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Two classic Westmoreland novels from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Jackson
The Durango Affair
"I'm having your baby."
Savannah Claiborne's simple statement sets off an avalanche in Montana ranger Durango Westmoreland's carefully ordered life. Suddenly an unforgettable night of passion with the hazel-eyed beauty has turned into a lifetime obligation for the confirmed bachelor.
But Westmoreland men always honor their responsibilities, and leaving Savannah to raise his baby on her own is not an option.
So he proposes and she accepts...with one condition—theirs will be a marriage in name only.
Ian's Ultimate Gamble
Winner takes all...
Casino owner Ian Westmoreland thinks he's seen the last of Brooke Chamberlain—that is until she checks in to his resort claiming to need a little R & R. Brooke betrayed him years before, and Ian is willing to bet there's more to her visit than she's admitting.
No woman even came close to igniting the heat and passion inside him as Brooke once did. And if Ian is going to discover what she's hiding, what better way than by seducing her? But in this game of bedroom cat and mouse, the stakes are very high. Raising the question, will Ian's wager pay off?
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Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling. Email Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her on her website at brendajackson.net.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Durango Westmoreland stood at the window and focused his gaze on the mountains as a dark frown marred his handsome face. He had awakened that morning with an ache in his right knee, which could only mean one thing. A snowstorm was coming. The forecasters were reporting that it wouldn't hit Bozeman and would veer north toward Havre. But he knew differently. His knee didn't lie.
There was nothing scientific about his prediction. Still, even with a clear blue Montana sky, he knew he was right. A man didn't live in the mountains unless he was in sync with his environment. The mountains could hold you prisoner in the valley whenever a snowstorm hit, and their snowslides struck fear in the hearts of unsuspecting skiers.
These were the mountains that he loved and considered home even on the worst days.
Durango's thoughts shifted to another place he considered home: the city where he was born, Atlanta. He often missed the closeness of the family he had left behind there, and although he would be the first to admit that he liked his privacy—and his space—it was times like this when he missed his family most.
He did have an uncle who lived nearby, although definitely not a skip and a hop by any means. Corey Westmoreland's breathtaking ranch was high in the mountains on a peak that everyone referred to as Corey's Mountain. However, now that Corey had gotten married, he didn't visit as often. So Durango had become somewhat of a recluse who was satisfied with enjoying the memories of his occasional visits home.
One such visit was still vividly clear in his mind. It was the time he'd returned to Atlanta for his cousin Chase's wedding and had met Savannah Claiborne, the sister of the bride.
From the moment their eyes had connected there had been a startling attraction. He couldn't recall the last time he'd been so taken with a woman. In no time at all she had turned his world upside down. She had actually charmed her way past his defenses and his common sense.
Later that evening, after seeing the bride and groom off, everyone, still in a festive mood, had remained in the hotel's ballroom and continued to party, intent on celebrating the night away.
Both he and Savannah were more than a little tipsy when he had walked her to her hotel room at midnight.
And at the time, accepting her offer of a nightcap had seemed like the right thing to do. But once alone, one thing led to another and they had ended up making love.
That night his total concentration had been on her. Even now the memories of their one night together were tucked away and reserved for times like this when loneliness clutched at him, and made him think about things that a devout bachelor had no business thinking about—like a woman in his life who would always be within arm's reach.
He shook such foolish thoughts away and blamed his uncle's recent marriage for such crazy notions. Durango quickly reminded himself that he had tried love once and it had earned him a scar on his heart. That wound was a constant reminder of the pain he had suffered. Now he much preferred the easy life with just him and his mountains. He kept women at arm's length, except for when he sought out their company to satisfy his physical needs. Emotional need was as foreign a concept to him as sunbathing in the snow-covered Rockies. He had risked his heart once and refused to do so ever again.
But still, thoughts of Savannah Claiborne clung to him, did things to him. And no matter how many times he told himself she was just another woman, some small thing would trigger memories of that night, and along with the memories came the startling realization that she wasn't just another woman. She was in a class all by herself. At those times he could almost feel her lying beside him, beneath him, while he touched her, stroked her and coaxed her to take him deeper while he satisfied the pulsing ache within him.
Needing to get a grip, he forced his breathing back to normal and compelled his body to relax. He turned around and headed for the phone, deciding to call the rangers' station. They were down one park ranger due to Lonnie Berman being in the hospital for knee surgery, and if they needed an extra hand, Durango had no problem going in.
As he dialed the phone he felt his control sliding back into place. That was good. That was the way he wanted it and that was the way he intended to keep it.
Savannah Claiborne stood in front of the solid oak door, not believing that she had finally arrived in Montana and that in a few moments she would come face-to-face with Durango Westmoreland again. When she had made the decision to come and meet with him instead of making a phone call, she hadn't thought that delivering the news would be difficult.
Now that she was here she was discovering that it was.
She shook her head at her own stupidity, asking herself for the one hundredth time how such a thing could have happened to her. She wasn't a teenager who hadn't known about safe sex. She was a twenty-seven-year-old woman who knew the score about birth control. Too bad she had been too busy celebrating her sister's nuptials to remember to take her Pill, which had left her unprotected and was the main reason she would be having a baby in seven months.
And to make a sad song even sadder, she knew very little about her baby's daddy other than that he was a park ranger and that, in her opinion, he was an expert at making love...and, evidently, at making babies, whether he had intended to make this one or not.
She also knew from the conversations she'd had with her sister that Durango was a confirmed bachelor and intended to stay that way. She had no plans to change that status but was merely here to deliver the news. What he did with it was his business. Her goal was to return to Philly and become a single parent. Getting pregnant might not have been in her immediate plans, but she definitely wanted this baby.
She paused after lifting her hand to knock on the door and released a deep breath. She was actually nervous about seeing Durango again. The last time she had seen him was when he had walked out of her hotel room two months ago after spending the night with her.
A one-night stand was definitely not her style. She had never been one to indulge in a casual affair. But that night she had gotten a little tipsy and emotional after seeing just how happy her sister was. It really was pathetic. She could never handle alcohol and she knew it. And yet she had fallen into the partying spirit and had imbibed a little anyway.
Since that night, Durango had haunted her dreams and had been the cause of many sleepless nights...and now it appeared he was partly to blame for interrupting her mornings, as well. Recently she had begun to experience bouts of morning sickness.
The only other person who knew about her pregnancy was her sister, Jessica. Jess had agreed with her that Durango had a right to know about the pregnancy and that Savannah should tell him in person.
Breathing in deeply, she inhaled and knocked on the door. His SUV was parked out front, which meant he was home.
Savannah swallowed against the thickness in her throat when she heard the sound of the doorknob turning. Then the door opened. She literally stopped breathing when she looked into Durango's face, beyond his toe-curling handsome features to see the surprise that lit his eyes.
Standing tall in the doorway, wearing a pair of jeans and a Western-style shirt that covered his broad shoulders and muscular chest, he looked just as gorgeous as before—bigger than life and sexier than sin. Her gaze studied all the features that had first captured her attention: the close-cropped curly black hair, his chestnut coloring, well-defined mouth and intense dark eyes.
"Savannah? This is a surprise. What are you doing here?"
Savannah's stomach tightened once again; she knew what she was experiencing was probably the same effect Durango had on countless other women. She took a deep breath and tried not to think about that. "I need to talk to you, Durango. May I come in?" she said in a quick rush.
He quirked an eyebrow and stared at her. Then he took a step back and said, "Sure. Come on in."
Durango was certain he didn't possess a sixth sense; however, he found it pretty damn eerie that the woman he had been thinking about just hours earlier had materialized on his doorstep at the worst possible time to be in Montana. Although January was the coldest month in the mountains, February wasn't much better. Whatever she wanted to talk to him about had to be mighty important to bring her all the way to his neck of the woods in the winter.
He studied her for a moment, watched as she removed her overcoat, knitted hat and gloves. "Would you care for something to drink? I just made a pot of hot chocolate," he said, still at a loss as to why she was there and finding it hard to believe that she really was.
"Yes, thanks. It would certainly warm me up some."
He nodded. Now that she had removed all the heavy outer garments and stood before him in a pair of designer slacks and a cashmere pullover sweater, he couldn't stop his gaze from wandering over her body. It was as perfect as he remembered. Her breasts were still full and firm, her waist was small and her hips were nicely curvy. His gaze then moved to her caramel-colored face. It was as beautiful as before, even more so, he thought. And those eyes...
He inhaled deeply. Those hazel eyes had been his downfall. He had been a goner from the moment he had first stared into them at the rehearsal dinner. And the night when they had made love and he had held her gaze when she had reached a climax, looking into those eyes had sent him over the edge. He had experienced an orgasm that had been out of this world. Even now he couldn't help but swallow hard at the memory.
But then all it took was a look at her sleek designer attire for Durango to remember that Savannah was a city girl. She had the words dignified and refined stamped all over her, although he could clearly remember when she'd tossed gentility out the window and displayed a streak of wildness that one night.
Suddenly the memory of all they had done that night made every ounce of blood in his body race to his groin. Jeez. He had to get a grip. What happened to that control he had gotten hold of earlier? He was behaving like a horny teenager instead of a thirty-five-year-old man.
"Make yourself comfortable," he managed to say after clearing his throat. "I'll be back in a second."
He walked off, wondering why he was handling her with kid gloves. Usually when a woman showed up at his house unannounced he told them in a nice or not-so-nice way, depending on his mood, to haul ass and not come back unless he issued an invitation. The only excuse he could come up with was that since she was Chase's sister-in-law, he was making her an exception to his rule. And yet he had an unsettling feeling that there was something different about her, something he couldn't put his finger on.
When he returned with the hot chocolate he intended to learn the real reason for Savannah's surprise visit.
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