Scandal will be released by Carina UK on 30th July
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Series: The Wild Wild West Novella Series
Feisty ex-harlot Ellen Finch is finally free to escape her troubled past and make a fresh start, far away from the dusty town of Deadwood. But Ellen’s plans are interrupted when a dark and brooding stranger bursts through the doors of The Gem Theatre and Saloon begging for her help as a midwife.
Ellen can’t refuse his pleas, or allow another woman to suffer when she can help. Nor can she ignore the pang of regret she feels upon discovering this stranger is about to become a father; if only she’d had a man like Clayton Kile to care for her! Relief floods Ellen when she discovers the labouring woman is Clayton’s sister. Clayton can’t afford to pay Ellen for her help; instead he expertly demonstrates his gratitude!
It’s been years since a man’s passion has moved Ellen, but there is something about this cowboy that tugs at Ellen’s emotions and fires her own long latent desires. Ellen faces a difficult choice, surrender to the demands of her body and risk losing her heart to love, or follow her head and leave Deadwood and her past behind forever…
Here are two excerpts from the novella for you to enjoy:
“I tell ya, Ellen, I’m just not having it!”
Ellen stared into the hard, dark eyes of Al Swearengen. Her heart thundered and she trembled from head to toe. The familiar aroma of stale sweat and whisky that permeated the bar of the Gem suddenly made her feel queasy.
“It ain’t your choice to make, Al!” she snapped.
She would not give in to him on this. She had every right now to follow her own heart. Her life would finally be her own.
“But…what’ll I do without you?” Al wheedled. He held out his hands and tilted his head. “I need you here, Ellen. You’ve been with me since the outset. Besides…” He gestured around the saloon. “The girls need ya. How’ll they manage? Most of ’em will end up pregnant after a flop or two then try to get rid of it themselves and wind up dyin’ of a fever.”
Ellen ground her teeth together and pressed her fists into her thighs. She tried not to look around at the faces of the whores but the urge was overwhelming. They gazed at her from all corners of the Gem, their painted faces haggard and drawn, their eyes sad and pleading.
What Al said was true. They did need her.
Her resolve started to drift away like gun smoke on the breeze.
“Don’t you let him change yer mind!” Kacey appeared at her side. “You’re doin’ the right thing, honey! It’s time for you to get outta this hell hole!”
“If you’re gonna listen to that dried-up old dove then you’re a bigger fool than I had ya pegged for!” Al shrugged then moved behind the bar and poured himself a slug of whisky.
Ellen turned to Kacey. “I know that it’s time for me to go.” She straightened her corset and repositioned her breasts. “It’s just…I feel so responsible for all of you.”
“I know, Ellen. You’ve been like a mother hen to us but you’ve a right to try out a different kinda life. Hell, we all envy ya! But not many whores have the determination to save a dime, let alone enough to set off into the world.”
“The world?” Ellen grinned.
“Well…Custer City at least,” Kacey shrugged.
“Hell, it’s gotta be better than this place.” Ellen slapped her thigh. “An’ if it ain’t then I’ll just keep on goin’.” She hoped that she sounded more confident than she felt.
“Come on, sweetheart, I’ll help ya pack.” Kacey strolled through the bar then up the three-tiered wooden staircase.
Ellen followed, casting an apologetic glance at the girls as she passed them. Surely the time had come for her to cut the apron strings? It wasn’t easy for any of them. She knew that. She’d been where they were now. These poor daughters of Deadwood had little to make their lives bearable but Ellen had done her best for them. She’d protected them from Al’s fiercest rages, rescued them from violent customers and helped them to get rid of the babies they could never manage to care for. She had tried to ease the tragedy that surrounded them daily in the only way she could – by being there for them.
But now it was her time. Time to leave and live a little while she still had the chance.
She just wished that it wasn’t so difficult leaving them all behind.
Ellen leant forwards and took hold of Clayton’s face. She rubbed her fingers over the shadow of his beard and smiled.
“I could use a shave.”
She nodded. “But not right now.”
He shook his head. “Not right now.”
When he pressed his lips against hers, she gasped. His mouth was soft and warm, his breath sweet and hot. He kissed her with experience and tenderness and she melted into his embrace. As if making her decisions for her, her legs parted and he slipped between them. Only the material of their clothing kept them divided.
Her heartbeat quickened. Desire pulsed through her, awakening her senses like the rains returning life to a sun scorched creek bed.
As Clayton’s kisses became more insistent, Ellen’s need grew. It had been a lifetime since she’d really wanted a man. Even with Mr Hawkins, her feelings had been but a shadow of the lust that now burned from her very core.
Maybe it was due to her heightened emotions following Stella’s labour, or maybe it was due to the fact that she knew that this was for her. Not for money. Not for Al. Not for anyone else’s benefit. Just for her.
She sighed as Clayton lifted her skirts, pushing them over her knees. He took hold of her garters and removed them before sliding down her stockings. When he ran his hands up and down her legs, from knee to ankle, Ellen bit her lip. The anticipation was too much. She felt sure that she would explode.
She pulled him towards her and wrapped her legs around his waist. His erection bulged at the front of his pants and she ground her pussy against it, overwhelmed by the need to feel him inside her.
Clayton kissed her then fingered the neckline of her gown.
“Can I…” His eyes were dark with desire.
Ellen nodded and helped him to unbutton the front of her dress. She shrugged out of the bodice before standing and sliding it down to her feet.
“There!” She grinned.
Clayton stared at her as if he’d never seen a half-naked woman before. Ellen wanted to sing with joy. He looked at her with hunger and need but not the regular detached lust she was accustomed to seeing. Clayton didn’t want just any old pussy. He wanted her. Her pussy.
He ran his hands up her legs and over her hips. She held them there for a moment then pushed her bloomers down. When she unlaced her corset, her hands shook and Clayton had to help her to pull the laces from the holes.
Then she stood before him. Clad in just her flimsy chemise.
Every breath she took made her bosoms tremble.
She knew that Clayton saw this.
She was hot and wet between her legs.
She knew that Clayton was aware of this.
She wanted him.
And she knew that he wanted her too.
She lifted the hem of her chemise then lifted it over her head, pulling off the scarf that held back her hair in the process.
She was about to kneel but he stopped her moving with his strong hands.
Did he not want her now that he had seen her? Her heart sank.
But when he buried his face in the ebony curls covering her sex, she understood. He intended on pleasuring her first. She shuddered as primitive need coursed through her and he took control of her body.
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