It definitely helped that all three stories were written by the same author no jarring differences in style to break up the mood and there was a family connection to each of the three couples in the book, and hey--they were cowboys! So Brand vows to keep his hands to himself, even if it kills him. And after seeing how his mother devastated his father when she ran off with a younger man, Brand doubts that he would ever allow a woman into his heart where she could have the power to destroy him. It gets mighty lonely on the ranch sometimes, with only his younger brother to look after. But now that his brother is ready to strike out on his own, could Brand finally take a chance on something for himself? Loved it--loved how Lyssa drove Brand crazy--she wanted him and she set out to get him, by using the oldest trick in the book--jealousy.
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Life in Paraiso was certainly different from city life. Shopkeepers busied themselves around their white limestone stores with their brightly colored windowsills and doorframes, putting up sale signs and displaying their wares on unattended tables under their equally bright awnings.
Instead of admiring the quilts, he paused to appreciate the fit of her pretty sundress before allowing his gaze to move restlessly on. Since his buddies had settled down, Logan found himself feeling more and more like he was standing on the outside looking in at a happiness that continued to elude him.
Both Cody and Joe seemed to thrive on their domestic arrangements, making Logan wonder what he was missing. Still, life in Paraiso was good. And Logan thought he might just have found the remedy to the constant lonely ache that settled in his chest at night and gripped his loins so tightly no amount of self-gratification could relieve it. Shaking off his dissatisfaction, his gaze went back to the town, and there she was.
Schoolteacher, came the primal growl rumbling up inside him. Every red corpuscle streaming through his veins rushed south. The tall, gawky figure striding down Main Street straight toward him sucked away his attention from everything else around him. Just a glimpse of the unfashionable denim smock she wore was enough to make him hard as rock.
Schoolteachers never dressed well. She could wear a gunny sack and push his buttons. His reaction to her still shocked him. No, Schoolteacher was downright bony and with an angular face. Come to think of it, she resembled the creature with its slender, muscular build and darting glances, too. Maybe that was the attraction—he equated the woman to prey.
Still, her demeanor and her wardrobe choices made him wince. Prim, buttoned-up, unfashionably homey. While he watched, she stopped to chat with Annie and ran a hand over the bright handmade quilts. Some were older and yellowed with time, their colors subdued, while others showed less age and were every color of the rainbow.
Even as he watched, she picked up the sign that read, Good Price for a Good Home. While Schoolteacher stood next to the chic and well-dressed Annie, Logan had to question his reactions to the woman. Even her hideous brown sandals turned him on. A plum to be exact. Just the thought of that meeting made him shift uncomfortably in his seat.
Her long fingers had engulfed the plum, wrapping around the plump fruit to squeeze gently. Her shock had made him smile and had totally knocked her off-balance.
The one house that had suited his needs sat at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac right next to hers. Then the sheriff had selected him to be the new liaison at the high school to roam the halls, get familiar with the kids, and lead the anti-drug education classes. His first class had been in the room right next to hers.
Somehow, someday soon, Schoolteacher was going to come to him for instruction. But it was best she understood his needs from the outset. Besides, fear was something he could twist into obsession.
In the meantime, he trailed her surreptitiously in his patrol car, pulling into a parking space when she entered a shop, and then continuing to trail her when she came out. How she could have failed to notice him, stalking her along the narrow street, mystified him.
But then again, most times he saw her, her gaze seemed blurred as though staring at something in the distance. Schoolteacher seemed perpetually lost in a daydream. How he wished he could slide inside her mind. Were her dreams filled with erotic images of bodies dipping and writhing toward ecstasy? Or were they more romantic? His gaze passed the bookstore with its blue-and-white awning and tables set on the sidewalk for passersby to stop and sample the books.
Logan glanced at his watch. His lunch break was coming up. He had just enough time. Her neighbor commanded attention wherever he went. Something in her chest had tightened. Sensual awareness had sharpened to an exquisitely honed edge. Heat had curled deep inside her. She must have looked like a red-faced fool. His universal appeal had given her the strength of will to carry on as usual, despite the constant distraction of seeing him everywhere she went.
What on earth did she have to offer a man like that? Her hair was a nondescript brown and her skin was colorless, with a smattering of freckles that looked like droplets of mud on a pale blanket of snow. It was her height, however, that was her most notable flaw. The red lens was just bright enough to check her star chart for settings for her scope without destroying her night vision.
M43—the Orion Nebula—beckoned. In the distance, the growl of a powerful engine rumbled loudly as it approached. Neighborhood dogs barked. Car doors slammed shut. Laughter pierced the air—a feminine squeal, followed by low, rumbling masculine chuckles. Lord, no. Not again. And no wonder after what the two of them had done to her. Yet, she was here again. Did that mean…?
No way. The last time had been devastating. Her cheeks had burned for days. Light spilled across the clearing, shining from the naughty room, bleaching the dried grass a pale gray. Amy stood in the darkness, just beyond the light, staring at the ground.
It was just too tempting. And she was too curious. Without any further internal argument, she lifted her tripod to reposition it and pointed her telescope toward the room. She adjusted the focus, zooming in on a patch of pink skin. A protruding nipple. Her lens had landed on an aroused nipple surrounded by a very round and generous breast.
A dark figure stepped in the way, blocking her view. Her head jerked up, and she stared into the window. Logan Ross leaned against the window frame. His features, burnished by the subtle lighting in the room, were drawn and taut—and he was staring directly at her! She whirled and pressed a hand against her chest. He knew! Sweet Jesus, what did he think of her now? Slowly, she glanced over her shoulder, pretending to reach for her bag, and then caught his gaze again.
He straightened, moving away from the window. When she was completely naked, Logan lifted her hand and twirled her under his arm as though dancing her around in slow motion, and, at that moment, Amy understood. He was letting her watch them. Inviting her to do so. Amy swallowed, her eyes filling as the painful yearning swamped her again. Everything missing from her staid little life was there on display. But why was he doing this?
As punishment for intruding on their games? Or was he trying to tempt her? Her, plain Amy Keating. Sarah meekly stepped up to the frame, leaning her back against it, and lifted her arms for him to place the straps around one wrist then the other, and lock her into place.
Then Sarah widened her stance, her legs settling against the lower half of the wooden beams, and her ankles were restrained. Next, Logan carried a black hood to Sarah, which he pulled over her head, completely concealing her face. He tucked her long, white-blonde hair beneath it, and only the curves Amy already knew so well identified the woman as Sarah.
Down In Texas
Laying Down the Law
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