Weekend Excerpt–JENNY’S VOICE

All Jenny could think of was to escape.
But she’s put Cole in unspeakable danger.
Is it already too late?

Young Jenny Stone has suffered unimaginable evil at the hands of the ruthless men who executed her family and took her as a trophy. When she saw her chance to excape, she took it, never looking back.

But when she hid in horse trainer Cole Caldwell’s trailer, she put them both in more danger than she realized. Can they hide out in the boondocks of Cole’s remote ranch? Or will trouble come looking for them?

Here’s a teaser from JENNY’S VOICE.

Jenny gazed unseeing out the kitchen window as she beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Her thoughts strayed back to Saturday when she and Cole had ridden up the ridge overlooking the ranch. Looking back, she’d known there was something going on, something he’d been holding onto. Heightened radar was a survival skill she’d mastered over the last couple of years, one that, to her way of thinking, had kept her alive.

She couldn’t have foreseen, however, that Cole knew about that day. It was her own damn fault, though. Leaving her search in his History like she had. What a stupid, careless thing to do.

Hearing him say her full name, Jennifer Stone, had been a gut-punch. Reliving the moment now, her stomach churned with shame. She liked Cole, really liked him. She hated that he knew her dark and dirty secrets.

She could have predicted the return of the nightmares. It seemed Cole had seen them coming too, because when she’d tiptoed into his room in the dead of that night, cold sweat dotting her brow, the cot was ready and waiting. His steady breathing was quietly reassuring, and she’d quickly fallen back to sleep.

For now, she was thankful that she hadn’t suffered another episode. That was really embarrassing.

Cole, for his part, had moved forward as though the truth about her didn’t phase him or cause him to view her differently. But of course, it did. It had to.

Over days of working with him in the barn and sharing meals with him in the farmhouse kitchen, she’d been foolish enough to begin entertaining notions of falling in love with the handsome rancher. But now that he knew the truth about her, there was no hope of some storybook happily-ever-after.

She beat a room temperature egg into the mixture and nodded to herself. This was how she’d get on her feet. Cole had negotiated a price for her cupcakes for the baby shower. After she repaid him for the ingredients, she’d save the rest of the money, and hopefully continue to get more orders until she had enough saved to move out on her own. That way she could leave Cole to his life. He deserved someone without her ugly past.

When the batter was ready, she scooped some into the paper-lined muffin tins and put the first batch into the oven. While it baked, Jenny wandered into the den and looked out the window. Cole had Dahlia in the round pen and he was putting her through her paces.

From what he’d told her, the horse had about another week and a half before she returned to her owner. Jenny sighed deeply. She loved that horse. She knew she’d miss her more than she cared to acknowledge.

By the time Cole returned to the farmhouse, Jenny was just starting to apply pale blue frosting to the cooled cupcakes.

“Mm-mmm, something smells good in here, doesn’t it, Blue?”

Pleased at hearing his name, the dog wagged his tail and grinned up at the humans.

“I don’t suppose you have one I could taste, do you?”

Suppressing a smile, Jenny plucked one from the end of her workspace and handed it to Cole.

He peeled back the paper and took an enormous bite, then shook his head. “Oh, that’s terrible.”

Frowning, Jenny snatched up a second cupcake and sniffed it carefully.

He shook his head. “You can’t send these over to Alida. To get rid of them, I’ll just have to eat them all myself.” He gave Jenny an exaggerated wink, and she relaxed, shoving him playfully.

Cole’s laughter rang through the house as he made his way upstairs to get cleaned up for dinner.

JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks

JENNY’S VOICE is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/JennysVoice

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

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

When writer Bree Blaylock fled an abusive relationship in Florida, she found a lake cottage to rent in a quiet South Carolina town. All she wants to do is to finish writing her new book and figure out what comes next.

From the moment she arrived in Midnight Cove, she realized she wasn’t alone in the old house. But she learned long ago that the living are more dangerous than the dead.

She didn’t count on falling for her handsome neighbor, sexy local lawman Jake Hanson. But everything happens for a reason. Maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.

Can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

Here’s a snippet 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 by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–RANSOMING REDEMPTION

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION
It’s not going where you think it is.

High-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan has burned every bridge he ever crossed. Call it nature, call it nurture, he’s an inveterate player, and he’s always looked out for number one, first and foremost.

Meeting fellow lawyer Maggie Flynn impacted his life in ways he could never imagine, but even her love couldn’t change the man he’s always been.

Which is why, in RANSOMING REDEMPTION, the third and final book of Rannigan’s Redemption, Michael begins to feel the need for redemption for all the havoc he’s wreaked in his life, for all the bodies he’s left in his wake. If only he could make it up to Maggie in some small way, maybe he’d find some peace for the turmoil in his soul.

By the time readers get to this last chapter in the story of Michael and Maggie, they have different reactions. Many have suggested that I work some kind of deal with a tissue manufacturer, a way you can buy the book and get a box of tissues for free, LOL. One said that I broke the rules of romance, but she was willing to let it go because she loved the characters. I’ve also gotten a bad review or two simply because the reader didn’t like where the story went.

The truth is that Michael’s and Maggie’s journeys always were what they are. A just tapped it out on the keys of my laptop. My hope is that ultimately, readers are satisfied. I love Michael and Maggie so much. They’re forever in my heart. Why not let them into yours?

Here’s a snippet from the finale of Rannigan’s Redemption.

After work, Maggie stopped to pick up some more chicken soup.  She hated getting the same thing every day, but at least she knew Michael would eat it.  Yesterday, he’d had his last chemo appointment for this round.  She hoped that he’d be feeling a little better today.

As she let herself into his apartment she could hear baseball on the television and she felt a flash of annoyance.  Any time of the day or night, there’s always baseball.  Then she smiled to herself.  Baseball is only interesting if there’s a certain bayou boy involved.

Still smiling to herself as she rounded the corner into the living room, her gaze fell on Michael, and she stopped dead in her tracks. 

“Holy.  Fucking.  Shit.  Sean Michael Rannigan, what in the hell have you done?”

He grinned up at her.  “Hey, Mags!  I shaved.”  Michael was completely bald, his scalp pink and shiny in the afternoon sun that streamed in through the windows.  Speechless, she walked to him and smoothed her hand across the top of his head and down the back of it.

 “Why?  Why on earth would you do that?” she breathed as she sank beside him onto the sofa.

He looked down and she saw his jaw tighten.  “I woke up this morning and found loose hair on my pillow.  In the shower, it came out by the handful.”  He glanced back up at her.  “I just wanted…” he trailed off.  Maggie placed her hand on his arm.  “I just wanted to control something.  Since this whole thing started I haven’t had any control.”  He ran his hand over his head and grinned.  “Until now.  If I’m going to lose my hair, I’m going to lose all of it, and on my own terms.”

Maggie couldn’t help smiling.  “Well,” she said as she stood, “you have a very nice head.”  She leaned down and planted a light kiss right on top. 

“How are you feeling?” she asked as she headed into the kitchen.

“A little better, actually.  That soup smells good.”

She returned carrying a tray with his dinner.  “Glad to hear it.  Because guess what?  You will be joining us for Easter brunch on Sunday.”

“I don’t know, Mags.”  Michael shook his head doubtfully.  “Besides, you and Beau should enjoy it by yourselves.”

“Bobby is in Louisiana.  The ‘us’ to whom I refer means me, Ben and Nate, Rance and Jason, Kevin and whoever he’s bringing, and a few others.”

Michael looked doubtful.  “I’m not sure I’m up to going out.”

“You need to get out and get some fresh air, Michael.  You’ve been cooped up too long.  Take advantage of feeling better and come to brunch.  I’ll pick you up, and we can go together.”  She glanced at him sideways.  “You’d better find a hat, though.”

RANSOMING REDEMPTION by Pandora Spocks

RANSOMING REDEMPTION
is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/RansomingRedemption

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

He’s a widowed rancher falling for a big-city lawyer.
Could she be plotting against him?

In HUNTER’S PRIDE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 2, fifth generation Idaho cattle rancher Hunter McFall has no intention of selling even a tiny parcel of his land to some fancy New York City developer. He’s agreed to meet with the lawyer they’re sending out to his family’s ranch. He’ll hear the fellow out, tell him no, and send him on his way.

Only he’s a she. Now that Hunter has met sexy redhead Poppy Chastain, all bets are off. Can she melt his tragedy-hardened heart? And is it possible that she’s playing him just to make a deal?

Here’s a steamy snippet from HUNTER’S PRIDE.

Just as she dropped another log on the growing fire, the front door banged open, startling her. Hunter, dripping wet, stood in the doorway stomping to remove mud from his boots. Poppy clutched her blanket around herself and hurried over, offering him the other blanket. He handed her his hat, which she hung beside her own as he pulled off his boots and left them outside the door.

“Hurry and come in,” she told him. “I have a blanket for you, and the fire’s getting warmer.”

Another bolt of lightning illuminated the whole place as its simultaneous deafening thunder shook the whole cabin, causing them both to cringe. Hunter stepped inside, and Poppy pushed the door closed while he peeled off his soaked undershirt and hung it on a vacant peg. Poppy opened up his blanket and stood on her tiptoes to place it around his shoulders.

He looked over his shoulder gratefully. “Thanks.”

She grabbed his elbow as he drew the blanket around himself. “Come on, come by the fire.” She dragged him to the front of the fireplace where the air was much warmer than it was by the door.

“How are the horses,” she asked him.

He nodded shakily, eyes locked on the fire in the fireplace. “Al-alright,” he chattered. “I d-dried them best I c-could, threw blankets over them.”

Clutching the blanket around himself with his right hand, he held his left as close to the fire as he could without actually touching the flames.

Poppy watched as he shivered uncontrollably. Impulsively, she wrapped her blanket around him, then ducked under his arm, pressing herself against his bare skin, wrapping her arms around his waist. His skin felt cold to the touch, and she rubbed her hands up and down his back in an effort to warm him.

Grasping both blankets, Hunter closed his arms around her, tucking her beneath his chin and holding her tightly. They stood in silence while the storm raged outside, all but drowning out the crackle of the fire in the fireplace.

With her face pressed against his bare chest, Poppy inhaled the familiar masculine spice she’d noticed while wearing Hunter’s shirt. As she pressed her lips to his skin, she felt his sharp intake of breath. She did it again, pressing her body more tightly against his, feeling the burgeoning erection trapped by his soaked jeans.

When she kissed him a third time, a low growl rumbled up from his chest and she peered up at him. His eyes were all heat and desire, and she knew hers were the same. She slid her hands up his chest and around to the back of his neck while at the same time pushing up on her tiptoes to capture his lips in hers. She’d been buzzed the previous night, but she was completely sober now. And she wanted him.

As she deepened the kiss, he released his grip on the blankets and slid his hands down her back, cupping her ass and lifting her up. She wrapped her legs around his waist without breaking the kiss. Tongues tangled, and Hunter slid his hands up her back, stopping at the band of her bra which he expertly unhooked. Lips still on his, she shrugged off the straps, not caring where the garment fell.

Slowly, he walked them the four steps to the bed, where he leaned down to lay her on top of the covers, for the first time breaking their kiss to straighten up and gaze down at her. Poppy met his heated stare, raising her arms above her head and resting them there.

“Hot damn,” he breathed, leaning down to take one pert pink nipple between his lips. Poppy closed her eyes as a soft moan escaped her lips, delighting in the fact that he paid her other breast the same attention. Then he kissed his way down her belly, a sensual mixture of soft kisses and scratchy beard, until he came to the waistband of her jeans.

He looked back up at her and lifted an eyebrow in an unspoken question. She nodded, and a lazy smile curled her lips as he deftly undid her rain-soaked jeans and in one motion, removed them and her panties as well.

Dropping them in the general direction of the fireplace, he returned his attention to her, devouring her with a hungry gaze. Poppy pushed herself up on one elbow and watched as he unbuckled that silver oval belt buckle and slowly shucked his jeans. As he pushed them down his thighs, his massive cock bobbed into view. She chewed her lower lip in anticipation.

Jeans discarded, Hunter crawled up the bed between her legs. For a moment, he held himself over her, and she watched the fire rage in his eyes. Then he lowered his head to press his lips to hers, hungrily consuming her.

She responded with fervor of her own, her core aching to have him inside. His cock pressed into her thigh and she shifted slightly, urging him home.

“Poppy.” Breathless, he released her lips. “I don’t have a…”

She met his hooded eyes. “I don’t care. Do you care?”

A slow smile graced his lips as he shook his head. “No. I don’t care.”

“Then please,” she whispered.

It was all the encouragement he needed. He captured her lips once again as parked his tip at her entrance. Slowly, he pushed forward and Poppy gasped lightly as he continued until he’d buried himself to the root. “Oh, yes,” she murmured into his ear.

He drew back, then pushed forward again. This time Poppy drew up her knees, willing him to go as far as he could. Hunter wrapped his arms around her, burying his face in her neck and nipping at her as he thrust faster.

It had been long, so long, since she’d had a man fill her so completely, so perfectly.

“Oh, shi-” Poppy hissed as her moment built. “Harder.”

“Harder, the lady says,” he grunted. “I’m happy to comply.” With that he pushed up, supporting himself over her as he pounded into her wet core.

“Oh, shit, I’m there,” she cried as her orgasm thundered over her, a thousand sparks dancing behind her eyelids.

Hunter gave a final thrust and held himself still, grunting his release.

After a moment, he released a shaky breath and leaned down to kiss her tenderly. Then he carefully disengaged himself and lay beside her, drawing the blankets over them and pulling her to himself.

“That was a bit of something,” he murmured, pressing a kiss to her temple.

“Mm-hmm,” she sighed, curling into his warm embrace.

Breathing in unison, they lay in their warm cocoon of blankets listening to the rain on the roof and the rolling thunder that continued to rumble through the mountains.

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

Download HUNTER’S PRIDE at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/HuntersPride

Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 2

With Maggie gone, Michael’s just running rogue.

At the end of RESISTING RISK, the first book of the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy, high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and his associate (and recent lover) Maggie Flynn have gone their separate ways.

Left to their own devices, they’re each making questionable decisions, both professionally and personally. Michael has burned every bridge he ever crossed. Then he gets news that brings him to his knees.

Out of desperation, he turns to the only one who really understands him. Maggie is the one person still willing to give him the time of day, even after he worked her over like he’s done everyone else in his life. If only there was some way of giving back to her, maybe he could find…redemption.

Here’s a teaser from RUNNING ROGUE, Book 2 of Rannigan’s Redemption.

Maggie seemed nervous.  Bobby wondered if going along with Michael’s plan had been a good idea.  It seemed wrong to trick Maggie into having dinner with him.  He recognized the skittishness in her soul, probably because he had the same in his own. 

Somewhere along the way, someone hurt you, cher.  He could see it in her eyes.  And he knew that since the day he’d cleaned and bandaged her knee, he wanted, no he needed, to take care of Maggie.

He watched her settle on the huge leather couch and he sat beside her as they sipped their wine.  The only sound filling the huge room was the light jazz that played quietly.  Maggie fidgeted absently with the hem of her silver sequin skirt. 

“That’s a great skirt,” Bobby said.  “You look very pretty tonight.”  And she did.  But closer to the truth was that the skirt was maddenly short and combined with the clingy grey sweater that did nothing to camouflage her tight perky nipples, she was more than pretty.  She was sexy as hell.

She blushed furiously.  “I wasn’t sure what to wear.  I mean, Michael said…”  She stopped abruptly and looked up at him, eyes wide.  “Oh, I owe you such a huge apology!”

Bobby frowned at the unexpected turn in conversation.  “What do you mean?”

Maggie placed her wine on the coffee table and turned to face him.  “Yesterday at the hospital I said some amazingly stupid, ignorant things, and I want to apologize.” 

Bobby grinned as he recalled the conversation.  “I had no idea.  When we got back here last night, the first thing Michael did was turn on the television and there you were.  He told me that before you came to New York you played professional ball.” 

Maggie rolled her eyes.  “When I think of the stupid things I said…  Bobby, I am so sorry.”

He chuckled heartily.  “That was my favorite part of yesterday.  You don’t need to apologize for a thing.  You said exactly what you thought.”

“Yes, but I never would have said all those things if I’d known,” she gushed.  “You aren’t at all like the athletes I was talking about, by the way.  Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences.”

Bobby nodded, his blue eyes sparkling.  “That would be my guess,” he said quietly.

They chatted over the shrimp appetizers, making polite small talk.  While Maggie took the chicken out of the warmer and brought it to the table in the solarium, Bobby removed his jacket, placing it over the back of the couch, and refilled their wine. 

Out in the solarium he and Maggie sat across from each other at the elegantly set table, the candles and twinkling lights from the terrace bathing the room in a soft romantic glow.  They ate in silence for a few minutes appreciating the delicious dinner. 

Bobby was enjoying the dinner but nothing compared to simply watching Maggie.  She was so pretty in a completely unaffected way, almost as if she was unaware of her beauty.  He took in her petite frame with her delicious curves and wondered how she’d feel in his arms.  His gaze drifted to her pale pink lips and he ached to taste them.

Maggie glanced up to see Bobby smiling at her and her heart skipped a beat.  She felt herself flush and to cover for it she said, “I’m so sorry I didn’t know who you were.  I feel like a complete dumbass.”

Bobby used his napkin to dab at his mouth and he leaned back in his chair.  “I found it very refreshing, cher.  I come across a lot of women who meet me on purpose.  They’re interested in the famous ‘Beau’ Beaulieu.”  He made air quotes with his fingers.

Maggie frowned slightly.  “You told me your name is Bobby.”

“People started calling me Beau in high school.  It stuck through college and into the pros.  Only people who don’t know me call me that.  My family and close friends call me Bobby.”

She smiled at that revelation, happy to be in the minority.  He smiled back at her.  Maggie sipped her wine shyly. 

“Hell, even my ex-wife calls me Beau.  When she’s not calling me something less civilized.  Of course, we met at the stadium.  I should have known better,” he grinned sadly.

“You were married, then,” Maggie said.

Bobby nodded.  “Yep, I was for a few years.”  He sipped his wine.  “A marriage can’t really survive infidelity, at least in my experience.”

“Wow,” she said thoughtfully.  “I suppose that being on the road weeks at a time, tons of women throwing themselves at you…  That must present a lot of temptation.”

Amusement twinkled in his eyes.  “Is that what you think?  That I cheated on her?”  He laughed lightly.  “I came home off the road to find her in bed with the rookie we’d just drafted.”  He nodded at Maggie’s amazed look.  “Yep, she traded me in on a newer model.”

Maggie flushed deep red.  “Once again, I open my mouth and jump right in with both feet.  I am so terribly sorry for being such a sexist, for assuming…”  She shook her head.  “Please forgive me.”

“Your mouth is very endearing, cher,” he laughed.  “There’s no need to apologize, it was a natural assumption.  To be sure, in my younger days I took advantage of the chick buffet we found everywhere we went,” he smiled ruefully.

“Chick buffet?” Maggie laughed.

“Ah, yes, the veritable smorgasbord of warm and willing women who are attracted to guys who get in the papers every once in a while.  But when I married Deanna it was for keeps as far as I was concerned.”  He smiled sadly.  “She was in it until the next thing came along.”  Bobby sighed.

“I’m so sorry, Bobby,” Maggie said quietly.  “That must have been rough.”

“Yeah, my confidence took a real hit.  I don’t regret it though, being married.  My daughter is the light of my life.”

“Your daughter?” Maggie’s eyes widened.  Bobby has a kid?

Bobby watched her carefully.  “Is it a bad thing that I’m a dad?”

“No, of course not, it’s great.  It’s just…I never even thought about it,” Maggie shrugged.

“Would you like to see a picture?”

 “Yes, please,” she nodded.

Bobby took out his phone and scrolled for a moment.  “This is me and Savannah right before I left Arlington.  We went to the zoo.”  He passed the phone to Maggie and she saw Bobby with a smiling little girl with blonde hair and huge blue eyes.

She smiled too.  “She’s adorable.  Savannah?”  Bobby nodded.  “A beautiful name.  How old is she?”

He smiled proudly.  “Just turned five.  She’s a hot mess, is what she is.  That was a good day.”

Maggie passed back the phone.  “She has your eyes,” she observed quietly.

“How about you?” he asked.  “Any kids or former spouses?”

“None that I know of,” she quipped, laughing.  “Kids?  Not even close.  I was engaged briefly.”  Bobby watched a frown flit across her face.

“What happened?” he asked.

Maggie sighed.  “I realized I didn’t love him,” she said, glancing up at Bobby suddenly.  “It sounds bad, I know.  But I never did love him.”  She stalled, sipping her wine.  Bobby waited quietly for her to continue.  “He was…not very nice, actually.”

Bobby’s eyes narrowed.  “Did he hurt you, cher?”  He could feel his protective nature kicking into overdrive.

She shook her head.  “God, no, he never put a hand on me or anything.  He just…” she looked out into the night, “he said things that made me doubt myself.”  She looked at him, gauging whether to say more.  Bobby returned her gaze, his clear blue eyes filled with compassion.  “He said…not nice things,” her voice almost a whisper.

“Son of a bitch,” Bobby muttered under his breath.

“So you met his mother,” Maggie said to lighten the mood, and they both quietly laughed.

RUNNING ROGUE by Pandora Spocks

Rannigan’s Redemption is
RESISTING RISK
RUNNING ROGUE
RANSOMING REDEMPTION

It’s also available in one boxed set.
Treat yourself to epic contemporary romance today!

Weekend Excerpt–ANNA’S HEART

Coming soon!
The third and final Redheads & Ranchers book!

In ANNA’S HEART, Anna graves is content working on her family’s Wyoming guest ranch. She teaches horseback riding by day and reads steamy romance novels by night.

The day world-famous Scottish actor Angus McGregor arrives at the ranch, Anna’s world is turned upside down. The man is tall, red-haired, and beyond handsome. Her attraction to him is completely ridiculous. He’ll spend a month learning the rudiments of horsemanship and go his way, directing and acting in a new western film.

But could it be that Angus is as attracted to her as she is to him?

Here’s a teaser from ANNA’S HEART.

When he’d finished singing, there was a breathless silence before Vanessa Graves broke into applause. “That was beautiful,” she said. “Absolutely beautiful.”

Everyone else clapped as well, including Anna, and Angus seemed a bit embarrassed. “It’s a very old song,” he said almost apologetically. “An old folk song I learned as a boy.”

“Well, it’s lovely,” Vanessa smiled. “Thank you for sharing it with us tonight.”

Conversation around the campfire ventured on to other topics but Anna didn’t hear any of it. Angus’ song echoed through her mind. Her mother had been right–it was hauntingly beautiful. And not simply the tune or the words, but his voice, or maybe all those things combined. It had been a magical moment in time and she couldn’t help stealing glances at him across the dying fire. He happily joined in the conversation with the other guests, laughing and joking when it was appropriate, all the time expressing interest in whomever might be speaking at the time.

And then there were those moments when he looked directly at her, when his eyes seemed to bore into her very soul, and his lips curled at the corners in an almost knowing way. Although what he knew about her, or what he thought he knew about her, she couldn’t say. What she did know was that in those moments, her pulse raced just a bit faster.

Gradually, moms and dads began to gather children and make their way back to their own cabins. Anna’s parents bid everyone goodnight as did Andy and Simone before they headed to the main lodge. Angus helped Ross extinguish the fire as Anna sat lost in thought.

“See you guys in the morning,” Ross said, then he moved off down the path toward the cabins.

Anna continued to stare at the smoldering fire pit. She knew she needed to think about turning in for the night but she couldn’t seem to make herself move.

Hands shoved in the pockets of his jeans, Angus walked around the circle and sat in the chair beside her. “It’s a beautiful night,” Angus observed softly.

She glanced up at the black velvet sky dotted with a jumble of constellations, the names of which she’d long ago forgotten. “I’ve never seen the ocean,” she commented matter-of-factly.

“Och, that can’t be true,” he murmured.

Anna shrugged. “We’ve always been busy here. Not much time for traveling. I mean, we might go to Oklahoma or Colorado to buy livestock, but they don’t have an ocean.”

She chuckled lightly to dislodge the discontentment she always tried to ignore. “I’ve thought about moving to Florida. There’s a horseback program for special-needs kids. And I could go to the beach on my time off. But I don’t know. The ocean is probably not all
that, anyway.”

Angus was quiet and Anna risked a glance his way. He was watching her closely, his gaze uncomfortably intimate. “Do you want to leave the family business?”

“I don’t know,” she shrugged again, crossing her arms. “I was going to a while back, but then things got busy here, and now with Simone, and the new baby coming, it’s just…” She trailed off wishing she hadn’t said so much.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him sit back in his chair and tilt his head back to look at the sky. “The ocean is beautiful,” he said reverently. “But this sky rivals it.”

Anna looked up too, just in time to see a small blaze streak across the sky. Her gasp was involuntary.

“A shooting star,” Angus whispered, turning to her with a grin. “Ye have tae make a wish.”

Anna smiled, too. “So do you.”

He nodded in mock-seriousness. “Aye. We both have tae make a wish. It’s the only proper thing.”

She looked back to the stars and sighed. Since Sawyer had died, she’d only had one wish–to be able to take back the angry words that were the last ones she’d spoken to him. When she looked back at Angus, he was watching her carefully.

“Yer wish makes ye sad.”

Scowling, she stood abruptly. “No it doesn’t. Did you make your wish?”

Angus stood, too. “I did. Are ye going back to yer cabin?”

She nodded. “I’m beat. I had this new riding student today who kept insisting on going the wrong way.”

He laughed good-naturedly. “Och, he’s a hot mess. Probably needs private lessons.”

“Hah, he wishes.”

Angus looked down at her, his eyes sparkling in the half-light. “Aye, he might at that.”

Feeling flustered, Anna headed down the path that would take them to their cabins. Angus walked beside her, his hands in his pockets.

As they passed his cabin, she wasn’t surprised when he continued on to hers. At the base of her front steps, she turned to face him. “Thanks for…I mean, you realize you don’t have to walk me…But I do appreciate it. But you don’t have to, so…anyway…”

“Ye keep reminding me that I’m a guest. But as such, am I no’ entitled tae do as I please? I want tae help out.” His voice was soft and deep.

She looked up into his mesmerizing blue eyes and felt her heart stop as he reached to tuck a few stray locks of her hair behind her ear.
His eyes were locked on her lips.

He’s going to kiss me.

She was surprised to realize it was exactly what she wanted. Then he looked down and sighed deeply. He stepped back with a soft smile. “I suppose we should call it a night.”

Anna nodded shakily and reached for the porch railing to steady herself.

He started to walk away, then turned around. “Do ye have yer mobile with ye?”

She frowned. “My mobile? Oh, my phone!” She reached into the back pocket of her jeans and held up the device.

Angus returned and took her phone. He opened it and keyed in a number before pressing ‘Call’. At her puzzled expression, he laughed. “I called meself. Now ye have my number. And I have yers. Just in case we need to get in touch.”

Anna frowned down at her phone, trying to wrap her head around the fact that world-famous movie star Angus McGregor had just given her his number.

“Goodnight, then,” he said as he walked away.

“Goodnight. See you tomorrow.” She made her way to her front door.

“And Anna?”

She turned to look at him.

“I’ll try to be fully clothed when ye pop by tomorrow,” he grinned mischievously.

“Oh, God!” she muttered as he laughed all the way to his cabin.

–Unedited bite from ANNA’S HEART, coming soon!

Until ANNA’S VOICE is released,
why not catch up on the first two
Redheads & Ranchers books,
JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE?

Happy Valentine’s Day from Pandora Spocks!

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