Marie Johnston ~ Rancher in Training ~ Blog Tour / Excerpt / Giveaway

Today we have the blog tour for Marie Johnston’s RANCHER IN TRAINING. Check it out and grab your copy today!

Title: Rancher in Training

Author: Marie Johnston

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Rancher In Training:

Deputy Farah James arrests bad boys, she doesn’t date them. So when an ex-con with a fiery past returns to town, she ignores the criminal things he does to her pulse. Behind bars, Jesse Rodriguez and his wicked looks were easy to dismiss, but as a free man with a life to reclaim, he’s never been more dangerous to her—or her job and the ranch that depends on her paycheck.


When stopping to help a stranded motorist puts Jesse on the radar of the local deputy, for once, he doesn’t complain. After all, Farah’s just as cute as he remembers. Too bad she’s also an icy professional who doubts he’s a changed man. He’s willing to give her up as a lost cause and make his way out of town…until an accident strands him at the ranch next door.


Crossing paths on duty is one thing, but seeing how good Jesse is with his hands threatens everything she’s ever worked for. But Farah’s not the only one taking a risk, and he won’t torch his future again, even if it means leaving her in his rearview mirror for good.


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With the windows down, Jesse kept his arm resting out the window, the air flowing through his fingers. He’d even put his seat belt on to mollify Deputy James.


Her name didn’t suit her. When he’d first heard another officer call her by her first name, he’d almost choked. A boy’s nickname, maybe. “Farah” summoned the woman from the show his stepdad had always watched. Feathered hair and tiny bikinis. But Deputy James bound her hair, and only the skin of her hands and face ever showed.

When in his life had he ever thought he would crush on a cop? She was cute. Her prickly demeanor made her even more enticing. Unlike some of her coworkers, she hadn’t been a dick to any of the inmates. She’d treated them all professionally, coming down hard when some idiot got out of line but remaining fair and consistent the rest of the time. Other officers glared and snarled at him, but not her. He’d been nothing more than a job to her, and that was a step up from what he was used to.

Would he ever see her again? Just because she hadn’t driven him out of town with orders to never show his face again didn’t mean the rest of the town wouldn’t do the job for her.

He’d stick to his routine. Come around for Josie, leave by the back roads.

He glanced around. This was where she was from?

The landscape was…calming. The fields would be green soon enough, turning to whatever color the crop was in the fall. Some would stay green, others would turn golden like wheat and barley, but his favorite was sunflowers. Not that he got to see them often. When he had deluded himself that Dillon Walker’s property should rightfully be his, Jesse had fantasized about growing sunflowers.

Whatever. Stupid dream. What the hell did he know about farming? He didn’t have land, he didn’t have money, and he didn’t have a bag of sunflower seeds in his truck.

He blew past his turn.

He was tempted to stomp on the brakes, but there was no hurry. As long as he kept track of where he was going, he could backtrack his way out. His curiosity propelled him forward.

Just a little farther. Then he’d turn around and get back to St. Cloud.

Farah hadn’t pointed out which farmhouse was hers. The ones out this way were older, the same with the barns and the shops. A few abandoned and dilapidated farmsteads were scattered around. Brown barns that had long ago lost their paint, sagging in the middle, half collapsed.

If he weren’t a felon who’d already been approached by law enforcement, he’d search those areas just to see what was left behind.

But he might as well walk himself back to jail. The last time he’d crept around someone’s farmland, he’d lost his damn mind.

Still, he couldn’t argue with the appeal of Moore, Minnesota. Too bad his grandma had moved all those years ago.

Too bad Dillon Walker’s grandma hadn’t given the land back to his family when her first husband, his great-uncle, had died.


He hit gravel and told himself one more mile, then he’d turn around. The window stayed open. A little dust never hurt him. He passed an approach to a cattle pasture. It’d be a good place to turnaround, but he’d get the next one.

An intersection came up. Gravel roads shot out in four directions. He turned right. He’d have to backtrack, but he could either retrace his route or take another right and head back to the highway.

To his left, black cattle roamed. To his right, a farmer was in a tractor on the far side of the field. Another right came up. Jesse took it. He had to get out of this county before he got himself in trouble.

Wait. How’d Farah ranch alone? With a full-time job?

Was she…married? She didn’t wear a ring. In a relationship?

She would have to stay a mystery. Looking to his right, he eyed the tractor.

A flash of movement caught his attention. He was turning his head when the roar of an engine cut through the wind in his ears.

He yanked the wheel to the right as a black pickup hit the gravel, narrowly missing him. His own truck spun, its wheels catching the edge of the road where it dipped into the ditch. Then he was weightless as his pickup flipped.





About Marie Johnston:

Marie Johnston is an award-winning writer of paranormal and contemporary romance, and a RITA® Finalist. Marie decided to pursue her passion for writing and traded in her lab coat for a laptop to write her first book ever, Fever Claim. She lives in the upper Midwest with her husband, four kids, and two kittens. Other than hanging out with her family, Marie enjoys reading, movie dates with her hubby, getting outside on sunny days, and the all too rare – girls’ night out.


Connect with Marie:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

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