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Shipped off to her uncle in Nashville, Ella is anything but happy. Her British habits don't fit with the Southern way of life and she hates everything & everyone. Especially the mysterious, broody cowboy. Who she can't seem to stop thinking about.

Romance / Humor
Natalie K
4.9 118 reviews
Age Rating:

Welcome to Nashville

The ‘welcome, y’all’ sign as I walk through Nashville airport makes me cringe and sigh loudly.

Where the fuck have I been sent? And what have I done to deserve this punishment?

My dad claims it’s to attend the university but I know that’s bull. He wants me out of the way so he can marry his current squeeze, it’s common knowledge the hussie he is planning on sharing everything with is a big fan of mining for precious metals, only my dad’s too dumb to see it.

I’m the only person who tells him straight and he hates it. He’s always hated it but this time he's gone to extremes to show me he means business. He’s signed me up to do my M.A in Economics at a university here in Nashville, starting in August for 2 years – 2 years committed to this hell hole!

I’m 23 so I could just tell him to shove it up his arse but I know my dad and if I don’t at least come here and look like I’m playing ball the consequences will be far worse. Last time he was pissed at me he cut all my money off and my car even got towed because he stopped paying the tax and insurance on it.

I’m staying with my old uncle Frankie, I mean who sends a young female to stay with some random old geezer? He’s my dad’s older brother and I’ve only met him once when I was about fifteen - he’s literally a stranger.

I’m surprised as I look around arrivals, I thought it would be all cowboy hats and cow shit boots but I haven’t seen one yet. Maybe the town has moved on since my dad lived here, in his old pictures he and my mum were always in country get up. I’m playing spot the cowboy, listening to my air pods when an old woman bumps into me. I roll my eyes in annoyance and she grunts, she smells like old people and looks like she’s been dug up. Old people annoy me, they always think they are owed something from their youths, like we should go out of our way to let them go first or give our seat up for them – Screw that, they will get enough time to rest when they’re dead!

I pull out my phone and see the pictures and videos my friend back in England have been posting on their socials. They were out having fun while I was in departures alone at Heathrow airport, sat on the plane next to an annoying toddler in first-class and stood in the queue at passport control. Pictures of VIP lounges, champagne, cocktail trees and hot sexy men all splashed across my phone making me hate my dad even more.

It’s the icing on the cake when I walk out of arrivals, sweating and flustered, to the man I will be living with. Old is an understatement, he looks ancient and I wonder if the family secret is that he is actually my dad’s dad rather than his brother. He is also the only guy in here wearing a fucking cowboy hat. I have to take a picture as no one back home will believe my life right now. An old man in double denims with a cowboy hat collecting me from the airport - You couldn't make this shit up!

“Isobella,” he beams as he tries to hug me.

I pull back, out of his reach. “Hey,” I say. “I assume you’re Frankie?”

He tilts the front of his hat and smiles. “You assume right. How was the flight?”

“Annoying and long,” I reply.

He takes my suitcase and struggles to figure out how to move it. “It has wheels underneath, you just push.”

“Ah, never seen a snazzy one like this, mine are all good old lift by the handle bags.”

I roll my eyes and let him walk in front. I will stick this out for a couple of months, a couple of months before I call dad and tell him how much I hate it, how I can’t make friends or continue to live here.

I don’t know why I am surprised when he stops at the most run-down shit heap of a truck. I shake my head, I’m sure my dad will be finding this hilarious. “Not like the vehicles you’re used to I bet,” he says as he opens the passenger door for me.

The seat has shit all over it so I wait for him to clear it before climbing in. “It’s just some old tools I’m cleaning up,” he says as he throws them to the footwell. “I just need to call into the garage on the way to the house, you can pick up anything you need while we’re there. There isn’t much around once you get up to the ranch.”

Great, he lives in the fucking wilderness!

“Do you have wi-Fi?” I ask.

“Why what?” he questions.

Holy shit!

I spend the rest of the journey on my phone. I get the message out to my friends that at some point I may only be on text messaging. I also text my dad to tell him what an absolute arsehole he is and remind him how much I hate him right now.

“Right, there are shops here, you can get any toiletries or women’s things you need. I will be over at Bill's there, shall we say meet here in about half an hour?”

“Whatever,” I sigh. A half-hour isn’t enough time for me to hit the shops.

As I walk away from Bills garage I see a street with a total of two bars and two shops. A young guy with a cowboy hat bows his head as I pass him in a shop doorway, I pull a face and his friendly smile turns to a frown.

I head to the food aisle, if I’m going to be locked in a room, I assume I will need some snacks. They do things bigger here, the crisp bags are huge and everything is in multipacks. I grab what I can and head back out onto the hot street. I’ve packed a lot of things I need and I should have a car to drive at some point. When that comes I can drive into Nashville which I know has a lot more variety.

“Did you find your way around?” Frankie shouts to me as I return to the garage after ten minutes.

“Hardly a big place is it?” I mutter but he doesn’t hear me.

“Mack, meet my niece Isobella,” he says as I approach the garage with my ‘I heart Nashville’ reusable bag. The fat old man sat basking in the sun smiles at me.

“You sure look like your mamma,” he comments. I frown, nobody talks about my mother anymore and it feels odd coming from some strange old man.

“We will be out of here in no time,” Frankie says. “Just waiting on young Tobias, he needs a ride back to the ranch.”

I’m agitated as hell, hot and tired. The long flight took all my energy and now I’m standing in the summer heat, by a greasy old garage waiting for some random guy to get a lift. I push my air pods in and lean against the wall waiting.

I see Frankie saying something but can’t hear him over David Ghetto. When I next lift my eyes from the floor I see the young man we have been waiting for. It’s the cowboy from the shop, he’s wearing light blue ripped jeans, the type that are no longer in fashion back in the UK. A crisp white T-shirt that shows his cowboy muscles and a stupid fucking hat. It's a shame, if he was in the UK and dressed decent he would be a good looking guy. I pull out my air pods and follow Frankie to his truck without speaking.

“Thanks for hanging around,” the young guy says to Frankie, ignoring me.

“No problem young man. I do want a favour from you though in return,” Frankie says.

“Oh yeah, not that darn roof of yours again?”

“No my niece Isobella here, she doesn’t know anyone. Can you take her under your wing?”

I shake my head in protest. “I’m good thanks, I don’t plan on sticking around for long.”

The cowboys eyes narrow at me as he looks me up and down. “I don’t reckon your type would last long around these parts.”

“My type?”

“Where we come from we work for what we got,” he says as he jumps into the back of the truck. I climb into the cabin and feel irritated by the cowboy.

Who does he think he is judging me? He doesn’t know me!

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