Genre: Historical romance
Length: 84kNevada is no easy place for a woman, especially for Beth Caldwell, a gambler's widow with an independent streak. When she refuses to marry the local cattle baron-who wants to add her land to his empire-Beth ends up with a powerful enemy. But it's not until she finds a handsome outlaw hiding in her barn that her trouble really begins. Isaac Collins survived the Civil War only to find himself the scapegoat for stagecoach robbery and murder. With nothing left to lose, he gambles everything on revenge...and barely escapes with his life. He stumbles back to Beth's place, and as she nurses him back to health something tender and heated grows between them. But in Nevada, sometimes everything can ride on one high-stakes game of chance...and Beth's rejected suitor will do whatever it takes to get what he wants.
I squared my shoulders and entered the room, determined to behave myself properly.
He was sat up in bed with several pillows piled behind him for support, looking every bit as if he belonged there, enough so that last night came to mind and I was tempted to crawl in and snuggle up next to him. But I gave myself a mental shake. He was quickly turning me into a silly schoolgirl.
I am a strong, independent woman.
I had other women depending on me and I couldn’t let some male drifter, a wanted man no less, distract me from my responsibilities.
I placed the tray on his lap and backed away as quickly as possible, taking a seat in the rocker I’d spent so much time in the last few days.
“It seems your presence is causing quite a stir around here. My friends don’t quite know how to react to you.
“What about you?”
“What about me?”
“You said none of your lady friends knows how to react to me. What about you? Do you know how to react to me?”
The taste of his lips on mine leaped to mind unbidden, along with the feel of his hands on me, and that’s all it took for my double-crossing heart, and my equally rebellious body, to react with lusty desire. I’d assumed I’d never again be lucky enough to find a man who made me feel that way, and yet here he was, already in my bed.
Although I wanted very much to shift from the rocker to the edge of the bed and assist him with his breakfast, perhaps feeding him bits of bread with creamy butter that he’d have to lick from my fingertips, I opted for maintaining at least a modicum of decency and kept my rear end rooted to the chair. I suspected where Mr. Isaac Collins was concerned, me and my good sense were in a heap of trouble, because my body had clearly declared war against us.
“Just how would you expect me to react?”
He’d been watching me, waiting for my answer, those warm brown eyes regarding me from under a fringe of dark lashes, making my belly flutter like a flock of hummingbirds had nested inside.
“A smart woman would be on her guard. She’d be concerned and maybe even afraid, and she’d send me on my way, happy to see the back of me. And I took you for a smart woman.”
Margaret writes romance and science fiction, and lives in the vast Northern Plains where it’s quiet, mostly empty, and conducive to letting her imagination run wild. When she's not writing you’ll find her in a college classroom teaching English, or working as a literary agent for an amazing agency…and of course enjoying time with her family.