Dee Ann Palmer’s steamy short story, Night Rider, is free on Amazon through Nov. 20.
He’s an irresistible, powerful ranchero, destined to marry a woman of Californian or Mexican nobility. She’s just a foreigner he hired to care for a frail aunt. When they label her a loose woman, she secretly leaves the rancho for good one night.
Free on Amazon from 11/16 to 11/20.
The thunder and lightning roared off into the distance, leaving only darkness and the sound of rain beating against the adobe walls of the hacienda.
Outside Jenny Dalton’s bedroom door, hammering and shouts intensified until they rose above the angry night sounds and finally wakened her. Heart pounding, for no one would have summoned her unless it were an emergency, she fought against sleep and stumbled out of bed. Pushing long curls of caramel-and-cream colored hair out of her face, she grabbed her wrapper. The door, swollen from the damp, creaked as she struggled to pull it open.
Don Soltero leaned against the door jamb. In the light cast by the oil lamp he held, she could see his wet hair, usually a sandy brown, looked dark and was plastered against his head. Rivulets of water from it ran down his forehead and cheeks, and he had trouble focusing his eyes. His poncho dripped black puddles against the sienna tiles of the floor.
“Stampede. Searched everywhere…my cousin. Lost.”
Fear chilled Jenny’s heart. She covered her mouth with her hand to muffle her gasp. “Don Rafael is lost?”
“In the foothills. Dead, I think.” Soltero swayed.
Paralyzed with shock for a moment, Jenny finally moved, calling for a servant. “Juan! Come quickly!”
Taking the lamp from the exhausted Soltero’s hand, she steadied him until the servant arrived, trying to avoid breathing in the smell of mud from his boots. Even as the servant approached, Jenny noticed Soltero’s gaze wandering up and down her body in a way that made her pull her wrapper closer. Even in a crisis you can’t help but ogle a woman.
It was not a trait she admired in him.
Juan arrived to assist him, and Jenny closed the door to her room. As she threw on her warmest clothes to find him, the idea of the death of Rafael Raul Miguel Allende, Don del Rancho Simi, assaulted her senses. It couldn’t be. She would not let it be. It didn’t matter that she was only a gringa hired as companion to Lucita Allende, the frail aunt of the Allende cousins, Jenny loved this man who had hired her. Had loved him almost from the first moment she’d seen him only months ago.
And had hidden all signs of her feelings…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In every age, the heart loves, and Dee Ann Palmer’s romances over the past twelve years have reflected those eras in contemporary, historic and fantasy tales. Palmer is a member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America’s PAN group. She’s married to her college sweetheart, and they live in beautiful southern California in easy reach of mountains, desert and beaches.
Night Rider began its life as an erotic short story called Dark Stranger, written under a pseudonym, and was a winner in the 2004 Amber Heat Wave Contest sponsored by Amber Quill Press. Palmer recently regained the rights, changed the eroticism to sensual, and has indie published it under her own name. Note: Since this is a short story, the full first chapter of Christiana’s Choice, Palmer’s medieval romance novel, is included.
Dee Ann’s Website: http://deeannpalmer.com