Today I’m thrilled to have Jennifer LaRose as my guest. Not only is she a dear friend but she’s also a talented author. Her books fall in the contemporary, sci-fi and paranormal romance categories. But I happen to know for a fact that she has a thing for cowboys.
Now lets hear from Jen…
Hi, Dena, *waves*
Thank you for showcasing my first, self-published book. I am very excited to introduce you to Texan’s Jewels. I’d also like to thank you for being a part of this amazing adventure.
Josie Melbourne adores Gerty, her mother’s nursing home roommate, but when the ninety-two year old woman gifts Josie a heart-shaped stone, Josie’s life transforms into a world of magic, lust, abduction, and love. Who better to accompany her through the crazy ride than Gerty’s hunky cowboy son Travis?
Travis Bramble has loved Josie for months. Ten months to be exact. But the evening she sets her bashfulness aside and allows him the liberty to doctor her wounds, his evenings of cold showers and wishful thinking finally reach an abrupt halt.
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Travis watched all three men sardine themselves into the cab of the tow truck. Come hell or high water, he wasn’t crawling back into bed until they drove off. He didn’t trust the asses and wanted to make damn sure they left for good. They acted skittish, triggering his internal alarm. When he’d asked why they were driving closed roads, he’d received two different answers. But he hadn’t asked twice since he and Josie had illegally driven the streets too. The cops must’ve been handling emergencies because they hadn’t passed one cruiser when en-route to Blake’s.
As the truck pulled away, he glanced at the clock. He hadn’t seen three-thirty in the morning in years. Midnight was his limit. Occasionally, he’d crawl out of bed at five and pack on a two hour workout at the gym before driving to his shop. That was the earliest he was willing to wake up.
When the truck’s tail lights faded from view, he sat on a plush chair in the corner. He sank into the cushion. The sides hugged his thighs and the back conformed to his shoulders. He brushed his hands along the armrests, leaving finger impressions in the suede fabric.
While feeling for an adjustment lever along the sides, a faint knock sounded on the door. Before he responded, Josie poked her head inside.
“Travis, are you awake?”
“Yes I am.”
She stepped into the room and shut the door. “Can I come in?”
“The tow truck just left.”
Damn, she looked beautiful in the moonlight. “I know.”
“Do you mind if I sit with you for awhile? I can’t sleep.”
“Not at all.”
She walked across the room and sat down on the carpet beside his calves.
“Josie, get off the floor.”
“I’m fine. I sit on the floor at home all the time.”
Maybe so, but she wasn’t sitting at his feet like a puppy. He stood and pulled her into a stance. “Well, sweetheart, you’re not at home.” He took hold of her shoulders and guided her backwards onto the chair. By the time he sat down on the bed, she’d turned sideways and pulled her knees to her breasts. “I reckon it’s as good a time as any to have our talk.”
“Uh-huh.” She yawned and patted her mouth.
“I’m not apologizing for what happened.”
“No need to.” He draped his arms over his knees and clasped his hands. “I only say I’m sorry when I feel I’ve done something wrong.”
Her eyes closed and her head bobbled. She jerked upright. “It’s my…” Her chin bobbed forward. Just before it reached her chest, she jerked again. “My fault.” She nestled her cheek against the chair back and hugged her legs. The moonlight kissed the side of her face and tapered down her robe sleeve. “I’ve always….I’ve never acted like that before,” she said, patting another yawn.
“No one’s to blame. It’s not about fault,” he said. He glanced at his hands and rubbed his palms together. “We’ve known each other a long time.” Hadn’t talked much, but that didn’t interfere with his emotions. If anything, the mystique intensified his feelings. It reminded him of a bad case of hard-to-get. “You knocked me off my feet with your first smile. I knew you were a keeper when my mom took to you so quickly. She doesn’t like many people.” Never had. He loved his mom. Even worshipped the ground under her feet, but she was an odd woman. “The problem was, figuring out how the hell to keep you.” In due time, he figured Josie would come around. He was a patient man and had decided to wait it out. Didn’t expect it to happen nearly a year down the road, or over spilled coffee. But it was, what it was. “I reckon the unexpected hoedown in our mother’s bathroom was meant to be. Our bodies did the talking. So, no, sweetheart, I’m not apologizing.”
Silence brought his attention to the chair where she’d snuggled deeper into the corner. “Josie?”
Noting like boring a person to sleep by blubbering feelings.
He strolled to the chair and lifted her into his arms. Her body slumped against his chest. She didn’t stir when he walked to the bed to lay her down and tuck her under the covers. But as he lowered her to the mattress, he halted mid way. What if she woke pissed because he’d taken the liberty to share the bed and sleep at her side? But hell, he wasn’t sleeping in the damn chair. Neither was she as far as he was concerned. What misleading assumptions would filter through her mind come morning though?
He wasn’t putting distance between them while she was finally within a finger’s reach. Not yet. There may not be a second opportunity anytime soon. He wasn’t waiting another ten months. While she remained in reach, he’d finagle a way to keep her there. No back-stepping.
He returned to the chair, sat down, and lowered her to his lap. Hell, her ass felt good pressing into his thighs.
“Mmm,” she purred, curling into a ball, pulling knees to her chest.
One hand lay beneath her cheek, the other she placed over his heart. He folded the robe over her legs, protecting them from cool air. “I reckon we’ll finish our talk later, sweetheart.”
For a long time he ran his fingers through her hair, lifting chestnut colored strands. Slowly he’d release them to fall gently over her shoulder. They felt like corn-silk, soft, shiny, and fine. He rubbed a few strands between his finger and thumb before tucking them behind her ear. Next, he slid his palm across her well-structured cheekbone. She had baby-soft skin and the longest eyelashes he’d ever seen.
He crossed his ankles, tucking her deeper into his arms. The calming, rosy scent drifting from her hair began lulling him to sleep. It wasn’t her alluring, musky aroma, but it opened his mind to an abundance of good dreams.
She stirred. Her hip caressed his groin as she drew her knees even closer to her breasts. “Travis,” she whispered sleepily.
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