The winner of the free download of one of the prequel books is Mary!
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I’m late getting this posted today! If I haven’t mentioned it before, my daughter is expecting to give birth at any time. Last night, she thought she might be going into labor, so I stayed at her place babysitting dogs and cats and a kidlet, while she made another trip to the emergency room. It was a false alarm, but now we’re all wrung out.
Today, I thought I’d introduce you to the last of the Triple Horn Brand stories. Think Texas cowboys, a hot summer on a cattle ranch… The theme running through all the books is the fact the Triplehorn boys never, ever moved on from their first sweethearts. The books are a bit sweeter, and a couple of them involve women who were inappropriate matches back in the day, but they’ve all been given second chances to fall in love all over again. This last one even involves a little ménage play, something I know you love to see with these Texas cowboys.
Hope you enjoy the snippet. A Long, Hot Summer releases on August 13th, so you have time to read the other two books before diving into this one. If you’d like to go ahead and pre-order the book, click on the cover! I do a nice little wrap-up at the end of this book so you can see all the Happy-Ever-Afters…
If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win
a free download of one of the prequel books!
One 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.
Product Warnings: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.
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 how she’d react. Would she 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.
She tossed back her hair and glanced over her shoulder. “You didn’t stay for whatever…”
The corners of his mouth twitched. “My taste buds must be off. She was too sweet. What’s your excuse?”
Sarah blew out a breath and turned, facing the young man who had plagued her thoughts since their long-ago affair—no intention whatsoever of answering his question. “You’re looking good, Tommy.”
Lord, not the smart thing to say, but the plain unvarnished truth. Dark-brown hair worn short, thick shoulders and arms, thighs, heavily muscled… She darted her gaze back up before she exposed her fascination, only to linger on his handsome face. Age had carved maturity into his features, honed them to sharp-edged masculine lines. He presented an arresting picture, although she did miss the old softness in his now-piercing gaze.
A muscle along the edge of his jaw tightened. “When are you gonna face the truth, Sarah?”
She shook her head, swallowing down the hot lump that burned the back of her throat. “I have to go home,” she said hoarsely, turning and jamming her key into the lock, but scraping the paint on her car instead.
He stepped closer, pressing his body against her back and reached around to gently cup her hand until she released the keys. Then, pushing long enough she felt the tension in his tall frame, he unlocked her door and dangled her key ring until she grabbed for it.
Tommy planted his hands on either side of her and nuzzled her hair. “Ever ask yourself why it is I can do this, move into your space, touch you, without you goin’ cold as a block of ice?”
“No.” She wasn’t lying. The last thing she wanted was to remember. She kept the memory of how they’d been together closely guarded, even from herself.
“Didn’t think so. Or you wouldn’t have let all this time pass, even though we both know you belong to me.”
She shook her head. “I don’t belong to you. There is no you and me. We’re all wrong, Tommy.”
His head nodded, rubbing her cheek. “Because I was too young. But sweetheart, age stopped bein’ a good enough reason when I stopped bein’ a teenager.”
“We should never have—”
“Not then. I know it was a mistake. For you, anyway. I have no regrets. But there’s no good reason now.”
He nuzzled the corner of her neck and her knees quivered. She had to be strong. Good Lord, what if someone saw them like this? “Look at me Tommy,” she said staring at their reflections in the window. “Look at us. That’s why we don’t belong together.”
Tommy’s brows lowered as he stared into his reflection. “I don’t understand what it is you see that I don’t. If it’s age, that’s not good enough, Sarah. Not anymore. I’m sick and tired of pretendin’ I don’t care.”
She turned inside his arms and met his gaze with a steady one of her own. “You should respect my wishes. I told you no eight years ago. I haven’t changed my mind.”
Tommy leaned away, dropped his head and stared at his clenched hands for a long moment. When he raised his head again, his gaze bored into hers.
The weight of that steady stare settled in her core, and she shivered beneath the raw intensity of his expression.
“Hear me now, Sarah Colby. I’m not givin’ up on us. Everywhere you go, I’ll be there. Waitin’ for you to come to your senses.”
She scoffed, while inside a traitorous part of her body rejoiced. “You sound like you intend to be my stalker.”
“If that’s what it takes to make you understand I’m serious…”
Sarah shivered, hearing the conviction in his deep voice, reading the icy resolve in his gray eyes. The tender cowboy she’d known years ago had been replaced by a man with dangerous edges.
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Be sure to check out the snippets on these other authors’ blogs:
Mandy M. Roth