What if the "one who got away"...didn't?
Deidre Nelson has never forgotten the man who stole her heart so effectively a decade ago. When circumstances bring her back to Ventura, Texas to look after her parents' B&B, she prepares to face Jonas Mendez, the sexy wrangler-turned sheriff, with growing anticipation.
Deidre's engaging smile and seductive gaze has haunted Jonas for ten years. But life's cruel ironies pepper his past, leaving him guarded and wary. He vows to keep his interaction with Deidre strictly professional while she's in Ventura.
But when vandalism at the B&B turns life-threatening, Jonas finds himself intimately involved with the one woman he has always wanted but never touched.
As a decade of built-up anticipation becomes reality, suddenly the line between protector and possessor begins to blur.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
October 22, 2007
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Anticipation by Patrice Michelle
Jonas' hand landed on her hip. His fingers gripped her firmly. "Deidre, I--"
When he stopped himself, then took the bowl out of her hands and set in on the counter, murmuring, "The cookies can wait," Deidre didn't know what to think. Yes, she'd been brazen, teasing him like that, but Jonas was sending out very confusing signals.
Deidre let him lead her to the straight back chair next to the table. When he sat her down and turned to fill an empty bowl with water, she just stared in confusion.
She was surprised when he lowered himself to one knee and put the bowl of water on the floor next to her feet. Her pensive gaze tracked his sexy, hard-working hands as he withdrew a white handkerchief from his pants' pocket and dipped the cloth in the water, his movements measured and precise.
The tense silence between them was killing her. "What are you doing?"
Instead of replying, his warm fingers wrapped around her left ankle and his gaze locked with hers, steady and sure.
Totally perplexed, she let him lift her foot above the bowl. When he glanced at her foot and began to wipe the warm wet cloth along her skin, bathing away the gravel dust, a lump clogged her throat at the personal, almost reverent act.
Tears formed as her emotions rushed to the surface once more. Blinking back the wetness, she swallowed hard and tried to keep her voice from shaking. "In the barn, you backed away from me. I don't understand."
"Let it be, Deidre."
His voice was harsh, cold...almost angry, but his touch told a different story. While one hand gently bathed away the dirt, the other massaged her calf in a seductive caress, as if he couldn't stop himself from touching her.
The man baffled her. She knew about his past...a past that she was certain caused a lot of hurt, but she'd endured her share of failures in relationships, too. If he didn't want to talk, but instead wanted his hands to speak for him, then so be it. For now.
When he began to work on her other foot, her gaze scanned his crisp white shirt stretched across his broad shoulders. She acknowledged how much his sheriff's shirt and black pants, combined with the sight of his gun strapped to his hip, turned her on. Yet there was one thing she'd wanted to do since she'd seen him yesterday. Pulling off his cowboy hat, she tossed it on the table.
He paused for a second, but he didn't look up as he resumed his ministrations. Her heart swelled when his hands began to massage the curve of her calf. From the top of his black-as-sin hair to the tips of his cowboy boots, he might be a sheriff now, but he was still her cowboy. Goose bumps formed on her skin as her gaze focused on his short, dark hair. Thoughts of running her fingers through the thick, slightly wavy mass flashed through her mind.
He moved the bowl out of the way and his hands slid upward, pushing her skirt past her knees. When he spread his palms across the outside of her thighs, Deidre's breath hitched. She gave in to the urge and ran her hands through his hair, enjoying the thick silk bending around her fingers.
At her touch, Jonas' fingers gripped her skin in a possessive hold. His warm breath bathed her inner thighs as he ran his hands up her hips to grip her buttocks. The moist sensation of his warm breathing brushing the top of her thighs, so close yet so distant, only made her body pound for more.
Jonas set his other knee on the floor and finally spoke, his voice gravely and low. "Let me cherish you the best way I can."
The torture and anguish in his tone burrowed deep in her heart, unlocking more than a physical response...so much more. Deidre bit back the swift desire to wish for more from him. No matter how strongly she felt for him, his words told her he wasn't capable of giving on an emotional level.
In answer, she relaxed her thighs and gripped his shoulders. Gathering him close, she kissed the top of his head.
Tension eased from his shoulders at the same time he slid her short skirt even higher. The glide of the soft material against her skin, flanked by the heat from his palms, sent tiny tremors skittering through her body. Silence echoed around them, punctuated by an occasional faint naaaa of the goats through the open kitchen window.
Jonas bent to place a tender kiss on her inner thigh and Deidre's pulse stuttered at the surreal moment. No amount of fantasizing had ever come close to the barrage of sensations his real-life action elicited within her. Her heart thumped and her belly tensed with skittish butterflies. Heat radiated from that one kiss and her skin tingled when the next one, wetter, hotter and more tender than the last, moved higher.
Her tense muscles began to relax, like a bowl of butter heated to its melting point. An unbidden moan rushed past her lips, so very primal it surprised her.
"Jonas," she murmured.
His mouth moved higher and he nipped at the curve where her inner thigh met her body. "Say it again, darlin', just like that. The need in your voice...damn, it makes me throb."