Clay Russell had plans. Win the Nationals in bull-riding, then start his own spread breeding horses. Instead his family roped him into leaving Arizona to get a struggling ranch in North Carolina back on its feet.
He didn't expect Rusty Blackhawk to be a woman. Or a witch. The little bundle of dynamite lit his fuse. Keeping his mind on the job and his hands off the saucy little Rusty was taking all his control, and then some.
Rusty had no choice but to take the Russells' offer and partner up with them. She wasn't expecting to like Clay Russell. But it was mighty hard to ignore the tall, handsome cowboy when her body -- and her soul -- was saying "yes! yes! yes!"
Neither of them expected the fireball of passion that exploded between them, or the danger that would threaten their lives. But it was nothing a little bit of magic -- and a whole lot of love -- couldn't fix.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Molding Clay by Ciana Stone
Now Clay understood a little more about his older brother Chase. Chase had been a lady magnet as long as Clay could remember. His Native American coloring, dark eyes and long hair had swooned half the state of Arizona before Chase met Ana Stillwater. And until that point Chase had been content to be a man with a steady stream of women, none of whom meant more than a few weeks of good times and hot sex.
That's where Clay found himself now. Not that he'd been a priest in his college days. He'd roped his fair share of fillies then, but the years since had been particularly favorable.
Just thinking about the last luscious lady he'd shared his bed with brought a grin to his face. Yep, he'd follow in brother Chase's footsteps. Play the field, enjoy life and all the bounty it had to offer and wait until the right woman came along. Which he was not in any hurry for.
What he was in a hurry for was to take a ride back to that bar and see if the dark-haired beauty showed up again. He'd developed a real itch for her that not even the night with a luscious redhead could cure. Sure as shit, he was going to find that woman and bed her.
A sudden sharp curve in the drive had him slowing. When he rounded the curve, he spotted the barn. He didn't see anyone around so he parked and got out of his truck to go in search of Blackhawk.
He had no more turned down the side of the barn when an unexpected treat met his eyes. Standing with a garden hose held above her head, the very shapely, very naked dark-haired woman from the bar stood near the water trough, singing along with a radio as she combed her fingers through her hair.
Clay stopped and admired the view. Whoever she was, she had just upped the idea of being on the Blackhawk spread several notches. Her hair was dark and thick, nearly to her waist. Her breasts were high and full, her stomach flat and her ass a work of art.
Then Clay saw the animal. Alert and definitely not happy due to the snarl on its face and the laid-back ears. Until now, his brother Chase had the biggest dog Clay had ever seen, but this big fella made Chase's dog Cody look like a lightweight. The animal had to weigh in at over a hundred pounds. His broad head was even with the woman's rib cage.
Clearly this dog or wolf, or whatever breed it was, wasn't about to let him get any closer to the woman, so Clay did the smart thing. He stopped and stood still. He sure didn't find it a hardship to stand there and watch her. Well, not a hardship in the visual sense. There was definitely some hard action taking place south of his belt.
Rusty was holding the hose above her head, raking through her long hair with her free hand, when Koda bumped up against her and growled loud enough to be heard over the blare of the music.
Fighting the hair out of her face and blinking against the water in her eyes, Rusty turned to see what had Koda upset.
For the space of a breath, she forgot she was standing there buck-naked. A man stood beside the barn, watching her. And not just any man, but the man who'd haunted her sleep last night and had her trying several times to satisfy her own itch. Hair the same shining color as her black chestnut horse Beau, well over six feet with almond-shaped hazel eyes and a body that was built for pleasure, long and lean with muscles in all the right places and not an ounce of fat to be seen. Not to mention an impressive bulge along his right thigh, clearly demonstrating that not only was he a boxer man but he had a nice package in those faded Levi's.
Rusty felt her blood rise just looking at him. Her nipples, hard from the cold water, puckered more and her clit gave a little throb. That's when she remembered. She was naked as the day she was born.
No sooner had the thought registered than the man grinned. Despite the situation, Rusty wasn't about to show weakness. That just went against the grain. Her hands fisted and went to her hips.
"Who are you and what are you doing on my land?" she yelled.
"Name's Clay Russell, ma'am," Clay shouted to be heard over the music. "I'm here to see Rusty Blackhawk."
At that moment Rusty wished the earth would open up and swallow her. Of all the rotten luck. She'd wanted to impress the Russell man when he arrived, with her professionalism and savvy. To start out on equal footing with the man.
That clearly wasn't going to happen. Sucking in a deep breath, she forced herself to walk calmly over to the towel that was draped on the water trough.
She wrapped the towel around her body before she dared to look at the man again. When she did, she saw him quickly hide the smile on his face. She couldn't help but see the hilarity of the situation. If it had happened to anyone else she'd have had a belly laugh out of it.
And hell's bells, the way Clay Russell looked, he'd have been bound to see his share of naked women. A man like him sure as heck hadn't been celibate his whole life.
With her sense of humor restored, Rusty crossed the distance between them with Koda at her side. "Well, I guess you're in the right place, Mr. Russell."
Up close the woman looked even better. Her eyes were long-lashed and the most uncommon shade of blue. No, violet, he realized. Surely that color couldn't be real. She had to be wearing colored contacts. But fake or real, those eyes looking up at him were sure to be featured in another erotic dream in the near future. Right along with the rest of her tantalizing body.
Clay blinked to attention. "Blackhawk around?"
"Absolutely," Rusty replied.
"You think I could see him, ma'am?"
"I think you've already seen about as much as there is to see, Mr. Russell," she said before extending her hand to Clay. "Rusty Blackhawk."
Clay's eyes bugged and his mouth dropped open, eliciting a grin from Rusty.
"You? You're..." he stammered then burst out in a laugh. "Well I'll be damned. Sorry, ma'am. It's just that I was expecting you to be a man."
"Sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Russell."
"Didn't say I was disappointed," Clay replied. "Just surprised." The look he gave her made her blood run hot, along with some other parts of her anatomy.