In The Heart of Love (eBook) - Shifting Hearts #1

$5.99
426 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 01/15/2016
  • ISBN: 978-1-943528-33-2
  • Model: 90684 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 2 Flames

 

Lottie McCade is widow with three kids and a pile of problems. She has three children and a rich but unpleasant man determined to make Lottie his. Then a drifter named Eli Whittier shows up at her farm and her life becomes even more complicated.

Charlotte "Lottie" McCade is a widow with a pile of problems. She has three children, no money and little food, and a man she can't stand, pestering her to be his. When a handsome man drifts into her life, she's unwilling to let him get involved, but circumstances conspire to get him involved. Worse, she finds herself falling in love with the handsome drifter. But things in her life are far more complicated than Lottie realizes.

Eli Whittier is a man with a past. One he wants to forget. He can't normally abide being around people; they remind him that men like him with a thing living in their souls don't deserve a love or a family. But he can't leave a woman in distress, especially when she's up against a man that has the look of a cold-blooded killer in his eyes and the scent of a wolf living under his skin.

Carl Hightower will stop at nothing to have Lottie. And if it takes murdering the drifter, her children, and anyone else who gets in his way, he's more than happy see people dead. He'll do what it takes to have her because she's the only woman he's ever met who can give him what he wants: werewolf sons.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This story is a re-edited, expanded re-release title.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

It didn't take a great mind to realize the small homestead laid out below was in some kind of trouble. Part of the fence near the barn had fallen over at some point, and a scattering of shingles was missing from the roof. A critical survey also showed the steps, leading up to the porch, were rotting out, a bucket pressed into service as the bottom step. The house would have been a fine one if it weren't for the damage.

Tied up in what should have been the corral--if the fence weren't down--was a pair of horses. One was a dusty dun with the sturdy legs of a plow horse. The lack of plowed fields bore out the idea something was very wrong at the homestead. A smaller bay, with the look of a cart horse, stood close to a milk cow. They grazed from a pile of grass piled near the trio of animals. Chickens roamed the yard, some with a few chicks following in their wake.

A few well-tended rose and lilac bushes and a kitchen vegetable garden were at odds with the sad state of the house and corral., Eli could see the angular shape of what looked to be a playhouse intended for a child's use tucked inside one of the lilac bushes

Eli Whittier took the disparities in with a keen eye as he considered whether he dared ride down to the homestead to partake of the water in the well. Beneath him, his horse nickered and licked its nose, begging for the water the gelding must be able to smell even from this far away.

He patted the animal's neck. "Easy there, Chance. These folks might not welcome us stopping by."

His mount reached the bottom of the hill and headed for the well without any urging from Eli. They were almost to the outer edge of the broken down fence when a boy came out from the playhouse carrying a small child-sized bucket.

He headed for the well but stopped in his tracks, face turned to Eli, his dark brown eyes wide with surprise. "Ma! There's a stranger coming!"

A woman burst out of the house, skirts swinging wildly as she ran into the yard. She had a shotgun cradled in her arms, the business end aimed more or less in his direction. "Get in the house, both of you," she ordered the children.

The boy hesitated, then darted into the lilac shrouded playhouse and came out leading his younger sister by the hand. They hurried up the rickety stairs and vanished inside.

"You can hold it right there, mister," she ordered.

Eli regarded the woman holding the shotgun. Not a trace of fear showed in her eyes, or on her face, which was set in stern lines that warned she would shoot if he pushed his luck and kept riding. Despite her expression, she was downright beautiful, with a small, pert nose and vivid blue eyes liberally dusted with flecks of gold a man could stare into for hours. She had a kissable mouth, too. Full and soft. Unfortunately, at the moment it had drawn into a firm line that warned she wouldn't put up with any nonsense from him. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, he found himself wondering what it would be like to set his own lips to hers.

She took another step in his direction, leveled the shotgun on his chest.

Watching her, Eli felt something stir inside him, a strange off pace beat of his heart that sent an ache of longing right to his groin. He shifted in the saddle and brought his horse to a stop, confused by the odd sensations. The animal tugged at the reins and side-stepped, wanting to get at the water and slake its thirst.

He patted the horse's neck. "Easy boy. I know you're thirsty but this lady's got a shotgun."

"What do you want?"

Her voice was sweet with a faint trace of an accent Eli thought might mean she had been born overseas somewhere, though he couldn't be sure. Her voice, like her appearance, sent a shooting star-bright trail of lust blazing through him. His woolen pants were becoming uncomfortable and he hoped she didn't notice his condition.

He reached for his hat and tipped it to her politely. While he didn't make it a habit of seeking out people, he did remember how to be polite to a woman, even one that had a gun pointed at him.

"My horse needs water, bad," he replied. "Most of the creeks around here are dry as dust and my canteen's just as bad. I was hoping to get some water from your well."

Her frown deepened. "What makes you think we've got water to spare for a drifter?"

"Ma'am, I'm not actually a drifter. I've got a small place up in the mountains." Which was more or less true.

He'd been living alone in the cabin he'd found abandoned late last fall. Perhaps abandoned wasn't the right word because whoever had lived there before him had left what looked to be most their worldly possessions behind. He didn't know what happened to the man who'd lived in the cabin--he'd even searched for any sign of him and found nothing--but the goods he'd left behind had served Eli's needs. The food and clothing he'd found got him through last winter and most of the spring and summer without too much hardship.

"I came down because I'm heading for the nearest town to get some supplies. I'd counted on getting water at the creek a couple miles from here, but, like I said, it's down to a couple of mud puddles. There's no potable water left."

Her expression of disapproval didn't change. "Fine, so you have a place in the mountains, but that doesn't mean I've got water to spare."

"I can pay. How about two bits to water my horse and fill my canteen?"

For a moment she simply stood there, gun aimed in his direction, as if she were thinking over his offer. He waited for her to decide, his gaze traveling over her, noting the swell of her full breasts, the way the sun shot sparks of red and gold fire through her hair. He found himself imagining what it would feel like to run his hands through her hair, to cup her lush breasts in his hands, lower his head to kiss her lips. He wondered if they'd be as soft and sweet as they looked. He imagined stripping off her dress, corset, and the layers of petticoats to reveal the luscious curves of her womanly body. Imagined, too, running his hands over her skin, finding it to be silken and pale as cream.

His cock throbbed, reacting to his thoughts, his desire to touch and taste the splendid woman who had him at gunpoint. He wanted her, and that desire shocked him to the very core of his being. He'd seen women, lots of them, but he'd never wanted any of them the way he wanted the shapely woman with her startling blue eyes and wildfire gold hair.

"Do you have two bits?"

Authors:

About Jaymie Michaels:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Jayme Michaels is the pseudonym of Michael Barnette. The name is used to distinguish heterosexual content stories from Michael’s more common tales of manlove. Jayme/Michael has been writing tales of erotic romance since the late 90s. Fleeing from the tropic heat of South Beach and Miami, Florida, Michael has steadily migrated farther and farther west and now writes with a view of the Flat Iron Mountains of Colorado. Readers can reach Jayme/Michael via email at: m_barnette_author@yahoo.com

Other books by Monti Shalosky- EDITOR:

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Sheri McGathy- COVER ARTIST:

Other books by Jaymie Michaels, Monti Shalosky- EDITOR and Sheri McGathy- COVER ARTIST:

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This book was added to our catalog on Saturday 26 September, 2015.

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