Archive for the 'About books…' Category
Saturday, September 21st, 2013
Slow start to the morning in day two of the retreat! I should already be writing, but here I am, posting a blog instead. Priorities, priorities… I hate to disappoint! Today’s excerpt is from my first Samhain-published story, Saddled! Enjoy!
If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win
a free download of this book!
“…I couldn’t put this story down! It was danger, betrayal, sexy and fun all rolled together into the perfect erotic romance. The plot was brilliant, and the characters unique…The sexual scenes will make you clamp your knees together and dream of a sexy cowboy or two of your own…” ~5 Stars, Just Erotic Romance
“…What starts out as an innocent effort to warm Kate up turns into some of the most erotic sex I have ever read along with some of the best dialog I have seen in a book so far this year…The chemistry and interaction between the three of them is well written and keeps you chuckling and turns you on. The characters themselves are so well written you feel for them and you want them to make their alternative relationship work….Saddled is heart-stopping and fascinating!!!!!!!…” ~5 Stars, Vixen Reviews
“…Delilah Devlin’s storylines never fail to pull readers into the story and SADDLED is no exception…Of course the sex scenes are scorching and adventurous with the perfect blend of emotional turmoil to ensure readers keep Ms. Devlin’s name at the top of their ‘must read’ list.” ~4.5 Blue Ribbons, Romance Junkies
When Bobby Blackhawk and Cale Yancey see a car slide off the highway and into an icy creek, they’ve got only minutes to get the beautiful driver out alive. And only one way to save her from hypothermia: take her to their isolated cabin, get naked…and hope like hell that when she wakes up, she doesn’t scream the place down.
Katherine Duvall opens her eyes in a strange bed, and the tingles flooding her body aren’t entirely due to restored circulation. She’s snuggled between two handsome men, one a gruff, gentle giant, the other a sexy, playful Native American. Having just left her fiancé romping with another woman, she’s not quite as shocked as she might have been.
In fact, these two lonesome cowboys could be the perfect bookends to satisfy her hunger for revenge and bolster her dented self esteem. It’s not long before their raging hormones are melting the snow on the cabin roof.
To their surprise, they find something else is melting, too. Their hearts…
Katherine Duvall awoke as sensation flooded her feet and hands—sharp prickling pinches that made her moan.
“Yeah, it’s gonna hurt. But it’s a good sign sweetheart,” a man whispered against her hair. “And there’s no frostbite. I checked.”
He’d checked? One fact penetrated her pain-filled fog. He’d done a lot more than checked. She was naked. And his bare-naked body was pressed up against her back, a penis nudging her bottom. Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday, September 7th, 2013
UPDATE: The winner of the free download is Michelle-Snarky Mom!
Today’s snippet round theme is “Hero in the Doghouse.” Well, I couldn’t think of a recent hero who was in trouble or who had made a horrible mistake for which he was being punished or punishing himself, but I did have this heroine in a heap trouble. It’s Zuri, from the first of the Triple Horn Brand Books, and you’ll see how things only manage to get worse in this scene. Enjoy!
If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win
a free download of this book!
“With amazing suspense, and hot, dominant lovin’ this cowboy and his high school sweetheart take the reader on an amazing emotional journey… Ms. Devlin has created a beyond 5 Book worthy start of an incredible new series…” ~5/5 Books, Reviews by Molly
“Fun and fast, “Laying down the Law” is great for fans of western romances or someone looking for that great next “hot” read!” ~The Brunette Librarian
Seeking sanctuary could be the hottest mistake she ever made.
The TripleHorn Brand, Book 1
A lifetime ago, Zuri Prescott kicked the dirt off her boots and ditched her small-time small town for the glam city life—and lived to regret it. When she’s framed for a bank job, she lights out for home, seeking refuge with her old high school sweetheart while she figures out her next steps. Only she discovers that the boy she left behind is the last man she should trust.
Sheriff Colt Triplehorn knows trouble when he sees it, especially when it comes in the form of a familiar trespasser, caught naked between an angry bull and her underwear. Sure she’s up to her usual no good, he grants her sanctuary at his ranch—the better to keep an eye on her, and purge her from his system once and for all.
Reconnection is sweet and hot, but the heat can’t hide the truth. When Colt inevitably finds out what Zuri’s running from, it’s too late to put the fire out, and he’s got a career-compromising choice on his hands. Follow the letter of the law, or follow his heart.
Product Warnings: When a sheriff captures the girl who got away, expect revenge so hot it leaves brands on two lonely hearts…
Rain fell in sheets, so heavy and fast that it wasn’t long before Zuri Prescott’s hands ached from her death grip on the steering wheel. The darkness suffocated her headlights so that she couldn’t see farther than twenty yards in front of her, but the beams still glossed the highway’s surface to a bright glare, which left her wondering whether she was inside the lines or sailing down the middle.
She’d been driving for hours, numbed to the worsening conditions, her mind caught in an endless loop, reliving the horrors of the day.
Her panic hadn’t lessened for even a moment since she’d first felt a gun pressed against her temple early that morning as she’d unlocked the side door of the branch bank, and a harsh voice whispered in her ear to get the door open fast.
A heated body had moved close to her back and crisp, spicy cologne drifted over her. With her hands shaking, she’d unlocked the door, and then let him shove her through.
She’d landed on her knees, her pantyhose shredding on impact—the long, fat ladder that rippled up her thigh as strangely upsetting as the masked man behind her who grabbed her by the hair and pulled her up to face the security alarm.
She’d pressed the buttons on the key pad, disarming the premises alarm and dropped her hands. But another nudge of hard steel against her back, and his hushed, “The vault alarm too, sweetheart,” had her punching a second set of numbers before he hustled her around the corner toward the vault, out of sight of her manager who waited in the parking lot for the all-clear signal.
The vault operated on a timer. At any other time of day, she wouldn’t have been able to open it—a fact that didn’t register until later. She’d spun the two combination locks, heard the inner mechanisms clang as they released, and he’d reached around her to grab the lever and push it down. The large steel door swung open.
The thief had shoved her through the anteroom with security deposit boxes lining both walls, heading straight for the locked door at the rear. Again, he’d waited while she found the key and opened the door, then shoved the mesh interior gate inward.
Forcing her to her knees, he’d wrapped her wrists and ankles in duct tape, and pulled a hood over her head.
Then she’d been left to shiver on the floor, listening to the sounds he made as she followed him in her mind through the gate while he scooped stacks of cash into a bag. One side only. Later, the assistant manager pointed out that the thief must have been timing himself, a real pro, because he’d skipped the temptation of pausing to finish the sweep.
Less than five minutes had passed since they’d entered. Another two and the manager would call the police.
The thief had walked back to her and knelt, his knee touching hers as he leaned close.
She’d stayed silent, afraid as she’d never been before, because she knew he was going to kill her.
But the sound of keys rattling against glass had him scrambling to his feet and rushing out of the vault. A muffled shout and a single piercing shot was followed by the soft swoosh of the door closing.
For several interminable moments, she’d sat frozen, afraid he’d come back. But when he hadn’t, she’d crawled on her belly across the floor, inching her way toward the first desk in the lobby and a panic button. Sirens screamed in the distance, and she slumped on the floor, shivering and beginning to cry.
When the police arrived, her hood was pulled off, and a grim-faced police officer helped her sit while he cut the tape binding her.
Her head swiveled toward the door where the shot had rang out, and she saw another officer bent over Sam McWherter, her boss, whose rotund body lay spread-eagle on the floor, blood seeping outward to soak into the carpet.
The officer beside her moved to cut off her view. “You’re okay. Don’t look. We’ve got this place secured.”
Everyone had been solicitous. A hot cup of tea was pressed between her cold hands. She’d been herded into McWherter’s office, away from the body and the team beginning to comb the lobby and vault for evidence. They’d been kind, gently but firmly asking her to go over the chain of events that had transpired.
She’d given them a step-by-step description—of the robber’s actions and her sketchy knowledge of his height, weight and gruff voice. The second time through, she swayed in her chair from melting exhaustion.
“Ma’am, did anyone know your routine?”
That one question from the first FBI agent to arrive on scene sparked a dawning horror, and she froze, noting the glance he shared with the pair of detectives flanking her in leather upholstered chairs. Someone did know her routine—and wore a crisp cologne that smelled like cinnamon and sandalwood.
She swallowed hard, realizing in a split second that she’d been set up. That she might even be implicated because the robber wasn’t a fool. No, he’d been incredibly, devastatingly clever.
While the agent waited for her to respond to the questions, she’d shaken her head, giving him a tight smile. How could she tell them they were looking for a cop? Who would believe her side of the story? Especially after they did a little digging into her background. She’d lied about her affiliations with known felons when she’d applied for this job.
When she’d pleaded illness, they’d escorted her to her desk where she’d filled out the bank’s incident reports and made arrangements to meet later with the detectives and the FBI agent assigned the case at the station house to sign a statement, but her mind was already racing ahead.
She couldn’t go back to the apartment and risk meeting him. He’d have to finish what he’d started.
Gathering the handbag they’d already searched, she’d palmed her keys, nodded her agreement to see them later and walked sedately out the front door of the bank.
Since the moment she’d slid behind the wheel, she’d been on autopilot, navigating out of her Houston suburb and heading northwest. She’d stopped briefly, once, for gas—but had received another shock when she’d opened her glove compartment for her SpeedGas key.
Now, she drove with just one thought, just one image burned into her mind. An isolated cabin, deep in cattle country. Somewhere no one would think of looking for her. Then she could take a breath and consider what to do next.
She didn’t see the city-limit sign when she passed it, but she knew where she was when she reached the highway crossroad. She turned left away from the little town she’d once been so eager to escape and toward the Triple Horn Ranch.
Lights flared behind her as another car took the turn. For just a moment, the rain relented, and she saw the make of the vehicle. Her panic surged again.
How had he found her? She’d driven back roads in case the police were already alerted that she’d fled.
The headlights of the car behind her switched off. Not knowing how close behind her he was, she gunned the gas pedal. Her car surged forward, tires losing traction in standing water. The rear of her vehicle wagged in a wicked fishtail, but she steered through it, not easing up on the gas. If she could outrun him, make it to the cabin and hide her car beneath the lean-to…
She’d forgotten about the low-water crossing until she saw the yellow warning sign. With only a moment to make a decision, she kept her foot on the accelerator, hoping the water wasn’t too deep, that momentum would propel her through if it was, and held tight to the steering wheel.
The road dipped, her car hit the water, jerking her against her seatbelt, spray coating the windshield too thick for the wipers to clear. Then she felt the subtle shift beneath her as her car was lifted and floated sideways, off the low bridge, tilting as it slid into the swiftly moving water.
* * * * *
Be sure to check out the snippets on these other authors’ blogs:
Saturday, August 31st, 2013
Crescent Moon was something different for me in more ways than one. It was the first time I’d sold a book to an editor by describing the opening in a few sentences over the phone. It was my first mummy book and my first using Egyptian mythology.
It’s also a unique experience because it’s being issued in installments–eight of them. I just turned in installment 7, so now, I’m nearing the end of the story. Once it’s complete, it will be assembled into a single novel and printed, making it more accessible to folks, especially those not in the U.S.
CM is different. And I hope you enjoy the differences. I’ve certainly had fun spreading my wings to try something new.
If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered
to win an Amazon.com gift card worth $5!
From ancient Egypt to present-day New Orleans, a woman of exceptional strength is called to protect against an unspeakable evil…and to experience an unforgettable seduction.
Khepri still isn’t used to being The God’s Wife. The daughter of a common farmer, she’s more comfortable being friends with servants than employing a whole team of them. Being the wife of Amun affords her luxuries she only dreamed of, but her dreams are not always a haven…they are also filled with demons. Lately she’s had doubts about the role she’s been thrust into. She’s had yearnings for another sort of life, one where she’s loved intimately, rather than only adored from afar.
When a powerful man lures her away from her temple, she’s thrilled at the chance for an adventure. Her adventure quickly becomes a nightmare when the handsome vizier mummifies her alive. Pure of heart and body, she’s the warrior he foresees will battle a demonic pharaoh if ever he awakens. Khepri’s sure he’s insane, until she awakens in a distant future. Alone and needing a guide in this strange and garish new world, she turns to the troubled man who set her free…
When New Orleans police detective Justin Henry Boucher is called to the Garden Museum to investigate stolen Egyptian artifacts, it’s not exactly the adrenaline rush he used to get working a homicide. But with a reprimand on his record and a sorrow he can’t shake, he will take what he can get – as long as he can keep his badge. What he doesn’t count on is having to keep his cool when he finds one of the priceless artifacts—a golden-skinned goddess wrapped in fabric like a mummy, left to die and needing his help. She’s a mystery he’s determined to unravel. She might also be the cure for his lonely heart.
One last time, her mind drifted, peacefully content . . . no shadows or disquiet to disturb her . . . allowing her to separate the parts of herself, first body from spirit . . . and then the mournful, dying part of her soul to dwell forever in the pit, while what remained, the part that would be born again, floated upward on golden wings.
Her sprit ba left her mortal shell and spread its wings, flying through the small bright hole in the ceiling, leaving behind her swaddled human form, which lay on a bare wooden bench.
One, two, three strong surges of her fluttering wings and she flew toward the sun, free at last and feeling grateful to her husband for his generous gift. Her wings caught an updraft and she held them still, floating on the wind, the glorious waning sun warming her back.
Her spirit flew above white limestone cliffs and past a deep quarry littered with enormous blocks of carved stone. A sudden gust riffled through her feathers, forcing her to fly west, high above a barren valley.
But at last, her ba tired, circling downward, searching for the great river to lead her home. But no familiar white-washed city dwellings, no temple walls lay below. No fields of cotton and wheat.
Confused, she made her way back to the dismal pit. Not wanting to enter, she flitted around the opening, feeling weary and afraid. Something dark awaited her. Some horror in the shadows.
And then she spotted the man with the dark, watchful gaze standing beneath the opening, his arms outspread to catch her . . .
Her heart pounded against her chest, the sound intruding on the vision. Khepri’s eyes slammed open.
Freedom was only a dream, a memory. How long had she been sleeping?
Slowly, Khepri grew more aware of her surroundings. Pressure enveloped her from head to toes. Frayed edges of linen strips surrounded her eyes. An ache centered in her head made her want to gasp, but when she tried to draw a deep breath, the constriction around her chest made the movement impossible. She couldn’t feel her fingers or toes. Her body, other than her head and chest, was numb.
Something was terribly wrong. Short, panicked breaths huffed in the silence.
She blinked, bright sunlight streaming through a hole in the rock ceiling above, blinding her, making her eyes tear. Unable to turn her head, she peered beneath the fringe of her dark lashes, through the openings left in the fabric, gazing upward. Her sight cleared slowly, but was filtered as though looking through the gauzy curtains that surrounded her bed in her tiny house inside the temple walls. But the haze obstructing her sight wasn’t merely physical. It was a thin curtain pulled over her mind. One placed there, purposely, to confuse.
Her head reeled, not understanding, not recognizing where she lay. The sickly sweet scent of frankincense tickled her nose. Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday, August 24th, 2013
UPDATE: The winner of the free download is Angel M!
* * * * *
I’m back at home, sitting at my own desk, after being at my dd’s for a week helping with the new baby. Miss them both, but damn, I’ve got a stack of work to catch up on!
When I read the theme for this week’s snippet, one story popped immediately into my mind. Gabe’s a cop who doesn’t want to leave a grieving wife and family behind, so he refuses to commit to a permanent relationship. Jolie is his favorite, and lately only, squeeze, and she’s tired of the fact he drops by for only one thing. She’s in love with the big lug, but isn’t about to be a doormat. She gives him an ultimatum, either they marry or he gets the hell out of her life. And she has one more trick up her sleeve.
The scene I’m showing you here never fails to make me smile. It’s one of the funniest I’ve ever written. Enjoy.
If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win
a free download of this book!
“Ms. Devlin will have readers laughing one minute and screaming the next… Bad, Bad Girlfriend is a witty, heart pounding smoking hot read that is a must have.” ~5 Angels, Fall Angels Reviews
“Bad, Bad Girlfriend is just plain fun!… A great quickie from a great author.” ~5 Stars, Just Erotic Romance
“My emotions ran wild while reading Bad, Bad Girlfriend… Don’t miss this mischievous woman’s attempts to secure her man’s love. I had a fantastic time reading Jolie and Gabe’s story.” ~5 Silver Dragons, Veiled Secrets Reviews
Expect magic when one determined woman dons a legendary pair of red stilettos and bares body and heart to get her man’s attention…
Jolene’s a big, beautiful woman with an even bigger heart. But she’s become her police officer boyfriend’s favorite doormat and that’s so not working for her. It’s time for a little conversation, time to tell Mr. Happy Pants to “pee or get off the pot”.
Gabriel has seen what his profession does to marriages. He’s not willing to risk that kind of heartbreak. Besides, he likes what he has with Jolene. The woman is sex personified. So when Jolie tells him she won’t see him anymore if he’s not willing to commit, he’s shocked and angry.
With a girlfriend’s encouragement and the added confidence a certain pair of red stilettos gives her, Jolene arranges a special show at a strip club to prove to Gabe once and for all that she’s more woman than any man can handle, and if he doesn’t want the job, then she’ll find another lover who does.
Jolie heard the music, tried to catch the beat, but she’d never been so scared, so embarrassed in her life.
She knew she’d made a huge mistake the minute she’d entered the stripper’s dressing room. Lexie had ushered her in after Guppy, the skinny, bespectacled manager of the strip club, let them in the back door and showed them to the women’s dressing room. She already wore her costume under a tightly belted trench coat, but getting her first up-close look at the other women awaiting their turns on the stage made her lose her nerve.
She turned back toward the exit.
Lexie stood behind her, her arms crossed over her chest. “No you don’t. Not after I paid him a hundred dollars to let you do this!”
“You paid him?”
Lexie shrugged. “He prefers professionals, but he’s not above a bribe.” Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Just a quick note! My dd gave birth to a baby girl yesterday. Everything went well. Mom and little girl will be in the hospital for a couple of days. Siobhán Etaine is 7 lbs. 11 oz. and gorgeous! I’ll be back at the hospital, and then staying with the family to help out for a couple of weeks. I got the privilege of changing her first diaper.
Back to the snippet. I don’t usually write smooth operators. My heroes tend to be gruff and to the point, but there have been a couple… Quentin from My Immortal Knights and Nicolas Mountfalcon from the Dark Realm series. I adore them both, and so did readers.
Nicolas makes his first appearance in book 1, Into the Darkness, and although he was a secondary character there, he made quite an impression. I think you will see why when you read the excerpt.
“Ms Devlin has created a suspenseful masterpiece against the back drop of the impending Hurricane Katrina. Her characters are passionately and elegantly written and the plot is full of twists that keep you turning the page.” ~5 Stars, Single Titles
“…INTO THE DARKNESS starts off running and never lets up…From its intriguing and twisted storyline, in-depth and well-written characters, to the torrid sex scenes, INTO THE DARKNESS is a must read for those paranormal lovers who love to live on the edge.” ~Romance Reviews Today
“In a field of plenty, Ms. Devlin cut a new vein in the paranormal/vampire genre with INTO THE DARKNESS. [...] An amazing blend of storytelling smothered in carnal ferocity…” ~Paranormal Romance Reviews
Natalie Lambert’s life has changed in the space of weeks — and she has no idea why. Her parents were murdered, she has her first taste of sexual desire — and she feels out of control, afraid, desperate to understand her changing world. She flees to New Orleans , hoping to lure the murderer out of the dark and bring to an end the trail of dead loved ones. Instead, she’s attacked by crazed birds, swarmed by locusts, and saved by a Cajun cop who awakens all her latent desires.
When Rene Broussard rescues a virgin vampire, he ends up in her bed and becomes hers for life in one lusty bite. Rene awakens the vampire within Natalie, and she awakes the passion within him. Together, they fight the evil threatening to destroy The Born vampires amidst the horror of Hurricane Katrina while they discover a treasure of love they can share for all eternity.
A crunch sounded outside—a crisp scrape like a footstep on grit. A sound Natalie knew was distant, perhaps from the courtyard below the window, but it jerked her awake in an instant just the same.
And just as quickly, she knew something wasn’t right.
The sound might have been the rustle of drying leaves as they tumbled across the paving stones or a small animal slipping between the iron bars of the gate, but she knew that wasn’t true.
She no longer questioned how she knew—she accepted the prickling warning the same way she did the fact she was a vampire. Instinctually.
The hairs on the back of her neck lifted and alarm tensed her muscles, readying her for flight.
Only she wasn’t the same frightened girl she’d been before tonight. Now, she’d gained a measure of personal power. She was becoming a monster in her own right.
And she had Rene.
Only he wasn’t here, now. His musky scent lingered in the bedroom, clung to the pillow beneath her nose, but he’d been gone for some time.
Was he aware of the furtive movements outside his house? Had he left to investigate? Or had he tried to escape her once again?
She couldn’t aford to wait for him to come to her rescue. This time, she’d be ready for whatever stepped out of the shadows. Refusing to huddle beneath the covers, she slipped from the bed and crept to the French window. Read the rest of this entry »
Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
Today, Tommy Triplehorn gets his happy-ever-after! I’ve given you glimpses into his story over the past few weeks, and you can read an excerpt if you click on the cover, but you only need to know a few things, don’t you? Tommy’s a cowboy, through and through. He’s only loved one woman in his entire life. And he’ll do anything to help her see that she’ll never be happy with any man who isn’t him. Add together a weekend in a hotel where two lovers reconnect, a threesome meant to blow apart one woman’s closely guarded heart, and a diligent young man and you have the makings of a very sexy cowboy story. I can’t wait to hear what you all think!
When two lonely hearts collide, age becomes just a number.
Sarah Colby’s marriage was over long ago, but she’s never shed the scars her abusive husband left behind. Add the one shameful indiscretion from her past, an affair with a much younger man, and she’s haunted by that long ago summer.
Tommy Triplehorn is happy his brothers have settled down and started families of their own, but he’s feeling a little smothered by all that domesticity. Carousing and drinking no longer holds a thrill, and he thinks he knows the reason why. He’s waited long enough for Sarah Colby to get over being ashamed of their shared past. He’s old enough to know what he wants, and he wants her.
Warning: A cowboy on a mission to seduce will do whatever it takes, including offering his woman a no-holds-barred weekend of sex, even a ménage with a friend, to prove he’ll fulfill her every sexy need…
Buy at Samhain
Buy at Amazon
Buy at Barnes & Noble
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
The last Triple Horn Brand book, A Long, Hot Summer, will release this coming Tuesday! If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy, well, why the hell not?!
Take a peek at excerpt below from the second book in the series, In Too Deep. Gabe is back to check out an old flame, never expecting she’d still be free, still be beautiful, and that the attraction they’d shared would still be red hot! Too bad Lena doesn’t know who he really is, because that one little lie is gonna backfire…
If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win
a free download of this book, or its prequel, Laying Down the Law!
Some things never change. And some things change everything.
Gabe Triplehorn can think of no better getaway from his heavy responsibilities at the ranch, than to go back to a time and place where he didn’t have a care in the world. When there was just a campground, a river and a girl.
When he gets to Red Hawk Landing, the campground and the river are still there. He just never expected the girl would still be there too. Only now she runs the place.
Lena Twohig can think of no better place to raise her young son than the family-owned campground that holds so many memories. Especially the romance with Gabe that lit up one long-ago summer like a wild electrical storm. Now he’s back, with a ranch-hardened body she knows she shouldn’t want so badly.
No amount of lies or the years that have passed can tame this tidal wave of passion.
Warning: Contains a flash flood of passion between a cowboy who knows how to pitch a tent and a woman who isn’t afraid to get a little dirty.
Gabe listened to the rustle of clothing being shed and her quick, excited breaths. When water splashed behind him, only then did he turn to acknowledge her presence. He didn’t betray any emotion over the fact she’d dumped propriety on its ass to join him—deliciously nude.
Only her breasts were visible, floating just beneath the surface of the water. The cream-colored globes were naturally full. The tips were tightened little buds. The areolas were a little larger than he remembered but still cotton-candy pink.
His cock hardened, pulsing as he imagined gently chewing on a stiff bud while her legs writhed around him.
She swam closer, but not so near he could sweep out a hand to bring her against him. She was ready to flirt but still held on to a little caution.
Gabe struck out for the first rocky ledge, and pulled himself up to sit while clear river water sluiced around his body. His cock was prominent despite the blurring stream. No way could she pretend not to be looking where she was.
Her gaze was caught, her pupils growing large as she stared at his erection.
He patted the rock beside him. “Why not join me?”
Her eyes widened, but she firmed her mouth and swam nearer.
He held out a hand, which she accepted after giving him a long, searching look. He pulled her up beside him to rest on the ledge. With her knees pulled up against her chest and her body curled, she hid most of her interesting bits. Her shyness amused and enchanted him.
That same combination of boldness and reticence had excited him as a youth. He’d wanted to make her blush with embarrassment one moment and with searing passion the next. In the end, she’d given him both.
“Tell me something,” he said softly. “Something about you.” He hoped she’d answer the questions abounding in his mind. Like why was she still here? Had she finished college? Or given up? Why was she still wearing that cheap promise ring he’d given her all those years ago?
She gave him a sideways glance. Her body still folded tightly, she wrapped her arms around her knees to hide herself.
Not that she looked anything but completely sexy. The long expanse of her back was golden and smooth. The sides of her breasts a creamy white.
She slicked back her wet hair then set her cheek against her knee as she stared back at him. “There’s not much to tell. I run this place in the summers for my grandfather.”
“And during the rest of the year?”
She lifted her shoulders. “I teach art in middle school.”
She’d wanted to study graphic design and work in a marketing firm. What the hell had happened to that dream?
“What about you?” she asked.
“I’m in cattle.”
Her eyelids dipped, and she glanced away. The tiny catch in her breath made him wonder if she was remembering a boy who’d been a rancher’s son.
“I have to ask you, because, well, it’d be a little embarrassing if you knew him…”
He let a smile curve his mouth. “Who?”
“His name was Gabriel Triplehorn. He was here years and years ago. Lived on a ranch too. Just wondered if you knew him. Your eyes kinda remind me of him.”
Gabe gave her an easy smile although inside his chest warmed. She hadn’t forgotten him. “Was he someone special?”
Her smile seemed a little brittle. “Like I said, it was years ago. We barely knew each other.”
“How well did you know each other?”
Her glance flashed, a hint of annoyance digging a line between her brows. “That’s hardly any of your business.”
“If I knew this Gabe, maybe it would be.”
She huffed a breath. “It’s not like you’d be stepping on any toes. It was a long time ago. Forget I even mentioned him.”
Gabe kept quiet, studying her face for a hint of what she was really thinking. Something about his appearance had sparked her memory, but by the tightness of her shoulders and the crimp of her soft lips, not every memory she had of him was rosy.
All his memories of her were fond ones. Had he done something, said something there at the end of that summer that had left a bitter taste in her mouth?
For the first time since he’d arrived, he wondered if he was doing the right thing. Playing this game. Perhaps he shouldn’t have given in to the temptation to extend the game after he’d discovered she wasn’t married. He didn’t understand what had inspired him to lie. Part of him had wanted to know whether the spark would still be there, without her memories of their previous entanglement swaying her. Part of him had wanted to protect himself. The moment he realized she wore his ring, something inside him had frozen for just a moment. He didn’t know how he felt about that. Likely, the ring held no meaning for her. But once, it had meant everything to him. He’d known when he left he’d likely never see her again, but he’d left his heart behind. No woman had ever moved him as much, and even though time had passed and dulled the emotions he’d felt back then, there was still a twinge of nostalgia plucking at him that scared him.
More than her beauty, more than her, he was afraid that he was ready to be in love again, and if she wasn’t the right person, he didn’t want to make a mistake.
Though why he was thinking this way left him confused. Perhaps seeing Colt so happy had changed him. Truth was, he hadn’t been in the mood to join Tommy in their usual carousing ever since the wedding. Maybe his churlishness stemmed from the fact he was envious of what Colt and Zuri had found.
Something of his thoughts must have played on his face, because Lena’s expression changed. The light of arousal began to fade. “Look, if you’ve changed your mind…” she said, bit her bottom lip and looked away.
Did she think he didn’t find her attractive now she was naked?
Gabe swore silently and pushed aside his concerns. Yes, he was worried that maybe he shouldn’t have gone into this based on a lie, but he did think this attraction was worth exploring. And his body hadn’t cooled down one bit.
Gabe leaned back to rest on one elbow and closed his eyes as the water poured over his body, rushing over his stomach and the jut of his thick cock.
He snuck a peek to watch her gaze running greedily over his male flesh and made up his mind in an instant that all teasing was done. He swung his head toward hers, catching her hungry gaze. “I won’t mind if you touch. But I left condoms on the bank.”
Her gaze searched his for a long moment, and a little smile played on her lips. She lifted her hand to uncurl her fingers. A plastic packet lay in the center of her palm.
“Are you nervous we’re moving too quickly?” he asked, giving her one last chance before he was too far gone to be a gentleman.
Her breath gusted. “I’m holding on by a thread, cowboy. I think if we don’t get past this, I won’t even remember how to breathe.” She lifted her chin to point at his cock. “Raise it above the water. I’ll put this on.”
That voice. A soft but firm command. She’d been like that back then, and he’d been eager to obey. For now, he’d let her lead since she seemed to need to be in charge.
Holding her gaze, he lay back on both elbows and raised his hips above the water.
Lena tore the packet open, stuffed the wrapper into a crevice in the rock and turned to face him, giving him a full view of her luscious body. Her fleshy frame was thicker but more beautiful than ever. She was full and rounded, her waist narrowing above generous hips. Every curve in lush proportion.
His breaths shortened as he raised his glance to meet hers. He read doubt in her eyes and gave her a smile. “Lena Twohig, you’re one beautiful woman.”
Her cheeks flooded with color. “Thanks.”
He could see the fortifying breath she took before she firmed her pretty mouth and bent over him to roll the condom down his shaft.
The sensation of her strong hand gliding down his length had him groaning, something he didn’t hold back because he didn’t want her worrying again about his attraction. When the latex clothed him, she gave him firm up and down pumps with her fist as though testing his hardness.
“What now?” he asked.
She wrinkled her nose. “Seems a little rude me climbing right on, seein’ as we’ve never even kissed.”
He liked the lazy ease of her comment and the husky texture of her voice. The sensual note was like a caress, stroking his balls. “I agree. Think we might manage to do both at the same time?”
* * * * *
Be sure to check out the snippets on these other authors’ blogs: