Before we get started with the specifics of BRACKEN RIDGE, I have some questions for Anna Fletcher, the heroine of the story.
Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
I’m 24 years old with a Degree in Psychology, and Jeremy’s been my best friend forever. I’ve had a crush on him forever, too, but never thought it would go anywhere. Horses are in my blood. Riding them is as natural to me as walking, and when I’m training race horses, galloping along with the wind in my hair, it’s the best feeling in the world.
I can picture you doing that and it sounds wonderful.
What are a couple of random thoughts about yourself that will surprise the readers?
I love it when Jeremy spanks me. Well not at the time obviously, as it hurts like hell. But afterwards … I love what it, he, does to me. He’s so sexy when he’s stern, and getting told off by him is heaven. Being growled at is second only to making up afterwards. Don’t tell him I said that though!
It’s our secret.
What makes you blush?
Every time Jeremy spanks me and makes me feel like I’m a naughty child. Especially when he leaves his office door open! Once I’m back on the floor, trying to get on with my work pretending nothing has happened, I blush every time someone looks in my direction. It’s shameful.
I’m sure it is awkward.
What upset your ordinary world and brought you into contact with each other?
Coming home from University as a failure – destitute, homeless and jobless, thinking I could take over the family business, to find Jeremy there as Manager, filling the job that should be mine.
That sounds like instant conflict.
What was your immediate reaction to each other?
He smacked me with his riding crop for swearing, without even saying hello! I swore at him again, then hugged him enthusiastically – I couldn’t believe he was still around!
Uh-oh, tricky start.
What do each of the lead characters think about love and romance?
I’m a woman – I love romance. I love to be romanced. Jeremy doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body, although he insists he waited for me while I was away, so that’s pretty romantic I guess.
Who took the first step in heating things up between you?
Jeremy. It took a long time for things to heat up between us though, everyone thought we were a couple long before we actually were.
Hmmm, sounds interesting.
Would you rather be caught in a wild moment of passion or tied down and taken?
Wild moments. Definitely. Spontaneity is the key to pleasure.
I totally agree. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
And now for the specifics about BRACKEN RIDGE.
When Anna Fletcher comes home from University back to Bracken Ridge, the equine centre where she grew up, she is stunned to find Jeremy McCrae working as the manager. They were children together and she has had a crush on him forever. The years she’s been away, Jeremy has only gotten cuter.
Anna has plans for Bracken Ridge, but before she can implement them, she needs to prove herself. The biggest obstacle in her path is her nemesis, the stable hand who thinks Jeremy is mighty fine. Once Anna gets past her, Jeremy is standing in her way – he’s now the boss, but she can’t work for him. He’s been her best mate forever, and to cede to his authority now is going against every grain of her nature. Being the daughter of the owner, Jeremy isn’t allowed to fire Anna, so when she gets rebellious and sassy he decides to spank her instead.
Can Jeremy tame Anna’s rebellious spirit before it is too late?
Jeremy gave her a grin when she walked past him in the stables the next morning. Dawn had barely broken, and the stables were a hive of activity. The three school-aged stable hands were hard at work, tying up horses, leading others outside to the day paddocks and mucking out stables. Anna gave him the fingers. The stable hands sniggered. They liked Jeremy for the most part, but they had each encountered his wrath at one time or another. He was a fair man, but firm. And the young stable hands thought he could be too bossy and had an occasional arrogant streak, so they loved it when someone gave him his come-uppance.
“Back to work,” Jeremy snapped at them. Then he looked directly at Anna and pointed towards the direction of his office. “My office. Now.”
“Ooooh, now you’re in trouble!” one of the stable hands murmured quietly, but Anna couldn’t tell which one it was. Jeremy smiled, shaking his head. Then he followed Anna into his office and shut the door. He indicated the chair on the side of the desk nearest the door, and he walked around the desk and sat in his big swivel chair.
“Your father’s advice was to haul you in here first thing this morning and give you a severe telling-off. I wasn’t going to, but it appears that he knows what he’s talking about. “
“Go on then, I’ll sit here and ogle you and listen. You’re sexy when you’re stern.” Anna leaned back casually in the chair and smiled, and she saw Jeremy stifle a grin.
“Do you still want to work for me?”
Anna nodded. She did. Well actually, she didn’t. She didn’t much enjoy working for Jeremy at all. She wanted to be in charge. And she liked him much better when he wasn’t in charge. But right now, her options were to work for him, or not. So she chose the former.
“Good. You’d better get it into your mind to follow my orders then, and stop undermining me in front of the staff. It’s hard enough to keep kids of that age in line, without you giving them a bad example. Your father reckons I’m not allowed to fire you. However, I have his full support in doing whatever I want to gain your compliance, and he will not question my methods.”
“And what methods will they be?” Anna asked sweetly, looking up at him flirtatiously. As her father had told her the exact same thing last night she wasn’t surprised, although she was curious as to how Jeremy thought he would force her to obey him.
“Spanking.” Jeremy replied, a twinkle in his eye.
“Spanking? Are you serious?” It was all Anna could do not to laugh.
“Ah-ha. Spanking. I take it you’re familiar with the concept?” This time the smallest of smiles escaped Jeremy’s lips even though he fought to stop it – he’d grown up with Anna. He knew for a fact that she was very familiar with the concept of spankings.
“Crikey, that will just about be worth being naughty for!” She skipped out of his office lightly, and as she did, Jeremy reached out and slapped her butt.
“Ow you bastard! That hurt!” She shrieked at him, clutching the seat of her jeans in mock agony.
Jeremy grabbed her arm and pulled her in close to him so he could whisper in her ear. “That was just light. The next one will really hurt. And if you swear again, you will find out just how much it will hurt.” With a wicked grin and another hearty slap, he let her go. She walked away quickly, rubbing the sting out of her bottom as she went.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Dawson loves anything to do with horses, rodeos and cowboys, and loves to get lost in a good book – preferably a rural romance where a strong woman falls in love with a ruggedly-handsome, tough but gentle cowboy, and these are the types of characters who feature in the stories she writes. Only in Kelly’s books, the cowboys are even better because they spank!
She lives literally at the bottom of the world in the South Island of New Zealand, with her husband, four kids, a dog and a cat.