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Archive for 'Triple Horn Brand'



Flashback: The Triple Horn Brand (Contest)
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Maybe you missed it. The series was short. Just a trilogy of stories about cowboys who never got over their first loves. That they were brothers and owned a ranch was just part of the fun. Two of the heroines were older than the cowboys. One was his high school sweetheart. Yes, I’m talking about those boys from the Triplehorn Ranch.

I’ve been thinking about summer for the past couple of weeks. Wish I had time for a short cruise somewhere hot, where I could soak up some rays, dip my toes in saltwater, and dispense with all these layers of clothing! Hell, I wish I could just hit the fast-forward switch and make it May so I could start using the pool!

I’m looking forward to swimming, and hopefully finding time to do it more than once a day! Are you looking forward to summer? If so, what are you wanting to do most?

Comment for a chance to win one of these stories!

Laying Down The Law_full InTooDeep_600 LongHotSummer-A72lg

From A Long, Hot Summer

LongHotSummer-A72lgOne shared past. One weekend to make things right—and make it last forever.

The TripleHorn Brand, Book 3

Sarah Colby has never quite managed to shake off the emotional scars her ex-husband left behind. Nor has she been able to shed the shame of the one indiscretion that still haunts her memories.

When she asks the Triplehorn Ranch for help to move her cattle to an auction, the man they send has her working double-time to shore up the walls around her heart. He’s older now, harder—and hotter—but he’s the same Tommy Triplehorn she couldn’t resist all those years ago.

Tommy couldn’t be happier that his brothers have settled down, but he’s feeling a little smothered by all the domesticity. At the same time, carousing and drinking no longer appeal—and he thinks he knows why. Sarah Colby.

He’s waited too long for her to get over being ashamed of what they shared. He’s old enough to know what he wants. It’s her, and he’s going to use every second of their time together to dismantle her resistance. Even if he has to call in a little backup.

Warning: A cowboy on a mission to prove to the woman he loves that the only number that matters is the number of fantasies he’s willing to fulfill—even if it means sharing her for a night.

The kiss Tommy Triplehorn planted on Candy’s mouth made Sarah Colby’s mouth dry right up. She knew all too well how his kisses felt and couldn’t help the jealousy stirring up inside her as the couple walked down the sidewalk to a motel room door in plain view of every person inside the saloon.

The man had no shame. The red in his cheeks as he’d exited the bar had likely just been from the liquor he’d consumed.

Sarah tamped down the disappointment that soured her stomach and summoned a smile for the man she was meeting this night.

Blake Morrow was thick-shouldered and tall. A burly man with a booming voice. His wealth and standing in the community made him a very suitable suitor. The fact he already had children from a previous wife, was a relief to Sarah, who had resigned herself long ago to her barren state. Blake liked her and desired her property even more. He was honest about that, gently respectful of her intelligence by not trying to romance the Rocking C from under her as so many men had.

His gaze noted her blue jeans, and he arched a brow. “I take it we’re eating steaks here?”

She shrugged. “I ran into some problems before I could break away. No time to get dressed up.” She made no apology. Blake knew her responsibilities as a ranch owner came first.

“You still look beautiful,” he said, his tone gruff.

She appreciated the compliment and smiled, not wanting to read too deeply into anything he said. Surface congeniality, quiet respect. That was more than she was accustomed to. It would do.

Any stray thoughts of handsome cowboys like Tommy Triplehorn were consigned to her fantasy life, not her real life. The young rancher had been a mistake. One she’d regretted the instant she’d let him slip beneath her reserve. She’d felt alone, afraid for her future. She’d mistaken his rock-hard shoulder for maturity, his hot kisses for love. Eventually, she’d fallen from the clouds that had obscured her good sense and faced the cold hard truth. She was a plain woman, a natural woman. A barren, wealthy woman. The only things a man would ever want from her were what she owned and perhaps a bed partner. As sparsely populated as this section of Texas was, she had no illusions that convenience was on her side.

No, she’d learned a hard lesson all those years ago about what men wanted from wives. One she’d never forget. Her destiny wasn’t some fool’s gold of a lover’s promises.

Blake’s strong hand settled at the small of her back to guide her toward a table, something she couldn’t help flinching from. She didn’t need to be led. Didn’t need some big strong man showing her the way. But she kept silent. He was only doing what he’d been taught. He couldn’t know that the last time she’d been led, she’d been forced to submit. The action that left her cold, made her more reserved with men than other women might be.

Not that Blake seemed to notice as he smiled warmly across the table. “I’m surprised you accepted my invitation as many times as you’ve refused.”

She blinked, surprised he was getting straight to the point without any polite preliminaries. “You’ve been asking me for a while. I thought we should get to know each other.”

He nodded, the rugged face tightening just a little. “You know I want to court you.”

“I appreciate your candor,” she said softly. “I understand you have some expectations. I’m willing for us to explore a relationship.”

Good Lord, they sounded like the oil men who’d come to her ranch a few years back asking to sink a test well on her property.

Blake reached across the table and cupped her hand. Just a brief squeeze before he withdrew and flipped open the menu.

The waitress arrived. Relieved by the distraction, Sarah ordered a steak and salad. Blake ordered the same, adding shrimp and potatoes. She supposed such a large man would need the calories. Hopefully, he didn’t expect for her to let him finish her steak. She wasn’t some deskbound rancher. She rode the fences, supervised the movement of the cattle to fresher pastures, participated in the branding every spring. Every calorie she ate fueled her body, just like a man’s.

She forced herself to uncurl her fingers. What was she doing? Looking for problems? For judgment? Was she simply hoping to find a compelling reason to send Blake on his way like she’d done the past eight years with every other man who’d approached her since her husband’s untimely death?

Sarah forced herself to uncurl her hands in her lap. In any other situation she’d have been comfortable, in charge. But here, knowing Blake wanted to marry her, that he’d expect intimacies at some point, left her cold inside.

A damaged heroine in a romance novel, she certainly was not, but she had been tainted by a violent man. Left untrusting and wary. Glad for a long while for her self-imposed celibacy.

Pretending ease with the man sitting across from her seemed an insurmountable task. Who was she fooling? Sooner or later, he’d make a move and she wasn’t entirely sure who she’s react. Would she wouldn’t flinch or lean away. Or simply freeze in place.

The more she considered the idea of intimacy with this man, the more the knot in her stomach hurt. The last thing Blake wanted was problems. He had his life mapped out. He hadn’t looked any further than skin deep to determine she was his next move.

So although he’d be disappointed in the short term, she knew she couldn’t string him along with hopes she’d learn to deal with a husband in her life and bed. Before the salads arrived, Sarah made her apologies and quietly excused herself, leaving a befuddled Blake without a clue what he’d done wrong.

She headed straight to her car, hat in her hand, not looking around the dark parking lot. A scuff of gravel sounded, and she instantly regretted waving Blake back into his chair when he’d offered to walk her out. She cupped her keys, spreading her fingers around three to use as a weapon.

“You didn’t stay for dinner,” came a quiet voice behind her. Smooth as whiskey. Achingly sweet. Tommy Triplehorn. Read the rest of this entry »

Flashback: In Too Deep (Contest)
Saturday, May 30th, 2015

UPDATE: The winner of the free download is Heather S!

* * * * *

The other night I was at a Facebook party and I asked the question that went something like, “What are your favorite reunion stories, either in film or book?” And then I sat stumped because I couldn’t think of one. I had to think hard whether I had ever written one, and I mentioned one of my Lone Star Lovers books, Unforgiven. But it wasn’t until this morning, when I was trying to figure out what golden oldie I could offer as a flashback, that I remembered I had another…

So, I’ll ask again… What are your favorite reunion stories?

Comment for a chance to win In Too Deep or a short story on this carousel!

* * * * *

InTooDeep_600

Some things never change. And some things change everything.

Triple Horn Brand, Book 2

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.

Excerpt:

The cowboy glanced back through the window and caught her looking. Lena whirled around and stepped off the porch. Her toe caught in the lattice next to the step and she went down hard, bumping down two steps. She landed on one hip, gravel digging into a palm.

Tears pricked her eyes, and she winced at the pain. Worse, the door behind her slammed and heavy booted footsteps stomped down the steps.

When the handsome cowboy came down on a knee beside her, Lena wished the ground would open up and swallow her whole.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

The deep timbre of his voice did a number on her nerves. She shivered.

Something he must have taken for shock, because before she knew it, his hands were under her thighs and behind her back and he lifted her high against his chest.

“Put me down!”

“I will. Soon as I get you inside.”

“I’m too heavy for you to carry.”

“Darlin’ there’s some meat on your bones but not anything I can’t handle.” Read the rest of this entry »

Flashback: Laying Down the Law (Contest)
Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

UPDATE: The winner (selected by a random number generator) of the free
download of Laying Down the Law is…Jen M!

* * * * *

Happy New Year!

Yeah, getting tired of hearing that already? I still can’t believe it’s 2015. Or that it marks the 15th anniversary of the start of my writing career. In January 2000, as part of my new century resolutions, I decided it was time to become the person I wanted to be when I grew up—a writer. My sister, Elle James, and I entered the fray together, and thankfully, we’ve both succeeded and we’re both still writing! So there is magic in making those big dream kind of resolutions!

One of this year’s resolutions is to continue what I think is something you all enjoy—hosting new and popular authors on my blog so that you have a chance to meet them and see the fabulous stories they are bringing you. Also, I will give you plenty of encouragement to come back again and again, to this blog, by not only offering great guests, but also frequent chances to win some great prizes.

And if you don’t want to miss those opportunities to score a prize or meet a new author, be sure to subscribe to my blog. Scroll down this page, looking to the left-hand column until you see, “Subscribe to Blog via Email.” It’s as easy as that!

If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered
to win a free copy of the story below!

Oh, and one last thing before I share a fun excerpt from my favorite Triple Horn Brand novella—I’ll be sending out a newsletter soon, filled with goodies you won’t want to miss. So, if you’re not already signed up, here’s the link: Newsletter Signup.

Laying Down the Law

Laying Down The Law

“With amazing suspense, and hot, dominant lovin’ this cowboy and his high school sweetheart take the reader on an amazing emotional journey. Mixed with a bit of humor, sizzling bedroom scenes, and cowboys that steal your heart, Ms. Devlin has created a beyond 5 Book worthy start of an incredible new series. I am absolutely dying to know what happens in the next Triplehorn story!… Once again, thank you, Ms. Devlin, for stealing my heart with complex and witty characters, hot sex and riveting suspense!”
5/5 Books, Reviews by Molly
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…

Zuri looked up, her hands pulling the belt tighter around her waist, grateful that this time she was covered neck to mid-calf. Still, she was hyper-aware she was naked underneath it and only one knot away from making another big mistake.

“You find everything you needed?” he asked, his tone impersonal.

Oddly, she thought she might actually prefer that ragged edge of anger he’d blistered her with by the river. “Yes, thanks.” She dropped the ties and smoothed her hands down her sides, nervous beneath his unblinking stare. “I don’t suppose you have anything I might wear, besides this robe, that is.” She flushed at how awkward this felt, how ridiculous her situation was. A closet full of clothes hung waiting for her six hundred miles away.

“You’re pretty skinny. I might have some sweatpants and a T-shirt, but you’ll have to cinch in the pants at the waist to keep ’em from fallin’ off.”

Skinny? Once he’d likened her slender frame to a filly’s, and she’d taken it as the highest compliment. She lifted her chin. “That’d be fine.”

She jerked when he strode for her, but he edged around the bed, headed to his dresser and pulled out a pair of gray sweat pants and a navy tee. He tossed both on the bed, and then stood with his hands fisted on his hips.

Zuri bit back a complaint, wishing he’d quit hovering because he was keeping her on edge. But when he didn’t budge, she dragged her feet to the bed, scooped up the wash-softened cotton and turned toward the bathroom.

“Uh uh,” he said, tsking softly. “My house. My clothes. My rules.”

She glanced over her shoulder, not knowing if she’d heard him right, but that same hard challenge he’d issued when he’d demanded the kiss was stamped all over his granite features.

She knew she ought to ignore him and lock herself into the bathroom to dress and gather her scattered wits, but the underlying tension riding the edge of his jaw excited her.

Colt had never been this dominating…except when they had sex. She’d loved it then. Her body seemed to crave it now. Heat bloomed again, winding around her core. A delicious little thrill accelerated her heartbeats.

Without a saying a word, she walked back to the bed and tossed down the clothing. Then keeping her gaze glued to his, she slowly untied the belt and let the robe fall open. With a sexy shrug, she let it slide off her shoulders and pool behind her on the floor.

Colt blinked first. His gaze trailed downward. His throat worked around a tense swallow, and Zuri couldn’t help the smile that tugged at the corners of her mouth. He might think he was in charge, but she knew better. Colt liked what he saw.

His quickening breaths were the first clue. The curving of his fists the second. When he opened his stance, just a few inches, she nearly crowed.

Reaching for the cotton pants, she wished she had something sexier to slide inside, then wondered if she’d lost her good sense to think that way. She had enough problems on her plate. But how could she dress and prevent him seeing what this was doing to her? Bending and opening her legs to step into the sweatpants made her feel vulnerable, exposed in a way that just standing there naked hadn’t. “I don’t understand you, or why you’re doin’ this.”

“You don’t know me.”

“I guess that’s true. It’s been a long time.”

“You didn’t know me then.”

She pulled the pants upward, over the curve of her bottom, feeling a little less off-center now that her lower half was hidden from his view. The waist of the pants settled on her hips and she rolled the band to gather up the excess fabric. “Guess that’ll have to do,” she muttered.

As she dragged the T-shirt over her head, she reminded herself why she was here. Definitely not to play games with her ex-boyfriend. She needed a safe place to stay. And she needed to keep Colt clueless until she had a chance to find her car and get rid of the damning evidence before the police found it. Her story might sound a little more believable then.

When she’d pulled the fabric down, fully covering her body, only then did she raise her glance to Colt’s again.

His brows pulled together. “Gonna tell me what’s going on? Why you’re here?”

“I’m a little hungry,” she said, knowing her attempt to stall was completely transparent. “I don’t suppose I could eat first?”

Colt dropped his fists and stepped closer, forcing her chin higher to hold his steady gaze. “If you’re in trouble…”

What? He’d help? She didn’t think so. Colt appeared to be the same inflexible cowboy. He’d always judged a person’s actions as either black or white, right or wrong. No interesting muddying of the colors accepted. She’d forgotten that about him.

She pondered telling him part of the tale, but worried he’d use what he learned to play with her some more. He seemed to like that fact he held the reins.

Zuri licked her lips. “I need a place to stay. Just for a little while.”

His gray eyes, once so warm and open, narrowed. A muscle flexed alongside his jaw.

She waited him out, knowing he wasn’t satisfied with her response. The longer the moment stretched between them, the more uncomfortable she grew. Still holding his steady gaze, she shifted her bare feet, supremely conscious of the fact she wasn’t wearing a stitch of underwear and that his clothing, while freshly laundered, still carried the hint of his unique scent. She was at his mercy. Completely.

Colt inhaled deeply, and then issued a soft, masculine grunt. He reached down and closed his hand around hers, then tugged her closer to the bed. He sat on the edge, staring at their hands before he looked up. “If you stay…you’ll sleep here,” he said, his voice tense and ragged.

Zuri wet her lips with her tongue because her mouth had suddenly gone dry. What he proposed sounded both so…wrong, yet incredibly tempting. She couldn’t get words past her tightening throat. If she could have, she didn’t know whether she would have told him to go to hell or given him a breathless yes. Instead, she squeezed his fingers.

So many thoughts swirled in her mind. Their past, her impossibly complicated present. It sounded so simple. She’d sleep beside him. Make love with him. Maybe she’d even find out that her memories of their being together were painted in rosy hues because she’d been younger, and he’d been her first.

Perhaps in exchange he’d give her clothes and money so that she could make a graceful exit.

Zuri crowded closer to his knees, tilting her chin.

Colt’s lips curved slightly at the corners, and although his gaze remained narrow, he scooted back.

She climbed over his lap, facing him, her thighs sliding over the outside of his, not saying a word, following her instincts although they’d led her down treacherous paths before. She slipped her hand alongside his neck, felt the heavy thrum of his pulse and bent down, her mouth hovering above his. “Think you can keep this uncomplicated, cowboy?”

A deep, throaty groan seeped between his lips, and she leaned into him, settling over the ridge throbbing beneath the placket of his jeans. She could do this. She could take what she wanted from him without losing her heart again. It was just sex. Just an arrangement for shelter, for time.

She had no illusions that she’d be sought by the law and soon. Her job would report her missing. The police would check her apartment and her background. But Detective David Satterly might want her involvement kept under wraps until he’d gotten to her…that might work to her advantage.

As Colt’s arms closed around her back, he lowered himself to the bed and brought her with him.

Sighing, she let her worries slide away. For now, she’d enjoy this little interlude. Accept the pleasure she knew he could deliver. She was older, had learned a few things about how to keep a relationship light. It was just sex.

But then he slid his hand beneath her shirt and scraped his callused palm upward to close around her bare breast. The sandpaper rasp of his thumb across her nipple lit a spark.

Their kiss turned instantly carnal, tongues stroking deeply, lips latching desperately together. Their bodies ground together, frustrated by the clothing separating them.

A knock sounded at the door.

“Ignore it,” she whispered.

Colt sighed. “Can’t. Gabe’ll just barge in. Have to explain it to him first.”

She sat, still straddling his hips. He slid his hand slowly from under her shirt and she climbed off. She turned her back to the door as Colt’s footsteps tapped across the bare wood.

Behind her, the brothers’ voices whispered too low to make out the words, but the rapidity of their exchange, short-bulleted bursts, told her Gabe wasn’t happy with her being here.

Keeping her back to them, she glanced into the dresser mirror and ran her fingers through her damp, tousled hair. Then her gaze fell on the jumbled items resting in a wooden tray. Keys, change. Silver gleamed. She stepped closer and plucked up a metal badge, Sheriff etched on its surface.

Zuri’s hand closed around it and the sharp edges dug into her skin. The one man she’d thought she might seek refuge with was the last she could trust with her secrets.

Snippet Saturday: Be My Baby
Saturday, September 14th, 2013

This week’s theme is “Be My Baby” and I have a scene from my recent release (doesn’t that just sound dirty?) that I’d like to share. Sure, Tommy Triplehorn’s “Be My Baby” avowal isn’t wrapped in a pretty pink bow, but it’s effective, don’t you think? Besides, I love a man who knows what he wants and isn’t gonna suffer any fools!

 If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win
a free download of this book!

LongHotSummer-A72lg

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…

Sarah heard the slamming of a vehicle door in the distance and wondered who it might be coming this late at night.

When she opened her front door and stepped out under the porch, her eyes widened on the figure stomping through her grass. “Tommy?”

He didn’t answer. Didn’t even appear to be looking at her. His head was down, the brim of his hat hiding his face, but the clenched fists were telling.

Her heart stopped and then sluggishly began thudding in her chest. She backed up toward her door, reaching behind her for the knob.

Tommy stomped up the steps, his boots slamming against the wood, until he stood in front of her, gazing down with his storm-cloud eyes. “You didn’t call,” he said, his voice gruff.

Tommy angry was different from Paul Colby in a snit. Something she shouldn’t have to remind herself about. She let go of the knob and leaned back against the wood, staring up into the face she’d dreamed about every night when she’d laid in her bed alone. “You didn’t call,” she said softly, repeating his words.

Moisture filled his eyes and he glanced away blinking. “It was your choice. It was always your choice. Either you accepted me, or you used that weekend to get me out of your system. I waited for your call.”

Sarah dropped her head, wanting to hide her face so he couldn’t see her expression, couldn’t guess what a coward she’d been. He’d been so proud of her that weekend, loving the fact she’d let go of her fears and inhibitions. But the moment she’d come back home, she’d been assailed with doubts.

Caldera wasn’t Abilene. People knew them both. And there was the fact she hadn’t been completely honest with him about the baggage she’d bring to their marriage. The fact she was barren.

“I was afraid,” she whispered. “Afraid that I wouldn’t be strong enough to tell you, or if I told you that you would brush away the truth like it didn’t matter, when I know it will.”

Tommy stepped closer, so close his boots touched hers and his chest crowded against her breasts. When he looked down, the intensity of his stare nearly shredded her resolve. She wanted nothing more than to melt against him, cling to him. She wanted him to carry her inside and tear the clothes from her body. She wanted him deep inside her, her body wrapped around him while he plunged toward her center, baring her heart.

“I can’t give you children,” she said, tears blinding her. “I can’t get pregnant—not without a lot of medical intervention, and even then…”

“Doesn’t matter,” he said gruffly, pressing closer, his hands landing on the sandstone wall behind her.

She smacked his shoulders and shoved against him. “Of course it matters!” she cried brokenly. “It matters,” she whispered, then slid down, only to be propped up by the thigh he pushed between her legs.

“You’re out of excuses,” he whispered.

“Excuses?” She dashed away her tears with the back of a hand.

“Yeah, never heard such whinin’—too old, barren—you make it sound like all you have to offer a man is your cunt and your womb.”

She gasped. “What did you just say?”

“You heard me, Sarah Colby. I’m not buyin’ it. Your little pity party has cost me nearly a month of lost sleep. My dick’s raw from me rubbin’ on it because I can’t get you out of my head.” Read the rest of this entry »

Snippet Saturday: In the Doghouse
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!

Laying Down The Law_full

“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:

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
TJ Michaels

Last of the Triplehorn Boys, Out Today!
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!

Long Hot Summer

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
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Snippet Saturday: Can’t Fight This Feeling! (Contest)
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!

InTooDeep_600

 

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:

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace