Bea McIntyre fell for an old scheme and ended up the mistress or actually the sex slave of a dissolute rancher. Escaping in the middle of the night with only a few small treasures, she has no real plan except to get away. When her mare bruises a hoof, she winds up at the blacksmith shop of Angus O’Toole. All she can offer him for his help is herself, but he seems to be satisfied with that bargain. When rancher Murdock sends his hired guns after her, things get dicey but Bea is no hothouse flower. Between her and Angus, they heat up the days and nights and also triumph over the black hats!
Excerpt: (This is shortly after Bea has taken refuge with Angus and is trying to make herself indispensible to him!)
After the dishes were done, she poured herself a cup of thick black coffee, then went back to the table. Although the stuff tasted terrible, she'd acquired the habit while at the Three Sixes. She now drank it regularly. Angus tapped the dottle out of his pipe, then set it back on the shelf. He regarded her seriously from across the table.
"As ye'll be noticing, there is but one bed. I'll bunk in the stable so's ye can use it while ye are here." He colored a bit as he spoke and mumbled the words.
Bea lowered her lids demurely. "I hate to be putting you out," she murmured, "when it looks like a very wide, very comfortable bed."
"It is that," Angus admitted. "Are ye saying ye'd na object to sharing it with me then?"
She smiled. "Aye, that is exactly what I am saying."
"B...b...but I'm not the sort of man Michael Murdoch is, ye know. I wouldn't feel right taking advantage of ye."
"Oh, but you wouldn't be, you see. The damage has been done. Maiden I no longer be. Who's to miss one slice from a cut cake? I have no compunctions about warming your bed in exchange for room and board until we shape a plan for where I am to go from here. However, if that does not suit..."
Although a flush stained Angus's sun-reddened cheeks an even warmer shade, he smiled as he frankly looked at her at last. "Aye, it suits, Miss Bea. It suits me right well indeed. If ye have no objections, then let's make an early night of it."
He picked up the kerosene lamp he'd lit as dusk deepened into darkness. Then he led the way to the bedroom with its broad and comfortable bed. Bea slipped past him to turn back the coverlet and the linen sheet before she began to unbutton the score of tiny buttons down the front of her dress. In between other chores, she had patched it as best she could so the rents were no longer as obvious. Still, the garment was in sorry shape. She'd have to come up with another dress soon.
Angus shed the loose shirt he had donned before coming in to supper. Then he stopped to stand watching her, an avid shine in his blue eyes. When she started to drop the bodice back off her shoulders, he came to her side.
"Here, let me do that."
He took the dress in his two big hands. With slow, exquisite gentleness, he drew it back off her shoulders, revealing her lacy chemise and corset cover. When he paused, she could hear him suck in a quick, hard breath.
"Sure and heaven's own angels can nay be more fair." Leaving the bodice to settle at her waist, he circled to stand before her, gazing down at the upper swells of her breasts shoved high by the corset. With one fingertip he traced along the edge of the garment, barely skimming her skin.
He shook his head slowly, as if in disbelief. "That something so fine should be here at my humble bedside. By all the saints, I never thought to see such a wonder."
His hands hovered for a moment before settling on her shoulders, curling around over the shape of them, his long fingers and broad palms covering her from neck to upper arms. When he bent to bring his face level with hers, the coffee and tobacco scents of his warm breath seemed to wrap around her in a sensuous cloud. She rose onto her tiptoes to press her lips against his.
His wide mouth tasted of milky coffee and the spices in the apple pie she had made. For the first instant, she was doing all the kissing. In a breath, that changed. She felt his hands shift as he raised one to cup the back of her head. The other dropped to rest just below her waist, bringing her closer with a gentle but steady pressure. He kissed with the same gusto and obvious pleasure with which he ate. He seemed to be savoring her lips, tasting and teasing with eager nips and licks while he nibbled, shifting to experience every possible angle and level of pressure.
After the first few seconds, she stopped thinking, even stopped comparing his technique to that of Murdoch and his friends. Angus was a great kisser, no question. She clutched at his wide shoulders, needing an anchor to keep some tenuous hold on reality.
Finally, he lifted his head, sucking in a great breath of air as he did. "Gawd's boots, Miss Bea, ye kiss just as sweet as ye cook! I'm fair dizzy with it, to be honest."
She laughed aloud, awash in delight. "You do no bad job of it either, sir. In fact, you could well be all-Ireland and all-American champion, I'm thinking."
He chuckled as he set her back from him, turned her around and went to work at her laces. As the corset loosened, she drew in a slow, relieved breath. She'd worn the dang thing for some thirty-six hours. It felt like heaven to breathe freely at last when the stiff garment fell away. Angus turned her back to face him. Then he stood for a long moment, gazing down at her.
At that instant she was thankful for her pert, high breasts and the natural fineness of her waist that needed no corset to cinch it in. Murdoch's leering gaze had always made her feel dirty and as if vinegar ants were crawling under her skin. Angus looked at her almost worshipfully, like someone might regard a beautiful piece of art work in a museum.
He shook his head slowly. "I can scarce believe it," he said, "that something so lovely should come to roost on my doorstep. Sure and I must be blessed, though what I have done to earn it, I canna say. Are ye sure about this, Miss Bea?"
Liquid fire poured over her at the heat in his blue gaze. Her legs felt weak, while she ached deep inside for the loving she knew he could give her. "Oh, my, yes. I couldn't be any more sure about anything! I'd just purely die if you left me now."
"Well, we can nay have that, can we now?" He moved quickly for all his size, snatching her up in a trice, swinging her around, only to settle her smack in the middle of that plump, inviting looking bed. She bounced just once when he let her go.
While he shucked off his boots and trousers, she untied the cords of her petticoat and drawers, preparing to wriggle free of them. When she looked up again after struggling with the knots, he was standing at the side of the bed, bare as the day he was born.
Every drop of blood in her body seemed to rush to her head and then drop to her nether regions, leaving her dizzy and weak.
Oh, my, he's definitely all man and a lot of man at that!
Springing erect from the coppery mat of hair at his crotch, his cock thrust out toward her, ruddy and big enough to make a stallion proud. He'd need no teasing or urging to make him ready, not like Murdoch, who was often so far gone to whiskey he could scarcely rise to the occasion. With a final twist of her hips, Bea shoved the drawers and petticoat down her legs, then drew free of them. After she tossed the garments aside, she reached for Angus.
Rolling, she came to her knees in front of him, reaching to catch him by the waist. His skin shivered beneath her touch, like a horse with a fly. For all the iron-solid muscle beneath his skin, it was fair where the sun did not hit him and smooth, almost soft as fine silk, save for the dusting of coppery hair.
She slipped her hands down his thighs, tickled by the strands of hair that decorated their sturdy length. Right in front of her, his cock bounced slightly as each beat of his heart sent blood coursing through it.
Oh, he's one fine figure of a man!
Again she had to compare Angus to Murdoch. Michael's skin had a dull, unclean color, a pasty, ashen hue. Beneath it, his flesh was doughy; muscles replaced by fat. By now, she'd be teasing him, trying to stroke his flaccid shaft into an erection, although he'd have lain down at once, as if standing were too much effort. She'd be worn out with the effort of arousing him before he got hard enough that she could straddle him and lower herself onto his rather stubby prick.
"Hold," Angus said in a gasp. He took a half step backward to draw free of her hands. "Ye'll have me shamed while ye're left unsatisfied at this rate."
He eased onto the bed, stretching out beside her, drawing her toward him, while his avid gaze swept the white length of her nude form. Slippery dampness moistened her slit and the insides of her thighs. She was more than ready for him. Still, it looked like he was determined to take his time.
Well, there's nothing wrong with slow, to a point. She'd give him time to explore her body with his hands and lips, if he chose to, not that she needed that much titillation to be ready for him, big as he was. She had learned, though, how drawing it out only made the final act so much more exciting. One of Murdoch's friends had been fairly young and virile. He'd even taken some time with her, savoring instead of a quick come and go, like the rest did. That time the act had been pleasant instead of a sweaty, sticky chore, so she knew it was possible.