When a clumsy governess from New York meets a lonely, bitter rancher, more than her heart will fall.
The Malloy Family, Book 4
Ray Malloy is a single father in an age when every child has two parents. Abandoned by his shallow wife, he struggles to find the balance between being a father and being a successful rancher. At the end of his rope with his wild child daughter, he hires a governess from New York to teach his daughter, Melody, to be a lady.
Lillian Wickham is desperate for a job, poor as a church mouse, and determined as a bulldog. Arriving in Wyoming to a chilly reception, and saddled with a five-year-old girl that could be mistaken for an incredibly, dirty little boy does not daunt her.
Ray is determined to avoid women completely, to ignore Lillians luscious figure, ruby red lips, and husky voice. Lillian is determined to turn Melody into a lady, come hell or high water, and avoid the hellions devastatingly attractive father at the same time. Until one night when Lillians clumsiness drops her right into Rays arms and their passion takes on a life of its own.
When unexpected danger steals into their lives, and threatens the stubborn child they both love, will their passion be strong enough to survive, or will it tear their world apart?
This book has been previously published and repackaged.
Warning: This title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, some violence.
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Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
July 17, 2006
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from The Treasure by Beth Williamson
Lily concentrated on putting the supplies away where they belonged. As Ray brought in each bundle, she had to focus on what she was doing or she might do something she'd regret.
Like blurt her life story to him. Something she never wanted to do. There was too much pain and humiliation in her past. She didn't want it to taint her present. It was bad enough he knew how clumsy she was. He didn't need another excuse to fire her.
The truth was she liked Wyoming. She liked the wide open spaces, the clean air, and the man. She didn't know why. He was gruff, rude, and a bit of a bully. Her head knew that, but her heart seemed to be galloping off on its own way.
Lily suddenly realized it was getting dark and she hadn't even started dinner. She pushed the beans onto the shelf in the pantry and ran back out into the kitchen.
Straight into Ray who was carrying in the last of the supplies. She slammed into him with all the grace of a running cow. He dropped the bag of coffee beans trying to catch her, but her momentum kept her going until she fell over backward with Ray close behind. She landed on the floor with an awful thump on her head that made her see stars. Coffee beans scattered everywhere with a symphony of plings.
All the breath was driven from her lungs as she was pressed up from head to toe against him. He was so hard. There wasn't an inch of softness on this man. She had only touched a man once in her life, long ago, but he had been flabby. Ray was like a block of wood. A block of wood that was hot, like a human fireplace.
Ray tried to scramble off her, but he slipped on the coffee beans and fell back down. His head smacked painfully into her.
"Jesus Christ!" he shouted.
He planted his hands on either side of her shoulders and pushed up. His green eyes were alight with unnamed emotions and a bit of frustration.
"Are you all right?"
She nodded, suddenly aware that her breasts were inches from him, and that her lower half was pushing against his. That part was hard too. Then it twitched.
Her eyes stung as she held his stare. She could practically hear his heart beating along with hers. Each racing at an accelerated pace. His pupils dilated and he licked his lips.
One of his hands crept up from her shoulder and cupped the back of her neck. Before she knew what was happening, he was lying on her again and he was kissing her. She closed her eyes and felt the earth shift beneath her.
His lips were firm, like him, yet supple. He moved his lips over hers, back and forth, teasing, tickling, until she started kissing him back. She didn't know how to kiss so she followed his lead.
Heat raced through her from not only the kiss, but the full body contact. Her nipples were hard and aching, rubbing lightly against his chest.
She nearly jumped when she felt his tongue touch her lips, licking lightly, knocking on the door to be let in. Lily was about to open up when a small voice shrieked like a banshee.
"What are you doing to her, Pa?"
Lily broke the kiss and stared up at Ray. Regret, confusion, and desire swirled in his eyes. She felt her cheeks turn scarlet as he hopped to his feet. Lily stood with a little less grace, fortunately without falling again.
"Goodness gracious, I've made a mess! Look what I did, Melody! I bumped into your Pa and started to fall. Your Pa tried to catch me and he ended up falling too."
She forced herself to laugh lightly, when she felt anything but light of spirit. Ray stomped over to the pantry.
"Then he dropped the coffee and it made a mess! Goodness gracious!"
She tried to ignore Ray as he retrieved a corn broom and started sweeping up the coffee.
"Help me get this up, Mel."
Melody stared at Lily suspiciously, but knelt down on the floor and started scooping the beans back into the burlap bag.
Lily turned to the stove and with trembling hands, stoked up the fire until it burned brightly. By the time a few minutes had passed, she felt more in control of herself.
She turned and found Ray with the bag of coffee beans, alone.
"I didn't intend on doing that."
"I know. I didn't either," she said, clutching her hands together in front of her. For some reason, they wanted to reach for him.
"Do you want me to apologize?"
She shook her head. "No. I...I kissed you back."
He nodded, gripping the bag tightly. "That you did. It's been quite some time since I kissed a woman, Lily, but that...that was...incredible."
With that, he disappeared into the pantry, then out the back door before she could absorb what he'd said.
The kiss was incredible. Incredible.
Lily couldn't contain the smile that spread over her face. She'd never been incredible in her life. Her heart felt immeasurably lighter as she started making supper.
"Pa, why were you kissing Lily?"
Ray was expecting it, but still hoping it wasn't going to happen. "Men and women kiss sometimes, Mel."
"I know, but they're married. You're not married are you?"
He tucked the covers around her and kissed her on the forehead.
"No, we're not married."
"You're not going to get married are you?"
"Melody, would you please drop the subject? We kissed, yes. It was just that. Only that. A kiss. We're not married and we don't plan on getting married. Ever."
Melody scowled at him and opened her mouth to speak.
"Don't even think about it."
She closed her mouth and rolled over to her side.
With one last kiss for his daughter, Ray turned out the lamp and left the room. As he stepped into the hallway, his gaze strayed to the bedroom next door.
His imagination exploded with thoughts of her white nightgown and the soft, womanly curves it held. Now he was tortured by the fact that he knew exactly what those curves felt like against him. What her lips felt like against his.
His dick pressed hard against his trousers, stretching and yowling. It was going to be a long, lonely night.