Guest Blog: Romance Western Style

(Adera’s note: Since I have sold a western romance to Samhain, I am hoping to feature more western authors on my blog. I start with the lovely Caroline Clemmons.)

Romance Western Style
By Caroline Clemmons

What began my personal love of the West? In the evenings, my dad often told stories of his family coming to Texas from Georgia after the Civil War. He was a great storyteller and I couldn’t hear enough of those tales. Even after I’d memorized the anecdotes, I urged him to retell each one.

Next came the movies: Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Lone Ranger, Hoppalong Cassidy. Have I forgotten any? Personally, I wanted to ride the range with Roy, saving the West from the bank robbers and rustlers I was certain plagued the land. Imagine how disappointed I was to learn he was married to Dale Evans. My family watched Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Rifleman, Maverick, and others on TV and never tired of them. Then life intervened, as it did for all would-be cowgirls and cowboys.

As an adult, I discovered Louis L’Amour. Among others, I also love the books of Jodi Thomas, Maggie Osborne, Jacquie Rogers, and the westerns Lorraine Heath wrote years ago. However, Louis L’Amour is my author hero. I’ve read each of his western books at least twice, and several of them too many times to count. FALLON is my personal favorite: what woman can resist a reluctant hero who thinks he’s bad but is actually a good, hard working, clever man protective of others?

In my writing, I usually choose to write about 1870-1890 and the time of the Texas cattle drives. Yes, I also write contemporary cowboys, sheriffs, and detectives, but none are more appealing to me than those of the late 19th century. So many things fascinate me about this time period.

Would I have wanted to live then instead of now? No! I like my current creature comforts, thank you, but I love reading and writing about that earlier time. The Civil War and Reconstruction were over, yet law and order was far from established. Men—and women—were frequently isolated and had to defend themselves and their families. If there was an area lawman, he was often too far away to offer immediate help.

When the Civil War was over, men returned home (if they still had one). In Texas and a few other states, many unbranded cattle had bred during the war and ran wild. An industrious man could gather these and place his own brand on them, then drive them to market in Kansas. According to T. H. Fehrenbach in his book LONE STAR: A HISTORY OF TEXAS AND THE TEXANS, cattle sold for two dollars a head in Texas in 1875, but brought ten dollars a head in Kansas. Since cowboys made the same wage per month and received the same food regardless of where they rode, it cost no more for a rancher to have his ranch hands drive cattle to market. Fortunes were built during this time.

The wealth didn’t come without cost. Danger lurked everywhere in the West, but on the trail hazards multiplied. Indians, rustlers posing as Indians, rustlers posing as law men, and a plethora of other bad men wanted the benefit of others’ hard work. Then there were the natural disasters: swollen rivers, lightning storms, and stampedes. Texas cattle sometimes carried tick fever and threatened to infect cattle in other states. Cattlemen from the intervening trails crusaded to block Texas cattle from crossing into their area, and it’s no wonder, is it? The astonishing fact is that any cattle made it to market.

Yes, you say, but how can it be a romance when there were no women on cattle drives. You’re right, you’re so right. Cowboys are a superstitious lot, and they believed women on a drive brought bad luck. In that way, cattle drives are far from romantic. If you’ve read my book THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE, book one of my Kincaid series, you learn that wives are not invited on a cattle drive.

No, it’s not the actual cattle drive that appeals to me, but the era. A young man with nothing could homestead land, gather unbranded cattle or buy a few head, and create a small ranch. With hard work and perseverance, he could expand. Of course, then he’d need a wife to share his life. They’d face trouble—it always came—and stand side by side to triumph. At least, that’s the way it happens in my novels.

And it wasn’t just rancCarolineClemmons_GabeKincaid_800pxhers and cowboys who did well in the Old West. New towns offered opportunities for men of all walks of life. In my latest release, GABE KINCAID, book four of the Kincaid series, the hero is a lawyer in a Texas town founded by his great uncle. The heroine doesn’t come to search for a husband; she joins a circus to escape two powerful killers who want her dead.

Women from areas where most young men had died in the Civil War didn’t have to remain spinsters. They could travel West and marry, sometimes via mail-order arrangements. How many mail-order western romances have your read? I’ve read too many to count, but I still love them. TABITHA’S JOURNEY is my Stone Mountain series novella about a mail-order bride switch. (I’m working on another mail order bride story. I love the book but it’s too soon to reveal details. Wait until September.)

There were wagon trains heading West then stages and locomotives. The heroine of HIGH STAKES BRIDE, Men of Stone Mountain series book two, only wants to catch the stage and head east. By traveling West, a single woman had an opportunity for a family of her own. Wouldn’t it be difficult to weigh the benefits and disadvantages? The thought of marrying a stranger is not appealing, but neither is being the family’s spinster daughter living at home or working as a companion to an elderly relative. I think I’d have risked the mail order bride route, wouldn’t you?

Reading about people who adapt to new circumstances, meet obstacles they’d never imagined, and triumph while finding a soul mate is very romantic. Who wouldn’t love a tale like that?

 

ABOUT CAROLINE CLEMMONS

CarolineCaroline Clemmons - Dreamin in Dallas - 4-1-11 Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her latest release is GABE KINCAID, book four of her popular Kincaid series. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline is a member of Romance Writers of America, the RWA chapters Yellow Rose, From The Heart, and Hearts Through History. Her latest publications include the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain series: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and BLUEBONNET BRIDE and the audio books of BRAZOS BRIDE and HIGH STAKES BRIDE.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. Prior to writing full time, her jobs included stay-at-home mom (her favorite), secretary, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, bookkeeper for the local tax assessor and—for a short and fun time—an antique dealer. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with family and friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.

New Release: Abducted

Abducted_AderaOrfanelli_coverinAbducted

erotic sf romance
novel length
$3.99

Getting abducted by a hunky android wasn’t on Jacey’s list of things to do to try and reclaim her life after the death of her best friend and the loss of their business. But when her car crashes during a storm, she’s saved not by any rescue vehicle, but by Aiden Starsek, the Lord of BelaZed who informs her that he must have a wife or face deactivation. Jacey blames herself for her friend’s death. If she can stop another one, even if it means giving up everything she’s ever known, she will.

Aidan knows Deactivation Day nears and unless he’s able to find a human to love him he’ll die.. Unable to find love on his own planet, he discovers the beautiful Jacey on her own world, Earth. Her beauty entices him. Her compassion humbles him. And though in bed their passion is insatiable, he fears that it won’t turn to love in time to save his life. Only her love will save him, not just from Deactivation Day, but also from himself.

Purchase direct from Loose Id

Read an excerpt

Book Tour Launch: Abducted by Adera Orfanelli (Prize)

Abducted_AderaOrfanelli_coverlgGetting abducted by a hunky android wasn’t on Jacey’s list of things to do to try and reclaim her life after the death of her best friend and the loss of their business. But when her car crashes during a storm, she’s saved not by any rescue vehicle, but by Aiden Starsek, the Lord of BelaZed who informs her that he must have a wife or face deactivation. Jacey blames herself for her friend’s death. If she can stop another one, even if it means giving up everything she’s ever known, she will.

Aidan knows Deactivation Day nears and unless he’s able to find a human to love him he’ll die.. Unable to find love on his own planet, he discovers the beautiful Jacey on her own world, Earth. Her beauty entices him. Her compassion humbles him. And though in bed their passion is insatiable, he fears that it won’t turn to love in time to save his life. Only her love will save him, not just from Deactivation Day, but also from himself.

Erotic SF Romance, Published by Loose Id

Purchase direct from the publisher.

Visit the author’s website.

Twitter: @aderaorfanelli
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aderaorfanelli

 

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secludeddusk

Excerpt

She fumbled in her purse for her cell phone. In the dim light from the screen, she made out the tiny symbol that indicated no signal. “Fuck,” she growled as she dropped the useless piece of technology back into her purse. Slinging her bag over her shoulder, she thought there might be a better chance at catching a signal at the edge of the road. If nothing else, a passing motorist would see her. Digging her fingers into the muddy turf, she slowly hauled herself out of the ditch.

“I should have stayed at the bar,” she muttered. Her foot slipped in the mud. She lay on her belly in the dirt, wincing at the pain in her mangled fingers, and then slowly worked her knees beneath her. Her breath hissed from between clenched teeth, but she vowed to reach the side of the road. “At least then,” she said, finishing her thought, “I could have found out who belonged to the best ass I’ve seen since the last rerun of Farscape.” He’d had his back to her, the mysterious man in the bar, and his jeans molded his ass and legs like hot fudge on a sundae, or leather pants on John Creighton. She hadn’t had anything stronger than her two diet sodas, before calling it a night, afraid of what she might do if she drank any alcohol. I might have asked him out. Heaven forbid I actually get a life. She chuckled at her own self-depreciating joke.

Jacey scaled the ditch, hauling herself over the edge. She lay there, trying to regain her bearings, and stood on shaky knees to stare into the darkness. She pulled her cell phone from her purse, and then tried to call for help again. Still no signal. Damn. Damn. And double damn again.

A flash of light in the distance caught her attention. A car? Her heart leaped, and she watched the light grow brighter until it became a distant fuzzy white glow. The glare loomed large on the horizon. It hovered for a moment, neither coming closer nor disappearing.

“What the hell?” Jacey muttered.

She watched, transfixed as the light lifted into the sky. A UFO, her mind wondered. I must have bumped my head harder than I thought. There’s no such things as UFOs. The glow grew closer. It surrounded her, reminding Jacey of a silly bumper sticker about unmanned cars and the rapture. She shielded her eyes against the light, taking an involuntary step backward. Her foot slid.

She reached, trying to steady herself. The light blazed brighter, surrounding her. Air whooshed past her, and belatedly she realized it wasn’t the wind. She had the sense of being carried, drawn even, toward whatever waited above.

She expected the fall. A glance down showed the ground receding farther and farther away. My purse! It lay there along the edge of the road, lost and forgotten. She tried to reach for it but feared diving headlong into the ground. For a brief moment a to-do list of canceling credit cards and reissuing checks came to mind—did she even know what number the book in her purse started with?

She might have laughed if it weren’t for the ground dropping away from her. A UFO, it had to be. Uncontrollable shivers ran through her. She’d asked for an escape. Perhaps being abducted by aliens would be so much nicer than committing suicide.

She couldn’t even see her purse now. She knew, because she’d focused on the bright pattern, clearly visible in the light surrounding her, until she’d lost sight of it. Her one tie to this life—a life she wasn’t even sure she’d wanted—and it was gone. Surely someone would find it. She hated to be a downer but wondered if they’d care. Frankly, if she were being abducted, she wondered if she even wanted to go back.

Vertigo and velocity combined to give her one hell of a headache. Closing her eyes, she relaxed into the pull as the pace increased. She gave in to the abduction, regardless of what she would find. They’d chosen her out of all the billions of people on the planet. If this were an abduction—and what else could it be—then they wanted her. She held on to that hope as a huge silver shape materialized in the light above her.

musecharmerpr_blogtourbadge_smThis blog tour is sponsored and run by Muse Charmer PR, providing superhero promotion for your book. Learn more and enter a special contest by visiting http://www.promoyourmuse.com

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Cover Reveal: Abducted (6/24 Release from Loose Id)

Abducted_AderaOrfanelli_coverin

Release Date: 6/24/14
Get from Loose Id

Getting abducted by a hunky android wasn’t on Jacey’s list of things to do to try and reclaim her life after the death of her best friend and the loss of their business. But when her car crashes during a storm, she’s saved not by any rescue vehicle, but by Aiden Starsek, the Lord of BelaZed who informs her that he must have a wife or face deactivation. Jacey blames herself for her friend’s death. If she can stop another one, even if it means giving up everything she’s ever known, she will.

Aidan knows Deactivation Day nears and unless he’s able to find a human to love him he’ll die.. Unable to find love on his own planet, he discovers the beautiful Jacey on her own world, Earth. Her beauty entices him. Her compassion humbles him. And though in bed their passion is insatiable, he fears that it won’t turn to love in time to save his life. Only her love will save him, not just from Deactivation Day, but also from himself.

Read more and purchase direct from the publisher.

Gunn’s Kiss Blog Tour – LAUNCH! (prize)

Enjoy an excerpt from Gunn’s Kiss…

By the time they reached the door to her suite, they’d passed through the three sets of doors — including the lift — as well as five different visual checkpoints. It’d make his job easier, especially since he knew the security team running this part of the station. He’d be sure to send them a message when he got back to his place. The facial recognition software acknowledged her presence and the door opened.

Gunn waited outside.

“Why don’t you come inside? I have some information I didn’t want to leave this room,” she said.

He hesitated, mostly because he’d made a good reputation for himself by being discreet. Usually his clients didn’t want to see him around. He crossed the threshold and stepped into the suite.

“Please record –”

Gunn held up his hand. “I’ve ensured that I am able to access your suite in case of an emergency, but thank you.” He didn’t want to hear her give permission for the facial recognition software to file his likeness as authorized to enter. Hearing her say that sent thoughts through his mind, or rather his cock, of his arriving here at night, slipping into her suite to seduce her.

“Oh.” Her lips formed a circle and stayed there for a moment. Could she read his thoughts? Surely she wouldn’t, though certain members of her species were known to be telepathic. According to his information, those with telepathic ability never left the home world.

“Sorry to startle you,” he said, keeping professional distance between them. “You said you had information.”

“Yes. Nochte-Theta was not my first destination upon leaving my home world. I stopped first at a couple of other stations to speak with their officials before meeting with the council. I received these.” She pushed an envelope across the table next to the door. “My people have gone over them. We cannot find the source.”

“And you told station security where you were staying?” His gut twisted. He didn’t like this, not one bit. At her nod, his stomach twisted further. Gently, though he knew there probably wouldn’t be any evidence to gain, he opened the envelope and pulled out the first piece of paper.

A security print from a communications console. A message was tagged across the top — a threat on her life — with all the pertinent information below. He scanned it, noting the obviously faked addresses and protocols. No doubt untraceable. A second sheet of paper, another threat, was also in the envelope.

“When were you going to tell me about these?” A wave of protectiveness came over him. He fought to keep frustration out of his voice. Not knowing about threats made his job infinitely more difficult. And station personnel should have communicated these threats; they had her travel itinerary. He clenched his jaw until a muscle began jumping.

“I planned to tell you.” Her soft words forced his gaze to meet hers, where wariness crossed her face.

“I’m glad you did.” He breathed deeply and forced himself to calm. “I will contact the other station security departments to see what they have on these.”

He stepped back, because now that the initial fury that someone would try to hurt her had ebbed, he became aware that she stood close to him, so close her breasts brushed his arm with each breath. A floral scent, something planet-bound and not anything he’d find on this station, surrounded him. Hunger drove through him. He told his muscles to take another step back, to tell her he would bring the papers back to security and study them further. He should turn for the door and leave her for the evening. He didn’t.

“You can take care of this?” she asked, her voice wobbling a little and betraying her worry.

Visit the publisher to read an excerpt and to purchase this title

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Print is matted and can be shipped worldwide to the winner.

Art print by Steve Lenker of Aldebaran Valley Creations.

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A Second Giveaway

If you would like to enter to win a $10 Changeling Press gift certificate, please visit the tour hub. Don’t forget that you can use the hub page to visit each stop on the tour to enter daily to win the art print. (Visit the tour hub now.)

GunnsKissCover_200Gunn’s Kiss by Adera Orfanelli
erotic sf romance novella
release date 6/5/2014
$3.99 at Changeling Press
Visit the publisher to read an excerpt and to purchase this title!
Security Expert Gunn Kierney takes each assignment in stride, until he’s assigned to a mysterious visitor to Nochte-Theta. He finds this telepathic alien, one of the few of her species, to be more than an assignment, and when he discovers a member of the council wants her dead, the passion, as well as danger, heats up around them.

New Release: Gunn’s Kiss (Politics Bite Book 3)

Gunn’s KissGunnsKissCover
Politics Bite Book 3
erotic sf romance
Release Date: 6/5/14

Security Expert Gunn Kierney takes each assignment in stride, until he’s assigned to a mysterious visitor to Nochte-Theta. He finds this telepathic alien, one of the few of her species, to be more than an assignment, and when he discovers a member of the council wants her dead, the passion, as well as danger, heats up around them.

Purchase direct from Changeling Press

Read an excerpt

Guest Blog: His Final Bounty by AJ Williams

200HFBTitle: His Final Bounty
Series: Bounty for Hire #4
Author: AJ Wiliams
Release Date: 3/24/14
Publisher: Self
Genre: Contemporary Spicy Romance

Blurb:

Eva Rosenberg hacks a secret file of Jefferson’s and discovers the man who shattered her heart and her world has one giant secret.

Jefferson Anders’ current bounty hunting status has allowed him to hide in the shadows, never forcing him to face the secrets of his past. Having spent five years hiding the truth, he never dreamed the secrets of his past would catch up to him. Secrets which cost him both the love of his life and connection to his family. Now, he must face the mistakes of his past.

With a confrontation looming with Eva and a possible death threat, they must work as a team to find forgiveness and defeat the enemy that waits in the shadows.

Purchase Links:

Author Website:  www.ajwiliams.com

​Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-final-bounty-aj-wiliams/1118956354?ean=2940149395361

​Amazon: ​ http://www.amazon.com/His-Final-Bounty-Hire-ebook/dp/B00J7EUJ3S

​All Romance Books:  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hisfinalbounty-1459230-149.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/421479

Author Information:

AJ grew up in a small southern town in Missouri. It was there that she discovered her love of writing. Having the ability to create a story from nothing into something held her spellbound. She holds a bachelors degree, and will on occasion find it useful. Currently, AJ lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, their two small children and two dogs.

AJ loves learning about new things, playing games with her family, and listening to music. She loves romantic movies as well as science fiction. If truth be told, she loves fantasy and science fiction movies just a little bit more.

At given time she can be found letting her kids believe she has super powers.

Author Links:

Website:  www.ajwiliams.com
Blog: http://ajwiliamsromanceauthor.blogspot.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AjWiliams
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJ_Wiliams
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/AJWiliams
Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/ajwiliams/

Excerpt:

Eva wasn’t sure when it happened, but her body called to her in a way that she hadn’t felt in years. After all this time, he still wore Ralph Lauren Polo Black. She loved that smell. Her reaction to him spurred her body closer to his, lightly brushing her nipples against his side. Every sensation from Jefferson rubbing her back, to her tracing circles on his chest increased her breathing. Her nipples tightened and the dampness increased between her legs.

“Jefferson.” Her voice was soft as she moved her finger to his nipple in a sensual circle.

“Eva,” his growl pressed her to continue. There was something about the way he growled her name that caused her to stop circling and started to use her fingers to rub his nipple with her thumb and finger.

“You have to stop.”

Lifting her head up from his chest, she kept rubbing his nipple as she looked into his eyes.

“Tonight, please just give me this one night. After that, we will go our separate ways. I just need to feel you.”

“There will never be ‘just one night’ with us, Eva. If we do this, it’s for keeps. Do you understand? I could never let you walk away, nor would I allow myself to walk away from you again.”

His word slammed over her. His eyes danced in the light. She could see that he too needed tonight. As much as she wanted more nights, she didn’t think she could ever give him more. Then again, maybe she could, but it all depended on him. She had the truth, but it didn’t really ease the hurt she still felt in her heart.

She didn’t respond at first, as her thoughts rolled through her mind.

“Tonight please, Jefferson. Just tonight.”

“I’ll give you tonight, but we will talk,” he declared.

She didn’t want to talk. She wanted all or nothing and tonight it was all. If she couldn’t have tonight, then she could go back to having nothing in her life. She’d had five years of practice. What was another fifty? She nodded edging closer to his body.

“I mean it, Eva.”

She didn’t trust herself to say anything, afraid she might say no talking, just fucking, because that’s all she wanted. She nodded again, placing a light kiss on his chest.

Lifting her head up she gazed into his dark eyes, waiting to see if he understood or at least accepted her response. He moved over, roaming her face and then his eyes narrow for just a second.

Please, she begged silently for him to just give her now.

She touched her lips to his. It was ecstasy. His full lips upon hers. At first, he didn’t move, so she gave his nipple a pinch, causing him to open his mouth.

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Flash Fiction: (Currently Untitled and NSFW)

The fact that I could see through the hand gliding up my bare leg should have unnerved me. It didn’t. My fangs descended as heat licked along my skin everywhere that he’d touched. Rumor had it the ghost in Corridor 4B, just outside my apartments was more than an average specter. Until now, lying with him, and a new arrival on station—and my new roommate–I’d had no idea.

I leaned back against the broad chest cradling me. His massive erection pressed against my lower back and my pussy clenched just thinking about that shaft deep inside. Moaning, I fought the urge to roll over and impale myself. “Wait,” he’d said. “This will be good.” His promise lingered in my memories as his fingers skimmed across my breasts.

The translucent hand stopped at my pussy. Please. I lifted my hips, and he rewarded me by stroking my slick labia.

“I can smell her arousal,” Durgan said. He’d just arrived and wanted to talk about some deal with the Head of Security. “Why don’t you make her come first?”

As long as someone did, I wasn’t about to argue.

Excerpt: Tobine Chronicles Episode 1

ao_tobinechronicles_episode1_96dpi_200Here is an excerpt from Tobine Chronicles, episode 1. To learn more about The Tobine Chornicles and to see all buy links, visit the serial page.

Excerpt (Adult)

The front door banged open. Tenni startled and reached for the gun that hung on the wall behind her. Her fingers closed around cool metal, and she tugged the weapon towards her.

A silhouette filled the door. Tenni crouched in front of the crib, shielding her son’s body with her own, and leveled the gun at the intruder. A man stepped inside. It took a moment for her to register the form as her husband, Jode. He closed the door behind him, then brushed the mortar dust from his shoulders. “Damn Dorrines,” he muttered. “They’re getting too close.”

Tenni released a breath and slid the gun back into place. “You startled me.” Slowly, she rose to her feet and glanced down in her son’s crib. Kae gurgled in his sleep, not even disturbed by the bombing.

It’s a sad world we live in that my son can sleep through such things. She walked over to her husband and laid a hand against his shoulder. Got to play the dutiful wife. Tenni didn’t want to recall the slap she’d received the one time she voiced opposition to her husband’s plans, nor the dressing-down afterwards when she’d tried to run away. One of the Rikan gunmen had hauled her back home, and Jode told her it was for her own good. He kept guards on the doors then, for almost a month, until he’d convinced himself she wouldn’t try to run again.

Flash Fiction: Space Streak

(challenge given: Hell Week – Streak through a public place)

The service corridor opened to a busy level of the Promenade. I took a deep breath. A sheet wrapped around my body from shoulders to knees. Once I hit the Promenade, I was supposed to be naked for at least one lap of this level. My hand trembled as I reached up. One… Two… Three…

I darted onto the promenade and dropped my sheet. A few people stopped, but on this station, in this company, no one noticed. I ran as fast as my feet could take me, bare flesh slapping against the metallic floor. Air from the recyclers chilled the sweat on my skin. My breasts bounced. I focused on them, imagined everyone staring at their pendulous globes as I ran past. I turned the corner…nearly halfway there.

And out of the corner of my eye caught a vision of a toned ass. I stopped and followed him with my gaze. As he rounded the turn, I saw his cock, almost fully erect, bobbing before him. It was then I realized he wasn’t running full out, but savoring the moment, keeping his pace to a long-strided jog. Hell, I had to catch up with him! When I pulled my attention to his face, I saw thick blond hair and a profile to make a sculptor weep.

I took off running. Who was that naked runner?