Title: Regan, Book 1, the Sisters O’Ryan
Author: Jenna Stewart
Genre: Historical Ménage Romance
Joining in the westward migration, Davey and Regan O'Ryan Stone bought an Oregon farm sight unseen, hungering for adventure. Davey regretted the impulse far past the point of no return, and then he died. Now, unskilled and alone on her farm, Regan fears going home a failure—as a daughter, a wife and a farmer. With money quickly running out, she gladly accepts the offer of help from Seth Pratt, an acquaintance from the wagon train, and his friend Haywood Lawrence.
One-armed Seth seeks work at the remote farm at the end of an Oregon trail with low expectations. When he finds Regan, alone and widowed, he tamps down desire. She deserves better than a man handicapped in war, searching for his soul. She's worthy of someone like his Shakespeare-spouting, best friend, Hay. Nothing could have prepared Seth for Regan's simple solution—that both men stay. On the farm and in her bed.
This is explicit MFM romance, intended for adult readers.
"I might not have recognized her right off, but I sure haven't ever forgotten her, Koda," he whispered. "She's alone out here, and she needs help." The horse nodded his head and then whinnied. "You're right," Seth conceded. "It's too much to think there's a place for me here."
Koda stomped his front left hoof and shook his mane, before calmly munching on another mouthful of straw.
Seth clicked his tongue. "I know. There's no need my arguing with the notion."
"So you do carry on conversations with your horse, Mr. Pratt."
Seth spun around, dropping the brush. "Mrs. Stone. I didn't hear you."
She smiled. "I only came down to make sure you found everything to your satisfaction."
"The bunkroom is nice, and Koda is very happy with his stall."
She stepped forward and stroked the Appaloosa's nose. "He's beautiful. What does Koda mean?"
"It's Sioux for friend."
"Well named." Regan took a carrot from her pocket and fed it to the horse. She gestured toward the pinto in the neighboring stall. "That's Twinkle. It's Carolinian for "she makes my eyes shine." At least according to my daddy. He says when he gave her to me for my fifteenth birthday, my eyes lit up. He named the horse on the spot." She strolled over to feed Twinkle a carrot, too.
Hay came around the stall and leaned on the post. Seth didn't care at all for the familiar way his eyes followed Regan Stone's every movement. Then Seth leaned against Koda and gave in, watching her graceful walk. Her voice fell on his ears like a melody. Auburn tendrils escaped from a loose bun and framed her small, round face. Her father had named the horse aptly. Her eyes did twinkle, but not just when she looked at the pinto. Her height lent her a regal air. He longed to hold her against him. With her slender frame and unusual height, they would fit perfectly.
Don't think about it. It will never happen. Daydreams aside, the differences in their social stature and culture leapt out at him. Still, arousal struck just watching her stroke her horse's nose. He imagined her stroking him and gasped at the flame of desire that struck. When she swung back toward him he thought she must have heard.
"I almost forgot!" She smiled over Seth's shoulder to the next stall. "Here's a carrot for your horse, too, Hay." Then she walked to the end stall where another horse stood quietly. "And one for you, Jethro."
Seth didn't think to wonder about the fourth horse in the barn. His conscious thought stopped when she called Hay Hay. Seth knew her first, or knew of her, more accurately, and that scoundrel had worked his charm on her to the point she already used his nickname. Good thing he was leaving. The knowledge that Hay would soon be far from Regan took the sting out of the fact that he, too, had to go now that there was no job.
"…I'll see you then," she said.
What had she said? His indignation over her use of Hay had waylaid his mind. "All right," he replied, hoping he wouldn't end up making a damn fool of himself.
With another smile, she strode from the barn leaving Seth in more emotional turmoil than he'd known in years.
"Now there's a nice lady," Hay said.
"She's awright." Seth vigorously set to work on Koda's coat, not wanting to talk to Hay about anything right now, but especially not about Regan.
"All right? Bullshit, my taciturn friend. Too bad there's no job after all. I might have considered staying on for awhile myself."
"Right, too bad."
Hay's laugh came through the wooden slats. "I think she likes you."
"Sure. Talk about bullshit." Since coming home from the war, Seth made a habit of not meeting people's eyes. Pity filled others' expressions all too often and he didn't like dealing with it. His heart had stuttered when he took a good look at the woman standing at the foot of the porch steps. Regan Stone had made an impression that one, brief time they'd met, but he'd kept his distance after that.
"She remembered you. She didn't remember me. We were on that wagon train together, weren’t we?"
She had remembered him, hadn't she? "Not hard to recollect a man with one arm. As for you, too bad you're so damn forgettable."
Hay laughed again. His laughter was one reason Seth enjoyed his company so much. Though he rarely engaged in the activity, he couldn't help thinking his soul benefitted from the sound.
"You and I both know too many ladies along our path who disprove that theory," Hay taunted.
"You have left quite an impression on the women of the west. Not all of it good, I might add."
"Still, I wouldn't mind rolling around the bed with our lovely widow. I wonder if she would consider—"
Before he could utter another word, Seth had Hay pinned to the stall. "You will not touch her in a frivolous manner. She's no light skirt, you bastard."
Hay's face split into a wide grin. "You like her, too."
"She's a widda, for God's sake. Not even out of mournin'."
"I know," Hay said softly. "I was only shittin' you."
Seth huffed and let Hay go. "Yeah, well, go to hell."
Hay slapped Seth's back. "I think you have a touch of lovesickness, man. Maybe you should give up this idea of settling down and come with me to the coast. There's bound to be something exciting for a couple of troublemakers like us that will take your mind off the beautiful widow."
"I think I'll stick it out around here for a while. Maybe look in town for a job."
Hay shook his head. "She has you flustered, I can tell."
Seth went back to finish Koda. "How?"
"You rarely talk to a person this much." Hay chuckled and picked up his jacket.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
As Jenna Stewart, the Sisters O’Ryan was my first series and my commitment to writing ménage in a meaningful way. The series is also my first foray into historical writing, and I found I loved it! In Regan, I created a character—Seth Pratt—who lost his arm during the American Civil War. I wanted to highlight a character with a disability who allowed himself to love again, and a woman of indomitable strength who took on the hard life of the newly-settled west, even when she had to complete the journey on her own. And Haywood? He’s the third part of the ménage, who was just plain fun to write. I hope you enjoy!
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