OUT OF THE BOX AWAKENING
Out of the Box series, book 1
by Jennifer Theriot
OUT OF THE BOX AWAKENING
Out of the Box series, book 1
by Jennifer Theriot
Pam of Babylon series, book 15
by Suzanne Jenkins
DREAMS AND PROMISES
Continue reading “Dreams and Promises”
There is a street that follows the water along the South Beach of Miami. Its name is Ocean Drive.
Among the excitement of South Beach, Kate Olesen has the perfect weekend romance with a mysterious and sexy artist. Jaded from her time as a divorce attorney, Kate is not willing to look past the two days and she returns home to Chicago. However, she can’t deny that this man that has changed her forever. Can she find a way to forget him…or does she even want to?
Dominic Price needs a woman that could see past his fame and fortune. He needs Kate. She’s brilliant, gorgeous and an art lover as well. This Midwestern girl is everything he’s been waiting for. Can he convince her to stay with him?
You would think that Kate Olesen would be used to flying in a personal jet by now. But it still felt like a dream every time she walked into the luxurious cabin. Her best friend Nicole had been married to Derek Stone, a retired MMA fighter turned vacation property developer, for almost a year now. Due to his extensive travel commitments, Derek had a private jet. A jet he was only too happy to send to pick up his wife’s best friend. Kate had spent the better part of the year visiting the couple once a month in a multitude of different resorts. Usually the Stones were in Mexico, but not this time. This time, she didn’t need her passport.
Kate had just landed in Miami and was in a cab on her way to the Stones’ hotel. The driver seemed to be in an awful hurry, weaving in and out of traffic while they crossed the causeway to Miami Beach. It was making her sick. Even with the window down, the humidity took over, making the inside of the car feel like a million degrees. The driver was humming to salsa music that was playing far too loudly.
“Is it a far drive?” she yelled up to the cab driver, trying to sound pleasant.
“Oh, maybe another fifteen minutes. I can speed up if you like.”
Speed up? Kate thought. “No rush, just curious,” she answered back, hoping that he didn’t dare increase the already nauseating pace. She might lose her breakfast if he did.
Kate wondered how bitchy she would feel if she was still subjected to flying coach on a commercial flight. She smiled at her embarrassing conceit. Kate didn’t like it when she was crabby, and she knew full well why she was. Ethan again.
She and Ethan had worked in the same law office for the past few years, and he had immediately caught her attention. No matter how much she tried to ignore it, she had a thing for him, like a school girl with a crush. She didn’t like feeling that way. She knew he liked her. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t in the way she hoped. Somehow, Kate had pulled off the “acting casual” thing far too well with him; Ethan seemed to see her as just one of the guys.
Usually that was okay with her, though some days were harder than others. Being a divorce attorney had made her a little jaded about relationships and marriage. It wasn’t anything she was interested in at the moment, anyway. Her career was going great; she was on track to be a partner before she was forty. That was what was important right now. She was married to her job and, so far, it was a great husband.
She leaned her head back on the seat and tried not to breathe in the sickly stale stench of the cab. Maybe that was her problem. Maybe she’d be fine once she could get out of this little sweat box. There were a lot of maybes going through her mind at the moment. So, she tried to concentrate on the fact that soon she would be in Miami Beach with her best friend, and all would be right with the world. Although Kate had traveled far more lately than she ever had before, it still felt like she needed this weekend away.
By the time Kate opened her eyes, they were in the South Beach area on Ocean Drive. She checked out the hotels, each with outdoor restaurant seating in front. She could see endless couples and groups of friends, drinking and having lunch. It was a gorgeous day, the sun shining bright. It already had her feeling better.
Nicole had told her that the hotel was a block inland. She and Derek had stayed at a hotel on Ocean Drive during one of his investigative visits and had barely slept, what with the music playing till all hours of the morning. Derek knew his clients would not want that for their guests. The location he found was perfect: in the middle of South Beach, one block’s walk from the excitement, but far enough away to provide a quiet night’s sleep. Collins Avenue had far more stores than bars, and its hotels had smaller bars with coffee shops, rather than a party atmosphere.
The cab driver pulled up to the Ocean Azul Hotel, and Kate immediately relaxed. She grabbed her overnight bag (she had become an expert packer), stepped out onto the sidewalk, and looked up at the hotel.
It had a beachy chic look- stark white interrupted by scattered blocks of blue. “Ocean Azul” was written in a bright turquoise blue vertically down the front. There was a small bar and restaurant in front with tables on either side of the entryway. It was perfect, and Kate loved it.
She found Nicole and Derek sitting at the table closest to the door. They looked deep in conversation and didn’t appear to have notice she had arrived. Then again, they never did. That’s how it had been since they met. Their worlds started and ended with each other. Deep down, Kate hoped that one day she may be lucky enough to find a love like that.
She walked right up to the table and didn’t get their attention until she sat down next to Nicole. They screamed at each other and hugged, like they always did. Derek got up and gave her a welcoming hug as well. Nicole was relieved to finally have Kate there. She loved their monthly weekend visits, and she was excited for her to see the hotel.
“How was the flight?” Nicole asked.
“That part was wonderful, as usual. The cab ride smelled like shit, but I’m glad to finally be here.” Kate crunched her face at the memory and leaned back in her chair, excited for her mini-vacation to begin. Derek hailed the server and ordered Kate a dirty martini without even asking her. She loved that he knew her almost as well as his wife did.
“Thank you,” she smiled at him. She really had come to love him like a brother.
“I’m going to leave you two to catch up,” he returned the smile, before wandering inside the hotel.
“The place looks amazing, Nic,” Kate said, looking around.
“It is great. Wait till you see inside! What shall we do first?” Nicole asked, taking a drink of her wine. Just then, her martini arrived, and Kate was ready to savor it.
“I don’t think I’ve been here since college,” Kate confessed. “I’m not sure what to do.”
“Did you think about the tattoo idea? We could do that tonight.” Nicole loved tattoos, and Kate had always teetered on the edge of getting one. This time, she was prepared to do it.
“I decided…yes!” she smiled, waiting for Nicole’s response.
Nicole was ecstatic. “Yes, finally! You can’t back out now. What are you getting?”
“I’ll show you a picture.” Kate pulled out her phone and opened it to a screenshot of a tattoo, a simple drawing of a little girl reaching for a red heart-shaped balloon.
“You have this on the wall of your apartment. What is it?” Nicole took the phone from her to get a better look.
“It’s the Girl with Balloon stencil from Bansky, the street artist. I love that there can be so many interpretations. What does the balloon represent, and is she reaching for it or releasing it?” Kate mused. “Depending on my mood, I see it differently. I’m thinking of getting it on the inside of my wrist or the back of my shoulder. I have to think of work, after all.”
Nicole wasn’t surprised at Kate’s choice. Kate had been an art history major in college before she decided to change her major to pre-law. So a tattoo involving artwork made perfect sense.
“I love it,” Nicole said. “There’s a tattoo shop that Derek suggested just down the street.”
“Great. But first, I want to get into the room and take a quick shower and change.” After that cab ride, Kate was a bit concerned that she could still notice that weird smell on her.
The lobby was beautiful and inviting, decorated in the art deco style. Large lamps offered soft lighting that warmed the stark white space, while the turquoise front desk created a splash of color that echoed the blue sections of the hotel’s exterior. They didn’t need to stop at the desk. Nicole already had Kate’s key. At the Stones’ properties, Nicole always had a key ready for Kate, and the room was always excessive for one person.
This place was no different. The door opened into a sitting area with two comfortable chairs and a huge TV on the wall. There was a small wet bar with mini-fridge and microwave. (Nicole always made sure Kate had a stock of tiny bottles of alcohol with a martini glass, vermouth, and shaker tin. It was a personal touch that Kate always appreciated.) The sitting room opened up to a bedroom with a king bed, side tables, dresser, and another large TV. The entire exterior was wall-to-wall windows with sliding glass doors that accessed a balcony. The windows were already opened, and the sounds of people talking and eating drifted up from the sidewalk below.
Nicole grabbed the remote and sat down in a chair, saying, “I’ll wait for you to get ready.” Since Kate’s trips were always just weekends, Nicole already knew she wouldn’t want to waste time relaxing in the room.
Kate turned on the shower and stared at herself in the mirror while she waited for the water to heat up. She was about 5’5” tall, with striking black hair that angled toward the front, dark brown eyes, and a little button nose. Her mouth was big, with a wide smile that made everyone in a room want to know what she was so happy about. Her skin was fair enough that she always expected to return home from these weekends with a freckled nose.
She could see Nicole through the reflection in the mirror. Her friend was sitting sideways in the big chair, her long legs flung over the arm rest. Kate loved that woman like a sister, but they looked absolutely nothing alike. Nicole was tall and tan, with long blond hair. Kate had never wished she was a blonde, though. She honestly liked the way she looked.
That brought Ethan back to the front of her thoughts. Was that the problem? Was he into tall blondes? He seemed to genuinely like Kate, but maybe she wasn’t his physical type. They laughed at work and hung out and had drinks with everyone. She just seemed to be stuck in the friend zone, and she wasn’t sure why. She had never brought it up with him; the very idea made her cringe.
“Girl, you need to get laid,” she said to the reflection in the mirror.
“What, babe?” Nicole asked loudly from the next room.
“Oh, just telling myself I need to get laid this weekend,” Kate laughed. She could always tell Nicole anything. There was no reason to feel self-conscious with her.
Nicole practically spit out her drink of water. “We’ll get right on that, honey,” she called back.
Kate showered and put on some makeup. Being an attorney, she had to dress rather conservatively at work, so she used these visits to have some fun with her clothes. Nicole was wearing a bright orange summer dress, so Kate chose a green backless number that stopped just above the knee and tied around her neck in a halter-style, with a little bow at the base of her back. When she was ready, she came out and turned around to show Nicole.
“I love it,” Nicole smiled at her.
“I’m thinking about the tattoo as well. If I decide on my shoulder, I figured this gave good access.”
“Plus, you’re bound to get laid wearing it,” Nicole joked.
“Perfect. Let’s go.”
Aubrey Parr waited until her she was forty to publish her first novel. Although she received her Master’s in Accounting, Aubrey always knew that she wanted to write. She was inspired by her great-uncle, author Evan S. Connell. She lives with her husband and daughter outside of Chicago, Illinois and is currently writing book 3 of her Love on… series. When Aubrey isn’t writing, she can be found with a book in her hand.
I have the pleasure of having Kristy McCaffrey here today.
She is a beautiful lady and extremely talented author. I am excited to read her new release.
Tell us a bit about yourself. I live in Arizona with my husband and two chocolate labs, Ranger and Lily. Our four children are mostly grown but still return home to litter the floor with laundry and eat all our food. I love to read, do yoga at home, and travel. I’ve been writing professionally for 13 years (historical western romances) and have published 6 novels, 1 long novella and several short stories.
How much research goes into your books, and how do you tackle that?
Since I enjoy research so much I can’t say if I do too much or too little. Over the years, however, I’ve gotten better at it—I don’t waste a lot of time investigating useless avenues. When I wrote my first book, THE WREN, I read an entire tome on the history of Texas. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with information. These days, I begin with a preliminary pass on setting and general history of an area before writing anything. After the first draft, I do specific research based on the needs of the story.
In your new release, THE BLUEBIRD, what sets your heroine Molly Rose Simms apart from all the other women in your hero’s (Jake McKenna) life? Why is she perfect for him?
Molly Rose is a dreamer but she’s never gone anywhere. Because Jake is an adventurer, she’s naturally drawn to him. In her, he sees the one thing he’s traveled the world to find—a sense of awe and wonder. He’s also in need of an anchor and doesn’t realize this until she blasts into his life.
Can you give us a little background on your hero Jake McKenna that’s only in your author notes, and not found in your story? What inspired you to create this character?
My initial impression of Jake was happy-go-lucky. The first 4 novels in my Wings of the West series were serious and heavy in the plotlines, so I really wanted to make this novel fun and adventurous. Jake has evolved into a worldly man, having traveled to far off places. I read a lot of historical memoirs and they helped to shape his character.
Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Keep going. It sounds cliché, but you truly learn by doing. It doesn’t seem like writing should be that hard, but it takes skill to work with words and imagery. I’m constantly learning new things. I really love it. You’ll know if you’re not meant to be a writer because the tediousness of it will easily drive you away. But if it doesn’t, then you’ve found your passion and your tribe.
Amazon or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.
99 cents for a limited time.
Can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Molly Rose Simms departs the Arizona Territory, eager for adventure, and travels to Colorado to visit her brother. Robert left two years ago to make his fortune in the booming silver town of Creede, and now Molly Rose hopes to convince him to accompany her to San Francisco, New York City, or even Europe. But Robert is nowhere to be found. All Molly Rose finds is his partner, a mysterious man known as The Jackal.
Jake McKenna has traveled the bustling streets of Istanbul, exotic ports in China, and the deserts of Morocco. His restless desire to explore has been the only constant in his life. When his search for the elusive and mythical Bluebird mining claim lands him a new partner, he must decide how far he’ll go to protect the stunning young woman who’s clearly in over her head. A home and hearth has never been on The Jackal’s agenda, but Molly Rose Simms is about to change his world in every conceivable way.
Please note: Contains mild violence and a sensuous love scene.
As Jake contemplated getting a good stiff drink himself, he glanced to the staircase and froze.
Molly descended slowly, her eyes cast downward as she lifted the front of the ornate gown she wore. The dark blue material showcased a figure her clothes had only hinted at before, and her hair swept away from her face into an array of curls that made Jake itch to bury his fingers into the tresses. Her bosom peeked enticingly from the ruffled edge of the gown, the creamy hue of her skin reminding him of a full moon in the warm embrace of a starless night.
His legs carried him closer to the bottom step as his eyes remained fixed on her, his heart racing. He hadn’t been this nervous around a woman since…well, ever.
He’d lost his virginity at age sixteen with an experienced madam in Casablanca, and from that moment on, women had been a pleasant diversion, nothing more.
Molly glanced up, startled by his presence, then an elated smile spread across her face. She hurried toward him but tripped on the gown and flew into his arms.
Jake caught her just in time before she hit the floor. “Too much sherry?” He gently eased her to her feet, holding her a tad longer than appropriate.
With a flushed face, she stepped back from his support and laughed, smoothing her hands down the gown. Her gaze swept around them and she cleared her throat, then she looked at him. “This dress is too long,” she whispered. Then she gushed, “I’m very happy to see you.”
Her enthusiasm jolted right through him, and his mind went blank as he basked under her attention. It was far more potent than he’d recalled, and he’d been doing nothing but recalling everything about her since they’d parted ways…her eyes that shifted from sea-green to the deepest azure depending on the light, her heart-shaped face, her stubborn tenacity in standing up to Lannigan, and her obvious deep love for Robert. He’d even missed her sarcastic wit. She’d been on his mind almost nonstop.
“I’m glad you didn’t forget me,” he murmured.
“I’ve been worried ever since I left you and Pedro…I didn’t think I’d see you tonight. Does Lannigan know you’re here?”
Jake recovered himself. “He does. It’ll be fine. I doubt he’ll make a scene—there are too many witnesses.”
Molly tugged at the bodice of the gown, then at the tiny sleeves.
“Stop fidgeting,” he said. “You look beautiful.”
Bridget strode up to them. “Mister McKenna, Papa didn’t tell me you were here. Have you been introduced to Robert’s sister?”
“Yes, we’re acquainted.”
Bridget snagged Molly’s gaze and raised an eyebrow. Subtlety wasn’t Bridget’s strong suit.
“Splendid,” Bridget said. “Molly is visiting from Arizona.”
Bridget’s nose crinkled in frustration. “Then you won’t mind if I borrow her so that she has the opportunity to meet some of our other guests.”
Bridget hooked an arm into Molly’s and dragged her away but not before Molly cast a glance over her shoulder. Jake wanted to think it was filled with longing from having to leave his company, but he suspected she just wanted to escape Bridget.
He exhaled his disappointment over the brevity of the encounter and tried not to gawk at her retreating backside.
He needed a whiskey.
It was going to be a long night.
Copyright © 2016 K. McCaffrey LLC
Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. She’s the author of several historical western romances, all set in the American southwest. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, two chocolate labs, and whichever of their four teenaged children happen to be in residence. She loves to travel and frequently blogs about her adventures.
Blog ~ Pathways: http://www.kristymccaffrey.blogspot.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2erVsze
A Mystery Genre
Which Path Will You Choose?
Phoenix Johnson, Kylie Price,
Charlene Raddon, Scarlett J Rose and
What secret has been uncovered in a disused mine? Something is not as it should be. The scene is set, the beginning in place BUT there are five different endings.
The path is up to you.
The story unfolds in the way YOU decide.
Five Authors – Kylie Price, Margaret Tanner, Charlene Raddon,
Scarlett J. Rose and Susan Horsnell.
Five Genres – Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Time Travel or Contemporary/Western
Which path will you choose to uncover the secret?
Detective Callum Palmer dragged his fingers through his thick hair. He had a murder to solve. A pile of skeletons had been found in an old mine shaft, and he’d been assigned the case. He and his new partner, who had yet to show up. Irritated, he paced the precinct floor.
“Calm down, Palmer,” one of the other detectives said, “You’re driving me nuts.”
“Tough shit,” Callum shot back at him.
A small woman dressed in black entered the room and his line of vision. A real looker. Callum wondered who she was and what she was doing there. Her posture and dress gave an image of a professional. Not the type of victim he usually dealt with.
“Detective Callum Palmer?” she said.
“Yes?” Oh oh. Callum hoped the thought that just popped into his head proved wrong.
She held out a hand so delicate, he feared he’d break those tiny bones if he grasped it. “My name is Detective Olivia Hansen. I’m your new partner.”
Fuck. They sent me a female partner? Great. Fucking great. Resigned, he took her hand. “All right, Hansen. You’re just in time. Come with me. A murder has been called in and we’ve been given the job of investigating it.”
“Fine,” she said. “Nothing I like better than to keep busy.”
Turning away, Callum rolled his eyes, and led the way to his car.
Contemporary: Do the mysterious bones belong to someone closer to home than Callum and Olivia realize, discover the secrets that one of them is hiding.
Historical: He stole his dead brother’s identity, then his wife. What happened in 19th Century Australia and who do the bones really belong to?
Paranormal: Do the mystery bones belong to someone in the supernatural world and how does a secret affect Olivia?
Time Travel: Murder, kidnapping, child abuse, time travel, and the healing gift of love.
Contemporary/Western: A sinister rancher is hell bent on getting what he wants regardless of who it will hurt… does he find himself buried instead?
Eighteen-year-old Penelope Langton lives a quiet life as a cook for a wealthy family in 1880 Chicago. She’s resigned that her life will remain routine and uneventful. Marriage is the furthest thing from her mind. Her best friend tries to convince her to leave before her employer’s despicable nephew returns for the summer.
Penelope believes her friend’s plan to become a mail-order bride is foolish. With her friend gone and the family’s nephew’s early arrival, Penelope finds herself fighting for her virtue and looking for employment.
Will Penelope find a way to freedom and safety by becoming a mail-order bride? A visit to the matchmaker seems her only way out, but will her new life as a bride be more complicated than the life she leaves behind?
Meet Penelope and the wonderful, heart-warming residents in the town of Gentle Falls in this sweet historical romance.
The train wheels screeched jerking to a stop, and Penelope stood her legs a bit shaky. She reached up and took down her satchel. She carried it in one hand and her reticule in the other. Ready or not, she stepped off the train to meet her future.
Penelope watched people greet others. People left the train and others hurried to board it before it left. She heard the train whistle and the conductor call out for passengers to hurry aboard. The platform was emptying, and she felt very alone. The people standing around seemed to know each other. She didn’t see a young man anywhere. Where was Matthew? Panic ripped through her. Was it a joke? Surely not if he paid money for a ticket. Maybe he was a womanizer and was busy with another woman and forgot about her. That must be it. He wasn’t coming. She said a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the extra money Mrs. Carster gave her. She could afford a room in the hotel or rooming house until the sheriff found Matthew and he sent her home. She wanted to go back. Although she didn’t have a home, she could go to Aggie’s. That was her plan. She’d find a rooming house, look for Matthew, get a return ticket, go back to Aggie’s, and find a job in Chicago. She was an excellent cook. The mayor’s wife loved her chocolate cake. She could find employment in a restaurant or bakery. She could do this. She picked up her satchel and headed toward the ticket office to inquire about a boarding house when she heard her name.
Penelope turned at the sound of her name expecting to see Matthew although the voice she heard was female. “Miss Penelope Langton,” an attractive dark haired woman close to her mother’s age called.
Penelope nodded, “Yes, that’s me.” She walked toward the woman and the tall older man standing next to her.
The woman reached out and shook Penelope’s hand. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Miranda Greiner, and this is my husband, Roy.”
The man nodded.
Miranda continued, “Matthew works on our farm. We met your train to make sure you’re all right and to let you know Mathew’s gone.”
“Gone?” Penelope gasped not being able to stop the tears that immediately ran freely down her cheeks. “Why does everyone die? Why me? What have I ever done?” Her sobs increased, and she couldn’t speak.
I was born in Wisconsin and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love historical sites, eerie places, and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and Saturday afternoon Westerns at the movies. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie or American Western. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published fourteen books in four genres: historical romance, paranormal, cozy mystery and tried my hand at a thriller, Kathryn’s Justice. I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.
Claire is left alone and desperate after her parents are killed in a stagecoach accident. She is the only heir to their successful horse ranch but she risks losing everything.
Peter dreams of retiring from being a Marshall and owning a ranch of his own some day. When he is asked to be Claire’s Mail Order husband, he cannot say no.
Will Claire survive to be with the man who has finally broken down her barriers and captured her heart?
Completely re-written, edited and new character names – May 2016
#Western Romance #Marshall #Wild West
Cora, Bride of South Dakota is fortieth in the unprecedented 50-book American Mail-Order Brides series.
Cora Ancelet’s father hates her.
When a fire ravages the factory where she works, her father orders her to find another source of employment or marry his evil political ally, a man old enough to be her grandfather.
After being handed a Grooms’ Gazette, Cora takes the desperate step of becoming a Mail Order Bride.
John Franklin wants a woman to wake up to. A woman who will love him and his ranch, and ultimately give him the children he craves.
Will placing an advertisement for a Mail Order Bride turn out to be the best decision he has ever made for both him and Cora or, is tragedy afoot?
Cora stepped onto the platform in Rapid City and glanced around. She searched for John amongst the milling crowd. Her hands shook nervously as she clutched her reticule. This is it. You’re about to meet the man who is to be your husband.
“Miss Brown. Miss Rose Brown?” the station porter asked.
“Yes,” she answered.
“Your luggage is by the waiting room for you,” the man said.
Before Cora could thank him and offer a coin, he scurried away. She returned to searching the thinning crowd for John’s face.
Then, not ten feet away, she saw him for the first time. He seemed to be searching for her but how he was ever expecting to find her, she didn’t know. Cora had never sent him a picture, only a description.
She took advantage of her knowledge to study her intended. His picture did not do him justice. This was the man who was to become her husband and wow, what a man! He was tall, really tall. His blonde hair showed signs of being bleached by long hours in the sun. His skin was golden brown, his lips full and definitely kissable. But, his eyes were what snared her attention. They were the brightest blue she had ever seen, bluer than the sky on a bright summer’s day.
Her eyes continued their perusal. His coat was unbuttoned, his shirt pulled taut against his broad chest. A belt with a large buckle cinched the jeans at his narrow waist. His legs were long but judging by how tight his pants hugged his thighs, they were also muscular. She sighed loudly. The man was more handsome than she’d dreamed despite the scar on his face. She swallowed hard and tentatively stepped towards him.
“Mr. Franklin, I’m Cora” Her voice was husky with nerves and she offered a shaky, gloved hand.
“But, the porter called you, Miss Brown.” John was confused, he ignored Cora’s hand and his beautiful blue eyes narrowed. “I assume you have an explanation. I can’t abide liars.”
The tone of his voice was more serious than angry but it still caused Cora to tremble and step back a pace. What if he didn’t understand and sent her back?
“Mr. Franklin, I promise I can explain if you give me a chance. Is there somewhere we can go and talk?”
John heard the pleading note in her voice and his annoyance settled. “Very well.” She was so beautiful it took his breath away. He couldn’t stay mad. He spun around and spoke to another man standing nearby. “Sam, can you get Miss Ancelet’s luggage to the wagon? I’ll take her to Lilly’s for tea so we can talk.”
“Sure thing, John. Henry, Frank and me will grab a drink at the saloon while we’re waiting.” Sam ambled away with the two other men.
John placed his arm on Cora’s elbow to escort her away. A jolt so powerful caused stars to dance in front of her eyes, she became breathless and stumbled. His arm whipped around her waist to steady her and he gazed into her eyes questioningly. Had he felt it too?
“Sorry,” she murmured. “I felt a little light headed. I must have been affected by the long journey.”
“No need to apologize.” His deep voice caressed her. “Maybe you need something to eat.”
They left the station arm in arm.