Unexpectedly Hers (Sterling Canyon #3)

By: Jamie Beck

Chapter One

Straddling her hips, Dallas smeared a handful of whipped cream across Ella’s breasts.

“Like a sundae.” He bent over and licked her, then looked up with a lusty smile as his hand found the red curls at the top of her inner thighs. “This bit of red is the cherry on top.”

He licked her again as she writhed with pleasure―her arms still tied to the bedpost―then his head disappeared between her legs.



Bang!

Emma flinched at the sound, then shoved the advanced review copy of her debut novel under her pillow before her mother marched in and caught her with smut. That’s what her mom would call it, anyway. She imagined everyone’s shock if they ever discovered that she was Alexa Aspen, the author of Steep and Deep, which many would deem “mommy porn.”

Of course, no one would ever learn her secret. When her agent had negotiated her publishing contract, Emma had chosen to avoid the brunt of Sterling Canyon’s small-town scrutiny by assuming a pen name.

It’d been so easy that, except at the moment she’d signed the contract, she hadn’t even winced. No one would ever believe quiet, conservative Emma Duffy would read a book containing smokin’ hot sex, much less write one.

Emma smiled to herself while remembering one night in Aspen three years ago when she’d been checking out a recently renovated Victorian B&B. After a couple of single, sexless years, she’d taken advantage of her anonymity there and abandoned all caution. Donning new clothes and a fake name, she’d had her first and only one-night stand. That tryst had inspired the idea for her book and its hero, Dallas. To this day, she couldn’t explain what had possessed her to be so brazen . . .

Bang, bang! A quick glance over her shoulder confirmed no one was entering her room. Actually, the noise sounded too distant to be her bedroom door. Grabbing her green, cable-knit cardigan, she went to investigate. Hopefully the porch posts weren’t cracking apart.

Bang!

She trotted down the staircase of her family’s ancient bed and breakfast, The Weenuche, named for a Ute Indian tribe that had once inhabited Southwest Colorado. Emma’s presence marked the third generation to run the inn, although technically, her mother ran the business while Emma managed the kitchen and concierge desk. The worn carpet beneath her feet sadly announced to the world that it had been decades since the place had been refurbished.

She’d wanted to copy some of the upgrades she’d seen at that inn in Aspen, but who had money to splurge on redecorating when ancient plumbing, sagging roofs, and other emergencies cropped up every month? The unusual spate of monster-sized October snowstorms hadn’t helped, either. And while El Niño snowfall should bring more tourists to town, it also inevitably would cause more wear and tear on her battered inn.

Jogging across the small lobby, she shoved open the front door, which creaked against a strong early-November wind. Had the gust not set her back, she might have crashed into the unfamiliar young men in skullcaps and combat boots who were nailing flyers to the posts on the front porch.

“Excuse me.” Emma approached them with caution, tightening her cozy sweater to buffer against the frigid air. “Who are you, and what are you posting on my property?”

The one with the blond goatee and short ponytail smiled. “Disclaimer notices, so we don’t have to get specific waivers for people to be included in the documentary.”

Documentary? She scanned the sheet of paper, which read:



REEL DRAMA, INC.

IS CURRENTLY VIDEOTAPING AND

CABLECASTING SCENES AT THIS

LOCATION FOR POSSIBLE INCLUSION

IN TELEVISION PROGRAMS.

IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE

PHOTOGRAPHED OR TO APPEAR ON

TELEVISION, OR TO BE OTHERWISE

RECORDED, PLEASE LEAVE THIS

LOCATION DURING OUR

VIDEOTAPING.



BY REMAINING IN THIS IMMEDIATE

VICINITY, YOU ARE GIVING REEL DRAMA, INC. YOUR

CONSENT TO PHOTOGRAPH, FILM, RECORD,

AND CABLECAST YOUR PICTURE,

LIKENESS, VOICE, AND STATEMENTS.



Oh, good Lord. What the heck had her mother gotten them into now?

“I’m sorry, will you please hold on a second? Don’t post anything else until I speak with my mother.” She turned on her heel and entered the lobby, calling out, “Mom!”

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