For many, many years one of my favorite songs was the old ballad, The Whistling Gypsy or The Gypsy Minstrel as some have called it. I thought what a wonderful story it was, and how greta it would be to modernize it. For instance, if the lord of the manor actually was a millionaire rancher, if the noble fiance was actually a nice but dull member of high ranching society, and of the minstrel was actually a singer who traveled around playing in different bars, running form his past. So I decided to give it a shot. Here are the lyrics, and a taste of the story. Tell em what you think.

A gypsy rover came over the hill
Down through the valley so shady.
He whistled and he sang ’til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of a lady.

He whistled and he sang ’til the green woods rang
And he won the heart of a lady.

She left her father’s castle gate.
She left her own fine lover.
She left her servants and her state
To follow her gypsy rover.

Her father saddled up his fastest stead
And roamed the valley all over.
Sought his daughter at great speed
And the whistlin’ gypsy rover.

He came at last to a mansion fine
Down by the river Claydee.
And there was music and there was wine
For the gypsy and his lady.

“He is no gypsy, my Father,” she cried
“but Lord of these lands all over.
And I shall stay ’til my dying day
with my whistlin’ gypsy rover.”

Erin Braddock, daughter of wealthy and powerful rancher Rance Braddock, has been to hell and back. So has wandering cowboy minstrel Grady Sinclair. But the moment they meet chemistry ignites between them, erasing everything else. The sex is scorching, explosive, addictive. They can’t get enough each other. The same talented fingers that coax seductive music from his guitar coax powerful orgasms from her body. Seduced by his music as well as the sinfully sexy man himself, Erin runs away with him. Nights she sits in the bar listening to his come-to-me voice promising her the erotic delights he delivers on when they’re back in their room. But will the past follow them or can they build a future together, in and out of bed?


”Last set of the night folks,” he announced. “And last call. Thanks for coming out to see me. I’ll be heading out in the morning. Got folks waiting for my music someplace else, but I hope to get by this way again.”

He was leaving? Tonight?

Erin’s hands tightened around her glass. No, he couldn’t leave. Not when she’d just found him. Maybe found the key to unlock the shambles of her life. No, no, no. Maybe she could find out where he was going next.

And what, idiot? Trail after him like some groupie? Some camp follower?

But she just knew she couldn’t let him go.

Then she heard him say, “I’m singing this last set for someone really special. Someone who looks like she needs music in her life.”

He picked out the opening notes of a song, eyes focused directly at her. Erin stared at him, hypnotized by his music, as his fingers picked out the first notes of a song and he began singing about a lost soul and the home it was looking for. He was right. He could have been singing directly to her. He wasn’t a man who played for others as much as for himself. And now her.

The music was so sweet, so magical. She let it wash over her like warm rain cleansing her. It almost transported her to some other time, some other place, where the thing with Cal had never happened and the wedding of the century wasn’t scheduled for the next day. Sudden applause roused her. When she heard him say, “Thanks for comin’ out folks. I appreciate it,” she realized the troubadour was finished for the night, even though she wasn’t half ready for him to be done.

She slid from the tiny booth, fished in her purse and dropped some money on the table for her drink and the tip. Dragging her feet she headed for the door, unwilling to break the spell the music had woven around her. She jumped skittishly when she felt a hand on her arm and automatically tried to pull away.

“It’s just me, sugar,” the smoky voice said.

And inexplicably inside her body she relaxed.

“Thank you for the song,” she told hm.

“My pleasure. Thanks for sticking around.”

He pushed open the back door of the building and guided her out into the parking lot.

“My truck’s over there.” She pointed to a far end of the lot.

“I’ll walk you over to it.”

But she couldn’t make her feet move. Couldn’t take the steps to lead herself away from this man. Deep down inside she knew Grady Sinclair was danger but a different kind than she’d been swallowed by. There was safety in this danger, as paradoxical as that sounded.

Without warning he stopped and pulled her gently into his arms. His hands stroked her back while his lips brushed her mouth. There was something about being wrapped up in him like this, something about the signals her body was sending. About the heat they were generating. She wanted to plaster herself to him and never move. Grady Sinclair would never hurt her. Deep in her gut she knew it with a certainty.