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.
books2read.com/LostandBound

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

One-click your copy of 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–WIP Sneak Peek of ANNA’S HEART

Coming Soon!
ANNA’S HEART
Redheads & Ranchers Book 3

The first two books in my Redheads & Ranchers series, JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE are currently available at your favorite online bookseller. These days, I’m busy working on the third and final book of this collection of stand-alone contemporary steamy romance novels.

In ANNA’S 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’s 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’s immediately fascinated by Anna, who won’t give him the time of day.  Can he break down the self-protective wall she’s built?

In this brand-new (and unedited) teaser, you can meet Angus McGregor before Anna does.

“What the everloving fuck is this?”  Alanna’s shrill query sliced through the tranquil morning.  The aroma of Ethiopian arabica hung in the air as a sharp slapping sound against the marble countertop punctuated her question.

Standing at the kitchen sink and keeping his gaze on the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean lapping at his own private stretch of sand below the house, Angus McGregor groaned inwardly, mentally counting to ten.  

“It’s an eviction notice,” replied calmly in his deep Scottish brogue.  “Says it at the top.”

“I see that,” Alanna hissed.  “But seriously, Angus, you’re throwing me out?”

Mug of coffee in hand, he turned slowly.  “Alanna, we broke up two months ago. I’ve let you stay here this long.  It’s time to move on.”  

She picked up the legal notice and waved it at him.  “Where am I supposed to go? Have you thought of that?”

“Have you thought of it?  You’ve had two months.  I don’t mean to be a hard-arse, seriously I don’t.  But I’m selling the house. You’ll have to find somewhere else to live.”

Alanna used her right hand to flip her long blonde hair over her shoulder.  “Can’t I stay until the house sells?”

“No, you can’t.  I’m leaving today for Wyoming.  I’ll be away for a month. You can stay here until the end of the week, but then you need to be out.  Douglas will change the locks at that time, and if you’re here after that, he’ll report you as a trespasser.”  

Angus pictured his Samoan head of personal security.  Douglas Matua was nicest person in the world, but at six-foot-nine and 300 pounds, he was a force to be reckoned with.  He’d definitely spared Angus from serious injury once or twice when overzealous fans tried to get too close.

Alanna rolled her huge blue eyes.  “You’re going to Wyoming for that stupid cowboy movie!”

How was it that he hadn’t noticed her annoyingly nasal New England accent when they’d first met?  He supposed he’d been dazzled by her beauty and by her fame. Say what you will about Alanna Powell, she was gorgeous and her filmography was impressive.  The pair had met on the set of a movie and had been tabloid gossip darlings ever since.  

But eventually, Angus had grown tired of her constant need to be the center of attention.  For Alanna, the term high maintenance was merely a starting point.  Beneath her highly polished exterior, she was selfish and demanding.  Angus soon found her exhausting.  

He thought back to they’d first met.  While he’d been a successful actor for several years, in the back of his mind, he still felt like that grubby boy who’d grown up on the streets of Glasgow.  Winning the attention of a beautiful starlet like Alanna Powell had felt like winning the lottery, but he’d always had the nagging thought that one day, he’d be discovered as a pretender, a fake and a fraud.  She cast a big shadow, too. Often, he felt more like Alanna’s accessory than a serious actor in his own right.

When Alanna had insisted that they become engaged six months earlier, Angus had gone along with the idea, maybe more to pacify her than for reasons of romantic love.  He’d dutifully purchased the ring she’d demanded, shelling out more than a million dollars for the huge diamond solitaire. Price wasn’t an issue, really. His last role in a blockbuster superhero movie had earned him fifteen million, and there were many more films in the offing.

But as Alanna morphed from annoying girlfriend to bridezilla fiancee, Angus realized he couldn’t see spending the rest of his life with her.  As gently as possible, he’d broken off the engagement four months later, agreeing to allow her to stay in his Malibu beach house until she found a place of her own.  

In the kitchen overlooking the beach, Angus drew a deep breath against the barb she’d known would hit its mark.  After ten years in Hollywood, he finally had the opportunity to advance his career with the chance to direct a western he’d optioned from a novel he’d fallen in love with.  

This was his chance to be either highly successful or to fail in a most spectacular way.  And now more than ever, he was determined to make the best film he possibly could.

“Yes, Alanna, the western.  I’m spending the month at a ranch in Wyoming to learn the basics of riding and that.”

Alanna snorted derisively.  “You’re kicking me out of the house and running off to play cowboy.  Directing is harder than you think, you know.” She arched a knowing eyebrow.

“I won’t discuss it any further, Alanna.  You have until the end of the week.”

Carrying his cup of coffee, he headed out of the kitchen.

“You can’t have the engagement ring back,” she called after him.

He turned to see her waving her left hand mockingly.

“I don’t want it,” he shrugged.  “Wear it in good health.” With that, he headed upstairs to pack.

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

ANNA’S HEART is due out this spring.
In the meantime,
JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE
are available now!

Weekend Excerpt–Better Than Staring at His Package

He’s just a guest, like any other visitor to Sweetwater Ranch.
No way will Anna fall for the famous Angus McGregor.

There was a buzz of excitement when world-famous actor Angus McGregor made a month-long reservation at Anna Graves’ family business, the Sweetwater Guest Ranch in Wyoming. Her sister-in-law can barely contain herself.

But Anna’s heart was broken years before, and she’s not about to let the handsome red-haired Scottish actor turn her head. She’ll just go about her business, and soon enough, he’ll go back to his.

Angus McGregor is taking on the challenge of his career. He’s risking everything to produce, direct, and star in a western film that will either establish him as a major force in Hollywood, or reduce him to a laughing stock. But first, he needs to learn to ride a horse.

Anna intrigues him from the moment they meet, but he’s fresh off heels of his own romantic disaster. He’s determined to keep his head down and focus on putting together the best film he can. Too bad he can’t stop thinking about Anna…

Here’s a little (unedited) 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

ANNA’S HEART is due out in early 2020.
Until then, why not get acquainted with the first two
Redheads & Ranchers books?
JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE
are available at your favorite online bookseller.

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

Chivalry is alive and well…

Widowed rancher Hunter McFall had no intention of ever falling in love again.
But then, he never counted on prissy city lawyer Poppy Chastain
and her fancy little ‘cow poo’ shoes.
If he’s not careful, he’ll be hooked. Is she everything she seems?
Or does she have darker intentions?

Here’s an excerpt from HUNTER’S PRIDE, the second book in the Redheads & Ranchers series.

By the time they finished eating and paid their tabs, Hunter was positive Poppy had to be feeling the effects of the alcohol. But she seemed determined to press forward independently.
Together, they made their way to the door of the bar. With all the noise and music inside, they had been blissfully unaware that a spring storm had rolled in. Rain pouring down in buckets was punctuated by jagged flashes of lightning and the percussion of thunder rolling through the valley.

He’d already decided that he’d be making sure she got back to her room safely. The storm just clinched the deal. He could barely make out the lighted walkway of the motel through the torrents blowing across the highway in waves.

Beside him, she stared out into the storm. “Well, shit!”

He rested a hand on the small of her back. “Don’t worry. I’ll take you back to the motel.” He took a couple of steps. “Stay right here. I’ll get the truck.” With that, he dashed out into the deluge.

When he pulled the huge black Expedition to the front door, he leaned over and pushed open the passenger door. Poppy launched herself into the truck and slipped, falling headfirst over the center console, her face landing smack in his lap.

“Whoa, now!” he laughed.

She scrambled backward, nearly falling out of the truck. “Um, sorry about that,” she gasped as she swung the door closed.

“It’s okay, just…get yourself settled.”

Sheepishly, she buckled herself in and clasped her hands in her lap. “Okay, I’m settled.”

Suppressing a grin and mentally shaking his head, Hunter turned the truck and headed toward the highway.

At this time of night in a town like McFall, there was no traffic to speak of. Anyone not already home was currently parked in the lot in front of the North Star. He paused anyway, peering through the rain in both directions before cutting across to the motel.

“Which room is yours?”

She pointed with an unsteady hand. “Lucky number 7.”

He pulled into the space beside the Range Rover she’d driven out to the ranch. “Hang on.”

Ducking, he hurried around and opened her door. She accepted his hand and slid down, clutching her shoulder bag with the other hand. Together, they dashed the ten feet to the covered walkway.

For a moment, they stood dripping, looking out into the rainy night. Poppy fished the room key out of her bag.

“Well, thanks for the ride.” She leaned down and closed one eye, her right hand weaving a bit as she aimed for the lock.

“Can I help?” he asked.

He took the key from her and unlocked the door, swinging it open.

“Thanks. I would have gotten it.”

He tried to stop the smile. “I know you would have.”

She peered up at him, red hair drenched from the rain. He stepped closer, and she reached around his neck, pulling him to her, pressing her red lips to his. Her intensity surprised him, but he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer, giving in to her passion.

Gradually, she loosened her hold, and he released her. Gingerly, she touched her fingers to her lips. “Sorry about that. I’m a little drunk.”

“Not a problem. But you should go inside now.”

She nodded slowly. “Yeah. Thanks for everything, Hunter.”

“You’re welcome. Go on now. We’ll talk tomorrow.”

She headed into the room and peeled off the cardigan, dropping it on the floor. Then she gripped the bottom of the camisole and lifted it. Hunter realized that with the drapes open, she was about to put on a show for the entire North Star Bar & Grill, assuming they could see through the rain.

“Hold up there,” he said, hurrying inside to draw the curtains.

Giving up on the camisole for the moment, Poppy sank onto the edge of the bed. He squatted in front of her, taking her hands in his.

“I’m going to go now,” he said softly, “and I need you to lock the door behind me. Okay?”

She blinked as she tried to focus on his face. “Okay.”

“Okay, come with me,” he said, guiding her to the door. “After I go out, you lock the door.” Unable to resist, he pressed a light kiss to her forehead. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

He stepped out onto the sidewalk and pulled the door closed behind him, then stood listening. “Poppy?” He knocked lightly. “Lock the door, hon.”

From the other side, he heard the click of the lock, then the rattle of the chain. “Good girl. Okay, we’ll talk tomorrow. Goodnight.”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE is available at your favorite online bookseller:
https://books2read.com/HuntersPride

ANNA’S HEART, Redheads & Ranchers Book 3

The first two books in my Redheads & Ranchers series, JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE are currently available at your favorite online bookseller. These days, I’m busy working on the third and final book of this collection of stand-alone contemporary steamy romance novels.

In ANNA’S 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’s 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’s immediately fascinated by Anna, who won’t give him the time of day.  Can he break down the self-protective wall she’s built?

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

After lunch, Anna led her first beginners’ riding class of the new session. This time around, she had six eager young riders between the ages of five and twelve, and for two hours, she led them through their paces. By the end of the following week, each student would be able to groom and saddle his or her own horse, and they’d be competent enough to participate in the overnight trail ride and camp-out with their families.

When her riding class was over, Andy helped her untack her horses, and they worked together to feed and water the entire stable of fifteen equines.

“Guess that actor guy isn’t coming,” he commented as he and Anna left the barn and headed for the lodge.

Anna shrugged. “I guess not.”

“Simone was really looking forward to meeting him.”

“Maybe you should be relieved,” she grinned at her brother wryly. “Sounds like she might decide to just ride off with Angus McGregor.”

Andy held up his hands in mock surrender. “I just want to keep the pregnant lady happy.”

“Hang in there, not much longer now,” Anna observed. “Just a few more weeks.”

When they entered the lodge, several of Anna’s new students ran to greet her.

“Anna! Anna! This is my mom and dad!” cried the youngest of her students, a tiny towhead blonde named Ariel.

Anna grinned broadly. “Hi, Mom and Dad. It’s nice to formally meet you.”

The mother smiled. “She can’t stop talking about riding Rocket.”

“We named him Rocket kind of ironically. He’s really slow,” Anna laughed, thinking affectionately of the old bay.

“Well, Ariel had a good time. We’re excited about the camp-out at the end of next week,” the father said.

Anna nodded. “That’s usually the highlight of everybody’s stay.”

Across the room, Vanessa waved to Anna. “If you’ll excuse me,” she offered before heading off to find out what her mother wanted.

“A flyer came in the mail today. Founders’ Day is next week.”

Anna frowned slightly at the brightly colored page her mother thrust into her hands. The bulk of the page was a vintage photo of Main Street in Crystal Springs, overlayed with jaunty graphics declaring the annual Crystal Springs Founders’ Day celebration.

Back in the late 1860s, the nearby town of Crystal Springs had sprung up practically overnight as a mining boomtown. The coal vein had played out by the middle of the following century, but the small town was proud of its heritage. Each summer, they celebrated what they thought of as Founders’ Day with a parade down Main Street followed by a giant picnic, and capping off the evening with a family-friendly town dance.

There was a time when Anna looked forward to the annual event. Now, she scowled at the announcement.

“I’d like that put on the bulletin board on the front porch,” Vanessa said. “I’ll mention it at dinner, but I want to make sure all the guests know they’re invited to attend.”

Anna nodded and headed toward the front door.

“And Anna?” her mother called after her.

She stopped and turned around.

“I expect you to go this year.” Vanessa arched an eyebrow, daring her daughter to argue.

Anna stalked back to the reception desk. “I don’t want to go. Why do you insist that I go?”

“Because it’s time you started getting out, meeting people.”

Swallowing her rising irritation, Anna gritted her teeth. “I meet people.” She waved toward the guests wandering through the lodge’s lobby. “They’re all people.”

“You know what I mean.”

Huffing in frustration, Anna turned on her heel and headed back toward the door.

“You will go. I don’t want to hear any more about it.”

Wordlessly and without turning around, Anna waved the flyer in the air and marched out the door. Opening the glass front of the bulletin board, she silently fumed at her mother.

For fuck’s sake! I’m twenty-fucking-six years old! I don’t need to be told what to do and how to do it, where to go and when. I make my own decisions. Besides, there are always things that need to be done around the ranch. Everyone can’t go gallivanting into town. Somebody has to stay back and hold down the fort.

Part of her told her she was making way too much out of her mother’s request that she attend the celebration in town. But the rest of her was in no mood to be reasonable. She tacked up the flyer and closed the protective glass door, deciding she’d go remind her mother about the need for someone to stay behind during the festivities.

She turned abruptly and ran headlong into something solid. The next thing she knew, she and a tall red-haired man landed in a tangled heap on the front lawn.

“Oof,” he managed as he lay gasping for air.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you standing there.” Anna scrambled to her feet and reached down to help the man stand.

Slowly, he allowed her to pull him up. Green-tinted Rayban aviators askew and a pair of bags strewn on the grass, he coughed slightly as he straightened to his full height.

Anna figured he had to be well over six feet tall, maybe as much as six and a half feet, judging by the way he towered over her five-foot-four frame.

“Are you okay?” she asked him.

He nodded, reaching to straighten his sunglasses and run his fingers through his red hair. “Aye, had the wind knocked out of me is all. And that’s a fine welcome, I must say,” he replied in a thick Scottish brogue.

Feeling her cheeks color, Anna reached to brush the dirt off the man’s sleeve. “I’m really sorry! It was totally my fault. I should have been watching where I was going.”

“Aye, you should have,” he grinned wryly, “but then I’d have missed being tackled by a bonnie lass such as yourself. Do you play rugby, perchance?” His laugh was hearty, almost infectious.

Mortified, Anna started to gather up his belongings, but he stopped her with a gentle hand on her arm. “I’ve got my bags, thanks.” He hoisted a large leather duffel bag onto his broad left shoulder and picked up a matching suitcase. “I have a reservation for McGregor. Do I check in here?”

“Um, yes,” Anna nodded. “Just this way.” Still blushing, she led the way up the front steps and into the lobby. With a pair of tortoiseshell-framed readers perched on the bridge of her nose, Vanessa Graves stood at the check-in desk efficiently tapping something on a keyboard. When she looked up and saw her daughter with their new guest, she smiled brightly.

“Mr. McGregor is checking in,” Anna said meekly, wishing she could melt through the floorboards.

“I’d be happy if you’d just call me Angus,” he said quickly.

“I’m Vanessa Graves. Welcome to Sweetwater Ranch, Mr. M–Angus,” Vanessa greeted him. “We’re happy to have you here.”

“I’m happy to be here. You have a lovely ranch, from what I’ve seen so far.” He glanced Anna’s way and she blushed furiously.

Mrs. Graves turned and retrieved a brass key from an old-fashioned wooden key rack behind the front desk. “Here you are. Cabin 6. Anna will take you there.”

She handed him the key and smiled cordially. “You’ll find a folder in your cabin with this week’s schedule. Once you settle in, I hope you take the opportunity to explore the ranch. And dinner is here in the dining room at 6:00.”

While Anna silently shot daggers at her mother, Angus’s full-wattage grin was charming. “That sounds perfect. Thank you, Mrs. Graves.”

He turned and looked at Anna expectantly.

“Oh, um, right this way.” She turned, shooting one last glare at her mother, and led their new guest back outside.

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

You’ll have to wait to read the rest of ANNA’S HEART.
But you can download JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE now!