I'm thrilled to announce THE BLUEBIRD, Wings of the West Book 5, is now available.
FREE in Kindle Unlimited.
Can be read as a standalone.
Molly Rose Simms departs the Arizona Territory, eager for adventure, and travels to Colorado to visit her brother. Robert left two years ago to make his fortune in the booming silver town of Creede, and now Molly Rose hopes to convince him to accompany her to San Francisco, New York City, or even Europe. But Robert is nowhere to be found. All Molly Rose finds is his partner, a mysterious man known as The Jackal.
Jake McKenna has traveled the bustling streets of Istanbul, exotic ports in China, and the deserts of Morocco. His restless desire to explore has been the only constant in his life. When his search for the elusive and mythical Bluebird mining claim lands him a new partner, he must decide how far he’ll go to protect the stunning young woman who’s clearly in over her head. A home and hearth has never been on The Jackal’s agenda, but Molly Rose Simms is about to change his world in every conceivable way.
A sensuous historical western romance set in 1892 Colorado.
“Aren’t you cold?”
Molly jumped at the sound of Jake’s voice, holding the goblet away from her gown so the fluid didn’t spill. “A little.”
He strode toward her, removed his jacket, then placed it onto her shoulders.
Immediately she was engulfed in McKenna’s smell—musky and wild and distinctive. “Thank you.” A wave of longing swept through her, primal and fierce. It was as if she were a coyote who’d just caught the scent of her mate…or a jackal.
He sat beside her although the post holding the railing divided them. His white shirt all but glowed in the dark night that embraced them. He loosened his tie and undid the top button.
Molly watched from the corner of her eye, trying not to stare.
How could she even consider some boy named Carl when she’d already met a man like Jake?
She took another gulp of wine and stared straight ahead. Had Esme spoken the truth? Was Jake courting her?
“Go easy,” Jake said, his voice a caress in the night air.
“Because you’ll regret it tomorrow.”
She considered his advice then stared at the corral. “Did you tell Esme Patterson that you kissed me?”
“No. Is she spreading rumors?”
His voice sounded amused, which emboldened Molly to move forward. Or was it the alcohol? “There seems to be talk that you…and I…that we…”
She glanced at him, and his tenacious gaze caught her attention. She couldn’t look away.
“That we what?” His voice, deep and hypnotic, washed over her like a warm rainstorm.
She shook her head, suddenly bashful. “Never mind.” She was being silly. Jake McKenna wasn’t courting her. She needed to remember his reputation. Swallowing another sip of wine, she forged ahead. “You apparently have the distinction of being a scamp around these parts. I was cautioned to avoid you, by more than one woman, I should add.”
“I’m a what? A scamp? That’s a new one.” Shaking his head, he chuckled. “What do you think, Molly Rose?”
“I don’t think anything. I don’t know you.”
Confused, she reiterated, “No, I don’t. Isn’t that what I just said?” Her muddled thoughts swirled in her head. Damn the wine.
“You don’t have to be afraid of me, you know.”
He grinned. “I spent some time in Istanbul, and while I was there, I studied a poet and philosopher named Rumi. He was a great observer of life, of how important the smallest thing can be. What you seek is seeking you.”
She watched him, perplexed.
“Maybe we’ve been searching for each other,” he added.
She laughed, but it was more of a snort. Embarrassed, she straightened, trying to sound indifferent as she asked, “Is this how you sweet-talk women?”
“No. Just you.”
“I think I’ve had too much to drink.”
He reached over and took the goblet from her. His fingers brushed hers, sending a shiver through her, and, for a moment, she thought he might kiss her again. Did she just swoon toward him?
As he downed the remainder of the liquid, she stared at his mouth. “How did you get away from Winston?”
“I’m The Jackal.”
A smile stretched clear across her face before she could rein it in. “You’re full of bluster, just like every other man.”
His expression sobered. “And how many men have you known?”
“Some. A few.” She nodded. “Some. Beatrice Perkins has me all but engaged to her son Carl.”
Jake’s eyes narrowed. He tensed and turned his face from her. She didn’t like it. Had she offended him? She lifted her hand to touch his arm, but when he swung his gaze back to her, she hid the gesture by pretending to swat at a nonexistent fly.
“I want to check out the Chigger. Since you’re my partner, do you want to come?”
She giggled. Heavens, she needed to curb her drinking. “How scandalous. You’d really let me go with you?” Don’t sound so eager, Molly. Act like a woman. She sought to compose herself.
“Yes. You can stay with Ivan and Pearl Krupin. They have a place in the hills.”
“Where will you be?”
“I’ll use the Krupin’s place as a base to go scouting. I’ll see you every night.”
“Can I scout with you? Will you teach me?”
He nodded, his gaze softening. “Yes, I’ll teach you.”
Molly had the oddest feeling that they spoke of more than just prospecting. “Should I tell Robert?” she asked softly.
He hesitated. “Probably. He’ll worry if you don’t.”
“You think he’ll stop me?”
“I think you’re his sister, and he loves you very much. He’ll always have a need to keep you safe and sound.”
She considered the situation. “How long would we be gone?”
“Not more than a few days.”
“Alright. When do we leave?”
“I can get horses and supplies together tonight,” he said. “But I’m not sure how to get you out of this house.”
Archie came to mind. “I think I might have a way. I’ll meet you at the dip in the road beyond the entrance to the ranch.”
“Before sunup,” she answered.
He nodded. “Should I ask how?”
Jake’s body exuded warmth and Molly swayed. He was a heady combination of rugged male physique—broad shoulders, rolled sleeves revealing muscled forearms, a freshly-shaved chiseled jaw. She had to force herself not to reach out and touch the smooth skin of his cheek.
“You’re not that irresistible.” Had she just uttered the words aloud?
He grinned. “Are you sure about that?”
No. I’m not sure at all. “Why did you kiss me in the tunnel?”
The amusement left his eyes, replaced by a penetrating gaze that awakened an ancient feminine part of herself, always present but never acknowledged. Until now. Until Jake. The Jackal.
“Because I wanted to.”
Copyright © 2016 K. McCaffrey LLC
I'm pleased to share that all the books in my Wings series are now available in print.