Authors: Cerise Deland
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Romance, #Western, #Westerns
Shana ruined rodeo champion Chet Stapleton years ago with
hastily written words. Now a PR pro, she’s engineered a plan to make amends.
She’ll successfully promote his rodeo, soothe her conscience and leave. Trouble
is, she can’t keep her hands off the smooth talker or call a halt to their
Chet takes one glance at Shana and develops an itch to put
his boots under her bed…permanently. He’s won awards for taming willful fillies
so he can’t understand why he can’t break Shanna’s stubborn refusal to open up
The closer Shana gets to Chet, the more she wants to stay,
in his life and in his bed. But to do that she’ll have to tell him
everything—and risk being rejected. One thing is certain, if Shana doesn’t put
the past to rest, she’ll never be able to grab the future—or the cowboy she
Western erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave
If Shana Carpenter had forgotten Chet Stapleton was eye
candy, it was definitely because she’d feared for weeks now that he’d realize
who she really was when they met this morning. That he’d call her callous and
unethical, throw her out of his office and slam the door to any apology she
might make for how she’d ruined him.
But here he stood. Cool and businesslike, he blinked at the
sight of her, seeming more stunned at her appearance than angry. Good. Great,
She’d dressed for success, and if he were eating her alive
with his heavy-lidded, unusual lime-green gaze then she rivaled him for
What a man. Every inch a hard muscular dream machine, Chet
stood maybe ten inches taller than she. He’d bulked up since last she’d seen
him four years ago in the ring. Sculpted and golden, the former rodeo star
stared down at her, and damn, did he make her mouth water. He even smelled
great. Like citrus and cinnamon.
She’d never gotten as close to him as this—except in her
dreams and recently those had begun to come with startling frequency. All of
them these days were nightmares. In those hideous visions that woke her, he
stalked her. Astonishingly, he was younger than when she had first seen him
riding in the ring. He was a teenager, rangy and nimble, a boy who transformed
in a second into a ghoul attempting to catch her. Meanwhile she grew older,
wizened, weak and wild to escape him. The dreams, the visions, were her guilt
talking and she knew it. She was here to make amends for her rash article that
condemned his behavior—and took him from the circuit.
But here, striding toward her, he seemed so much more
impressive than four years ago. His build, his stirring eyes, his quick smile
combined to make him more appealing. Little could he know that he was her
obsession. Her “project” to right the wrong she had done him. Little could she
have predicted that he would have become so damn attractive that her mouth
watered. Even her heart picked up a beat at the sight of his rolling gait, his
lean hips, the broad-as-a-barn shoulders he’d honed from working in the saddle
ten hours every day—every day until four years ago, when he’d quit. All because
She winced, shocked at her fascination with his looks. She
wasn’t a woman to fall like a brick for a lantern jaw or steely eyes. Okay, so
he had grown into a droolworthy hunk, but he was still the man she had done
wrong. Keeping her head screwed on straight would be a fine idea. So what if he
could he be acting polite? If he were covering his knowledge that Shana
Carpenter was really S.J. Carpenter, the reporter who’d killed his career, then
she would deal. She had set her mind to it, her heart too. After the way she
had ended his career, she owed it to him to make his life better in a big way.
Whether he yelled at her now or not.
But he continued to smile at her pleasantly. Not one move of
his mouth or arch of a blond brow indicated he might connect the woman who
stood before him with the one who had written about his savage temper.
“How do you do, Miz Carpenter?” he crooned in a Texas drawl
that rumbled all the way down her body like a thunder on the plains.
Her insides thrummed at his warm welcome. Wow, was she a hot
mess. She found the smarts to beam at him, blessing her instinct not to wear
too many clothes today. It was going to be a torrid day out there and in here
with him. So her cotton tank and lightweight suit had been the right choices.
She needed to be comfortable today, she’d told herself. All so that she could
Free of the past.
Do him right. Make it up to him.
Talk sense here, woman.
“Hello, Mr. Stapleton.” She plunked her briefcase on the
floor and put out her hand. “Good of you to see me.”
“Nice of you to travel all this way to meet with me,” he
murmured as he took a long gander into her eyes, and she hoped he saw past her
fangirl desire for him to her need to have a substantive business discussion. He
grasped her hand, and a sizzle sparked between them that jarred them both.
“Wow. Sorry,” he exclaimed and grabbed hold of her forearm
with his other big hand.
“It’s okay,” she told him, but she lied. The static that had
both of them jumping was the exact opposite of the one that traveled between
them every time he touched her in her dreams. In those, he electrified her with
fright for how he’d do her in. This jolt between them was simply alluring.
that’s crazy, isn’t it?
How could she feel such magnetism toward him if she
really didn’t know him?
“This old building began life as a trailer,” he said in
explanation for the shock he felt. “Never was very well grounded.”
“Ah, I see,” she declared, still unsteady on her feet. So
this current between them was a physical phenomenon, explainable. Not
biological. Or sexual.
“I should have warned you.” Reaching out with two hands, he
steadied her with a mighty grip that made her wish she could strip off her
linen suit. Better yet,
could strip it off.
“Does that happen a lot?” she asked him, aghast at how her
thoughts ran to getting naked with him.
“Often enough. Especially when women come in.”
What did that mean? She arched a brow.
And he chuckled, his cheeks flaming in embarrassment. “Silk
will do it. Like maybe your br—” He cleared his throat, his lime-green eyes
brilliant with horrible confusion. But he glanced down her body—and took his
sweet time trailing back up again. Most men, she knew from years of experience,
liked her figure. Lithe and long-legged, she worked hard at yoga and jogging to
keep her ass toned and her hips tight. And she did not easily give away the
goodies at the store, either. She had standards for those few men she had
invited to her bed. They had to be kind and considerate, fun and smart. Others
declared Chet Stapleton had those qualities and she believed them. Now she also
had evidence he liked what he saw of her.
He nodded toward the chair opposite his desk. “Have a seat,
Shana stepped backward, said thank you and sat down with a
smile like the top-notch PR consultant she truly was. This was an interview for
her firm to do a promotion for his rodeo, not an opportunity to seduce him.
I’m dying to reach out and lick your skin, right there at the hollow of your
“Ah, well, let’s begin,” he offered in a hoarse voice as if
he had forgotten why she was here. “Hot in here, I know. Sorry, the air
conditioner is broken. Again.” He grinned, fast and tight, his generous mouth
making her hungry for a nibble of his lips. “Can I offer you a drink?”
That and anything else you want to give me.
Oh, she really had to take care of business and get the hell
out of here. She rarely vibrated with desire. Making love had never quite blown
her mind. Not with any man. All three of them she had tried in her young life
had been strictly missionary position, slam bam bam bam. The only way that she’d
learned there could be more to great jiggy-jiggy had been by listening to BDSM
tales of her best friend Liz, and by watching really good porn.
makes me think a roll in the hay would be five-star affair with Mr. Rodeo Champ
Well, she could dream big, couldn’t she? She smiled again,
her willful gaze dropping to his pale denim shirt and low-slung jeans. The view
had her biting her lower lip and wondering if his chest was as rock hard as she
envisioned and if his cock was as long as she hoped.
She ran a hand over the crown of her hair.
definitely a crazy woman.
“Miz Carpenter?” He called her from her reverie
“Ah. Yes, thank you, I will.” She settled herself back into
the rickety folding chair, crossed one leg over the other and smoothed her
skirt to her knee. Her pussy needed petting, that was for sure, but she couldn’t
Hey, pardon me while I show you how pink and demanding my little cat is
She forced herself to look around and noted the nicks in the
wooden furniture and the drab paint on the walls. The main office of The
Hayward Rodeo was a wreck. If this little Texas town was going to succeed at
building this rodeo into an A-number-one national attraction, they would need
to spruce up their offerings, then their image. This office décor came in a
close third. To do that, she now knew for certain, they needed one more thing
But when she looked back at him, he was focused on her lips.
And his tongue was taking a slow journey around his mouth.
Can I just kiss that for you?
She pressed her thighs
together then shifted in her chair.
He did too.
Rearranging your cock because of me?
straighter, and her nipples beaded beneath her silk lace bra. He couldn’t see
them beneath her jacket, but he definitely zeroed in on her cleavage in the v
of her tank top. What the heck? Could she interest this man in sucking her
breasts into his mouth? Would he nibble at her big nipples and run his tongue
all the way around her diamond-studded bellybutton before he feasted on her
pussy? Her core swelled in appreciation at the very hope.
“Miz Carpenter? Ma’am?” Chet Stapleton raised his voice, but
he definitely sounded strained, as if he were strangling.
“Hmm?” She lifted her chin and shook back her
shoulder-length, platinum curls.
He swallowed, loudly. “What’ll it be? Water? Soda?” He
raised a hand to buzz his assistant on the intercom. “We have coffee too, if
that’s your poison.”
You are. My fixation. Ever since, I wrote that
article about you in the sports section of the Dallas paper four years ago.
Ever since I printed a retraction, resigned for my foolishness and began to
plan how I’d make more amends. Now I’m going even nuttier, contemplating how I
can take you into my bed and kiss the hurt away.
She squeezed her labia together and felt a trickle of
perspiration wend its way between her breasts.
“Water. Cool water. Please.”
“Two waters, Reata,” he told his assistant as he squinted at
Shana and looked for all the world like a guy who was trying to concentrate.
Shana would have laughed, but the lure of him had her
wiggling forward in her chair to try to massage her pulsing cunt. Four years
ago she had been frightened by her response to his languid cowboy sexuality.
She’d been young, twenty-two, in her first job at a newspaper and so naïve,
both professionally and sexually. Since she’d ruined Chet, she’d corrected both
lacks. Now she thoroughly examined whatever she did before she opened her mouth
or typed one word. To complement that, she also knew what she liked in men.
Honest, forthright, funny. Still no man yet had rung her bells more than a few
times. Hunky, jovial Chet Stapleton could definitely compete.
The man was droolworthy. With his bronzed skin, that
sun-kissed shock of yellow-gold hair hanging over his forehead, he was the
epitome of testosterone. His rock-hewn features with generous lips and a mellow
bass voice melted her into a puddle of foolish desire. No past lover could
compare. Sometimes when she felt really low and foolish, she put down this lack
in her life to a penance for doing him wrong and declaring he was a hothead
with the judges.
Once more, regret flooded her, and she reprimanded herself.
She was here to use her brains to heal the wounds she’d made. She had not come
here to use her body to confuse the issue. She had to stop thinking like a
Stifling a moan, she bent and dug through her briefcase for
her copy of the PR proposal. All thumbs, she couldn’t find the thing.
His tone was husky. Dark and suggestive. She looked up to
see Chet devouring her with those wide green eyes, his look hypnotic, his mouth
parting. A vision of him using that mouth to tantalize her sensitive nipples
made her groan.
“Chair not comfortable?” he asked, suddenly solicitous.
“Oh. No. No, no. I’m fine. Chair’s fine.”
but my pussy’s on fire.
“Here’s your water,” he said, sounding relieved when his
assistant walked in, handed both to him then shut the door behind her.
He sprang up to give Shana one of the bottles. “Would you
like a glass? Ice?”
“No. Thanks.” Shana stuck out her hand. “Water’s good. No
But when he reached out to give it to her, her fingers
touched his, and this time, the shock was electric. Riveting.
He clamped her hand to his rock-hard chest and rubbed her
fingers. “Christ, sorry. You okay?”
“Sure.” She stared up at him, automatically reaching out to
caress her own burning hand and, in the process, his ribs too. “Are you hurt?”
“Feels like nothing I’ve ever known before.” He put his
other hand on top of hers and stroked her from fingertips to forearm as if she
were a cat in heat.
“This has never happened to me before either.”
met a man I wanted within minutes of meeting him. I’m too cerebral, my friend
Liz says. Too careful. But you I want soon.
His voice was a rasp when he drew her up. “Let me make it up
“Oh, yes,” she crooned and stood. “I’d like that.”
He stepped closer now so that their hips touched, her pussy
flooded and his erection jutted up against her. His body heat washed over her
like a hot river. “I’ll buy you a drink when we’re done,” he promised. “Lunch
too, if you want.”
I want badly.
“A steak?” he asked, his eyes verdant with hunger. “Or maybe
that’s too much for lunch.”
“No, I like steak. Hearty things.”
“Oh, I do too.” He was nigh unto whispering as his eyes
drifted down to her jacket where her breasts chafed to be out and swaying
toward his lips. “But, uh, fact is, I’d take you to Joe Dan’s Ice House across
the street, but he’s getting a whole new kitchen installed and the place is
closed.” Chet grinned, his handsome mouth widening as he added, “I do cook.
Want to come home with me? For lunch, that is?”