Published by: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, LGBT/gay, western, ménage
Heat Level: 5
Word Count: 33,000
Blurb: For Ruby’s Love
Calhoun’s a simple cowboy with more problems in his life than he can handle at the moment. After nearly two years, he struggles to hang onto a relationship with Daniel, his first male lover. Daniel is worried about him because of the fire, his concern for his prized breeding mare, and because he is determined to buy the neighboring ranch to expand. But Daniel isn’t a businessman without goals of his own for expansion, a fact that frustrates Calhoun as well. He doesn’t want to lose Daniel, but will their differences finally be too much?
Daniel considers himself a lucky man to have met the rancher, someone almost his opposite and someone who he doesn’t want to live without. Standing beside the moody Calhoun has been difficult since the fire that burned down a horse barn, took the lives of two valuable horses, and traumatized a favored mare. Along with all of that, his harried friend is determined to expand his ranch holdings. Daniel is against the purchase and would prefer to find a way to slow the man down. Lately, he’s also begun worrying if maybe he isn’t enough to satisfy his lover’s needs.
Complicating everything even more, Ruby shows up later than expected at Calhoun’s ranch to honor a job as a horse therapist that her father had agreed to before his sudden death. She knows what happened to the mare and is certain she can help her, if given the chance. But the stubborn rancher can’t get past the idea of her being a woman, someone not strong enough to work with such a damaged horse. They butt heads over the matter until she finds an ally in Daniel. He is concerned and yet believes in her abilities. Another problem arises, though. She and Calhoun have been skirting around an unwanted attraction, and then she discovers another surprising interest between her and Daniel.
He pulled open the over-sized front door and gaped at the bit of a woman shivering on the porch. She appeared a foot shorter than him and a good sixty or more pounds lighter. What hit him most were her eyes—an odd dark green, like jade or something. Her eyes narrowed as he looked her over.
Finally, she stretched to her full minimal height and bristled at him. “When you’re done checking me out, do you think you could let me inside? It’s colder than cold out here.”
Daniel stepped beside him and intervened. “Let the lady in, Cal.” He looked around her and asked, “Where’s your car? Assuming you drove here.”
She slid between them into the tiled foyer before turning back. “No car. And I didn’t drive here, at least not exactly.” Her teeth chattered.
Calhoun closed the door against the sharp winter breeze and watched her pull off a battered pink Stetson, unveiling chin-length strawberry-blonde hair. “What does ‘not exactly’ mean?” He added, “Who are you, anyway?”
She worried her trembling lower lip and glanced from him to Daniel and back. She pulled off a glove and stuck out her hand. “Ruby McMurtry.”
Instead of taking her hand, he puffed up in annoyance. “You’re late! Where’s your father?”
She started to lower her hand, glowering at him. But he noticed something besides anger in the depths of those enchanting eyes. He couldn’t get a handle on the emotion.
While he tried to calm down, wishing he hadn’t jumped on her, Daniel reached out and shook her very red-looking hand.
“You feel like ice,” he said in concern. He took a second to scowl at him.
As she blinked at her hand sandwiched between Daniel’s, her already pink-chilled cheeks turned pinker. “I should’ve worn my thicker gloves,” she muttered in clear discomfort. When she managed to slip free, she glared at him.
A twinge of guilt about his rude behavior passed through him, but his anger came out first as he repeated himself. “Where’s your father? I have a serious bone to pick with him.”
Those eyes that still captivated him welled up with tears. His gut tightened.
Her lower lip wobbled and she sputtered, “He…he…he’s dead.”
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Starla-Kaye/e/B002ZH8K3U