into trouble with her or you think something is wrong, just yell for Brad. He’ll hear you and take over.”
Brad, his foreman, didn’t always agree with his policy of hiring out-of-work veterans instead of experienced hands but Clint insisted that learning to muck out stalls and fix fences didn’t require experience. The ranch needed people who wanted to work and there were so many vets needing to find a way to support themselves and their families.
And, as he knew, open skies, fresh air and animals were a great way to deal with the memories of war.
“I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Darren nodded, took the reins and led the horse to the entrance of the stable. Clint broke into a jog, heading for his dirt bike parked just outside. Gunning the accelerator, he headed back to his house, cutting around the back of the stables to arrive at the main house at the same time she did.
They both cut their engines at the same time and Clint rested his forearms on the handlebars of his bike, watching her from behind his dark glasses and the brim of his Stetson. The sun was starting to dip and he could probably ditch both but they provided a shield he badly needed…
He couldn’t let her know how attracted he was to her, how he wanted nothing more than to take her inside and get her naked and horizontal.
Actually, he just needed her naked because vertical worked too.
Clint watched as she shoved an expensive pair of designer shades into her hair, the arms raking her loose curls off her face. She wore less makeup today than she had yesterday. Her lips were a pale pink instead of bright red and her outfit consisted of a cranberry colored jersey that worked well with her creamy skin and those brilliant dark eyes.
God, she was hot. He couldn’t invite her into the house: firstly, because his crutches were leaning against the wall in the hallway—he’d put on his leg while sitting on the bench in the hallway early this morning—and secondly because he wasn’t sure he could resist her.
Fee opened the door of the rental and climbed out, shapely legs in tight blue jeans tucked into low-heeled, knee-high boots. The jersey clung to her breasts and curves of her hips and Clint felt all the moisture leave his mouth.
He’d stormed houses filled with terrorists in Afghanistan, had faced down a Somalian warlord and protected his guys while they waited for an evac after the crash but he’d never experienced such a dry mouth.
But this woman, with her black-brown hair and expressive eyes, managed to achieve what a dozen treacherous situations hadn’t…
And that scared the crap out of him, which added another layer to his grouch.
“Have you got my money?” he demanded, staying where he was.
“Hello, Fee, how are you? Did you find the place okay?” Fee singsonged, calling attention yet again to his lack of manners.
Tough. He didn’t have the time and energy to play nice; he just wanted her to be gone before he made a stupid suggestion like, “Let’s go to bed.”
Because that was a disaster waiting to happen. He’d have to explain he was missing a limb and then, if she didn’t rabbit, he’d have to wait and see if she could deal with his stump and scars.
Such fun…
Nope, it was a game he was better off not playing.
“You’re wasting my time, Martinez,” Clint warned, dismounting the bike and pocketing the keys. He waited for her at the bottom of the stairs leading up to his wraparound porch and the front door. He wouldn’t invite her inside but they could, at least, get out of the sun.
Instead of following him, Fee placed her hands on her hips and tipped her head back to look at the house he still thought of as his Grandpa’s—the place where he’d visited the family patriarch every summer from the time of his dad’s death when Clint was five until he turned eighteen and enlisted.
At the time he hadn’t cared where the army sent him, as long as it kept him away from his mother’s hounding to study law or something equally boring. He couldn’t have known that shortly after he enlisted, his beloved grandpa would die, and Clint would become the fifth Rockwell to own the land.
Grandpa Rockwell always said that he didn’t want the land to be a burden, to be a noose around his neck. He’d been the biggest supporter of his military career so Clint hadn’t felt the need to rush home when he died, comfortable to place the ranch in Brad’s capable hands until his return.
He’d always preferred the ranching side of his inheritance so he’d leased his oil fields. Years later, he was still happy for someone else to deal with energy side of the business.
“I like your house,” Fee said, and he frowned at the note of surprise in her voice. “It’s big, obviously, like everything else in Texas, but it’s not ostentatious. I don’t do ostentatious.”
“Says the girl driving another fast, expensive convertible,” he drawled.
Fee looked back at the car and her husky laughter surprised him. “Touché. But I’m a real gearhead and I don’t get to drive as often as I’d like to.”
“I’m sure all the residents of New York City are eternally grateful for that fact, because you have a lead foot,” Clint said. “And how did you charm the rental company into trusting you with another fast car after your crash yesterday?”
“I apologized sincerely and asked them nicely,” Fee retorted, her eyes flashing with irritation.
“You didn’t apologize to me.” Clint pointed out.
“I tried to! But then you started barking orders and tossing me into hay bales!”
Clint lifted his index finger. “One. One hay bale.”
Fee rolled her eyes. “Whatever…Anyway, you should try this thing called charm or, this is a radical idea so beware, a smile. Oh, your face might crack but I think you’ll survive the experience.”
Clint felt the corner of his mouth twitch with amusement. He loved her sassy mouth and now rather liked the fact that he didn’t intimidate her. He walked up onto the porch and gestured to a cluster of outdoor furniture to the left of the door.
“Take a seat.”
Fee’s winged eyebrows shot up. “Ooh, manners. There’s hope for you yet.”
“Don’t bet on it,” Clint replied, putting his hands into the back pockets of his jeans. He watched as she sat on the arm of one wicker chair, casually draping one gorgeous leg over the other and tucking her foot behind her calf. Such a female, sexy movement, full of grace and charm.
Clint waited her out, knowing silence was usually a good way to hurry the conversation along by forcing the other person to talk. But Fee confounded him again by ignoring his scowl and silence, seemingly content to watch the mares frolicking in the paddock closest to the house.
Why couldn’t this woman do what he expected her to?
Clint rocked on his heels, his eyes constantly dropping to her lips, wondering whether she tasted as spicy as she sounded. He eventually broke their silence. “Why are you here, Seraphina?”
Fee flashed a smile and leaned down to tuck her hand into her very large leather bag—big enough to carry a change of clothes, a bag of groceries and a saddle or two—and pulled out a couple of rolls of cash. He saw a fifty-dollar bill under the rubber band of one and a hundred-dollar bill around the other. He sucked in his breath.
He’d been annoyed yesterday and tossed out twenty thousand as a figure, hoping to annoy her. But, judging by the cash she’d brought along, she’d taken him seriously.
He couldn’t take her money, not now and not ever.
Clint was about to tell her to put it away when he noticed the rolls seemed irregular, that not all the edges of the bills lined up. If he hadn’t been so distracted by her, he would’ve immediately noticed that something was wrong with the roll, that her sweet, innocent expression was as fake as hell.
Oh, hell no, she wouldn’t dare…
He held out his hand and instead of handing the first one over, she threw it at his chest. He caught the first one, then the second and tucked it under his arm, snapping the rubber band off the first.
Yep, as he thought. A real note covering fake money. Toy money…
Clint felt a bubble of laughter rise within him, tried to swallow it and failed. When his husky-from-lack-of-use chuckle filled the space between them, he was as surprised as Fee.
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d laughed…
He heard Fee’s smothered laugh, a cross between a hiccup and a giggle. And because he wanted to taste his laughter on her lips, because he wanted to taste her, Clint moved quickly and, after placing his hands on either side of the arm of the chair, bent down and kissed her.
And immediately wished he hadn’t.
Because, as their lips touched, as her mouth opened and her fingers came up to touch the scruff on his jaw, he knew he’d never be satisfied with just one kiss…
He wanted more. Much, much more.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

“Why aren’t you pushing me away?”

“Because you kiss like a dream.”

Ever since the accident that took his leg, oil tycoon Clint Rockwell doesn’t do relationships—he likes being alone. And he doesn’t need anyone’s pity. Then fast-talking reality star Fee Martinez sweeps into Royal, Texas, on to his ranch…and into his bed. It’s only for a night, and then two. Wanting more is impossible, but this goodbye might be the hardest thing he’s ever done…
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Joss Wood loves books and traveling— especially to the wild places of Southern Africa and, well, anywhere. She’s a wife, a mom to two teenagers and a slave to a cow-sized dog and two bossy cats.

After a career in local economic development, she now writes full time. Joss is a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and ROSA (Romance Writers of South Africa) organizations.

Joss lives in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |

22 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Rich rugged Rancher by Joss Wood”

  1. laurieg72

    For me the occupation is secondary to the hero’s character and personality. I don’t have a favorite occupation.

  2. SusieQ

    I don’t have a specific occupation that I love. However, I am occasionally driven crazy when an author writes about business and it is obvious they have never had a job outside of writing and don’t understand how a specific business works (retired Sr. VP from a Fortune 10 company here). I often scream at my tablet “That’s not how it works!”

  3. Pammie R.

    I like cowboys. Nothing like a man who has muscles from hard work rather than lifting weights.

  4. Courtney Kinder

    I love a firefighter hero, but he doesn’t have to have a certain job as long as the storyline is great.

  5. joab4424

    My favourite heroes are in security. I like ex-military guys who save the day and protect the innocent families/women.

  6. Pamela Conway

    I don’t have much of a preference, read most but definitely firefighters & cowboys.

Please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.