Today we have hunky hero Xander from OUTLAWS OF LOVE, Book 1 of The Hollis Boys, now available from Loose Id. Welcome, you big, hot cowboy! Settle down here. Put those boots up. Why, yes, please take off your hat as well as any other garments…
Let’s dig in!
1) What do you do for work?
I pride myself on assisting my family in raising the best horses this side of the Mississippi… when I’m not running from the law, that is. There’s a little trouble between me and the Southern Gorge Railroad, you see.
2) Where are you from?
Southern Texas, but during my career with the military during the War Between the States, I traveled all over.
3) What is the one thing about yourself that you would like me to know?
I’m known for my gentle but thorough care of all warm-blooded creatures—horses in particular, but recently a particular woman and man have caught my eye.
4) When was your last relationship and how long did it last?
During the war, the first sparks occurred between me and my long-time best friend, James. After he got shot and we were parted for a time, I came to realize how much I needed him in my life. Then along came Annabelle, and whoooeeee, we were in for a ride!
5) Do you want to marry or have you ever been married?
Marriage is an honorable institution and no Hollis boy would ever carouse without proposing marriage. *grins*
6) What do you do for fun?
Besides stealing land that rightfully belongs to the good people of Texas from that son-of-a-bitchin’ railroad that stole it? Well, I’ve been known to hole up in a cave during a long rainstorm, if you know what I mean.
7) What are you most proud of?
Coming home from war alive so my ma didn’t suffer.
8) Do you believe in love at first sight?
In my case, love at first sight was love at first kiss. But you’ll have to keep reading to see the opening pages of our story.
9) What is your most treasured possession and why?
My horse Pete, but that’s a long, sad story.
10) Where do you see yourself in five years time?
At the head of the dinner table, with Annabelle on my right and James on my left, grinning at all the little Hollis mouths open for their ma’s delicious cookin’!
11) Do you believe a cup is half empty or half full?
Half full. Even after James took that bullet, I never believed we’d fail in our endeavor to win against the railroad.
12) You have got six months to live, what will you do first?
Slow, deep kisses come to mind.
13) Is sexual compatibility important to you?
With two lovers, you can only imagine.
14) If you have friends coming over, what would you cook?
I might roast some wild game over the fire. Add some biscuits from the saddlebag, and you’ve got a fine meal.
15) Are you a morning person or a night person?
Morning, noon, night… I am ready all the time.
Thank you, Xander. We’ve loved drinking in that leather and musk smell—I mean your answers! Next time we hope to interview your delectable but dark cousin Graham, whose story, TRAIL OF LUST, releases June 19!
Excerpt of Outlaws of Love
With a shiver of apprehension, Annabelle sank into the hip bath that was filled with tepid water. She glared at the wooden plank door of her rented room, daring anyone to come through it uninvited. What kind of place was this? She’d heard the West was uncivilized, but had never dreamed that there wouldn’t be locks on the doors. What was she going to do tonight?
She cast a glance around the small, dingy space, hoping to see a piece of furniture substantial enough to stop an intruder but light enough she could shift on her own. Her gaze lighted on the single set of drawers — tall and as broad as a man. Well, she mused. Not any man. She’d seen her fair share of stout, pasty men on her travels across the country by stagecoach. Knowing she now had the freedom to look at whomever she chose without the intrusive gazes of society on her sent a thrill through her.
Of course, there was the small matter of her escort, a newly married couple who were friends of her father. But they were often too caught up in each other to notice where her gaze landed. Now the Clarks were on the other side of the hotel, and she couldn’t help but wonder if they’d gotten a room with a lock.
She wished she had thought of the unlocked door before slipping into the bath. She should have moved that chest of drawers first. But the heated depths had called to her. After her dusty travels, she wanted nothing more than to peel off her grungy clothes and enjoy a soak. It wasn’t until she had gotten into the water that the problem occurred to her. After all, she didn’t need a lock to bathe back in Boston.
Quickly, she lifted the linen cloth she’d brought all the way from home and began washing. At one time the cloth had been white as a dove and scented with lavender. Now it was stained from the road dust that had caked her skin daily for the past month. But it was the cleanest she had.
She hastily swirled the cloth in the water and ran it over her sticky throat and down her shoulders. Just as she reached the crest of her breasts, the door burst inward.
A shrill scream bubbled up her throat. Before she could let it out, a huge brute of a man stomped across the room and clamped a hand over her mouth. She struggled beneath his steely grip, tasting the salt of his flesh and drowning in the musky scent of male mingled with leather and horses.
She jackknifed into a ball instinctively, curling up like a possum as she tried to hide her soft, womanly parts from this monster’s gaze — and worse — his touch.
Again, she opened her mouth to scream.
He leveled his gaze on her, the depths of his eyes speaking to her loud and clear.
If she wasn’t quiet, he’d kill her.
She swallowed the cry, staring over his fingers with horror as he one-handedly unbuttoned his shirt and tore it off. The thick cloth hit the floor in a cloud of dust. And then he was stepping into the tub with her, lifting her and plopping her smack dab across his hard thighs to claim her mouth.
Her heart drummed nearly out of her chest. What was he going to do to her? At this point, death seemed a better alternative to being violated by this man. She’d be soiled forever — and her fiancé wouldn’t accept her.
A squawk escaped her, and her attacker sealed his mouth more securely over hers, cutting off all noise and air.
At that moment, the door burst open again. A whoosh of cool breeze washed over her bare shoulders and back. Help me! Before she could utter a sound, the man restrained her further by slipping his fingers around her throat.
To an outsider, it might have seemed a loving gesture, but any thought of escape fled as his rough fingertip settled over her pulse. His thumb pressed the hollow of her throat. If she dared to move, he could choke the breath from her. Or snap her neck. Judging from the hard muscles beneath her, she knew a flick of his wrist would break her neck.
“Oh! Sorry, madam.” A man gulped a breath of air from the doorway. “I mean no disrespect. I was looking for a criminal.”
The man in the tub with her kept on kissing her like they were alone, angling his head and plunging his tongue deep into her mouth until she was dizzy for air.
~where words mean so much more~