Happy holidays to all my bad girls and boys! I'll be giving away a signed copy of my book RECLAIMED and a holiday cinnamon and cranberry bath set and candle. You'll be all set to relax with a good book and surround yourself with the scents of the season.
To me, the holidays are all about family. The fictional family I've created that I love the most are the Logans, the main characters in the PIRATES AT HEART series. A clan of bootleggers, pirates and outlaws, they stick together through thick and thin...even if the occasional squabble arises. Here's an unedited excerpt from SAILOR'S KNOT, book three in the series, coming soon to Ellora's Cave.
Book three of the Pirates at Heart series
The year is 2037 and the next generation of the Logan family pirates have taken over the helm of The Yellow Rose. Running bootleg booze and smuggling runners from the Reformed States of America into the Republic of Texas, business couldn’t be better…that is if brothers Marcus and Nathaniel don’t kill each other in the process.
Captain Marcus Logan is serious, brooding and haunted, carrying a torch for his first mate, Amelie. Nathaniel—the resident party boy—is none of those things, but somehow they’d made their differences work for them until recently. When the tall, leggy blonde, Captain Ruby Delaney, is a guest aboard The Rose, she turns Nathaniel’s head and stirs up all sorts of trouble, not the least of which is winding up in Marcus’ bed one drunken night. This ill-advised one night stand ignites a love quadrangle so intertwined that the phrase “it’s complicated” doesn’t begin to define this sailor’s knot.
Turning over in his mind what he would say, Marcus trudged along the corridor to Amelie’s room. It was time to lay his cards on the table. If only he could explain to her that he’d been foolish, that he’d let his dick do the thinking, that it was the pain over her rejection that had driven him into Ruby’s arms.
Okay, maybe he’d save that last bit for a future conversation. He wanted to reconcile, not drive her to homicide. Maybe he could explain that he’d lost his mind because all he'd ever wanted was Amelie in his arms again, but he was doing his best to accept that she never would be. And facing a future without her in it at all―not even as his business partner―was more than he could bear.
If she would only forgive him, if she would only stay on as his first mate, he’d promise to keep his feelings for her in check and he’d never bring his sex life aboard the ship again. It would be strictly business, but she had to stay. She had to.
Yes, if he could say all of that then everything would be all right. But that he’d never put so many words together in his entire life seemed a huge obstacle. He had to try. He owed her that much after the blow he’d dealt her.
Steeling himself to the task at hand, he approached her door. He’d just raised a hand to rap on it when it creaked open. Boots in hand, Nate appeared, half-dressed. Marcus stopped. Had he taken a wrong turn? Had he walked to Nate’s cabin out of habit? Why, then, had all the color drained from Nate’s face?
“Oh. MW.” Nate gave a curt nod.
A shard of ice stabbed Marcus’ heart. What had his brother done? What the fuck was going on? But Marcus knew the answer to that question. Didn’t he?
“What did you do, Nate?” Marcus growled.
“None of your fucking business.”
Marcus’ temper went off like a shot—he heard himself roaring at his brother as though he were listening to someone else. His hands were on Nate’s throat and Marcus tossed him against hallway wall. Striking wildly, Marcus smashed his fist into his brother’s nose. Nate caught him in the chin with an upper cut and they tumbled to the floor. Marcus continued to throw punches, some landing, some blocked. They continued to brawl, their shouts drawing others out of their cabins.
“Marcus!” Amelie shrieked.
She tugged at his collar clearly desperate to pull him off her new lover.
“Marcus, please.” She was frantic.
Somehow forcing himself off of Nate, Marcus struggled to his feet. He rounded on Amelie who was now sobbing—and wearing Nate’s shirt.
“What the fuck?” he shouted. “What the fuck, Amelie? Jesus fucking Christ.”
“’Marcus, please’ what? Oh no, I deserved this right? Yeah, fine.” He was so angry he shook.
“And you—” He turned to Nate. “If you weren’t my brother, I’d kill you with my bare hands.”
Amelie sank to her knees, tending to Nate’s bloody nose.
Walk away, Marcus told himself. That’s what he’d have to do, walk away and keep walking until there was enough space between him and Nate that Marcus couldn’t do something he’d regret…one day.
Still shaking, he stormed into his own cabin. Ruby was there, draped over his desk chair, reading a book.
“Get out.” He jerked a thumb at the door. Blood dripped down his hands, his knuckles split open.
“What’s wrong, sugar?”
“Just get out. Pick any room you like, but you can’t stay here.” He stripped off his master key and threw it at her feet. “Steal the fucking boat again if you want.”
“What happened?” She stood.
He uncorked at bottle of whiskey, pouring some over his hands one at a time. “Ruby, I’m going to get stupid drunk and I want to be alone. It’s nothing you’ve done.”
“Okay. I’ll go. But I’m not sure you should be by yourself,” she replied, uncharacteristically compliant.
Turning away, he downed several gulps. His chest warmed bringing with it the slightest bit of numbness. How Marcus longed to be completely numb. Bulletproof.
“If you want, I’ll look after the bridge.” Ruby dressed.
“Do whatever you want. Everyone else on this fucking boat does.” He drank more.
“Marcus…please, tell me what’s going on.”
“Amelie slept with Nate,” he mumbled, hanging his head. The pain of the admission seeping into his veins. Tears prickled in his eyes. He would not cry. He would not cry like some pathetic loser.
“I can stay.”
He choked on a sob sinking onto his bunk, his head in his hands. “Please go.”
“Okay,” she murmured.
He heard her collect his key and slip out the cabin door.
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