I know a lot of you are waiting on pins and needles for John’s book to come out, titled Embattled Hearts. I thought I would assure you that it will be out this month. It’s complete, being edited and beta-read as we speak, cover is ready to go. So, I thought I would give you a little taste to whet your appetite…

She handed a small gray bundle of
fur to John. “This is the runt of the litter, and I try to feed her a little
more than the others.”
John held the kitten awkwardly in front
of him. The young cat’s paws batted the air, looking for something to claw
into.
“No, no, hold her against you,
like this.”
She settled his hand against his
chest and shaped his fingers around the little creature’s bottom.  Shannon didn’t even realize how close she had
moved to John until she looked up and found him staring at her. Hard. With
those heavy black brows furrowed and his dark eyes full of burning emotion.
“Sorry,” she mumbled and pulled
away quickly. She snatched another kitten out of the box and tucked it under
her chin.
John’s kitten started to purr.
“What’s it doing now?” he
demanded.
Shannon laughed at the ferocious
frown on his face. “Relax,” she told him gently, “he’s just purring. It means
he’s comfortable and he likes what you’re doing.”
John eased back in his chair and
eyed the cat.
“Haven’t you ever had a cat?” she
asked him curiously.
John’s face lost all expression,
and a subtle tension eased into the air. “No, I haven’t. Animals weren’t
allowed at the boy’s home where I grew up.”
“Oh.” Shannon felt like a heel as
the revelation about his childhood settled into her. It explained so much of
who he was.
“I didn’t mean to dig things up,”
she told him finally.
John shrugged and stroked the
kitten on the top of its head with a huge finger. “No big deal. You didn’t
know.”
“So, have you ever had any pets?”
she asked finally.
John shook his head. “None. There
was a stray dog I used to toss scraps to outside my window at the orphanage,
but he wasn’t around very long before the pound caught him.”
Shannon felt her eyes fill with
helpless tears. How very sad. No animals in his life at all, and the one small
contact he had destroyed by the dog catcher. She couldn’t imagine not having
animals in her life. She still had three horses at her parent’s house in
Colorado Springs she needed to decide what to do with. And she had always had
animals in her life. From hamsters and hermit crabs as a child to horses and
cattle she showed in 4-H in her teenage years. Actually, she couldn’t remember
ever not having an animal in her
life.
John fondled the kitten around the
ears, and the little animal purred just as loud as she could, her eyes slitted
shut in rapture. Shannon knew she would do the same thing if John handled her
that way too.
“She really likes you,” she told
him softly.
John made a non-committal grunt,
but he continued to run his big fingers gently over her coat.
“You know,” Shannon murmured. “I’m
going to have to find homes for these before too long.”
John immediately held the kitten
out to her. “No, thank you. You’ll find a better home for it than with me.”
Reluctantly, she took the dangling
kitten from his hand. She wouldn’t push him on it. They wouldn’t be ready to
wean for a couple of weeks yet anyway. Setting the two gently in the box, she
turned back to John.

And caught him as he glanced away from her ass.

If you haven’t read Embattled Road yet, I strongly suggest you do to get a feel for the men.

AND! If you’re not on the newsletter list, you need to be!!! They’re getting the first glimpse of John’s Cover TOMORROW!!!

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