Two-Five Ranch Outlaws
Imprisoned in a Cowboy’s Heart
Contemporary Western Romance
Hi, there. It’s my first time participating in Book Hooks in a long, long time. Today I’m bringing you a short snippet from Imprisoned in a Cowboy’s Heart, released in early October, 2019. This book is part of the Common Elements Romance Project group of over seventy authors who each wrote our own books with five common elements connecting them–nothing else. My excerpt today uses one of those elements—a scene involving a “lightning storm.”
A thunderous crash-like rumble startled her, forcing her to hug herself and squeeze her arms. Lightning lit up the landscape, brightening the distant red rocks. The entire stormy dark-clouded sky glowed with streamers of white streaks. She glanced over her shoulder. Had there been a tap? Thunder? No, she hadn’t imagined it. Oh, she jumped at another bright flash.
She peeked around as she opened the door between their rooms. “Yes?”
“Did I wake you?” His voice held a softness she’d longed to hear.
Gulping, she mumbled, “No.”
“You’re sitting in the dark?”
“I’m watching the powerful lightning storm. It’s surreal the way it lights up the red rocks.”
He pushed the door open. Karis gasped. “I’m not dressed.” She rushed to the chair for her jeans, but he grasped her arm, jerking her to a halt. She held her breath. What is this?
With heavy breaths, he closed his eyes but snapped them open—his grip tightening. “Why, you asked earlier? I can’t stay away from you. I wanted to. Honest I did, but you stood in the barn looking beaten and so damn hot, gorgeous, making me remember things I wanted to forget.” He drew her to him and whispered, “I’m conflicted over us.”
She placed her hands against his face and peered into his eyes. The lightning storm flashed in a wild rampage outside their window, reminiscent of her heart pounding against her ribs. “To this day, this moment, I regret what happened. The way I allowed it to happen. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Knowing what I had done to you, hurt me too. I hope you can forgive me. At least understand?” Karis lowered her gaze to his lips. She wanted nothing more than to taste them this moment. This moment. Her breath caught with him so close. “I’m sorry.”
“I know you are.”
Karis collected a tissue from her purse and went into the bathroom to blow her nose. Tanyon stood at the window when she returned. Why had she left his arms when she needed his embrace? She stepped closer to where he waited. “It’s eerie to stand here and witness this sight. We would’ve missed it all if we’d gotten rooms on the other side of the hotel.”
“Maybe.” He came to her, holding their hands between them. “I forgive you, but I don’t know if I can trust you. In a few months you’ll be leaving all over again, and then what?”
Four knife-piercing words in a frantic phone call from her mother, caused Dr. Karis Sutton to leave her cowboy in Northern Arizona to return home. While grief-stricken over a tragic loss, she’d let the man she loved slip away instead of allowing him to console her in a time of need. Now, a year later, and ready to break free from her world of gloom, she drives north to seek a second chance with the moody yet irresistible alpha-owner of the ranch. But she’s forced back to Phoenix to fight to keep two fatherless kids. While doing so, will Tanyon think she’s leaving him again and give up on any chance they might’ve had? She’s pulled in different directions. How will she make it right with so much distance between them all?
Tanyon Outlaw never thought he’d see her again. Now, she’s returned as part of the summer crew on the Two-Five Ranch. In her sad eyes, he sees straight through to her pained soul while memories of their past love invade each thought. What will it take for his cold heart to grow warm toward her again? Then, when bad things happen on the ranch, it comes in droves. Karis is called back home. A lawsuit looms over his head. Fences are cut to maim or steal his cattle. Someone else has an eye for the woman he longs to love. He’s running out of time. How can he discover why people are out to get him, while figuring out what his heart wants before he loses her forever?
Once again, Karis and Tanyon have separate, life-changing matters to attend to, so how will they keep it all together and still find a way to capture the love they once shared?
Rated R by Movie Standards.
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