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Only His by Elizabeth Lowell - Romance>Historical America
Escaping the ravages of the Civil War, a gently reared lady must leave behind everything she knows -- and trust her life and her future to a dangerous gunfighter with a passion for vengeance.
A team of prize Arabian horses is all that Willow Moran has left--and Caleb Black is the only man who can help her reach her brother in the Colorado Rockies. But she fears this stranger who burns to avenge the wrongs of treacherous men. For Caleb is as wild and unpredictable as the uncivilized land he loves. Yet, though she challenges him at every turn, the spirited southern lady knows this proud, enigmatic loner is her destiny. And no matter what peril awaits, they must face it together--for Willow has become a fever in Caleb's blood . . . awakening a need so fierce that he would defeat the devil himself to possess her.
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Excerpt:The man looked dangerous.
Dark, strong, unsmiling, he filled the hotel doorway. Leashed power radiated from his stillness. When he moved, the muscular coordination of his body was predatory rather than merely graceful.
Dear God, Willow Moran thought as she watched the man stride closer to her across the lobby of the newly built Denver Queen hotel. This can't be Caleb Black, the God-fearing military scholar Mr. Edwards found to take me to my brother.
Willow's dismay didn't show in her hazel eyes or her posture. She didn't back away so much as an inch despite the sudden frantic beating of her heart. The War Between the States had taught Willow that when a girl couldn't run and couldn't hide, she stood her ground with as much dignity as she could muster . . . and a two-shot derringer hidden in a special pocket of her skirt.
The knowledge of that cold steel weight lying between folds of silk comforted Willow now as it often had in the past. Gripping the small gun, she watched the dark stranger draw near. What she saw of him at close range didn't comfort her at all. Beneath the shadow of his broad-brimmed, flat-crowned black hat, an icy intelligence watched the world from eyes the color of whiskey.
His voice was as intensely male as the thick mustache and black beard stubble that heightened rather than blurred the strong planes of his face. Yet the voice itself wasn't harsh. It was deep, smooth, potent, like a midnight river flowing to an invisible sea. A woman could drown in that dark voice, in those tawny eyes, in the power that seethed beneath the man's controlled surface.
"Yes, I'm Mi--er, Mrs. Moran," Willow said, feeling heat stain her cheekbones as she spoke the lie. Willow Moran she was. Mrs. she was not. "Have you come to take me to Mr. Black?"
Willow's voice was too husky, almost breathless, but she could do little about that. It was difficult enough just to force air past the sudden tightness in her throat as the stranger's masculine impact flooded over her in a dark, compelling tide.
"I'm Caleb Black."
Willow forced herself to smile. "Forgive me for not recognizing you. From Mr. Edwards' description, I expected a somewhat older gentleman. Is Mr. Ed wards with you?"
There was a very faint emphasis on the word gentleman that most men would have missed, but not Caleb Black. His mouth shifted into a curving line that only a charitable person would have called a smile as he jerked a thumb over his shoulder.
"Out in those mountains, Mrs. Moran, a gentleman is less use than a handful of spit. But I wouldn't expect a fine southern lady such as yourself to understand that. We all know the importance you Virginians place on elegant manners." Caleb looked past her toward the wide doorway at the far side of the lobby. "Eddy and the Widow Sorenson are waiting for us over there."
A faint flush rose beneath Willow's translucent skin, a combination of embarrassment at her own accidental rudeness to him and anger at Caleb's intentional insult to her. She hadn't meant to demean him with her careless tongue. The long journey from her ruined West Virginia farm might have hardened the muscles of her five Arabian horses, but it had turned her own brain to pudding.
Copyright © 1991 by Two of a Kind, Inc.
Only HisBy: Elizabeth Lowell