Title: A Cowboy’s Forgiveness
Author: Sophia Ryan
Genre: Spicy Contemporary Romance
Charleigh Simms is shocked to hear she’s inherited her late husband’s family ranch. More shocking are the strings attached to it—spending a year learning the ropes from Josh Flores, the cowboy who broke her heart six years ago. But to secure her son’s future, there’s nothing she won’t do. Even risk having her heart broken again.
Josh Flores has worked hard to get over Charleigh’s betrayal. Now she’s back in town and needs him to help her and her son run the ranch they’ve inherited. In exchange, he gets a chunk of change and a valuable piece of land. But every interaction with Charleigh and the boy has him hoping for more—a permanent place in their lives. All he has to do is find a way to forgive her.
Love between them grows stronger every day, but when the secrets come out, even love might not be enough to earn a cowboy’s forgiveness.
Josh strode toward Charleigh, halting mere inches from her, the angry line of his lips placed threateningly close to hers, the ice in his eyes trying to freeze her in place, a tangible stream of fire coursing between them, eager to sear something.
Irrationally, given the circumstances, she longed to run her mouth across his, kiss away the hostility, make things right between them. Make him laugh like she used to be able to. Grip his hair and pull him in for a scorching kiss that would make him forget what had put him in a snit. But that tactic wouldn’t work now, not this time, not in this reality.
“Something you need to remember about me,” he said. “I don’t tolerate insolence from those under me.”
Under him? The asshat! “First of all,” she said, “I’m not under you. I’m a partner in this business arrangement. And second, I don’t tolerate being bullied. You need to remember that.”
He stepped closer, forcing her to step back to avoid touching him. The counter digging into her lower back and his wide chest all but crushing her breasts halted further retreat. He took the mug from her hand and set it behind her, then settled his palms on the counter on either side of her, trapping her, his eyes pinning her in place as effectively as his body was.
Her breath fluttered up in her throat at the force of his physical presence. Her nipples beaded hard against her shirt at the feel of his chest and hips and thighs against hers, of his breath against her mouth, and there was nothing she could do to stop the raging and unwanted reaction.
Though it was torture staring into his eyes, she refused to drop her gaze. She bit her tongue to stop the desire flowing through her at the scent of him, the feel of him, the remembered taste of him.
After all this time, after what he’d done to her, how could it still be there, the same desire, tugging at her? Because, you fool, it never left. But it hadn’t been this burning, churning volcano in years. Now, in an instant, it was back, alive and ready to blow, eager to destroy everything in its path.
He leaned in, his knee easing between hers, his mouth settling near her ear. Lightning raced through her veins, breaking apart her breath in her throat. Her body remembered this, being this close to Josh, and was fighting to open up to what it knew should come next.
“Don’t fuck with me, Charleigh.” Josh kept his voice to a low whisper. “I promise, you won’t like the results. I’m no longer the gullible boy you had wrapped around your little finger.”
His harsh tone cracked her reverie like a fist to an eggshell, and though it took every ounce of will she could muster to stand her ground against him, she leaned back at the waist to face his hard stare. The subtle move thrust her pelvis against his, and she swore she felt the bulge between his legs harden. The surprising reaction shot an arrow of lust and power through her spine.
“Believe me, Josh, fucking with you is the last thing I want to do. And by the way…it’s Mrs. Simms to you.”
His eyes and face drew even harder. For a split second, he looked like he was going to slam his mouth onto hers in a punishing kiss that would make her body and soul bend to his will, make her regret crossing him, make her regret marrying Will. But then he dropped his hands to his sides and stepped back.
“Have it your way, Mrs. Simms.” He said the name like it left a bad taste in his mouth. “Today. Monday morning you’d better be ready when I get here at seven. If you’re not, you can pack your bags, and you and the boy can go back to whatever hell you came from, because I’m not going to waste my time if you’re unwilling to me meet me half way.” He stormed toward the door.
She couldn’t hold her tongue on a final stinging retort. “Pull off those shitkickers the next time you come into my house, Flores. I’m not here to clean up your messes.”
Charleigh stayed on her feet until she heard the screen door slam shut, then she stumbled to the table and dropped heavily into one of the chairs. Elbows propped on the table, she leaned her head in her hands. Seeing him again had shocked her more than she thought it would. It had zapped her strength, melted her bones, and popped open the stitches from the never-healed wounds in her soul.
All she wanted to feel for him was indifference, not white-hot passion. What she wanted to remember was the pain of his betrayal. But she remembered so much more. His kiss, his smell, his taste, his touch, the feel of him deep inside her as their bodies loved. It was all there in the pleasure that had rumbled through her like an earthquake when his body had pressed into hers. How could she hold her own against the force of nature that was this man?
Oh, Will. What have I gotten into? I shouldn’t have come here. Why did you have to die?
What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?
Getting to choreograph the emotional, messy, erotic, heartbreaking, blissful dance of two people falling in love. Getting to feel the rush of falling in love again and again.
Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:
I’m of the opinion that romance abounds in everyday life if we’re willing to see it for what it is. Therefore, my first tip is to let go of preconceived notions about what romance should be. While it can be a big, showy demonstration, with wine and roses, diamonds and dancing, and whirlwind trips on jets and yachts, it also can be small, subtle, tender, and blissfully intimate. Think love notes she tucks into his briefcase or lunch bag, his scraping ice from her car windshield on cold winter mornings, her massaging his feet at the end of a long day, or, like in A Cowboy’s Forgiveness, him drawing her a hot bath with her favorite bath bomb after a long night on her feet and tucking her son into bed so she could relax. My second tip, related to the first, is to be diligent about doing those everyday things that build intimacy and lay the foundation for romance to blossom. They include kiss every day, hug every day, say I love you every day, and — for those of you brave enough to consider it — have sex every day. And, of course, read erotic romance!
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Runs February 1 – 29
Drawing will be held on March 2.
Sophia writes the kind of books she likes to read: stories where sexual heat sizzles off the page and the characters fall hard into lust and soft into love. When she’s not writing about passion, she’s indulging in it—yoga, hiking, laughing with friends over hot chile and cold beer, being crazy and lazy with the family, and, of course, writing.
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