In honor of the most romantic day of the year-Valentines Day-I’m offering my latest release SWEET AND WILD for free for Kindle!
Quinn Emery is a true, dyed in the wool cowgirl, from the brim of her Stetson to the tips of her favorite old pair of Tony Lama’s. She’s returned from college, bent on raising Quarter Horses under the wide South Dakota sky and nothing is going to distract her from that goal. Not a narcissistic ex-boyfriend, her brother’s fantastically successful dude ranch or a her desire for a place to call her own.
Craig Lynch has come home too. Now a widower with a ten-year-old daughter, he has to reestablish a life as a rancher after traveling all over the world. Not such an easy task, but when he sees Quinn, he knows life is going to get much more complicated. Last he saw her she was ten, but now she’s an incredibly sexy woman and the attraction is too strong to ignore.
Falling in love, however, has more complications than either bargain for. A reluctant daughter, the jealousy of an ex-boyfriend, and the shadow of Craig’s late wife nearly destroy everything, but Craig is determined to convince Quinn that love can overcome anything.
“Earth to Craig.”
Nicole’s voice cut through his thoughts and he gave his attention back to his dance partner.
Nicole gave him a half smile with a cock of her brow. “It’s okay but I don’t think you heard a word I just said.”
He could’ve lied and said yes, but instead he gave her a guilty smile and shook his head. “I saw Jacob’s sister and she didn’t look happy.”
Nicole glanced over Craig’s shoulder and nodded. “Probably saw Robby flirting with that blonde over there.”
Quinn had told him she had no interest in rekindling any kind of romance with his brother. But what else would’ve sent her storming away?
“Could be,” he murmured.
When the song ended, he pulled away. “Thank you very much, ma’am.”
“Oh please don’t call me that. I’m not much younger than you.”
Craig chuckled. “Must be the cowboy in me.”
“Then I guess I can’t complain. Thank you for the dance. I’m glad we had a chance to catch up. Don’t be such a stranger now you’re back in town.”
Craig and Nicole parted company and before he could think things through, he headed in the direction Quinn had taken. What would he say to her? He knew he had to come up with something because there she was, leaning against the paddock fence, her back to him. One hand idly scratched the ears of a dog sitting next to her.
“You’re not going to get any invitations to dance if you’re hiding out here.”
Her back stiffened when he spoke. He leaned against the fence next to her and looked at her, admiring her profile. Tension played on her face as well, her jaw muscles tight and her eyes narrowed a bit.
“That’s the idea.”
“Aw, come on. It’s not fair to deprive the young men back there of a dance or two.”
“They’ll live. No young men I’m particularly interested in dancing with anyway.”
The terse note in her voice made him more interested in what bugged her. All day she’d been happy and energized. This melancholy mood didn’t become her.
“Then how ‘bout dancing with an old man?”
This got her attention. She looked at him, but the frown remained and her blue eyes narrowed. “Who, you? You’re not old.”
Craig laughed. “Thank you very much. Yes me.”
Quinn bit her lip and stared at him for a good long time. Enough time for him to admire how soft rosy light from the sunset made her skin glow in a way that was almost magical.
“All right, I’ll dance with you.”
He didn’t take her hand as they walked back to the dance area, but he anticipated her touch, wondering how she’d feel in his arms, small but feminine. Supple and curvaceous. When they found a spot, she looked up expectantly.
He slipped an arm around her waist and took her free hand in his. Her palm was warm to the touch and soft despite the nature of her work.
“What did you and Ted Penney talk about? He looked mighty unhappy when we got back. Did he try to sell you some stock?”
What a way to spoil the mood. “We were discussing the condition of Emerald Ranch. And his horses.”
“Oh. He’s really run the place down. And if I won the lottery I’d buy every last horse from him. He gives breeders a bad name.” Despite the content of their conversation, Craig fixated on Quinn’s low, husky voice. At some point the slow sway of the dance brought them closer until he felt a whisper light touch of her breasts against his chest. He swallowed hard to get past the desire that slight contact fired up. His arm tightened on her a bit more. She didn’t pull back; instead she looked at him. Her blue eyes were so clear, so wide as if she saw directly into his thoughts.
“Yes, he has. I used to love that place.”
“Just like I used to love Long Knife Creek.”
She was nearly fully against him. Her touch, the brush of her body against his, the way her fingers rested against his neck, the tips tickling the nape ever so gently. All of it brought him to the verge of feelings he hadn’t had in so long.
The fact that Quinn had this effect on him didn’t make it any easier, yet there was no way to stop this.
“You don’t like this place?”
“Jacob did a tremendous job with it. The house is gorgeous, and the new spa is heaven, but it’s not home anymore.” Quinn’s voice had dropped so low he had to dip his head to catch her words.
Doing so brought him mere inches away from the mouth he’d admired all day long. All she had to do was tilt her head slightly to the side and he’d be able to capture them.
Maybe the same thoughts and desires went through her mind too, because she turned her head, lifted her face enough for him to reach her lips with a light caress. That she put herself in this position was surely no accident. No, he felt her mouth open to his.
Who’d have thought this tough, strong-willed cowgirl could have such a gentle touch. The soft movement of her lips against his fueled a wildfire in his body and head. In the middle of the entire town of Falstad and the guests of Long Knife Creek wasn’t the place to explore these heady desires. He pulled away from her but, kept her tight in his arms.
Neither spoke. What could be said? Should he apologize for being so bold? It wasn’t as if she’d found the kiss repulsive. On the contrary, she’d contributed as much to it as he had. Besides, he didn’t want to apologize. He wasn’t one bit sorry. In fact, he wanted more, maybe not here, not now, but he couldn’t deny that Quinn intrigued him. Exploring what had just happened might be impossible to avoid.
Whether good timing or not, Craig didn’t know, but the song came to an end and Quinn slowly pulled away. He looked at her but instead of meeting his gaze she seemed to peer at his shoulder or maybe beyond. Her eyes were wide, kind of spooked, her lips pressed together tightly.
“I, uh, have to go feed the horses,” she murmured as she moved entirely away.
Craig didn’t say anything but let her go. She disappeared through the crowd.
Go and grab your FREE copy of Sweet and Wild HERE. Hope you enjoy!