Can she put the trauma she has witnessed behind her to start a new life as a bride?

Opal McAllister is eager to travel to Big Rock. Not only will she be reunited with her childhood friend, but she’ll be married to one of the town’s most successful men. At nearly thirty years of age, she’d begun to think she might never marry, but she always held out hope. When Amy writes to ask her if she’d be willing to become a bride of one of the many single men in Big Rock, she jumps at the chance. After corresponding with Henry Tucker for a while, she knows he is the man of her dreams. However, the situation Opal encounters on her trip to her new home affects her deeply.

Henry loves his smart, funny, fun-loving new wife, but he can see that fear has taken root in her and threatens to hold her prisoner. What will it take for her to release that fear, once and for all? Join Opal and Henry on this adventure as their love soars, their intimacy shocks and sizzles, and the villains are vanquished.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy Western romance contains graphic murder scenes, love scenes, and a theme of power exchange. Please do not read if any of these are offensive to you.

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When their meal was finished, Opal produced a bag of cookies.

“If I’d known you had those, I’d have been eating them on the way!”

“I know. Then we wouldn’t have any for dessert now.”

“I ought to give you a good hidin’ for that. Depriving me of cookies, is that any way to treat your husband?” There was a flirty quality to his voice.

“Are you implying I don’t know how to treat my husband?”

“I’m implying that perhaps you need a reminder.”

He reached under the horse quilt they sat on and produced the paddle.

Opal gasped in surprise and her mouth opened. She recovered and looked at him suspiciously. “No wonder I couldn’t find it,” she said, grinning at him.

“Well, darlin’, I owe you a hidin’. I think you need to take your clothes off now.”

“Any possibility I can bargain my way out of it?” she asked as she stood and began undressing.

“Nope,” he said as he stood and removed his gun belt and belt. “But you might convince me to go easy on you.”

“What’ll it take?”

“This burden’s on you, darlin’. Make me an offer. What do you think I would like?”

“You like it when I suck you.”

He let out a whistle. “I do like that. I like that a lot. What else you got?”

“That’s not enough for you to go light on me?”

“A little bit, it is. But you know, I can probably swing this baby pretty hard. You might need to offer me more.”

“All right. You like it when I get on top.”

“Ah, yes, I do.” He gave a chin jut and grinned. “You’re gettin’ there.”

She threw her remaining clothes on the ground in mock frustration. “And you like it when I talk dirty.”

“You drive a hard bargain, darlin’, but you beat me.” He grinned as he showed her the paddle. “I only want to do it hard enough to see your name show up. See this? I took it to Angus and had him put your name on the other side.”

Opal chuckled. “I should have known. But I have a condition, too. Take your clothes off.”

“Oh, all right.” He shucked his clothes and tossed them near hers.

“Now, how do you want me?”

He looked at her and with twinkling eyes and a lascivious grin. “Desperately.”

“You know what I mean. Bending over? Touching my toes? Standing up? Hugging a tree? On the ground? Bent over while you hold me under your arm? Over your knee while you’re sitting on that fallen tree?”

He laughed at the way she rattled off the choices. “Have you been fantasizing about this? Sounds like you’ve given it some thought.”

“I may have.”

He folded his arms over his chest. “Touch yourself while I decide. Like you were doing when I walked in on you.”

She did, and as she let herself become more absorbed in it, she began to become aroused and sway and undulate as she moved. Her eyes closed and she seemed to bask in the cool of the breeze and the heat of the fire. Henry thought the sight of her dancing erotically in the firelight was the most sensual and provocative thing he’d ever seen.

He watched until he couldn’t any more. He threw the paddle on the ground by their clothes.

“I can’t wait, darlin’. All those things we talked about can wait. I have to have you now. Right now.”

He pushed her forcefully to her knees, on the blanket, then pushed her forward on her elbows.

“I built up a powerful need, darlin’, just watching you move.”

“Good,” she panted, nearly breathless. “I can’t wait, either. I want you to come at me like a runaway locomotive.”