COMING JANUARY 21st – SALVATION BRIDE from The Wild Rose Press
She rode into town for her own deliverance, but will Doctor Laura Ashton heal Sheriff David Slade’s pain before the dark secret in her past turns up to steal his Salvation Bride?
“It wasn’t part of our bargain,” David argued.
Laura shook her head. “No, I suppose it wasn’t, but I’m not getting the whole of our bargain either. I’m learning to live with it. You will too.”
She turned from him. He gripped her arm and whipped her around. “What haven’t you gotten that I bargained away?”
Laura tried to twist free, but he increased the pressure. She wasn’t going to turn her back on him again.
“Don’t think I’m not grateful to be here, David. I am. This is a better place than what I left. I could have come here or anywhere for that matter, on my own, but my uncle didn’t want that. I didn’t want that, but this is not the marriage I envisioned.”
He clamped his jaw tight. He knew what she meant, what she wasn’t saying. Maybe wooing her wouldn’t be as hard as he thought. “What sort of marriage had you envisioned?”
She blinked rapidly and shook her head. “It doesn’t matter.”
“Yes, it does! It damn well does matter.”
He pulled her into his arms and his lips crushed hers. For a few moments, she struggled and he had flashes of Angie, but he wouldn’t let Laura go. He softened the kiss, holding her close to him, one hand splayed across her back, the other burrowing into her hair. He tasted her lips, running his tongue over the seam, willing her to open her mouth.
She softened in his arms, her body falling flush against his. Her mouth opened and he stifled a groan. He ran his tongue over her lips and teeth. She tasted of cinnamon from the cobbler they’d had for dessert.
His hand slipped down to her backside to cup her buttocks, holding her tight against his erection. She knocked his hat off as her fingers swept through his hair. Lust shot through his body, pooling painfully in his groin.
He scattered kisses along her jaw, nuzzling the crook of her neck as his hand palmed her breast. She mewed softly in his ear.
He lifted his head and looked into the face of his wife. The falling darkness made it difficult to see the confusion and passion clouding her eyes.
He hadn’t meant to kiss her, not yet. He thought to ease into the situation, even though his need for her had grown over the past two weeks. He’d lay in bed nightly, thinking of her soft curves, warm smile and expressive eyes. He dreamed of her until he was hard with wanting. Once, he’d resorted to what he’d done more than he cared to remember when married to Angie—he brought himself to his own release, but it was not what he desired. What he desired stood dazed and wanting in front of him. Who was he to deny her?
He lowered his head to kiss her again. Laura twisted out of his arms and his hands gripped air.
“What was that all about?” she demanded.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy it. I know otherwise.” He’d be damned if he’d let this wife put up a wall he couldn’t chisel through.
“I didn’t say that. I asked what it was all about. You said you wouldn’t bed me.” She glanced toward Angie’s grave, then narrowed eyes on him.
“Do you really expect us to live the rest of our lives without bedding each other?” he asked.
She hugged herself and glared at him. “No, but you said—”
“I was stupid.” He ran his hand through his hair. “No, it was the circumstance, Laura. We had to marry the same day we met. I couldn’t expect you to lay with me when we didn’t even know each other. I wanted to put your mind at ease, to make you realize I wasn’t a lecher.”
He couldn’t see her now that darkness had fallen, but he heard her exhale. “I don’t know, David. It doesn’t seem right. We still don’t know each other and right now, I’d say there are too many grave issues between us to allow intimacy.” She turned toward the house and walked away from him.
His erection deflated. He picked his hat up off the ground and crushed it in his hands. He’d spend another night sleeping alone.
LAURA'S PEACH COBBLER
6 cups pealed sliced peaches
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 TLBS baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
3/4 cup melted butter
1 TLBS sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Filling: Mix peaches, sugar and flour together and pour into a 15-inch baking dish. Batter: Combine 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor. Process to combine. Add the milk and melted butter. Process until smooth. Spoon batter over the peaches, making sure you spread to edge of dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon over the top. Bake in center of oven about one hour. Crust should be brown and crisp on the outside and cooked all the way through. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Variation: Blackberry, blueberry or raspberry cobbler--omit cinnamon and nutmeg.