Exiled from his family for half his life, hard-living cowboy Rory Morrissey finally quits Texas and embarks on a desperate and delicate mission: to return to New Zealand, convince shy Kiwi heiress.
Alfrieda Hamlin to marry him, and earn a fresh start, respectability, and one hell of a farm.
Alfie might be shy but she’s no pushover. When she learns about the succession deal being hatched between her autocratic grandfather and the handsome Texan stud, she rebels. There’s no way she’ll stand by and have her expected inheritance and freedom stolen away, so with only one month to outwit the scheming duo, she throws caution to the wind and snuggles up to the man she’s been ordered to marry. After all, she needs to know her enemy if she expects to beat him at his own game.
Warning: Contains one hunky cowboy determined to ride down his heiress, hog-tie her, and bundle her into his bed.
After spending the next morning forced to show Rory around the beautiful estate, Alfie drives him back into the city in one of the farm trucks to collect the rest of his belongings. Here’s
part of what happens along the way:
The cowboy moved in his seat, distracting her from such doleful thoughts. “Old
Alfred can’t live forever.” His tone was more conciliatory now. “We can wait him out.
Marry me right away and make the place ours. Secure the estate before he changes his mind,
and then we can sort it out between us.”
She shook her head vehemently.
Again he laughed. The same humourless sound. “You’re not my idea of a wife, Alfie.
I doubt I’m your idea of a husband.”
She swallowed in surprise.
He locked his gaze with hers. So magnetic. So persuasive. “Wait the old devil out.
It’d serve him right. We can put on the expected show, but we don’t have to consummate the
marriage. No-one will know but us.”
She shook her head again.
“Although,” he murmured, eyes now dancing with challenge, “We could probably
enjoy ourselves if we put our minds to it.”
Alfie began to object, and at that instant he loosened his seatbelt with his free hand,
leaned across, cradled her face, and settled his lips on hers. He tasted rich and dark, and it
took her several seconds of unhinged shock before she gathered her wits enough to thump
a fist against his chest. “We could probably,” he murmured against her mouth, “enjoy
ourselves very much.”
Rory felt her struggling and reared back. Jesus! He’d grabbed her like some lust-
soaked teenager. What was he? Sixteen and desperate? He slumped into his seat, breathing
hard, searching for appropriate words to apologise with.
“Don’t do that again,” she said in a small voice.
“Hell, darlin’, I didn’t mean to do it that time.” He flinched at the flippant comment
that had burst from his stupid mouth. How would he get past this? “I’m sorry,” he added.
“Didn’t mean to grab you. You...attract me.” He shook his head. “Did I just make it worse?”
“Probably.” She touched her mouth with her fingers as though she was searching for
“Did I hurt you?”
She stared at him, pupils so huge and black that her eyes had none of their vivid
colour left. “No, of course not. Just surprised me.”
After a few seconds she asked, “I...attract you? Really?”
He watched her fingers running to and fro along her soft bottom lip, wanting to
replace them with his own. Wanting even more to replace them with his mouth again. He
reached a tentative hand out and then pulled it back. “For sure. How could you not? And I’m
not meaning the farm. You’re...”
He shook his head. Was he really having this conversation? “You’re not what I
expected. Last night I presumed you were a spoiled princess. You wouldn’t talk to me over
drinks. I thought you were freezing me out.”
He watched as she covered her mouth with her hand and shook her head.
“And then I found Alfred hadn’t given you any warning about why I was there, and
you stood your ground with him in the dining room and I admired you.”
Her hand dropped away. Her eyes were still huge. “Admired me?”
“For telling him what you thought of him. Even if it made him damn difficult
company for me after that.”
The corners of her mouth twitched briefly. “Was he angry?”
“Fuming, but trying not to show it because he wanted me on his side.”
“Poor you.” She was definitely trying to stifle a smile now.
The bands of embarrassment choking his chest loosened a little.
A dimple indented one of her cheeks and then disappeared. “So I attract you because
I’m brave? Not very. That doesn’t make me sound much fun anyway.”
Rory ran his hands through his hair and stared at her. “Geez, honey, are you
determined to drag it from me? I came here expecting to find some unmarriageable mess of
a woman and instead I got presented with you. So pretty I can’t keep my hands to myself. So
female you make me hard in seconds. So in need of looking after that I’d walk over white-hot
coals to keep you safe. Okay?”
He heard the snick as she unlatched her seatbelt, and then his breathing stopped as
she wriggled up into a kneeling position. Was she going to smack him one? He clutched the
fabric of his jeans so he couldn’t make another grab for her.
One of her hands gripped the back of the seat for balance. The other reached over and
touched his hair, smoothing it where he’d no doubt mussed it up seconds earlier. He tilted his
head to find her eyes, totally beguiled by her unexpected reaction, determined not to spook
“Thank you,” she whispered, her fingers moving lower to trace over his eyebrow and
around the edge of his ear. Slow and dreamy. Exploring him like a piece of sculpture. “That
makes things feel different.”
Somehow he held still. Her short nails ran down the side of his face, then reversed to
push against the grain of his beard. “Whiskers,” she murmured. “You poor thing having to
shave them all the time.”
He wanted to laugh but didn’t dare. “Comes with being a man.” He needed to clear
his throat and didn’t dare do that either in case it spoiled the moment.
“Hmmm.” A soft murmur of agreement.
Finally he couldn’t take any more of her gentle torture. “So do I pass the test?”
“What test?” Her fingers trailed lower again.
“Whatever you’re...” He fell silent as she touched the corner of his mouth. Ran her
feather-light finger over his cupid’s bow and around the rest. His hands clenched tighter
into the denim, and his heart threatened to burst out of his burning ribcage. He gulped a fast
She shifted on the seat, leaning closer. “Yes, you pass the test. You’re so lovely you’d
pass any test.” She bit her bottom lip and visibly swallowed. “Can you kiss me again please?
I wasn’t ready last time.”
Alfie’s voice quavered as she spoke the last words. Who was kneeling and begging
Her. Absolutely her.
Kneeling on her seat, begging to be kissed.
Would he do it? If he didn’t she’d die of embarrassment.
She watched as his big hands relaxed their death-grip on his jeans. As he took another
deep breath. As he turned in his seat and touched her face, sliding around her jaw to cradle it.
No words. Simply the sensation of those long fingers smoothing over her skin, and his eyes
burning into hers with fierce intensity.
Utterly crazy. How had they gone from open animosity to teasing, then through
another full-on argument to declarations of tender regard and into a kiss hot enough to scorch
“Ah, honey...” he whispered, rubbing his mouth over hers so softly she was barely
sure they’d connected. A butterfly brush. A sensation as warm as tropic air. Lips dragging
gently past each other. Back and forth. Maddening.
She made a noise of some kind. A wanting noise. A needing noise. Because yes, she
needed. Needed to touch him and taste him. Wanted more of him than this. Ohhhhh....
She raised her hand again...caressed his jaw, and it was enough. He parted his lips
on an indrawn breath, settled them over her lower one and sucked for an instant, then moved
up to do the same to the upper. All her nerve endings there flickered, and she moaned with
delight, not knowing her fingers had flexed greedily against his skin. Rory’s hand tightened
too, pulling her face against his as her lips parted. Holding her where he wanted her. Angling
his mouth over hers, lifting and lowering, dragging in air between each dizzying descent until
they were both panting, both open-mouthed, tongues sliding together, groaning, frantic.
Alfie yearned to be closer still. Wanted to be pressed against his body, enclosed by
his arms they way she’d been that morning. She struggled to turn, perched as she was on her
knees on the seat.
“Easy darlin’,” he warned as she tipped off balance. He grabbed her in both hands,
strong enough to support her weight and tilt her so she sprawled, unharmed, head in his lap.
She gazed up at him, gasping, ripped away from the kiss that had stolen her brain.
He laughed—a deep joyous rumble that she felt as well as heard, pressed as she now
was against something really hard in his groin. A long firm rod that thrilled and scared her
“You okay?” he asked, loosening the hand trapped between them so he could stroke
She nodded mutely, which gave her a little more information about what she’d landed
against. Oh goodness...
He grinned down at her. “I didn’t picture our first kiss happening in a farm truck on
the main road,” he said. “We do have a hotel room to use if you’re so insatiable?” One dark
Alfie opened her mouth to object, and then relaxed again when she realised he was
teasing. “Not insatiable at all. And anyway, you started it.”
“True, darlin’. Provoked beyond reason. ” He stroked her hair. “Not even a little bit
insatiable?” he asked hopefully.
She shifted on the seat and eased a leg up onto the steering wheel, then remembered
too late that she’d worn a skirt instead of her customary jeans. She tried to reposition herself
His hand shot over, lightning-fast, and grasped her leg.
“Let me go!” she squeaked, giggling, blushing, helplessly trapped.
“Not a chance, darlin’.” He bent sideways and smoothed his face over the soft
skin above her knee and then down to somewhere far too near her panties. Oh God... That
was...incredible. And way too personal. All the muscles in her thighs quivered, and she
groaned, alight with apprehension. How could he do something like that?
She heard his soft laugh of triumph.
“Rory!” She wriggled, trying to escape. Hopeless. Heard him inhale to sample her
scent. So embarrassing. Felt his mouth pressing kisses high on her thigh. Couldn’t see
because his head was under her rucked-up skirt.
She lay there, tangled and open to him, as his lips worked back in the direction of her
knee and he appeared again, hair rumpled, eyes so hot they practically smoked. With his free
hand he pushed at the denim. Alfie felt deserted as he drew back further.
“Not boring panties,” he drawled, flicking a glance down to her very tiny turquoise
lace thong and then back to her eyes.
Oh, could this get any worse? “No—I forgot...” she muttered, knowing she must be
scarlet in the face.
He glanced down again. “You put that on for me, darlin’?
“No...I don’t know...”
He grinned. “Definitely appreciated. You got any more like it?”
She squeezed her eyes closed and unkinked one leg. Rory kept a firm grip on the
“No. It...umm...went with my bridesmaid’s dress. The one I wore last night.”
He bent and kissed her knee again, sliding his mouth slowly down, keeping his eyes
on hers until her skirt concealed them. Then all she could do was imagine.
“But you didn’t have this on last night?” A low suggestive murmur from under the
fabric. His kisses progressed further south.
“No. Of course not. And I don’t know why I put it on today”. She gulped a fast
breath. “Maybe I just wanted to feel pretty...”
“You feeling pretty right now, honey?” He licked and sucked so close to the elastic
edge that Alfie’s hips hitched up in shock.
About Kris Pearson
If it's fine, Kris gardens. If it's wet, she writes. And if the writing's going well, the garden can look after itself...
She's the author of 'The Boat Builder's Bed', of which more than a million were downloaded free. Giving away a taste of her work with this one kick-started sales of all her other novels.
Her latest books are her Heartlands series - the girls who live deep in the New Zealand countryside. First there's 'Her Man with Iceberg Eyes' - a novel set in the alpine resort of Queenstown, way in the south. Then there's 'Christmas Holiday Husband' - which takes you to a sprawling back-country farm with its lovely old homestead and long family heritage. June 9 sees the launch of the third, which is titled 'More than the Money'. In this you'll again meet some of the characters from 'Christmas Holiday Husband'.
Kris writes sizzling contemporary romances, and is the current membership secretary for Romance Writers of New Zealand. Six of her books are set at least partly in the capital city of Wellington so she can make use of the beautiful harbor in the plots. She's called them her Wicked in Wellington series. (There's a boxed set of three Wickeds if you'd like to save some money.)
In a new adventure, two of these are now available translated into Spanish, with at least two more to follow. The first titles are 'La cama del constructor de barcos' and 'Zona prohibida'. There's a Spanish version of her website - just click the flags at the top right of it to change languages.
Kris' Other Books
Heartland Heroines Series
Book 1: Her Man with Iceberg Eyes
Book 2: Christmas Holiday Husband