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A Wife for a Westmoreland Mass Market Paperback – April 5, 2011

Book 20 of 21 in the Westmorelands Series

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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Lucia Conyers's heart was beating like crazy as she made a sharp turn around the curve while the wheels of her SUV barely gripped the road. She knew she should slow down, but couldn't. The moment she'd heard that Derringer Westmoreland had been taken to the emergency room due to an injury he sustained after being thrown from a horse, a part of her had nearly died inside.

It didn't matter that most of the time Derringer acted as though he didn't know she existed or that he had a reputation in Denver as a ladies' man—although she doubted the women he messed around with could really be classified as ladies. Derringer was one of Denver's heartthrobs, a hottie if ever there was one.

But what did matter, although she wished otherwise, was that she loved him and would probably always love him. She'd tried falling out of love with him several times and just couldn't do it.

Not even four years of attending a college in Florida had changed her feelings for him. The moment she had returned to Denver and he had walked into her father's paint store to make a purchase, she'd almost passed out from a mixture of lust and love.

Surprisingly, he had remembered her. He'd welcomed her back to town and asked her about school. But he hadn't asked her out, or offered to share a drink somewhere for old time's sake. Instead, he had gathered up the merchandise he'd come to the store to buy and left.

Her obsession with him had started back in high school when she and his sister Megan had worked on a science project together. Lucia would never forget the day that Megan's brother had come to pick them up from the library. She'd almost passed out when she first laid eyes on the handsome Derringer Westmoreland.

She thought she'd died and gone to heaven, and when they were introduced, he smiled at her, showing a pair of dimples that should be outlawed on anyone, especially a man. Her heart had melted then and there and hadn't solidified since. That introduction had taken place a few months after her sixteenth birthday. Now she was twenty-nine and she still got goose bumps whenever she thought about that first meeting.

Ever since her best friend, Chloe, had married Derringer's brother Ramsey, she saw more of Derringer, but nothing had changed. Whenever he saw her he was always nice to her. But she knew he really didn't see her as a woman he would be interested in.

So why wasn't she getting on with her life? Why was she risking it now by taking the roads to his place like a madwoman, needing to see for herself that he was still in one piece? When she'd gotten the news, she'd rushed to the hospital only to receive word from Chloe that he'd been released and was now recuperating at home.

He would probably wonder why she, of all people, was showing up at his place to check on him. She wouldn't be surprised if some woman was already there waiting on him hand and foot. But at the moment it didn't matter. Nothing mattered but to make sure for herself that Derringer was okay. Even the threat of possible thunderstorms this evening hadn't kept her away. She hated thunderstorms, and yet she had left her home to check on a man who barely knew she was alive.

It was a really stupid move, but she continued to speed down the road, deciding she would consider the foolishness of her actions later.

The loud sound of thunder blasting across the sky practically shook the house and awakened Derringer. He immediately felt a sharp pain slice through his body, the first since he'd taken his pain medication, which meant it was time to take more.

Wrenching at the pain, he slowly pulled himself up in bed, reached across the nightstand and grabbed the pills his sister Megan had laid out for him. She'd said not to take more before six, but a quick glance at his clock said that it was only four and he needed the relief now. He was aching all over and his head felt as if it had split in two. He felt sixty-three instead of a mere thirty-three.

He had been on Sugar Foot's back less than three minutes when the mean-spirited animal had sent him flying. More than his ego had gotten bruised, and each and every time he breathed against what felt like broken ribs he was reminded of it.

Derringer eased back down onto the bed and laid flat on his back. He stared at the ceiling, waiting for the pain pills to kick in.

Derringer's Dungeon.

Lucia slowed her truck when she came to the huge wooden marker in the road. Any other time she would have found it amusing that each of the Westmorelands had marked their property with such fanciful names. Already she had passed Jason's Place, Zane's Hideout, Canyon's Bluff, Stern's Stronghold, Riley's Station and Ramsey's Web. She'd heard when each Westmoreland reached the age of twenty-five they inherited a one-hundred-acre tract of land in this part of the state. That was why all the Westmorelands lived in proximity to each other.

She nervously gnawed on her bottom lip, finally thinking she might have made a mistake in coming here when she pulled into the yard and saw the huge two-story structure. This was her first time at Derringer's Dungeon and from what she'd heard, most women only came by way of an invite.

So what was she doing here?

She brought her car to a stop and cut off the engine and just sat there a moment as reality set in. She had acted on impulse and of course on love, but the truth of the matter was that she had no business being here. Derringer was probably in bed resting. He might even be on medication. Would he be able to come to the door? If he did, he would probably look at her as if she had two heads for wanting to check on him. In his book they were acquaintances, not even friends.

She was about to back out and leave, when she noticed the rain had started to come down harder and a huge box that had been left on the steps of the porch was getting wet. The least she could do was to move it to an area on the porch where the rain couldn't touch it.

Grabbing her umbrella out the backseat, she hurriedly got out of the truck and ran toward the porch to move the box closer to the door. She jumped at the sound of thunder and drew in a sharp breath when a bolt of lightning barely missed the top of her head.

Remembering what Chloe had once told her about how the Westmoreland men were notorious for not locking their doors, she tried the doorknob and saw what her best friend had said was true. The door was not locked.

Slowly opening the door, she stuck her head in and called out in a whisper in case he was downstairs sleeping on the sofa instead of upstairs. "Derringer?"

When he didn't answer, she decided she might as well bring the box inside. The moment she entered the house, she glanced around, admiring his sister Gemma's decorating skills. Derringer's home was beautiful, and the floor-to-ceiling windows took full advantage of the mountain view. She was about to ease back out the door and lock it behind her when she heard a crash followed by a bump and then a loud curse.

Acting on instinct, she took the stairs two at a time and stumbled into several guest bedrooms before entering what had to be the master bedroom. It was decorated in a more masculine theme than all the others. She glanced around and then she saw him lying on the floor as if he'd fallen out of bed.

"Derringer!"

She raced over to him and knelt down beside him, trying to ignore the fact that the only clothing he had on was a pair of black briefs. "Derringer? Are you all right?" she asked, a degree of panic clearly in her voice. "Derringer?"

He slowly opened his eyes and she couldn't stop the fluttering of her heart when she gazed down into the gorgeous dark depths. The first thing she noticed was they were glassy, as if he'd taken one drink too many…or probably one pill too many. She then took a deep breath when a slow smile touched the corners of his lips and those knock-a-girl-off-her-feet dimples appeared in his cheeks.

"Well, now, aren't you a pretty thing," he said in slurred speech. "What's your name?"

"Puddin' Tame," she replied smartly. His actions confirmed he'd evidently taken one pill too many since he was acting as if he'd never seen her in his life.

"That's a real nice name, sweetheart."

She rolled her eyes. "Whatever you say, cowboy. Would you like to explain why you're down here and not up there?" She motioned toward his bed.

"That's easy enough to answer. I went to the bathroom and when I got back, someone moved the bed and I missed it."

She tried keeping the smile from her face. "You sure did miss it. Come on and hold on to me while I help you back into it."

"Someone might move it again."

"I doubt it," she said, grinning, while thinking even when he was under the influence of medication, the deep, husky sound of his voice could do things to her. Make the nipples of her breasts strain against her damp shirt. "Come on, you have to be hurting something awful."

He chuckled. "No, in fact I feel good. Good enough to try riding Sugar Foot again."

She shook her head. "Not tonight you won't. Come on, Derringer, let me help you up and get you back in bed."

"I like it down here."

"Sorry, pal, but you can't stay down here. You either let me help you up or I'll call one of your brothers to help you."

Now it was he who shook his head. "I don't want to see any of them again for a while. All they know how to say is, I told you so."

"Well maybe next time you'll listen to them. Come on."

It took several attempts before she was able to help Derringer to his feet. It wasn't easy to steer him to the bed, and she suddenly lost her balance and found herself tumbling backward onto his bed with him falling on top of her.

"I need you to shift your body a little to get off me, Derringer," she said when she was able to catch her breath.

He flashed those sexy dimples again and spoke in a voice throaty with arousal. "Um, why? I like being on top of you, Puddin'. You feel good."

She blinked and then realized the extent of her situation. S...

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037373090X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373730902
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brenda Jackson, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and they have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon, ages thirty-six and thirty-four, respectively. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her professional writing career began in 1995 with the release of her first book, Tonight and Forever. Since then she has written over 100 titles, which includes a made-for-television movie by BET, One Special Moment as well as the movie, Truly Everlasting. She was a 2012 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread; and was named Romance Writers of America's Nora Robert's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2012.

Customer Reviews

I love this book from beginning to end.
Gloria
What was very romantic and added greatly to the story was Derringer's public proclamation of his love for her.
Charla C. Castianne
Tthis book was an easy read that kept me on track.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By RaeJenee on June 21, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Skimming through the reviews, this book looked promising, and then, I read it (okay, most of it... toward the middle I had to start scanning just so I could get through this mess). I know people get hooked on a series and let many things slide as long as it advances the story... but even then, this is an incredibly bad read.
Free of any form of self-esteem, our stalker 'heroine' preforms and act of breaking and entering with the most ridiculous excuse ever. He has a box on the porch that might get rained on so she better take it inside... and then go upstairs, and then climb into the drugged hero's bed... Oy!. She then proceeds to molest our wounded, fresh-from-the-emergency-room-hero who is hopped up on pain-killers. Face-to-face (at least some of the time) he manages not to recognize a woman he has known most of their lives, though, of course, he remembers TONS of other detail about their 'encounter', just not, you know, her face. Ick.
After a few days of our man-whore-hero chasing around town determined to discover his 'seductress' by (seriously, I kid you not) asking all his male friends and family how to identify a woman by the style and color of a pair of panties he found in his bed... he is then reminded he has security cameras on his house (uh huh, he forgot) and watches video from the night in question to discover her identity.
From this point, NOTHING improves. At all. It only gets worse. He finds her and instead of pressing charges, he decides the sex was good enough that he will keep our suddenly reluctant heroine in his stable as one of his 'pleasure-rs' (I swear, they use this word).
Through the rest he treats her like dirt, and she appreciates the attention. In the end she wins the day (and the man!) with her magic vagina which is way more impressive than all the other vaginas in the land. I can't go on. But really, do I need to? For your own sake, give this awful book a pass. Yuck.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Denny on August 16, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's been a long time since I read a Westmoreland story but having read this book I am reminded why. The best titles in the series are 'Ian's Ultimate gamble' and 'Seduction, Westmoreland style', after these titles, all the others in the series seem weak and this the weakest of all. It's a thin book so you can read it in a few hours. The heroine, well how she got her man's attention, in some countries that would be called stalkerish...as for the man it's the usual Ms Jackson premise of give a man great sex and he will fall in love with you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lady Raven RAVE! VINE VOICE on April 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
KEY word of the book "PANTIES"

Wow after coming from a high of reading "Silken Thread", this was a good follow up book for the Westmoreland clan. It's books like these that will never ever ever let me get tired of those darn sexy Westmoreland men from Delaney's Desert Shiek book till now. And as silly as the concept for the story might be I still liked it it's a good fantasy that took me on a journey.

Derringer fell from a hosre and was loaded up on pain killers, Lucia went over to check on him and the rest was wow, LADIES what a way to want to start a good read. Lucia's obsession with Derringer might seem weird but they don't show feelings like that anymore, I enjoyed reading about her feelings for Derringer, it's what gave me that high through out the book. Derringer one word DANG, he was sexy, and quite the guy that I would love to go out on a date with. And ladies the sex it was good coming from a Westmoreland, and if I say so myself the second time in regards to what he did with her panties wow. Hope I'm not revealing too much.

The first chapter alone sets the pace Ladies it's like the first chapter in BRenda JAckson's book "Spontaneous". Also I have to give it to Derringer's brother on his breakdown technique on panties, the type of panties there are, the color of the panties and the type of women in those panties lol, you'll know more when you read the book don't want to give to much away.

*************************
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alexandrea Ward on May 14, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have nothing negative to say about A Wife for Westmoreland. I love this series! Oh and don't forget about the Madaris family. I love these characters and each book draws me more into this family and all their problems. It makes me love that Brenda Jackson has such a vivid and creative mind to come up with all of this. Can't wait for the next book to come out.
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By MZ KIMMI on April 8, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
What I love most about Brenda Jackson books is the "root "of all her books is LOVE. This book is no different
Lucia has been in love with Derringer since forever, he gets hurt and she has to check on him to make sure he is ok, well add pain pills, love and lust and let's say things happen. (Hot things)

Lucia knows Derringer as well as all the other non married Westmoreland's have reputations and it's not positive, however Lucia accepts this and starts dating Derringer, while keeping her heart hidden. Derringer and the group of Westermorelands seem different on why they don't want to fall in love, since they have all lost their parents. It makes sense to not want to love anyone because of fear you may loose them. What was funny is once Derringer wakes up and realizes he is in love, he doesn't rush it. He actually romance her movies, dinners, skates and a few other things.

This is a quick story but it has a lot of heart; plus what I love is Ms Jackson always keeps you in the loop about the other Westermorelands, so it's always FUN to try and guess who has a story coming next.
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