Western Romance fans, we have something special just for you! When Danica loses her brother and Brodie loses his best friend, they consider a piece of themselves lost forever. Until they find each other. Two childhood friends come together in the wake of war and loss. The amazing Em Patrova is heating things up in this exclusive excerpt of Kickin’ Up Dust, out now!
Danica could almost feel her ovaries exploding as she drank in the image of Sergeant Brodie Bell. He must have packed on fifty pounds of solid muscle since going off to war with her brother. His arms were roped, his biceps bursting from his T-shirt sleeves. And mother of pearl, the way his jeans hung on his hips could make a girl go a little crazy.
Her nipples were two tight buds, and she feared he could see them distending her top, since she hadn’t bothered with a bra after her shower. All day long the torture device had dug into her shoulders and chafed her sides. Someday maybe she’d fabricate and patent a bra made for cowgirls. One a girl could rope and ride in without discomfort.
She watched Brodie’s face change as they stared at each other.
“You lost the braces.”
Oh hell. Was that all he saw when he looked at her? That she no longer had buck teeth? In school they’d called her Easter, because someone said her teeth resembled the Easter Bunny’s.
“Yeah, Pup. What of it?” She shot him a grin, quite aware of how perfect her problem area was now.
A ghost of a smile tipped the corner of his lips but he didn’t let it reach his eyes. Those were the deepest brown, nearly black. Cool, calculating almost. She could easily see how battle and probably the latest events had changed him.
“That nickname can’t rile me anymore. What do you think they called me in boot camp?” He extended his forearm, where a cute little black puppy was tattooed. Its jaws were wide open, and blood dripped off its fangs.
She noted the veins snaking over his arm and felt her nipples tighten further. What was the matter with her? This wasn’t the time for lust or the person to lust over. Matt was dead, and Brodie had the horrifying job of delivering his belongings to her parents.
She swallowed hard and averted her gaze. Trying to think up anything to say that didn’t have Matt’s name in the sentence was making her edgy. “Can I get you something to drink?”
“Nah, just came from dinner.”
“So the town—”
“Your ranch is—”
They spoke together, and she gave a low laugh. He nodded for her to continue. “The storms came a month back. Three twisters converged at the same time. Some had no warning at all.”
“Casualties?” He spoke as if it were war. At the time it had felt that way.
A shiver prickled the hair on her forearms. “Two dead. The Macallums.”
He blew out a long whistle. “Damn, that’s harsh.” They were an old couple everyone had adored. They’d taught school together, retired together, and perished together.
For a moment they were both silent as if in observance of their memory. Finally, Brodie looked up into her eyes.
The force of his gaze struck her. Her breath punched out, and she could do nothing but stare back at him. The coolness was gone from his eyes, leaving a smolder she had never seen and couldn’t make sense of.
Crow flopped on the floor between them, and Brodie’s burning look vanished, leaving the Brodie who’d come to bring her brother’s things back home—the man who’d seen atrocities unlike anything she could imagine.
“It’s good to see you, Danica.” His voice sounded as though sand was lodged in his throat. The gritty sound raised the hair on her forearms, and her nipples grew harder.
About Kickin’ Up Dust:
This Marine follows the rules. This cowgirl is all about breaking them.
Operation Cowboy, Book 1
After losing his best friend and CO, Matt, in combat, Brodie Bell didn’t think his spirits could sink any lower. He was wrong. One look at his and Matt’s storm-flattened hometown nearly levels him.
Los Vista needs a leader, and as Brodie takes the weight of the world on his shoulders, he comes up with a plan. Merge the two ranches left standing, pray for a good calving season…and keep his hands too busy to get busy with Matt’s sexy little sister.
Danica was in pigtails when Brodie and Matt went off chasing glory. Now she’s a woman with a broken heart, but if Matt knew of the depraved cravings Brodie ignites in her body, he’d haunt her from the grave.
As they work to mend miles of broken fences, Brodie fights to ignore Danica’s tiny cutoff shorts and mile-long legs—and to ignore the “weapon” that’s locked and loaded in his Levis. Because the last thing he wants is to dishonor his friend’s memory by ravishing the sweetest little cowgirl he’s ever laid eyes on.
Warning: Involves a sweet and sassy ranch girl who knows her way around a rope, and a Marine turned cowboy who’d like to tie her down and spank her until she begs for more.
Em Petrova lives in Backwoods, Pennsylvania, where she raises 4 kids and a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff. Her dream is to find an old pickup and travel small-town USA, meeting new people. Her heroes are hardworking–in bed and out–and she is known for panty-scorching erotic romance.
She also writes lesbian romance as Hallie Knight.