- Available in: Ebook
- Published: May 29, 2017
Malloy Family Book 5
Trevor Malloy has spent his life enjoying and flirting with women. Life hadn’t given him a female he couldn’t charm until he goes all in at a poker game and loses. To a woman who seems to be impervious to his smiles. And she wants him to pay what he owes.
Adelaide Burns cannot allow herself to fall pray to Trevor’s handsome face. She has to stand firm to keep her reputation, no matter how attractive the man is. He must pay what he owes in muscle and sweat. Despite their efforts to keep apart, they come together like a stick of dynamite and find heaven in each other’s arms.
Not everyone thinks a woman should run a saloon and intend to shut her down, one way or the other. Trevor and Adelaide stand together to fight for her saloon, and face a future that might be the luck of the draw.
The stranger was, quite simply, stunning. Adelaide noticed him immediately and felt a hard kick of appreciation in her gut for his appearance. With wavy reddish-brown hair and a smile that could melt butter, he sat at the bar and watched, pretending that he wasn’t watching.
Adelaide spotted poker players within a minute—this one should have had gambler written on his forehead in grease pencil. Other than his looks, she didn’t notice any other redeeming qualities. Gamblers had them in short supply.
When Parker and Curtis left for supper, the stranger stood, stretched, then picked up his beer and ambled over to the table. A long-legged gait, easy movements showing he was comfortable in his skin. With a devastating grin, he gestured to the open chair across from her.
Oh, Lord have mercy. The deep timbre of his voice sent skitters down her skin and made her nipples tighten like bowstrings. Adelaide had a brief moment of imagining that voice whispering dark, sexy words in her ear before she squelched that particular fantasy and sent it packing. She’d sworn off handsome, smooth-talking men a long time ago, so this one didn’t stand a chance in hell of getting into her bed, much less her heart.
“Chair’s open if you’re wanting to play, stranger. One dollar ante, five card draw, wild cards are dealer’s choice. You in?” She kept shuffling the deck to maintain focus on what she was doing. His looks were distracting.
“Thank you kindly, pretty lady.”
Well, that dampened her unusual arousal, not completely, but a lot. She hated nonsensical shit like that. What was the point of that compliment? Did he honestly think she’d be so flattered that she’d forget how to deal cards? Just another fool trying the “I’m so handsome, won’t you fall into my arms” routine she’d heard so many times.
“No thanks required, just the money. Five card draw, threes and sixes are wild. Ante up, fellas.”
With four players left, the cards moved more quickly. Adelaide kept her eyes trained on the flirtatious stranger and his charming self. She damn well tried not to look at his long-fingered hands, at the way he held the cards and caressed the edges. She just knew those fingers had an enormous amount of talent for things other than playing cards.
Focus, Adelaide. Don’t let ‘em distract you. Remember, you hold the cards.
Her grandfather’s voice echoed in her ear. He’d taught her everything he knew about cards, and about life. She’d always followed his advice and it never steered her wrong.
Everyone took three cards, except Handsome. He took only one, with a wink, no less. Adelaide cocked an eyebrow and smirked. She received a chuckle in response.
“I can’t help myself. Every time I see a pretty lady, I just lose my head,” he said as he met the raise and flashed those pearly whites again.
“I might lose my supper if you’re not careful.” Adelaide finally looked at her cards when she realized the bet was to her. “See your five, raise you five.”
“What’s your name, darlin’?”
She’d give him his druthers; he didn’t give up easily. “You may call me Miss Adelaide.”
“Mmmm, Red…that fits perfectly. I’m Trevor Malloy.”
“You’re holding up the game, Trevor Malloy. See the bet or fold.” Adelaide refused to give in to the stranger’s charms.
With another chuckle, Trevor saw the bet and called. She wasn’t surprised to find he had three tens in his hand and took the pot. Then took the next two hands with a guileless grin and a shrug. The gambling cowboy definitely knew what he was doing. Too bad he had no idea who he was playing against.
Adelaide hated to lose, no ifs, ands or buts. Especially to someone she didn’t respect like silver-tongued cowboys. She was done playing—it was time to show sweet cheeks what a real gambler could do.