Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Wild Wild Widow" by Emma Jay (Novella)

Genre:  Erotic Romance

Short Story Type:  Novella

Summary:  Rebecca Chatham is no stranger to scandal. She and her husband delighted in shocking San Francisco society with their sexual exploits, not hard to do in 1888. But now her husband is dead. He left her penniless, forced to live under her wealthy father’s thumb. While searching for a protector, she once again becomes the focus of society gossip, and her father exiles her to her brother’s ranch in Central California.

Rebecca is miserable, until she meets the very handsome, very virile ranch foreman Judah Merrill. A real cowboy. Though she’s aware of their differences in status, she pursues him with a single-mindedness, until he catches her in the creek (and in the barn and on horseback). But what happens when she falls in love with him? Will he accept her wild wild heart?

She let herself lean against his chest for a moment, warm and firm, and the next thing she knew, he was lifting her into the saddle. “A girl could get used to all this being carried around.”

“A man could get used to having his arms around a beautiful woman,” he replied, swinging into the saddle behind her and pulling her closer than he’d held her on the ride out.

His scent surrounded her, warm and male and earthy. Oh, how she missed being held by a man, feeling the differences in their bodies. She loved everything about a man’s body, the strength, the roughness, the hardness.

She was nearly boneless with longing as he stopped Rojo outside the stall and swung from the saddle, then brought her down. This time, Rojo’s restlessness didn’t distract him. He slid her the length of his body so her skirts snagged between them. His fingers closed around her waist and he held her a moment, until she looked up at him. He didn’t smile, exactly, but something glinted in his cinnamon-colored eyes before he bent his head and brushed his lips over hers. Just that one simple caress sent heat racing through her body, her pulse pounding in places too long neglected. She whispered, “Yes,” against his mouth and wound her arms around his broad shoulders, pressing against his chest.

He made a sound deep in his throat, pulled her closer and covered her mouth with his, a claiming kiss that made her skin tingle. His stubble rasped her skin. He tasted nice, minty, unexpected, as he tilted his head and slipped his tongue between her lips. She curled her fingers in the thick hair at the back of his neck, holding him to her as his tongue explored, as she lifted hers to meet his and return the intimate caress.

He shuffled his feet a bit and she found her back pressed against the wall of the stall, his hands tight on her waist, his knee between hers, tangling in her skirts. They would measure up just right, if only he would lean closer. Why didn’t he touch her? She wanted him to touch her everywhere, wanted to feel his rough fingertips against her skin.

Her restless fingers wound into the fabric of his shirt at his shoulders, when she wanted nothing more than to work his buttons open and slide over his chest, where the hint of hair teased her. What would he do if she loosened his buttons and slid her hands inside?

Suddenly he broke the kiss, his expression dazed as he looked down at her.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Chatham. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“Mrs. Chatham?” His formality amused her. She touched her fingers to her lips, her gaze on his mouth. His lips had been surprisingly soft amidst the prickly facial hair. So many sensations to absorb—she had missed some. Would he indulge her in an encore performance? She forced her gaze to his. He was apologizing, after all. “I’m Rebecca.”

His cheeks were red. “I shouldn’t have taken liberties.”

“I invited them, Judah.”

He drew a breath through his nose at her use of his given name. “You know what I mean. I’m a working man. You’re a lady.”

Not anymore. She turned her hand from her lips to his. “Say my name, Judah.”

His eyes flicked to her mouth. “Rebecca.”

She smiled. “May I come riding with you again tomorrow?”

“Your brother—” “Has no business knowing.”

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