COWBOYS MINE by Stacey Espino
Western Menage (MFM) Romance
Releasing January 22nd from Evernight Publishing
Eva Ford lives a sheltered life on her small rural farm. At twenty-two, she feels the need to spread her wings and start her own life, planning a trip to the city to show her prized cows. Colton and North McReed from the next ranch over are determined to make sure she stays out of trouble.
Twin brothers, Colton and North, have always loved little Eva. She’s their rock in life, the one pure thing in their otherwise dark existence. Their abusive father ran out on the family years ago and their mother suffers from a serious addiction. They never look at Eva with desire…until they spend a week alone with her in the city.
Everything changes when Eva and the cowboys realize just how deep their love for each other runs. Once their passion is unleashed, it’s impossible to contain. But can their unorthodox relationship last? Will sex ruin the friendship of a lifetime?
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North was ready to brawl. In fact, he craved it like never before. Pain would be preferable to the ache in his heart. Somewhere along the line he began to see Eva as more than the sweet girl next door. Somewhere along the line he’d fallen in love.
What he didn’t understand was Colton’s sudden disinterest. Their feelings for Eva always mirrored each other’s. Half the time when he’d escape to the Ford house, Colton was already there. They’d come on the trip specifically to keep Eva out of trouble, but instead, his twin was turning a blind eye.
They ate dinner in silence. North watched the sky turn from blue to black, every darkening shade bringing his anxiety to a new level. She still wasn’t back. God knows what that cowboy was doing with little Eva. The thought of his filthy hands on her made his blood boil. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could sit still with his imagination running wild.
He was just about to bolt from his seat when the door to the trailer opened. Cool air flooded the interior and the sound of Eva clearing her throat made every live wire inside him suddenly lose power. He exhaled a nervous breath, glad she was at least home safely.
“Told you I’d be back in one piece,” she said as she hung up her cardigan. “There’s no need to go hunting me down. Seriously.”
She started to climb up into the loft.
“Where’s lover boy?” asked North, no humor in his tone.
“His name is Wade, and he just dropped me off, like a perfect gentleman.”
“That why he had his lips all over you?” asked Colton. His brother was just as unimpressed, even though he’d condoned the behavior.
“Hush you!” Eva slipped under the covers.
“You haven’t eaten,” said North.
“Wade bought me dinner.”
He ground his teeth together, stifling a growl. The sound of that man’s name on Eva’s lips made him see red. If he never heard the name again it would be too soon.
They secured the trailer and turned out the lights before joining Eva in the bed. He tossed his shirt and lay down on his back, staring up at the low ceiling. She was already comfortable, obviously not feeling the volatile energy keeping him awake. He kept as far to his side as possible, the cold wall of the trailer chilling his arm. Every time she shifted in the bed, he tensed.
“I’m cold,” she murmured, cuddling closer to him. The heat of her body scorched his bare skin. In a matter of days, everything changed for him. He wasn’t sure when it happened, but he wished he could go back to the way things were. Uncomplicated.
He tried to get away from her but he was trapped in the tight confines of the sleeping area. He held his breath as she ran her palm over his chest, over and over in small circles. Her touch had always been soothing—not so much anymore.
“What’s wrong with you?” she whispered against his neck. His eyes lolled back in his head. Even her fucking breath was sweet.
“Nothing. Go to sleep, Eva.”
“You’re acting weird, North. Is this because of Wade?”
He decided the cowboy was a safer topic than his changing feelings for her. “I don’t trust him.”
“Just don’t is all.” He rolled to his side and away from her. It didn’t feel right going to sleep on a sour note, but he couldn’t have this discussion now. Mrs. Ford was the one to teach him and Colton not to speak out of passion. It was always best to confront a person with a level head, after cooling off and replaying the events over in your head. He usually didn’t take the advice, but tonight felt like a good time to start.
“Will you two quiet down,” said Colton.
Eva pressed her body against his back. Why had he taken off his shirt? He needed layers between them—many, many layers.
“I know what I’m doing,” she said in a whisper. “You don’t have to worry about me.”
“I’d worry less if you spent more time with Bessie and Ruby than that drifter.”
“He’s not a drifter.”
“Why you defending him?” he asked. “You act like you’re already an item.”
She kissed his shoulder. “I just want you to be happy for me, North.”
“It doesn’t matter what I think.”
“It does. You’re the one who taught me how to rope a calf, and even though it took me weeks to learn, you never got impatient. You protected me when Jameson’s dogs got loose.” She ran her hand delicately down his arm, her fingers lingering over the raised scars on his forearm. “You bought me a corsage when no boy asked me to prom. Remember when the three of us danced in the rain that night? My dress was covered in mud.”
“Well those are just examples of why I love you so much. It doesn’t feel right doing anything without your blessing.”
He wasn’t sure he could ever give her what she wanted.