An Old West, Alpha and Sass Romance
Cameron Sutton has no intention of ever marrying again. Women are nothing but trouble. His brother, however, does need a wife, so he can claim his sizeable inheritance. Cameron takes matters in hand and woos a mail order bride on Ben’s behalf. Somewhere along the way, Cam falls for this girl he’s never seen, and he decides he wants Savannah Walton for himself.
Ben, too, has no intention to marry, ever. No inheritance is worth settling down with a woman. When Savannah arrives, he’ll hand her right over to Cameron. Problem solved. Meanwhile there’s a lovely damsel in distress that needs his attention, a refined girl named Violet Pendleton, the newest saloon girl at the Magnolia. Her innocence is on the auction block, and Ben decides he’s just the man to rescue Violet from ruin.
From Chapter 5
The Cypress Hotel was Colter Canyon’s finest hotel, and Fentress Room took up most of the top floor. Ben had always heard it was magnificent and it lived up to the rumors. Windows on three sides. A large fireplace. A canopied bed. It was the loveliest spot Ben could think of to take Violet. The Magnolia was a place where desperate men went to do carnal things. Violet deserved better.
She stood as far from him as she could get, on the other side of the immense bed, by the window. The room was mostly dark. A few candles flickered, a low fire burned in the fireplace and the moon hung heavy in the night sky, bathing her in a silvery light.
He opened the champagne and when the cork popped she jumped, giving a small cry.
“Come on over here. Let’s have a drink before we break that bed.”
She made a small sound and turned away. He poured two glasses and crossed the room. Coming to a stop behind her, he reached around to hold the glass in front of her.
“Thank you,” she said, accepting the glass.
Gently, he turned her to face him and tapped his glass against hers. “To the start of your new career."
She shook her head and took a sip, refusing to meet his gaze. Her dark hair shone in the moonlight, and her pale skin glowed with a luminous quality. There was something about her that was so feminine, so elegant, so alluring. The idea that one of those men at the poker table would touch her sent a jolt of possessive need so savage that he thought he might shatter the glass in his hand.
He gritted his teeth. Standing a foot away from her was pure torment. Her scent toyed with him. Flowers. Delicate flowers. Fitting for a girl named Violet.
“What did you do before you came to Colter Canyon? To the Magnolia?” He wanted to make conversation both for her sake and his.
“I taught music. Piano. Some voice lessons.”
“And then what happened?” The question he didn’t ask stretched between them. He wanted to know how a refined girl like her could end up in the back room of the Magnolia, the prize winnings of a poker game.
Her narrow shoulders lifted in a small shrug. “Life changes and you do what you must.”
She spoke in a flat tone. Not sad, not happy, not anything.
He tried to picture her living her life. Did she have a man? A child? He didn’t think so. She had an ethereal quality about her, something suggesting she was untouched. Clarice hawked many girls who were supposedly innocent, but Violet was probably the first virgin to ever step foot in the saloon.
“What about you?” She looked up at him. Her blue eyes looked gray in the moonlight. “What brought you to the Magnolia? You don’t look like the rest of the patrons.”
He almost never went to the saloon and he wasn’t sure how to answer. Something that afternoon pulled him inside. It wasn’t because he was looking to spend time with one of the girls. He’d only done that a time or two when he was younger. Something drew him into the depths of the saloon for a few drinks and rounds of cards.
And then he’d seen her.
He shook his head. “I don’t really know.”