COWBOY DREAMING Silhouette Desire by Shawna Delacorte reissued by Harlequin in ebook
G-EXCERPT #2: (First Kiss)
Any guilt or regret she might have felt over her rash statement immediately disappeared, igniting a volatile exchange of words. “How dare you—”
“Don’t try to hand me that indignant act. If Buck thinks of me as a son, then maybe it’s because you were never—”
“Maybe he wanted a son but what he got was a daughter!” She could not hold back the tears as a lifetime of hurt overflowed the place inside where she had tried to lock it away. “A daughter he ignored and never really wanted.” A sob caught in her throat and the rest of her words came out in a hushed quaver. “A daughter who would have given anything if only her father had loved her.”
If Melanie’s earlier allegations about his honesty shocked Cody, then her tears really threw him for a loop. There was no doubt in his mind that Buck Winslow adored his daughter and had been through his own private hell. Buck had suffered the untimely loss of his wife only to have the emotional upheaval compounded when his only child had taken off for parts unknown.
Cody felt at a total loss. He did not know whether to be angry at Melanie for her personal attack against him, take her to task for her erroneous comments about Buck or attempt to comfort the obviously distraught woman who was going through her own emotional stress. Her pain showed through the sheen of tears that filled her eyes. The tender feelings he had been trying to suppress from the moment he turned on the living-room light and saw her sprawled on the floor finally won out.
He was not sure what to say to her, but he did know what to do. He reached out and gently wiped away the wet trails that ran down her cheeks, then he pulled her into his arms and wrapped her in the warmth of his embrace. He threaded his fingers through her hair and nestled her head against his shoulder.
An almost inaudible sigh escaped his throat as he took a calming breath. His words came out in a whisper. “Tell me, Melanie Winslow, why are you here? Why did you pick this time to show up? You said you didn’t know about Buck’s health—”
The warm feeling he had coaxed through the thin shield of Mel’s hostility did not last long. She snapped her head back and started to shove away from him. “Do you think I—”
He placed his fingertips against her lips to silence what had started as yet another angry outburst. “It seems our agreed upon truce didn’t last very long the first time. What do you say to giving it another try? I believe what you said about not being aware of Buck’s health. I’m just trying to get straight in my mind exactly why you’re here.” He lifted her chin with his fingertips until he could look fully into her face and eyes. “What is it you want?” He felt the length of her body press against his as she tentatively returned his embrace. His voice took on a husky quality. “Why did you come back?”
“I…I’m not sure.” She could barely get out the words. The full force of his magnetism had totally and completely enveloped her. It was hard to tell which of them made the first move, whether he lowered his head or she raised hers, but a moment later his lips were on hers. The same quiver of excitement passed through her body as had earlier that day when she awoke in the hayloft to find he was real, not just part of her dream. His mouth insisted without being demanding. His kiss crystallized one thought beyond any doubt—she wanted more of him, so very much more.
He had not been sure about kissing her, had not made it a conscious part of his conduct. It had almost been an involuntary action, much like breathing. But now that he had started he did not want to stop. Her mouth was soft and sensual, her taste every bit as delicious as he knew it would be. He flicked his tongue across her lower lip, fully intending to explore what lay beyond.
“Hey, Cody! Are you in there?”
The shout had come from the side door of the barn, completely shattering the tender moment they were sharing—a moment that was on the verge of bursting into flame.
COWBOY DREAMING, a Harlequin Desire by Shawna Delacorte, has been reissued in ebook available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Also available at Barnes and Noble in NookBooks www.bn.com and Amazon for Kindle www.amazon.com Information is available on my website www.shawnadelacorte.com
When Melanie Winslow returned to the Colorado ranch where she was raised, she never expected to find herself stranded in a mountain cabin with Cody Chandler. The rugged ranch manager was the answer to every daydream Melanie had ever had about strong, sexy cowboys.
But this one was real, with a kiss that made Melanie’s heart beat faster, and a smile that hinted at the most intimate things. The trouble was, the last thing Melanie intended to do was fall in love with an untamed cowboy—no matter how perfect he seemed. If only her heart felt the same way….