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Cowboy with a Bite

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 15,391
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One bad hand of cards has stranded Eliza Dunbro on a failing ranch in the middle of nowhere. She’d do anything to get back to the city, even seduce the handsome, pale stranger who rides into town. He’s sexy and rich—a perfect combination—but there’s something more about him that calls to her and make her think that sticking around might not be so bad.

It’s been hundreds of years since anything or anyone has caught Daniel Hastings’ interest. The vampire doesn’t expect much in the two-bit dusty town he’s passing through to change that…until he sets eyes on the sassy, stubborn Eliza. A moonlit picnic is tossed aside for more carnal delights, and though he should be doing the enthralling, he finds himself caught in a spell of lust that Eliza weaves. Daniel finds himself afraid of cravings of a different kind...ones he can’t have.

Previously published under a different title.

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I wondered if you might join me for a little moonlight picnic.”
Moonlight picnic with a man she didn’t know—a stranger in Haley? Hah! She’d done some real stupid things in her day, but she wasn’t that stupid. Even if he was the handsomest man she’d ever seen in her entire life. Even if she were hungry. Very, very hungry. Painfully so, actually.
He pointed to a basket sitting on the seat of the buggy with a snow-white cloth covering it. Eliza recognized it as a basket that belonged to Mrs. Timmons over at the hotel. She must have lent it to him. Mrs. Timmons sure had a way with fried chicken.
Eliza had had some of that fried chicken one time at the church potluck dinner. She herself had brought a huge bowl of green beans to the event and had eaten an embarrassingly large amount of the food that other people had brought. It had been no contest—Mrs. Timmons’ chicken was the best food there. Sadly, other people had thought so, too, and it had been eaten up before she got a third helping.
Her mouth watered as she imagined the chicken in the basket. If it watered any more than it already was, she’d be drooling. And she most definitely did not want to do anything that undignified in front of this man.
She studied Mr. Hastings as he stood there, quietly looking at her. His sensuous mouth, clean-shaven chin with a slight cleft, and broad shoulders made her long to get close, really close. She yearned to run her fingers through that blond hair, over those tantalizing lips. She put her hands behind her back so she wouldn’t be tempted to touch what she shouldn’t and looked him over.
He was all male in that immaculate white shirt, black jacket, and string tie, new trousers, and fancy boots. She imagined him smiling at her as he pulled off the tie and then the jacket. He’d stroke her hair as she undid the buttons of his shirt, revealing the pale skin underneath.
She mentally shook herself. She needed to make a decision to not get herself all hot and bothered. A man that clean and neat couldn’t be dangerous, could he? She was a pretty good judge of character, wasn’t she? For example, she would never go on a moonlight picnic alone with the sheriff, and she knew him right well. A midnight picnic with Mrs. Timmons’ fried chicken wasn’t the sheriff’s style anyway. Oh, how she wanted to spend some time with Daniel Hastings. And oh, how she wanted some food.
“You got chicken in there?” She pointed to the basket.
Of course, she wouldn’t go along for a midnight picnic in the middle of nowhere with a perfect stranger, no matter how clean and neat and charming. Not even if there really were several birds in that basket.
He was, after all, a man who had whooped Billy Joe and thus was clearly dangerous, even if he did make her heart turn somersaults to say nothing of the fact she needed desperately to touch him and be touched by him. Surely she didn’t need a proper dinner that bad, surely she wouldn’t risk her life—and her virtue such as it was—just to have some fried chicken. Of course not. She wasn’t that desperate.

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