Saturday, June 28, 2014

Runaway Cowgirl Excerpt

Runaway Cowgirl
By Cheryl Dragon
Published by Totally Bound 6/27/14
MMMF Historical Western

Blurb: Emily isn’t about to marry just any man, but falling in love with two hot ranchers might be more than this respectable young lady can handle.

Emily St. Claire is wealthy, beautiful, young and very eligible to the single men of Manitou Springs, Colorado. The Wild West isn’t safe for a woman alone, but she isn’t about to marry for anything but love. Her charitable efforts put her in touch with all manner of people, and while she’s respectable, she causes gossip around the small town as she tries to help prostitutes and orphans. Still, she does want a family of her own.

Two handsome young men catch Emily’s eye, but Jack and Henry are so close. How can she pick one of them without destroying their friendship and their partnership? When she finds them in a compromising position, she’s shocked and intrigued. Emily never considered herself conventional, but the men open her eyes even more to how inclusive and varied love can be. Society would never approve, yet it doesn’t feel wrong for the trio. Being courted by two men at once is wild, but committing herself to them is pure madness and pure ecstasy as well. They must keep their ménage secret until they’re sure how to plan a future together so no one will suspect or discover the truth. 1878 isn’t ready for what they have to offer.


The utter arrogance of the single men in town made her gallop the horse. There were plenty of whores in town, so why did the men have to bother her? They wanted her money— it was as simple as that. If love was involved, it would be a different story.
Avoiding the main road, she came up on the Bonner ranch from behind. A big spread of horses and cattle showed they were successful. The house was large and sturdy but modest. 
They were cowboys to the core. Certainly not the most conventional men in town, but she wasn’t always traditional either. Her desire to get women the vote hadn’t gone over well.
At least the Bonner men hadn’t mocked her like some had for wanting women’s suffrage. The handsome cousins kept to themselves, traded with the Indians when they could, and always helped anyone who needed it.
True gentlemen, who made her feel beautiful and rare. She could never decide which of the two she liked better. Both triggered very unladylike reactions in her. Desire, lust and tingling were the best words she had. 
When she did her charity work with the prostitutes, she’d heard them discussing men in detail so she believed it was natural. Emily knew the marriage bed wasn’t always unpleasant. Her mother died before Emily was old enough to discuss marriage or personal matters, but Alice’s tasteful input and the unavoidable view of farm animals mating had filled in the blanks on the basics.
There were plenty of nights she’d dreamed about the Bonner men in very carnal ways. The sensitive flesh between her legs throbbed from her just thinking about them. Alice was right. Emily was a woman and spinsterhood probably wasn’t the best path for her.
Jack and Henry Bonner were the two men in town she’d even consider, but they were close. Kin like that didn’t turn on its own. She couldn’t come between them. Neither man had ever made any attempt to court her. Then life dragged her to Denver. She hadn’t seen either of the men since.
Hearing noises in the barn, Emily hopped off her horse and tied the strong brown filly up to a rail behind the house by a watering trough. No one could see the horse from the road. She found a bucket of feed and set it where the horse could reach it. She patted the animal’s neck then watched it drink and settle in.
“Good job,” she whispered.
The animal shook its head and drank deeply. More sounds came from the barn and Emily’s curiosity got the best of her.
Quietly, she pulled the door open and walked in. The huge barn had hay and stalls for the horses. Her eyes adjusted to the reduced sunlight and in the last stall she saw movement. Good manners said she should announce her presence, but she couldn’t resist seeing the men at work. Maybe they were bare-chested with pitchforks in hand? After so much propriety in Denver, she needed a dose of functional reality that a small town gave. Propriety was good but not always practical.
As she peeked into the stall, she saw more than men working with hay. They were nearly naked and pulling the last bits of each other’s clothes off. The shock set in and she gaped at them. Their bodies were so perfect and so close. What were they doing? She jumped when a gust of wind blew through the barn, whistling through the cracks.
The scathing sermons on unnatural acts and how war had twisted some men to lie with each other as they did with their wives haunted her. The reverend’s words about how lust could taunt a man and that it had to be purged, flashed in her mind. She took a step back. It didn’t look evil or dangerous. They remained the same two men she’d come to admire and care for a great deal. 
Still, she couldn’t look away as the smell of warm hay and the sounds of hoof stomps faded into the background. The men drew her in. They were good people. Jack had brown hair and eyes, a tanned hard body and muscles from days of physical work. His cock jutted out and she stared at it for a long moment. Her body tingled as though her instincts might take over to please him.
Then Henry’s clothes hit the hay. He had lighter brown hair, green eyes and even more muscles than Jack. He didn’t have a head for figures or business, other than negotiating, but he was fun. He preferred to do the work, and it showed. 
His member was pointing up as well. Henry pushed Jack into the hay and knelt. Emily ached to join them, but two men? Together? There were names for that. Bad names and negative comments she’d heard from people. 
Most of those same people also said bad things about the Indians and the liberated slaves. 
When Henry kissed Jack full on the mouth, Emily gasped. They were so beautiful and tempting. There was no logic to it. Both men could find wives or prostitutes willing to give away their bodies. Unlike her mind, her body wasn’t confused at all. She sighed and a bit of a moan slipped out.

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