The winner of the autographed copy of COWBOY FEVER is named at the bottom of this blog! Tomorrow, I’ll announce the Bored Fairy and a Signed Book contest winner.
We’re almost there. One more day. I hope I’ve whetted your appetites for more handsome cowboys. The Logan brothers are the next whose dirty secrets I’ll expose. And all I can say is Ellie Harker is one lucky girl.
Sam Logan’s foster sons have a bad rep in Two Mule, Texas. Most of it earned. When it becomes clear they don’t plan on giving up scootin’ after ever pretty pair of boots in town anytime soon, he issues the one thing he knows they can’t resist: a challenge. Find a wife.
The oldest, Johnny, is actually grateful. He’s had his eye on Mean Ellie Harker for a long time, and Sam’s challenge is the kick in the pants he needed to ask her out. Except before he can make his move, his brothers kidnap her right out from under his nose. Now, instead of being one question away from victory, he has to compete for the woman of his dreams.
Ellie thought she’d be a dried up old spinster before Johnny finally untangled his tongue long enough to ask for a date. But instead of teaching him better uses for that tongue, his brothers have whisked her away to the ranch. At first she’s furious…then intrigued when she starts to wonder what it might be like…
Warning: Four handsome cowboys. Four choices. Would it be a single sordid night or a chance at heaven as she savors every luscious inch of the Logan brothers?
Johnny pulled in front of the diner just in time to see the Luckadoo girl heading to her Corolla. The sign on the diner door read CLOSED. “Get out and see if she’s ready.”
Killian gave him a crooked smile. “You’re grumpy when you’re horny.”
Johnny grimaced. “Don’t say that word to me. What I am at the moment is mad. This was a dumb idea.”
Killian laughed and stepped down from the cab. He ambled to the door. He tried it then glanced over his shoulder and shrugged.
Johnny hit the steering wheel with his hand. She’d run. He guessed that was answer enough.
Killian cupped a hand over his eyes and peered through the glass before walking back to the truck and climbing inside. “Know where she lives?”
He did, but he wasn’t telling Killian. She’d made up her mind. “Let’s go home.”
“You’re gonna give up? Just like that?” His mouth pursed, then his head swung back toward Johnny. “Maybe she wants us to give a little chase so we appreciate her when we catch her.”
Johnny shook his head. “She’s not the type to play games.”
“She’s got a smart mouth. Maybe she does.”
He gripped the steering wheel tighter. “Let’s go home.”
Killian sighed. “I’m sorrier than I can say this didn’t work out. I was really lookin’ forward to rumplin’ her starchy hide.”
Johnny shot him a killing glare and put the truck in reverse, backing up then making a U-turn in the middle of Main Street to head home again.
Killian grunted then turned in his seat. “You’re not gonna give up that easy, are you? What about Sam?”
“Sam can hire a damn cook.”
They passed the saloon on the left. The music was loud enough to be heard above the rumbling diesel engine.
“Want to get a drink before we head home?”
And have some yahoo make a comment about Indians and their liquor? Johnny knew his limits. His sour mood guaranteed he’d be hauled to jail after a fistfight. “No. You can come back later, by yourself, if you wanna drink.”
“All right. I give up.”
Thankfully the trip home was quiet. Darkness fell with the quickness of light blinking out.
Rolling up to the garage, Johnny noted the twins’ truck parked at an angle in the center of the driveway.
“Guess they were in a hurry. Must have got lucky.”
Johnny didn’t reply. For a short while as they’d killed time in the Feed and Seed, purchasing supplies while waiting for the diner to close, he’d felt lighter, anticipating an evening spent with a warm, willing woman. An attractive woman with rosy cheeks and a sharp-eyed gaze. Now he’d have to listen to the sounds his brothers made as they entertained a girl. And it would be a girl, he thought sourly.
He and his brother piled out of the truck and walked through the breezeway and straight into the mudroom off the kitchen.
Voices sounded from the living room. One voice in particular caught his attention, the feminine edge so familiar his body grew instantly taut.
“I am not sleeping with you! Get it out of your head right this minute.”
What the hell was Ellie doing here? And with the twins? And what the hell was she talking about—not sleeping with them? Had Mace and Jason succeeded where he’d failed? He glanced back at Killian whose eyebrows rose high.
“Is it because of our reputations?” Mace sounded like he always did—on the brink of laughter. “Not all of it was earned, I swear.”
“And that’s supposed to make me feel better?”
The edge of sarcasm in her voice pushed him into action. Women went soft and giggly around the twins. However, Ellie wasn’t treating them any differently than she had him and Killian.
Johnny slammed through the swinging door—and ground to an abrupt halt.
Ellie sat on a kitchen chair, her hands behind her as though bound. When her head swiveled his way, her eyes snapped with anger and a furious blush colored her cheeks.
Johnny’s head felt ready to explode. “What the hell is goin’ on?” he shouted.
Mace and Jason glanced up from where they knelt beside her, tying another knot.
“She tried to bolt and take the truck back to town,” Mace said cheerfully.
“Why the hell is she here?”
Ellie’s chin shot up, her mouth thinning. “She wasn’t given a goddamn choice!”
Jason shrugged. “We asked nicely. First. But she said she was busy.”
“Maybe you should have believed her.”
Killian swept past him and circled behind Ellie. “Nice knots.”
Ellie sputtered. “Nice knots? Do you know how many charges I could bring against these two idiots?”
Johnny’s anger cooled in an instant. He narrowed his gaze on the disheveled woman. “Law’s not comin’ anywhere near them,” he growled.
Her eyebrows lowered and her lips pushed into a stubborn pout. “Untie me now.”
Johnny glanced at Killian whose expression was bemused. His brother cleared his throat and knelt at her side. “You know they don’t mean any harm,” Killian said, his tone even and for once without a hint of sly humor.
“That doesn’t excuse the fact they kidnapped me,” Ellie said with a firm nod of her head .
Johnny strode forward and gripped the arms of the chair and turned it hard, jerking it to face him directly. Then he bent so close he was nearly nose to nose with her. “What has you maddest? The fact they kidnapped you? Or the fact that it wasn’t Killian and me?”
Mace’s eyebrows shot up. “It was you she was gettin’ busy with?” He started chuckling.
Jason’s laughter was full-bodied, and he hugged his belly and dropped onto his ass on the floor.
Johnny shook his head, waiting for them to quiet while his fingers tightened on the chair’s arms.
Mace held up a finger. “We’ll stop…promise. Gotta hear the rest of this.”
He felt a tic pulse beside his eye. Anger and frustration, even a little fear for the twins, bubbled up inside him.
Her frown eased and her hazel eyes widened, staring at the tic. She wet her lips with the tip of her tongue.
Silence enclosed them at last as the twins’ laughter faded. He knew they all stared at him, waiting to see how he’d solve this problem. His focus narrowed as he loomed over her. This was between the two of them. Regardless of how it had happened, this moment had been inevitable. For once, the right words spilled out. “Maybe they didn’t go about it right, but it doesn’t mean this has to end bad.”
Her gaze locked with his.
His trailed down her body.
Her chest moved with her shortened breaths. Her nipples beaded against the thin tee stretched taut by the position of her arms.
“I don’t approve how they got you here, but you’re stuck here now. Until we figure out a way to make this right.”
She snorted, but her expression softened as though she wasn’t quite as self-assured as she’d been moments ago. “You wanna make this right?” she said softly. “You take me home now.”
Killian eased closer and pushed a mussed strand of her hair behind her ear. “Tell the truth, Ellie,” he whispered. “You kinda like this, don’t you?”
Her head pulled back. “You’re all insane.”
Killian tapped her nose. “The truth now. This is the most fun you’ve had, isn’t it? Or it could be.”
More than a little shocked at the implications, Johnny fought the sudden surge of heat roaring through his body. The sight of her, trembling with rage, tied and vulnerable, shot lust straight through him. What the hell did that say about the kind of man he was?
He cleared his throat to get their attention. “Ellie, we’re already in too deep now. Look at me.”
Her head hung for a minute then slowly lifted. Moisture filled her eyes, but her chin firmed again as she met his glance.
“They went about this all wrong. But they don’t mean any harm. None of us do.”
“What do you want from me, Johnny?” she asked, her voice husky.
His throat worked as he drew moisture into a mouth gone dry. Christ, he was really gonna say this. “I want anything you’re willin’ to give.”
She gave a soft gasp.
The impulse was there, and since he was already damned, he didn’t resist. He bent toward her, satisfaction blazing through him when she raised her mouth to meet his.
The winner, by random number generator, of the autographed copy of Cowboy Fever is…Lindsey E! Lindsey, be sure to email me to arrange delivery of your prize!