Of all the HWMPs I’d written to date (this was number 11), this was by far the toughest. It actually went through a huge rewrite pretty much from scratch at the eleventh hour.
The idea of a cowboy who was also a billionaire came in quite late on, inspired by stories of rich folk who really do buy a cattle ranch or a stud farm with their millions. Russ and Amanda were originally high school friends who both lusted after each other, but never dared ask each other out. After being separated for four years, they come together by chance and…well, you can guess the rest. All that was written – I think I was about 90% of the way through – and it just wasn’t working, so I pretty much threw it all away and started over with new characters.
This was my second book with a curvy heroine (the first was The Curvy Waitress and the Billionaire French Count). It was my first cowboy story ever and also the first time I’d written anything involving horses, let alone veterinary science, so please forgive any mistakes.
Other trivia – in the rough drafts, the two horses were called Mitchell and Webb, after the comedians in a British TV show called “Peep Show,” but I eventually went for Constantine and Caesar because (a) it seemed more like what Russ would choose and (b) I’d probably be the only person who got the reference.
I relate to Amanda quite a bit. I’m not quite that much of a caffeine addict but in some ways she’s like me.