The Trouble with Tomboys
(Companion story to A Fallow Heart. A Fallow Heart chronologically comes first.)

The Trouble with Tomboys was voted BOOK OF THE WEEK at The Long and Short of It Reviews site for the week of August 30, 2010 through September 3, 2010.

Contemporary Adult Romance*
The Wild Rose Press
ISBN : 1-60154-790-0
Length : 69,000 words - 250 pages
Available : August 6, 2010
In Print and Ebook
*Sexually Explicit Scenes and Language

THE TOMBOY

Pilot B.J. Gilmore is Tommy Creek, Texas’s tough tomboy who loves to fly planes and gamble and doesn’t give a whip what anyone thinks or says about her…until Grady Rawlings steps into her life.

PLUS THE WIDOWER

Heir to an oil dynasty, Grady has inner demons to battle. Ever since his wife and unborn child died two and a half years ago, he’s developed a deep-seated hatred for sympathy and can’t handle anyone feeling sorry for him or treating him like some pitiful widower.

EQUALS TROUBLE IN TEXAS

Grady hires B.J,'s plane service to fly him to Houston for an overnight business trip. While there, she coaxes him into accompanying her to a late dinner, where she decides it’s time for him to move on with his life. A month later, she turns up pregnant with his baby, and neither of them is prepared for the chaos that follows.

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Excerpt

Grady had already made it to the hotel by the time B.J. exited the restaurant.

It had started to rain, and a light drizzle coated her face. Pushing her drooping bangs out of her eyes, she dashed after him, streaking across the street and jaywalking to catch him before he made it to his room. She was soaked by the time she hit the entrance's overhang and caught sight of him through the window. The miserable shower had drenched him too, but a heedless Grady marched determinedly toward the bank of elevators. She entered the fancy foyer and took off in pursuit.

Never one to bother with propriety, she cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, "Hey, Rawlings."

He didn't break stride, pause, or give any indication he'd heard her. But she knew he had, mainly because everyone else in the lobby stopped to glance curiously her way.

B.J. ignored the others and raced after Grady. As he stepped into the elevator, she hollered, "Hold that door!"

Another man entering glanced back. When their gazes met, he spiked out a hand, accommodating her request.

"Thank ya, sir," she said breathlessly, slipping inside and settling herself next to Grady. He must've known it would look childish to hop off, so he merely stood stiff as a board, hands fisted at his side, and studied the numbers above the door as they lit one after the other.

B.J. exploded. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

The other passenger lifted his face, his eyes wide and startled, before he no doubt realized she was ripping on Grady and not him.

"I was actually racing after you to apologize. But you know what? Screw that. I'm not sorry about what I said, because it's about time someone threw an ice cold glass of reality right in your face."

When he refused to meet her glower, she set her hands on her hips. "You make everyone in Tommy Creek uncomfortable whenever you're around because you freeze folks out like they should all feel ashamed they're alive and your wife isn't. Well, you know what? That's just the way it happened. Time to move on."

He continued to stare at the numbers, but his jaw worked furiously, tightening and loosening, tightening back into a knot and then loosening again. "Go to hell," he said in a low, warning baritone.

The third occupant of the elevator backed against the wall and darted skittish glances from Grady to B.J.

"No. YOU go to hell," she countered, jabbing her finger his way. "I'm trying to give you helpful advice on—"

"I don't need your ADVICE," he snarled. "I just want to be left alone."

B.J. snorted. "Well, I can't. Amy was important to me too, you know. She'd be devastated if she knew I was letting you pretend you're not alive. You need to join the real world again, Slim. Quit wallowing—"

He whirled toward her so quickly she jerked an intimidated step back. From between clenched teeth, he hissed, "I'll live my life however I damn well please."

When she sucked in a breath, he blinked like he'd just realized she was cowering. Letting out a low growl, he reeled away and raked a shaky hand through his hair. "Jesus," he whispered. "Why can't everyone just leave me alone?"

B.J. could tell his control was splintering. But she fully believed it'd be healthy for him to lose it. For once in his life, he needed to let out some of the pressure. He needed to alleviate the pain that had been brewing inside him since the moment his wife died.

He needed to go a little crazy.

"It's probably because you bring it on yourself," she said.

He glanced menacingly at her. "Excuse me?"

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, come off it, Slim. If you really wanted everyone to stop feeling so sorry for you and treating you like some kind of wounded animal, you'd stop ACTING like one."

Shock filtered across his cheekbones with a red tinge. His mouth fell open. "What? I do not—"

But his gaze landed on the wet shirt clinging to her breasts, and the words died in his throat. Looking taken aback by the fact she was nipping, he gaped at her with slack-jawed shock. On pure impulse, she pulled her shoulders back a fraction, pushing her chest forward to goad him. For the briefest of moments, his lashes lowered, and he sucked in a quiet breath through his teeth. Then he tore his eyes away, muttering a curse.

B.J. blinked, taken aback. She'd just gotten a response from the ice man. Grady Rawlings had looked at her with sexual awareness. Thinking this might be good for him, she licked her lips and quickly planned her next move.

The elevator stopped on their floor; he shot through the doors as soon as they began to open.

B.J. stuck to his heels, grabbing his arm.

"Don't," he said and shrugged her away, not once stopping his long-legged stride.

She clutched his wet, slippery sleeve again, ignoring the warning.

With a snarl, he swung around, grabbing her wrist in a bruising grip and ripping her hand off him. The scorching heat in his eyes was deadly. "I do NOT ask for anyone's sympathy. The last thing in the world I want is for everyone to treat me like some kind of—"

Ignoring his tirade, B.J. rose onto her toes and stamped her mouth against his……

Want to read another excerpt? Okay, here you go! (The Wild Rose Press)


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Reviews

Reading, Eating and Dreaming (4 Stars)
"The Trouble with Tomboys by Linda Kage was OUTSTANDING. It was hilarious, heartfelt, and touching. This book had me laughing and crying at the same time. Sometimes I was laughing so hard I'd cry. Other times I was bawling my eyes only to start cracking up seconds later. It was a wonderful emotional rollercoaster ride.

I loved the two main characters, B.J. the tomboy and Grady the widower. Ms. Kage did a fabulous job showcasing Grady’s feelings for both Amy, his dead wife, and B.J., his feisty new baby momma. I strongly felt his torment, his grief, and his sense of betrayal, as well as his happiness, his excitement, and his love. I liked watching his character gradually come back to life. His feelings and the changes in his life felt so raw and realistic. I couldn’t help but fall for him. I also really liked B.J. She’s loud, blunt, lively, and sometimes inappropriate. I consider myself a girly girl, but that didn’t stop me from respecting and relating to B.J.’s character.

I gave The Trouble with Tomboys by Linda Kage 4 STARS. I absolutely loved this novel, and I strongly recommend this original and entertaining tale. I liked this novel so much that I am currently reading another Linda Kage novel, How to Resist Prince Charming."
Night Owl Reviews. (4.5 Star - Top Pick)
BJ Gilmore is a cigar smoking, plane flying, and card playing tomboy. Even tomboys can be feminine. When smoking hot widower Grady Rawlings needs her to fly him to a meeting, she finds it hard to leave him alone. She sees that he is still grieving and that he just wants to be left alone. But BJ is not that type of person. Not to mention how do you sit quietly for an hour with the guy you were always kind of crushing on? Before she knows it BJ finds herself asking Grady to keep her company while she eats. The flight back is awkward to say the least. Grady left BJ after being intimate with her and BJ feels guilty that she kind of pushed him into the act.

They avoid each other like the plague once they land. Grady is conflicted with his growing interest for BJ and the love for his dead wife. BJ is just plain embarrassed. Time passes and from time to time BJ is finding she has a queasy stomach. When the rumor of her pregnancy hits Grady, he knows there is only one answer…to tie the knot.

This was an enjoyable read. BJ had a really off beat personality that made the story interesting. It was easy to fall in love with Grady. He was genuine and sweet most of the time. The care he showed for BJ instantly was endearing. The side characters were also charming and funny. Overall, a charming tale for its readers.
Long and Short of It Reviews (5 Books - Book of the Week)
"The Trouble with Tomboys is one of those novels that will stick with you long after you read The End. If you’re looking for an unforgettable read with memorable characters and a story that will stick with you, look no farther than The Trouble with Tomboys. Oh and Kudos to you Ms. Linda Kage, keep up the excellent work. ."
Single Titles (4 Stars)
"Trouble With Tomboys throws together a by the rules follower Grady, with a feisty wildcat B.J causing quite a ruckus in their wake. B.J. is not one to beat around the bush; her refreshing honesty will have her winning a place in readers hearts. Enormously entertaining and a difficult book to put down."
Happily Ever After Reviews (4 Stars)
"Linda Kage has done it again in a tale where everyone deserves a second chance even a tomboy like B.J. My heart went out for Grady and the heartache he went through in life. Now B.J. is definitely not your usual heroine for she is feisty, courageous but often times scared of life. I loved that these two are so opposite of one another yet have one thing in common they both need love. The passion they share yet deny is so strong it is hard for them to ignore. Linda definitely has a naughty mind when it comes to between them yet so clever in the way they get together. Loved it and can’t wait for more."
Siren Book Reviews (5 Siren Stones)
"The moment I opened the document and began reading this amazing story I was hooked. B.J. has such a strong personality it would’ve been impossible not to fall in love with her immediately. I adored her no holds bar approach with Grady and how she found a way to break down his walls.

I don’t know why men think emotions are weakness. It was through Grady’s weakest moments I saw the level of the man he was. The strength he showed endeared me to him. I felt for them both as they learned how to give and take and cultivate a relationship which started off backwards, but like kismet it was right. The other characters really made me see the strength that family will supply to protect loved ones, the community, reminded me that nothing in a small town is private or forgotten.

This is one of the most heart melting reads I’ve read in a long time."
The Romance Studio (4 stars)
At first, B.J. Gilmore's rough talk put me off. However, I soon realized that, underneath the gruff exterior, was a kind, loving and very feminine woman. The author has done an excellent job in creating the backgrounds for the main characters. Baja's tomboy characteristics, which come from growing up with a father and brothers, but no mother, are well defined and natural to her character. The grieving widower's actions are also realistic and well drawn. The author has written two characters who balance each other beautifully. The settings are excellent, putting the reader right in the scenes, the emotions beautifully done. I loved the way the writer dealt with B.J.'s lack of knowledge of how a female should act. The main characters battle their way into loving one another, right up to a wonderful conclusion.

I really loved this book, and definitely grew to care for the characters.


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Sensuality Heat Levels
For Linda's Stories


Nothing Beyond Kissing Closed-Door or Implied Bedroom Scenes One or Two Open-Door Bedroom Scenes More Than Two Open-Door Scenes Outright Erotic
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