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!
* * * * *
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.
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.”
Lena’s face burned with embarrassment. Had he meant it that way?
Kayla met them at the door, opened it and then stood to the side as the cowboy swept inside. As they passed, Kayla gave Lena a wink and a thumbs up. “Her bedroom’s just down the hall to the left,” she called after them. “Across the hall from yours, cowboy.”
“Thanks, Kayla. I’ll settle up with you in a few.”
“Take your time,” her helper sang.
Lena wiggled her legs. “I swear you can put me down. I’m fine.”
He didn’t look down, but Lena watched one corner of his firm mouth twitch. “There’s gravel embedded in your thigh. Your hands are scraped. Why not let me help? I’m willin’.”
They reached her bedroom door and he drew to a halt. His gaze dropped. “You’re gonna have to turn the knob.”
Every word that came out of his mouth felt as though it was charged with sexual current. Her body tightened against the thrill of it all. Lena reached to the side and twisted the knob, excitement buzzing inside at the thought of him entering her bedroom.
He turned sideways and stepped into the room, giving it a quick glance before he strode to the bed. He set her down on the coverlet, and Lena instantly swung her legs over the edge.
The cowboy stepped so close one of his thighs brushed the naked inside of one of hers. She glanced up to find him towering over her, his hands on his hips.
“Are you gonna stay put?”
Lena drew in a quick breath. The man had nerve. “I don’t take orders well.”
“Like givin’ ’em, do ya?”
Jesus, his voice was smooth as dark silk. Her throat went dry. She nodded.
His gaze narrowed as he studied her. “Just to be straight. Is there a mister?” His gaze went to the slender silver ring on her finger.
She considered lying or at least dancing around the point, but the thrill of him even asking the question had her insides tingling. “I’m not married. It’s a promise ring.”
His forehead wrinkled, and he reached for her hand. He curved her fingers over his and lifted it to take a closer look. When he swept his glance back to hers, she almost drew back. So much heat was banked in that one predatory glance.
“You think if I was married I would have let you carry me here?”
“What’s your name?” he asked.
His head shook. “A woman like you never married?”
Lena straightened her shoulders. Why did everyone think it was an attractive woman’s duty to marry? “It’s none of your business why I decided to remain single.”
He swallowed. A dark gleam in his eyes and the stubborn set of his jaw kept her from saying anything more.
“I’m…Tommy,” he said softly.
“Just Tommy, for now.”
He didn’t look much like a Tommy. She’d have named him something rugged and harsh. Something as severe as the cut of his square jaw.
Was the fact he’d only given her one name some kind of clue? Like he wanted to keep a little mystery going? Was he hoping she’d be into it as well? Lena took a breath and decided to stop pretending she didn’t want him in her room. Needing to take back a little control, she pointed toward the bathroom. “You’ll find washcloths in the cupboard beside the shower.”
“Under the sink.”
When he turned his heel, she waited until he was out of sight before she mouthed the words, Oh my God!
A seriously sexy man was in her bathroom and looking through her cupboards. Her cheeks burned at the thought of the intimacy. She’d never been one to bring men home. A once-in-a-blue-moon rendezvous at a motel was the most she’d allowed herself over the years. She wasn’t a prude, but with Grandpa and Jake to consider, she lived a pretty circumspect life.
She’d never had an opportunity like this one land in her lap. Summers were usually spent with both of her guys constantly underfoot, but Grandpa’s accident had put the burden of running the campsite squarely on her shoulders.
Why shouldn’t she take advantage and see where this might lead? She was a free agent. Tommy seemed interested. Now, if she could just let him know she was too without looking too desperate for her own pride’s sake, why not have some fun?
While he was gone, she kicked off her flip-flops and struck a pose, one knee raised, the other stretched. Did it look natural? She slid her knee back down and glanced sideways because he was standing beside her wearing a one-sided smile.
“Nice scrape,” he murmured, nodding his chin toward her right knee. “Better raise it again.”
Mute with embarrassment, she slid it up.
He sat on the edge of the bed, one leg folded under him as he bent toward her knee and began to gently wash it with a wash cloth.
“All this fuss,” she murmured, “and it’s just a little dirt.”
The skin was angry looking when he’d finished. He picked up the antiseptic spray, coated the abrasions and then blew on her skin to dry it.
Her gaze snagged on his pursed lips, staring a little too long because a grin stretched there, bringing her gaze to his eyes, which were wrinkled with amusement. Gray eyes. Nearly a slate-blue.
She’d once known a boy with eyes just like that. But framed by long dark lashes and set in a pretty-boy face. They’d both been young. She’d been a couple years older and had known better, but he’d been so eager to learn everything she wanted to teach him.
This rugged-featured, grown man, sitting so close she could smell the scent of his musk and a hint of something sagey, didn’t look as though he needed instruction. No, he exuded a sexual confidence she found impossible to ignore.
“Any place else need some attention?” he asked softly.