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Tucker's Claim (A Hell's Erotic Adventure) Paperback – September 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: A Hell's Erotic Adventure
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Spice; Original edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373605293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373605293
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,190,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Before becoming a full-time writer, Sarah McCarty traveled extensively. She would bring a pencil and paper with her to sketch out her stories and, in the process, discovered the joy of writing. Today, Sarah is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the award-winning Hell’s Eight series, and is best known for her historical and paranormal romance novels. You can contact Sarah through her website at www.SarahMcCarty.net.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Music drifted out of the gaily decorated church into the humid night air, wrapping around Sally Mae in a breath of lilting joy. She shifted her hip on the railing, leaned her head against the rough porch support and let the notes roll through her, not feeling the guilt so strongly this time. She was healing, from the inside out, the way Jonah said she would in what he'd considered a kindness. But then Jonah had been that type of man, always able to put others before him, always able to see God's light with no questions attached to the end of the message. His way had always been clear while hers was always a struggle.

Despite their differences, or maybe because of them, she'd been a good wife to him. Their marriage hadn't been the kind that little girls dreamed up while playing in the yard on a summer's day, but it had been the stable kind an impulsive woman valued. No matter what her inclinations, Sally had always known that if she couldn't find the answer in meditation, she would find it with Jonah. He'd been her rock, her balance, her guiding light, and when he'd been murdered, it had shattered her inner light into a never-ending pitch of black, to the point that she'd stopped feeling anything.

For months, she'd walked around in a daze, going through life as if she hadn't lost a vital part of her faith. And then the townsfolk had started coming to her for healing, seeing her as the next best thing to a doctor, and she'd found solace in being needed. From that solace had come a light that flickered through the darkness. Purpose. Life since Jonah's death hadn't been perfect, but she'd found a reason to get out of bed, a pretense on which to keep functioning, and gradually, that pretense had grown into a calling she'd only assumed was hers before Jonah's death. A calling that distracted her from the emptiness left by her husband's death. An emptiness she'd been able to ignore until six months ago when Tucker McCade had come back to town.

She grimaced and shifted her position, the star-studded vastness of the landscape striking her anew with its beauty, almost as though it was the first time she was seeing it. And maybe it was. Sometimes she felt that Jonah's death had wiped clean her understanding of who she was and left a stranger in its place. A stranger who was familiar in her love of these beautiful nights of endless sky and sparkling stars, yet foreign in her attraction to the big Texas Ranger.

She couldn't pinpoint what drew her to the man. Tucker was too big, too wild, too unpredictable to be described in easy terms. He breathed the violence she abhorred, seemed to believe in nothing but the moment, and the only emotion he let anyone see never made it to his eyes. He was a man of secrets and pain, larger than life, and nothing to which she should be attracted, and yet, somehow, he'd become part of her emerging life.

Laying temptation in front of a man like me is dangerous, pretty thing.

The remembered warning rumbled over her nerves in a deep promise. At the time, she hadn't thought she'd been laying anything anywhere, just tending the nasty cut on his arm, but looking back, she had stood closer than she'd needed to, and her fingers had lingered longer than they'd needed to. She blamed it completely on the utter fascination of the man. His eyes alone would be enough to fascinate most women—a shocking silver-gray in his dark face. But for her, the fascination went much deeper than his heavily muscled frame and harshly exotic good looks. For her, the fascination went to the glimpses of gentleness that he hid beneath a sarcastic wit and a propensity for violence. A gentleness she suspected he wore with the same ease with which he wore his guns and knives. Tucker McCade was a man who was very comfortable with himself, in the same way Jonah had been, but for different reasons. While Jonah had been comfortable with the path God had revealed to him and his ability to stick to it, Tucker was comfortable with the path he had laid out for himself, and comfortable with his ability to hold it where he wanted.

Sally shook her head, breathing deeply of the humid night air, fragrant with the aroma of the roasting pig that had been served up earlier. Tucker fought at the drop of a hat. He'd fought for Cissy Monroe, who'd changed her mind about prostituting herself to make ends meet, fought for a mongrel puppy pinned down after stealing a loaf of bread, and sometimes he just fought for reasons that had no discernible cause other than that he wanted to. It was in those moments that Tucker McCade scared her, because those were the moments when he was everything his reputation held him to be. Everything she feared. The very thing that had taken her husband. A man as lawless and as violent as this land.

But he was also beautiful and compelling in the way of all wild things. And, much like the music she was trying not to break her mourning by enjoying, he had a way of getting under her skin, reaching down to the primal part of her that responded on instinct and didn't give a hoot about logic or her Quaker beliefs. The part of her that wanted him very badly.

Closing her eyes, Sally indulged in a bit of harmless fantasy. Imagined Tucker was before her, so wonderfully tall he made her feel small while those broad shoulders of his blocked her view of anything else. Most of all the past. His silvery eyes, so startling above the high slash of his cheekbones, would stare down at her in that semimocking, farseeing way he had that made her both nervous and breathless at the same time. And that long, shiny black hair he wore parted in the center would fall free about his exotic face as he leaned down, enhancing his Indian ancestry to the point of challenge. Enhancing the power of his personality, the magnetism of his sexuality, the sensual fullness of his mouth… He'd reach for her with his big, callused hands that never touched, but instead lingered a scant breath from her skin, promising so much even as they withheld everything. Passion, pleasure, heaven. Hands that killed as easily as they gave joy. A shiver, half negation, half anticipation, shook her from head to toe.

As a Quaker and a pacifist, she never saw the point of fighting. She also didn't see the point of daring everyone around a body to make something of nothing, but Tucker definitely had a take-me-as-I-am-or-suffer-the-consequences element in his approach to the world. When a woman added the easy confidence with which he did everything to that disregard for convention, it totaled up to a potent combination. One she was finding harder and harder to resist in the bright light of common sense. One she didn't want to resist in the soft cloak of night with the moon shining brightly and her imagination so willing to sketch out a moment between them.

The music slowed to a swirling crescendo. Inside dancers would be gliding to a stop with varying degrees of style, poised for the next beat, the next partner. While for her, here in this dream, hers already waited. All she had to do was take that step toward Tucker, that forbidden, terrifying step she'd never managed in real life, because in many ways she was a coward. Not because he was half-Indian, not because society said that was wrong—in her world all women and men were equal—but because Tucker McCade stood with his feet in blood while she followed a different path. But still, in her dreams, she could have him, and in her dreams she took that step forward into the touch of his hand, into the warmth of his embrace, into the protection of his strong arms. She sighed as desire coursed through her body at the imagined culmination of months of longing.

He was a cruel man, some said. A hard man, others whispered. But, on an instinctive level, she knew the only thing she would find in his arms was joy. She'd seen the promise of it in his marvelous eyes, felt it vibrate between them whenever they got close, knew deep inside that Tucker would take care of her body the same way he took care of her safety. Totally and completely, whether she wanted it or not.

Folding her arms across her chest and balancing her weight, Sally Mae hugged the knowledge to her, letting it weave through the fantasy, granting to Tucker in dreams the access that she couldn't in the daylight. Access to touch, access to pleasure. Through the break between songs, when everything was possible, she gave her fantasy permission to move forward into the forbidden with a sense of inevitability. Tucker was a force to be reckoned with at any time, wearing down his quarry with slow, steady pressure. And when it came to resistance, she was apparently no stronger than the outlaws who inevitably surrendered to his law. She didn't want to fight him anymore. Fighting was draining, especially when what she was resisting was the one thing instinct said could color the darkness that enshrouded her life.

The music inside broke into a merry jig, the rhythm percolating through her blood, picking up her spirits, increasing the tempo of her fantasy, moving from languid to fervored as she imagined his long fingers closing around her wrists, skimming her forearms, her upper arms, her shoulders, the rough calluses abrading her skin in a delicious way that Jonah's smooth hands never had.

The edges of her dream rippled at the disloyalty. Tucker was Jonah's opposite in many ways, and it might be the biggest delusion in the world to believe he could be gentle with a woman, but this was her daydream, her escape, and she wanted to believe Tucker could be gentle enough to bring her to the point where she didn't need gentleness anymore. She forced herself to be honest. Past the point where Jonah had always stopped.

She flinched, shattering the last of her dream, and it was once again just her, the night and the longing that wouldn't go away. For the warmth of a man's embrace, the strength of his arms, the burn of his passion. And not just any man. She'd never been indiscriminate. Jonah had been her only lover and until his death she'd never looked at another man, and in those first weeks, hadn't even been aware that Tucker existed. But one day she'd looked up from the cup of coffee that had been placed in her hand, and there he'd been, his expression solemn, his touch gentle, his eyes reflecting the understanding of the loss she couldn't accept. He'd been there ever since, popping into her life when he came into town, sheltering her from the worst of everything while he was there, making sure she ate, making sure her patients didn't get ideas, making sure she was safe and cared for. Making sure she knew he waited. For her.

Moonlight became Sally Mae. It poured over the paleness of her skin with a lover's tenderness, bringing out the silver gilt in her hair, the smooth perfection of her skin, the mystery of who she was. By day Sally could hide the truth under a bustle of activity, but in the quiet of the night, her secrets escaped. Her loneliness, her hunger, her thirst for adventure. Tucker was a man who'd always preferred night and those things it embraced. Sally was no exception. The woman had integrity, beauty, and an appeal from which he couldn't walk away. Even if he should. She turned ever so slightly and he could just make out the gentle swell of her breast beneath the inevitable gray of her dress. He narrowed his gaze until the tempting curve filled his line of vision. He smiled. Thank God he'd never been much on "shoulds."

He watched her, perched like a fairy against the support, her arms crossed over her chest, her head dropping back. The blond of her hair not covered by the fine lawn cap perched on the back of her head shimmered against the dark wood. Sunshine and shadow. The woman was a mystery. Her shoulders lifted on a slight sigh. That emotion he'd noticed lately and couldn't place shifted over her expression, narrowing her eyes and drawing her upper lip between her teeth.

She'd been in that strange mood a lot lately. Full of a restlessness that teased the edges of his awareness. Made him hard with its potential promise. He'd like nothing better than to step out of the shadows, take her hands in his, uncross her arms and draw them around his neck, accepting the weight of her willowy body against his, her troubles as his. If it were left to him, he'd wrap her in cotton wool and keep her safe from any threat, any worry. But it wasn't up to him. Though it sure as hell should be up to someone. Sally took too many risks. And lately, whenever he came into town from the hunt for Caine's wife's sister, nerves jangled, senses hungry for respite, she'd be watching him with those dark gray eyes that had no idea how they tempted, and he'd forget why he was keeping his distance.

Sally Mae sighed and closed her eyes as the music leaped into the calm of the night. The same moonlight that cast her skin in a silvery glow provided the shadows in which he hid. He knew she wasn't aware of his presence. She'd be strung as tight as a drum if she had any inkling that he watched her. And not because she found him distasteful. He wasn't a fool. He knew Sally Mae wanted him, the same as he knew she'd never get serious about it. A brief affair to see how it would be to lie down with a savage, maybe, but he'd learned the hard way that a white woman did not openly take up with a man with Indian blood—not for love or money. She might enjoy him on the side, if the affair could be safely hidden, but there was too much hate between whites and Indians for any more than that to be tolerated. Already there were rumblings because he stayed in her barn.

More About the Author

Hi all,

*waving* Is this a cool time to be a reader or what? So many options for new content can mean only one thing...MORE GREAT BOOKS TO READ! I am an avid reader so Kindle options thrill me to my soul.

I am, of course, an author too. I write big, fast paced books and my intent is to grab your heart in the first paragraph and not let it go until the last sentence of the last page. In between, I want you to laugh, to cry and sometimes just flat out be breathless from the energy between the characters. To me, that's the challenge in writing a good story and every time I read a review or a comment that says I delivered that moment for a reader, my heart skips a beat and my inner muse leaps into the air with a resounding, "Yes!"

2011 was a busy but rewarding year. I released 5 books, hit the New York Times and USA bestseller lists (thud!) with book 5 my Western Historical HELL'S EIGHT series, SHADOW'S STAND, started releasing my back list through the Kindle program, and moved. 2012 will be equally exciting I hope, but just a tad less busy maybe. (Website is being updated. Slated for April.) I have two more books releasing, one in each of the REAPERS (Paranormal Western Historical) and HELL's EIGHT series. I will also be releasing the super anticipated next book in the super hot UNCHAINED series (Contemporary) through Amazon's Kindle program. Yes, those sexy, alpha men from from Round the Bend will finally be getting their own stories!!

For those of you waiting for the next book in the award winning PROMISE series (Western Historical) , it's coming. And yes the WILD series (Paranormal Contemporary) and THE OTHERS (Paranormal Contemporary) series will be continuing I'm just not sure when, but I hope to have at least one written by the end of the year. Which one I can't be sure. It will depend on where the muse takes me. The muse can be a stubborn soul and sometimes must be humored. Smiling.

Thanks so much for all your support and your emails. It makes my day every time someone lets me know they enjoy my novels.

Happy reading,

Sarah

Customer Reviews

It was a review on Audible that got me avoiding this book in the series for a long time.
Jane
I read this book in two days and will have to do a re-read because the Hell's Eight editions cannot come out fast enough for me!
Amazon Customer
I understand it is historical fiction but neither of the previous books in this serious used such language.
S. Brock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure I'd like Tucker's Claim. I'm not sure why but the concept of a Quaker love interest with one of the Hell's Eight didn't seem far possible to me. McCarty once again made a believer out of me! Sallie is believable and it is very easy to crawl into her skin. I enjoyed the depth added to this story of pacifism versus the total cowboy/warrior idea of the old west. Once again the sex is smokin' and you can hear the bootsteps on the floor as she spins the scene. I read this book in two days and will have to do a re-read because the Hell's Eight editions cannot come out fast enough for me! Thank you Sarah for another GREAT read!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By denak on November 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I think the chemistry between Tucker and Sally Mae is real and convincing. I know there has been some criticism about all the "thees" and truthfully, that can be annoying but after awhile I just automatically started inserting "you" or "your" when needed.

The "thees" are not a fatal flaw. This is still a 5 star book so don't let that stop you from getting this book.

In my opinion, it is the best of the Hell's Eight series and second only to Promises Linger, which I think is Sarah McCarty's best book.

Dena
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary S on September 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was also a little skeptical about the cowboy/quaker relationship but this story turned out to be one of the best from the Hell's Eight series. I felt like a fly on the wall reading the scenes. Tucker is one of those men women just love....a tall dark hunk with a fierce possessiveness of his woman and will do what it takes to make her happy. One of my most favorite scenes was when Sally Mae returned from picking up groceries and Tucker asks her if she got everything she needed. When she says "no", he asks, "what did you want, baby". I was a goner!!! The drawl and vividly written scenes transports you back in time. I like how Ms. McCarty keeps the rest of the Hell's Eight included in each book. And she does not disappoint with the erotic love scenes! Hot, hot, hotttttt!!!!! I can't wait to read the next one on Tracker. I bet he will be the one who finds Ari and falls in love with her.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Deanna L. Fisher on October 23, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had pre-ordered it and then was a bit discouraged when someone on a mailing list complained about the use of thee and thou and how Ms. McCartney got it wrong. I won't profess to being great with that sort of stuff, so I wasn't sure and to this day, I haven't been able to find out whether they were used in the correct form of not. I liked this book as much as Caine and Desi's and slightly better than Sam's - there is something about Sam's heroine who just irked me...the relationship development between Sally and Tucker was fairly true to life of how I would think a courtship in this case might happen and Ms McCartney touched on some heavy issues of the time. i am curious about the use of sex toys in the book and if they truely existed...can't wait for Tracker and Ari's book (which I believe is the next one)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Koni on November 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sarah McCarty's Hell's Eight series is wonderful..full of action, western suspense and exciting romance!
I can't wait for the rest of the Hell's Eight series to come out!
Here is the list so far and they all are a MUST READ!!!!!!
Caine's Reckoning(Hell's Eight, #1)
Sam's Creed (Hell's Eight, #2)
Tucker's Claim (Hell's Eight, #3)
Tracker's Sin (Hell's Eight, #4)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cinful1121 on June 29, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Tucker and Sally Mae's story. Sally Mae is a Quaker which let me tell you getting used to the "thee's and thy's" was trying. Tucker of course is Hell's Eight and used to a life of violence. While Sally Mae abhorred violence and the "might makes right" way of thinking, Tucker lived it like it was more common sense and the way of the life with an acceptance of it just being the way it was. He struggles with being half white, half Indian in a time where he wasn't accepted by either and taking up with a white woman could mean death. One part that held humor for me was when Bella & Sally Mae were going to church to pray for their men when Bella called Kells to guard the new puppy Crockett and Sally Mae contemplated Kells eating the puppy for breakfast. In a total different direction something that surprised me in this book was when Tucker introduced Sally Mae to *ADULT* toys o_0 Now I admit I should have probably looked it up but 1858 and toys ok then...go Tucker lol ;) I was relieved that Sally Mae was able to help Desi deliver her baby boy "Jonah" it got hairy there for a bit but I really felt there was no way Sarah McCarty could kill off Desi, that may have affected me reading the rest of the series right there. Overall this was a good book to the series albeit not my favorite it is worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Hydrangea Lady on March 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all 4 books in the Hell's Eight series while this one was not as good as the others it wasn't exactly a waste of time either. The love scenes were extremely graphic, so if you are easily offended, you may just want to quickly skim through those parts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charlene B. Crowe on July 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was not so thrilled with this one as I have thoroughly enjoyed the others. Let me think....I like the great sex in the stories but we all know realistically, it didn't go down like tht back then. And butt sex wasn't even popular back then, unless u were a homo, raped, or whore. And if u were doin it, u damn sure kept it a secret. So why is it an obsession for these men in this series. It's like their biggest sexual desire. And how the women just love it. Enough with the butt sex already. Lets b real...if they did do the Hershey thing...they had more thn a climax to wash off those sheets.. And don't evn think of touching me after u had ur finger up my butt. Unless he's holding tht hand up and out of the way for the rest of the act. Wht, no running water? They should all have raging UTIs. Just sayin. Besides a Quaker havin butt sex, come on. It's probably considered a sin if a Quaker woman has a climax with her husband missionary. Tht SallieMae was just plain annoying.
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