Good morning! Let’s talk about Hero Undercover, a sizzling compilation of panty-melting military masters, determined detectives, and rope twirling cowboys. Penned by 25 New York Times, USA Today, and award-winning, best-selling romance authors: Annabel Joseph, Addison Cain, Renee Rose, Maggie Ryan, Maddie Taylor, Emily Tilton, Trent Evans, Jennifer Bene, Jane Henry, Sophie Kisker, Megan Michaels, Katherine Deane, Maggie Carpenter, Maisy Archer, Alyssa Bailey, Claire Conrad, Stevie MacFarlane, Piper Stone, Anya Summers, Lucy Wild, BJ Wane, A.C. Rose, April Hill, Amelia Smarts, Meredith O’Reilly.
This amazing boxset is getting great reviews. Here are just a couple:
“…every story is sizzling hot! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an anthology so jam packed with this much talent, and the added bonus that its proceeds go to charity? You’d be crazy not to buy this incredible collection!” ~Knotty Girl Reviews
“…a smokin’ collection of over-the-top sexy romance stories by 25 New York Times, USA Today, and award-winning best-selling romance authors. These hot, take charge bad-boy heroes and feisty strong willed heroines that will leave you one satisfied puddle of woman.” ~Goodreads Reviewer
My contribution to the boxset, Justice, Roughly, is a historical western about a cowboy who goes undercover as deputy to suss out a cattle rustler. He didn’t expect to fall for the criminal. Enjoy this extended excerpt!
Wyatt took a final swig of whiskey. “I should go. It’s getting late.”
She felt disappointed. She didn’t want him to leave, but it was only proper. It was dark but for the coal oil lamp flickering with a low flame by the window, and she could hear crickets chirping insistently outside.
“I’ll help you put on your shirt,” she said, rising to her feet and moving toward him. She stood between his spread knees and reached behind him with an arm on either side of his neck. They were so close to each other that Elsie could feel the heat from his breath on the exposed part of her upper chest. Her breasts were positioned near his face and nearly touched him as she reached over to position the arm of the shirt so that he could slide his left hand into it.
She was aware of his breathing becoming more labored against her skin, which prickled and pulsed with desire as she drew in his scent, a mixture of soap, whiskey, and leather. She lightly covered his injured shoulder with the empty shirtsleeve, keeping his arm in the sling. She didn’t bother buttoning him up.
In a sudden burst of courage and lust, she ran her hand down his bare chest, feeling the soft flesh over his hard ridges.
“Elsie…” he said, his voice low, his tone a warning.
She gazed into his glimmering eyes. She’d never been with a man, but instinct directed her movements. She felt like the most desirable woman in the world, standing there in front of him, having him look at her in that way, and she yearned for him to touch her.
He wrapped his good arm around her waist and pulled her to a seated position on his left leg. His arm still firmly encircling her, he said quietly in a deep voice, “You’re playing with fire, young lady.”
She clenched her legs together and shivered, the chiding having sparked her arousal. “Please, Wyatt…”
“Please what?” he asked gently.
She let out a whimper, a small sound that indicated how vulnerable she was to her onslaught of feelings. She didn’t know how to articulate what she wanted, but she didn’t need to. Her needy mewl spurred him into action. Strong fingers trailed up her back, entwined in her hair, and closed into a gentle fist. Gripping her hair at the roots, he turned her head to face him and crushed his lips against hers. She melted into the kiss. The pressure of his mouth caused an outpouring of sensations in her tummy, her breasts, and between her legs—feelings she’d never felt so strongly before. He growled, and the kiss became deeper, more insistent.
His hand left her hair and wrapped around her back, pulling her close to him so that her breasts flattened against his chest. One of her hard, sore nipples scraped against a button on his shirt, causing her back to arch suddenly. She trembled and gasped when his lips left hers and nibbled at her neck.
“Oh…” It was nearly too much for her. Her mind and heart raced, unable to understand what was happening to her body.
She would have lost her maidenhood that night if Wyatt hadn’t pulled away suddenly. He stood, bringing her to her feet as well, and took two steps back.
“I’m sorry,” he said, breathing hard. “Forgive me.”
“Don’t be sorry, Wyatt,” she said pleadingly. “I liked it.” She took a step toward him, but he held out his hand to stop her approach.
It was spoken so firmly and without compromise that it caused Elsie to feel a sharp pang of rejection. Humiliated, she bit her lip and struggled not to allow tears to make an appearance.
“It’s not that I don’t want to, Elsie,” Wyatt said quickly. “Please don’t cry.”
“I don’t understand,” she said, feeling her lower lip trembling and her eyes filling with tears.
“I would be taking advantage of you.”
“No, you wouldn’t. Not if I want it too. Do you not find me attractive?” She suddenly felt sick to her stomach. How desperate she sounded, begging for his affection.
“I do find you attractive. And I would like nothing more than to continue what we were doing, but it wouldn’t be right.”
She didn’t believe him. What a fool she was, dressing up in her prettiest dress and inviting him to dinner. She shook her head and blinked at the ground, wishing she could be anywhere but there. Struggling to keep her voice from wavering, she said, “It’s all right, Wyatt. I know I have been very forward.”
An awful silence filled the room. She couldn’t even look at him and wished that he would leave so she could nurse her hurt pride in solitude. She could feel his gaze on her and the longer he stayed silent, the more humiliated she felt.
He walked to her suddenly, grabbed her wrist, and pressed her hand against the front of his trousers. “Feel that?” he growled. “That’s how much I want you. Don’t you dare think otherwise.”
She gasped and stared at him with wide eyes. His cock was rock hard. She knew a man became hard when he was filled with desire, so she felt her earlier fear of him not finding her attractive fading, leaving in its wake total confusion.
“Now do you believe I want you?” he said, and clenched his jaw. He seemed almost angry, but it was more intensity than anger.
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Good.” He released her wrist and strode to the front door, where he grabbed his hat hanging over a hook and clapped it on his head. “Forgive me, Elsie.” Without waiting for her to respond, he walked out and slammed the door behind him.
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