Revenge sex and a healthy dose of a bad boy making all the wrong decisions equals one hell of a wild ride. The horse is optional.
Zayden Moon and his brothers are back home for the old man’s funeral, but too bad none of them give a damn what happens to the failing ranch they’ve inherited or all the bad memories that come with it. Now Zayden has more than his murky past and the ranch to contend with. As usual, trouble comes searching for him when he’s asked to rescue a woman lost on the mountain, stranded on Valentines’ Day of all things, and he’s the only man who knows where to look. And whoooeee, there’s a lot to look at when it comes to this curvaceous beauty.
Esme thought she was going to the mountain getaway to receive a diamond ring, and instead she’s abandoned by her boyfriend and left to make her own way down the jagged terrain. When a sexy cowboy rides in on a white steed, she thinks she’s seeing things, but soon his warm, rough hands show her otherwise. A hot and heavy dose of revenge sex seems to be in order too, right?
If Zayden had a heart, he’d be falling for the woman with spunk to match her wild curls, but he knows better than to attempt a relationship. And Lordy, Esme sure gravitates to the worst men… except there’s something more to Zayden than he allows anyone to see. If she ever figures out what, she might give Zayden a chance, because the man’s kisses sure can knot a woman up.
Zayden really didn’t want to be back in Stokes and his return starts with a confrontation with a deputy he knew years ago. That said, his family didn’t have a very good reputation thanks to his now deceased father. At the moment all he wants to do is get the man buried, sell the ranch and leave.
Of course that’s not what’s going to happen, he has an innate sense of responsibility and upon seeing MiMi the woman who is both mother and grandmother to him and his brothers he knew leaving was out of the question.
As he sort of settles in he runs into some folks as he’s buying feed for the animals. A young woman is missing on the mountain in the storm that’s headed this way.
Thing is she’s not missing per se, she was left on purpose. When Esme discovered Owen had stranded her on the mountain she was a lot more than angry. In a move that probably wasn’t smart, she decides to leave the cabin, hoping to find cell service further down the mountain or maybe a ride back to town.
Freezing she finds shelter under a pine tree to shelter her from the elements a bit. This is where Zayden finds her, but it’s too late and she’s way to cold for him to take her all the way back to his truck.
After an interesting night in a cabin Zayden brings her home.
This is a favorite scene.
The ride down took a good two and a half hours, going at a slow pace. When they reached the road, she spotted an old truck and trailer parked there.
“That’s mine,” he said.
Her stomach churned with apprehension.
“You’ll be happy to get home.”
She didn’t respond.
God, he said her name in a low rumble that spread through her entire system.
She shook herself. “I’m not that excited about answering any questions that will come.”
“You got family here?”
“No. They’re in Tennessee. But my coworkers will want to hear the story. I’m just hoping there isn’t a newspaper reporter waiting for me when I return.”
“I don’t know about that. Stokes didn’t have a newspaper when I left.” He flexed his arm around her middle, and the small movement sent a jerk to her heart.
“You haven’t lived here all the time?”
“Nah. Got out.”
Since he didn’t expand on this statement, she remained silent as they approached the truck. He reined in the horse and dismounted, then reached up for her.
Wordlessly, she slipped into his arms. Was it her imagination, or did he hold onto her a beat longer than necessary? She steadied herself, watching him move to the trailer and open the door. He led the horse inside and waved to her.
“Get in the truck and out of the wind.”
She did. In a strange man’s truck, she looked around. It was empty of all but a few coins in the cup holder. Either he’d just cleaned it out or he wasn’t a guy who personalized his vehicle. Every man she knew had a gun rack or stickers for a shooting group, Mountain Dew bottles, and Cheetos bags on the floor.
Zayden’s truck looked as if it belonged to no one.
She twisted to look out the rear window but couldn’t see him behind the trailer. So she faced forward and watched in the side mirror as he appeared. Seconds later, he climbed behind the wheel.
He gave her a glance before starting the engine. “Where am I dropping you?”
“At my apartment. I live in a rental in the old part of town.”
“All right. Holler when we get close.”
“Okay.” She released a heavy sigh.
Silence descended, and her thoughts bounced from Owen to her ordeal and skidded sideways to how she’d have to discuss everything at work.
“The house is just there. The blue one.”
He drew up in front of the place and looked at her. “You sure you don’t need to go to the hospital?”
She shook her head. “I just need a hot shower and my bed.”
Without another word, he climbed out of the truck and moved to her side before she could step out. He assisted her to the ground, a hand on her arm even though she didn’t need it.
“I didn’t even say thank you to your horse.”
A flicker of amusement crossed his handsome face. “He’ll understand.”
Looking into his eyes, she smiled. “You were great up there.”
“I did what any decent man would.”
“That isn’t true. And I don’t only mean getting me safe and warm. You said some things that made me feel better.”
His brow crinkled, and she noticed a slice through it from a scar. “What’s that?”
“You made me feel like I might not be such a loser.”
His brows shot up, and he gave her that look again—like he wanted to move in closer and put his hands on her in a very sexual way.
“You’re far from a loser, Esme.”
She nodded. “You reminded me I have worth.”
“Don’t let that bastard make you feel like a castoff. Ya hear?” The vehemence in his tone took her aback. She blinked and then reached up to put her arms around his neck, sneaking a touch of his hair to see if it was as soft as it looked. Actually, it felt softer, like goose down.
He squeezed her back briefly and then stepped away. “Maybe I’ll see ya around. Take care of yourself.”
She nodded. He paused, looking down at her. For a heart-pounding moment, she wondered if he might kiss her, and if she wanted him to. What did that make her, when twenty-four hours before, she’d been hoping for a ring from another man?
She must have suffered some frostbite to the brain up there on that mountain.
He watched her with that hooded stare that was doing questionable things to her insides. Then he said the most perfect thing.
“If ya need me to break his legs for ya, gimme a call.”
Em Petrova. ToughandTamed THIS (Kindle Locations 708-750). Kindle Edition.
Between all the things wrong with the ranch, the debts, and even theft left to him by his father, Zayden didn’t have time for a relationship. His brothers Asher and Dane were little to no help as one leaves and one Zayden has to send away, although with a heavy heart.
Esme has a talent for finding the wrong guys and Zayden appears to be her go to guy for rescue. While these two start out as just friends, once things heat up between them they sizzle off the pages.
Twists, turns and plenty of heat will have you turning the pages. I can’t wait to read Dane’s story in the next book ‘Screwed and Satisfied’.
5 Contented Purrs for Em!
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Em Petrova was raised by hippies in the wilds of Pennsylvania but told her parents at the age of four she wanted to be a gypsy when she grew up. She has a soft spot for babies, puppies and 90s Grunge music and believes in Bigfoot and aliens. She started writing at the age of twelve and prides herself on making her characters larger than life and her sex scenes hotter than hot.
She burst into the world of publishing in 2010 after having five beautiful bambinos and figuring they were old enough to get their own snacks while she pounds away at the keys. In her not-so-spare time, she is fur-mommy to a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff and works as editor with USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors.