Buck Up, Buttercup
Publication date: June 30th 2022
Genres: Comedy, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
All’s fair in love and war.
With Randi and Buck, it’s hard to tell the two apart…
An uptight, self-contained college girl, Randi Becker just needed one thing: a room. Somewhere she could study, and keep away from the things that most confuse and frighten her: people.
Unfortunately, the “nice quiet place” she reserved turns out to be a room in the campus’ most raucous house. A place seemingly designed to make studying impossible, made even worse by the other girls’ non-stop drama.
But then Buck, a fun-loving cowboy whom all the ladies love, shows up…and everything gets much worse.
Buck seems to have it all: friends, fun, and a never-ending line of admirers. But what he most desires is a break. So when Buck spots Randi, he figures she’s a perfect decoy: he can play up a “crush” on her that will take him off the market; buy him some breathing room. And if he can tease her a bit, and get under the skin of the uptight busybody? Well, that’s just gravy.
But Buck is about to find more than he bargained for. Randi’s strong-willed, opinionated, difficult—and maybe just what he needs. And Buck isn’t alone. Soon Randi wonders as well…if the world she wanted is really the world she needs. If her future is nothing more than a diploma on the wall. And if the most important thing in her world isn’t a grade, but the cowboy who’s planted his boots firmly in her heart.
Fans of Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game will delight at this mix of romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and cultures colliding in a campus town with a western flair. Grab your copy today, and fall in love with Buck Up, Buttercup!
Chapter Two Excerpt: Gravel crunched behind him. He managed not to sigh, barely. These girls were like bloodhounds. “Buck,” said Angie’s raspy voice. “I’ve got two cold beers. Want one?”
The dark side of the barn propped him up nicely, even if the distant porch light wavered a
little around the edges. Some gossipy people would say he was hiding. They’d be right. But obviously not hiding well enough.
He shoved his hands in his pockets. An imaginary siren cranked up between his ears, phantom flashing lights cutting through the whiskey fog in his head. This girl didn’t take no for an answer.
“No thanks, darlin’,” he said. “I’m done for the night.” He’d have to find an excuse to hustle away if she got much closer. “Offer that beer to Hugh. He’d like nothing better.”
Angie sneered and looked away.
Well, if she wanted subtle diplomacy, she shouldn’t hit on him when he was twenty minutes from passing out. Getting him drunk and dragging him off somewhere dark usually worked. But not with this one. Not with Angie.
“It’s here if you change your mind,” she said, almost sounding sweet, but that pissed-off brittle edge came through loud enough. She cracked open her can, foam spraying out in front of them, then settled in next to him, her shoulder brushing his.
The new girl stepped out of the back door, gripping her bag like a life vest against her body. As nervous as a plucked chicken. Or an uptight kindergarten teacher dropped into an alcohol-crazed stud party.
That little yellow dress was pretty but odd—prissy. Pinned-up honey-colored hair showed off a long neck. She adjusted the big glasses on her face and glanced around like a rabbit about to run for it.
“She’s a shit-eating hippie,” sneered Angie. “Fucking Trish found her on the internet. Her name’s Randi, can you believe that?”
Buck blinked. “Randi,” he said, a smile tugging on his face. The name fit her about as well as a burlap bag.
“Doesn’t look anything like a hippie,” he said. “More like a librarian.”
He twitched in response and reached down to adjust his belt buckle. Prissy uptight librarian was an idea he’d thought about a time or two. Inside the house, she’d caught his eye, standing there like a flamingo in a room full of geese. He always did like the oddballs.
Sarah stumbled into sight from the front of the house, a dopey smile on her face. Her tall, sturdy body swayed like it was fighting a gale-force wind. She bumped into the side of the house.
done,” Angie said.
Sarah toppled to her knees and puked onto the ground next to the new girl. Randi.
Anna Alkire has been a long-term college student, a business owner, and a world traveler. Now “settled”—with a sigh and a cup of decaf—Anna lives in Washington state, where she splits her time between a husband who thinks the North Pole would be a great place to live, chasing her hurricane of a son, learning new handicrafts, and creating worlds full of the kind of romance and fun she most wants to read. Find more about her (and grab a freebie or two) at her website, annaalkire.com.
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