• Caroline Richardson

Western Flame - Teaser Excerpt!

I have a treat for you today, a steamy teaser from my current work in progress, if you will. I'm deep into the second act, writing like a madwoman, and soon enough I'll be able to start posting my new book for everyone, on Wattpad.


On Wattpad, add the book to your library so you'll be notified when updates start. Go here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/285986942-western-flame-coming-soon


But before that happens, I wanted to give you a taste. Just a little one, to whet your appetite for Tanner's story!


I hope you enjoy, and get excited! More West family drama is on it's way!


Tanner leaned back on his chair while Liana picked up the empty plate, and his hand stopped her as she reached for his bowl.


“Leave it,” he said, his voice quiet, but firm. “Sit... please.”


His hand was warm and strong, and she sat, the nervous energy around her dissipating as he left it, heavy on hers. This was not the Tanner she’d come to know, but this was not unwanted. Her body was telling her that it was also definitely not a bad thing, having him close.


“Okay. I’m sitting,” she said and one corner of his mouth lifted as he held her eyes with his.


“You don’t have to brush this off,” he said. “I mean it. I’m sorry about what happened. No one, least of all you, deserves that kind of treatment.”


Liana blinked and took that in. What was he trying to say? She inhaled carefully. “I’ll be okay. Not like I can’t handle it.”


“You shouldn’t have to,” he groused, and took his hand away to run it through his hair.


That flipped Liana’s stomach. A simple gesture, the way he half-closed his eyes as his hand went up and over his scalp, was a reminder of how attracted she’d once been to him. All these years she’d replaced that thought with one of resentment, but with this newfound calm between them... Scratch that. He was even sexier now, as a man, like this.


She wanted to replace his hand with hers, and the thought slammed through her. Oh no, she thought. I cannot be thinking that again.


He looked back at her with that piercing gaze that made her think she’d said what she thought out loud. Their eyes met, and she swallowed.


“Well, what’s done is done. I’m not dwelling on it,” she said, deflecting.


“Okay.”


But in her heart, his statement had pinged something. He was right. She shouldn’t have to, and the regret of decisions made in the face of loneliness was there. Dermott wasn’t the first jerk she’d dated just because she didn’t want to be alone.


“Anywho, I’m home, it’s late—” she rattled off, and shot to her feet.


“Liana.”


Tanner stood, gathering up the dishes, his big hands folding over the bowl. Liana kept her eyes glued to that, and not his face, the way the white bandage flexed as he wound his fingers over the edge. He’d said her name softly, like he had in the salon when she was crying. Like he used to, a long time ago.


He set everything down again as she gripped the back of her chair. He stepped close to her, and lifted her chin with the crook of his finger. Their eyes met. His were searching hers, the question in them loud and clear. He was feeling something like she was, obviously.


“I’ll go if you want me to. But I need to know that you’re really okay,” he said.


“Why does it matter? We’re not—” Liana replied, heat blossoming out at his touch.


“It matters to me,” he replied. He was so close to her, and she had an impulse to lay her hands flat on his chest. To push him away or feel his heat, she wasn’t sure which yet. She wanted to burrow into his arms again, reminded of the comfort and strength from last night. But she hesitated.


“I don’t know how to answer that,” she said. “Seriously, Tanner, for so many years it hasn’t mattered. Why now?”


He let out an irritated growl and stepped away from her, swiping the dishes up again, and moving into the kitchen to set them in the sink. He leaned on the counter as she joined him, and looked over at her.


“Ever since you walked into my house last year—” he started, then stopped, taking in a huge breath. “Shit. This isn’t the right time.”


“Yeah. Was a picnic for me too,” she snarked back.


A nod from him and he stood back up. “You’re right, it’s late.”


Before he could pass her, she put her hand on his arm. Dammit. If he was willing to talk about this then so was she, and she shouldn’t be sarcastic. Maybe if she pushed him a bit, they could air something out and next time...


“Stop, Tan. Finish your thought. Don’t run,” she said softly. He went rigid, his bicep flexing under her hand. He was frowning, staring straight ahead, but underneath, she could see he was fighting himself.


“Stay. Talk to me,” she added when he didn’t move. She moved her hand up his arm. He felt good under her palm, and she moved around in front of him, her hand travelling over to rest on his chest to hold him there. “Why does it matter?”


He took in a sharp breath as her hand settled over his heart. “Dammit Liana—” he muttered, and his hands fisted at his sides. “You—”


“What?” she asked. On impulse, she moved closer to him. Memory and attraction warred in her head as his eyes flashed something, and he unclenched his hands. She had an urge to kiss him, but that would likely end up with him storming off even faster.


“You have no idea what you’re doing to me,” he growled, and before she could react, he grabbed the back of her neck with one hand, pinned her against the wall, and kissed her.


What did you think? Let me know! ♥


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