Moonlight Desperado -- Out now from Siren Publishing
In Texas after the Civil War, Mary Ann Beauclere is imprisoned by soldiers turned raiders. Outraged when Captain Craig Wolfe steals a kiss and more in front of the men, she follows his orders, desperate to protect her little sisters asleep upstairs. The outlaws demand bedding and food. Captain Wolfe helps her, and she softens toward the desperado, allowing his kisses, drawn to him as to no other.
Confederate spy, Craig, despairs of finding his life mate. Hiding his assignment from the raiders, he only intends to protect Miss Beauclere, until he recognizes Mary Ann as the woman he will love forever. Her courage tempts him to dream of a future together. Will she love him, a werewolf? If not, he'll spend his life alone.
When Craig claims her as his life mate, secret identities and a vicious pack member threaten their future and their lives. Can Craig save her?
“Miss, the men outside are dangerous.” He must keep her from riling Keller. He sliced the air with his gun hand.
“Don’t try to fool their leader. I’ll protect you, but don’t put yourself in jeopardy.”
“How can I trust you?” Cold derision mixed with her anger. “You’re one of them.”
He’d best defuse her temper right now. He softened his tone. “You can trust me. Don’t question anyone. Just do as you’re asked, within reason, and stay out of sight otherwise.”
She threw a pillow at him. When he caught it, her eyes, the color of blue forget-me-nots, glowed like the hottest flame. The scent of her perfume rose from the feather pillow and encircled him.
The smile that twitched the corners of his mouth disappeared. A sudden onslaught of feral passion increased his hunger for her. Tendrils of her hair, the color of ripe fields of wheat, curled in the summer heat, and a fine sheen of dampness covered her face. He wanted to lick that moisture where it formed fine beads. It took all his strength to control the need to take her in his arms and devour her.
At the stubborn, angry expression on her face, Craig said, “Mind what I’ve said. I’ll be right back.”
He took the bundle outside and handed it to the waiting men, turned and retraced his steps upstairs. He admired her stubbornness but it could cause her trouble. He needed to make it clear to the men, including Keller that she belonged to him. She’d protest, but he must show them she was his alone, for her sake.
When would there be an end to this fighting and lawlessness? He was sick of it. Home and herding cattle on the ranch never appealed more. When his assignment ended, he planned to leave soldiering behind and take up ranching.
He found Miss Beauclere in the first bedroom near the stairs. Her sweet scent filled this room as well. It must be her bedroom. Clean white curtains covered the windows. On either side, stood a dresser and washstand. The clean lines of the furniture and bed matched Miss Beauclere’s demeanor.
She’d pulled all the bed clothes into a pile and now gathered quilts from a chest at the foot of the four poster bed.
“There’s only one more bedroom where my aunt sleeps when she visits. After I collect her sheets and blankets, I have no more to offer.”
Oh, she had more to offer. Too much for her own good. She promised to be a handful. He hoped she didn’t push Keller too far. Craig would put a stop to any trouble before it started.
“I’m sorry to cause you this inconvenience. We should be gone at first light.”
She piled the quilts in his arms, without touching him, and moved to fold the linens. The soft outlines of her long slender legs drew his attention. Almost overpowered by the animal in him, he leaned against the door while he regained his strength over the inner demon. How could he protect her when her affect on him brought forth his worst side?
When she turned toward the door, she stopped and stared at him. He blocked her way.
He inhaled deeply, and fought for his humanity. “Miss, I know you’re upset, but no matter what happens, don’t do anything to upset Keller. Just stay out of sight inside your home.”
She shook her head, clearly exasperated. “I have no thoughts of doing anything that would draw your leader’s attention.”
“Good.” He turned, headed through the doorway and back down the stairs. Her soft footfalls padded behind him.
When they reached the veranda, he handed the blankets to one of the men standing nearby. Finding Miss Beauclere so close worked with his plan. He took the bundle from her in one arm, slipped his other arm around her waist and pulled her against him.
As she gasped in surprise, he covered her lips with his. Holding her tight, he tossed the linens to one of the men who gawked, and covered one firm breast with his hand.