Alan Souter

The Horse and I

By Alan Souter

        Yeah, that’s me up there at a full gallop hanging onto my hat so it doesn’t blow off. It needs to be on in the next take in a film I’ve written, produced and directed for a Motorola Sales Conference to be held in Las Vegas. I also did all the stunts in “Motorola Jones.” The pic is here, because it brings together me and a horse in this still image from the film that marks the end of my love affair with horses.

This short story is brought to you by the BVS “Cowboy Desire” Anthology and the gang of 14 great contributing authors who pull and stretch the Cowboy romance genre this way and that to entertain you on every page. Hang around and see how one of those authors was led into the world of horses by a little child.

          My middle daughter, Allison, whom I dearly love, has continued her equine adventure from age 12 into adult hood. Even today, in February, she braves the cold to trapse out to some drafty barn in God-knows-what rural suburb to pamper other peoples’ horses, rewarded with a couple of hours of riding for her services. Her story leads into my relationship with the nags. I bought her lessons when they had to really hike up the stirrups to match her short legs. But when I saw the determination on Al’s face as she sat that saddle and steered that huge horse, I should have known that: A. She was in it for the long game and B. I would get sucked into it somehow.

The rodeo world starts youngsters out barrel racing, riding bucking steers and sheep on their way to becoming cowboys and cowgirls. Cowboy Desire’s stories tell about rodeo cowboys, working cowboys and even Space Cowboys and the love lives they inspire.

She graduated with a rush. Soon, came the black helmet, the long boots, hammer-head spurs and gloves. I watched her from the elevated “parents” and spectators’ box above the enclosed arena as she learned to post, move up and down in synchronicity with the horse’s trot. It was like watching an elegant pas de deux, except for the smell. There’s a pervading aroma to every stable and to the clothes worn by people who frequent stables. It’s not a bad smell, it’s just distinctive: horse (of course),hay, old varnished wood, leather, boot polish, human sweat embedded in shotgun chaps worn tight over denims—and  courage.

          That last entry suffuses every kid or adult who mounts one of the beasts and expects to control those four hooves. Okay, enough about Allison. As I wandered around the barn like the Flying Dutchman, full sail, but no one aboard, a crafty trainer approached me. They all look like the irresistible creations in romance novels, a one-two punch for the ladies and girls who own horses. The horse owners and horse lovers come to the barn to ride and be taught by: Rudolf, or Dirk, or Cash, all slim with picked-out abs as if their shirts, denims, and chaps were sewed onto their sinewy  bodies that morning. The effect is stunning, even to a slightly overweight Dad who was losing his daughter to a horse.

There’re all kinds of cowboys. To qualify as a true cowboy, you have to have some horse sense. But there are: Horse-savvy Cowboys, Pickup Truck Cowboys, Motorcycle Cowboys, Urban Cowboys and Cowboys from Beyond the Stars. They all have desires, or are desired. Crack open the “Cowboy Desire Anthology” and see what it takes to be desired, or to desire a cowboy.

Chuck, yeah he was named Chuck,’ what can I tell you. Anyway, Chuck had me up on a school-owned horse in my chinos, loafers and button-down shirt in no time and was ebullient as hell as to my potential. He even left me alone to do a few circuits of the indoor arena. My daughter watched from a corner of one of the stall-lined exits from the arena. I shifted the reins to how movie cowboys John Wayne and Glen Ford held them, sort of a puppy-paws  grip. Later, she informed me that was all wrong.

          Taking a ride on a horse, working it up to a trot and then a canter is like steering the family car around an empty parking lot for your first lesson and it seems so easy. Pretty soon you are hooked and are haunting cheap used car lots with a Vape stick in your shirt pocket. I bought the helmet. I bought the tall boots. I bought the skinny gloves.

          Pretty soon it was me and the buckskin school horse in the outdoor arena  under the blue sky, laced into a pair of shotgun chaps—and this was on a little patch of leather called an English Saddle. It didn’t have bucket stirrups, it had skimpy steel irons, and you wore polite, suburban-dull hammerhead spurs and not vicious, star-shaped Mexican Rowels.

I rode and rode and rode for weeks, loving every minute. And one day, the stable boss gave me a different horse named Caesar.

Cowboys tend to be a taciturn lot. Following the rumps of a hundred beeves, dodging cactus and ocotillo spines under a sky that goes on forever doesn’t create a talkative gent. Others, ya’ can’t shut up.

“Cowboy Desire” Anthology stories offer the heat and sweet of the breed.

          Caesar had liver spots all over his dirty gray coat and a hump in the middle of his nose. All the pretty girls in their black and white riding habits were aboard groomed stallions and mares with bobbed and braided tails, with bows in their manes and names like Nazi Generals: Siegfried von Cloppen, Casper der Nosinair III, or just a gritty-teeth Rex. Caesar looked like he just rolled off a boxcar goin’ through town. When he clapped that cold eye on me, I knew my easy days were over.

          Before we even made it to the arena, I was cleaning paddock muck out of his shoes with this curved steel knife and he….umph…..leaned 1200 pounds on me against the stall wall. Next, as my ribs flexed back into their usual cage configuration, I moved to an outside hoof. Piece of cake. All cleaned out and I let the leg loose. The steel horse shoe came down on my foot, and then he leaned. My eyes immediately watered; my teeth ground together. The girlie scream clogged in my throat. Then he farted.

When I finally rode him out into the white fence-enclosed jump paddock with eight jumps of varying heights, Caesar seemed content. Life was sweet again. We trotted and cantered along at a great rate, stretching and collecting at each barrier and rounding on the final fence—a double oxer—two fences in one jump, taken at a fast clip to clear both. Full head of steam, me rising in the irons, Caesar all shoulders and muscle, ears forward, pounding toward the two fences. And he stopped. Forelegs braced, head down.

I cleared the fences easily without him. “Astride the sky” they call it. My landing would have been only moderately embarrassing, but I smoked a pipe in those days and had stuffed it into my back pocket. The first bounce reminded me of that error in judgement. The tangleleg sprawl only added to my artistry. When I finished carving a swath down the paddock, I looked back and there was Caesar on the other side of the fence smiling at me.

The walnut-size bruise on my leathery buttock put me off the saddle for a couple of weeks allowing me to quit cold-turkey. I returned to the proud parent, watching my girl go on to glory at dressage with her own horse, Erik adding a ribbon to her wall-full.

That picture of me, holding my hat at the full gallop, aboard King was only possible, because Allison was galloping ahead of me aboard a mare. King had only recently been gelded and he remembered what mare horses are all about. So, there’s the sex in my horse romance. The moral of this cautionary tale? Horses are beautiful animals, just don’t trust them.

As a photojournalist, I shot a lot of rodeos, from White Sulphur Springs, Montana to Cody, Wyoming, to Yuma, Arizona and always marveled at the skill it took to ride the hurricane deck of a cayuse with really bad manners, rope a calf and tie him down with a pigging string, or ride down a stampeding herd on their way to the feed lot. I learned great respect for cowboys and the women they loved…and the women who loved cowboys.

Alan Souter Find “Cowboy Desire” on Amazon at

Cowboy Desire – Loving Jack

Author Bio

Estelle Pettersen is an Australian author and former journalist whose romance stories explore empowerment, freedom, and finding one’s strength. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Journalism and Psychology, from the University of Queensland, Australia. Her second degree is an MBA from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She is a member of Romance Writers of Australia and is passionate about history, languages, cultures, traveling, food, and wine. She is happily married and living in Norway these days.


After five years of living in London, Olivia Bertrand returns home to Roma, in western Queensland, Australia, only to literally bump into sexy ex-football player Jack McCullen.

Close friends since early childhood, Olivia has always had a crush on Jack but was too shy to admit it. Having been through failed relationships and life changes, both realize that they want each other more than ever. Now, they’re only one step closer to taking their friendship to the next level.

Are Olivia and Jack ready to completely let go of the past for a wild ride ahead? Will they finally admit their love for each other, or will they go their own separate ways?  Find out in this sweet and sensual erotic romance of friends to lovers in an Australian country town.


I knew where we were heading when I recognized a large sign on the old road to the McCullens’ cattle farm about twenty minutes later. Jack parked in front of a magnificent, high-set Queenslander home. It was built of timber, raised off the ground, with a corrugated iron roof and a spacious veranda. The front lawn was a gardener’s delight, with outback flora and an old eucalyptus tree, where Jack and I had carved our initials when we were about nine years old.

“I haven’t been to your house for a while,” I commented as we walked up the steps. “I’ll get a chance to see your mum and dad and say hello.”

“They’re visiting some relatives in Toowoomba this weekend, so it’s just us tonight,” Jack replied, then cleared his throat. “Come over for dinner next Sunday arvo. They’d love to see you.”

“Sure,” I said, stealing a glance at Jack’s athletic physique. “Does that crazy bush turkey still visit your backyard?”

Jack released a light chuckle, then tilted his head and flashed his megawatt smile. “Did you miss Fred?”

“He was a real nutter, that one! Fred would’ve made a good Christmas meal.”

“Fred disappeared shortly after you nicked off to the other side of the world. He’s never come back.”

“Well, good riddance!” I smiled, feeling the warmth of Jack’s body as he stepped closer toward me.

“Ah, you miss him,” Jack murmured, cupping my face with his rough, warm hands. He was right. I missed that crazy, feathered bundle of insanity, who was part of the McCullen farm. However, it was Jack who I craved—I felt his warm, minty breath on my neck as we stood in front of the door in heated silence.

“Livvy, there’s something I’ve wanted to do with you for a long time,” he confessed, pulling me tightly into him.

“I wanted it too,” I whispered, inhaling his spiced, woody aftershave. My fingers trembled as they touched his tanned face and traced the tip of his aquiline nose, down to his soft lips.

“Will you kiss me?” Jack’s deep ocean eyes begged mine.

Cowboy Desire – Wyoming Way

Author Bio

Nancy Golinski is an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer. She has a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and has been a college professor for over 15 years. She is passionate about health and fitness and empowers women to make healthy choices.  She is also a romantic at heart and writes romance fiction novels. She is married and lives in a small town in Ohio, close to Amish country. When she’s not writing, you can find her at the theatre or hiking one of Ohio’s many nature trails.


When Jessica Thomas moves back home, sparks fly between her and childhood friend, Spencer Campbell.  Jess can easily see herself settling down with a man like Spencer, but he’s married, and she’s no home-wrecker.  She vows to keep her distance, but then an epic snowstorm throws them together.  Can their friendship survive?  More importantly, can they handle the consequences of that snowy night?

Cowboy Desire – Space Cowboy

Author bio

Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she’s a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second and third books, “Music for a Merman,” and “Mermaids Marry in Green,” are out now. Alice has also contributed short stories for the BVS anthologies “Mystic Desire” and “Desire Me Again,” both available now, and “Cowboy Desire,” on pre order now, release date 1 April. Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!

Space Cowboy Blues

Josh is a space cowboy. His job? Taming alien species. But on the blue planet Albastra, the beautiful Melynas is more than a match for him. He’d love to get close to her… but everything on Albastra is lethal to humans. Including her!

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MERMAIDS MARRY IN GREEN – “Exciting, adventurous, swimming in passion…” Goodreads & Bookbub 5 STAR REVIEWSMUSIC FOR A MERMAN – 5 STAR REVIEWSA MERMAN’S CHOICE – 5 STAR REVIEWS





Amazon page:


Cowboy Desire – Craving Her Cowboys

R.M. Olivia


R.M. Olivia likes her writing hot and her characters even hotter. In case you couldn’t guess, she writes erotica and erotic romance. Where does she get her ideas? She credits her muse for whispering in her ear and pouncing on her keyboard. She gives her utmost gratitude to this little vixen of creativity.
She believes in letting her passions be her guide and in throwing caution to the wind.
R.M. Olivia does not discriminate in her choice of characters or story lines.
Keep reading, keep loving, and keep dreaming.

Riva Stewart is living her very own nightmare when she flees her abusive boyfriend. In a twist of fate, a broken down car  places her in the path of two very hot cowboy mechanics. Now only question is which man does she want more? How about both?

Instagram:@rmoliviaTwitter @rmoliviawritesFacebook: @rmoliviaWordpress:

Cowboy Desire

Cowboy Desire is an eclectic assortment of short stories.

It includes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and even outer space romance, Cowboy Desire offers fourteen stunning short stories.

These fourteen authors provide a range of sweet to sexy stories all with a Western cowboy theme. They feature strong men and women battling the weather and dangerous terrain, here on earth and in outer space.

The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to discover new talented authors and the characters they create. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving, thought-provoking and downright sexy stories.

Cowboy Desire – Orion

by Virginia Wallace


Daisy O’Reilly will someday inherit a prosperous ranch…

But what she desires even more than wealth is to marry the man she loves, and to start a family. But Life, it seems, has a way of ruining even the best-laid plans. As Daisy’s dreams of motherhood slip away from her, it also seems likely that her beau Orion might disappear just as strangely as he appeared – on the night of a strange astronomical phenomenon.

Daisy thought she was riding straight towards her ‘happily ever after’. Now she’s not so sure. Will Orion make her into the wife, the mother that she wants to be…?

Or will the stars reclaim him as abruptly as they sent him?

General Description

Cowboy Desire

Cowboy Desire is an eclectic assortment of short stories.

It includes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and even outer space romance, Cowboy Desire offers fourteen stunning short stories.

These fourteen authors provide a range of sweet to sexy stories all with a Western cowboy theme. They feature strong men and women battling the weather and dangerous terrain, here on earth and in outer space.

The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to discover new talented authors and the characters they create. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving, thought-provoking and downright sexy stories.

Cowboy Desire – Mail Order Mate

What a great list of authors!

I’ve got a short story up in this anthology! I’m so excited to join this really talented group of authors!

My story is Mail Order Mate

On a planet ravaged by death, Jack is left alone to raise her niece Molly after the rest of her family succumbs to a pandemic sweeping through several sectors of space.  Jack lost her parents,, sister, two younger nieces, brother in law and fiancé. She struggles to run a ranch of jumbos, a mammal large enough to feed a family for a year.  They provide milk, fiber for weaving, and meat.  Too valuable to abandon, the ranchers on this planet need more hands to survive. 

Ido with his brother Gwan and his mate Zira, an alien race newly discovered, escape an overcrowded planet in the hopes of a better life.  He’s drawn to Jack but grief hangs heavy between them. 

Can the green horns adapt to ranch life?  Will Jack put her past to rest and love again? 

Here’s the overall description of the book:

Cowboy Desire

Cowboy Desire is an eclectic assortment of short stories.

It includes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and even outer space romance, Cowboy Desire offers fourteen stunning short stories.

These fourteen authors provide a range of sweet to sexy stories all with a Western cowboy theme. They feature strong men and women battling the weather and dangerous terrain, here on earth and in outer space.

The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to discover new talented authors and the characters they create. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving, thought-provoking and downright sexy stories.

A Thread of Sand


In 1891, a young gifted British artist, Lady Julia Carstairs, travels to the Wild West. She learns more than a young lady should about life as she survives the rigors of a Texas brothel. Julia escapes and flees the US to find work as an artist in Egypt. Follow her journey as she avoids the clutches of sinister Dervish rebels. Feel the temperature rise, as she is passionately seduced by both men and women on the way, finding true love in the arms of a British Lieutenant.

A seductive erotic story that spans half the globe. Can Julia’s love survive the turmoil of these perilous times?


Julia heard him ride up to their ranch house and dismount. After her month of waiting, she wanted to run out through the kitchen doorway and throw herself into his arms. But no, his homecoming routine was an untouchable ritual and she had been forewarned of his arrival by his Navaho brother, Shilah. As Buck turned his roan stallion out into the corral where water, fresh hay and a bucket of oats waited, she hoped in the blue-shadowed twilight he would see the small iron stove with its glowing firebox next to the kitchen’s outside log wall. Atop the stove, a hot water kettle bubbled. Two steps away, shaded beneath the lodgepole-porch roof, a Sears Roebuck enameled claw-foot tub squatted. Two buckets of cold water drawn from their well stood between the tub and an upside-down empty apple crate supporting a wood brush and a bar of lye soap.

Julia sat at the large kitchen table nibbling a fingernail. Tall, with auburn hair reaching down her back, her British breeding, coarsened by a brutal year in the western United States finally shone through. His tender care had put flesh and muscle back on her starved bones. Her cheekbones flanked a patrician nose above a full mouth and a strong chin, and unplucked brows shaded her large, wide-set chameleon eyes, today reflecting the color of the evening Arizona sky. Listening hard, her ears were the only gauge of his homecoming’s success.

A loud laugh outside the window made her heart leap. Splash! Splash! The cold water half-filled the tub.

“Hi-yah, hi-yah, hi-yah,” his Navaho half sang out as boots and spurs thumped and jingled off the kitchen wall logs. Shotgun chaps, followed by a linsey shirt and finally long johns completed the untidy heap.

“Hosh nateeli! Buck called out. “Hot water!” And more laughter as he emptied the kettle into the tub. Water splashed followed by a loud, contented “Ahhhhh!”

Julia wanted to join him in that tub. Her body seemed to hum like a tuning fork as her imagination saw that brush sudsing his massive chest and lean hips, playing over his picked-out abs, and plunging down between those bronc-gripping thighs. She tore a rip of bread off the loaf she’d baked, crusty on the outside and buttery soft in the center as he had taught her. Her teeth tore into the bread as she breathed through her nostrils, chewing and making small sounds in her throat.

Just the thought of him filled her. She’d spent months working the sheep ranch on horseback. He’d taught her how to whistle up his pair of keen border collies, Dog and Other Dog, black and white fur streaks among the cowed sheep. He’d taught her to drive off wolves at the gallop with a Winchester rifle. Julia had hoed the garden and learned to put up vegetables in Mason jars for the winter; she reveled in her new skills.

The corner of her eye lingered on the thick buffalo robes spread before a large stone fireplace that glowed black-edged with an armload of fragrant mesquite.

Outside, a final splash; the snatch of a large towel from a clothesline stretched between the porch-supporting poles; bare feet thudded on worn threshold planks. The door latch slid open.

With a squeal, the heavy door swung back on its iron hinges and he stood there, naked, gripping the towel in front of him so it hung to his knees. Buck looked like a large school boy surprised at a swimming hole. Tanned forearms, neck and face, the rest naturally bronzed from his Navaho genes. A sunburned face reflected his Caucasian father, squared, creased and sharply featured, framed by long black hair reaching down to his shoulders. He smiled at her, a soft little-boy smile that betrayed his weeks of loneliness on the trail tracking cattle thieves for the Arizona Rangers.

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