Happy release day to me! This story has come full circle for me. From just a little thing telling a sweet story to a gritty historical western romance full of unsavory characters and two people looking for redemption. This is the one and only western in my catalog but not the first historical. Believe it or not, I found history a little boring in high school but that’s because it was about wars and the industrial revolution. Nothing but how hard it was to live or what they wore or endured. Now that I’m older? I can’t get enough. Having the freedom to travel to historical sites helps because nothing beats standing on the highest point in a ruined castle to get a sense of life in the past.
The main character, Ellie, is named after my big sister Ella. A little homage to her and how she’s worked hard to be where she is in her life. Although she’s not living the farm life, she’s got a kick ass job as a flight nurse. I’m extremely proud of her.
An Outlaw in Her Bed
An outlaw by trade, Travis Colburn refuses to be tied down by a woman. Life on the run leaves him no room for love, until a calico queen’s wicked lips tattoo his soul. Her searing kiss leads him on a path entwined with the devil himself, and nothing will stand in his way—not even cold lead from a gun.
When a bullet steals her husband’s life, Ella Gilby gets more than she bargained for from a tall, dark stranger. Death walks in his shadow and the temptation he offers swallows her whole. The more she denies the attraction, the more her desire for the deadly desperado draws her back in.
Heaven and debauchery collide, and the love sparked in a single night reignites as Ella recaptures the man she lost long ago. Unless their shaded past tears their world in two.
“Would you like a drink?” She moved over to a dresser and popped the cork on a bottle of whiskey. Travis strode over and took the bottle from her hand.
“Are you going to drink with me?” He took a whiff before poising the bottle at his lips.
“Reese doesn’t allow it.” Her gaze fell to the ground.
“I supposed not.” He set the bottle down. “Especially when the bottle isn’t just whiskey.”
Ellie gasped, her gaze whipping to meet his. “Please.” She back away. “I didn’t mean. It’s just…”
Travis grabbed her by the shoulders. “You’ve never taken a man to bed yet, have you?”
“Please don’t tell Reese. All I’ve ever done is played with the hard bit until they succumbed.” Her lips quivered. “Please, I’ll do anything.”
“Apparently so.” Travis cupped her chin and covered her lips with his own. She trembled, her kiss back weak and restrained. “Someone’s coming up the stairs, Ellie. At least pretend like we’re getting along.”
His fingers toyed with her corset strings as he leaned in again. Her lips soft, she brushed them ever so lightly against his. A creak in the floorboards cured her tame manner, and his eyes widened as her tongue invaded his mouth. Sweet and alluring, he pressed in. Travis had no intention of bedding her but his dick had other ideas. The corset strings came loose as the door to their room started to open. His pistol came out and was cocked before the door finished widening. Nash stood there with his gun, sweat and blood trickling on his face.
“Well, well. Need another lesson in manners, son?” Travis clenched his jaw. Ellie slipped to her knees for cover.
“Ain’t fair, Boss. I seen her first.”
“Are you making a fuss or are you aiming to end up in the Boot Yard?” Travis never moved an inch. The world around him slowed as he stared down the cold steel of his weapon. Nash, on the other hand, shook like a man possessed. “The devil got you, son.”
Footsteps pounded in the hallway and Buck came in view. “Come on.” He tugged on Nash’s arm. “You’re going to get dead, real quick. Sorry, Boss. He’s had a few too many.”
Travis reached in his pocket and produced a silver coin. “Find another one, boy.” Nash scrambled for the coin. “Knock on my door with your foolishness again and you’ll be suffering a bout of lead poisoning.”
“I’ll take care of him, Boss. Don’t you worry.” Buck grinned and shut the door.
Travis blew out a breath and eased the trigger back. Gun barrel to his temple, he relished the coolness.
“Would you have shot him?” Ellie glanced up.
“Yes.” Travis nodded. “But my gun’s not loaded and hasn’t been since I got here.” A terrible habit Carter had taught him to stay out of trouble should he drink too much. Most men, he explained, didn’t have the courage to shoot when confronted. Travis could bluff all day with Nash. The man had a yellow streak a mile wide on his back.
“I owe you, mister.” Ellie smoothed her hands over his buckskin trousers before unhooking the buttons.
“No need for that, Ellie.” Even as his words left his mouth, his cock stiffened.
“I’d say yer pulling my leg, mister.” She giggled. With the last button free, she grasped his hardened shaft.