Secondary characters add color and help to display different sides to a hero or heroine’s personality. Sometimes, I have fun giving hints of what’s to come in follow-up stories. Enjoy this snippet from the opening of A Four-Gone Conclusion where you meet ALL the Logan brothers over a typical family meal.
One devilish night…or a chance at heaven?
Lone Star Lovers, Book 5
Sam Logan’s foster sons have a bad rep in Two Mule, Texas. Most of it earned. When it becomes clear they don’t plan on giving up scootin’ after every pretty pair of boots in town anytime soon, he issues the one thing he knows they can’t resist: a challenge. Find a wife.
The oldest, Johnny, is actually grateful. He’s had his eye on Mean Ellie Harker for a long time, and Sam’s challenge is the kick in the pants he needed to ask her out. Except before he can make his move, his brothers kidnap her right out from under his nose. Now, instead of being one question away from victory, he has to compete for the woman of his dreams.
Ellie thought she’d be a dried up old spinster before Johnny finally untangled his tongue long enough to ask for a date. But instead of teaching him better uses for that tongue, his brothers have whisked her away to the ranch. At first she’s furious…then intrigued when she starts to wonder what it might be like to have not just one sexy cowboy dedicated to her pleasure, but four…
Warning: Four handsome cowboys. Four choices. Will it be a single sordid night or a chance at heaven as she savors every luscious inch of the Logan brothers?
“It’s time you boys found yerselves a wife.” Sam Logan made his pronouncement then waited, watching the four younger men seated at the table from the corner of his eye. He didn’t have to wait long for his words to sink in. They exploded in the room with the force of a silent grenade.
Johnny’s jaw closed with a snap, and he laid his spoon down on the scarred oak table. His black winged brows drew together, nearly meeting over his dark eyes as he raised his head.
Sam suppressed a smile. That look could make the toughest hombre gulp, but Sam wasn’t the least bit concerned. Johnny tended to look mean when things changed. His oldest boy hated any kind of change.
If any other man had said what he had, Johnny would have cussed under his breath and aimed a piercing, silencing glare. However, he respected Sam, trusted him as much as he could anyone. That trust and respect were the only things that kept his butt on the bench beside his brother Killian.
For his part, Killian’s eyes narrowed. The corners of his lips twitched. Likely he was amused by Johnny’s reaction and didn’t want to let him off the hook too quickly, but was already lining up all the reasons why Sam’s idea was ludicrous. He was quick that way.
Sam calmly ladled the hearty stew he’d made into his mouth and let his gaze roam to the twins. Jason was coughing into his napkin while Mace gave him “helpful” taps between his shoulder blades.
Mace caught his stare and grinned. “A wife, did you say?”
Sam grunted, ignoring the one word that had caught his son’s attention. “This is the third time this week we’ve had stew,” he murmured. Not to change the subject, but to point out a glaring fact.
“I like stew just fine,” Johnny muttered.
“This house misses a woman’s touch.” There, he’d said it. Sat the big gorilla in the room right at the dinner table. Impossible to ignore.
“Gracie can’t be replaced,” Killian said softly.
The permanent ache next to his heart echoed that truth. Sam nodded. “She’s gone. Three years. I miss her every day. Know you do too. But life goes on. You’re men now. You have an obligation. Ranchin’s a family business. Y’all need families.”
Johnny cleared his throat. “No disrespect intended, Sam, but you didn’t get sons the old-fashioned way.”
“Not because Gracie and I didn’t try. And in the end, we had no regrets. We both loved you all like you was our own.”
“So, you’d rather saddle us with—”
Sam aimed a quelling stare. “Think I felt like Gracie was a noose around my neck?”
“No sir, but…” Johnny’s hands fisted on the tabletop. “Hell, how’re we to find someone like her?”
Sam understood what he meant. Gracie’s passing had left a hole in all their hearts. The boys had loved her. Took to her the very first day he’d brought each of them home. Gracie had been born to be a mother, and she’d showered them all with the things they’d needed most—acceptance and unconditional love.
“Boys, Gracie wasn’t born a rancher’s wife. Truth is, she didn’t know a bull from a cow and damn near poisoned me with the first meals she cooked. But she learned. Find a woman willin’ to learn, one you kin love and who’ll love you back.”
“You said, ‘a wife’.” Mace wasn’t gonna let that slip of the tongue go.
Sam shook his head and gave the twins a faint glimmer of a smile. Those two could always see the humor in any predicament. “Thought I’d give you two options. I know one can’t piss without the other goin’ too. And there are damn few single women to go around these parts. ’Nough said?” When all of them nodded, he cleared his throat. “I’ll be out of town for the next four days. Auction in Abilene. The house is yours.”
Be sure to check out the snippets on these other authors’ blogs: