I’m talking secondary characters over at the Contemporary Romance Cafe today. Talking about Jake. And Logan.
While I’m working on editing Jake’s story, here’s a snippet from Slow Ride Home–and the problems Ben and Allie face as they reunite…
copyright© 2013 Leah Braemel
She jammed her elbows on the fence, staring at the mare who’d resumed grazing, rather than facing Ben. He was a Grady. This was Bull’s Hollow. The land, the cattle, they came first to him, over everything else.
Slow Ride Home kept me enthralled. I became completely invested in Ben and Allie’s story and am looking forward to No Accounting for Cowboys, book two in The Grady Legacy series
~ Lea Franczak, USA Today
“I don’t know. Maybe.” Definitely. She turned her head to meet his gaze. “Why are you so intent on chasing
His brows arched in surprise. “I’m not chasing you particularly hard, Al. If I was, you’d know it.” He scrubbed a hand over his face. “You’re not the only one who can get hurt here. All I’m asking is for you to give me a chance. Pretend that we’ve just met. Go out on a date with me. I want to know who you are now. What makes you tick. You say you’ve changed—I want to know how.”
She shook her head and pulled away, turning to clutch the fence rail in an effort to ground herself. “It won’t work. I can’t forget what’s happened between us.”
“What’s happened between us? Not between Gramps and you, just you and me.”
She closed her eyes, unable to stand the husky plea. The fence rail moved—he’d braced his hands on either
side of hers.
“Give me another chance. I didn’t run out on you or force you away before.” His breath brushed her neck as he leaned in. “I’m sorry that Gramps hurt you, but he isn’t me. I’d never hurt you.”
“I know.” Did she? Or was she just so lonely that her body was convincing her to give in? “It doesn’t make
what I’m feeling any less valid.”
He stepped back, and she found herself mourning the loss of his warmth. “You never used to be a coward.”
Damn it. She whirled to face him, her fingernails digging into her palms. “I’m not a coward. I’m a realist.” A realist who was tired of being hurt. Of being a pawn.
“Okay, then let’s say you never used to dwell on the past the way you do now.” He held out his hand, palm up, waiting for her to take it. “Let go of the past, Allie. Let’s see if we have a future together.”
“You make it sound so simple.”
“Why can’t it be?”
His soft question speared through chest and lodged in her heart. After all she’d been through, how could he ask such a question? She met his gaze, seeing no guile hidden in those beautiful blue eyes. Wondering where she’d have been, where they’d be, if he proposed to her all those years ago, she whispered, “Because life isn’t simple.”
I’m posting the brand new cover of NO ACCOUNTING FOR COWBOYS, Book 2 of The Grady Legacy over there. AND there’s a sneak peek too, with an (unedited) snippet of Jake and Paige…and buy links too!
Lea Franczak of USA Today gave SLOW RIDE HOME a “recommended read” in her review, so did Lace at BlackRaven’s Reviews. Terri at Night Owl Reviews gave it a 5-star Top Pick review while over at Guilty Pleasures Slick Reads agreed and called it a True Gem.
Slow Ride Home
© 2013 Leah Braemel
The thirty minutes he’d aimed for turned out to be two hours, even though he’d busted ass to get through the chores. Ben released the breath he’d been holding when he saw her waiting on the porch, wearing one of his old tees like a dress, and beneath the shirt a pair of his silk boxers some girlfriend or other had given him and actually expected him to wear.
“Hey, you.” She uncurled from the chair she’d been sitting in. “I was about to start the party without you.” He let his gaze wander the length of her thighs, over her trim knees and calves and down to her bare feet, her nails painted in a shimmery gold. While he loved her fuck-me high heels, Allie’s bare feet were downright sexy.
After her earlier flip-flopping about their relationship or whatever it was, he’d decided she was thinking too much. He’d also decided he needed to keep her concentrating so hard on something else she didn’t have time to think. Only thing he could think of to distract her was…well, sex. It always distracted him from his worries.
A woman wanted romance, he figured, rather than the wham-bamming he’d given her the last two times. Tonight he’d take it slow, make it all about her. With a few twists just to keep her mind occupied on what he was doing. He reached behind his seat and pulled out a new hank of rope. He didn’t plan to use it but figured it would keep her mind working on what and when he’d tie her up while he slowly romanced her.
“I thought I told you to be naked when I got home.”
Her eyes widened. “You did not.”
“Then I’m tellin’ you now.” With a casualness he didn’t feel, Ben ambled toward the porch. “You’d better not be wearing a stitch by the time I reach you.”
“Or I’ll tie you up and spank you.”
Her gaze darted to the rope he’d hooked over his shoulder. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Keep those clothes on and you’ll find out.”
Sweet baby Jesus, he just about swallowed his tongue when she grasped the bottom of his tee and pulled it over her head, then shimmied out of the silk briefs and stepped out of the whole bundle.
He damned near tripped over his own feet when she folded her arms beneath her breasts, the action pressing the luscious globes together. The plans to gently romance her tonight went up in a puff of smoke, replaced with a caveman-like need to get her on her hands and knees and mount her like a stallion. “Inside. Upstairs. On my bed. Now.”
“Wow, you’re in full Me Tarzan, You Jane mode, aren’t you?”
He opened the front door and pointed. “Inside. Upstairs. On my bed. Now.” He couldn’t help that his voice had lowered or that he sounded like he’d sucked a day’s worth of smoke. Right now words were the last thing he could formulate.
“You’d better not be planning on sleeping ever again if I’m nearby, cowboy. Because you’ll wake up naked and hogtied. On your front lawn.” Lifting her chin, she strutted through the door and up the stairs.
On the landing near the top of the stairs, she glanced over her shoulder and smiled archly at him standing at the bottom of the stairs, struggling to take off his boots. “I still think you’re bluffing about tying me up.”
“I’m not bluffing.” He had been bluffing but now he couldn’t get the image out of his brain. Her, with her hands tied behind her back, kneeling in front of him, sucking on his dick. Or on her back with her hands and feet bound to the bedposts, leaving her spread open for whatever he wanted. What the hell had happened to slow and easy romancin’? “Last warning, darlin’. If you’re not on my bed when I reach the bedroom, I will tie you up.”
“Promises, promises.” Her laugh echoing off the stairwell, she disappeared up the last three steps and out of sight.
Order from Carina Press or from
Losing his father was hard enough, but now Ben Grady must face the fact that he and his brother may not be sole owners of their beloved ranch. To protect his family’s legacy, he’s forced to rely on the legal prowess of the woman who stars in his erotic fantasies: Allie O’Keefe. Ben’s never forgotten the illicit encounter they shared fifteen years ago—or forgiven himself for letting her go.
Allie thought she’d moved beyond the scandal that cost her Ben in the past. But working so closely with the seductive rancher arouses the wild child within the cautious woman she’s become. Though she tries to keep business and pleasure separate, Allie soon gives in to temptation, and discovers Ben’s sensual skills surpass even her X-rated memories…
Allie has every intention of leaving Bull’s Hollow forever after her investigation is complete. But there are a few complications. Not the least of which is that while saving the ranch, Allie’s lost her heart.
5 Star-Top Pick Review ”The characters were absolutely perfect complete with imperfections and quirks…the romance couldn’t have been better…came together with passion and emotion.” ~ Terri, Night Owl Reviews
Note from Leah: While Slow Ride Home is a hot story with graphic love scenes, my editor and I both agree that it’s not an erotic romance, and therefore it’s not being marketed or shelved on Amazon or Barnes & Noble as anything other than a hot contemporary romance.