Desire, Oklahoma Series

Law of Desire

Law of Desire

(Desire, Oklahoma 13)

Contemporary Menage a Trois Romantic Suspense Romance, M/F/M, spanking, sex toys, HEA

Krystal Kane lived with memories of the men she loved and been forced by family obligations to push away.

Her fantasies kept her going, but she knew that the two men who wanted to share her couldn’t want any more than an affair.

When her mother died, she wanted nothing more than to get away, not wanting to hear from them the words that would end the fantasy.

Needing them more than ever, she fought the overwhelming desire to call them, only to look up, and find them standing there.

Rafe Delgatto and Linc Barrett had waited for Krystal for years, unable to forget the woman who’d stolen their hearts.

They rushed to her side as soon as they learned she needed them, and quickly whisked her to the home they’d made for her.

She could heal in Desire, Oklahoma, while they proved to her that their love was real—and protect her from a threat they hadn’t anticipated.

Excerpt

Determined to put Rafe and Linc out of her mind, she focused on her mother and the memories of the past and happier times.

During the next hour, her mother’s breathing slowed even more.

Krystal focused on each breath, each time wondering if it would be her mother’s last one, sucking in another breath each time her mother did.

It hurt, but she didn’t cry.

She didn’t even know if she could anymore.

She’d known this time would come, but now that it was close, she felt so distant from it all, as if she dreamed it.

She pinched her own hand several times over the next few hours, half believing that she was dreaming and would wake up to see that her mother had woken from her nap.

She ached for Rafe and Linc, but she vowed to herself that she wouldn’t call them until she’d settled somewhere.

The doctor appeared again, using his stethoscope to listen to her mother’s heart. “Are you all right?”

Nodding, Krystal ran her thumb over the top of her mother’s hand. “I’m fine.”

“I’m sorry. You’ve been so strong.”

She felt like a fraud. She wasn’t strong at all. Lifting her gaze to his, she shook her head and forced a polite smile. “I wish I was.”

Dr. Smith smiled and lightly patted her hand. “You are. Most people wouldn’t do what you’ve done.”

“She’s my mother.”

He gestured toward her mother’s tray. “It looks like Maggie brought you some soup.”

Krystal barely glanced at it. “That was nice of her.” Turning back to her mother, she eyed Dr. Smith. “Is there any chance?”

Straightening, he tucked his stethoscope into his pocket, his sympathetic smile bringing a lump to Krystal’s throat. “I’m sorry.”

Forcing another smile, Krystal nodded. “Thank you for all you’ve done. You’ve been very kind.”

Minutes after the doctor left, Krystal’s mother drew her last breath.

Krystal waited, expecting her mother to take another as she had for the last several hours, but it didn’t come.

Her mother had passed away.

Still holding her hand, Krystal sat there, wondering why she didn’t cry.

Time stood still for her, her mind blank.

She stared at her mother’s hand in hers, suddenly feeling completely alone.

When thoughts of Rafe and Linc started to creep in, she ruthlessly pushed them back, her throat clogged with the tears she couldn’t shed.

She needed Rafe and Linc more than she’d ever needed anything in her life, but she wouldn’t call them.

Calling them would be the most selfish thing she could have done, and she wouldn’t burden them any more than she already had.

They would come if she called. All she had to do was pick up the phone and they would be on their way.

Knowing that made it even more difficult to resist calling them.

The feeling of having her entire life ahead of her hit her hard, the enormity of it overwhelming.

She couldn’t let herself think of anything except the next step.

She had to finish taking care of her mother.

She’d already pre-paid for her mother’s funeral and had only to make the arrangements.

Her mother had lost contact with all of her friends when Krystal’s father had been sick, and she didn’t really expect anyone to come.

She would get a taxi and go to the funeral home. She didn’t relish the thought of lugging her three suitcases along with her purse, but she would just have to figure out a way to do it.

She kissed her mother’s cold hand and tucked it under the covers, just as Maggie appeared on the other side of her mother’s bed. “She’s gone.”

“Yes.” Maggie tucked her mother’s other hand under the covers. “She’s at peace now.”

“I hope so. She’s earned it.”

Her mother would finally be with her father again, the man she considered her soul mate.

Krystal had never believed in such a thing, but after experiencing the kind of happiness she hadn’t known existed with Rafe and Linc, and the empty loneliness since she pushed them away, she wondered if it could be possible to have two soul mates.

“So have you.” Maggie smiled and wiped away a tear that Krystal couldn’t shed. “I hope you find the happiness and peace that you deserve.”

“Thank you.” Krystal glanced at Maggie and started to stand, surprised that her legs wouldn’t support her. “I have to go to the funeral home and make final arrangements.”

Maggie frowned and shook her head. “I wish you would call those men of yours.”

Krystal shook her head, glancing at the three suitcases that stood in the corner, dreading the thought of trying to carry them. “They’re not mine anymore.”

“We beg to differ.”

With a gasp, Krystal spun, her knees giving out at the sight of Rafe and Linc striding into the room toward her.

More Desire, Oklahoma, Volume 1

(Includes “Desire for Three: Winning Back Jesse” and “Blade’s Desire: Adoring Kelly”)

Desire for Three: Winning Back Jesse

Living in Desire, Oklahoma, and married to two incredible men, Jesse Erickson felt her world was perfect, until she walks through the door of her home one day and has her world turned upside down.

Shocked to the core, and with her world crumbling around her, she runs, too shaken to cope.

Clay and Rio Erickson hate keeping secrets from Jesse, but didn’t have a choice

They certainly hadn’t expected their wife to assume the worst and run.

With the help of a friend, they find her, only to face the horror of almost losing her again.

Scared and shaken, they get her home, still reeling from the thought of losing her. Determined to show her the power of their love won’t be easy, but they know just how to get their wife’s undivided attention.

Allowing their dominant sides to rule, they will plow through her insecurities once and for all.

 

Blade’s Desire: Adoring Kelly

Kelly Royal has learned the pleasure of submitting under her husband’s gentle, but firm, hand, but Blade’s interest in dominating her seems to be gone forever. Going into labor a month early scared the hell out of her, and despite Blade’s efforts, he couldn’t hide his own fear—especially when things go terribly wrong.

Unable to forget the image of her pale and unmoving form in the hospital bed, Blade can’t even imagine taking her back into his playroom, and as soon as he brings her home from the hospital, he empties the room, vowing to never dominate her again. His fragile wife has been through enough, and he can’t imagine taking her the way he did before.

Kelly, though, has other plans. She wants her husband back, and frustrated that he thwarts her attempts to take her the way he did before, she takes matters into her own hands.

Excerpt

Desire for Three: Winning Back Jesse

Clay wanted nothing more than to hold his wife in his arms and comfort her, to feel her soft and warm against him so he knew she was safe. With a warning look at his brother, Rio, to keep his temper to himself, he put the phone on speaker.

“Of course we’re worried about you, baby. Please, just tell us where you are so we can come and get you.”

“No, Clay.” The trembling sob in her voice tore him up inside.

With his heart in his throat, he turned, meeting the cold, hard stare of Lucas Hart, one of the partners in Desire Security Systems—and more than that—a good friend.

Lucas had been giving him dirty looks since they’d arrived a little more than an hour ago, clearly blaming Clay and Rio for hurting Jesse.

Clay blamed himself even more.

He’d hoped, prayed, that Jesse would answer the phone and that Lucas could use some of his vast array of equipment to find her.

Clenching his jaw, Lucas motioned for Clay to keep Jesse talking.

Clay had no intention of letting Jesse hang up, especially after spending the last few hours out of his mind with worry.

“Jesse, what do you mean, no? What happened, honey? We don’t even know what’s wrong. It’s not like you not to talk to us. If you’re mad at us for something, I’d rather you just give us hell like you usually do. It’s not like you to run away.”

“I guess you’re tired of having a woman who stands up for herself.” She said it in such a low voice that Clay almost missed it, but she continued on before he could say anything.

“I’ll be back tomorrow. I just need to be alone tonight.”

“You don’t need to be alone. You need to be with us!” Clay winced inwardly as the knot in his stomach turned to ice.

He kept his voice low, struggling to speak calmly when he was anything but. “You said you’ll be back tomorrow. You didn’t say you were coming home. You’re scaring the hell out of me, Jesse. If you think I’m letting you go, you’re very much mistaken. Just talk to us. Let me explain.”

Her silence scared him, and for several heart-stopping seconds, he feared she’d hung up. When she spoke again, the weariness and distance in her tone frightened him even more.

“Clay, I really don’t want to talk about this tonight. I’ve got to go—”

“No. Don’t you hang up on me, Jesse Erickson!” He scrubbed a hand over his face, praying that Lucas would be able to pinpoint her location before she hung up. Worry for her ate him alive.

“Baby? Are you cold? You left without your coat. Please tell me you’re someplace warm, honey.”

The sob in her sigh tore at him, the effect also apparent on both Rio and Lucas as they listened.

Rio sank into a chair, hanging his head, his hair mussed from running his hands through it countless times in the last few hours.

A muscle worked in Lucas’s jaw, his steely gaze holding Clay’s and his stonelike expression even harder and more intimidating than ever.

Jesse’s voice, so sweet and with a tremble in it that brought another lump to Clay’s throat, came over the speaker, softer now than before.

“I’m fine, Clay. I’m a big girl, remember? I’m not one of those sweet little things that fall all over you. I’m used to taking care of myself, or have you forgotten?”

The reminder of the cold, withdrawn woman he’d met two years earlier, a woman that had thought herself incapable of loving or being loved, nearly took him to his knees.

“I haven’t forgotten a single thing about you.”

The ice in his stomach seemed to spread, making him cold all the way to the bone and stiff with fear.

Her tone, a tone he’d never hoped to hear again, sounded so much like the one she’d used when he’d first met her that his heart skipped a beat and he actually felt dizzy for a moment.

Losing Jesse would kill him.

He didn’t even try to keep his frustration and fear out of his voice, hoping to get through to her.

He had to get through to her.

“Jesse, of course I’m worried about you. You’re my wife. You disappeared into the night without no coat and no dinner. I’m sure you didn’t eat anything. I know you, baby. When you’re upset, Rio and I have to practically force you to eat. That means you’re cold and hungry and I can’t get to you to make you eat, or to keep you warm. You’re hurting and I can’t hold you.”

His arms ached to hold her close.

“Please tell me where you are, Jesse. We need to talk, to straighten this out. I can’t stop thinking about the way you looked at me.” That look of confusion and hurt in her eyes would haunt him forever.

Jesse’s choked sigh cut his heart to shreds. “We’ll talk, Clay. Tomorrow. Look, I’m sorry I acted like a coward and ran off that way, but it was such a shock. I’ve been stupid and never saw it coming. I should have paid more attention. I should have realized that you felt neglected.”

Her voice lowered, so low he had trouble hearing her.

“I’ve always suspected it would end some day. I knew better. I just thought I would see it coming.”

 

Blade’s Desire: Adoring Kelly

“You look very sexy tonight. Of course, you always look sexy, but when you dress for the club…”

She didn’t want to think about the women that would be there. Scantily clad, if they wore anything at all, and probably all stunningly beautiful. Thin.

“Hmm.” Blade nuzzled her neck in a particularly sensitive spot that he’d mastered long ago. “It’s nice to know my beautiful wife thinks I’m sexy, especially since I think she’s the sexiest, most desirable woman on earth.”

Turning away, she blinked back tears, angry that he would never see her as sexy again, scared that he wouldn’t be able to find the pleasure in her he had before. “Don’t patronize me, Blade. I’m fat and I waddle.”

She tried to push him away, but he cuddled her closer. “Let go of me.”

God, she wanted him so much.

It was a need that would go unsatisfied. Blade had stopped making love to her months earlier, too scared of hurting her and causing another miscarriage.

“Never.” Sliding his hands higher, he began to massage her breasts, his touch soothing on her aching body. “You’re mine forever. I’ll never let you go. Still sensitive, baby?”

Moaning at the pleasure, she slumped against him, the heat of his body against hers easing her aching body. “Hmm.” Turning her head, she lifted her face to his. “Yes, but don’t stop. I ache everywhere. I’m so fat that I can’t even get out of a chair without help. Very sexy, huh?”

Wincing at the tightening around her abdomen, she stiffened. Not wanting to worry him, she bit back a moan, grateful when it passed almost immediately. “You’ve spent months handling me with kid gloves. I was scared of you when we met, even though I was attracted to you—had feelings for you. You were so patient with me, until I could let go, and be what you needed.” Smiling she closed her eyes. “What we both needed.”

Opening her eyes again, she sighed. “But ever since I got pregnant the first time, it seems all you’ve been doing is taking care of me. Handling me as if I’ll break. I’m sure this isn’t what you expected when you married me.”

Blade rubbed her abdomen, his lips warm against her ear. “I got even more than I could have ever hoped for.”

Turning her in his arms, he frowned down at her, his eyes full of concern. “Kelly, you’re my life. You know how much I love you, don’t you?”

Love for him swelled inside her. Reaching up, she flattened her hands on his chest, flexing her fingers into the hard muscle she knew so well. “Blade, you’ve been so wonderful through my pregnancies and miscarriages. You’ve been my rock.”

Blinking back tears, she clenched her jaw when another pain hit her—like a rubber band tightening around her abdomen. “I don’t know what I would have done without you.”

“You’ll never have to be without me, baby.”

Scared now, she looked up at him through her lashes, and voiced the fear that had been choking her for months. “We’re never going to be the same, are we?”

Blade stilled, his eyes narrowing. “Kelly, what the hell are you talking about?” Wrapping an arm around her, he led her to the bed, urging her to sit. “You’re tired, honey, and you’re in pain.”

Wincing at the ache in her back, she laid on her side, curling her body as she searched for a comfortable position. “I know you love me, Blade. I know how much you want this baby. I’m just afraid. You haven’t touched me in months. I see the way you look at me. Something’s missing. I miss that look.”

Blade positioned himself to lean over her protectively. “Of course I want this baby. I want you, too, Kelly. I’ve never stopped wanting you.”

Blowing out a breath, he laid a hand on her abdomen as he knelt on the floor beside her. His expression softened, but his eyes narrowed in concern. “You’re tired, baby, and uncomfortable. Just stay here. I’ll call the club and tell them—”

She didn’t want him to see her this way. She hated the fear in his eyes. Knowing he needed a break from all the tension, she forced a smile. “No. Just go. I’ll be fine. I feel better already. I’ll just lie here for a while.”

Leaning close, Blade cupped her jaw, brushing his lips over hers. “I always want you, Kelly, but we both have to be patient. You really don’t expect me to spank your gorgeous ass while you’re pregnant, do you? Or put clamps on already tender nipples?”

Kelly swallowed the lump in her throat. It had been so long since he’d done either of those things. “Blade, you love sex. Love to play, but you haven’t touched me in months. Even after I have the baby, it’ll be a while before I recover. Then, I’ll be nursing. You’re never going to want me that way again. You’re too scared of hurting me now. I see it in your eyes.”

A sob escaped before she could prevent it. “Love isn’t going to be enough for us, is it? I’m going to lose you.”

“Kelly, that’s enough.” The impatience in his tone scared her.

She’d never known Blade to be impatient about anything.

Cursing, he ran his hand over her abdomen again. Closing his eyes, he blew out a breath, before opening them again, holding her gaze with his tortured one. “You’re getting all worked up over nothing.” Frowning, he glanced at her stomach before meeting her gaze again. “You’re having contractions, aren’t you? You’re in even more pain than I thought. Were you even going to tell me?”

He shot to his feet, cursing soundly. “We’ll deal with that later. Stay here. I’m going to go call your doctor.”

Stormy Desire

(Desire, Oklahoma 12)

Erotic Contemporary Consensual BDSM Menage a Quatre Romantic Suspense, M/F/M/M, HEA

Stormy James had spent her entire life avoiding Desire, Oklahoma, a town where Dominant, chauvinistic men ruled. As a private investigator, she knew how to take care of herself, but when a case turned deadly, she found herself on the run, and heading toward Desire, and her brother, Logan James, the only man she trusted.

Lucas Hart, Devlin Monroe, and Caleb Ward had been friends with Logan for years, and readily jumped into action to rescue his sister. It didn’t take long for them to realize that she was more to them than just a client, and keeping their emotional distance proved impossible.

Stormy’s decision to leave Desire as soon as possible made convincing her to stay even more urgent. Earning the trust of a woman who feared and hated men because of past sexual abuse proved a greater challenge than they’d ever faced.

But, earning her trust, and her love, would be their most rewarding mission of all.

Excerpt

Sounding distracted, Stormy sighed. “Logan, listen. This guy’s dangerous, and I don’t want you to mess with him. If something happens to me, give the file to that sheriff you trust so much.”

“Stormy, I—”

“I’ve got this, Logan.”

Logan jumped to his feet a split second before Lucas did. “Bullshit!”

“Logan, stay out of it. I’m a big girl and have been handling myself for a long time. Can you assure me that the cop you trust so much can’t be bought?”

Logan smiled and looked at Ace. “As a matter of fact, I can. Ace is sitting here with me now and has already seen the pictures. Lucas, Devlin, and Caleb are here, too.”

Stormy paused, but the sound of her engine sped up, the wind blowing adding to the noise and telling Lucas that they hadn’t lost the connection. “Those friends of yours with the security company? What the hell did you do, Logan? Tell the entire town?”

Lucas frowned at the stress in her tone, something she obviously tried very hard to hide from her brother.

Logan rose again, scraping his hand through his hair, his frustration obvious. “No. I told my friends, who are almost as worried about you as I am. They want to help.”

“I can imagine. You and that town full of Neanderthals are probably chomping at the bit to help a damsel in distress. I’ve got news for you, big brother. I’m no damsel in distress. Not anymore. That sheriff you told me about?”

“What about him?”

“You really trust him?”

Logan took a steadying breath and looked directly at Ace. “With my life and, more importantly, with yours.”

“Got her.” Caleb blew out a breath, turning the laptop around so Lucas, Logan, and Ace could see it. “She’s on the outskirts of Tulsa.”

“What?” Stormy’s voice held a hint of panic that sent a chill of alarm to Lucas’s gut. “You’re tracking me? Damn it, Logan. Do you have me on speaker phone?”

“You’re damned right I do! I need all the help I can get with you. Damn it, honey. What the hell have you gotten yourself into?”

Patting Logan’s back, Lucas rose, bending low to speak into the phone. “Head for Desire. We’ll meet you.”

“Logan, tell your friend to kiss my ass. I’m flying right through Tulsa and—”

Picking up the phone, Lucas gritted his teeth and headed outside. “This is Lucas Hart. Head to Desire. We’re coming to get you. If you have people after you, you’ll be safer here.”

Aware that everyone followed him out and listened to his conversation, Lucas headed toward his SUV, motioning for Devlin to drive while Caleb watched Stormy’s progress on the computer screen.

“Listen, whoever you are, I—”

Lucas climbed into the back seat with Logan while Devlin slid behind the wheel and Caleb jumped into the front passenger seat, settling his laptop on his lap. “I already told you who I am. Lucas. Lucas Hart. I’m a friend of Logan’s, and I can keep you safe. Turn left at the next intersection.”

“I’m hanging up.”

Logan grabbed his phone back. “Don’t you dare!”

Devlin glanced back at Logan, his eyes hard and cold, his voice laced with fear. “Your sister’s in need of a good spanking.”

Logan’s eyes narrowed briefly on Devlin’s, the sadness and remembered terror in them unnerving Lucas. “She’s been through enough.”

“Logan!”

Logan jolted at his sister’s voice, blinking once, his lips thinning. “We’re on our way to you. Follow the signs for Desire. You’re gonna be on a long two-lane road, lined with trees. We’ll meet you on that road.”

“Logan, I’m not bringing trouble to your beloved town, and I’m certainly not bringing it to you.”

Although aware that Caleb already had Ace on the car speaker, Lucas focused on Logan’s conversation with Stormy.

Ace remained silent, obviously listening to the conversation between brother and sister along with everyone else.

Uneasy that the tension in her voice increased each time she spoke, Lucas shared a look with Caleb, leaning closer to speak into Logan’s phone. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know what—”

Lucas clenched his jaw. “Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about! I can hear it in your voice. Something’s changed in the last few seconds. What is it?”

The silence lasted several heartbeats, allowing them to hear Stormy’s breath catch and the squeal of tires. “They found me. Logan, let your cop handle it.”

Logan paled again. “You’re talking about the guy in the picture?”

Another silence followed, and impatient with her, Lucas snapped. “Talk. Is it the guy in the picture?”

“No. It’s not Sam Kline. Uh, Logan?”

“Yeah, honey?”

Caleb turned to Lucas. “She’s coming up to the turn.”

Logan gripped the phone tighter, his knuckles turning white. “Turn left, honey.”

“Before I do, Logan, there’s something I have to tell you that might change your mind.”

“Nothing will. Turn, Stormy, and step on the gas.”

“Okay. I turned. Damn it, Logan. You have no idea what kind of trouble I’m bringing with me.”

Logan swallowed heavily. “Tell me.”

“Sam Kline put a contract on me.”

“What?”

“Shit.” The unmistakable sound of gunfire and squealing tires tightened Lucas’s gut.

“Yeah. He wants me dead, Logan, so I can’t testify against him—and he’s offered a million dollars to anyone who kills me.”

Lucas shared a look with both Devlin and Caleb, and he could tell they were all thinking the same thing.

Stormy James was in a hell of a lot more trouble than they’d anticipated.

And there was a real possibility that they wouldn’t get to her in time.

Rules of Desire: Protecting Erin

(More Desire, Oklahoma 4)

Siren Ménage Everlasting:Erotic Menage a Quatre Romance, M/F/M/M, HEA

Marriage to three men once seemed nothing short of insane, but now it has made Erin Preston happier than she could have ever imagined. Jared, Duncan, and Reese changed her life, and giving birth to their child made them even more complete. She never expected, though, that an incident from her past would jeopardize everything they’d built together.

Nelson Stark, an accountant in the oil company she used to work for, had embezzled a fortune, and Erin was the one to catch him. Even though he’d vowed to get even with her, she considered him harmless. But then Wes Cramer, the attorney she’d worked with to get Nelson convicted, appeared on her doorstep, enraging her overprotective husbands, so she didn’t tell them about the missing money…or that the FBI was involved.

It was a mistake she’d regret—one that would put her life in danger and kick her husbands’ protectiveness into high gear.

Excerpt

Erin woke once more to the feel of a tight band around her swollen abdomen.

She’d had cramps on and off for the last several hours and had tried to ignore them.

She couldn’t ignore them anymore.

They’d woken her several times during the night but had eased quickly, allowing her to drift back to sleep, warm and comfortable between two of her husbands.

It was bad enough that she had to get up two or three times a night to use the bathroom, and she couldn’t wait to get back into bed and be warmed by her husbands’ hard bodies on either side of her.

With her head pillowed on Duncan’s chest, his arm around her, and Jared at her back, she was cocooned in warmth and didn’t want to move.

It would seem that her baby had other ideas.

Another tightening of her abdomen, one that hurt worse than the last made it clear that she couldn’t lie there much longer.

When she felt a rush of moisture between her thighs, panic set in and she knew the time had come to wake her husbands.

But she didn’t want to panic them.

Tilting her head back, she looked up at Duncan, taking in his handsome features and sleep-tousled hair with a smile.

Another contraction and the fact that she was uncomfortably wet had her pressing a hand to his chest.

“Duncan.”

The arm at her back tightened. “Hmm? Need to go to the bathroom again?” He started to sit up and reached for her to help her out of bed, his tone groggy, one that she knew would change quickly.

Their room-darkening curtains made it impossible to know the time, but a glance at the clock told her it was just a little after five.

“My water broke.”

“Hmm. Okay.” His entire body stiffened, all traces of grogginess gone. “What? The baby?” Reaching out, he turned on the light, bathing the room in a soft glow.

Jared jerked upright, kneeling next to her with a protective hand on her swollen abdomen, his eyes searching hers. “The baby? You okay?”

Erin struggled to sit up, with Duncan and Jared both reaching out to help her.

“I need to take a shower.”

Duncan, usually the most playful of her husbands, was already shaking his head. “No.” He stood, naked, and went to the closet. “We need to go. We’ll wrap you in a blanket.”

Wearing just a pair of sweatpants that hung low on his hips, Reese rushed into the room.

“What’s going on? The baby?”

Duncan shook out a blanket and came toward her. “Yeah. Her water broke. I’m gonna get her wrapped in the blanket. We all need to get dressed.”

Reese came to kneel beside her, his smile tender but his eyes dark with concern. “Does it hurt, baby?”

“Not much.” She swatted at Duncan’s attempts to wrap the blanket around her. “No, Duncan. I’m wet and need a shower.” With Reese’s help, she rose and started for the bathroom. “I’m getting dressed. I’m not going to the hospital in a damned blanket.”

When another contraction hit, she stopped, holding on to Reese until it passed.

“Enough of this.” Still naked, Jared bent and gently picked her up. “Let’s get your damned shower. Reese, call the doctor. Duncan, get her suitcase out of the closet.”

Another contraction hit while Jared washed her, and pausing, he held her to him, rubbing her back.

“Christ, I wish I could take the pain for you.”

Once the contraction passed, Erin laughed to ease the tension emanating from him.

“That’s a picture I’d like to see.”

Jared’s eyes narrowed, his smile not wiping away the concern in his eyes.

“You callin’ me a pussy, darlin’?” He finished rinsing her and turned off the water, keeping a supporting arm around her.

Leaning back against him, she smiled up at him over her shoulder.

“I wouldn’t dare.”

Reese, already dressed, opened the shower door, holding a large bath sheet.

“Come on, baby. Let’s get you dried off and dressed.”

He gathered her close when another contraction hit, frowning as he wrapped the bath sheet around her. Once it passed, he carried her into the bedroom where Duncan turned from her closet.

They both hurriedly dressed her in her most comfortable dress before Duncan lifted her in his arms, smiling and dropping a soft kiss on her lips.

“Let’s go have a baby.”

When another contraction hit, Reese grimaced and closed in on her other side, covering the hand she pressed to her abdomen with his own.

“Oh, baby.”

Jared, who’d already thrown on jeans and a T-shirt, slid a pair of her fuzzy socks on her feet. His tousled hair told her he hadn’t done more than run a towel over it, leaving it hanging rakishly over his forehead.

“Let’s go.”

“Damn, you look sexy when you’re tousled.”

Jared stilled, his eyes going wide. “What? Are you okay?”

“I’m pregnant, not blind.” Another contraction hit, much harder than the last.

Exchanging looks with Duncan and Reese, Jared clenched his jaw. “Let’s get her to the hospital.”

Recipe for Desire

(Desire, Oklahoma 11)

Hunter and Remington Ross knew they were too much like their father to ever have a woman in their lives. But rushing to the aid of a woman they found on the side of the road—a woman who desperately needed medical attention—their protective instincts came alive with a vengeance. Uneasy at their possessiveness of her, they keep her close enough to watch over, but not close enough to tempt them. Finding themselves in love terrified them, but keeping their distance proves impossible.

Emma Smith loves them and wants every part of them, even the dominant nature they tried to shield her from. In their arms, she finds everything she’d ever dreamed of—and more. Convincing them that they could be together would take patience, but she didn’t suspect that it would take an attempt on her life to show them that they are nothing like their father at all and can have the life they yearned for.

Excerpt

Sitting on the porch of the house he shared with his brother, Hunter glanced at Jake. “Can we get past the small talk to the point of your visit?”

Grinning, Jake leaned back. “Nat wanted to come see Emma, and we thought we’d come along for the ride. We haven’t had the chance to talk to you in a while.”

“Bullshit.” Hunter fought the urge to look toward the house again. “We sat at the club and talked just last week.” Irritated at Jake’s smug smile, Hunter glanced at Hoyt. “What the hell’s going on?”

Hoyt shrugged, his eyes always sharp and moving. “A lot of people—men—in town are asking about Emma. They want to know if you’ve claimed her. Nobody wants to tangle with either one of you, especially if there’s a chance—”

“No.” Hunter rose and purposely turned his back to the main house. “We haven’t claimed her, and there’s not a chance of that happening. We’re just watching over her until the doctor releases her. She won’t be in Desire more than a few months. We’re letting her stay in the main house because she needs a kitchen while she’s here to work on her recipes.”

Jake brushed a piece of lint from his trousers. “I can find a place in town for her to stay.”

“No need.” Hunter turned to glance at the house, surprised to see Emma standing at the window.

“There’s no reason she can’t stay here. The house is just sitting empty.”

She just stood there, staring at him as if willing him to come inside.

With her arms wrapped around herself, she looked so sad. So lonely.

Hoyt rose and looked toward the house. “Everyone just wants to make sure you don’t have any claim on her. A lot of people want to meet her.”

Inwardly cursing for allowing himself to be drawn to her, Hunter turned away again. “She needs rest.”

Chuckling, Jake rose to his feet. “Everyone knows what she’s been through, Hunter. They’re not going to attack her. I’ll tell everyone that Emma’s available. It’ll be up to her to decide whom she wants to see.”

Hunter gritted his teeth. “Do whatever the hell you want, but if anybody bothers her, I’m gonna kick their ass.”

Flames of Desire

(Desire, Oklahoma 10)

Erotic Consensual BDSM Cowboy Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, whipping, sex toys, HEA

Courtney Sheldon never wanted to go back to Desire, her childhood home—until the residents kicked her family out of town. Now, she has to go back.

Law and Zach Tyler have spent years trying to buy the property, but the elderly lady who owned it refused to sell—at any price. After meeting Courtney, they know why. They also know they’ve found the woman they’ve been searching for. Convincing her that they want her for herself, and not the land she will inherit, proves difficult, but nothing compared to earning her trust when she learns that they not only want to be her lovers—but her Masters .

Drawn into the world of dominance and submission, Courtney finds herself trusting again, and learning the meaning of intimacy—and pleasure. But how can she live in a town with so many bad memories, especially when her father has vowed revenge on her and the residents of Desire for shunning him?

A Siren Erotic Romance

Excerpt

Courtney eyed her reflection in the freshly cleaned mirror above the dresser in the room she’d slept in as a child.

She didn’t know where Law and Zach would be taking her but figured the turquoise, long, flowing skirt, camisole, and lightweight shirt to layer over it would be appropriate almost anywhere.

Slipping on a pair of comfortable strappy sandals in the same color, she went back to the kitchen, grimacing at the stacks of dishes on the counter.

Deciding that she might as well start on them while she waited, she crossed the peeling linoleum floor to the sink, pausing when a strange sound came from high on the wall behind her.

Giggling at the groaning sound the doorbell made, Courtney turned and went to answer the door, still smiling as she swung it open. Her smile widened at the sight of Law and Zach standing on her sagging front porch.

Both men looked gorgeous and far too sophisticated to be standing on her dilapidated porch. Their size alone took up most of it.

Opening the door wide, she shook her head. “You’d better get in here before the porch collapses.”

Zach came through first, his black shirt and slacks giving him a sleek, dangerous look. Grinning, he reached for her, his brow going up when she took a step back, avoiding his touch. “Hey! I’m not fat.”

“No, but both of you are huge. You’ve both got to be six and a half feet tall.”

Zach grinned. “I’m six-four, and Law’s six-five.”

“Holy cow.” Aware of Law’s attention, she turned, heading back to the kitchen for her purse.

Their presence made the small living room feel even smaller, the sexual awareness that she’d fought earlier coming back in full force.

“What were you smiling about when we rang the bell?” Law’s voice came from right behind her, and when she spun, she ran straight into him. Gripping her arms before she could back away, he smiled down at her. “You have a beautiful smile. What was so amusing?”

Leaning back against the wall next to the doorway to the kitchen, Courtney took a steadying breath, trying not to think about the fact that only a few inches separated their bodies. “The doorbell. Ask Zach to push it, and you’ll see what I was smiling about.”

Frowning, Zach went back outside to push the doorbell, his frown even deeper when he came back in. “That’s awful.”

Law’s jaw clenched. “And probably dangerous. There might be a short in it. We should call Boone and ask him to come take a look at it.”

Zach moved around Law and went into the kitchen, stopping abruptly at the doorway. “Jesus!”

Courtney slid along the wall and away from Law, her face burning. “I know it’s a mess. I took all of the dishes out of the cabinets to wash them. I got the cabinets wiped down and then saw the time.”

Over her head, Law and Zach exchanged a look, their jaws clenching.

Courtney grabbed her purse from the table and started out, her face burning. “I know it’s a mess. You don’t have to make a big deal out of it.”

“You can’t stay here.”

Turning at Law’s tone, Courtney smiled at both of them as they followed her from the kitchen. “I certainly can. Now, are we going to dinner, or do I need to go get groceries? I’m starving.”

Zach sent a warning look in Law’s direction and brushed past him to her side. Smiling, he took her arm and turned her toward the door. “Of course, we’re going to dinner. We can talk later.”

Once on the porch, she turned, trying to pull out of Zach’s grasp to close the door behind her. “Where’s Law?”

“He’s right behind us. Come on. I’m hungry, too.” Wrapping an arm around her, he led her to the huge, dark blue SUV parked next to her little car. “Do you know when you smile your beautiful dark eyes get these amazing flecks of gold? Fascinating.”

Disappointed that he would be so transparent in his efforts to get her property, Courtney sighed and pulled away from him. “Okay, maybe this isn’t such a good idea.” Seeing Law’s approach, she divided her attention between both of them. “I don’t have gold flecks or anything in my eyes. They’re brown, dull, and bloodshot from lack of sleep. I’m not falling for any lines. I’m not sleeping with you.”

Irritated at their calm demeanors, she fisted her hands on her hips. “If this is about buying my property, you can get lost right now.” She tried to pull away, angry at men in general and disappointed that Law and Zach were assholes just like her father. She could have sworn they’d been different.

Zach grinned and hustled her into the front seat of their SUV. “She sure has spunk, doesn’t she?”

Law opened the driver’s door and climbed in, turning to frown at her as he took the end of her seatbelt from her and snapped it in place. “Yeah, but I sure as hell don’t appreciate that people think I would use sex to get a fucking piece of land. First Ace. Now her.”

He started the engine with a quick turn of his wrist, his anger evident as he put it in reverse.

Taking in his clenched jaw, she studied him as Zach slid into the back seat behind her. “This isn’t about my house?”

Shoving the SUV back into park, Law rested an arm on the steering wheel and turned to face her, his eyes hard. “I want this property, and I have every intention of having it. We’ll definitely talk about it, but when I kiss you—and I will—and when I make love to you, it won’t have a fucking thing to do with this property.” Leaning closer, he raised a brow. “Is that clear enough?”

Desire Unleashed

(Desire Oklahoma 9)

[Siren Ménage Everlasting: Erotic Consensual BDSM Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, spanking, sex toys, HEA]
Jake and Natalie Langley’s marriage was perfect, or so she thought.

But, something had changed—a distance that had never been there before.

And she didn’t know why.

Braced for the worst, she’s shocked at news she’d never bargained for.

Hoyt Campbell was on his way, and he wanted to be a part of her life again.

Scared of the feelings she’d harbored for her son’s biological father, and the only other man she’d ever loved, she begs Jake to refuse to allow him to come.

But, Hoyt, now retired from the Navy, was already on his way, determined to win back the only woman he’d ever loved, even if it meant sharing her with the man he’d trusted to take care of her long ago.

Despite her feelings for Hoyt, Nat’s determined to fight for her marriage.

But she hadn’t counted on both men uniting in their decision to share her—a decision that would change their lives forever.

Excerpt

It was a sound she’d come to hate over the last several months.

It was a sound that could change Jake’s mood in an instant.

And she didn’t know why.

Secret calls. Secret text messages.

Calls and messages that he wouldn’t discuss with her, and that widened the distance between them.

It scared her so much that she’d finally stopped asking.

And she hated herself for it.

He’d been getting text messages all morning, and the tension surrounding him seemed to be growing with each one.

His eyes, flat and cool as he read the newest one, lifted to hers again, his hard expression turning the knots in her stomach to ice.

Swallowing heavily, she turned back to the plate that she’d spent the last five minutes washing, fear and anger at herself igniting her temper. “Another one of the mysterious messages you don’t want to tell me about?”

She wanted to call the words back as soon as she uttered them, but she couldn’t stay silent any longer.

Something had to give—one way or another.

Expecting him to wave her question away, and tell her it was nothing the way he had repeatedly over the last several months, Nat stilled at the pregnant silence that followed.

She’d never been shy about confronting him in the past, and the fact that she was now infuriated her.

The distance between them had gotten worse in the last few weeks, making the tension even worse.

And it scared the hell out of her.

She loved Jake more than her own life, and the thought of losing him was more than she could stand.

Without answering her, he texted a short reply and set the phone aside, staring down into his coffee.

Taking the opportunity to watch him unobserved, Nat blinked back tears, the surge of love and desire nearly overwhelming.

God, she loved him so much.

Other than a few gray strands in his dark brown hair, he looked much the same as he did the day she’d married him. Regular trips to the gym kept him in shape, and the few gray strands at his temple only made him look more distinguished. His eyes, the color of dark chocolate, could go from loving and indulgent to sharp and possessive in a heartbeat, but now held a misery that tore at her heart. His unwillingness to confide in her left her feeling bereft and unsteady—her entire world off-kilter.

His confidence had always been a source of security and comfort and she hadn’t realized just how much she relied on it.

His arrogance frustrated her at times, and aroused her at others, but the insecurity in his eyes now frightened her more than she wanted to admit.

It was as if her entire world and everything she knew had been yanked out from under her.

And she didn’t even know why.

He’d always been a fantastic lover, and had introduced her to the world of dominance and submission many years ago.

With patience. With love. With tenderness.

He’d drawn her closer until they became like one.

Something tormented him, shaking the control she’d come to rely on, convincing her that whatever secret Jake had been keeping from her was significant, so significant that it would change their lives forever.

She was losing him—a little more every day.

And it terrified her.

He was her husband. Her lover. Her Master.

Her rock.

They’d become closer than she’d ever thought she could be to another human being.

He was a part of her, so much a part of her that it hurt her that he didn’t confide in her.

He’d always confided in her.

He loved her.

She could see it in his eyes, feel it in his touch.

Even now.

Especially now.

She’d watched for signs that he no longer wanted her, but the opposite appeared to be true.

Jake’s lovemaking had become more intense than ever, and his touch held a desperation she didn’t understand. Each time he made love to her, it was as if it would be the last time.

Wiping her hands, she fisted them in the towel and turned away from Jake to stare unseeingly out the window.

As much as she tried to deny it, all signs pointed to either Jake having a lover, or some kind of illness.

She’d rather face the lover.

The fact that he wouldn’t talk to her about it convinced her that it was bad.

Very bad.

Blinking back more tears, she swallowed heavily and turned again, her breath catching to find him watching her, his eyes unreadable.

With a sigh, he leaned forward, bracing his arms on the table, his hands fisted in front of him. “Sit down, Nat. We have to talk.”

Reluctant Desire

(Desire, Oklahoma 8)

Siren Everlasting Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance, light consensual BDSM, spanking, sensation play, sex toys, HEA

Charity Sanderson needed a man she could count on, but Beau Parrish never took anything seriously. When he unexpectedly ended things between them, she knew she had to do something. Her accident changes everything, making her see how wrong she’d been about him. She fears, though, that she’ll never get the real Beau back.

Excerpt

Charity Sanderson shivered at the feel of Beau Parrish’s hands and lips moving up the backs of her legs. “Oh, that feels good.”

Good didn’t even begin to describe it.

Every time he touched her, she turned to putty, the decadence in the slow slide of his fingertips over the outside of her legs and to her hips created a fluttering in her

stomach, while the feel of his lips and tongue working their way up her thighs sent pinpricks of pleasure racing through her.

Sprawled naked on her belly, she gripped the edge of the mattress, lifting herself into his touch, a touch that never failed to send her senses soaring. Having such a physical and playful lover was like a dream come true, a dream that she wanted to enjoy as long as possible.

Currents of sizzling delight ran up her legs as his touch moved higher, each caress, and each brush of his lips awakening every pleasure point in her body.

It had always been like this with him.

From the first touch, the first look, she knew it was something special.

Beau was every erotic fantasy she’d ever had rolled into one.

She’d lost her virginity to him, and couldn’t imagine letting another man touch her.

No one could ever make her feel this way, and she wanted to savor every moment with him as long as he’d let her.

Just the brush of his fingers over her skin awakened every nerve ending, drawing her into a spell of seduction she never wanted to escape.

Every kiss inflamed her, making her dizzy.

She couldn’t get enough of him, and even though she knew their loving meant nothing more than a night of pleasure to him, she couldn’t stop coming back for more.

Beau nipped her bottom cheek, his hands sliding up her sides to hold her steady. “It would have felt good an hour ago if you hadn’t been late.”

Startled by the rush of erotic heat, Charity yelped at the sharp nip, and tried to squirm away, but Beau slid his hands to her hips and pulled her back, urging her legs wider. Gripping the rails on the headboard of his bed, she let out a moan at the feel of his warm lips moving over her back. “I had some things to do. There’s a lot to be—ah—done before the club opens again. Jesus, Beau, that mouth should be illegal.”

Drowning in sensation, she threw her head back and struggled for air. No matter how hard she tried to hide her response to him in an effort to appear more sophisticated, she didn’t stand a chance.

He simply overwhelmed her—something she thought existed only in the erotic novels her sister devoured like candy.

Beau’s teeth scraped over her bottom. “Hmm. I can tell from those moans and whimpers pouring out of you that you don’t like it very much.” Sliding higher up her body, he pushed her hair aside to nuzzle her neck, focusing on a particularly sensitive spot. “You’re just going to have to endure it for a while longer while I reacquaint myself with this gorgeous body. I haven’t seen you for two days. It seems like forever.” Straddling her hips, he pressed his cock against her bottom, his fingers caressing the outer curves of her breasts.

Shivering in delight, Charity lifted her head, turning it to the side to give him better access, raising herself on her elbows, her nipples aching for attention. “Beau, oh God, how do you make me feel this way?” She tried to spread her thighs to make a place for him between them, but Beau straddled them with his, keeping them closed.

Sliding his hands under her he cupped her breasts, running his thumbs back and forth over her nipples. “You make me just as crazy. I love playing with you. I could spend every waking moment just touching you. Everywhere. No, don’t tense up. Don’t I always go slow with you. I’m not in any hurry. We’ve got all the time in the world. I brought something from the store.”

Shivering at the feel of his cock, hot and hard, pressing against her bottom, Charity moaned. “I’m scared to ask.” She tried to keep her tone playful, but she knew what he wanted from her.

They’d been lovers for several months, and he wanted her ass.

Beau owned an adult toy store in Desire, Oklahoma, a town where people took sex very seriously.

Beau took playing and sex very seriously. He wanted to explore every aspect of it with her, which she loved, but she couldn’t deny that at times, he made her nervous.

He seemed to think that it was his responsibility to test every new product that came into his store, telling her that he had to be prepared to answer questions about his products and recommend them.

She loved his toys, and loved how they played together.

He made her feel more than she’d ever thought it possible to feel—physically and emotionally.

She feared, though, that it was all physical for him, and as hard as she tried to stay away from him, she couldn’t resist coming back for more.

She loved him so much, but she suspected that once he knew that, and knew that she wanted something more permanent, he would back away.

Trying to appear more sophisticated, and convincing him she wanted nothing more than these times together grew more difficult every day.

She didn’t want to think about the times he’d used toys with other women, or where he’d gotten the experience that turned her into a quivering mass of need. His delightful Cajun accent made it worse, the seductive quality in his lyrical voice melting her every time.

No man should be so sexy.

No man should be so easy to love.

Beau chuckled, his hair brushing over her back as he trailed his lips to her shoulder. “You like my toys.” He flipped her to her back, straddling her and leaning close. His dark brown hair, in need of a cut again, fell around his face, disheveled from her fingers. “You said you wanted to help me with my business. Toys are my business.”

Submission to Desire

(Desire, Oklahoma 7)

Erotic Consensual BDSM Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, spanking, whipping, sex toys, HEA

Brenna Nelson roars into Desire, Oklahoma, for the express purpose of giving the owners of Club Desire a piece of her mind.

She’s suffered pain, fear, and even the loss of her job at the hands of one of their trainees, and she places the blame directly on their shoulders.

Trust doesn’t come easy for her, but their concern for her, and outrage at what their club member has done to her, eases some of her fears.

Before she knows it, Royce Harley and King Taylor ensconce her on their floor at the club and she’s signed a contract to become a submissive at their hands for a month and then to be auctioned to live out her wildest fantasies.

The sexual journey Royce and King take her on, though, proves more powerful than she anticipated, and proves to her that she is right where she belongs.

Excerpt

Lifting her chin higher, she swallowed heavily at the flash of something dark and dangerous in his eyes, reluctantly drawn to the underlying gleam of male interest.

“You’re one of the owners?” Inwardly cursing the hesitancy in her voice, she forced herself to face him squarely. The steadiness of his gaze made her decidedly uncomfortable, the threat in his eyes unmistakably sexual. “I just told you I am. I dislike repeating myself. What’s your name, Red?”

She didn’t know why his nickname warmed her, or why when he said it in that deep, slow rumble, she wanted to crawl up his body and feast on him. Resisting the urge to look away, she frowned up at him.

“My name’s Brenna Nelson. Don’t call me Red.”

“Well, Brenna Nelson, you want to tell me what’s got your panties in a bunch?”

His words and that superior look of his had the fury rushing back. Bracing her feet, she fisted her hands on her hips and glared up at him, wishing she’d worn higher heels.

“My panties in a bunch? My panties in a bunch? You Neanderthal! You run a club that teaches men how to abuse women and then let them loose on the rest of the world. I get stalked, attacked, and have to file police reports to deal with one of your students, and you want to know why my panties are in a bunch?”

His expression hardened with each word, changing dramatically by the time she finished. With a huge arm, he gestured toward an open door off the hall.

“Come in and tell me what you’re talking about. Right now.” Gripping her upper arm in an unbreakable hold, a hold that sent even more violent need racing through her, he led her down the hallway.

Chagrined at the rush of moisture that dampened her panties even more, she tried to keep up with his long stride. The concern in his eyes touched her, warming something inside her that made her want him even more. Clenching her jaw, she hardened her tone, not about to show any sign of weakness.

“Your sheriff caught him and I had to go identify him as the man who’s been harassing me.”

King surprised her by nodding. “Eugene Donner. And you couldn’t leave town without telling us what you thought about us. I can understand that. Come in.”

Not about to let his tenderness get to her, or let the sympathy in his eyes take the wind out of her sails, Brenna crossed her arms over her chest and pulled away from him. Shaken and disappointed that he’d done nothing about Donner, she didn’t even attempt to hide her scorn.

“You knew about this guy? You knew he was harassing me and you didn’t do anything about it? You know, you’re even sleazier than I thought. At least other Doms are out there who know how to treat a woman!”

Something flashed in his eyes, something that looked suspiciously like jealousy. Wrapping a huge hand around her upper arm, he half dragged her the rest of the way down the hallway.

“What the hell do you know about Doms? Do you have one?” Lifting a finger when she opened her mouth to tell him that it was none of his business, he shook his head and pulled her into a room off of the hallway, slamming the door behind him.

“Okay, spill it. Tell me everything right now. Do you belong to someone? Who is it and where can I find him?” Trying to hide the leap of excitement at his anger and the intent to possess her glittering in his ever-changing eyes, now darkened to greenish blue, Brenna lifted her chin and glared at him.

“Listen, buddy, my life is none of your business. I just came here to tell you I think you’re slime. Who the hell do you think you are, telling men it’s all right to abuse women-teaching them how to do it for God’s sake-and then letting them loose? It might be okay for you in your dinky town here…”

She paused when he raised a brow at that and opened his mouth to speak, but she ruthlessly cut him off.

“No. Don’t try to make excuses for yourself. Do you know what that man has been doing to me for the last year? He got this idea from you and all the other assholes here, that he was God’s gift to women. He figured that he could rape a woman and it was okay if he could make her come. He thinks no means yes. He’s been following me and bothered me so much at work that I ended up getting fired. He broke into my car, my apartment, and my locker at the gym. He called me day and night no matter how many times I changed my number. I called the police over and over and this bastard still managed to ruin my life!”

“Did he hurt you? Did he rape you?”

Taken aback by the underlying rage in his cold voice, Brenna blinked and stood frozen, held in a gaze so mesmerizing, it took several heart-stopping moments before she could answer.

Raw Desire

(Desire, Oklahoma 6)

Alison Bennett came to Desire, Oklahoma to hide-and to heal.

When her truck breaks down on the way into town, she certainly hadn’t expected men like Dillon Tanner and Ryder Hayes to come to her rescue.

Extraordinary men in an extraordinary town.

Their interest in her both excites and alarms her, but she knows they’re both way out of her league.

When an attack on the club brings a halt to the seminar she’s signed up for, Dillon and Ryder’s proposition to continue her lessons intrigues her. Dillon’s gentleness tempts her to put herself in his hands while Ryder’s wildness and apparent dislike for her makes her uneasy.

Under their guidance, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, one that teaches her decadent pleasures and raw desire.

And love.

Knowing a ménage relationship could never work, she still finds herself tempted to stay.

But fate, and her ex-boyfriend, have other plans.

Excerpt

Desire, Oklahoma
Population 398

Blowing out a breath, Alison Bennett pressed a hand to her stomach to calm the butterflies. Reaching for the bottle of water on the passenger seat, she winced at the tight pull of muscle in her lower back.

Finding the bottle empty, she cursed and tossed it to the floor on the passenger side and stared at the sign again.

Well, she’d found it. Now she hoped she had the courage to see if it lived up to its name.

And hoped it was a good place to hide.

After researching the town, she’d acted on impulse and signed up for a seminar at the women’s club, thinking that if she had an excuse to visit the town, no one would be suspicious.

Hopefully, while staying here, she could relax and shake off some of the aftereffects of the last several months and regain some of her former self-confidence. She’d let Danny’s criticism regarding sex and her looks eat at her self-esteem, but instead of leaving him, she’d stuck around and tried to remake herself to please him.

Stupid.

In a fit of anger, she pressed down on the gas, alarmed when her old pickup sputtered and coughed, and sucking in a sharp breath when it jerked, tugging painfully at the tight muscle in her lower back. Almost immediately, a huge amount of thick smoke billowed out from under the hood, blocking her view of the road.

Swearing, she slowed and began to pull off to the shoulder, trying not to panic. A gust of wind blew enough of the smoke away to assure her that she’d managed to get the truck completely off of the road before it coughed again and died a shuddering death.

Slamming it into park, she hissed at the excruciating pull to her back and sat unmoving, taking several slow breaths before she carefully reached out and turned off the ignition, not moving any more than necessary.

Damn it, she didn’t have enough money to fix her truck. She barely had enough for a place to stay, especially after a good chunk of her money had been used for the temporary membership to Lady Desire.

It had seemed like a good idea at the time, a chance to learn a few things to bolster her self-confidence and keep her next boyfriend from straying-something she was doing just for herself, but she’d already started to regret it.

Easing back with a groan, she wondered why she’d ever thought she could make such a long drive without stopping. It had been a stupid thing to do, but she’d been anxious to get here.

Now she would have what appeared to be quite a walk ahead of her to even get to town. To hell with it. She could do it. She’d dealt with worse.

Her stomach rumbled, reminding her that she hadn’t had anything to eat since the breakfast sandwich she’d choked down while driving early that morning. She’d driven for hours without stopping, wanting to get as far away from Muskogee as she could as fast as possible. No matter what happened, she couldn’t stay in her hometown any longer. She had to be prepared to get on with her life, and this seemed like as good a place as any to start.

First, though, she had to actually get there.

Thinking about what might be a long walk ahead of her, she reached into the side pocket of her purse for the plastic prescription bottles. Her medicine should be taken with food, but she didn’t have that option right now and needed the pain pill and muscle relaxer before she could even consider making such a walk. Taking the small pills with the warm orange juice left in the plastic bottle she hadn’t finished at breakfast, she stuck the rest of them back into the small purse she was forced to carry now. She missed her big carryall purses, but she tended to fill them, and the doctor warned her against carrying a heavy bag.

Alone, with no one else around to hear her, she didn’t bother to hold back her pain-filled groan as she fought the temperamental door, wincing when the rusted hinges groaned in protest. Holding on to the steering wheel, she slid to the ground, and had to take several deep breaths, waiting for the muscles to loosen enough for her to move again.

It took more effort than she could muster to slam the door the way she needed to in order to close it again, but she did the best that she could. Walking around the front of the truck to the grass on the other side, she wrinkled her nose at the smell of burning rubber and gave the smoking hood a wide berth.

Hearing a vehicle approach from the direction of the town, she turned, stilling when she saw the Sheriff insignia on the side of the SUV.

Hell, if it wasn’t for bad luck, she’d have no luck at all. She and sheriffs generally didn’t get along.

His lights flashed as he made a U-turn in the road and pulled in right behind her truck.

Watching him get out, she felt a moment of panic when she saw his size and harsh features, ashamed of herself for being such a wimp.

She wondered how many other women felt the same way after experiencing pain at the hands of a man she trusted.

Swallowing heavily, she kept her face blank, having already learned the value of not showing any signs of weakness.

Well over six feet tall, he couldn’t be called handsome but had to be one of the most compelling and dangerous-looking men she’d ever laid her eyes on. She took an involuntary step back as he approached, wrapping her arms around herself against the chill that went through her.

He stopped abruptly and smiled, a smile that didn’t quite reach those hard eyes, which remained sharp and full of suspicion. “Ma’am. Are you all right?”

Alison nodded, careful not to make any sudden moves. “I’m fine, thanks. I was just on my way to Desire when the smoke started coming out from under the hood. It coughed a little and died. As soon as I get to town, I’ll call a tow truck.”

She really didn’t want to ride with someone who looked like he could break her in half with no effort at all, but she sure as hell didn’t want to walk what could be miles. She could do it, though, if she had to. She’d learned that she could handle just about anything, and a walk to town paled in comparison. If only she could stay awake long enough.

Damn it, why had she taken that pill, especially on an empty stomach?

She shifted her purse to her other arm and winced at the pain that shot through her back and hip.

That’s why she’d taken the damned thing.

The sheriff never took his eyes from her as he pulled a cell phone from his pocket and hit a number, the glint of gold shining from his ring finger, making her wonder what kind of woman would be brave enough to take on such a man. “Can I see your license and registration?”

She dug both out of her purse and handed them to him, trying to hide the fact that her hands shook.

He spoke into the phone as he looked over her information.

“Talia, can you call Ryder and Dillon and tell them to come out to the road coming into town with the tow truck. Yeah, right where the sign is. Thanks.”

Alison couldn’t prevent a smile. “The road coming into town? Doesn’t it have a name?”

The sheriff tapped her license with her registration. “It’s Tyler Road, but everyone in Desire calls it the road coming into town. Alison Bennett. It says here that you’re from Muskogee. Kind of a long way from home, aren’t you?”

Alison shrugged and then regretted it when a muscle in her back protested the movement. “Yes.”

His brows went up at her clipped answer. “What are you doing in Desire?”

Blinking at his suspicious tone, she looked away, too embarrassed to admit her reason for coming. “To shop. Maybe to stay a few days.”

If possible, his expression became even harsher. He scowled, narrowing his eyes at her. “Lying to me is no way to get into my town.”

Swallowing heavily again, she rubbed her arms with shaking hands. Determined not to let him see how much he intimidated her, she lifted her chin defiantly. “That’s not very friendly.”

A dark brow went up. “We’re not friends.”

His cold tone sent a chill down her spine, tightening her back even more painfully. She wanted nothing more than to get away from him, so she decided to tell him enough to satisfy his curiosity. “If you must know, I got a temporary membership to a club there. I’ll only be in town for a week or two after that, and then I’m moving on.”

His lips twitched. “Which club?”

Alison blinked again before she remembered what she’d read about the men’s club and what went on there. “Oh.”

His slow smile changed his face completely, but he still wouldn’t be considered handsome. Lethal perhaps, but never handsome. “Yeah. Oh.”

“I’m going to Lady Desire. Can you tell me how to get there?”

Shaking his head in amusement, he looked up as a tow truck approached.

“It’s on the other side of town.”

“Is there a place to stay nearby?”

“There’s a hotel across the street from it.”

Alison accepted her license and registration that he held out to her, and lowered her head to put them away, wondering how she would be able to afford moving on once she paid for the truck repair, in addition to almost two weeks at a hotel, and food.

She looked up as the tow truck parked in front of her still steaming truck. It backed up to it, not stopping until the two trucks stood only a few feet apart.

“I can’t believe they got here so fast.”

The sheriff shrugged. “It’s a small town, and we all look out for each other.”

Alison nodded, understanding immediately what it meant to be an outsider in a small town. Just as she knew what it felt like when the good old boys turned on someone they no longer liked.

Prepared for a couple of those good old boys with beer bellies to be riding in the tow truck, she took several steps back, wincing at the pull of tight muscles and surreptitiously rubbing her aching hip.

Her breath hitched when a strikingly masculine man slid gracefully out of the passenger side, his denim jacket doing nothing to hide his muscular frame.

Dark blond hair framed decidedly masculine features, from a wide forehead to intense blue eyes that crinkled in the corner, a nose that looked as though it had been broken at least once, a square jaw and strong chin, and the firmest, fullest lips she’d ever seen on a man.

He smiled at her, the confident smile of a man who knew his place in the world, the smile of a man who knew what effect that smile would have on women.

A smile that somehow combined polite interest and blatant sexuality into something so alluring her jaw actually dropped.

Snapping it shut as he came toward her, she let her gaze rake over him, her fingers itching to trace over the muscular chest exposed as the sides of his jacket parted, a chest lovingly molded by a white T-shirt. His long legs, encased in faded jeans, ate up the distance between them with a speed and predatory stride that actually had her taking a step back.

His grin fell, his blue eyes darkening and raking over her like a caress.

“You don’t have anything to fear from us.” His overlong hair brushed the collar of his denim coat, the ends of it blowing in the light breeze and giving him a rakish look.

Alarmed at how easily he’d read her unease, she stepped back. “I, um…hello. Thank you for coming so quickly.”

The blond man’s grin widened, his blue eyes twinkling. “Not too quick, I hope.”