Aug 12, 2012

Sunday Smooch: Slow Dance with the Sheriff

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Slow Dance with the Sheriff by Nikki Logan, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- efthaliapegios!  And the week before that was Laney4.

 Congratulations, Efthalia! Can you please contact Soraya Lane at: sorayanicholas (at) yahoo (dot) com   and she'll send you a copy of ChangeAnd Laney4 contact Sue at :  lsmackay (at) ts (dot) co (dot) nz  and she’ll send you a copy of Every Boy’s Dream Dad.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Slow Dance with the Sheriff  by Nikki Logan  

When New York came to Texas...

Ex-ballerina Eleanor Patterson is the darling of Manhattan's society-until she discovers her pedigree background is a lie. So she heads to sleepy Larkville for answers....
Sheriff Jed Jackson never expected to rescue a stunning woman from a herd of cattle, or to be so fascinated by the vulnerability beneath Ellie's tough city veneer. Yet watching her unwind is irresistible, and as he helps her learn to dance again he wants to give both Ellie and himself a new beginning....

 [SETUP] Disenfranchised New York dancer and heiress, Ellie Patterson, is in Larkville hunting for a family she’s only just discovered she has. She and County Sheriff Jed Jackson have been firing sparks off each other but her long, slow recovery from an eating disorder has taken its toll and made her uncomfortable with intimacy. But Jed’s a rescuer and he wants Ellie to heal. He’s taken her on a ‘date’ to a rare wetland where the aquifer bubbles to the surface in drought-ridden Texas.

The sounds of DeputyDawg snuffling around and ducks quacking broke up the awkward silence.

‘Ellie…’ A warm hand on her shoulder turned her more fully back to him. She hadn’t even realized she’d turned away. ‘I meant that I couldn’t imagine a woman like you settling for being someone’s trophy wife.’

Heat spread up her throat. ‘Oh.’

‘You assumed I was saying I don’t think you’re worth trophy-status? Or attractive enough?’

She forced her eyes away, out to the sparkling blue water. Maybe there’d be a miracle and the aquifer would surge up and wash her away from this excruciating moment.

‘Can you literally not see it?’ he murmured.

The open honesty in his voice beckoned. Her heart thumped. She slowly brought her gaze back around. ‘I spent a really long time doubting every part of myself, Jed. And I know how I must have looked to people back then. It’s hard to forget that.’ And to forgive herself for letting it happen.

‘Back then.’ He stepped closer. Removed his sunglasses so that she could drown in his eyes instead of the aquifer. ‘You’re not that girl anymore.’

‘I’m still me inside.’

He stopped a foot away. ‘Take it from a man who never knew you before a few days ago, Ellie, and who doesn’t hold those past images in his head. You are—’ he struggled for the right word and her heart thumped harder at the caution in his voice‘—arresting. You might have detoured on your path to beautiful but you’re unquestionably here now. Has no-one ever said that before?’

The back of her shirt collar was fast becoming a furnace.

‘Or did you just not believe them?’

She took a breath. ‘They would have said anything.’

‘You think they were just trying to get into your bed?’

‘My bed. My inheritance. My seat on the board of Daddy’s company.’

He stared at her. ‘Wow. That’s a horrible way to live.’

She shrugged.

He stared. And stepped closer.

‘So, what happens when a man who isn’t interested in your money or your name tells you you’re beautiful? Do you believe him?’

‘I don’t know.’ She swallowed, though there was nothing to swallow. ‘Words are easy.’

‘What if he shows you?’ He closed the final inches between them, paused a hearts-breath away. ‘Would you believe him then?’

Words couldn’t come when you had no air. Ellie stared as Jed blazed sincerity down at her and the moment for protest passed. Then he lowered his head, turned it so that his hat wouldn’t get in the way, and stretched his neck toward her.

‘I’m supposed to be staying away from you,’ he breathed against her skin.

Her head swam; making sensible words was suddenly impossible. ‘Whose idea was that?’

Sensuous lips stretched back over perfect teeth. ‘DeputyDawg’s.’

All she had to do was shrink back, like she had a hundred times in New York on curbsides, in doorways, under lampposts, in elevators. The goodnight moment-of-truth. Step away, mutter something flippant and flee into the night. But, as Jed’s broad silhouette against the mid-morning sun bore down on her, both his hands out to the side as he made good on his promise not to touch her, Ellie couldn’t bring herself to evade him.

Euphoric lightness filled her before her chest tightened.

She didn’t want to escape. She wanted Jed to kiss her. And she wanted to kiss him back.

‘What does he know?’ she whispered. ‘He’s just a dog.’

He continued his slow sink, his body twisting forward so that only one part of them was going to touch, his eyes gripping hers the way his hands were careful not to. A tiny breath escaped his lips and brushed hers a bare millisecond before their mouths met.

His lips were soft and strong at the same time. Dry and deliciously moist.

Heat swirled around the only place they made contact, and Ellie’s head swam with his scent. His warm touch grew stronger, pressed harder, fixing her to him as though they were glued. She moved her mouth against his, experimenting, tasting. Exploring. He reciprocated, meeting her stretch half-way.

She made the tiniest sound of surprise low in her throat. Her stretch? But, sure enough, she stood tipped forward on her toes using every bit of her ballerina’s balance to make sure their lips didn’t separate.

To be in the draw to win a copy of Slow Dance with the Sheriff , tell Nikki what the most amazing wildlife experience you’ve ever had was.

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from In His Eyes by Emmie Dark will be posted!


  1. I love that cover and the book sounds to be very interesting. Thank you for posting an excerpt, Nikki! Although I was born & raised in a small town, I don't have much experience with wildlife. I have seen a couple of foxes and deers, that's all. When I was a child, we used to go in the woods to look for the mushrooms & my biggest fear was to meet a lynx, but fortunately it never happened.

  2. Hey Nikki, I loved this kiss and your writing. You hook readers so quickly into the scene and your characters, the emotions suck me in!

    Hmm, most amazing wildlife experience? Probably the first time I saw a bison. After seeing them on countless Nat.Geo. programs and in the incredible DANCES WITH WOLVES, seeing one in real life was a bit of a shock.

    I visited a zoo in Montana. Just a wire fence between the male bison and me. I was gobsmacked at it's incredible size. I was expecting more of a cattle sized beast, never ever realised their heads were so huge or that they were so tall at the shoulder or thick-muscled and wooly.

    The moment was made even more memorable as the male charged the wire fence! He came to a stop just before hitting it but it was a heart in throat shock. I had that instant "oh, sh**!" moment of wondering what to do if the fence broke. LOL

  3. Nikki, thanks for that lovely Sunday Smooch. It makes me want to read on.

    Hm, most amazing wildlife experience? I grew up in a house where we were often sheltering orphaned birds and animals. I think maybe some close brushes with lyre birds would be up there in the list. One knew we were there but kept up his amazing repertoire of mimicking for about 15 minutes. He did a terrific motorbike impression as well as copying other birds.

  4. I love Deputy Dawg! This will send me to sleep with a smile and a chuckle. Thank you. I'm looking forward to the Larkville Legacy.

    My most exciting wildlife experience came when I was hiking a very popular trail in the Rockies near Calgary. A bus load of Japanese tourists had just commenced the climb and I was waiting for my brother to finish taking some pictures. All of a sudden there was a lot of loud talking and down the trail came a grizzly bear. He was frightened of all the noise and he passed right in front of me. He smelled. I then was scared for my brother as the bear was headed in his direction. Stupid me I ran after the bear yelling my brother's name. I didn't have a camera but I wonder how many pictures I was in that day as I ran down the quite open trail chasing the bear.

  5. This is totally off topic but I had to share it with the Love Cats. It's off a Cat a Day Calender.

    " A catless writer is almost in conceivable. It's a perverse taste really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat. They make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys." ~ Barbara Holland

    I know it needs updating to keyboard butit's true. I also know how hard it is to blog with a cat around.

  6. That was lovely.


  7. Oh, Nikki, that was divine! Happy sigh. :-)

    Kaelee, I loved the B. Holland quote -- made me LOL. Thanks for posting it!

  8. Hi Nikki - that was such a fabulous smooch. Just love Jed. Can't wait to read the book!

    I had an interesting wildlife experience just this afternoon :) Turned over one of my horses feed troughs (it's a tyre type) and within was a not so lovely Eastern Brown snake. A few hollars to hubby and gigantic leaps back, and snake thankfully moved on.

    Lovely smooch.

  9. A beautiful smooch today thank you. Very tender.

    I grew up in the bush, so it was always a matter of trying to keep the creatures out of the house. Too many times I came face to face with the local wildlife as I made my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The stuff of nightmares really!!

  10. Ballerine and Sherrif, that sounds great :)

    i've dreamed being Ballerine when i was child =D

  11. Gorgeous kiss, Nikki. It's a lovely scene full of emotion... love it!

    I love wildlife encounters, so hard to pick an amazing one. When I was at uni, we went out west on a trip and my friend and I went hiking off at lunch to find an explorer's marked tree and instead we were run into by a crazy bunch of emus belting at us. They're big when there's nothing between you and them!!! They looked like they'd run us over but they swerved and went round us. Needless to say, we gave up on the tree search. We figured the emus didn't want us there.


  12. Natalija - my first thought was 'oh, I'd LOVE to encounter a lynx', but then I thought it thorugh and went 'mmmmm...'. I think I'd like to encounter one in a more controlled way - like at a bit of a distance. Not because it wouldn't be lovely to see one up close but they're just as likely to be nasty if taken by surprise. A lot of wildlife (even predators) are happy to go about their business if you're going about yours but up close and unexpected... yeah... mabye not :)

  13. Kylie - well that wire fence probably had a LOT of volts running through it if he pulled up. Imagine the zap it would take to deter a natural charger like a bison :) I once leaned accidentally on the elephant fence at work and it threw me about three feet. BUT... I was floored enough by the first moose I saw (enormous!) I can only imagine what that buffalo must have been like. But that's the best moment, that awe on seeing something so majestic for the first time. Love it. (and yes, *sigh* for Dances with Wolves)

  14. Lol, Annie. I can imagine the expression on your face when the bird-mimicking became bike-mimicking. I've never seen a lyrebird in the flesh (or feather). Not even in captivity (and now that I think about it, not even in a museum). Will have to add that to my must-see list.

  15. Kaelee - I think that quote was the first ever we put up when we first started the LoveCats blog. It is *so* perfect for writers and so true about cats.

    Your story was hilarious - I didn't so much as think about how many Japanese photoalbums you must be in as what that bear must have been thinking as tiny you ran after it hollering and shouting :) "Hello, dangerous predator here...". Also love how the bears use the trails rather than crashing through the underbrush. What a great memory :) Thank you for sharing.

  16. bn100 and Michelle - thank you for reading it and commenting. Glad you enjoyed.

    Michelle - I assume it will be out soon in Australia since it's an August release in US/UK.

  17. Helen - YAY for you not killing the snake. So many people would reach straight for the shovel, but he was probably blinking in the suddenly bright light and getting his bearings before he slithered off.

    I once met a very large and very beautiful python at Rachel Bailey's house as I arrived for the first time. It was a wonderful natural welcome (and a sign of what a good few days in nature I was about to have). It quietly took itself off to avoid the humans.

  18. Hi Marybelle. You have uncovered my secret fear. I love wildlife - pretty much all shapes and forms but I would have a fairly big problem bumping into something in the dark. I live in fear of putting my hand on a giant huntsman spider sitting on the light switch or something... :)

  19. Eli - best thing about being a writer is that you get to vicariously live through someone else's experience. I'm to unco to be a dancer of any kind but I can *imagine* and experience it through my characters.

    Thanks for popping by again.


  20. Bwahaha, Catherine. I can so see that. Did you just squeeze your eyes shut and feel them thunder by? There's a scene in 'Slow Dance with the Sheriff' where the same thing happens to them but with two million bats, and her hair blows up with the force of those four million tiny wings. I can only imagine what it must have been like with a whole mob of emu!! Awesome wildlife experience.