SEDUCED BY AN ANGEL
Book 3, Velvet Lies
Jesse repositioned the Stetson on his head. “Well. Reckon I should start putting that mare through her paces. I wouldn’t want your brother to accuse me of malingering.”
Sera tossed her head. “As if I’d ever tell Michael what you and I did out here, while he was off minding his patients.”
Jesse turned an endearing shade of red. Sera grinned. She hadn’t meant anything naughty—well, all right. Maybe she had. Just a little. She liked to flirt with Jesse. To see the proof of his attraction to her was a heady pleasure. To know that attraction came with a conscience was reassuring. It made her wish he would ask her to the Founder’s Day Dance, even if he was her brother’s hired hand.
He handed the book back to her. She reached for it reflexively.
In the second that her fingers closed over the volume, a surge of electricity crackled through her hand. It wasn’t a welcome feeling. She realized she was about to have one of her dreaded visions. She fought the kaleidoscopic rush of color with all her strength, but it had already gotten a toehold in her mind, blanking out the royal-blue expanse of sky and the concern that was kindling in Jesse’s pine-green stare.
Reds, grays, and blacks prickled the back of her eyes. The details were crowding in, blasting open the door to her consciousness with the force of a cyclone.
She saw a bellows and a forge. Gagged and hogtied to the foot of that anvil, a wild-eyed Jesse lay on his side, naked from the waist up. His shirt lay in tatters around him, and rivulets of sweat rolled down his perfect chest. He appeared to be no older than 15. He was struggling desperately against hemp rope bonds as he watched a blacksmith draw a red-hot branding iron from the flames. The man leered as he turned toward his terrified prisoner. The blacksmith’s face twisted in a fiendish mask of triumph.
Sera reeled. That horrible, horrible man was going to torture Jesse!
“Stop!” she wheezed, her hands flailing, seeking something solid to anchor her in her own world of meadows, ponies, and daisies. Her palm struck Jesse’s chest.
His arms folded around her.
She gulped ragged breaths. Heedless of the conventions, she clung to his rugged length like a lifeboat in a hurricane. His earthy scents—leather, tobacco, and sandalwood—pervaded her senses. Dimly, she was aware of his strength, the manly breadth of his shoulders, the rock-ribbed leanness of his abdomen.
But it was the tenderness of his embrace that sang a siren’s call to her female core.
“It’s not real,” he murmured against her hair. “It’s just a picture. A vision. It can’t hurt you. Let it pass. Whatever else people might have told you, Sera, your visions aren’t bad. They can help people. They’re a great gift from Spirit.”
Awed to hear anyone say such a thing, she blinked back tears. No other man had ever told her that her visions were a gift: not the great, intellectual minds at Michael’s university; not the spirit-centered men who’d dedicated themselves to her father’s religion.
Only Jesse, a wandering cowpoke, whose compassion had been forged from great personal pain, had dared to fan her hope that she wasn’t mentally sick or full of sin.
“But how do you know, Jesse?” she whispered. “How can you be sure?”
SEDUCED BY AN ANGEL
Kentucky belle Seraphina Jones craves a dashing stranger worth kissing. When she spies her handsome, half-naked hired hand at the riverbank, she thinks her dreams of romance have come true. But this Texican is wanted for murder.
Jesse Quaid can’t let Sera’s sweet kisses distract him from rendezvousing with Cass, a childhood friend, to clear his name of a crime he didn’t commit.
But then a case of mistaken identity turns Cass into Jesse’s deadliest rival for Sera’s heart. Now Sera must find a way to end the feud before the man she loves is lost forever.