The Crow Creek Collection goes on sale at ARe/OmniLit, 50% off through June 19th
The Collection includes: Ash & Oak, Pulling Leather, and Strapping Ash
It’s been called hot, sexy and tender. Ash MacBryde is domineering and possessive, and carrying an emotional burden he’s buried deep. Oak Richards is shy and reclusive, comfortable around the horses he loves, but tongue-tied when it comes to people. Two men, so different and yet alike, come together and find the missing pieces in each other. But love’s never easy, not when one of them carries secrets. The chance arrival of an old friend and former lover re-ignites memories Ash has been trying to hide, threatening everything he holds dear. When he loses control and does the unthinkable, Oak runs, back to his home and back to an employer who had once cast him away like so much trash. Oak has his own demons waiting for him, in the guise of the man who’d opened the closet door for him, a man determined to pick up where they left off so many years before. When Ash shows up to bring his man home, he discovers a side to Oak he never knew. And the only way the domineering possessive man and the gentle reclusive soul can find their way back to Crow Creek Ranch means learning that…
Sometimes it takes two wrongs to make it right.
EXCERPT: An attraction that had been building for months, fueled by loneliness and distance, explodes when they finally meet in Denver as employer and potential employee. Neither man is prepared to handle that kind of connection: raw, passionate, all-consuming.
Oak stood facing the mirror, his hands clutching the edge of the vanity. Ash positioned himself slightly behind and to the side, watching the kid watch him. Certain that he’d never seen such despair as what the kid’s expressive blue eyes reflected back to him, Ash blinked back a tear. He would never forgive himself for causing that kind of agony.
Ash moved marginally closer, never taking his eyes off the mirror. There was no way he could let this rest, he needed answers, otherwise he feared Oakley Richards would be boarding a flight back east in the morning. And that thought was unacceptable.
There was no explaining why he wouldn’t, couldn’t allow this man to walk out of his life, but he was going to try even if he had to strangle the words out of the recalcitrant idiot.
Taking a stab in the dark, he said, “It’s your knee, isn’t it?”
Nodding miserably, Oak managed to croak, “Yeah.”
Ash said, “Come talk to me?” and backed into the room, motioning for the kid to follow. Half expecting Oak to slam the door in his face and lock him out, he edged to the side, ready to do a body block if necessary. Oak gave him a weak smile and moved past him, heading for the couch.
Ash spat out, “No, get in the bed,” and nearly bit his tongue at how that must sound. He’d meant to be firm, not so my-way-or-the-highway assertive, but the kid simply shrugged and did as he was told. He crawled under the covers and turned his head away. Ash decided to try keeping control so he barked, “Move over,” and slid next to Oak as space freed up.
They lay facing one another, the quilt pulled to their chins. Ash made a conscious effort not to touch Oak, but it was a losing proposition. Reaching over, he rolled the lean body into his arms and tucked Oak’s head against his shoulder. At first he resisted, his torso rigid and Ash could swear he felt the kid’s heart hammering double time against his chest. He stayed quiet, letting Oak absorb the feel of his embrace. Instinct told him it would be better not to push for answers that would make or break something so fragile and precious. He had one chance to get it right, with absolutely no idea how to go about it.
After mulling over all the possibilities, he still couldn’t see the forest for the trees. This was all his fault. He’d decided to give ‘like’ a try and instead he’d unleashed lust with a vengeance. Not that he needed justification. After all, there was nothing wrong with two adults finding comfort and pleasure with each other. Yet, what he felt, holding the kid in his arms, was something more, something new. And scary as hell. Brushing his fingers through the sandy brown curls, he nearly came undone when Oak snuggled in close, pinning his legs and wrapping an arm across his chest. Suddenly questions and answers had little or no meaning. Oak would tell him in his own good time and he, Ash MacBryde, would wait for as long as it took. He had no intention of turning into a Burgess, a tyrant who used people up and discarded them when they no longer suited.
He murmured, “Sleep, Oakley Richards, I’ve got you,” and wondered if this was what love felt like.