Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

She’s the perfect combination of princess & warrior.

When single mom Jackie Walker meets her brother’s best friend, wilderness survival expert Scott Nielsen, she’s instantly attracted to the tall, blond outdoorsman. But she has no idea that he’s Dominant.

As Scott works to set up his new outdoors school at the Walker family’s remote lakeside guest lodge, he sees in Jackie the submissive she’s positive she’s not. And maybe the one he’s been waiting for.

Can strong, independent Jackie let go enough to allow Scott to show her a whole new world?

Here’s a wintry teaser from WARRIOR MINE.

Wringing her hands in front of her, Jackie paced back and forth by the windows as cold fear thrummed through her veins. The storm seemed to have increased in intensity, but she wondered whether it was just her imagination.

She’d received Scott’s text half an hour earlier, and she’d forced herself to walk away from the computer where his GPS location was being tracked on a map of the lake. Watching minute by minute wasn’t helping anything, and she had guests to attend to.

A glance showed her that Emma and Grant were still playing quietly, unaware of the danger Scott faced alone in the snow. Perhaps it was that, to them, strong and larger than life as he was, he was simply invincible. She envied them, she realized.

“He’s fine, Jacks.” Blake materialized beside her, handing her a mug of coffee.

Jackie accepted it, nodding her thanks. “I know. I just…” She shrugged, not knowing what else to say.

A loud bang from the reception area startled them, and a whoosh of cold air swirled into the room.

“Oh, thank God!” Jackie ran to the dining room door, several others following behind her. Across the reception area, the lodge’s front door had swung all the way open, banging against the wall. Snow swirled wildly on icy gusts around a lone figure in a black parka.

Jackie grabbed his arm and pulled him further into the room, then battled the wind to close the door. Hadley Pierce tugged down his hood and stomped to shake off the snow from his boots and clothes.

“C-c-cold,” he shivered, pulling off his heavy gloves.

“Come on, bud,” Dan Spinelli said. “Let’s get you by the fire.” He helped the man out of his coat and guided him into the dining room.

Jackie hung the coat on a hook and followed. “Where’s Scott? Putting away the snowmobile?”

Pierce pulled off his black knit beanie, uncovering his shaggy dark hair which stuck out in all directions. He dropped the cap to the floor and held his hands out toward the fire. “So fucking cold,” he muttered.

“Scott! Where’s Scott?” Jackie grabbed the young man’s arm and spun him around.

He blinked down at her.

“Dammit! Where is Scott?”

“How should I know?” he shrugged, turning back to the fire.

Jackie grabbed him again, whirling him around and slamming him against the stone of the fireplace. “You should know because he went out looking for your sorry ass when you went out in the middle of a fucking blizzard,” she growled.

Blake placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Easy, sis.”

Indignance flashed in Pierce’s eyes. “Look, all I know is, your piece of shit snowmobile broke down, and I had to walk all the way back here. I don’t know anything about Scott.”

He shoved past Jackie to return to the fire. “He’s a sorry excuse for a wilderness expert, you ask me,” he muttered.

Before Blake could stop her, Jackie spun the young man around once more and slapped him hard across the face. A second crack rang out before Pierce could recover from the first.

“You listen to me, you snot-nosed motherfucker.” Jackie waved her finger in his face.

Blake gently wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her away from the young man.

“He’s out there looking for you after you ignored his instructions. He told you not to go out in a blizzard. He’s risking his life for you, you sorry sack of shit!”

Pierce opened his mouth to reply, but Jackie raised her hand as if to slap him a third time. “Not another word. You keep your mouth shut, and you stay away from me. As soon as this storm’s over, I want you out of here, and I never want to see you again.”

She turned on her heel, heading to the office. Blake followed close behind her. “Jacks, we’ll just text him and tell him to come back.”

“Yeah, but it still infuriates me that one idiot created such a mess. And the snowmobile didn’t ‘break down’. He wrecked it on the rocks at the end of the lake. Scott found it.”

She tapped in the password and the screen lit up with a topographical map of the lake. Leaning closer, she blinked. The blip that had been Scott was gone. She refreshed the page, but there was no red path leading from the lodge to the end of the lake.

“What the…” Blake clicked a few things, but nothing changed the map.

On her phone, Jackie sent a quick text.

The douchebag just showed up. Hurry back now.

The message was immediately returned with an error notification. Receiving device unavailable. Try again later.

Jackie looked up at Blake, who shrugged slightly. “Something must be wrong with his sat-com.” He scrubbed a hand across his mouth as he sank into a chair. “So, we don’t know where he is, and we can’t communicate with him.”

“I’m calling the police,” Jackie said, determination in her voice. She tapped the number into the office phone.

After a trio of rings, someone answered. “Eliot Lake Police, Ned Hart.”

“Ned, thank God! This is Jackie Walker at Lake Miranda Lodge. One of our survival school students went AWOL in the storm, and Scott went out after him. The thing is, the guy wandered back, but Scott’s still out there. We can’t get ahold of him on the sat-com, and I’m frantic. Can you send someone out to look for him?”

There was a pause on the other end. Then, “Jackie, I can’t send anyone out in the middle of a blizzard. Now I’m looking at the radar, and it looks like this might all be past us in another couple of hours, but I’m sure you understand, I can’t risk the lives of my team in the middle of a storm like this.”

Jackie felt as though she’d been gut-punched. She fought to breathe.

“Jackie?”

She pulled herself straight and tall. “Fine,” she said softly, “I’ll just go find him myself.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

Find WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4,
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/WarriorMine

Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE

With Maggie gone, Michael’s just running rogue.

RUNNING ROGUE is the second book in the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy.

At the end of the first book, lawyer Maggie Flynn makes a heartbreaking decision. With her attraction to her boss, high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan, all but hopeless, and her growing discontent with her work at the firm, she opts to walk away.

Devastated, Michael begins to make questionable choices, as does Maggie, both professionally and personally. One night of passion tore them apart. One rainy night will bring them together.

Here’s an excerpt from RUNNING ROGUE.

Maggie strode purposefully across the lobby of Michael’s building. It had been a shit week and knowing that she had to work all weekend to make up for what she’d missed, all she wanted to do was to check in on Michael, deliver his soup, and head home to a nice hot bath and a large glass of wine. Ahead of her a man was just stepping into the elevator and she increased her pace, hoping to make it before the doors closed. He turned and their eyes met just as the doors slid shut.

“Well, shit!” she muttered, juggling her purse, her briefcase, and the bag from the deli. Just then the doors slid back open.

“Sorry about that,” the man said, “I didn’t realize you were right behind me.” He held open the door as she stepped in and turned around. “What floor?”

Maggie glanced up at him. He was tall with broad shoulders, muscular without being muscle-bound, with wavy brown hair and sparkling blue eyes framed by the longest lashes she’d ever seen on a man. She’d noticed a bit of a drawl when he spoke. Dressed in a t-shirt and sweatpants, he’d apparently been working out in the gym. He stood beaming at her with a boyish grin on his face and he seemed to be waiting for her. She realized she was staring.

Oh, shit! What floor? “Oh, sorry, um, twenty-one, please.”

He grinned again. “Twenty-one. That’s my floor, too.” He held out a hand. “I’ve only been here a couple of months. We haven’t met yet. I’m Bobby.”

Maggie shifted the deli bag and grasped his hand. “Um, I’m Maggie. I don’t actually live here. I’m visiting a friend.” She paused. “Do you know Michael in 2101?”

Bobby’s eyes widened and he took a step back. “Oh. You’re one of Michael’s girls.”

Maggie frowned. “No. I am absolutely not one of Michael’s girls. Nope. Not me. No way.” She shook her head emphatically.

Bobby grinned wryly. “So you’re not one of Michael’s girls.”

She felt her face flush. “I’ve known Michael for a long time. We used to work together. He’s a little…under the weather, and I told him I’d stop by, bring him some soup.” She held up the deli bag for emphasis.

He flashed the boyish grin, blue eyes sparkling with amusement. Maggie felt her pulse race and a warm flush crept up her neck. What the hell?

“So you’re a lawyer.”

She nodded. “Yep. Sorry.”

“Why sorry?”

“Everybody hates lawyers,” she replied as the elevator doors opened on the twenty-first floor. She stepped out into the hallway and immediately went down hard on her left knee.

“Motherfucker!” she cried out.

Bobby was beside her instantly. “Are you alright? What happened?”

Maggie looked around. “My shoe.” The heel of her right shoe was caught in the space between the elevator and the hallway. It had snapped off as she stepped forward. Bobby grabbed it before the doors closed, then gently took her arm and helped her up.

“Did you hurt yourself?” he asked, concerned.

“I’m alright, really,” she replied shakily. Blood was dripping from her knee and running in rivulets all the way down her shin.

“You banged up your knee.”

“But I saved the soup, so there’s that,” she quipped.

He placed a hand on the small of her back and walked her down the hall, stopping at a door. “This is me,” he said. “Come in and let me at least bandage you up.” Maggie regarded him warily.

“I’m not an axe murderer, I promise,” he laughed.

She frowned. “Isn’t that exactly what an axe murderer would say?” she said as he unlocked the door.

“Tell you what-we’ll leave the door open. You can sit right here.” He pointed to a bench in the foyer. “If I make any sudden moves you can run for it,” he chuckled.

Sheepishly, Maggie sank onto the bench. Truthfully, her knee hurt. She set down her things and glanced up at him. “Thanks,” she said quietly.

Bobby smiled and gestured to his right. “I’ll just…go get my axe.”

She could hear him in another room rummaging around through something. She removed her broken shoe and held up the dismembered heel. It had come clean off the sole. An image flashed through her mind of the shoe repair shop just around the corner from her apartment.

“I can fix that for you.” Startled, she looked up. Bobby had returned with first aid supplies.

“Oh, you don’t have to do that,” she said quickly. “There’s a shop near my place.”

He poured alcohol on some gauze and knelt beside her. “It won’t take me two seconds,” he murmured, dabbing at her knee.

Maggie breathed in sharply. “Ouch! Ow ow ow!” she protested softly.

Bobby looked up at her. “Sorry, cher,” he said, “we’ve got to get it cleaned out.” Gently he grasped the back of her calf and raised her leg, wiping away the streaks of blood.

Maggie stared at him, scarcely breathing. There was something electric about his touch, so strong yet so tender.

He finished cleaning her shin and returned to her knee, carefully placing a large bandage over the scrape. “There you are, good as new. Well, almost,” he smiled.

He took the shoe and heel from her. “I really can fix this for you. I’d just have to find my tools,” he nodded his head toward the other room. “I should really unpack anyway,” he smiled ruefully.

Maggie rose from the bench and stood lopsided on one heel. “I don’t want to be more trouble than I’ve already been.”

Something tells me that you’re all kinds of trouble, cher. “It’s no trouble. Besides, I’d be worried about you limping along like Quasimodo on your way home,” he laughed.

She laughed, too. “Well, alright then. Thank you. And thanks for…” She glanced down at her knee.

“It’s my pleasure, cher,” he said quietly.

Maggie felt as though suddenly all the air had gone out of the room. She stared up into his amazing blue eyes. She opened her mouth but no words came out.

He spoke. “Just stop by when you’re finished at Michael’s. If I have to leave before that, I’ll bring you your shoe.”

RUNNING ROGUE, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 2 by Pandora Spocks

RUNNING ROGUE
is available at your favorite online bookseller.
Why not start at the beginning?
books2read.com/RannigansRedemption

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say that still waters run deep
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

If you love your romance with a spooky vibe, you’re going to love MIDNIGHT COVE.

Writer Bree Blaylock has rented a quiet lakeside cottage to finish writing her new novel. But it turns out, she’s not alone.

Bree has had odd experiences her whole life, and she’s content to share her space. She has nowhere else to go anyway. When she meets handsome local lawman Jack Hanson, she considers whether she’s ready to take another chance on love.

But can Jake keep her safe when the past comes calling?

Here’s a teaser from MIDNIGHT COVE.

Bree stretched luxuriantly, her bare arm catching the warm sunlight that streamed in through the bay window across from the bed. Last night had been the best sleep she’d had in as long as she could recall. She stretched again, smiling to herself as she recalled vague snippets of a dream she’d had. She’d been on a peaceful, tropical beach. And there’d been a hot guy.

She pursed her lips, considering the blonde young man with sparkling blue eyes. Having dreams about hot guys? She needed a man in her life right now like she needed an extra hole in the head. She was still trying to recover from the one she’d just left.

Sighing deeply, she shook her head. He wasn’t real, the man from her dream. Steven. She frowned slightly. That was kind of specific, wasn’t it? She had to smile at herself. He hadn’t been any more real than the dolphins she’d seen. Just a pleasant dream. And wouldn’t she love to have more of those?

Canine feet click-clacked across the wood floor, and a large yellow head appeared at the side of the bed.

“Good morning, Murph. Do you need to go potty?”

Soulful brown eyes pleaded with her as the dog whined softly.

Bree laughed. “Okay, buddy, let me put some clothes on.”

Warm sunlight or no, the room itself was cool in the fall morning. She quickly made the bed, then padded to the closet to grab a pair of faded jeans and a white v-neck T-shirt. When she was dressed, she slipped on her favorite pair of white low-topped Chucks and shrugged into a long pink cardigan.

“Come on, Murph, let’s take you outside. Then we’ll figure out the rest of our day.”

On her way out the bedroom door, something caught her eye. Frowning, she slowly approached the bay window that overlooked the lake, its stained-glass accents casting reds and browns across the wood floor. In the center of the brown velvet cushion sat a glossy shell about the size and shape of an egg. It was tan, with spots of light and dark brown.

Heart pounding, she reached to pick it up. The shell felt smooth and cool in her hand. Turning it over, she saw the opening, a narrow slit running the length of the shell, looking like a crooked, serrated grin.

Unconsciously, she gripped the shell lightly. Her dream last night. The stranger–Steven–had given her a shell. This shell.

What had he said? “Keep it so you can remember this beach. So you can remember me.”

Wide-eyed, she slowly turned, scanning the room. No one was there. She closed her eyes and tried to get a sense of a presence, but she felt nothing.

Murphy whined again, bringing her to the present. Distractedly, Bree slipped the shell into her pocket. “Come on, boy. Let’s go.”

Downstairs, she opened the back door. The yellow lab bounded across the wide back deck and down to the lawn that gently sloped to the lake. Lost in her thoughts, Bree followed along behind him.

Her dream had been just that, right? A dream. But could it be that the mystery man, Steven, was the presence she’d noticed in the house?

It was beyond ridiculous, really. She’d half convinced herself that she’d merely imagined the flutter in the attic window, the chair that rocked itself.

But how do you explain the shell? Riddle me that one.

She chewed her lip thoughtfully. Should she be alarmed? Steven had seemed nice enough. He’d almost seemed surprised that she’d spoken to him. If he was in the house, maybe he needed help moving on.

Sighing deeply, she kicked at a clump of colorful leaves on the ground. It was a lot to contemplate, and she had work to do. Rita Pearlman, her editor at Bonne Nuit House, expected the first draft of her new novel by the middle of November. So far, she had managed to write the first ten thousand words.

Not bad, she snorted, only about eighty thousand to go.

But writing with Greg around had been next to impossible, especially right there at the end.

She shook her head to dismiss the dark thoughts. Greg was a non-issue now. And she was on her second day of two months of peace and quiet in her cabin by the lake.

House, not cabin, she corrected herself. Still.

The sound of distant barking drew her back to the present. The yellow lab was nowhere to be seen. Rushing down the hill to the waters’ edge, Bree glanced down the shoreline in both directions.

“Murphy!”

She heard barking again, clearly from her left. She took off in that direction, calling again. “Murphy! Come here!”

Trudging along the shoreline, Bree ignored the house next door and the one after that, intent on finding her dog. Mr. Meyer had said that most of the lake houses were closed until spring anyway. So when she spied a tall, dark-haired man fishing at the end of the third dock, she was surprised. Tail wagging furiously, Murphy stood beside the man looking out over the water.

“Murphy!” she called sharply as she headed down the dock.

The dog turned and whined sheepishly, clearly reluctant to leave his new friend.

The man reeled in his line and set the fishing rod down on the dock. As Bree approached, he grinned.

“I’m so sorry he’s bothering you,” Bree rushed, grabbing the dog by his blue web collar. “Let’s go. You’re in big trouble.”

The man laughed, revealing perfect white teeth. “Don’t be too hard on him, Mom. He just got excited when I reeled in a nice fat bass.” His deep blue eyes twinkled with humor.

Bree’s gaze slid from his wavy dark brown hair to his square jaw nicely defined by dark stubble and zeroes in on his sensuous lips. His dark blue long-sleeved Henley clung to his muscular shoulders, and the sleeves were pushed up to reveal strong forearms lightly sprinkled dark hair.

She felt herself blush. “Well we just went out to go potty, and he got away from me. I didn’t realize anyone was around. I promise I’ll keep him on a leash from now on. I’m so sorry.”

The man took a step toward her and held out his hand. “Don’t keep him on a leash on my account. I love dogs. I’m Jake Hanson.”

“Oh, sorry. Bree Blaylock.”

He pursed his lips as though he were suppressing a grin. “Welcome to Midnight Cove, Bree Blaylock. Are you staying at the Meyer place? I heard Old Man Meyer had rented out his lake house.”

Bree nodded. “Yes, for the next couple of months, anyway. Mr. Meyer told me that most of the lake houses sit vacant until spring.”

Jake glanced around and nodded. “Most of them do.” He hooked a thumb toward the one-story brown craftsman-style bungalow up the slope from the dock. “But I live here year-round. It’s quieter than in town.”

He tilted his head slightly, his smile warm. “So where are you visiting from?”

“Oh, we’re from Clearwater. Florida.” Bree patted Murphy to have something to do with her hands. She nodded and tugged on the dog’s collar. “Well, it’s nice meeting you.”

“Jake.” He grinned.

Bree felt her face heat up again. “Jake. It’s nice meeting you Jake. I’ll see you later.”

Blue eyes sparkling, he nodded. “I expect you will. It’s a small town. And a small cove. It’s nice meeting you, Bree. See ya later, Murphy. Behave yourself and mind your mom.”

Face burning, Bree held Murphy’s collar tightly and marched him back down the dock. As they made their way back down the shoreline toward the house, she risked a look over her shoulder. Jake Hanson stood watching them, and he waved. With her free hand, Bree waved back.

“You are in so much trouble,” she hissed to the dog.

–MIDNIGHT COVE is exclusively at Amazon, and it’s FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE
is available exclusively at Amazon.
Read it FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

Weekend Excerpt–FREE Summer Anthology!

SUMMER SESSIONS is FREE all summer long!

How do you define the perfect summer? Maybe it’s when five of your favorite steamy authors get together to bring you the summer’s hottest boxed set and they give it away for FREE.

SUMMER SESSIONS brings you steamy romance from five writers who also happen to be current or former educators.

School may be out, but the lessons never stop, even on summer vacation. SUMMER SESSIONS is bringing you sizzling HOT summer books from five of your favorite erotic romance writers who also happen to be current or former classroom teachers. Check out the summer school roll-call!
JC Winchester–TEACHER DREAMS
Linzi Basset–ROAD TRIP
Maggie Jane Schuler–RESEARCH REQUIRED
Patient Lee–FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE and I WON A BASKET OF PORN
Pandora Spocks–JUST ONE NIGHT
It’s summer!
Kick back, enjoy a cool refreshing adult beverage,
and escape into the world of SUMMER SESSIONS.
Because face it…you know you’re HOT for teacher.

Here’s a little teaser from my contribution to the project, JUST ONE NIGHT.

The pair parked themselves at a tiny table at the edge of the piano bar, the first place they’d come to in their search for a cocktail. Katie watched him as he approached the bar and ordered for them. She couldn’t get over how handsome he was, how he’d come outside looking for her. This was exactly what she needed to take her mind off of her man problems back home.

She smiled up at him as he returned to their table carrying a margarita for her and a Scotch for himself. “Cheers,” he said, raising his glass to hers.

“Cheers,” she murmured in return, and she sipped gratefully, counting on the liquid courage her glass offered.

“You know, we’ve gone about this all backwards.” He rested his drink on the table and offered his right hand. “My name is-“

“No! No names,” Katie quickly interrupted.

Mac blinked in surprise. “No names. Why no names?”

“Just…because,” she stammered. “No names, no personal information, we’ll just…keep it casual.”

“Keep it casual.” Mac frowned. “Okay.” He gave her a curious look. “Do you want me to leave?”

She shook her head, red curls swinging. “No, I’d like you to stay.”

He gave a relieved smile. “Good, because I’d like to stay. So…no personal information. Do you want to talk about work?”

“Oh, hell no!”

“Um, how about that weather? That’s some pretty great weather out there tonight.”

Katie laughed lightly. “I don’t mean to be a pain.”

Mac smiled back. “You’re not a pain, exactly. I just have to figure out the rules. And you’re here with three other women?”

“You could see that in the dining room. Where you were staring,” Katie observed.

“You know that because you were staring back,” he countered.

“And you’re here with two other men.”

Mac nodded. “My brothers. Oops! Was that personal?”

“Now you’re making fun.”

He smiled ruefully. “Maybe just a little bit. This is kind of a bachelor party. My kid brother is getting married.”

“A bachelor party?” Katie laughed lightly. “Shouldn’t you be getting back to the debauchery?”

Mac laughed. “Not much debauchery with those two. My older brother’s been married for years and Tommy’s head over heels for his fiancée.” He glanced up at Katie. “Oops! More personal information.”

Katie sighed and sipped her drink. “My friends and I get together for a week every summer. We’ve known each other since high school.”

“There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Katie nodded firmly. “We’re even, that’s all.” She rested her forearm on the table and toyed with her glass. Mac did the same, and as he did, his arm brushed against hers. She made no effort to move away from him. He intentionally rested his arm against hers, noting the electric charge he felt, wondering if she felt it, too.

Glancing up, he saw that she was watching him intently. “So…you don’t want any personal information. You don’t want to talk about work. You don’t want me to leave.”

Katie shook her head.

“Okay, well we’ve got that settled. What do you want?” He watched her expectantly.

She stared at her glass as she swirled the remainder of her margarita. Her buzz from the dinner wine combined with the icy cocktail made her feel bold. She looked back up at Mac.

“Do you really want to know what I want? I want just one night. Just one night of anonymous, no-holds-barred, red-hot, no-strings-attached sex. That’s what I want.” She fixed him with a challenging stare.

“Whoa,” he breathed, eyes wide.

Katie looked down at her glass again. “Too blunt?”

Mac leaned back in his chair, lips forming an O. “That was blunt, all right, but I can respect that. I’ve gotta ask, though.” He sought out her eyes. “Is there some guy at home waiting for you to come back?”

Katie shook her head. “I’m not cheating on anybody. You?”

He shook his head, too, and laughed humorlessly. “What was it you said earlier? Oh, hell no.”

She lightly stroked his arm as it rested on the table, delighting in the goose bumps that appeared there. Her gaze traveled from there to his lap, which seemed to be taking an interest in the proceedings if the growing mound there was any indication. She shifted her focus, sliding her gaze up his torso to those lips she’d noticed earlier. God, I just want to suck on that lower lip.

She met his eyes again, saw the fire there, and knew it matched her own. “So what do you say?”

“I say, have another margarita. I just need to run to the little shop and pick up some… Well, I didn’t actually expect that I’d need…” He smiled apologetically.

Her voice was soft. “I’ll wait right here.”

He took her hand and gently brushed his lips across her knuckles, gave her a wink, and left the bar.

JUST ONE NIGHT by Pandora Spocks

SUMMER SESSIONS
is free all summer long, but it disappears August 31.
Hurry and get your copy now!
books2read.com/SummerSessions

Weekend Excerpt–ANNA’S HEART

She’s a rancher with a heartbreaking secret.
He’s Hollywood royalty,
poised to take a chance that risks his reputation and his career.
Now that they’ve found each other, can he win her heart?

The third book in the Redheads & Ranchers series, ANNA’S HEART, came out Tuesday.

It’s the story of rancher Anna Graves, a young woman who helps run her family’s Wyoming guest ranch. Since the tragic loss of her firefighter fiance some years earlier, she’s content to teach horseback riding to tourists by and read smutty romance novels by night.

When Hollywood royalty Angus McGregor books a month at Sweetwater Ranch, Anna’s world is turned upside down. He’s there to learn the basics of horsemanship and to prepare for the new Western film he’ll be shooting at the end of summer.

Neither counted on a romantic entanglement, but somehow, love always finds a way.

Here’s a steamy snippet from ANNA’S HEART.

After they finished eating, Angus wandered back over to the edge and sat with his feet dangling over the side.  He held out his hand toward her.  “Come sit with me.”  His tone was soft.  

Anna shook her head.  “Nope.  Un-uh, no way.”

“Come on,” he encouraged softly with a roguish grin. 

Torn between her abject fear of heights and the desire she felt for him that she was only now beginning to acknowledge to herself, Anna debated what to do.  Ultimately, Angus’s bright blue eyes won out. 

On shaky legs, she made her way toward him, grasping his hand in hers as she sat on the rock and scooted the last couple of feet to the edge.  When she was beside him, he wrapped a protective arm around her waist while she continued to clutch his other hand.

“Holy shit,” she muttered.

“See, yer safe as houses.”

Anna laughed in spite of herself.  “Safe as what?”

“Safe as houses,” he repeated with the exaggerated brogue that tingled her nether regions.  “I willna’ let anythin’ happen to ye, I promise.”

Nodding distractedly, she gazed out across the valley.  From this height, the cattle in the pasture below looked like ants, and the guest cabins, like shoeboxes.  She mentally counted from the one nearest the lodge to find her own home. 

As though he read her mind, Angus gestured with his elbow.  “I can see my cabin from here.  And yers, too, come tae that.”  He turned to smile down at her.  “This is a beautiful place.  So much better than simply riding around the ring.”

“I’m glad you like it,” she said happily.

Anna’s eyes were once again drawn to his full, soft lips, and she almost forgot that she was sitting on the edge of the steep drop-off. 

When she pulled her gaze back up to his eyes, she saw heat there and knew that he probably saw the same in her own eyes.

“Anna,” he whispered, gently cupping her cheek.  He drew his thumb across her lips, and she kissed it. 

She reached to stroke his jaw, smiling as he turned his head to press a kiss to her palm.  Leaning forward, she kissed the space just below his ear lobe, feeling the prickle of his stubble against her lips. 

Wrapping a protective arm more tightly around her waist, Angus pulled her toward himself and met her lips with his own.  Her fear momentarily forgotten, Anna opened to him, softly sucking his lower lip, reveling in the scratching of his stubble against her chin.  She ventured forward with her tongue, shyly seeking his.  A low growl emanated from his chest as he pulled her closer and deepened the kiss.

“D’ye want tae move away from the edge,” he murmured.

Anna nodded breathlessly.

Carefully, Angus stood, offering a hand to Anna.  They walked back to the blanket where they’d enjoyed lunch. 

Anna nervously cleared her throat.  “Do you want some more pie or some water or something?”

Angus shook his head, the flicker of heat still sparkling in his eyes.  He sat on the blanket and patted the space beside himself.

Heart pounding, Anna sat beside him, biting her lower lip anxiously.

“Now, where were we?” he asked softly as he reached for her.

Again, Anna lost herself in his kiss, so deep and intimate and knowing.  This time, his right hand crept up her side, stopping at the top of her rib cage.  Angus broke the kiss, his eyelids heavy with desire.  “Is this alright, Anna?” he whispered.

“Yes,” she breathed fervently.

Lips curled in a relieved smile, Angus returned his lips to hers while his hand continued its migration to cup her breast, to knead it, seeking out the nipple that was now pert with his attention.

Anna arched into his hand, moaning lightly when he found his target. 

Gently, he lay her on the blanket, breaking the kiss again to gaze down at her with a mixture of lust and admiration.  “Och, Anna, yer breathtaking.”

He tugged down the neckline of her pink scoop-neck t-shirt to reveal one cup of her pale-pink bra.  Leaning down, he trailed a line of kisses down the side of her neck to her collarbone.  Anna closed her eyes and raised her arms over her head, giving herself over to the sensation of Angus’s lips on her skin.

Peeling back the cup of her bra, he teased her tight pink nub with the tip of his tongue.  Anna gasped in pleasure as he pulled it into his mouth and suckled voraciously.  She felt a rush of moisture in her core, and recalling the magnificent cock she’d inadvertently seen the day she had walked in on him, she suddenly wanted nothing more than for him to bury himself deep inside her.

“Angus,” she breathed, sliding her hand up his thigh to where his erection strained against the confines of his blue jeans.

He gasped and reached for her hand.  “Och, Anna, ya canno’, I’ll never be able to stand it,” he half-whispered, half growled.

Wide-eyed, she blinked up at him as she felt her face flush.  “But…why?” she whispered, her throat tight.

His smile was gentle, and he pressed a kiss to her forehead.  “Because I dinna come prepared, if ye know wha’ I mean.  I don’t suppose yer on birth control?”

Anna shook her head ruefully.  “Not since…”  She trailed off, unwilling to think about Sawyer while she ached with desire for Angus.

He nodded, his smile resigned.  “Then I reckon we’ll hae to make do with m’ hand for now.”

A jolt of pure lust surged through Anna’s veins at the thought of Angus touching her so intimately.  She actually moaned softly, and he laughed.

“I take it that’s okay wi’ you,” he chuckled.

Anna tried unsuccessfully to suppress a grin as he leaned down and lifted the hem of her shirt, pressing kisses from just below her navel to the waist of her jeans.  With his hand, he slowly traveled up the inside of her thigh until he came to the space between her legs, where he began to rub slow, languid circles.

“Holy shit,” she moaned softly, tilting her face up toward the sun, and squeezing her eyes shut.

Angus chuckled against her belly then moved up to hungrily kiss her again.  When he removed his hand, she groaned in disappointment.

“Patience, love,” he chuckled.  “I need tae be closer.”

He unbuttoned her jeans and lowered the zipper.  When Anna risked a look down, he grinned up at her mischievously.  “Och, Anna, the things I want tae do to ye.”

Eyes locked on hers, he placed his hand flat on her belly and slowly slid beneath the waist of her pink lace bikini panties to her needy space that was now soaked with her arousal.  As three strong fingers cupped her sex, Anna gasped again.  “Holy shit!”

“Just enjoy, love,” he murmured as he began to repeat the same slow circles he’d done over her jeans.

Anna’s breath came in ragged gasps as she felt the sensation building in her sex.  She felt a renewed rush of arousal just as he reached inside with a finger, gently seeking her secret space.  Almost immediately, her release rolled over her in waves, and she cried out her pleasure.  With her body still shuddering, she shakily reached for his hand.

“S-stop, I can’t…  Shit!  I can’t take…” she panted.

Gently, Angus withdrew his finger and popped it into his mouth.  At Anna’s shocked expression, he laughed.  “I couldna’ resist a taste.” 

He reached into the backpack for a napkin and wiped his hand before using it to clean her as well.  Then he straightened her jeans and lay beside her on the blanket, pulling her to himself.

Eyes closed, Anna reveled in the warmth of his body, his steady pulse, the strength of his embrace, his spiced musk scent.  She felt him press a kiss to her forehead, and she sighed deeply.

“So ya liked it, then?” he murmured, and she felt his smile against her forehead.

“I did, it was amazing.  It seems like it’s your turn now.”  She reached between them, searching for his cock, but he stopped her again.

“No, I want to wait for the real thing,” he said softly.  “When we get back to the ranch, I’ll go to the pharmacy in town.  That way, I’ll be ready for next time.”

Anna frowned slightly.  “I thought you were planning to get some work done this afternoon.”

His chuckle was low and throaty.  “Tha’ was before I became acquainted with Anna Graves, sex goddess.  M’ priorities have changed.”

“Have they?” she giggled.

“Aye, they have.”

“Then maybe we should head back.  I wouldn’t want to be responsible for ruining your career.”

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

Watch the ANNA’S HEART Official Book Trailer.

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It’s available in both digital and paperback formats.
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ANNA’S HEART–99¢ Pre-Sale!

ANNA’S HEART is out Tuesday, June 16!
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When world-famous movie star Angus McGregor booked four weeks at her family’s Wyoming guest ranch, Anna Graves had no idea her life would be forever changed. There’s no way the handsome red-haired actor with the panty-melting Scottish accent could ever be attracted to her, right?

Determined to make the most of an opportunity to advance his career, Angus arrives at Sweetwater Ranch on a mission to become the best cowboy Hollywood has ever seen. The last thing he needs is a romantic complication. But Anna is different from any woman he’s ever met. If only she’d let down her guard around him.

Here’s a little teaser from ANNA’S HEART.

As the last of the stragglers left the dining room, Anna left her mother and Simone to finish breakfast cleanup. A huge stockpot of hearty beef stew simmering on the stove would be ready for lunch in a few hours. Simone and Mrs. Graves would eventually make their way upstairs to join Lana in freshening up the handful of guestrooms located in the main lodge.

Anna would see to the cabins by herself, a job she’d insisted on as Simone and her baby bump had grown more and more unwieldy. Sweetwater Ranch wasn’t a hotel, really, so the day-to-day housekeeping was fairly light. While fresh sheets were available upon request, staff didn’t make beds or change the sheets on a daily basis.

On the other hand, between riding horses, working with cattle, and practicing outdoors skills, guests tended to get grubby as they participated in ranch activities, so daily fresh towels were a must. Anna also preferred to spot-clean the bathrooms and kitchens, straighten anything out of place, and remove the trash each day.

It was definitely easier when she split the duties with Simone, but over the past few months, Anna had worked out a routine that allowed her to finish her housekeeping duties in about an hour. And that left her plenty of time to make sure she was ready for her afternoon riding session before she headed back to the kitchen to help with lunch.

As usual, she started with Cabin 1 and worked her way back. The first five cabins, the newest of the bunch, were nearly always occupied for every session, summer and winter alike. When they had a larger-than-normal group of guests, the older cabins were used, beginning with number 6.

She herself occupied number 7, then numbers 8 and 9 were available to guests. Ross lived alone in Cabin 10. Andy and Simone had an apartment on the top floor of the main lodge, while Anna’s parents remained in the family quarters just off the lodge kitchen. It was where Anna and her brothers had grown up, and their father before them.

The newer cabins had been built when Anna was in high school. They were nicer than the older ones, but they were smaller. As she drove the golf cart from Cabin 5 to Cabin 6, she wondered what movie star Angus McGregor thought of his rustic accommodations. On the one hand, his cabin was larger than the others. But on the other hand, it was older. The amenities weren’t as new and the bathroom and kitchen hadn’t been updated.

Fresh towels folded over her arm, Anna snorted as she walked up the front steps of Cabin 6. Angus McGregor, cooking for himself in the little cabin kitchen!

Right! I’m still surprised he deigns to show up at mealtime, she thought to herself. Figured he’d call the front desk expecting room service.

Pausing at the door, she knocked lightly. “Housekeeping!” She knew that at that time of the morning, he was in Andy’s riding group. It was why she did these chores right after breakfast. Everyone had someplace to be, and it was a rare instance when someone was actually in their cabin.

Still, it was better to be on the safe side. She knocked again, then unlocked the door and let herself in. A quick scan showed the open living room/kitchen combination to be neat and tidy, save for a bunch of index cards spread all over the kitchen table.

She craned her neck to look at them briefly as she made her way to the kitchen trash can. Quickly, she removed the bag and replaced it with a fresh one, placing the old bag beside the front door. Everything else in the kitchen looked in order so she carried the fresh towels down the short hallway to the bathroom. Still envisioning the famous actor trying to cook something on the older-model gas stove, she smirked as she opened the bathroom door.

Clouds of steam rolled over her as a very naked Angus McGregor, towel in hand, froze stock-still.

“Anna?” Eyes wide, he moved the towel down to his waist, but not before Anna got an eyeful of a most impressive cock.

“Holy shit!” she gasped, stumbling backward into the hallway wall.

As she turned and rushed down the hallway, she heard his bare feet padding along behind her.

“I’m so sorry,” she offered without bothering to turn around. “You’re supposed to be riding right now.”

“Aye, about that,” he answered, “I switched to a different session.”

“I knocked, I swear I did.” Clutching the towels, she still faced the door. “I didn’t mean to just barge in on you.”

“I’m just back from a run. I didn’t hear ye over the shower. Anna?” His tone was soft.

Slowly, she turned around, willing her eyes to stay away from the bulge beneath the towel around his waist. She allowed her gaze to skim up his rippled abs to his muscular chest and wide shoulders. Water still dripped from his hair and he swiped a hand across his face.

Oh, yeah, that’s definitely better than staring at his package.

“It’s okay, really. Just a miscommunication is all. No worries.”

Utterly humiliated, Anna nodded mutely and turned back toward the door.

“Anna? Can I have the fresh towels?”

She rolled her eyes and turned back, handing over the towels. “Oh, yeah, of course. I just…well, I usually exchange them for the old towels.”

“Do ye want this one?” His grin was wry.

“No! Holy shit, no keep that on,” she squeezed her eyes shut and waved her hand. “I’ll get it tomorrow.”

She opened the door and let herself out onto the cabin’s covered porch, then stopped.

“Wait a second! You switched to what different riding session?” Turning back around, she placed her hands on her hips.

Lips pursed as though he were suppressing another grin, he leaned his shoulder on the doorway. “I’ve never ridden a horse before. I requested tae be placed in the Beginners’ group.”

“But that’s my group.”

“So I was told. I didn’t think ye’d mind.”

Anna worked her mouth, unable to come up with the proper words.

Blue eyes sparkling, he watched as though to see what she’d come up with.

Finally, her articulation skills gained traction. “But it’s a kids’ group. They’re all kids.”

He nodded. “Aye, I was told that, too. And they’re beginners, just like me.” He tilted his head thoughtfully. “If ye don’t want me in the group, just say so.”

“No, it’s not that, it’s just…” Anna’s heart pounded and she felt her head spinning. She willed herself to be anywhere except where she was. “Fine. It’s just fine. If you don’t mind riding with the kids, I’m sure they won’t mind.”

She hurried down the steps and got into the golf cart. “Well, again, sorry for…” She trailed off, feeling sheepish. The amusement sparkling in his eyes didn’t help at all.

“I’ll see ye at lunch,” Angus said, chuckling.

“See you,” Anna nodded, pressing the accelerator and speeding off down the trail.

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

Through release day, ANNA’S HEART is just 99¢.
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Ready for Pre-Order!

The wait is over!
Finally…the last book in the Redheads & Ranchers Series!

On June 16, ANNA’S HEART
will join JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE
as the third and final Redheads & Ranchers Book.

AND…
It’s on pre-order for the special price of just 99¢ until Release Day.

Here’s the official book blurb:

She’s a rancher with a heartbreaking secret.
He’s Hollywood royalty, poised to take a chance that risks his reputation and his career.
Now that they’ve found each other, can he win her heart?

Anna Graves works hard helping to run her family’s Wyoming dude ranch.  Still reeling from the tragic loss of her smokejumper fiancé in a horrific wildfire, she is content to hide from the world as she teaches horseback riding lessons to tourists by day and reads smutty romance novels by night.

When world-famous Scottish actor Angus McGregor needs to brush up his cowboy skills in preparation for his starring role in a new Western, he heads to Sweetwater Ranch in the boondocks of Wyoming.  He is immediately fascinated by Anna, who won’t give him the time of day.  Can he break down the self-protective wall she has built?

If you like hot cowboys, Scottish accents, and happily-ever-afters, you’ll love ANNA’S HEART, the third book in the Redheads & Ranchers series!

Reserve your copy of ANNA’S HEART now!
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Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Has Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke met her match
in Dominant mountain man Blake Walker?

When former child star Shasta Pyke finds herself in trouble with the law, she’s sent to cool her heels for a while in the wilderness of northern Ontario. For the next few weeks, she’s the sole guest at the Walker family’s remote lodge.

Blake Walker is glad that the exhorbitant fee she’s paying allows for his sister and her kids to go on a much-needed vacation. He’s happy enough to stay behind and tend to their VIP guest. At first glance, he’s none too impressed with Shasta. She’s rude and demanding. Nevermind that the red-haired spitfire is hot as hell.

But as he spends time with her, he begins to glimpse the frightened little girl she hides from the world. Could it be that this spoiled brat is the baby girl his Daddy Dom soul has been waiting for?

Here’s a snippet from LOST & BOUND.

When the power went out, Blake wasn’t surprised in the least. If anything, he was surprised it had lasted as long as it had. This was undoubtedly the worst storm so far in what had been a very dry summer. Angry lightning streaked across the dark sky, with thunder booming almost instantaneously. For microseconds, the flashes illuminated the entire lake like mid-day.

He slid open the sheer drapes that shrouded the glass doors overlooking the lake and settled in, book in one hand, a second bottle of Lebatt Blue in the other. Leaning back, he rested his feet on the battered leather ottoman, content for the moment to watch the storm’s fury.

His eyes moved to the dark shape in the middle of the lake. He knew from experience that a wild storm like this one was a dicey proposition in the tiny island cabin. For one thing, because it was situated on the crest of the island, the wind howled mercilessly around the structure. And being on the highest point, with thirty-foot pines towering over it, the cabin was a natural lightning rod. The thunder would be deafening.

He wondered how Shasta was faring. As he watched, another jagged bolt etched a path across the sky. He chuckled lightly, picturing her, eyes wide, with the covers pulled up over her head.

I should check on her first thing in the morning.

Eventually, he lit the oil lamp beside him and began to read. Bear paced anxiously back and forth in front of the huge window. He’d never been a fan of storms, not since he’d been a pup. Suddenly the dog stopped pacing and whimpered softly.

“What’s wrong, boy? You’re okay, it’s just a summer storm.”

Bear whimpered again and woofed softly. Frowning, Blake set down the book and stood beside the dog, looking out into the stormy night. “What is it? Is something out there?”

Then he saw it. A tiny point of light between him and the island. It bounced and tossed as it…

Blake shook his head. “No way. No way is she in a boat in the middle of this storm.”

In the next instant, lightning flashed and he saw her clearly, Shasta, huddled against the wind and rain, steering the tiny skiff toward the lodge’s dock. She was battling against the ferocious gusts of wind and white-capped waves on the lake that threatened to capsize the boat.

“Son of a bitch!” Blake growled. “No more sense than a…” He threw on his boots and shrugged into his rain slicker, pausing to don his headlamp before pulling up the hood. “Son of a bitch!”

He kept his eyes on Shasta as he stalked out to the dock, crossing to the end to wait for her. When she was close enough, he held out an old wooden oar and she grasped the end of it, allowing him to pull her the rest of the way to the side of the dock. Blake reached down to cut the motor and grasped her by the upper arms, pulling her out of the boat.

She stood in front of him, eyes wide with terror, and she was soaked to the skin, not having bothered with a raincoat. He shouted above the storm. “God-dammit, Shasta, what the hell were you thinking?”

She just blinked up at him, shaking either from fear or cold, or both. “Come on, let’s get you inside.” He easily scooped her up in his arms and she buried herself against his chest.

Blake was shaking too, but it was from anger. She’d recklessly endangered herself. If he hadn’t seen her, if the boat had swamped… It was beyond his comprehension. He carried her straight into his cabin, kicking the door closed behind them. He set her down in the kitchen and stepped back.

“Explain yourself.” He crossed his arms and watched her expectantly.

Shasta stood shaking, her red hair plastered to her head, her soaked white camisole completely sheer, her pink pajamas clinging to her legs. She crossed her arms, too, but the gesture was self-protective rather than angry. It only served to push up her breasts, punctuated by hard-tipped nipples, made harder by being cold and wet. He worked to ignore them, trying to understand what she’d been thinking.

“Well?”

“I…” she stammered, “I was so scared.” She was shivering constantly now, and a trickle of blood ran down the side of her face.

Blake lifted her chin gently. “What happened? Why are you bleeding?”

Her head shook slightly. “I don’t…” her teeth chattered, “I don’t know.”

Peering closely, he saw a cut at the hairline above her right temple. Swiping the hair back, he spied a sliver of glass and carefully removed it. “Come with me,” he commanded.

She followed him through the living room as he picked up the oil lamp and carried it into the bathroom, where he lifted her up and sat her on the counter. The cut on her head had begun bleeding in earnest when the glass had been removed. Blake used a gauze pad to apply direct pressure on the cut. Shasta sniffled softly as tears ran down her face.

“What’s wrong?” he growled.

“You called me Shasta,” she sobbed.

He snorted. “What you did was a very ‘Shasta’ thing to do. That’s the least of your worries right now. Hold this.” He moved her hand to hold the gauze in place and he reached around to turn on faucet in the bathtub.

She sat shivering, watching the tub fill with hot water. Clouds of steam filled the room. He left for a moment, returning with a flannel shirt of dark red plaid, which he hung on a hook on the back of the door. Next he turned off the water.

“Let me see how it’s doing,” he murmured, carefully peering under the gauze. The bleeding had slowed. He took a bandage from the medicine cabinet and applied it over the cut. Shasta was still shaking like a leaf.

“You’re almost hypothermic. I want you in the tub. Strip.”

Shasta blinked up at him.

“Don’t make me tell you twice.” His voice was quietly intense as he lifted her off the counter and stood her in the middle of the floor.

Shakily, she pulled the camisole over her head, dropping it to the floor. Blake watched unblinkingly, a hard expression on his face. She hooked her thumbs into the top of her pants and slid them, panties and all, down her legs. She nearly tripped stepping out of them, and Blake reached to steady her.

Naked, she stood trembling as he devoured her with his eyes, starting with her perfect round tits and their tight pink points, her narrow waist and the flair of her hips, the bare cleft at the junction where her legs met. After all, she’d been on display on the dock, surely she wasn’t shy now. He knew he was being an ass and he didn’t care. Anger still thrummed through his veins.

“Get in the tub. I’ll set a timer for fifteen minutes. After that, the water will cool off too much to help.” He disappeared, returning moments later with a kitchen timer which he set on the bathroom counter.

“Why aren’t you in the tub? Was I unclear in some way?” he snapped.

Shasta touched the wall for stability as she dipped one foot into the tub. “It’s hot.”

“It’s supposed to be hot. We have to warm you up.” He watched her step in with the other foot and ease herself down. She looked like a drowned rat, peering up at him all wide-eyed.

“When the timer goes off, get out and dry yourself. You can put this on,” he indicated the flannel shirt he’d hung on the door. “You will go into the bedroom and sit on the edge of my bed. You will wait until I come back. Is that clear?”

Shasta nodded silently.

“I said sit. You will not lie down, you will not get into the bed. You will sit. If you’re cold, there’s a blanket you can use to wrap around yourself. Do you understand?”

Again, she nodded. A look of annoyance crossed his face, and then passed. He nodded sharply. “I’ll be back.” He closed the bathroom door behind him and she heard him speak to Bear. “Stay here, boy, keep an eye on her. I need to think.”

LOST & BOUND by Pandora Spocks

LOST & BOUND is available at your favorite online bookseller.
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Weekend Excerpt–ANNA’S HEART

Coming this summer!

Anna Graves never expected world-famous Hollywood actor Angus McGregor to show up at her family’s Wyoming guest ranch. And she certainly never expected to fall for him. Sure, he seems attracted to her as well, but it’s ridiculous, really. He’s a movie star and she’s just a normal person. As soon as he’s gained the horsemanship skills he needs, he’ll be off to film his next movie, and she’ll be right where she’s always been, teaching riding to the tourists who visit the Sweetwater Ranch.

Here’s a NEW (and unedited) teaser from ANNA’S HEART.

As headlights approached in the distance, Anna leaned forward hopefully, but the ancient mini-van moved past her, its female driver never even glancing her way.  Exhaling sharply, Anna leaned back against the brick wall behind the bench on which she sat.  From about a block away, country music occasionally punctuated by laughter filtered her way from the open door of The Mine Shaft.  

Lips pressed tightly together, she shook her head in disgust.  His car was there in the parking lot.  Bruce’s car.  She could see it from where she was if she stood up.  Thankfully, the awning over the hardware store prevented the glow from the nearby streetlight from reaching her, so she was reasonably confident that she was virtually invisible as she waited for her ride. 

Calling Angus had been hard.  But she was sure she’d made the right decision.  Earlier as she’d gotten dressed, she’d opted to wear the new sandals with no thought of having to walk any distance.  Now her ruined feet were paying the price for her shortsightedness.  

It was a good thing she’d stopped where she had, too.  When she’d first sat down, she’d removed her shoes to discover blisters not only between her toes but on the balls of her feet as well.  By the time she’d stopped walking, the blisters had already burst and begun to bleed.  

Fingers crossed, Angus would be able to find some shoes to bring her.  It would be even better if he grabbed a pair of her boots; she always left a pair of socks in her boots, and that would be sufficient to stem the bleeding until she got home and could deal with her feet.

Another set of headlights came into view.  Anna closed her eyes.  

Please, please, please.

Hearing the vehicle slow down, she opened her eyes again to see a light-colored pick-up truck.  It eased to a stop in front of the hardware store and the passenger window buzzed down.

“Anna?”  His brogue was soft.

“It’s me.” She gave a weak wave.

Angus put the truck into park and got out, heading her way with a pair of boots in his hand.  As he approached her, she gripped the bench seat and swung her feet awkwardly back and forth.

“I brought yer boots.  I hope they’re okay.”

She nodded gratefully.  “They’re perfect, thanks!”  She took the boots from him and reached inside the right one, releasing a sigh of relief to find a pair of socks balled up in the bottom.

Grateful once again for the shadow in which she sat, Anna unrolled the socks and slipped them on, ignoring the burning pain of her raw feet as she stuffed them into her boots.

Angus stood uncertainly, his hands tucked into the pockets of his jeans.  “Anna, what happened?”

She aimed for nonchalance as she shrugged and jumped to her feet,  ignoring the searing pain.  “Oh, stupid me, I wore new shoes and got blisters.”

“No,” he said softly, “I mean, what happened to your friend?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”  She crossed her arms and gave him a look that dared him to pursue the subject further.

He watched her for a long moment then shifted gears.  “Alright.  How about dinner?  That looks like the place.”  He hooked a thumb over his shoulder in the direction of The Mine Shaft.

“No!”  It came out louder than Anna had intended.

Angus arched an eyebrow but said nothing.

Exhaling sharply, she tried to regroup.  “You don’t want to eat there.  It’s a dive.  Eagleton is only twenty miles up the road.”  She pointed in the direction from which he’d come.  “We can find something in Eagleton.”

“Eagleton,” he repeated.

Anna nodded definitely.  “Believe me.  You’ll be glad we went the extra distance.”  Because I know I’ll be glad.

“Eagleton it is, then.” 

Together, they walked to the truck where Angus opened the passenger door for her.  Gritting her teeth, Anna managed to make it into her seat without groaning in pain.  As she watched him walk around to the driver’s side, she sighed with relief at being off her feet again.

Angus climbed in, buckled his seatbelt, and started the truck.  Checking to make sure no one was coming, he made a u-turn and headed down the street.  

Country music played softly as Angus drove past the sign that pointed to Eagleton, a town roughly twice the size of Crystal Springs.  Anna glanced at his profile illuminated by the dashboard lights.

“Um, thanks, by the way,” she said.  “For coming to get me, I mean.  And for remembering the boots.”

“I’m happy to do it.”  He briefly looked at her before turning his eyes back to the road in front of them.  “I’m guessing there’s a reason ye called me rather than your brothers.  Or your parents.”

Anna crossed her arms again and said nothing.

He gave her a sideways glance and continued.  “Of course, it’s none of my business, yer reasons for doing what ye do.  But it looks like we’ll be having dinner together after all.”

Anna felt her face heat up.  “About that…I don’t mean to be…  I mean, it’s just…”  She sighed heavily.  “It’s just, you’re, you know, famous.  And I’m just…well, me, and so…”  She trailed off, not knowing where she’d been headed when she started speaking.

“It’s dinner.  Everyone eats dinner.  It’s no’ a big deal.”

She slouched down in the seat and stared out the window, immediately regretting shifting her booted feet.  

It was nine-thirty by the time they pulled into the parking lot beside Good Time Charley’s, a local bar and grill known for excellent pub food.  At that time on a Saturday night, the place looked to be nearly full, but Angus managed to find a parking spot at the far end of the lot.  

He hurried around to let Anna out, and again, she gritted her teeth as her boots hit the pavement.  

“Are ye sure yer alright?” he asked, frowning down at her feet.

“I’m fine,” she muttered.  “Nobody ever died from blisters.”

Even so, he altered his long stride to accommodate her as she struggled not to hobble to the front door.  Inside, classic rock music played loudly, and the rowdy Saturday night crowd didn’t notice as Anna and Angus were seated in a booth at the edge of the bar.  

“Is this okay?” he asked, leaning across the table toward her.

Anna glanced around and nodded.  “Yeah, it’s fine.”

Angus perused one of the menus they’d been given.  “What do you recommend?”

Anna’s stomach growled, for the first time taking her attention away from her feet.  “You can’t go wrong with a burger,” she replied, her mouth watering at the prospect of well-done ground beef with all the fixings.

“Aye, that sounds like just the thing,” he nodded, grinning.  “With a nice pile of chips?”

Anna laughed in spite of herself.  “You mean fries?  Of course.  What’s a burger without fries?”

Angus put down his menu and nodded.  “Chips, fries, it’s all the same.  Golden-fried goodness.”

“And a very large beer,” Anna added, waving to a server.  Notepad in hand, the tall young man approached the table.

“Hello!  Welcome to Charley’s.  I’m Dustin.  What can I get you to start off?”

Anna looked to Angus then back up at the server.  “I think we’re ready to order.  I’ll have the bacon cheeseburger, well done, with fries.  And a Yuengling, please.”

The server looked at Angus. 

“I’ll have the same.  Except I’d like a seltzer and lime to drink, thanks.”

Dustin nodded, adding notes to his pad.  “Got it.  Two burgers, one beer, one seltzer and lime.  I’ll be right back with your drinks.”

Anna watched him head in the direction of the bar.  Then she leaned toward Angus.  “You don’t want a beer or something?”

“No,” he smiled gently.  “I don’t drink.”

“Oh.”  Anna frowned slightly.  “I hope it’s okay that I ordered a beer.”

He bobbed his head and gave a rueful smile.  “I’m not an alcoholic.  That was me da.  Watching him waste his life away convinced me that drink was no’ for me.”

“Wow.  I’m sorry.  That’s…wow.”  Surprised at his casual revelation, Anna sat back and assessed him sympathetically.

He lifted one shoulder.  “Everythin’ in yer life goes into making ye who ye are, I suppose.”

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

ANNA’S HEART is the third and final book in the Redheads & Ranchers Series. It will be out this summer. In the meantime, check out JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE, the first two books in the series.

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

When fifth-generation Idaho cattle rancher Hunter McFall agreed to meet with a lawyer representing a fancy-pants New York City real estate developer, he had no intention of parting with even an inch of McFall land. He planned to hear the fellow out, tell him no, pat him on the head, and send him on his way back to the city.

Only he’s a she, a smart redhaired spitfire named Poppy Chastain, and now, all bets are off. Maybe it’s time this heart-hardened widower took another chance on love.

But is she playing him to get what she wants–a parcel of McFall land to build a road to the exclusive new resort her company is putting on the mountain overlooking his ranch?

Here’s a snippet from HUNTER’S PRIDE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 2.

 Golden sunlight streamed through the windows of the cabin, creating a brilliant space that was in stark contrast to the dark box from the previous night. Hunter sighed to himself as he watched Poppy spoon another bite of oatmeal past her perfect lips. She looked across the table at him and smiled softly.

They were dressed in their clothes from the previous day, now dry thanks to the fire. The only difference was that Poppy had added the flannel shirt over her white t-shirt, wearing it like an oversized jacket.

Throughout the morning as they’d restored order to the cabin and made breakfast, they’d worked quietly, occasionally exchanging knowing glances and subdued smiles.

Hunter sipped his coffee, and his mind drifted to the previous night. After the blowjob that had to have registered on the Richter scale, they’d gone to bed, where they’d ended up making love twice more before finally succumbing to exhaustion.

Mentally, he shook his head. Five orgasms in one night. That was far and away his all-time personal record. And he’d seen to it that Poppy had enjoyed a few more than that.

She met his eyes again and smiled. A thought had been swirling around in his head since they’d lain breathless after that last time. It was still there when he’d awakened, Poppy curled into him with her red hair framing her sleeping face.

He hesitated, though. Maybe she does this all the time, he thought. The idea bothered him, but then, who was he to judge? He had no kind of claim on her. Three days ago, he’d assumed P.K. Chastain was a man.

When she tilted her head curiously, he realized he’d been staring.

“What’s up?” she smiled.

He shook his head slightly. “Nothing really.”

Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “You just seem to have something on your mind.”

Stalling, he swiped a hand across his mouth and leaned forward on his elbows. “I was just thinking…” He frowned slightly. “How much longer are you in Idaho?”

“I fly back to New York on Sunday.”

He shifted his jaw. Nothing ventured…

“I was just thinking that maybe you might stay with me, at the ranch, rather than at the motel in town.” He watched her closely. “There’s a lot more I’d like to show you around here, and my house is a hell of a lot nicer than the Deer Creek Motor Lodge. Plus…” He trailed off.

“Plus?” Amusement twinkled in her eyes.

He exhaled sharply. “Plus, I think we’ve got an incredible connection. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I don’t do this on a regular basis.” He gestured toward the bed.

Her eyes widened. “I don’t do this on a regular basis,” she said. “Are you asking if I do?”

“No, God, no! I didn’t mean to imply… Shit.” He ran a restless hand through his hair. “I just mean that I feel like we have something here. And for the first time in a long time, I’d like to explore it and see where it leads.”

Feeling like he’d overstepped, he backtracked. “Maybe you’re more comfortable in town. I get it. And I imagine you have work to do. Don’t worry about it, it was just a random thought.”

Wordlessly, Poppy pushed back from the table and came around to him. She straddled his lap and took his hands in hers.

“Hunter, I like you. A lot. All this,” she nodded her head toward the bed. “That’s all you. I’ve never had a night like last night. Obviously, we have physical chemistry going on here, but I agree with you.” She smiled up at him. “I think it’s more than that. And I’d love to see where it goes.”

She kissed his cheek and slid off his lap. “I didn’t want to complain, but the motel is a pit. I’d lots rather stay with you.”

He felt his lips curl in a guarded smile. “Really?”

Poppy nodded, a slight frown wrinkling her brow. “I mean, it’s a little complicated, isn’t it? I’m supposed to be negotiating an offer from my company. But I suppose we’re still discussing it, right? It wouldn’t do for the office to know that I’m staying with you, though. It wouldn’t look very professional.”

“Will it be a problem?” For the first time, Hunter tried to factor Slade & Howell into the situation.

She grinned mischievously. “Not if they don’t know about it.”

Suddenly, Hunter wanted nothing more than for Poppy to be with him at the ranch for the rest of her time in Idaho.

“So, does that mean you’re staying with me?” He stood and walked toward her.

“That’s exactly what that means,” she smiled.

He released the breath he’d been holding as a smile spread across his face. “Great! Fantastic!” He rested his hands on her hips and leaned down to press a kiss to her lips. Reaching around his neck, Poppy steadied herself, tangling her fingers in his hair.

Reluctantly, he ended the kiss, resting his forehead against hers. “I’d better stop before we end up back in bed. I’m already having a hard time walking today.”

Poppy giggled. “I’d never complain about being sore, as long as it’s for all the right reasons.”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

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