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January 4, 2011 (ebook)
December 6, 2011 (print)
Two men plus one woman equals three bodies on fire…
True Wyatt’s hands are going to be full enough keeping the herd alive through the dead of winter. The last thing he needs to hear is that his brother Lonny has rented out their isolated hunting cabin to a reclusive writer—especially a sassy, disaster-prone brunette. Who has the time to babysit a city girl until Spring?
With a deadline looming, erotica writer Honey Cahill is looking forward to six distraction-free weeks to finish her next book. However, between Lonny’s flirty sensuality and True’s hard-edged intensity, the Wyatt brothers set the stage of her imagination for a winter of wicked delights.
The fire that destroys the cabin, though, is as real as it gets. Forced to seek a bed under True and Lonny’s roof, the temptation to experiment—all in the name of research, of course—is overpowering. One night in their arms doesn’t feel like enough; it feels like more. Particularly with one cowboy who fires all her cylinders…
Warning: It’s a Devlin ménage—expect men with stamina and not an ounce of mercy to behave like sex gods, and the lucky woman to love every minute of it. A little domination goes a long, long way…
Note for Readers: You must be of legal age in your country of origin to read this excerpt.
True Wyatt prided himself on control—control over the multitude of responsibilities that came with riding herd over a successful ranch; control over his brother, who thought life should be enjoyed rather than conquered; and control over the desires he’d kept in rein since the demise of his marriage. And yet, the sight that greeted him this cold winter day told him he’d only been fooling himself.
From his perch high atop the ridge overlooking the lonely cabin, True Wyatt watched the shapely brunette as she made another trip to her car to pull boxes and suitcases from her backseat, one after the other. Grumpily, he wondered how she’d managed to stuff so much inside a Corolla. The trunk had held a similar assortment of printer-paper-sized boxes, which she’d manhandled into the house, her face growing rosy with exertion.
Despite the biting wind, she’d dispensed with her down coat and wore only a sweater with a crew neck, the sleeves pushed off her wrists. The dark blue knit hugged her upper torso, defining a lovely bosom and narrow waist. Every time she bent to pull out another box her designer jeans hugged her small rounded bottom, and his loins tightened.
Which annoyed the hell out of him. Fact was, he wished he could turn his horse away and pretend he hadn’t noticed trouble had arrived on his mountain. He knew exactly who to blame. His anger smoldered like hot coals ready to erupt into a full blaze. The clop of hooves approaching behind him carried just the fuel to add to the fire.
“Did you know?” True barked without glancing back.
“Know what?” his brother asked, humor underlying his slow drawl as he pulled up alongside him.
“That our tenant is a woman.”
“Sure did. I’m surprised that you’re surprised since I gave you a copy of her book. Picture’s right there on the back cover.”
The book in question sat on the credenza in True’s office. Exactly where his brother had left it two days ago. The fact he hadn’t bothered turning it over made True’s cheeks heat. Dammit.
Lonny had asked him just last night if he’d read the story. The wicked gleam in his eyes when he’d said it should have clued True in that his little brother was enjoying a joke at his expense.
“You do know this is gonna complicate things. If we weren’t busy enough after letting go of the seasonal hands, now we have to babysit—”
“She’s not looking for anyone to babysit her, True. Said she wants the privacy to finish up a book.”
True speared him with a glare. “We can’t leave her alone. What the hell does she know about surviving a winter in high country?”
“Probably not any more than the male author you thought you were gettin’.”
True gritted his teeth as Lonny’s mouth stretched into a gleeful smile.
“Tell the truth. You planned on having to check up on Mr. H.A. Cahill. You don’t trust tenderfoots.”
“But I wouldn’t be as worried. If a man’s stupid enough to get himself into trouble out here, it’s a damn shame, but not something I’d lose sleep over. But she’s…” He waved his hand toward the woman hopping down the steps for another load.
Her breasts bounced enticingly, distracting him from what had to be said.
At Lonny’s chuckle, he swung back with a narrowed gaze. “It’s not safe. Does she know she could be shut in for a month? That bears and wolves pretty much think a cabin is a drive-through?”
“The bears are hibernating. She’ll be gone before they stir. And you know wolves are shy of humans.”
“Does she know how to shoot a gun? Dammit, does she even own one?”
Lonny shrugged. “I asked if she needed me to leave one. She gave me a funny look.”
True cursed. “You show her how to light that cantankerous stove?”
“Showed her twice.”
The woman bent, reaching deep to the back floorboard of her car. Her sweater rode up, exposing a set of deep dimples right above her sweetly curved ass.
“Electricity’s bound to go out,” True muttered.
“There’s plenty of gas in the shed for the generator. ’Sides, she said candlelight gets her in the mood.”
True’s gaze swiveled back.
Lonny raised the hand not holding his reins. “For writing her stories. Although gotta wonder myself if she wasn’t talking about more. Her book was damn hot.”
“You thinking to give her inspiration?” True growled, his voice rising.
“Well, she did invite me down for a meal…” At True’s deepening scowl, he flashed a grin. “Out of gratitude. Said when Leroy’s hunting cabin went up in that brushfire her plans for a retreat were all shot to hell. She’s forever in my debt.” He waggled his eyebrows at the last statement.
True looked away, hoping to keep from saying something really nasty, because for whatever reason, the thought of his brother with the curvy woman below made him feel even meaner.
When he glanced back down the hill, his gut clenched. H.A. Cahill had stacked two boxes and was walking slowly toward the porch. The height of her burden was taller than the top of her head.
“Dammit,” he cussed and nudged his horse forward. She was gonna break her neck—and on his property. Sooner he helped her get inside, the sooner he could move on to more important things, like moving the last of the cattle to the box canyon where they’d stay to weather the worst of the winter.
As his horse picked its way down the slope, he kept sending darting glares her way, willing her silently to stay put. The brief thaw they’d experienced the past week had ended. Snow clung to patches of shaded earth, but had melted away everywhere else, leaving mud and slicks of slush. However, today’s cold snap was re-freezing the ground, the roads—the damn steps.
She slowed as she approached the steps, kicking out one booted toe to find them. Then tentatively, she stepped up. His worst fear was realized when she took another step and her foot slid out from under her. She toppled backward to the ground, giving a startled yelp as her boxes opened and the wind carried away pages of paper.
He kicked his horse’s sides, hurrying him down, ignoring the pounding of his brother’s horse behind him.
Before his own palomino came to a full halt beside the woman struggling to sit, he was out of his saddle and glaring down.
Ready to tear into her for her carelessness, he opened his mouth—but a strange thing happened. One look into her cornflower blue eyes, and his breath hitched. The caustic complaint he was about to voice stuck in his throat.
“You must be the brother,” she said breathlessly, her voice impossibly chipper for a woman who looked as though she’d gotten the wind knocked right out of her. “True, right? Your parents…got really creative with…your names,” she gasped. “I like that. Don’t be surprised…if they turn up in a book somewhere.” And then she grinned.
True’s dick hardened in a one blazing instant, and he knew with a fatalistic certainty just what kind books she wrote.