Yeehaw!! I’m super, amazingly pleased to welcome back the Malloys! Today marks the release of THE FORTUNE, the first in a set of four prequels to the books you all know and love. A big thank you to my editor at Samhain, Amy Sherwood, for taking on the Malloys and me!
THE FORTUNE is the story of how John Malloy met Francesca Chastain, the passion that sparked a lifelong love, and launched a legacy.
It’s a road romance with everything you’ve come to expect from my favorite family. You’re going to fall in love with John and Frankie, meet her sisters and wait for their stories too.
I hope you all enjoy this story as much as I did. Enjoy an excerpt below and let’s ride!
John made one more circle around the perimeter of the circle of wagons. All was quiet and Callahan had been the only thing stirring in the darkness. He slung the rifle on his back and rounded the curve that would lead him straight to his tent.
He ran smack into a female body, then fell right on his ass. She’d been all soft womanly curves but strong enough to remain standing when he plowed into her.
“Holy hell, lady. What are you doing out here in the dark?” His tailbone had landed on a rock and damned if he didn’t have pain shooting straight up his back.
“I did not realize I needed your permission, Monsieur Malloy.”
It was worse than he thought. He’d run into the one woman who had him tied in knots.
“Frankie. Does your Pa know you’re roaming around alone?”
She sucked in a breath, he was sure, of outrage. “I do not need permission to take a walk. From anyone.”
“You need a keeper.” He got to his feet and wiped the dirt of his backside.
Then she pushed him and he landed right back where he started. She jumped on him, straddling his body with her legs and proceeded to punch the snot out of him. Her hard little fists slammed into his jaw, cheek and forehead.
John swatted at her hands, his jaw stinging from the blows she’d landed. “Frankie, what the hell are you doing?”
“I am tired of your boorish face and the way you treat women. How dare you kiss me and then propose to that, that woman?” Her voice was thick with emotion, but he couldn’t tell if it was anger or hurt.
She was a wildcat, hissing and pelting him with her tiny, hard fists. He didn’t want to hurt her but he wasn’t going to allow her to keep beating on him either.
“Stop!” He grabbed her wrists, stopping her movements. “I didn’t propose to her, dammit.”
She stopped her efforts to yank her arms from his grasp. “What?”
“You heard me. I didn’t propose to her. Hell, I don’t even like her.” He sighed, the fear and anger from the engagement making his stomach churn. “She hid in my tent naked and then waited for her father to appear. I either lost my job and the ranch I plan on starting with the money from it or face a shotgun in my belly.”
“She tricked you?”
“Females are the most perverse creatures. Yes, she tricked me. I still don’t know why she’d want to marry a poor cowhand like me. Hell, I ain’t educated and all I know is horses and living outdoors.” He became very aware of the female body on top of his, the heat from her center, square on his. Her scent, one of lemon and woman, washed over him.
In only seconds, the strange situation turned into a sensual one. His dick throbbed against her backside. There was no way she didn’t feel the hard-on knocking at her door.
“Perhaps she found you handsome.” Frankie still straddled him, her body growing warmer by the second.
His pulse notched up even faster. “You think I’m handsome?” He didn’t know what to think about Frankie—she didn’t reveal much about her feelings, but she did let every thought in her head fly off her tongue. She had kissed him back too.
“You are not entirely unpleasant to look at.” Her voice had a breathy quality to it.
“High praise, darlin’.” He shifted beneath her and she made a funny sound in her throat. It almost sounded like a growl.
She leaned, her hair brushing against his cheek. Her hair was unbound. His pulse thundered as he reached up and touched it. Soft and slippery, her locks slid through his fingers. He brought it to his nose and inhaled.
He hardened to painful proportions, jammed up against her body. He thrust a little, enough to ease the ache. She gasped and wiggled, which made the painful erection worse. He wanted to push inside her, sheath himself within the soft hot folds of her body. It was almost irresistible, the pull to make her his own. To brand her.
“You’re still sitting on me.”
She sighed, her breath gusting past his cheek. “I know. It is wrong, but I cannot seem to make myself move.”
John could hardly believe she felt it too. The hard, elemental pull between them was strong. He thrust up again and she gasped. Her mouth landed sideways on his and she kissed him as hard as she’d hit him minutes earlier.
He closed his arms around her, pulling her down until she was flush against him, breast to breast, groin to groin. John’s brain ceased functioning and his body took over. She was heaven in his arms, soft and warm against his achingly hard self. He deepened the kiss, thrusting his tongue into her mouth, exploring her teeth, her tongue and her lips. She met him stroke for stroke, her passion burning brighter than the stars.