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Wedding (now in e-book)
Book 2 in the Whirlwind, Texas series
BARNES & NOBLE
Also available on iTunes
| Reviews |
Excerpt | Map of Whirlwind
"Had this Angel of Mercy Danced with the Devil.....?"
Catherine Donnelly had come to Whirlwind to care for her rebellious brother.
Not to rescue the very man who doubted her sibling’s innocence! But as the Texas
Ranger recovered in her bed, she was forced to admit that Jericho Blue might be
the one man who could save her. And make her the woman she yearned to be!
Jericho prayed that Catherine had nothing to do with the murderous ambush. For
once he’d apprehended the culprits, Jericho knew the only way to satisfy the
fierce passion Catherine aroused in him…would be to make the innocent temptress
"Lively and lifelike, the characters will keep you reading ... Highly
recommended as a fun read that will hold your attention to the end."
"The old west lives!! For all
romantics who love horses, cowboys and the romance of the old west as recalled
by the movies made before the grittiness won out, this is a tale that will be
dear to your heart..."
"Cowan takes the qualities of an Americana western,
adds the grit of a chase and writes a tale that also has deep family ties,
pulsing sexual tension (including Jericho's loving tenderness when Catherine
tells him of her fear of men) and the harsh reality of the West. This is a solid
western with an added poignancy that truly tugs at the heart."
-- Kathe Robin, RT Book Club
"The second Whirlwind romance is an enjoyable Texas
historical tale that hooks readers due to the delightful lead couple falling in
love, but afraid to trust one another with her brother being the key element
leading to suspicion. The story line is action-packed with readers gripped on
two fronts: how will this couple overcome their wariness and what about the
McDougals, which takes a back seat to the love story (it is a romance first and
not a western). Debra Cowan's' fans will want to read the first tale,
WHIRLWIND BRIDE, after tasting this fine novel."
-- Harriet Klausner
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A soft grunt sounded in the room next to Jericho's, then the sigh of
a rope bed. It was Andrew coming home from somewhere. Did his sister
know? Perhaps she'd been with him. But if she had, why would he come in
through his bedroom window?
Jericho strained to hear more, but there was no further sound. Where had
the kid gone, and why? Had he returned alone?
Jericho pushed himself up with his good hand and slowly swung his legs
to the floor. Pain arrowed up his right thigh, but he steadied himself
by holding on to the bedside table to help him stand. Biting the inside
of his cheek to keep from groaning, he gripped the wooden edge until the
room stopped rocking.
This was the first time he'd been up, and his leg burned in agony.
Nauseous and trembling from weakness, he limped to the wall and
flattened his hand against the pine, feeling his way to the door. It
opened silently and he leaned against the jamb, breathing hard from his
short trip. Sweat trickled down his bare chest and beneath the waistband
of his light cotton drawers.
A full, fat moon sent light slanting into the front room that also
comprised the kitchen. His gaze searched the shadows to his left until
he saw Catherine. She lay on a pallet beneath the front window, her hair
a curtain of midnight black flowing over her shoulder. The windows in
his and Andrew's rooms had been left open, but not in here. Stuffy air
clogged Jericho's lungs and he wondered how she could even breathe.
Her white, sleeveless nightdress shone in the darkness. Pale moonlight
fell across one cheek, gilded her straight nose and smooth skin. One
slender hand pillowed her cheek; the other lay across her waist, almost
as if she were protecting herself.
As his eyes further adjusted to the dim light, he saw a sheet draped low
over her hips. Her breasts were in shadow, but Jericho had a good
imagination. He looked away, blinking to focus in the darkness and
search the corners of the room. Everything was quiet and calm.
He shuffled closer. If Catherine had been out with the boy, she showed
no signs of it. Her breathing was slow and steady. There were no hastily
discarded clothes. Her dress and apron hung neatly on a wall peg next to
the fireplace opposite Jericho's side of the room. Beside, a tin bathtub
stood against the wall. Her wrapper was draped over the back of a
rocking chair in the corner.
Pain snaked through him and ate away his strength. He could make out the
cupboard against the wall to his right, the dining table in front of
him. He gripped the edge. A moment of silence passed, then another.
Andrew seemed to be in for the night, and Catherine appeared to have
slept through her brother's absence and return.
Trying to gather what little strength he had, Jericho turned to go back
to bed. And hit his thigh on the table's edge. Sharp, keening pain
nearly drove him to the floor. His vision hazed and he cursed.
"Who's there? What do you want?" Catherine cried out, startling him.
"Shh." His fingers dug into the wood as he fought to drag in a breath.
"It's . . . me."
"What's happened?" She rose, a hazy figure pulling on her wrapper and
coming toward him.
"Didn't mean to frighten you." Pain was a vicious band around his thigh,
and Jericho braced himself against the table. "I'm sorry."
She stopped about a foot from him, her clean, fresh scent reaching
through the thick night air. He wanted her to stay away, but it took all
his energy to stay upright.
"What are you doing?"
At her accusing tone, he growled, "I'm on my way back to bed."
"You shouldn't be up. If you needed something, you could've just called
out to me."
Her voice was cool and guarded; he could feel her wary gaze. What did
she think he was doing -- coming out here to have his way with her?
"I heard a noise," he snapped.
"What was it?" She looked around, alarm plain in her voice.
His lips twisted. "I'm not sure. Whatever it was, it's gone now."
Had Catherine really not heard her brother return? Or did she know he'd
been out and was now protecting him? Jericho couldn't stand here much
longer. The floor seemed to shift beneath his feet, and the heat in his
thigh made him wonder if it were bleeding.
"Let me help you." She was once again the calm nurse who'd taken him in.
He wanted to refuse her assistance, but if he did he might fall at her
feet again. Surely one time was enough for any man. "Thank you," he said
The agony in his leg had subsided to a dull, bone-pinching throb.
Catherine moved to his uninjured side and braced her shoulder under his
arm, then put an arm firmly around his bare waist.
For just a moment, he balanced there and let her cool beauty soak into
him. He hadn't allowed himself to be this close to a good woman in a
long time. His arm rested on her shoulders and she gripped his wrist
with her other hand. Her touch unleashed a longing he could scarcely
admit. A long-denied part of himself greedily took in her clean scent,
the brush of her unbound breast against his side.
"Ready?" Her body tensed to move.
He fought to keep his hand from drifting down her arm. "Yes. Ready."
He took slow, halting steps, fresh pain tearing at his leg. She served
as a crutch and let him set the pace. But the press of her body against
his sparked a savage heat inside him. He tried to move faster, get back
to bed so he could stop feeling it. Stop wanting to feel more.
He inched forward awkwardly, ignoring her teasing scent and the satin of
her hair tickling his arm. An almost giddy relief washed through him
when they shuffled through the doorway and he saw the bed. He stepped
toward it, releasing her at the same time.
His leg gave out. She clutched at him as he grabbed for the wall behind
her. Agony wrenched his leg, rattling his teeth.
"Damn," he muttered raggedly. Nausea rolled through him and sweat broke
out across his forehead.
After long seconds, his breathing still uneven, he leaned against the
Not the wall. Catherine Donnelly.
Bracing his weight on his good arm, Jericho eased back enough to look at
her. She stood motionless, her gaze trained on his bare chest. Beyond
the pain of his leg, a different kind of throbbing moved into his groin.
Well, he could rest easy about the question of his manhood.
He felt every inch of her, and those inches felt damn good. The reason
for his being here jumbled with the quicksilver reaction of his body to
hers. Hard man to soft woman. Through the light fabric of her wrapper,
her breasts teased his chest while her hips and thighs pressed to his.
Her breath fluttered against his throat, making his blood pound. He
wanted to kiss her, peel down the straps of her nightdress and see the
breasts shadowed beneath the fine lawn fabric. He wanted to run his
hands through her hair, over her body.
"You are so sweet." It took a second for him to realize he'd whispered
the words. In that instant, he registered something else, too.
Though she stood rigid against him, she trembled, not fighting, but
warning him off all the same.
He shifted so that moonlight fell over his shoulder. She stared straight
ahead, her face ghostly pale, her lips compressed.
"Catherine?" His whisper sounded harsh in the silence.
Her gaze lifted slowly to his and Jericho drew back. Terror swam in her
eyes. He recognized that fear, and it had nothing to do with what he
knew about her brother and the McDougals. She didn't fear him as a
Ranger. She feared him as a man.
From the book: WHIRLWIND WEDDING
By: Debra Cowan
Imprint and Series: Harlequin Historicals
Publication Date: September 2004
By: Debra Cowan
R and TM are trademarks of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement
with Harlequin Books, S.A. For more romance information, surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com
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