"A charming tale with intriguing twists and a hero who's as noble as he is sizzling hot-you'll fall in love!" ~Eden Bradley, 2010 Holt Medallion author of Pleasure's Edge
Single, misjudged, and socially sequestered, library curator Lillian White lives vicariously through her beloved books of the bawdy Old West, dreaming of the cowboy that will take her away from her lonely life until the day she discovers a mysterious, antique necklace with the power to tap into her deepest desires and possibly change her life forever.
Sheriff Jake Sloan is Deadwater Gulch’s “good son.” A man married to the law, his heart secretly yearns for the Magnolia’s headmistress, a soiled dove forbidden to him and his perfect reputation, until he saves her life from a ruthless gunman and injured, winds up convalescing in her bed.
Can a librarian with secret fantasies, make it as a bordello madam? And can a sheriff with his career in the balance fall in love with her? Be careful what you wish for...you just might get it.
Unless the building’s manager had made an instantaneous and decidedly better change in both stature and clothing, she had no idea who this hunk of a cowboy was. She stared at the man with his back to her. His shoulders, broad from her viewpoint, fit nicely into a long, butter-colored duster, just like a gunman in a western movie. Carefully, she eased the door open for a better view. She cringed when the hinges squeaked, causing the tall man to whirl fast on his heel and pin her with a stern look. Her breath caught in her throat. Good lord, it was him! Her dream cowboy! He was even more handsome than she remembered…but he’d never appeared so unhappy.
“What the Sam hell does ‘hold my horses’ mean?” His words clipped short as his gaze dropped to where her hands clutched the robe over her breasts.
Push-up bra notwithstanding, Lil wrestled with having the formidable stranger staring openly at her cleavage and the fact that she rather liked it. She’d never seen before the combination of arousal and nervousness etched on a man’s face—in her presence, at any rate. “May I help you?” It seemed like a reasonable question.
“Lil—uh—Lilly—Miss Lillian” He shook his head as though assembling his tongue back to its proper function. “My apologies ma’am, for disturbing you, but what I came here to say can’t wait.” He planted his hands on his lean hips, setting his jaw firm. He peered at her with eyes that sparkled dark as a cool desert night. His dusty black Stetson sat low on his forehead, making his eyes even more menacing.
“I’m sorry, sir, but I’m slightly confused why it is that you’re dressed well, like a…” She knew what she wanted to say, but her brain was having trouble convincing her to say the word aloud. It just sounded impossible.
In sheer frustration, based on the sigh he emitted, he raked his teeth over his provocative lower lip and pushed the hat back off his forehead, revealing a handsome rugged face.
“Like what, Lil? Like the sheriff?” he asked, shooting her a wary glance. “You seem a might pale tonight, Miss Lil. You sure you’re feelin’ well?” He reached back and scratched his neck, eyeing her with a look that made her question her sanity.
As if she needed any more help in that department. Tongue-tied by his formidable presence and the way he looked at her like a man eyeballs a steak, she drew the robe closer, realizing his gaze had dropped below her eye level once again.
“Uh, to what do I owe the pleasure of this call, Sheriff…?” Even as she addressed him with the term he used for himself, she couldn’t grasp what was happening to her. Though she’d had few dealings with legal officials before, he certainly didn’t fit the mold of anyone from her neighborhood beat. An instant, troubling thought attacked her muddled brain. Had Burt turned her in because she’d chosen to take the necklace home with her instead of putting it in the library’s security vault? Surely not! Lil made a mental note to give Burt a call just as soon as her unexpected visitor left.
Lil gasped when the man leaned forward, studying her with those intense orbs. His dark brow arched as though he was waiting for her response, successfully disarming what little calm she had left in her.
“Sloan, Lil…Sheriff Jake Sloan. You act like you don’t know who I am.”
From her early days of reading Vampirella and Hitchcock, to writing a Fine Arts column supporting music education, Amanda McIntyre's zest for experiencing life has provided fertile ground for her creative story ideas resulting in a number of published works in contemporary, paranormal, and historical women’s fiction. Preferring the title 'storyteller' to 'author', Amanda loves to challenge her characters and her readers to look beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary, where anything is possible! Amanda lives with her never-a-dull-moment family in the Midwest. Even better than researching history, she enjoys hearing from readers! Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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