Title: Wild Wyoming Nights
Series: The McNeill Magnates #8
Author: Joanne Rock
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Release Date: August 7, 2018
“You’ll stay with me.”
She can’t resist the rich rancher!
Emma Layton is working in Wyoming to get away from her abusive ex. But when wealthy ranch owner Carson McNeill learns of her plight, he insists she stay with him for protection. Emma agrees—even knowing this cowboy may prove irresistible.... Proximity soon leads to passion, night after night. But when Carson learns her secret connection to his family, this ride gets a whole lot wilder!
“Wow.” She glanced over at her silent driver, wondering if he’d grown immune to the beauty. “I’ve never seen stars like this.”
Maybe some of her wonder seeped through his frustration, because he slowed the vehicle, then stopped altogether, the engine rumbling at idle in the creeping night. They sat on a hilltop with meadows rolling out into the distance on one side, and a shadow of rocky cliffs and trees on the other. He snapped off the headlights to give them a better view and turned off the ignition. The engine ticked for a few moments and then went silent.
“It’s amazing how much the lights of a city detract from the night sky.” Carson tipped his head back, too, his hands resting on his sprawled, denim-covered knees.
The right one hovered close to her leg, radiating a warmth she could feel. Or maybe it was the electric current of attraction that made her skin tingle that way beneath her leggings. She had been on a few dates since breaking things off with Austin but nothing serious. She definitely hadn’t experienced the sizzling awareness she got from being around Carson. What a shame for her body to finally wake up again around a man she needed to impress with her professionalism.
“It’s funny,” she said, needing to break the intimate thread of silence between them, “because I always think I live in a quieter area of Los Angeles.” She tried not to think about his knee next to hers. His hand close to her leg. But memories of the way he’d touched her earlier—shifting her thigh on the horse—sent a fresh surge of heat through her.
“Even in Cheyenne, you can’t see the stars the way you can out here. There aren’t many perks to ranching, but the night sky is definitely one of them.”
Straightening in her seat, she peered over at him. The breeze turned cooler.
“You don’t like your work?” She was curious about him, this man who allowed a film production company onto his property but couldn’t really relinquish control. “After seeing you on horseback today, I guess I just assumed you were born in a saddle.”
He’d ridden beside her briefly before setting her loose to try the track on her own.
“Almost.” She thought she heard a hint of a smile in his voice. Or was that wishful thinking? “But I never imagined myself overseeing cattle at my age. Ranching is fine for my twin brother, but I thought I’d be riding rodeo into my thirties.”
She hadn’t known about the twin brother. Or the rodeo past. Still, she could relate to what he was saying. She felt him shift beside her, turning toward her. A gust of wind blew through her hair, flicking strands against her cheek.
“I never thought I’d be recreating sword fights or high-speed chases, either. But sometimes life takes surprising turns.”
“I’ll bet it’s an interesting story how you got here, Emma Layton.” Her name on his lips felt as intimate as a caress to a woman who hadn’t been touched by a man in a long, long time.
The rush of heat through her veins shouldn’t have caught her off guard—she’d been feeling it all day around him. She’d run four miles to try to escape it. Even so, the magnetic force that seemed to pull her toward him was like nothing she’d ever experienced. Her shoulders shifted fractionally closer. Her knee brushed his.
She drew in a sharp breath at the contact, ripples of pleasure radiating out from the point where she touched him. She forgot what they were talking about. Couldn’t think of words to say even if she remembered. There was only the moment and the man. The endless starry sky enveloping them like a dream.
Maybe that was why she found herself leaning even closer—it all felt surreal. Like a time out from the worry and stress of her real life, where everything was suddenly simpler. Where kissing Carson McNeill seemed like the only thing that mattered.
Her hand landed on his chest. Warm. Strong. Inviting.
She splayed her fingers wider, wanting to feel more of him. Then she tipped her face up to his. She was close enough to see him well despite the darkness. His eyes locked on hers for an instant—like two stars close up.
And then his lips claimed hers.
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn't like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly--love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she's not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.