by Gem Sivad
Lucy and Ambrose Quince share fiery passion in and out of bed; they love hard but fight often, both having opinions and tempers. But Lucy mysteriously disappears in 1874, leaving the Double-Q ranch and all she loves behind. Three years later, scarred in mind and body, Lucy is drawn back to Eclipse and the life she’s forgotten - including a snarling, lustful husband.
Although she claims she can’t remember him, Ambrose hasn’t forgotten a damned thing. Lucy left him and he owes her nothing. Trouble is - his heart remembers too, and Lucy’s the only woman who’ll ever own it.
Perfect Strangers is being released November 23rd, that's today people, don't miss out!
❝The devil got in her way again. Lucy had to see Ambrose before she left on her first investigation since he was between her and her horse. When she entered the barn, he straightened from his half-crouch over the feed sack he was wrestling and pushed his hat off his forehead, waiting for her to declare her purpose.
Avoiding his gaze, she announced to the air above his shoulder, “I’m going to town.”
He was sweating, covered with straw chaff and he didn’t look happy at the interruption. They had maintained an uneasy truce since the night she’d cleaned his office and laid him flat with her knee. She’d like to believe Ambrose had learned respect but it was more probable he was plotting another siege.
Alex jumped from the hayloft and dusted himself off. “Water…” He nodded toward the house and skirted them both, clearly unwilling to witness the imminent explosion.
Ambrose said to Alex, “Take a break.” To Lucy he said, “You aren’t going anywhere.” He pronounced judgment as though he was the Almighty.
Anger whooshed through her like fire through dry leaves.
She stepped around him, heading for Sheba’s stall. “I came to Eclipse to find answers, not dally with my former husband,” she told him.
“Former husband, my ass,” he snarled. Charging her, he hooked his arm around her middle, carrying her into the tack room.
Rage blistered the air—both his and hers. For more than two weeks, they’d been circling each other like street brawlers, each looking for an opening.
In the dim light, Lucy wasn’t nearly as confident of her rights as she had been a moment before in the daylight. Ambrose surrounded her, backing her against the wall, blanketing her body with his. Quincy. The name floated through her mind as his mouth claimed hers, stifling any response other than surrender.
Releasing her lips, he growled at her like a crazed animal, “You’ll stay put, here, and go nowhere without me or mine.” His hands cupped her breasts as if he could make her obey by squeezing them.
But it wasn’t painful. Even as she mustered outrage, Lucy’s body melted under the convulsive stroking and kneading of his hands. He stood too close, and when she tried to push him away he crowded closer.
She should have been in a panic. Instead, desire coursed through her, dampening her feminine curls with wet heat. She fought the mesmerizing force of her own needs as he lifted her onto the flat surface of the saddle bench, pinning her arms to her sides, punctuating his orders with physical demonstrations of his power over her.
“You’re not leaving today, tomorrow, or the next fifty years without my say-so.” His words, little more than grunts, were interspersed between kisses delivered to her neck and mouth while his hands caressed and aroused her breasts.
His lips left a hot trail, making her shudder. When he captured her face between his big hands, holding her still for his plundering kisses, she repeated weakly, “Mr. Quince, I’m going to town. Get off me.”
“Like hell,” he growled.
She let him claim her mouth, thoroughly tasting his invasive tongue. When she retreated, nibbling on his lower lip as if it was something she’d done a hundred times before, he released her arms to cup her face in his hands. “Lucy… God, sweetheart, I’ve missed you.”
Lucy’s first line of defense, a reticule carrying her gun, lay useless on the barn floor. Giddy though she was, she inched her hand down to her thigh and lifted her skirt to access the blade she’d strapped there.
“Mr. Quince.” She tried to be polite, but her breathing was labored, and emotions she chose to label as anger bit into her as sharp as the knife she placed at his throat.
She couldn’t guess whether it was her manners or the blade getting his attention, but he stilled.
“I’m going to town. Get off me.”
He stared at her—frozen. And then his passion turned to fury and he dared her to kill him. Pressing his neck against her weapon, he marked himself, a line of red appearing on his skin, reinforcing his challenge. “Go ahead, cut my throat. I don’t think you’ve got the nerve.”
At the same time he held her gaze, he shoved his hand inside her drawers, stroking her belly and then trailing lower, riffling her nest of curls. Outraged, she lowered the knife and pushed at his shoulder, but he shrugged her off as his fingers teased the lips of her sex, running up and down the rim of her cleft before delving deeper to brush across her pearl.
The throbbing pleasure in her womb turned Lucy’s brain to mush and her traitorous thighs eased open, admitting her arousal. She breathed in the musky scent of his sweat and dropped the knife, arching into his touch.
“You’re hot for it,” the devil crowed, breaking the spell as he stared at her smugly.
“Mr. Quince, you’re wrong.” Holding his gaze, she fumbled the tin feed scoop into her hand and slammed him in the head.
Stunned, he stumbled back and watched as she picked up her useless knife to sheathe it in the leather casing she wore wrapped around her thigh.
“Mrs. Quince, when it comes to my wife, I’m never wrong.” He emphasized the word, reinforcing his claim evidently unwilling to let the last round be called hers.❞
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