Branded as Trouble is the sixth book in the Rough Riders series by Lorelei James.
BRANDED AS TROUBLE
…It’s hard to trust the future when you’ve been branded by the past
As a walking advertisement for the tattoo shop she’s set up in a small Wyoming town, India Ellison is well acquainted with preconceived notions. Despite the odd looks and off-color comments about her off-color hair, life is good. She’s clean and sober, dotes on her sister’s kids and, best of all, spends most of her free time with her best buddy, cowboy Colt McKay.
Reformed bad boy Colt never expected three years of sobriety to lead to three years of abstinence. Curbing his craving for booze and random sexual encounters is nothing compared to the ever-increasing craving for his hot-tempered, hot-bodied best friend, India. Too bad she’s his A.A. sponsor. Too bad she hasn’t a clue that Colt’s been head-over-bootheels in love with her from day one.
After an unexpected, steamy interlude, all India can think about is riding the sexy cowboy instead of her motorcycle, even when Colt is determined to show her a slower ride is worth the wait.
Or are they risking their friendship for a fling that could burn them both?
- Rough Riders, Book 6
- ISBN: 978-1-60504-458-3
- Publication Date: March 30, 2009
Excerpt from Authors Page:
Early the next morning, Colt stumbled out of his room. Despite his intent to crawl in his truck and head home, a shower was a necessity.
As he crossed the living area, he noticed India’s bedroom door was ajar. He peered through the crack and saw India sprawled in the middle of the bed. Alone. Alone and apparently buck-assed nekkid. Red satin sheets were twisted around her long legs and long arms, covering her torso, but hinting at the curves beneath.
Colt didn’t gawk at her body to see if she was, in fact, pierced everywhere she’d hinted at being pierced. A man could only stand so much temptation. He backtracked to the bathroom.
The hot water lasted all of five minutes. And did the woman own every blasted lotion and potion known to mankind? He counted fourteen different health and beauty product bottles—after he’d knocked them all into the tub. Twice.
Still, he felt a million times better after an ice shower. His injury itched, so he took that as a sign of recovery.
He needed his caffeine fix and didn’t want to stop at the Conoco and chance running into a member of his family. He plugged in India’s fancy coffeemaker and dumped a capful of coffee beans into the grinder. While that machine whirred, he washed the glass coffee pot and the plastic filter basket. It took four cupboards before he found where India had moved the box of paper coffee filters. He filled the water reservoir, reassembled the various parts and hit start.
Colt picked up the trash in his prison room while he waited for the coffee to brew. When he returned to the kitchen, India stormed out of her bedroom.
Pity she’d put on a robe.
“The one day I get to sleep in and you’re up at the butt crack of dawn making enough noise to wake the dead?”
“Oh, I see. It’s different when you’re disturbed out of your beauty sleep. Sucks, huh?”
“Besides, all I did was make coffee.”
“Then explain what you were doing in the shower? ’Cause it sure as hell sounded like you were throwing rocks.”
“If I didn’t know better, I’d think your poor head was hurtin’ and it was a hangover talkin’.” Colt clucked his tongue. “Maybe you oughta get to bed earlier if you’re so cranky in the mornin’.”
“How do you know what time I went to bed?”
“I dunno, maybe it was the slamming door at midnight that tipped me off. Or maybe it was your headboard banging against my wall until the wee hours. I got tired of it around one a.m. and listened to my iPod.”
“But Blake finished—”
“Huh-uh. I don’t wanna know about Blake’s big finish because I had enough of the pre-game.” Colt sidestepped her.
“You think I slept with him.”
He shrugged, determined not to let it show how much her horizontal mattress mambo with his cousin bothered him.
“Hey.” Her hand circled his wrist and India yanked him around to face her.
Colt looked into her angry eyes. “What?”
“You are a judgmental jerk, Colt McKay.”
“Me? I didn’t pass judgment. I just pointed out the obvious.”
“Hell, I didn’t even mention the candles and soft music and the laughter that preceded all the bedroom noises.”
“Magnanimous of you.”
“I thought so.”
“Hah! You thought wrong.” India’s finger drilled him in the chest. “And it pisses me off that you think so…lowly of me.”
“What else am I supposed to think?”
“That there’s a logical explanation.”
He laughed. “For havin’ a man in your bedroom? After midnight? With the bed slamming against the wall? Sugar, sex isn’t the logical answer, it’s the only answer.”
“Not all men have sex on the brain twenty-four hours a day.”
Tired of her baiting him, Colt crowded her. “Any man with half a fucking brain, who is lucky enough to be in your bedroom at any time, ain’t thinkin’ about nothin’ but how perfect it’d feel to have your hot little body under his. Or on top of his. Or in front of his. Over and over. And if it’d been me? Twenty-four hours would be the minimum amount of time I’d keep you in my bed.”
India stared at him. “Is that what you were thinking about, Colt? Us having sex?”
Yes. Goddammit, that was all he could think about. Why in the hell couldn’t she see it?
I’m 99% sure I had a small heart attack reading this one.
I absolutely f*cking love Colt. My God who wouldn’t want a reformed Bad Boy with all those Dom traits? Sign me up please…. Colt is loyal and caring and would do anything for the woman he loved. Plus he has a little stubborn side that just flips my switch.
India is adorable. What courage it took for her to be the odd ball in a small Wyoming city and not change who she is.
Overall I would recommend this entire series to anyone who loves a good Hot Cowboy.