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!

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

He didn’t count on falling for the New York lawyer
sent to broker a land deal.
But has she betrayed him?

Hunter McFall had no intention of making a deal with New York land developers for a parcel of his Idaho cattle ranch. But when their lawyer Poppy Chastain showed up, he pondered whether he should reconsider.

He never thought to fall in love a second time, but then, he never counted on a smart, spunky, sexy-as-hell redhead to grace his ranch again.

But behind the scenes, someone is working against both of them.

Here’s a snippet from HUNTER’S PRIDE:

When Hunter caught up with Rolly and the others, they had just rescued a calf that had gotten stuck in the muck at the edge of the river.  A quick check confirmed that the wayward little bovine was none the worse for the wear and he was sent scurrying back to his mother who’d observed incident from a concerned distance. 

Rolly assured Hunter that they had everything under control, so Hunter decided to head toward the fenceline near the gate.  On the way back from Ketchum, he’d noticed three posts not far from the gate that were in need of attention.

With Cheyenne nibbling grass nearby, Hunter inspected a loose fence post, wiggling it to assess how bad it might be.  A light honk from the highway drew his attention, and he looked up to see Bill Albright, the local sheriff, in his official SUV.  Hunter raised a hand in a wave, and the other man waved back as he turned through the open gate and into the drive.

“Hey’ya, Bill,” Hunter called as he strode toward the truck.

Albright opened his door and got out, nodding as he did.  “Hunter.  How’s the ranch?”

“Not bad.  We’ve got a healthy bunch of new calves so far this season.  What can I do for you?”

The sheriff’s face was grim.  “I’m here on some unpleasant business, I’m afraid.”  He turned and reached into the truck where he retrieved a bundle of papers stapled to a legal-sized piece of blue cardstock. 

Hunter frowned as he took the document from Bill.  “What’s this?  I’m being sued?”

The lawman shrugged slightly.  “Not sued, exactly.  It’s eminent domain.  The state is taking part of your land.”

“Taking part of my land?”  Quickly, Hunter scanned the front page, trying to make sense of the legal-speak. 

“Well, they’ll pay you for it, but between you and me, it’s pennies on the dollar.  It’s legalized theft if you ask me.  But they don’t ask me, they just make me serve you the paperwork.”

Realization dawned on Hunter as he turned the page.  “Son of a bitch!  This is the land Slade & Howell has been trying to buy from me.  They offered me just short of a king’s ransom to sell, and I said no.  Can they claim eminent domain on my land?” 

“This comes all the way from Boise.  If I had to guess, I’d say those resort developers cozied up to the Governor, or somebody on his staff anyway, and got him to sign off on this.  Undoubtedly promised them something in return, but good luck proving it.”

Hunter suddenly thought of Poppy, and he cut his eyes in the direction of the house.  “They never intended to buy the land from me.  They were just biding their time until they could take it.”

The sheriff lowered his eyes and exhaled sharply.  “I’m sorry as I can be, Hunter.  Of course, you’re entitled to get your own lawyer and fight this.”

Hunter laughed humorlessly.  “But who has deeper pockets?  Me or some international real estate developer?” 

He scrubbed a frustrated hand across his mouth.  “Son of a bitch!”

Bill clapped him on the shoulder.  “Again, Hunter, I’m sorry.  Next time I see you at the North Star, I’ll buy you a drink.”  With that, he climbed back into his vehicle. 

After Bill drove away, Hunter stood anchored to the same spot, shaking as adrenaline thrummed through his veins. 

She knew.  All along, she knew they were just going to take my land.  That’s why she didn’t fight harder to get me to take the deal.  It never mattered.

Brusquely, he grabbed Cheyenne’s reins and swung himself up, his head spinning as he pushed the horse into a gallop.  Visions of Poppy streamed through his mind, Poppy smiling at him across the dinner table, naked by the fireplace in his bedroom, her excitement at the birth of the new calf, on her knees in the mountain cabin. 

She played me.  I was dumb enough to think I was falling in love, and the whole time, I was falling for a liar and a cheat.  How stupid can I be?
By the time he reached the barn, he was livid.  He stopped Cheyenne short and jumped down, leading the horse into the barn.  He didn’t expect to see Poppy by the calving pen watching the twin calves that had arrived overnight. 

When she saw him, she smiled happily.  “Are they just the cutest things ever?  I’ve already named them.  This one is–”

He dropped Cheyenne’s reins and reached her in three angry strides.  “What the fuck is this?” he spat, whipping the papers at her.

Awkwardly, she caught them, frowning as she did.  “What’s wrong?  What do you mean?”  She unfolded the document and tilted her head, squinting at the print. 

“Eminent domain?”  She looked up at Hunter.  “Where did this come from?”

He folded his arms.  “You tell me.  The sheriff just brought me this little Valentine.”  He stalked over to a stack of feed bags and kicked them angrily.

“I don’t understand,” Poppy murmured, “this is crazy.”  She flipped through the pages.

“Slade & Howell never meant to pay me anything for my land.  You came here as a distraction until they could get this little baby pushed through the state offices.”  He snatched the papers out of her hands.

Eyes wide, Poppy shook her head.  “No, they told me to offer you the terms in the agreement.  Mr. Slade himself authorized me to offer you ten percent more.”

“Because they never intended to have to follow through with it.  Hell, why pay for land when you can just steal it?”

Poppy shook her head.  “No, this isn’t right.  I’m going to call them and find out what’s going on.”

“Just stop the bullshit, Poppy!  Stop with this innocent act.  You knew exactly what you were doing.” 

“What?  You can’t possibly think I had anything to do with this.”

Hunter nodded angrily.  “I suppose this is how big business operates, right?  Just lie, cheat, and steal until you reach the top.”

“No, Hunter, I never–”

“Stop lying!” he shouted.  “You come in here like sex on legs, looking like my dead wife,” he spat, “and like an idiot, I fall for your act.  Hell, I was even stupid enough to imagine I was in love with you.”

Tears streamed down her face, and she took a step toward him.  “Please, Hunter, I had nothing to do with this, you have to believe me.  If they lied to you, they lied to me, too.”

Hunter looked away, shaking his head.  “Out.  I want you out.  Now.”  His voice was chillingly calm.

She took another step toward him.  “Hunter, please–”

“Now!  Or do I have to start throwing your shit onto the driveway?  I want you gone!  Go the hell back where you came from.  Congratulations.  You got what you wanted.”  He turned on his heel and stalked out of the barn.

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–Redheads & Ranchers Book 2

HUNTER’S PRIDE

HUNTER’S PRIDE is the second stand-alone novel in the Redheads & Ranchers Series. It’s the follow-up to 5-STAR reviewed JENNY’S VOICE.

Like my Dream Dominant Collection, the Redheads & Ranchers books are completely unrelated to each other–they’re stand-alone.

Sometimes readers leave negative reviews because they assumed the books in the series continue the same storyline. I try to be clear that the thread that connects these books is that they are each about a hot rancher and the sexy redhead who comes along and changes everything.

Unlike the Dream Dominants, the Redheads & Ranchers fall into my ‘spicy vanilla’ category–all of the heat without the BDSM power exchange.

Here’s a brand-new teaser from HUNTER’S PRIDE.
Warning: It’s 18+.


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

I’m planning a June launch for HUNTER’S PRIDE, with the third Redheads & Ranchers book due out in October.

For now, if you missed JENNY’S VOICE,
this would be a great time to catch up.
It’s available at your favorite online bookseller,
including (and this is new) Google Play!
books2read.com/JennysVoice

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

What happens when you assume…

Poppy P.K. Chastain, a bright young lawyer with a new MBA, is sent by her international real estate development company in New York City to the ranchlands of Idaho to strike a deal with 5th generation cattle rancher Hunter McFall.

Slade & Howell needs land to build an access road to the mountain property they’re turning into a luxury guest resort. And a little slice of McFall Ranch is exactly what they’re looking for.

Too bad Hunter has no intention of selling. As he’s said in reply to the half-dozen letters and emails the company has sent him. He’s agreed to a meeting with this city lawyer P.K. Chastain. But as soon as he’s told the fellow no, he hopes that will be the end of it.

Turns out, it’s just the beginning.

Here’s the first chapter of HUNTER’S PRIDE.


Hunter McFall squinted his hazel eyes at the dust trail on the horizon and shook his head in annoyance.  He didn’t have time for this. He had 1,500 head of cattle that needed moving to new pasture.

Not that it made this day any different from any other day.  Cattle need to be rotated to fresh grazing land. The herd had spent the last week down on the flood plain beside the bend of Deer Creek.  Today he wanted them moved into the foothills.

But he had Rolly Stevens to head up moving the beeves.  Rolly had been with the McFalls since before Hunter ever sat on a horse.  And the younger hands listened to the old man, respected him.

And if Hunter was honest with himself, he didn’t mind a day off the trail too badly.  Except he wasn’t looking forward to this appointment.

The dust trail was closer now.  Hunter sighed deeply and nudged the bay beneath him, gently pulling the reins to the right.

“Let’s go, Cheyenne,” he muttered.  The horse tossed her head and turned to the right, heading back toward the house.

P.K. Chastain.  Just the name irritated him.  The notion of a grown man going by his initials struck him as pretentious as fuck.  The fact that P.K. Chastain was a lawyer representing Slade & Howell didn’t engender him to Hunter anymore than his name did.

He’d received the letters and emails from this Chastain fellow, the ones making all kinds of shiny promises on behalf of Slade & Howell.  But Hunter didn’t care. He wasn’t interested in selling any McFall land to some developer who wanted to build a mountain resort. Keep that shit over by Sun Valley if that’s what you had in mind.

Here in Deer Creek Valley and the Boxroot Mountains, McFalls had raised cattle for five generations, and by God, he intended to continue the family legacy until his last breath.

A vehicle came around the bend just as Hunter loosely wrapped Cheyenne’s reins around a rail in the shade of a large cottonwood.  From beneath his wide-brimmed hat, he glowered at the silver Range Rover as it pulled to a stop along the side of the gravel drive.  City people always fancied themselves rugged outdoorsmen when they came out to this neck of Idaho. Yet another reason he wasn’t interested in having a luxury resort anywhere near McFall.

He set his mouth in a firm line and walked toward the SUV.  The driver’s door opened, and a shiny black high-heeled pump emerged, followed by a shapely calf.  Surprised, Hunter stopped, watching as a petite redhead stepped out of the car. Her hair was done up in one of those fancy, efficient updos with a few loose wisps around her face, which was obscured by large designer sunglasses.  Hunter’s eyes zeroed in on sensuously shaped ruby-red lips.

The woman leaned back into the SUV, affording Hunter a view of a nicely rounded ass, neatly packaged in a black pencil skirt.  She emerged a moment later holding a tan leather satchel. Closing the car door, she marched toward him.

“Mr. McFall?”  She stuck out a well-manicured hand, her nails painted the same red as her lips.  “I’m P.K. Chastain. We’ve emailed back and forth?”

Slowly, Hunter reached out and took her tiny hand in his own, suddenly aware of how rough and calloused ranch work made them.

You’re P.K. Chastain?”

The redhead tilted her head and removed the sunglasses, revealing deep chestnut eyes in a shade he wasn’t sure he’d ever seen before.  “You were expecting a man, I suppose.” Her tone was defensive.

“I guess when I heard that a lawyer was coming out here, I just assumed.”

P.K. Chastain narrowed her eyes at him.  “Maybe the news didn’t make it this far out in the boondocks,” she said, one hand holding the satchel, the other a fist on her hip.  “But it’s the 21st century now.  Women get to vote and everything.”

Hunter suppressed a grin, his mustache shifting with the effort.  “Seems I heard tell about something like that,” he drawled for effect.  “Maybe it was the fact that you go by your initials. What does P.K. stand for, anyway?”

He watched her cheeks color slightly as the woman squared her shoulders.  “That’s neither here nor there. Is there someplace we can sit and discuss the generous offer being made to you by Slade & Howell?”

He pursed his lips and watched her for moment.  Then he nodded. “We can meet in my office.” He gestured toward the huge log home that had been in his family for generations.  When he’d been a boy, his grandfather had added an extension to the north end of the house, creating an office from which to run ranch business.

“If we’re going to have a business, my boy, we’d better treat it like one,” the elder Hunter McFall had told his young namesake.

That Hunter McFall had been the first of his family to attend college, and his son and grandson had followed in his footsteps.  They’d taken what had been a rough and tumble ranch and turned it into a successful cattle business, acquiring extra acreage along the way as some of their neighbors failed to keep up with the times.

P.K. Chastain, leather satchel in hand, clipped purposefully across the gravel drive and up the steps to the covered porch that ran the length of the front of the house and around the southern end.  Hunter followed along behind, amused by the turn of events.

At the door, she stopped, allowing him to open it and usher her inside.  Just inside the door, he paused to hang his black felt hat on a rack beside the door.  His mother had always been firm: “No hats in the house.” He supposed that extended to the office as well.

Hunter imagined he could see the office from his guest’s point of view as he inhaled the familiar scent of leather and wood.  Behind the huge reclaimed wood desk, antique branding irons hung in a row from an old board on the wall above a barnwood credenza.  Opposite the desk were a pair of leather wingback chairs. The chairs matched twin oxblood leather chesterfield couches that flanked an antique trunk turned coffee table in the center of the room.

On the opposite end from his desk sat a long wood conference table surrounded by leather club chairs.  Western art from his grandfather’s collection accented the walls and the entire space was crowned by an enormous iron chandelier hung from the peaked roof.

The lawyer glanced around appreciatively.  “It’s lovely,” she murmured.

Hunter nodded.  “Thank you. The original cabin is over a hundred years old, but it’s been added to over the years.  My grandfather added this office extension when he took over the business over forty years ago.”

“Lovely,” she repeated.  She gestured with her satchel.  “Where would you like me to set up?”

Set up?

He shrugged slightly.  “Anywhere you’re most comfortable is fine.”
He watched as the woman’s gaze flitted all around the room before it settled on the conference table.

“That looks good,” she said, and moved in that direction, her high heels clipping against the wide plank floor.

She placed the satchel on the table and opened it, rooting around until she found what she was looking for.  She handed Hunter a glossy-covered booklet, a gorgeous shot of the Boxroot Mountains gracing the front with Boxroot Mountain Resort declared in bold, rustic letters blazing across the cover.
“Please, have a seat,” she gestured to the chair at the head of the table.

Hunter suppressed a smirk at the city woman telling him where to sit in his own office.  Curious to see where this was all leading, he sank into the chair and watched as she dug into the bag once again.

“If you’d like to flip through the prospectus while I get my presentation ready,” she said.  “I won’t be long.” She looked up at him. “You do have wi-fi?”

He nodded.  “Yes, ma’am,” he drawled.  “All the way out here in the boondocks, we have wi-fi and the interwebs.  Why, hell, we even have the dot com.”

She paused her movements to purse her lips at him.  Then she went back to her digging, tucking a few stray red hairs behind her left ear.  From her bag, she extracted a small black cube about the size of a baseball. This she set up on a small tripod on the table, then she went back to rooting around in the satchel.

Hunter tried unsuccessfully to avoid staring at the way her wispy white blouse gapped in the front every time she leaned over the bag.  Ms. Chastain had stellar cleavage. That paired with the nicely rounded ass he’d appreciated outside made her an intriguing distraction from the ordinary.

He didn’t look over the prospectus.  He didn’t need to. He wasn’t interested in selling.  But he’d hear her out. It beat the hell out of rounding up reluctant Herefords.

“Okay.”  She gave him an efficient nod.  “Now that you’ve had a chance to look over the prospectus, let’s get started.”  She pointed a small remote at the black cube on the tripod, and the blank wall at the end of the table lit up with the same image as the one on the booklet in his hands.

“First, let me say thank you for agreeing to meet with me.  I think that by the time we’re finished here today, we’ll have come to an agreement that’s beneficial both to McFall Ranch and to Slade & Howell.”

She picked up her tablet and clicked something.  The image on the wall changed to an animation of a high-end mountain resort, complete with computer-generated people moving in eerily jerky motions in front of a fancy lodge.  As Hunter watched, the scene morphed through four seasons of rustic Idaho.

The lawyer spent the next twenty minutes extolling the virtues of Slade & Howell’s vision of Boxroot Mountain Resort.  Between skiing in the winter and fly fishing in the summer, it would be the ultimate year-round vacation destination this side of the Mississippi River.  It would bring untold revenue to the tiny town of McFall. Resort construction would benefit the existing infrastructure of the entire Deer Creek Valley area.

By the time she was finished the final slide, she was out of breath.  She turned to Hunter.

“Mr. McFall, I am authorized to offer you an amazing compensation package.  If you’ll turn to page 36 of the prospectus…” She stopped, waiting for him to flip through the booklet.

Reluctantly, Hunter found the page she indicated.

“I think you’ll find the offer immensely satisfying.”

Starting at the top, he skimmed down to the number on the bottom line.  He felt his eyes widen before he restored his poker face. He glanced up at the woman who was watching him closely.

She smiled at him confidently.  “And all of that for just the 2,000 acres we’ll need to build the access road.”

Hunter shook his head, swiping his lips with his hand.  It was an obscene amount of money. But that was beside the point.  He had no intention of selling any McFall land. It wasn’t about the money.

He closed the booklet and held it out to her.  “It’s a generous offer. But like I wrote in my emails, the land isn’t for sale.  I’m sorry you wasted your time coming all the way out here.”

She made no move to take the booklet from him.  “You keep that. And take some time to consider the offer.  Obviously, we don’t expect you to make up your mind right away.  It’s a big decision.” She started to pack down her electronics. “I’ll be in McFall until the end of the week.  At the very least, sleep on it. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have, or to clarify anything related to the offer.”

With her satchel repacked, she headed toward the door.  Again, Hunter followed along, enjoying the view.

Outside, the lawyer glanced around, taking in the wide-open pastures and the green forests beyond.  “This really is a beautiful place. I can see why Slade & Howell chose it for their next resort.”

Hunter nodded.  “I suppose. But to me, it’s just home.  And I’d like to keep it that way. An access road across my property is going in the wrong direction.”
Hands in the pockets of his Wranglers, he ambled in the direction of the barn.  Ms. Chastain followed.

“But Mr. McFall, you have sixty thousand acres.”  At his surprised look, she forged ahead. “It’s public record.  Anyway, would 2,000 acres make such a huge difference in the grand scheme of things?”

She walked past him and turned around.  “Think of what you could do with the money.”  She took a step toward him, then looked down, her face twisting into a scowl.  “Oh, for f– Well, shit!”

Hunter followed her gaze.  Ms. Chastain’s right foot was smack in the center of a fresh cow pie.

He couldn’t stop the grin.  “Yes, ma’am, that is indeed shit.”

She nodded angrily.  “Yeah, that’s just hilarious.  These are fucking Jimmy Choos!”  Carefully, she stepped forward. Nearly half the cowpile came with her.  “Shit!”

“Here, let me help you,” Hunter laughed.  He squatted down and gently gripped her calf, lifting her foot much like he would a horse’s.  P.K. Chastain teetered on her left foot before she rested her hand on his shoulder to stabilize herself.  Hunter removed her shoe, revealing a neat pedicure in the same shade as the fingernails and the lips.

“I can clean that up for you,” he told her.  He straightened up and helped her hop to a barrel sitting outside the barn.  Setting down the soiled shoe, he placed his hands on her waist and gently lifted her onto the barrel.  Then he retrieved the shoe. “Won’t take me a second.”

Leather satchel on her lap, the lawyer sat sheepishly on the barrel as Hunter used a rasp to scrape the offending mess from the bottom of the high heeled shoe.  To finish the job, wiped it carefully with the baby wipes he used to groom the horses. When the shoe was nice and clean, he carried it back to her.

She cautiously sniffed it, and Hunter suppressed an amused smile.
“It’s a cattle ranch, Ms. Chastain.  Shit happens.”

“I can see that.”

He took the shoe back from her and gently placed it on her foot before he lifted her down from the barrel.

Feet firmly on clean ground, she straightened her black skirt self-consciously.

 “My apologies for my unprofessional language,” she said, cheeks coloring slightly.  “It’s been a long day. It took me two planes to get from New York to Sun Valley, then it was a two-hour drive from there to McFall, plus an extra half-hour to your ranch.”

Hunter nodded.  “No apologies necessary.  I’ve been known to use colorful language myself.”

He walked her to the Range Rover.  “Are you staying in McFall?”

She opened the car door and dropped her bag on the passenger seat.  “I’m staying at the hotel downtown.”

Again, Hunter found himself suppressing a grin.  The words hotel and downtown were the most generous he’d ever heard to describe the Deer Valley Motor Lodge and the one-stoplight center of McFall.  He wondered if Ms. Chastain had actually seen the motel before she’d booked a room there.  Not that there was any other option short of returning to Sun Valley.

From the driver’s seat, she buzzed down the window.  “Again, thank you for seeing me. I’ll be here until the end of the week.  You have my cell number in the prospectus. And I’ll call you in a couple of days to check in.”

He nodded.  “Yes, ma’am.  But I won’t be changing my mind.”

She smiled confidently.  “At least consider the offer.  I’ll be in touch.”
With that, she buzzed the window back up and headed back down the long drive to the highway.

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE is Book 2 in the Redheads & Ranchers series, a collection of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring strong ranchers and the sexy redheads they can’t resist.

HUNTER’S PRIDE is due out in June.

In the meantime, check out 5-STAR reviewed JENNY’S VOICE,
the first book in the Redheads & Ranchers series.

One-Click JENNY’S VOICE today!
books2read.com/JennysVoice

Weekend Excerpt–JENNY’S VOICE

It’s out! JENNY’S VOICE, the first book in my new Redheads & Ranchers Series, came out Tuesday.

Jenny Stone has been silent for the last two years, rendered mute by unimaginable trauma since the day her parents were brutally murdered and she was taken by ruthless crime boss Victor Sorkin. She’s been his ‘pet’ since that horrific day, his own personal good luck charm.

When she sees her chance to escape, she takes it, stowing away in the horse trailer of unsuspecting cowboy Cole Caldwell. When he finds her there, he’s torn between finding help for the terrified young woman and reassuring her that she’s safe with him.

Privately, Jenny and Cole feel the inexorable pull of attraction. But Cole knows Jenny’s been brutalized and he’ll be damned if he’ll take advantage of her in any way. And Jenny’s positive that the handsome rancher wouldn’t want anything to do with someone as damaged and used as she is.

But love is a funny thing, often finding a way in the most impossible of situations.

To celebrate the first weekend of its release, here’s a steamy little teaser from JENNY’S VOICE.


Late that evening, Cole sat in the leather chair in the corner of his bedroom, an open book resting on his lap.  But he realized that he hadn’t read a line in the last fifteen minutes. His thoughts were on the day, on the possibility of new clients, on the delicious pot roast dinner…and on Jenny.

He was falling in love with her, he knew it.  And he felt the same from her. Theirs was such an odd situation, though.  She was, for all intents and purposes, on the run. And no one except Cole knew who and where she was.

At some point, she’d have to agree to go to the authorities.  Undoubtedly, there was an open investigation into her whereabouts.  Not to mention the fact that she had insight into a serious criminal enterprise.

Cole sighed deeply as he scrubbed a restless palm across his mouth.  He didn’t know what to do. So far, he’d done nothing. And inaction was action, wasn’t it?

A creak of a floorboard drew his attention to the hallway.  Jenny stood uncertainly in his doorway. Her fingers were interlaced in front of her and she appeared to be wearing one of his long-sleeve dress shirts, the sleeves rolled about halfway up her arms.

He smiled softly.  “Hi, Jenny. Everything okay?”

She nodded, staying where she was.  “Yes. I didn’t mean to bother you.”

“You’re not bothering me.  I’m not getting much reading done anyway.  What do you need?”

Wordlessly, she padded on bare feet to where he sat.  To say that he was surprised would be an understatement when she took his book and placed it on the bedside table, then slid onto his lap.  He was almost positive that beneath his shirt, she wore nothing at all.

Consciously keeping his hands on the arms of the chair, he drew a shaky breath and met her eyes.  “What’s going on, Jenny?” he asked softly.

She reached up with her left hand to cup his jaw and leaned forward, pressing her lips to his.  He welcomed her kiss, matching her passion while struggling to hold back the desire that flared at her touch, her proximity.

“It’s okay,” she breathed as she broke the kiss.  “You can touch me.”

Heart pounding in rhythm with the pulse in his burgeoning erection, Cole leaned back and gazed at her with hooded eyes.  “Are you sure?”

She nodded, green eyes alight with desire.

He let out a long breath.  “If we’re gonna do this, darlin’, you’re gonna set the pace.  The last thing I want to do is to hurt or take advantage of you.”

She gave him a tender smile.  “You’d never hurt me. I know that.”  Leaning slightly forward, she took his hands from the chair arms and placed them on her bare ass.

Caressing her smooth flesh beneath his fingers, he pulled her closer, positioning her heated sex against the bulge in his jeans.  She tucked her hair behind her ears and stared down at him, her green eyes sparkling.

Her fingers fluttered to the buttons of the dress shirt she’d appropriated and slowly, she unfastened them, revealing the hollow between the inner curves of perfectly shaped breasts, a smooth stomach, and a thatch of tight red curls where she rested against his hardness.

He shook his head slightly and swallowed hard.  “Jesus, Jenny,” he breathed.

True to his word, he waited, allowing her to initiate another deep, languid kiss as she ground against him.  She allowed the shirt to slip from her shoulders, and she moved his hands around to cup her firm, round breasts.  

He lightly brushed his thumbs across her tight pink points and she gasped.

“Is that alright?” he murmured quickly.

She nodded.  “Yes. Please, oh yes.”

He peered into her eyes, gauging her response.

“Cole?”

“Yes?”

“Will you please take me to bed?”

He hesitated.  “Are you sure?”

She nodded, and he felt reassured.  He held her tightly against him and stood, walking them the two steps to the bed where he gently lay her down.  Jenny watched with heated interest as he shucked his grey t-shirt and jeans, leaving them where they fell.

Naked, he climbed into bed beside her, resting on his side and gazing at her tenderly.  “You’re in charge, darlin’. What you say goes.”

A lone tear rolled down her cheek and he caught it with his finger.  “I want you to make love to me,” she whispered.

He smiled softly.  “Yeah?”

She nodded.  “Yeah.”

Cole leaned in and captured her lips with his, pouring his passion through his kiss.  She placed his hand on her hip and he took things from there, sliding his hand up to cup her breast once again, this time taking her nipple between his thumb and forefinger and tugging gently, encouraging it to stand taut.  Jenny moaned lightly.

Leaving her lips, he trailed kisses down the side of her neck.  He slid his hand back down to her hip, and Jenny pivoted slightly, moving his hand to the needy space between her thighs.

Cautiously, he met her eyes.  “Is this okay?”

“Yes, please,” she hissed.

Smiling, he cupped her sex, feeling the heat there.  He increased the pressure, and Jenny moaned again as she pressed against his hand.  Finding purchase with his fingertips, he began a slow circular path around her sensitive bud.

 She arched against him, tightly fisting the sheets on either side of her body.

“Oh, God,” she moaned.

Pleased, Cole increased the pace of his circles, watching as Jenny’s face contorted with pleasure, delighting in the moment when she shattered against his hand.

Her body was still shuddering as he propped up on one elbow and drew his fingers lightly up her belly and between her breasts.

Breathless, she opened her eyes.  He grinned down at her lovingly. “How was that?”

She nodded, panting.  “It was…great, but…”

He frowned slightly, waiting to hear what she would say.

“I need you, Cole.  Please.”

His heart hitched.  “You’re sure?”

He saw the desire in her eyes.  “Please,” she whispered.

Nodding, he reached into the drawer of the bedside table and removed a foil packet.  Hesitating a moment, he checked the date printed on the back, sighing with relief. It was still good for another three months.

A glance back at Jenny showed him she was watching him carefully.  “I’ve had these a while,” he laughed. “Just checking to make sure they’re still good.”

She reached for him.  “Hurry.”

He slid between her legs and held himself over her.  “With pleasure.” With that, he plunged his lips to hers, devouring her this time, delighting in the fact that she matched his fervor.  Pausing, he used his teeth to rip open the foil packet then roll the condom over his ready cock.

Watching her face, he parked himself at her entrance.  “Ready?”

She nodded, sliding her hands up his sides to rest them on his back, and he gently pressed forward, just breaching her entrance.  He felt her contract around him, and he ventured further.

“Oh, yes,” she hissed in his ear.

He continued forward until he was buried to the root.  There, he stayed still, feeling her acclimate to his length and girth.  His skin prickled in goosebumps as she lightly nipped up the side of his neck to his earlobe, which she sucked sensuously.

Unable to resist, he rocked his hips back and plunged in again, this time earning a gasp from Jenny.  Emboldened, he pumped in earnest, feeling her walls tighten even as her breathing came in sharp bursts.

“I’m almost there, Jenny,” he murmured into her ear.  “This is what you do to me. Come on, darlin’, come with me.”

Just as he felt his release nearing the point of no return, she cried out, shuddering in pleasure.  It was all he needed to tip him over the edge of his own climax as with one more thrust, he held himself deep within her, pouring out his essence.

Still trembling, he lowered himself beside Jenny, carefully disengaging from her.  He padded to the bathroom to take care of the condom, then returned to the bed, gently gathering her to himself.  Her eyes were closed, and she was still breathing hard. He pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead.

JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks

One-click JENNY’S VOICE today!
books2read.com/JennysVoice

Weekend Excerpt–JENNY’S VOICE, Out February 12, 2019!

JENNY’S VOICE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 1,
comes out February 12!

Jenny Stone survived the brutal murder of her parents only to be taken by the ruthless crime boss responsible for their deaths. Nearly two years later, when she sees her chance to escape, she takes it, slipping into the horse trailer of an unsuspecting cowboy.

Cole Caldwell leads a quiet life as an in-demand horse trainer, able to charge high fees from his wealthy clients to support his non-profit activities. When he discovers a terrified young woman hiding in his trailer, he’s beyond shocked.

She’s been beaten, and apparently, she doesn’t speak. Cole is determined to see that no one ever lays a hand on Jenny again.

But she’s convinced dangerous men are looking for her. What will happen if they find her?

Here’s a sneak peek at the first chapter of JENNY’S VOICE. And don’t miss the book trailer following the excerpt.


RUN!

Every fiber of her being screamed at her, willing her to shake off the fog that veiled her mind, willing her to save herself.

Jenny Stone shakily pushed herself up into a sitting position in the back seat of the black SUV, ignoring the pulsing of her swollen left eye, trying desperately to focus with her right one as she peered through the dark-tinted windows.

Her minders, Slater and Wilcox (she had no idea of their first names, nor did she care to know) had left her when they’d gone into the truck stop restaurant where the truck sat parked.  They’d assumed she was unconscious, which she had been, momentarily knocked out by Slater’s right jab to the left side of her face.

This after backhanding her across the mouth.  Her mouth was filled with the harsh metallic tang of her own blood, and she tentatively pushed her tongue toward her puffy lip.  Thankfully, her teeth seemed to be intact, no thanks to Slater’s meaty blow.

All because she’d fought him.  And she’d do it again. Every time.

She might have no say when it came to Victor Sorkin, when he summoned her in the middle of the odd night, or when he gifted her to certain esteemed business associates.  But she’d be goddamned if she’d allow Victor’s slimy minions to presume to take their fill of her.

The trio had been on their way from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  An arms dealer with whom Victor hoped to do business was staying at the Four Seasons.  Jenny was meant to be a good-will offering for the weekend.
At the moment, she had a bigger problem, though.

“Now what are you going to do?” Wilcox had asked.  Jenny, her head pounding, had feigned unconsciousness.

“She’s all beat up.  We can’t take her to San Francisco like that.  And we can’t take her back to Mr. Sorkin, either.  He’ll want to know what happened.”

“She’s not going to tell him anything,” Slater had snarled.

“But what will you tell him?” Wilcox had wondered.

Slater had growled and punched the dashboard.  “Stupid retard cunt! Kicked me in the balls so hard, I still can’t breathe right.”

“What are we going to do?”

Squinting through her good eye, Jenny had seen Slater turn to look at her.  “We’ll have to kill her.”

“We?!  What the hell are you talking about?  I didn’t touch her,” Wilcox had squeaked.

“What happens if we take her to San Francisco?  Hauer calls Sorkin to complain about the merchandise.  And Sorkin kills us.”

He’d glared at Wilcox, daring him to contradict him.  “What happens if we take her back to LA like that? Sorkin kills us.”

He’d shaken his head.  “It’s the only way. We drive all the way to San Francisco.  Because he’ll be tracking us on GPS. We stay in front of the Four Seasons long enough to make it look like we took her upstairs.  Then we go to our hotel. We’ll rent a car, take her out into the boondocks, and get rid of her.”

“But Hauer will call to complain that she never got there,” Wilcox had reasoned.

“We’ll say he’s lying.  We’ll say we delivered the girl.  Then it’s all on Hauer.”

Wilcox had nodded slowly.  “It might just work.” He’d sounded somewhat less than convinced.

“Come on,” Slater had said, with one last glance into the backseat.

“Let’s go get something to eat and work out the details. The bitch is out cold anyway.”

After the pair had left, Jenny had forced herself to remain motionless, counting to a thousand before opening her eyes.  By now, her left eye was swollen completely shut, and her lip felt as though it was ten times its normal size.

She had to get out.  They’d be back any minute.  If she rode with them to San Francisco, there would be no escape.  This was her one chance. She supposed she should count her lucky stars Victor had decided for them to drive rather than fly.  Something about the private jet being grounded for routine maintenance.

The cloudy day threatened rain, but so far, it had been dry.  With the midday sun obscured by clouds as it was, Jenny wasn’t certain of the time, but she’d guess early afternoon.  The truck stop was busy, with semis and all sorts of vehicles constantly entering and leaving.

Across the way, she saw a cowboy in a pale straw hat checking on a horse in a vintage turquoise and white horse trailer pulled behind a silver pick-up truck.  Seemingly satisfied with the horse’s well-being, he turned and walked across the parking lot, passing right by her and into the restaurant as she watched from the SUV.

GO! her brain screamed at her.

She looked down at herself.  She was not dressed for walking around a truck stop.  In her slinky club dress with its halter top and micro-mini skirt, she was more suited for the function she was expected to perform.

Not anymore, Victor.  She kicked off the silver stilettos and glanced toward the restaurant.  She couldn’t see Slater and Wilcox in the window booths. It seemed safe to assume they were seated further inside.

Carefully, she opened the door and stepped barefoot onto the pavement.  The day was cool, and she instantly felt chilled. She closed the door quietly and, head down, she moved in the direction of the horse trailer.  

Once she got there, she scanned the parking lot.  Everyone seemed to be preoccupied with their own business.  On her tiptoes, she peered into the trailer. Only one of the two stalls was occupied.  She tried the tailgate hopefully, but it was locked. Glancing around again, she saw that the lot was briefly empty of people.  She stepped up onto the bumper, reached the top of the tailgate, and pushed herself up. With one last glance over her shoulder, she leaned forward, tumbling headfirst into the trailer.

The horse, a large brown and white spotted Appaloosa, whinnied in protest, stomping her feet and pulling at the rope tethering her to the front of the trailer.

Carefully avoiding the shuffling hooves, Jenny crab-scrambled backward to the front wall of the trailer.  A large black jacket hung from a hook, and she jerked it down, slipping it on and zipping up the front.

The jacket was huge, probably meant for someone the size of the cowboy she’d seen, but it was warm.  She tucked her knees under her chin and drew the jacket down over her bare legs and feet, pulling the hood over her head.

Come on, come on.  She willed her pounding heart to slow down as she waited for the cowboy to come back and drive them away from the truck stop.

JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks

Check out the official book trailer for JENNY’S VOICE.

You can pre-order your copy of JENNY’S VOICE at your favorite online bookseller, but the 99¢ special deal is exclusively at Amazon.