Life on the outside is much harder than it was at home for Gwen. At home she was spoiled and trotted out like a prize filly. But in the real world, without family support a widow has to pull her own weight. It complicates matters when her father is chasing her down to drag her back home.

Dark, intense, David Locke has demons from his past time as a Civil War soldier to deal with. He tries to keep the devil in him under control, but sometimes no amount of self-control is enough, especially during intimate encounters.

Gwen draws it out and encourages the calm that comes after the storm. But can Gwen continue to guide David’s darkness into safe spaces? And can she manage to get loose of her controlling father?

Publisher’s Note: This historical western romance contains elements of adult themes, sensual scenes, and power exchange. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.

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He didn’t return her kiss but took her shoulders and held her inches away. “Gwen, don’t. I want you, want you very much, but tonight I’m wound tight. You might not like how it makes me behave with you.”

“I might like it just fine,” she told him, squirming out of his grip and putting another kiss on his lips. He tasted like port wine and his body had warmed beneath hers. “Besides, I trust you, Daddy.”

He grabbed the back of her head and brought her face down toward his. “I’m not your fucking daddy.” A second later, he commanded her mouth to submit to his. The kiss was rough, his nighttime beard coarse against her chin, his hands firm, holding her in place while he stole kisses like a bandit. Gwen couldn’t catch her breath, but she loved every breathless moment. She felt so alive in his hold, with his strong arms around her, keeping her steady.

The kisses got harsher and then he rolled over with her, pressing her into the bed. She could feel his thick erection at the juncture of her thighs on top of her nightdress. Another woman, a more sensible woman she thought, might say no and run away. His strength was dangerous, but was so appealing. She was walking a razor’s edge, daring him to lose control and force her to do things she didn’t want to do. Except she did want to do them. The more crude they might be, the more she wanted to learn them.

Gwen returned his hard kisses with her own, drawing out his anger and taking it onto herself. She knew she might get hurt, both physically and emotionally, but she wanted to take the risk, wanted to be with a man who was strong, vital, and a little bit frightening and accepted she might need more than a gentler man might have to give. She was no hothouse rose needing tender mollycoddling. She had been that person and no longer wanted to be her. She wanted to give and take power, be treated with incredible tenderness one day and like a female demon the next. Being both ravished and submissive was exactly what she needed to feel whole, vital, and unrestrained by convention or upbringing. No one could hurt her while she was in David’s arms; she couldn’t hurt herself either.

He captured her wrists above her head and held himself over her by a few inches. He was breathing hard when he said, “Last chance, sweetheart. Get out if you know what’s good for you.”

“You’re good for me. I’m not leaving.”

David’s eyes locked with hers for a long time, then he pressed her legs apart with his knees and rose up to kneel there. “I warned you,” he growled as he gripped the top of her nightdress and tore it completely in half in the front. Cool air met the heat between their bodies and perspiration beaded up on her chest.

He rocked her from side to side as he pulled the gown off her and tossed it on the floor. The magnificence of his muscular chest and arms was manifest in their power as he touched her roughly. She felt his hot fingers everywhere and she took it as permission to do the same to him. It was heady to have such a powerful man at her fingertips, a hazardous man who could hurt her but who she knew would not.

Her breasts were swollen, eager, as he pinched and pulled the nipples. She was gasping, moaning, aching for more, and she said as much with her writhing, arching body beneath him. Her hair tangled over her shoulders and became a net around her.

David reached between her legs and pressed two fingers into her. “Wet,” he said, but she’d already known. He said nothing else but pulled her legs up to his waist and jammed his prick deep in her. She grunted at the incursion, but the sensation of being filled and stretched was incredible. It made her rabid for more. It was as though she lost her mind and any gentle sensibilities she’d ever had. “Fuck me,” she told him without hesitation. She’d never said that word before in her life, but she wanted to say it a dozen times tonight.