“You’re determined to seduce me, aren’t you?”Her eyes widened. “I’m not trying to seduce you.”He chuckled and relaxed the grip he had on her wrist. “Really? Because from where I’m lying, it sure feels like it.”Humiliation burned like flames across her face and Emmaline was glad it was so dark. She stared at his chest, her thoughts running wild inside her head.Tristan released her wrist and raised his hand, cupping his fingers under her chin to lift her head up. She avoided looking at him and it wasn’t until his thumb ran across her bottom lip that she did. “What is it you’re doing, Emmaline?” She didn’t answer and avoided eye contact. “I don’t need to be thanked, if that’s why you’re doing this, but if you want me, then by all means, help yourself.” His fingers tangled into her hair. He pulled her head back, forcing her to look at him. “I won’t complain nor refuse.”He didn’t want her but he did? Emmaline was so confused; she wasn’t sure what to do. He was staring down at her, waiting, and the silence in the room was unnerving. Was she trying to seduce him? And was she doing it because, like most men, they’d want to be thanked? Or was it more?She stared at him, the scent of his skin tickling her senses. His flesh was so warm against her own, it felt as if she was bathed in soft satin. If she were honest with herself, she’d know she wanted him for purely selfish reasons. He was a handsome devil, strongly built with wide shoulders and a solid chest. She wasn’t a virgin by any man’s standards but not once had she ever been more to a man than a warm, some-what willing woman in their bed. She’d never felt anything with those she’d been with. No miniscule hint of pleasure they all seemed to find. The loathing she always felt during and after the act, left her feeling dirty and naked for the entire world to see.But she didn’t feel like that now. Not with Tristan. Her pulse was racing and an incessant throb was beating between her legs. The way he’d looked at her earlier when she’d stood naked before him left her feeling almost pretty, like the kind of woman a man would want for something other than to just bang into the mattress then leave. She knew without asking he’d probably been with more saloon whores than she could count and the thought of having a man love her and actually mean it was tempting. Would he kiss her first or just climb on top of her and do his business? For some reason, she didn’t think he’d be so selfish. He’d kiss her like he meant it and not leave bruises on her when he was finished taking what he wanted.Her cheeks flamed hotter when she realized she wanted him to take her but would die before saying so. She averted her gaze, pulled her hand away from him and tried to scoot away, her back hitting the wall and sending another chill through her body. “Just forget it.” She drew the blankets back up to her chin. “I’m not used to people doing things for me without wanting something in return. I just assumed…” She peeked a glance up at him. The intense look on his face caused her to feel a bit loathsome. Why would a man like Tristan Avery want her?His hand was still in her hair, his fingers combing the strands over her shoulder. He was staring at her, the look in his eyes unmistakable. He did want her. She could see it in his eyes and the knowledge nearly knocked the breath out of her. She licked her lips, her heart slamming against her rib cage and she inhaled a deep breath when he leaned toward her.His mouth was soft, his lips brushing against her own so gently she wasn’t even sure it could be considered a kiss. He did it again, sucking her bottom lip into his mouth and Emmaline closed her eyes as jolts of pleasure rippled through her body.“Are you not offering anymore?”She looked up at him, his warm breath washing across her lips. “I thought you didn’t want me?”“Never said I didn’t want you, darling. I’m just making sure you want this for the right reason.”“And what’s the right reason?”He smiled, the whiteness of his teeth shining in the darkness. “Because it feels good.”She wasn’t sure about that but something in the way he was looking at her made her think with him, it might just be pleasurable. He kissed her again, long, wet brushes of his mouth against her own before his tongue teased her lips apart. The first taste of him and her body jolted.
He pulled her to him, angled his head and kissed her the way she’d always wanted to be kissed. His mouth was hot, hungry and his tongue dipped into her mouth again and again, her pulse racing with every stroke until she fought for breath.
The Gambler – Willow Creek #3
by Lily Graison
Emmaline Hunt only had one thing she could call her own. A piece of land that held a secret not even her drunken stepfather knew about. When he gambles it away in a high stakes poker game, Emmaline does the only thing she can. She tries to steal the land deed back.
Tristan Avery has seen his share of bloodshed while sitting at a gaming table and knows its time to lay low when he wins a wad of cash and a piece of land. Especially after his opponent ends up dead at his feet. High tailing it out of town is his only option but things take a drastic turn when he finds a woman in his hotel room trying to rob him blind.
The botched robbery attempt is only the start of his troubles when Tristan finds his new land occupied by the same girl who tried to rob him. When he realizes he’s left her homeless, and killed her stepfather, his conscience forces him to do the right thing. Taking her to his hometown and setting her up with a new life will make up for all he’s taken from her.
But Emmaline has other plans. She wants her land, and Tristan’s money, and she’ll do whatever it takes to get them. All she has to do is convince him she’s there to stay, outwit him, find a way back home and not let a single soul know she has a gold mine bursting at the seems with untapped wealth.
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LILY GRAISON resides in North Carolina, a stones throw away from the Blue Ridge Mountains and a few hours from the Outer Banks. First published in 2005, her debut novel won a Reviewers Choice Award. The author of over a dozen published books, Lily writes in the Western, Contemporary and Paranormal Romance genres.
When not writing, Lily can be found at her sewing machine creating 1800’s Period Dresses or at a nearby store feeding her obsession for all things resembling office supplies.
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