Title: Clay's Quest
Genre: Sensual Contemporary Romance
Author: Christi Williams
Release date: January 15, 2014
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press LLC/Torrid
Rating: Sensual Romance - Controversial
She’ll do anything to get her way.
Tall, elegant and beautiful, Emma Thorpe has wanted a baby for years. The yearning for a child occupies all her thought, her time, her effort, and any money she and her husband can scrape up for medical intervention. After trying and failing to conceive, the solution that finally comes to her is to leave her husband and hope to find a man—any man—capable of fulfilling her deepest desire.
Big, handsome Clay Thorpe isn’t the kind of man to let his wife just wander away. It takes a few months of Emma’s absence from his bed to devise a plan, but he’s determined. Eventually, Clay lures Emma home with a convoluted strategy only he could concoct, involving an antique diamond ring, sex three times a day, and...a turkey baster?
Caution: This is a work of fiction. Please don’t attempt duplicating Clay’s methods!
The cowbell attached by a copper spiral to the front door chimed.
Emma’s hands stilled at the sound. She’d been standing at the glass display counter that faced the front door, hands busy untangling the delicate chains of a snarl of antique pendants that had arrived with the rest of what she’d bought at an estate sale the previous month. She hadn’t had time to thoroughly examine all the various items that she had acquired by the boxful. But now traffic in her store slowed with the arrival of cold weather and put a virtual stop to outdoor sales and auctions in southwest Wyoming for the year. She looked up, and when she saw who it was she forced her fingers to be still and not tremble.
She doubted if this visit was professional, even though he wore the full complement of official paraphernalia in Velcro pouches on his belt and clipped to his shirt beneath the faux sheepskin-lined winter jacket. He knew her well and would know she was asking, without asking, what he wanted. In the middle of a chilly workday. In her shop. Where if he wanted to start up again with the questions that she had no answer for, she couldn’t very well turn and run.
“Emma,” he said as he removed his tan ball cap with its seven-point gold sheriff’s department logo, which he held in one hand by its curled visor. He stretched out the opposite long forefinger with a clean, neatly clipped nail to give the chains she was working on a tiny bit of a swirl on the glass. Not enough to make the job of disentangling them harder. But enough to let her know he acknowledged he was interrupting her day. “Quite a mess,” he said of the situation with the pendants. Or of the situation between them, perhaps. She couldn’t be completely certain at this point what Clay meant.
She wasn’t sure what to say either. May I help you? or What can I do for you today? were both out of the question. He had made clear on several occasions since she moved out exactly how she could help him and what she could do for him. Some of his requests had to do with sex, between old friends, if friendship was all that remained between them. Those she steadfastly refused. But most of his appeals had to do with her moving back home. Which she couldn’t do, so there was no point in talking about it anymore.
“Place looks nice.” He nodded at the various Christmas displays which she had put up early in an effort to make herself feel better: the tree in the middle of the worn plank floor with its antique glass ornaments and strings of popcorn and colorful paper chains, the gifts in foil and ribbons of gold and red and green under the tree and distributed here and there among the rest of the store’s merchandise.
“Thanks.” She had spent many hours decorating the shop, even though her heart had hardly cooperated with the effort. She felt more like Scrooge than Santa this year. But it was her own fault, and so she just got on with things whether she felt in the proper spirit or not.
“I need something,” he said, and she thought, Oh boy, here it comes. And, truly, she didn’t know at this instant what her answer would be. Sometimes she dreamed about Clay and what had been between them, specifically the fleshy ax handle he carried in his pants and that he wielded so well and that she missed so much, and more generally what a good life they’d had together. She had been determined to leave him, but lately she had been questioning whether her decision hadn’t been rash. Perhaps, as Clay had insisted more than once and which she had refused to consider, there was another way.
But instead of the plea she expected from him, his regular entreaty for either a quickie or for her to come back home, he continued, “I need something special. For a woman. A special woman.”
Whiskey Creek Press/Torrid PDF, HTML, or EPUB
My fiction is contemporary, so the settings and characters deal with the modern West. I write only happy endings and my strong heroines love cowboys, lawmen, and heroes of all stripes.
I love reviews, so once you’re read this story please leave me your thoughts in a review. For questions or comments, please contact me.
The Hawk Point series of contemporary Western romances began with the novel Take a Chance on Love, continued with the novel Perilous Promises, and now includes the novella Clay’s Quest, all published by Whiskey Creek Press/Torrid.
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