Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He looked over his shoulder gratefully. “Thanks.”

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

“How are the horses,” she asked him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Then please,” she whispered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

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

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

With Maggie gone, Michael’s just running rogue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You were married, then,” Maggie said.

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

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

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

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

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

“Chick buffet?” Maggie laughed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Would you like to see a picture?”

 “Yes, please,” she nodded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What happened?” he asked.

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

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

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

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

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

RUNNING ROGUE by Pandora Spocks

Rannigan’s Redemption is
RESISTING RISK
RUNNING ROGUE
RANSOMING REDEMPTION

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

Weekend Excerpt–ANNA’S HEART

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

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

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

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

Here’s a teaser from ANNA’S HEART.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anna smiled, too. “So do you.”

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

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

“Yer wish makes ye sad.”

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

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

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

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

“Hah, he wishes.”

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

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

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

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

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

He’s going to kiss me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And Anna?”

She turned to look at him.

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend Excerpt–Happy New Year!

She’s the perfect combination of princess and warrior.
And everything he never knew he wanted.

When Scott Nielsen decided to base his outdoors wilderness school at his friend Blake’s remote guest lodge, he didn’t count on falling for Blake’s sister.

Single mom Jackie runs the lodge as a successful business. She’s smart and independent. No way would she ever consider gifting Dominant Scott with her submission. Right?

Here’s a steamy little New Year’s snippet from WARRIOR MINE.

A few days after Christmas, Blake and Amy volunteered to keep an eye on Grant and Emma while Scott took Jackie to the city for New Year’s Eve, which also happened to be his birthday.  Ready to let go of his apartment, it was the perfect time to retrieve the few things he had there worth keeping.

Odd as it seemed to him, given the fact that he was ending his lease, he was excited to show her the place he’d considered home for the past ten years.  He planned on showing her some of his favorite haunts, too, even driving past the BDSM club on their way to the apartment. 

“They’ll have a big masked ball for New Year’s Eve,” he’d commented, thinking of the parties he’d attended in years past.

Jackie had gazed thoughtfully at the building as they went by.  As Scott knew, there was nothing to set the building apart from the other surrounding office buildings, no obvious outward sign of the nature of the space.  The club operated discreetly, ensuring members their privacy. 

Once they’d arrived at his apartment, Jackie was unusually quiet.  He’d known she was debating something in her mind; once again, those wheels were turning.  Certain that she’d open up to him when she was ready, he chose to leave her to her thoughts as they began to sort through what he’d pack and keep, and what he’d throw away. 

Which hadn’t taken long, actually.  They finished within a couple of hours.  After the final boxes were loaded into the back of the red antique pick-up truck and secured beneath a heavy black tarp, Scott and Jackie headed back upstairs. 

The sun, barely visible for the heavy grey clouds that promised more snow, was just beginning to set, and his growling stomach reminded him that their lunch stop in Hamilton had been hours ago.  While Jackie slipped into the bathroom, Scott started thinking about where they might go for dinner.

But thoughts of dinner left him when Jackie emerged from the bathroom completely nude.  Without a word, she walked to him, eyes downcast, and knelt at his feet. 

Every D/s couple has their own protocols, he knew.  Some Doms keep regular schedules, like clockwork, expecting the sub to perform certain tasks at certain times.  A sub like Jackie, though, he liked to keep on her toes.  He’d never established a specific routine, preferring to tell her what he wanted from her in the moment.  She’d never initiated knee time before.  So he was intrigued.

“Well, Princess, you have my complete attention.”

She kept her head down, hands resting palms up on her thighs, her nipples sharp points in the chill of the apartment.

He watched her for a moment, his erection straining against his jeans.  “Speak, Princess.  What’s on your mind?”

“Tomorrow is your birthday, Sire.  I’d like to offer you a gift.”  She kept her head down as she spoke, a fact that pleased Scott endlessly.  Warrior that she was, when Jackie surrendered to him, it was thrilling.

Lightly, he stroked her dark silky hair.  “It is my birthday tomorrow.  And it’s New Year’s Eve.  What gift are you offering?”  He pictured his cock in her mouth and his erection grew.

She hesitated slightly.  “I’d like to accompany you to the club tomorrow night.  I’d like to submit to you in public.”

Scott blinked.  It was not what he’d expected.  He exhaled heavily, scrubbing a hand across his lips.  “I love you so much, Princess.” 

He squatted down, taking her hands in his.  She looked up at him, uncertainty in her eyes.  He knew that, private person that Jackie was, going to the club wasn’t something she wanted to do.  But she wanted to do it for him, to make him happy, to give a gift of herself.

“And I love your offer.  You know, it’s always been a dream of mine to go to the club and play with my own submissive.” 

He gazed at her solemnly.  “But then I met you.”  He shook his head.  “Jackie, you changed everything.” 

Standing, he held her hands and helped her stand.  “I probably should have mentioned it before, but I canceled my club membership a couple of months ago.  It just didn’t seem worth it.”

Her brow furrowed in a frown.  “You canceled your membership?  That’s just…”  She looked up to him, tears in her deep blue eyes.  “I thought I’d come up with the perfect idea for your birthday gift.”

She was so serious, he had to laugh.  “Jackie, just the fact that you offered to go is a huge gift.”  He quirked an eyebrow.  “I wouldn’t turn down a blowjob, though.”

They never managed to leave the apartment for dinner that night.  After Jackie took all of him in her mouth, he fucked her face until he shot his load down her throat.  Then he bent her over the kitchen counter and fucked her again, using his fingers to press against her clit until she cried out with pleasure. 

Later, they had Chinese food delivered, which they ate sitting propped up in bed as they watched the lights of the city.

The following day, they slept late, enjoying the rare luxury of lounging in bed together without interruption.  In the early evening, they ventured out to a restaurant within walking distance of the apartment.  On a normal night, a table would be relatively easy to find, but since it was New Year’s Eve, Scott had phoned ahead for a reservation. 

Dressed nicely for the occasion, they were shown to a table in the restaurant’s solarium, where they could watch the snow swirling in the light winter breeze.  A candle flickered on the table as a sommelier poured a glass of Sauvignon blanc for each of them.

Jackie lifted her glass.  “Happy Birthday, Sire,” she said softly.

His eyes twinkled in the candlelight.  “Thank you.  And Happy New Year.” 

They sat watching the snow for a while.  Occasionally, they chatted quietly about Scott’s upcoming sessions or the new baby.  But for all the elegance of the restaurant and the beauty of the snow outside, the place seemed noisy to Scott. 

Maybe it’s the fact that we live in such a remote place, we’re used to it being a lot quieter

At a nearby table, someone dropped a fork on the tile floor, and the echo was jarring.  When he looked across the table at Jackie, she smiled softly, and he knew she was thinking the same thing.

“It’s kind of loud in here,” she observed softly.

Suddenly, someone sneezed ferociously, and they both burst out laughing.

“Ah, Jackie, I’m so happy to be here with you tonight.”  He squeezed her hand lovingly.

Following dinner, their server brought a slice of raspberry cheesecake with a candle. 

“Happy Birthday,” Jackie smiled.

He frowned slightly.  “How did they know it’s my birthday?”

“My King is not the only one who can pick up a phone,” she smirked proudly.

On their way back home, they picked up a chilled bottle of champagne.  Back in the apartment, while Scott poured the wine, Jackie changed into the periwinkle silk gown she’d worn so many months before.  While she now had several, it was Scott’s favorite. 

He lit a few candles and spread a heavy quilt in front of the floor to ceiling window overlooking the city.  Then he stripped naked and sat cross-legged in the center of the blanket.  Champagne glasses resting on the floor, Jackie lowered herself onto his lap, wrapping her legs around him.  He gripped her ass, bare beneath the gown, and she leaned forward, capturing his lips with hers.

She broke the kiss to lightly trace down his neck with her lips.  “Happy Birthday, Sire,” she murmured against his skin.  She leaned back a bit and shrugged her left shoulder.  The strap of her gown slipped down her arm.

“Oh, that perfect breast.”  Scott leaned forward to take her rose-tipped nipple in his mouth.

Jackie shrugged off the other strap and the gown settled around her waist as she leaned up to position herself over his rigid cock.  Locking eyes with him, she slid down his length as he groaned with pleasure.

Hands on his shoulders for balance, she rode him, slowly at first, then increasing her tempo as both their moments neared.  Just as they cried out in release, the first of the fireworks burst in silver and red sparkles over the city. “Happy New Year, Princess.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

WARRIOR MINE is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/WarriorMine

Weekend Excerpt–A Different Kind of Christmas

It’s Orphans & Misfits Christmas 2.0,
this time at Michael’s place.
My, how times have changed.

The RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION trilogy is the story of high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and his complicated relationship with Maggie Flynn, the smart redhead he hired to join his elite law firm. The three books span nearly a decade of their lives, and in this snippet from the third book, RANSOMING REDEMPTION, life has taken some big detours.

Michael glanced around his living room and sighed deeply as an unfamiliar wave of contentment washed over him.  He’d missed the Orphans and Misfits since he and Maggie had parted ways and had forgotten how much he’d enjoyed being in the midst of all the joyful chaos.

After their late-afternoon buffet-style dinner, the handful of children in attendance opened their gifts.  Then Ben headed up the annual gift exchange, handing out numbers and presiding over the picks and swaps.  Maggie and some of the others set out dessert on the dining room table and made sure that the bar was stocked with plenty of cups and ice so that everyone felt free to help themselves.

Ensconced in his spot close to the windows at the far end of the huge leather sectional, Michael realized that everywhere he looked, he saw people who were connected in some way to himself or Maggie or both.  Rance, Jason and a few more were out on the terrace taking in the view.  A handful of others watched a football game on television.  Across the room, Nate and Ben chatted with a petite blonde woman. 

That’s Casey, Maggie’s friend from law school, he reminded himself.  Casey’s husband John was on the floor in front of the Christmas tree with their little boy, putting together something with Legos.  Closer to Michael, sitting on the floor leaning against the sectional, Maggie was playing a game of peek-a-boo with a toddler who was sitting on her lap.  

That must be Casey’s daughter, he thought, judging by the little girl’s nearly white blonde hair.  In his mind’s eye, he saw Maggie playing the game with a red haired child, and he smiled contentedly.  It’s all coming together.  

Veronica slid onto the sofa beside him.  “You’re looking awfully pleased with yourself.”

Michael grinned.  “That’s because when you’re good, you’re good.  And I’m good.”  He winked at her.

“And oh, so humble,” she purred, fixing him with a mocking exasperated smirk.

Casey joined Maggie on the floor.  “How’s Princess Nastypants doing?” she asked, taking her daughter from Maggie.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, this is the sweetest child,” Maggie said, laughing.

“Well, she’s momentarily charmed by her Aunt Maggie, but don’t let her fool you.  We’re up to our eyeballs in the ‘terrible twos.’ ”

Afternoon blended into evening as dusk fell, and Maggie noticed that not only had no one left, they all looked as though they were settling in for a long stay, some even helping themselves to plates of leftovers. 

“How are you feeling, Michael?” she asked, squatting beside him.  “Should I start shooing people out of here?”

“Don’t be silly, Mags,” he said, flashing his best Michael Rannigan grin.  “Everybody’s enjoying themselves.  This is the nicest Christmas I’ve had in a long time.”

She looked up at him and smiled, squeezing his hand.  “I’m really glad.” 

As she made her way back to the kitchen, her phone buzzed in her pocket. Finally.  Bobby had called early in the morning and they’d chatted briefly, but they hadn’t had another chance to talk all day.

“Hey there, cher,” he greeted her.  “How’s my best girl?”

Maggie laughed into the phone.  “I’m better now.  I’ve missed you all day, but I know you were busy.  We’ve been busy here, too, come to that.”  She walked down the hallway for more privacy. 

“Would you believe that everyone is still at Michael’s?” she whispered.  “Nobody has left yet.”

 “No?”

“I asked Michael if I should start moving them along, but he seems happy to have them.”

Bobby laughed.  “It sounds like you throw a hell of a party.  Nobody wants to leave.”

“How was your day?  Did Savannah like her present?”  Maggie had sent Bobby with a portable artist’s kit to give the little girl.

“She just loved it.”  Maggie could hear the smile in his voice.  “That child had more stuff by the end of the morning than you would believe.”

Maggie laughed happily.  “Well, good.  I’m so glad.”  She sighed.  “I just wish you were here.”

“Me too, cher, believe me.”

“Do I need to let you go?” she asked.

“Yeah, I should probably get off the phone.”

 “Okay, then,” she breathed.  “I love you.”

 “I love you, too, Maggie.  I’ll see you soon.”

Maggie disconnected and made her way back down the hallway towards the living room which was as full of people as ever.  It seemed less than fair somehow that everyone had someone with them today.  Casey had John, Ben had Nate, Rance had Jason, hell, even Michael had Veronica   Whatever happened to the Orphans and Misfits?  She knew she was being petty and tried to shrug it off.

Across the room, Michael looked tired and he was using his oxygen again.  She wondered briefly whether she should just start moving people along in spite of what he’d said.  A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts.

“Hey Mags, could you get that?” Michael asked.

Sighing to herself, she crossed to the door, wondering who’d locked themselves out.  She didn’t notice that as she swung open the door the room fell silent.

“Merry Christmas, cher.”

Momentarily speechless, she froze for second before launching herself into Bobby’s arms.  He had to take a step back to keep from falling. 

“Well, I’m glad to see you, too,” he laughed.

Through tears, she sputtered, “But…I mean, what…How did you…”

“Calm down,” he laughed as he carried her into the room.  “Merry Christmas, everybody.”  Bobby gently set Maggie down, and she gripped his hand in hers, unwilling to lose contact with him.

Casey brought a plate of food from the kitchen.  “Hi, I’m Casey.  I figured you were probably hungry.”

Bobby bestowed on her his best lop-sided grin.  “Nice to meet you, Casey.  I’m Bobby.  And thanks, I am pretty hungry.”  He took a seat on the end of the sectional, nodding at Michael.  “Merry Christmas, man.”

Michael smiled, his eyes crinkling.  “Merry Christmas, Beau.  Glad you could join us.”

As Bobby ate, Maggie introduced him to those he hadn’t met.  While everyone went back to their own conversations, she peppered him with questions.  “What happened?  Did you really call me from the hall?  Why did you come back tonight?  I thought you were staying in Louisiana for a couple more days.”

“I wanted to surprise you,” he grinned.

“Well…you did.  I’m so glad.”

Taking her hand, he kissed it gently.  “Let’s go get a breath of fresh air.”  He stood and held her hand, helping her up, and they let themselves out onto the terrace.  The cool air was a nice change from the warmth of the crowded apartment.  They walked to the railing and stood side by side looking out over the city with its sparkling lights and flurrying snow.

“It’s such a beautiful night,” Bobby murmured, and Maggie nodded, tucking her arm around his and resting her head on his shoulder.  “Such a beautiful lady.”

She looked up at him, and he kissed her lightly.  “When I think back on that day that your shoe broke,” he looked down and she giggled, “that seems like the luckiest day of my life.  I think of all the things that had to happen for us to meet at that moment.”  He gazed down at her.  “It’s like it was meant to be.”

He took both Maggie’s hands in his and faced her.  “I love you with all my heart.  I don’t ever want to know a day without you in my life.”  His eyes glittered with emotion and he slowly lowered himself to one knee.  Maggie’s jaw dropped, and her eyes widened.

“So I’m asking…Maggie, will you marry me?”

Maggie felt all the breath leave her body.  In a mad rush, memories from the last few years swirled through her mind, her infatuation with Michael, her engagement to Mike, her resolve to remain alone, that day she and Bobby had met. 

She looked down into Bobby’s eyes and saw a twinge of anxiety and realized she hadn’t answered.  Unable to formulate the words, she nodded vigorously as tears filled her eyes.  Two things happened simultaneously.  Relief instantly flooded Bobby’s face, and raucous cheers went up from the crowd who’d pressed up against the living room windows to watch.

“You had me worried for a minute there, cher,” he laughed.  He reached into his pocket and removed a small midnight blue velvet box.  Opening it, he removed something and slid it onto Maggie’s left ring finger.  “You’ve made me the happiest man in the world.”  He stood and gazed down into her eyes before lifting her chin and kissing her passionately.  Again, their audience cheered loudly.

“Bobby, it’s absolutely beautiful,” Maggie said.  “I love it!”

He laughed.  “You can’t even see it.  I hadn’t counted on it being so dark out here.  Come on, let’s go on inside.”

Hand in hand, they went back inside the apartment to the hearty congratulations of their friends.  In the light of a lamp beside Michael, Maggie and Bobby looked at the ring.  The band of delicate platinum filigree held a huge emerald-cut diamond surrounded by dozens of smaller diamonds. 

“Oh, Bobby,” she gasped.  “It’s unbelievably beautiful.  So delicate and vintage-looking.”  She turned and threw her arms around his neck.  “I love it!”

“Oh, for God’s sake, can we finally open the champagne?” Ben called out.  As champagne was poured and glasses were passed around, Maggie looked down at Michael who had a Cheshire grin on his face.

“This is the gift Bobby showed you?” she said, tilting the ring his way.  Realization dawned on her.  “And it wasn’t leftover champagne?  And this is why nobody would leave?”

“Everybody except you knew this was an engagement party, Mags,” he said quietly.

“Well, I guess it’s a good thing I said yes,” she said.

“Oh, like you would have said no,” Casey quipped, and everyone laughed.

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION by Pandora Spocks

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION is:
RESISTING RISK
RUNNING ROGUE
RANSOMING REDEMPTION
The books are available individually or as a boxed set.
books2read.com/RannigansRedemption

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–Christmas at Lake Miranda

When single mom Jackie Walker meets Scott Nielsen, she realizes she might be ready to take another chance on love. Scott, her brother’s best friend, has come to Lake Miranda with dreams of starting his own wilderness school. And he is drawn to Jackie from the start.

But he’s Dominant. Is there any way this strong, independent woman will ever agree to gift him with her submission?

Fun Fact: WARRIOR MINE is actually a spin-off from Dream Dominant Book 2, LOST & BOUND. Readers were intrigued by supporting characters Scott and Jackie, so they got their own story.

Here’s a Christmas teaser from WARRIOR MINE.

On Christmas Eve, after the kids had gone to bed, the adults gathered around the enormous festively-decorated white spruce.  Light Christmas jazz played in the background, and outside the floor to ceiling windows, snow swirled lazily in the half moonlight. 

Jackie handed Amy a mug of warm mulled cider and settled beside her on a leather sofa with a mug of her own.  On the floor, Scott and Blake sat amid the scattered pieces of a pink Barbie house ‘Santa’ had found on sale months earlier and had put away until now. 

Winking at Amy, Jackie suppressed a smile.  “Did you guys read the instructions?”

“We don’t need the damn instructions,” Blake huffed, pushing a stray lock of dark hair out of his eyes.  “We’re two intelligent, grown men.  We can figure out how to put together a dollhouse.”

The women clinked their mugs and giggled gleefully.

Amy looked from Blake and Scott to the twinkling Christmas tree, and to Jackie.  “I love this.”  Her voice was soft, and though she smiled, a tear was in her eye.  “This is the Christmas I always wanted.”

Jackie’s heart melted, and she reached for Amy’s hand.  “I’m so happy you’re here.”

Blake pushed up from the floor and pressed a tender kiss to Amy’s temple.  “This is our life, kitten.  This is our family, your family.  You belong here.” 

Jackie smiled across the room at Scott, who winked at her, and she felt a familiar tummy flutter.  She loved the man more than she’d thought humanly possible.  And when summer came, she’d marry him. 

After Blake and Amy retired to the guest room, Scott and Jackie went to bed, quietly making love, then holding each other until late into the night. 

They awoke to a bright sunny day, the sky crystal cerulean, the sun reflecting brilliantly off the sparkling snow.  Emma and Grant squealed excitedly as they saw the mountain of gifts under the tree.  Scott sat at the end of the sofa and Jackie snuggled up beside him, each of them sipping steaming mugs of coffee.  Blake and Amy sat opposite them on the sofa’s twin, smiling as they watched the children tearing into their gifts.

Once they were finished, the kids had fun delivering gifts to the adults.  Finally, all the gifts were opened.  Blake and Amy gave each other a conspiratorial look.  “We have a few more gifts,” Amy said.

“More?” Jackie echoed, thinking of the extravagant handbag for her, and the top of the line boots for Scott.  “You’ve done so much already, seriously.”

Blake reached behind the sofa and picked up four identical shirt boxes wrapped in metallic red paper.  He glanced at the tags and handed one to each of the children and to Jackie and Scott.

Amy leaned forward excitedly.  “You have to open them all together.  Ready?  One, two, three!”

With a bemused glance at Scott, Jackie carefully opened her box.  Grant and Emma ripped theirs open.  “It’s a shirt,” Emma said, holding up a pink t-shirt. 

Grant peered into the box.  “Thanks, Aunt Amy,” he said, making an effort to sound enthused about a shirt.  “It sure is…pink.”

Scott tilted his head as he looked at his, then elbowed Jackie lightly.  She looked at his, then gaped at hers.  In sparkling letters across pink cotton, she read, World’s Greatest Aunt.

Jackie gasped.  “I knew it!  I knew you were pregnant!  I’m so excited for you!” she squealed, rushing over to give Amy and Blake a big hug.

 “We didn’t want to tell anyone until we knew everything was going to be okay,” Amy explained. 

“Cool,” Grant said, pulling his new shirt over his head, “we’re going to be cousins!”

“Aunt Amy, are you having a boy baby or a girl baby?” Emma asked.

Blake grinned.  “It’s a little girl.  That’s why we gave you pink shirts.”

“Congratulations, man!”  Scott grinned as Blake stood and the two embraced.  “That’s great news.”

“I can’t believe it.”  He shook his head.  “I’m going to be a dad.”

Jackie sank onto the sofa beside Amy.  “A little girl,” she shook her head smiling.  “That’s fantastic.”

Amy nodded, eyes shining.  “Do you want to see the ultrasound pictures?”

“I’ll get them,” Blake said, heading in the direction of the guest room.

Grant and Emma returned to their new toys.  Scott perched on the arm of the sofa next to Jackie.  “I’m so happy for you two,” he told Amy.  She laughed happily. 

From the direction of the guest room, they heard a tiny yip.  Jackie frowned.  “What was that?”

Eyes wide, Amy gave an exaggerated shrug.  “I have no idea.”

“Uh oh,” Blake called from the guest room.  “I think I found another present.”

Jackie looked up to see a shaggy black puppy with a huge red bow come running into the room.  He ran straight to the kids, yipping excitedly.

“A puppy,” Emma squealed.

Grant squinted at the tag on the big red bow and gasped.  “Mom!  It’s for us, from Santa!”

Blake leaned against the doorway looking pleased with himself. 

“From Santa, huh?”

“I think Grandma and Grandpa might have mentioned it to the big guy,” Blake grinned.

Oh, for f—” Jackie glanced up at Scott.  “Did you know about this?”

He raised his hands in surrender.  “I promise, I knew nothing about a puppy.”

“They love Bear so much, they need one of their own,” Amy said, smiling.

“So, what are you going to name him?” Blake asked.

Brow furrowed, Grant watched the Newfie puppy for a moment.  “Max.  He looks like a Max to me.”

Ruffling the puppy’s ears, Emma nodded enthusiastically.  “Yeah.  Max.”

Jackie shook her head.  “He’s cute, I’ll give you that.  But I still want to see those ultrasound pictures of my niece.” 

WARRION MINE by Pandora Spocks

WARRIOR MINE is Dream Dominant Book 4.
It’s available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/WarriorMine