From the first time Sadie’s eyes met those of Brody McKenna in the hot Sierra Madre Mountains, theirs was a potent attraction—not gentle, slow, and easy, but hot, hard, and all-consuming. The daughter of a dysfunctional family, Sadie had dreams no man could wrench from her with hot sex and an all-consuming passion. She’d challenge this alpha male with all the strength she possessed. But her red hair, fiery temperament, and indomitable spirit obsessed Brody...and he knew he had to find a way to show her he was more than he appeared and convince her to make a life with him.
********* EXCERPT *********
She laughed, "I thought you were going to think I was crazy. Okay, okay, I know I interrupted.
What is it?"
"A..." He paused again. His look was one of grave distress. "Chullachaqui. It's a legendary devil of the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazonian jungle. There has been talk of the displacement of one of these possibly two..."
"There are more than one?"
"My brother, Carr, was told by an elder that one was spotted in the hills behind town. They are dangerous, and they are known to lure people to them by disguising themselves as someone you know."
"Oh..." "You don't believe me." "No, strangely I do. But it sounds a bit scary. So if I see you, you might not be you. You might be one of these devils. You could be one right now. How would I know?" she asked, taking a step backwards.
"How do you feel about me?" He seemed patient, caring, as if he truly wanted her to understand.
"I think you are the same person I met this afternoon on the highway. The same man who found me the ride into town."
"You need to go with the feeling in your gut. Here," he ran his hand over his stomach. "Remember how you feel when you're around me. You won't have those same feelings with a Chullachaqui. When one is around, I am told, bones feel like ice, and fear is the most prevalent sensation."
She nodded several times. "That's how I felt when that stranger was looking up here. And, I felt violated."
"Then you will know the difference between the devil and me."
"Oh, but I'm wondering if there isn't a bit of the devil in you too," she told him, feeling suddenly more lighthearted than she had several minutes ago.
"Of course there is a bit of the rogue in me. But I’m not evil."
His tone was so serious she wasn't sure if she'd spoken out of turn. "I'm hungry." She picked up her bag then slung it over her shoulder, wishing her last statement would vanish.
"Good, let's go to the Red Neck Watering Hole Bar and Grill." Brody opened the door and gestured for her to go first.
She laughed. "Is that really the bar's name?"
"What better name. This here part of the country is filled with red necks and it is a waterin’ hole. Not too many of them in this neck of the woods."
"Is the food good?" "The best," he said as she accepted his arm and they left her room. Sadie noted he'd made sure to check the lock on the door. Inside the bar and grill, laughter and voices reverberated around the room. The scent of hamburgers and fries floated through the air. Sadie's stomach growled. "Brody, what's up," a friend called out.
Sadie knew what he really meant was who's the new chick. Brody nodded and grinned at the man then ignored him.
"There's a nice corner table." He pointed then placed his hand at the small of her back to guide her in that direction.
"That's not very friendly," she tried gauging his reaction.
"Let's just say I don't want to share you today." He looked at her and winked, his grin charmed the socks off her.
The gesture set a wave of belly laughter through her. "I'd like to meet your friends." She shot him what she hoped was a sexy smile then waved to his acquaintances.
Born in Medford, Oregon, novelist Christine Young has lived in Oregon all of her life. After graduating from Oregon State University with a BS in science, she spent another year at Southern Oregon State University working on her teaching certificate, and a few years later received her Master's degree in secondary education and counseling. Now the long, hot days of summer provide the perfect setting for creating romance. She sold her first book, Dakota's Bride, the summer of 1998 and her second book, My Angel to Kensington. Her teaching and writing careers have intertwined with raising three children. Christine's newest venture is the creation of Rogue Phoenix Press. Christine is the founder, editor and co-owner with her husband. They live in Salem, Oregon.
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