Zeke


Self-published
December 11, 2018


Read an Excerpt


Book 3

A cool man, a fiery woman, a love destined to ignite.

Intense, reserved and known for his strategic thinking, Zeke Blackwood has struggled to find his place in the post-war world. After the violent death of the first woman to capture his heart, Zeke retreats into a whisky bottle—until he’s handed the position of town sheriff.

Zeke sobers up and tries his damnedest to be the best lawman he can be. He hadn’t counted on the tempting new saloon girl to jeopardize his cold, unhappy existence.

Naomi Tucker is a survivor, a woman who made it through the war on her own wit and strength. She hoped moving to Tanger, Texas would bring her the peace and stability she yearns to find. Instead she runs head-on into a cool-eyed sheriff who welcomes her to his bed, only to push her away.

The wildness of the West is far from tamed. It threatens the town’s efforts to rebuild, Zeke’s bond with the Devils—and his fragile relationship with Naomi. As Zeke’s hold on sobriety slips, he and Naomi must choose between settling for half a life apart, or embracing all they could be. Together.

*This book has been previously published




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Reviews

"DEVILS ON HORSEBACK: ZEKE held me in its grip from the minute I opened it. Zeke is so wounded, so raw, and so appealing that I just couldn’t put the book down." — 5 Angels, Fallen Angels Reviews

"I love this series and DEVILS ON HORSEBACK: ZEKE has cemented that fondness!" — 4.5 Nymphs, Literary Nymphs Reviews

"This third offering in the Devils on Horseback series has maintained, if not surpassed, the expectations of Williamson’s fans." — 5 Hearts, The Romance Studio

"Grab the tissues ladies and indulge yourself with this wonderful Western romance. No one can write a western like Beth Williamson and DEVILS ON HORSEBACK: ZEKE is just an amazing read." — Joyfully Recommended by Joyfully Reviewed

"Williamson successfully captures the flavor of a traditional Old West town in her third entry in the Devils on Horseback series. Her characters leap off the pages as they wage the traditional battle of good versus evil." — 4 Stars, Romantic Times Book Reviews

"Brimming with humor, an entertaining plot, a feisty heroine and a vulnerable, yet strong hero…" — 5 Blue Ribbons, Romance Junkies

"In my humble opinion, there’s no better western writer than Beth Williamson. Saddle up and get ready for another awesome read with multi-dimensional characters." — 5 Kisses, Two Lips Reviews

"Sexy, emotional and thought-provoking." — 4 Spurs, Love Western Romances



Excerpt

His boots slammed into the hard-packed dirt as he ran down the street. On more than one occasion, he’d ended up with black eyes, stitches and sore knuckles after a saloon brawl. Lucy had cleaned him up. This time, he didn’t have any intention of coming away with a scratch.

By the time he made it to the saloon, he’d built up a good head of steam to go with his rising temper. Whoever was responsible would be the first guest in the new jail. Sounds of breaking glasses, grunts, a few screeches and Lucy shouting spilled out into the darkness of the street. A chair slammed into the bar just as Zeke burst through the doors. Splinters flew every which way, some of them grazing his cheek.

He threw up his hand to protect his eyes as he tried to see what was going on. Louisa and Carmen hid behind the bar—the two watched the brawl like it was a damn circus show. Lucy stood in front of the bar, waving what was left of the chair she just smashed into bits. She looked angrier than he’d ever seen her.

About fifty men pummeled each other around the room. Some were even rolling on the floor picking up tobacco spit and dirt on their clothes. Zeke kicked at them but they ignored him. Lucy saw him and mouthed, “Do something.”

He pushed his way through the fights, yanking men by the collars, pushing others into chairs, hell he even pulled hair to get them to break apart. By the time he made it to the center of the disturbance, he was panting and thinking the job might not be worth this much trouble. He knew he’d found the instigator when the knot of men grew thicker.

Patience was something he might have on a good day, but this definitely didn’t count as one. He started punching men and they went down fast. The zip of battle lust coursed through him as he made his way through the idiots. That’s when he realized who stood on the table in the middle of the fight.

Naomi Tucker.

Her green dress was ripped at the shoulder, exposing smooth alabaster skin. Her hair was sticking up every which way and her mouth curled into a snarl. In her hands, she held two thick glass mugs, each bearing the bloody marks of a few hits, more than likely on someone’s head.

His heart hammered at the sight of this wisp of a woman fiercely battling fifty men. Like a Valkyrie from Norse mythology, she was a warrior goddess come to life.

Someone poked two fingers into his back.

“Get on with it, Zeke, while I’ve still got a saloon left,” Lucy yelled in his ear.

He knew he had to do something, but Naomi had shocked him. Not many women had been able to do that, however he’d already come to the conclusion she wasn’t like any woman he’d ever met. She confused him, dammit. That thought energized him into action. With a few grunts and curses, he made it through the men and to her feet. When she glanced down, her eyes widened with surprise and a smidge of fear. Good thing too. She needed to be afraid because she was in trouble.

He took out his pistol and fired a shot into the ceiling, with silent apologies to Lucy for the damage. The loud bang echoed through the saloon and everyone stopped as if frozen. Naomi watched him with wary eyes.

“This fight is officially over. If you don’t want to end up in the jail, then get your hands off the man you’re punching now. Y’all owe Lucy for the damage, so leave an extra dollar for her trouble.” He took a deep breath and surveyed the bloody faces in the room. “Who started it?”

Fifty men pointed at Naomi. She gasped and scowled at Jeb, the big stupid cowboy who stood next to her with a gash on his cheek and a goose egg on his forehead.

Without a word of warning, Zeke grabbed her and threw her stomach down on his shoulder. It didn’t take her but a second to start beating on his back and struggling to break his hold. Nothing doing. Zeke had his prisoner and he wasn’t about to give into her wailing.

Naomi was stronger than she looked. In fact, she almost got away twice, but Zeke held fast, tightening his grip until he could feel every bone, muscle and, dammit to hell, curve in her body. By the time they got to the house the Devils had dubbed the “shit shack”, which now served as the jail, she had inflicted at least a half dozen bruises. For certain, his thighs would never be the same from her shoes.

“Keep still, Miss Tucker,” he said for the tenth time. “You’re under arrest for starting the saloon fight. You’re going to spend the night in jail no matter how many times you kick me.”

She grunted and kicked him harder. Little witch.

“Put me down.”

That’s exactly what he wanted to do, but until the cell was in front of him, she was stuck on his shoulder. He kicked the door open and cursed when he realized it was dark as hell. The moon hadn’t risen yet and the lamp had gone out.

“I’m going to drop you on your head if you don’t stop wiggling.” Then Zeke did something he never expected to do. He smacked her on the ass.

That not only shut her up but she stopped moving. Satisfied he’d gotten the best of her, he stepped into the gloomy interior of the new Tanger jail.