For years Mark Webber was in love with his best friend’s girl, and it had become well past time for him to move on for greener pastures. Not long after he left, Mark realized the Sprawling A was his home, so now he’s back, ready to leave the past in the dust. While he was gone, there had been some changes at the A, including a new ranch hand who comes with a sister that stirs Mark’s passions in ways he never felt.
Gabriella Montoya has come to the ranch seeking shelter after a failed marriage. Not only is she welcomed with open arms, but she gains six big brothers. But one man doesn’t look at her like he would a sister. Oh, no. Mark gazes at her with a heat and promise in his eyes, and damn if he doesn’t deliver on every one. But Gabriella’s not certain she’s ready to embark on another relationship so soon with a man who has made no bones about wanting forever, especially when both of their pasts rise from the ashes and threaten everything they have.
“I don’t want you to fear me.”
“Oh, Mark.” She melted in his embrace. “By the sheer fact alone that you’re worried you’ll hurt me tells me that you won’t.” She stood up on tiptoe to nuzzle her nose under his chin like a kitten.
“I don’t want to risk scaring you.”
“And I don’t want you to hold back. I want all of you.”
“You say that now, but what happens when I’m on top of you, inside you, and all you see is him?”
She pulled back as if he’d stung her and the desire in her eyes shifted into fear. But it wasn’t the type of fear that concerned him. The crease in her brow and the anxiety in her eyes appeared to be directed toward the woman within.
“Don’t you think I worry about that too? That for the rest of my life I’ll carry that fear and have that knee-jerk reaction to shy away from people? I can’t live that way. I can’t let him win.” She ran her palms up and down the center of his chest. He wasn’t certain if the gesture was to soothe him or her. “I’m not with you to spite him or to prove something to myself. I’m here because I like you. You make me feel…” she paused to chuckle. “You make me feel. I don’t want to miss out on whatever this is because I’m afraid to move on. But I’m not going to force myself on you. If you want me to go, I’ll go. If you want me, tell me. The truth. Do you want me, Mark?”
Slowly, gently, he lifted his hand and cupped her smooth cheek. She felt so delicate against his rough palm as he stroked her skin with his thumb. “I want you. More than anything.”
A little breath eased past her lips as she nodded. Her eyes darted around the room and when her gaze landed on his cowboy hat at their feet she looked back to him with a raised brow. “Do you trust me?”
The question threw him. “What do you mean?”
“Do you trust me not to hurt you?”
Li’l Bit hurting him? The idea was almost laughable. “Darlin’, you hurting me is not a concern of mine.”
A wicked light entered her eyes and jump-started his heart rate. “Let me make sure I have this straight. You’re worried that you want me so much, you’ll lose control and hurt me, or do something to remind me of my ex-husband?”
“What if I were to tie you up?”
The words were slow to penetrate his thick skull, and even then he found it difficult to comprehend. Was this little angel of a woman suggesting something kinky?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Anna Alexander’s literary world changed at age thirteen when a friend gave her a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s “A Rose in Winter.” With her mind thoroughly blown, she decided that one day she too would be a romance writer. With Hugh Jackman’s abs and Christopher Reeve’s blue eyes as inspiration, she loves spinning tales about superheroes finding love.
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