Bought and Paid For
Unable to support herself and her beloved servants, Widow Carrie Hatcher contemplates the unthinkable-offering her services for money. Forced to board wounded Colonel Wesley McEwen in her home, Carrie vows to make the striking Confederate soldier her first "client". But Carrie gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to comply with Wesley's every illicit request for one week.
Throughout long, sultry nights, Wesley tutors Carrie in every position, every skill, of her illicit new trade. From dark taboos to pleasurable punishments, Carrie becomes his willing pupil. Passions inflamed, the couple becomes more scandalously intimate but Carrie realizes she wants to give him far more than just her body. The colonel, however, may be too haunted by his past to risk accepting more than he's bought and paid for.
If she follows her heart, she won't have to choose. Molly has forever lusted for all three Barksdale brothers, but could never choose. Instead, scandal chose for her, and she married the youngest of the three. Then the brothers go to war, and Molly finds herself a grieving widow when her husband is murdered by a merciless band of Union soldiers.
Hardin Barksdale is hell-bent on avenging his brother. Greer Barksdale is honor-bound to protect his home. They both want Molly-and this time, they're willing to share. The temptation is seductive, the passion sizzling. In harsh, post-war Tennessee, their nightly forbidden trysts wield the power to heal them all-if they can escape the twisted desires of a man bent on seeing all three of them dead.
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An Excerpt From: BOUGHT AND PAID FOR
Copyright © DEBRA GLASS, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Heart pounding, Carrie moved to the bed and sat beside him. Thus far, she had avoided making eye contact with him as much as possible. To accomplish her goal, however, it was necessary. But when her gaze found his, her breath froze. His eyes were as black as smoldering coals. The color had returned to his face and Carrie was struck by the stark contrast of the gentleman versus the rugged soldier about him.
“I need to examine the wound,” she said, her voice hoarse.
His eyes never leaving hers, he lowered the quilt to expose not only his arm but the entire expanse of his chest—all the way down to his rippled, narrow waist.
Carrie cleared her throat as she leaned close and lifted the bandages away from his wound. Heat exuded from his body. The balmy scent of sleep and coffee swirled around him and Carrie found herself wanting to get even closer, wanting to nestle her cheek against those sparse hairs on his chest. She swallowed thickly and shifted so that her thighs tightened against her cunny.
“It looks much better,” she said as conflicting emotions warred within her. On the one hand, the doctor would no longer insist on amputating the arm and the colonel would be able to…copulate…with her. On the other, the doctor would not be coming back. There would be no hope for Jenny—until Carrie could earn the money to pay a doctor.
Gently, Carrie replaced the bandage. “I’ve…I’ve considered your offer.”
God, she was so close to him. She could hear the breaths moving through his body. She could see his chest palpitating with his steady heartbeats.
She suddenly felt sick inside. She couldn’t go through with this.
“I thought you might.”
Her gaze collided with his.
He shifted slightly so that Carrie became painfully aware of his thigh at her hip, with only the quilt and her skirts preventing their skin from touching. “It is only fitting that I do what I can to help you financially while I am under your roof.”
Carrie pursed her lips, searching for the right words. “That’s not quite what I wanted to speak with you about.”
Sick panic raced through her veins as his eyes moved over her face. “I’m not sure I understand,” he said.
She lowered her lashes. “I would accept your offer,” she began with reticence, “but only if you allow me to…compensate you.”
When he did not answer immediately, she cast her gaze back up.
He seemed to be studying her. “I think perhaps I am mistaking your meaning and I do not wish to offend you.”
“No,” she said, her voice but a breath. Her pulse pounded so hard she could hear her heart beating in her ears. “You haven’t mistaken my meaning.”
Again, he stared. Carrie knew her face was beet red. She could feel the heat searing her cheeks but it was too late to turn back now.
“Carrie, I think you should plainly state what you are offering so that we both know,” he said firmly.
Delicately, she cleared her throat. “I am offering my…services to you for money. My sexual services.”
She half expected him to either burst into laughter or chide her with a sermon about the evils of prostitution.
He did neither.
Instead, he sat calmly, his expression blank. “You do realize you don’t have to do this?”
“You’re wrong. I do.”
“Carrie, I will see to whatever needs you have.”
“Do you not find me attractive?” she asked, sitting straighter to accentuate the swell of her breasts and her narrow waist.
“That’s not the issue.”
“Do you or do you not?” she demanded, trembling.
He sighed. “Yes. Yes, I find you extremely attractive.”
Carrie wet her dry lips with the tip of her tongue. “I know a man has needs just as I have needs—”
She instantly stopped talking when he reached out and put his hand over hers.
An Excerpt From: SCARLET WIDOW
Copyright © DEBRA GLASS, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Molly stopped in the doorway of Greer’s room. He stood at his chest of drawers, gazing wistfully at a carte de visite of him with Hardin and Witt. Many times, she’d stood in exactly that same spot, staring at that same photograph. They had all known happier times before the war.
A lock of Greer’s wavy brown hair had fallen forward and Molly had the inexplicable desire to smooth it back into place. A muscle along his jawline twitched. Of all the brothers, Greer looked most like the paintings Molly had seen of his mother. The fairest of them all, Greer’s face was dominated by his owlish hazel eyes and unruly, deep-molasses-colored hair. Not quite as tall as Hardin or Witt, Greer possessed an air of quiet dignity and intelligence, a gentleness that would have never been construed as weakness.
Molly saw it as perfection.
When he sniffed and brushed a tear away from his cheek, Molly could no longer allow her presence to go unknown. She ventured into the room, the rustle of her stiff petticoat attracting Greer’s attention.
He blinked, attempting to bat away his tears.
Molly cupped his freshly shaven cheek. “You don’t have to be strong with me, Greer. I miss him too.”
A stifled whimper escaped Greer’s lips as he folded her into his arms and nuzzled her hair. His shoulders shook with silent sobs. Molly held him, rubbing her palms over the thin linen covering his back, trying to discern if the hollow grief she felt was for Greer’s loss or her own.
She ached to close her eyes and seek comfort, to beg him to stay here instead of following the army northward. Sweet, kind Greer. It broke her heart for him to know how Witt died. Tortured. Left in a battered, bloody heap on the side of the road. Molly hugged Greer tighter as she tried to force the haunting mental images away. There were no words she could utter to soothe him or ease his pain. Nothing she could do would alleviate his grief, and she knew she was helpless to do anything except stand here and hold him in her arms.
They stayed that way for what seemed an eternity before something inside her shifted. Grief melted into need. Her fingers flirted with the curls winding over the collar of his shirt. One palm moved over the sinewy muscles and hard bones from his shoulder down his back. Heat radiated through his shirt, promising an elusive comfort she knew wouldn’t last. Molly brushed her cheek against his neck. He smelled different than either Witt or Hardin. Where Hardin smelled like the outdoors and something else she couldn’t define, Greer’s fragrance hinted of leather-bound books and shaving lather.
A thought rose in Molly that caused a shard of guilt to stab her. What if she had married Greer instead of Witt? Constant, thoughtful Greer, who stood here alive and capable. This moment would have a different meaning. She would be fearful and yet hopeful that her husband would return for good soon. The Yankees would not have humiliated her. She squeezed her eyes shut against the images assailing her mind. Naked. Taunted. Shamed.
A shudder tore through her and Greer gathered her closer. The images melted away and she focused on the strong arms around her, even as her conscience railed at her to drive the fantasy far from her mind. Her body, however, refused to let it go.
She pressed impossibly closer to the hard man in her arms, loving the unyielding feel of him countering her from head to toe. Her traitorous body reacted to his heat, to the feel of a steely and protective embrace. She felt small in his arms. Loved.
This was wrong. She wore mourning black for this man’s brother and all she could think about was assuaging the rising need urging her toward sinful desires.
She drew back just far enough to look into his tortoiseshell eyes. His pupils enlarged, drawing her in.
“Greer,” she whispered, trembling like a trapped hare in his arms.
His thick lashes fluttered down as he slanted his head and captured her lips.
Molly’s heart pounded as his mouth teased across hers. The tip of his tongue swept over her lips, prompting her to return his kiss. She opened for him, admitting him, kissing him back.
A soft moan filled her mouth and his big hands caught her shoulders, anchoring her against him as he plundered her mouth.
Dear Lord, what was she thinking? But she had not the will to stop this.
Instead she arched into him, opening further, clinging when his tongue intruded to spar with hers. Need unfurled, heating her blood and pooling between her legs. It was unladylike of her but she had enjoyed coupling with her husband. She’d loved the sensation of physical release. Even now, she craved it.
Even now, with her deceased husband’s brother.