Irrationally His; Book 3
Published: August 5th 2015
Published by: Mad for Romance Publishing
I was caught between the irresistible force of my attraction to Travis and the immovable object of the taboo nature, not only of the relationship itself, but also of the sex play. I’d never done some of those things in my life, and I couldn’t wait to do more.
Then there was my best friend, Cozy. Her reaction to my revelations about sex with Travis wasn’t expected. And soon she’d be here, at the ranch. I dreaded the scene when they confronted each other.
To make matters worse, something wasn’t right with my stepdad. Travis seemed worried, but neither of us could put our finger on what it was about this whole week long anniversary party that made us uneasy.
All I could do was hang on for the ride.
Brazen is Part Three of the serial romance Irrationally His.
On the morning after my eventful day, Wednesday, I woke to the sound of excited children outside. Glancing at my bedside clock, I saw I’d missed breakfast. I moaned and rolled over to get out of bed. Every muscle ached, and when I shuffled to the bathroom to pee, my appearance in the mirror shocked me.
My hair was a mass of dark tangles, there were bags under my eyes and I looked like I’d been on a three-day bender. Either that, or the Western expression, like I’d been rode hard and put away wet. Which of course was exactly what had happened.
“Mmmmm,” I said aloud. “Totally worth it.”
I couldn’t face Mom, or anyone else for that matter, looking the way I did, so I took a shower and made myself presentable. I couldn’t remember what was on the agenda today, but I thought it was more card-playing, and maybe taking the kids to the pool again. If so, I was going to duck out and go somewhere to sketch. There’d be plenty of time to paint after we had the place to ourselves again, but at least I could get some scenes planned.
Besides, I needed some time to myself to think. This thing with Travis, never a good idea in the first place, had gotten out of hand. His charisma and my appreciation for his beautiful body pulled me toward him, when everything I knew of him should have warned me away. The sex kept me going back for more. In the light of day, what I’d said to Cozy about making him fuck me rough, outside and in daylight, seemed crazy. So why did I feel moisture gathering between my legs at the very thought?
I had to get my mind off that subject while I went to the kitchen to cadge something to eat. Otherwise, I’d walk in blushing and leave after spilling my guts to Mom, who wouldn’t stop prying until she knew what was causing the blush. That would be a disaster of epic proportions. Not only would it ruin her party, it could destroy her marriage.
The fact that I had to make an effort not to think about Travis should have warned me I was already on dangerous ground. To help me get my expression and color under control, I thought about Cozy and her upcoming visit. She’d be here in just two days! I could hardly wait to see her, even though I’d only been here at the ranch for about a week. Of course, her being here would put a damper on extracurricular activities with Travis…stop it. Don’t think about him.
I took a deep breath, squared my shoulders and marched down the stairs to the kitchen. Whether or not I could keep my mind off Travis and last night’s amazing sex, I needed food, coffee and a visit with Mom. I’d had hardly any girl-time with her so far except for our trip to Missoula. But when I got to the kitchen, she wasn’t there. I made some toast, got a cup of coffee from the carafe on the counter and sat down to try to remember any errands she’d asked me to do or accompany her on this morning.
When I came up with a blank, I shrugged and went to get my sketch book. It looked like a good day to get out away from the house and other people, where I could be alone with my thoughts. I went out the back door, not yet decided whether to take a horse and really get away, or just walk a mile or so into the trees at the edge of the big meadow. I wandered to the stable to see which horses were there, and found Travis saddling Thunder.
“Oh, hi. I didn’t think you’d be around. No chores today?”
He turned around and looked me over. “So that’s the way we’re playing it? Business as usual?”
I tilted my head while I sorted out what he meant. Surprised, I concluded he was talking about last night’s sex, and sure, how else would we play it? I raised one eyebrow. “Unless you have a better idea, yes.”
He shook his head. “Okay. Whatever you say. Were you going to saddle up?”
I looked around at the few horses still in the stable. “Thinking about it. Where is everyone?”
“They went for a ride. Your mom, my dad and most of the guests. We’ve got the place to ourselves, if…”
“When will they be back?”
He shrugged. “They’ve been gone almost three hours. Any time now, I’d expect.”
I supposed it was obvious I was stalling for time to answer. The thought that someone could come home and possibly discover us dampened my enthusiasm for the hint he’d put out there. He turned back to Thunder and began adjusting straps.
“Travis,” I began. “Where are the hands? Why aren’t you with them? Aren’t they short-handed, now that…”
He turned back to me, a frown marring his handsome face. “Yeah, more than you know. One of the other guys left, too. It’s just Hank and Miguel now. They went to town to try to recruit some new hands. Bad time of year for it. Most that are any good have already signed on somewhere.”
I covered my mouth with my hand. Shaking my head, I took it away. “This is all my fault. I’m so sorry.”
In two steps he was at my side. He took my upper arm in one big hand and shook it gently. “It is not your fault. You didn’t ask the asshole to put his hands on you. That wasn’t okay.”
No, it wasn’t. But Travis putting his hand on me now was very okay. In fact, I wouldn’t have objected if he’d taken my other arm and pulled me into a kiss. But he didn’t. He dropped my arm almost as quickly as he’d grabbed it.
“I’m sorry,” he said, pressing his lips together. “Look, if you want to go with me, I’m going to ride out and make sure that little herd in the meadow is still together and see if I can round up any stragglers from the woods. What were your plans?”
With his question, he’d moved us right past the moment of awkwardness and I didn’t have the chance to answer his peculiar apology. I didn’t know what he was sorry for., but I was sorry for a missed opportunity. “I was just going to sketch, but if you’re going out to work, maybe I’ll sketch you. Would that be okay?”
His serious mood dissipated, and he grinned. “Well, I will have to keep my clothes on today. Seeing me naked might spook the cattle.”
I rolled my eyes. This Travis I understood. I was even beginning to like the wise-cracking, easy confidence he showed, almost to the degree of cockiness. Sparring verbally with him was beginning to be second nature, and if we could keep that up I wouldn’t have to think about the secret side of our relationship. The dangerous side. The side that even now crept into my consciousness and caused my nipples to tighten inside my bra.
“Oh, all right. If you must. It won’t be authentic, you know, if you’re dressed. Didn’t all old-West cowboys do their work with no shirt on, at least?”
“You wish.” He laughed, but the tease came closer to the truth than he needed to know.
“You wish I wished,” I retorted.
He turned impossibly blue eyes on me. “Yeah, I do.”
~~Emmy’s Review ~~
Many thanks to the author, who gave me a free copy of Brazen in exchange for my honest review.
I love the title, it fits very well! This is probably my favorite of this series so far.
Remember that I said that, when I say this. I started off this novella wanting to punch Travis in the face. HIs encounters with Chelsea in the last book were….groundbreaking, to say the least, and he is not quite sure how she will react to the discoveries she made about herself. It’s obvious that their time together is running short, as the week-long party celebrating their parents’ 10 year anniversary has been going on for several days now.
I loved the scenes containing Cozy, Chelsea’s best friend - she’s like a force of nature. Her clashes with Travis made the book for me. Although Travis and Chelsea have been careful to not show any affection towards each other in public so far, they both have a hard time controlling themselves at the formal anniversary dance. The tension in these scenes was very well done.
This book ends with the revealing of a major family secret. Will it tear Chelsea and Travis apart, or cement their bond even further? Personally, I think Chelsea flew off the handle unnecessarily, but they are both left with the same question - what happens now?
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