Saturday, December 3, 2011

Five Card Stud by Gem Sivad - Blurb & Excerpt: Sizzling PR Tour Stop


When bounty hunter Sam McCallister sees Eden Pace playing poker for the first time, he loses all interest in the cards; instead, the thought of playing stud with the lady gambler stirs his cock to life. Eden’s the prettiest woman and the best card sharp Sam’s ever met. Good thing he has a few cards up his sleeve.Eden’s doing her own outlaw hunting. She’s on the trail of her husband’s killer and Sam’s in her way. To get free of this hardheaded, softhearted, gorgeous man, Eden tries strip poker and naked truth-or-dare, but when Sam ups the stakes, carnal submission and desire are unleashed.When Sam discovers Eden’s wanted for murder, he figures his bed is the safest place for her. But taking Eden prisoner isn’t as easy as Sam expects. He’s in a high-stakes poker game with lust on the table and his heart on the line, because one taste of Eden just isn’t enough.


Sam abruptly ordered, "I've got a bottle of whiskey in that saddlebag, Eden. Fetch it over here to me." He sat on the chair facing her, commanding her to obey.

Her derringer was in the saddlebag. She could... She calculated the time it would take to fumble open the flap and pull it out. Sam's gun was holstered, the knife he'd used earlier sheathed, but Eden knew he might use either swiftly if she attempted to get her gun. Wanted dead or alive... She stared at him, considering the possibility.

Do what you need to do. For once she wanted to ignore Daniel's instructions. She was tired and at the moment she wasn't sure that dying was such a bad idea. For all his questions and seeming interest in her life, the man across the room was really intent on only one thing. Any friendship that she had thought blossoming between them was a sham. I mean nothing more to him than an opportunity to slake his lust before he collects a reward.

She studied Sam, repressing the unexpected pain as she looked for ways to gain her freedom. When she continued to ignore his order, he repeated the one word coldly. "Fetch."

Eden gritted her teeth as he used the word, taunting her with it. He wants me to lose my temper. She tensed, fighting the fever of want he stirred in her. I have to remain in control. If I choose to continue my journey, seduction seems the only weapon at hand.

Eden carried the saddlebag and a glass she found on the nightstand over to where he lounged in his chair. When she handed both to him, he pulled out the bottle and poured enough whiskey in the glass to cover the bottom inch with amber liquid. His eyes had changed color again, into the darker and more intense blue she'd seen once earlier in the night. "Drink up," he ordered her and tipped the bottle to his lips.

Eden sipped her drink, swallowing as he did. You can do this, Eden. The whispered thought and the false courage of alcohol made her brave. Her body flushed with heat as the liquid burned a path down her throat. Sam didn't stop drinking, but when she reached into her pocket, his eyes returned to the flat, icy stare of before.

Pulling out the deck of cards, she fanned them open, holding them outstretched in both hands. "Let's play," she invited him. "You pull a card, I pull a card. Low card removes an article of clothing." As she watched, the harsh cold in Sam's eyes disappeared. Good, I have an edge. I surprised him.

He growled, "And then what?"

"After we..." Eden paused and delicately moistened her lips. "After we play, then we can discuss our other transactions." His eyes shifted back to the darker shade of blue. Without a word, he drew and revealed a ten.

"Draw for me, please," she requested. "My hands are full."

"The lady gets to choose," Sam said and displayed the Queen of Clubs.

Eden answered quickly. "Your shirt, please."

His chest was broad, rippling with strong muscles and browned by the sun. She inspected the pelt of blond hair curling around his nipples and meandering in a light trail to his belt. Eden touched her lips with the tip of her tongue, remembering the taste of him.

He sat forward and pulled another two cards. Again hers was higher and she directed him. "Remove your belt, please."

He smiled when he stood and unbuckled the heavy leather strap that wrapped his waist and held his gun. He didn't hurry, seeming to enjoy the tension that mounted as she waited.

When she moistened her lips a second time, his left eyebrow went up. "Thirsty?"

He set his gunbelt on the arm of the chair, though close enough to retrieve in a hurry. Lifting her glass, he held it to her lips. As she sipped the whiskey, she deliberately inspected his gaze. His eyes had darkened into points of midnight blue.

Before he set the glass on the table, he drank from the place her lips had just touched. Every nerve in her body tightened when his tongue licked a drop from the rim.

Eden lost the next three sets, and with them, her shoes, her hair combs and her handkerchief. They were not the articles of clothing she would have chosen. She wanted this interlude over and forgotten. He deliberately drew out the game to remind her he was in control.

When he lost the next round, she ordered him to remove his boots. He stripped off his socks as well, evidently eager with his own disrobing.

Frustrated fury roiled in Eden's stomach. When Sam spoke, his rumbled words stirred the nerve endings beneath her skin. Even the hair on the nape of her neck rose like the hackles of an animal preparing for battle.

"You've been watching me for almost two months. Why?" Eden hid her rage and made conversation as she maneuvered him.

"Four," he corrected her.

"Well, if I had to run into someone with the handbill, it's actually fortunate that Snake McCallister found me first." Deliberately she used the outlaws' name for Sam. Don't let your hurt feelings get in the way of your head.

Eden didn't know whether it was Daniel speaking to her or her own common sense, but the thought steadied her enough to focus on lulling her captor into a moment of carelessness. The letter she mailed in Fort Worth had brought results and Sam McCallister was the courier carrying the outlaws' response.

She couldn't suppress a shudder when she blurted, "Are you a messenger from Ansell Black?" She knew the answer before he frowned. It was testimony to her exhaustion that her battles were becoming mixed in her mind. She tried to relax.

Sam's eyes shifted from deep midnight back to a pale study in icy reserve. "You carryin' messages for the wanteds, Eden?"

Sam interrupted her plan of seduction with hard questions. He was aroused and ready, she had enticed him in every way she could think. And still he watched her from hooded eyes, deciding what to do with her.

For a moment she considered asking for his help. But this wasn't the attentive admirer who gallantly escorted her on lonely nights. This was a skilled hunter, a killer, and Eden realized she didn't know him at all and had no reason to trust the man who had once made passionate love to her. It wasn't love. It was pure lust and that's what will defeat him this time. I owe him nothing.

She held the cards toward him and waited. "Are we playing?"

His expression was grim, not the impassioned focus of a would-be lover. But the red slashes of heat that burned across the tan skin on his cheekbones told their own story. He nodded as if coming to a decision and drew a card.

She lost the next match and with it, her dress. When she stood before him in her linen shift and petticoat, he walked around her, openly assessing her body. Dread and arousal mingled in a confused tangle. She felt the familiar wild surge of need only he called from her. Her body quickened. Her breath became a shallow thread.

"Feels like silk." He held a strand of her hair that had fallen from its knot and tickled her bare shoulder with it. She tried, but couldn't control a shiver that raised goose bumps on her flesh when his breath brushed warmly against her neck.

"I don't carry messages to wanteds," she told him. The lock of hair stilled in its teasing path, replaced with his lips.

"Sure hope not, Eden. Things could get a mite awkward between us."

Eden didn't know what his words meant. She'd measured the distance to his gun when he stood behind her. She knew he had too.

Abruptly, he returned to the game. He took the remaining cards from her clenched hand, unfurled them, handed them back and said, "Your turn, Eden."

She lost, and lost and lost again, until her only remaining garments were her ribbon-tied silk stockings and the thin linen shift that gave cover only to her knees. She drew the King of Spades for Sam and the Ace of same for herself.

"Please remove your trousers." He stepped from his pants, including with them the long underwear he wore. She focused on the darker hair on his ankles instead of the naked man.

Her breath stilled in her lungs as the moment for courage was on her. At least he's clean. From the state of his clothes she had expected caked filth. His feet had given her hope, so Eden considered Sam's dirt-free body a bonus.

"You can look up now, Eden." He lifted her chin with his finger and her gaze traveled up long legs, strong thighs and stilled for a moment on the hard length of manhood that jutted from his groin. Then he cupped her face in his hands so that she had to look at him when he asked, "You sure you don't want to tell me what this is about?"

Eden ignored his question and jerked her chin from his grasp. She would control this part of the night. She said in a husky whisper, "You're overdressed." She stared fixedly at the knife strapped to the back of his neck. If I kiss him now, I can... Before she put her thought into action, Sam answered.

"So are you." He removed the knife and stepped closer to her. He still hadn't touched anything but a strand of her hair and a spot on her shoulder that burned from the brush of his lips.

Her body coiled anticipating his next move. But when his sharp blade cut the thin straps of her shift, the silken cloth slid down her body and she gasped in denial at the same time her nipples became hard buds reaching toward him. "Do you ever just undress a woman?" she asked him in exasperation.

Then the reality of her situation struck her. She stood in her ribbon-tied stockings and nothing else and measured the distance to the weapon. I can do this, Daniel. Her mind rejected her body's desire and she prepared to lunge across Sam to reach his gun.

But she hesitated too long. Sam lifted her as though she weighed nothing and carried her to the chair across the room. He stood her before him then seated himself.

Available  @ Ellora’s Cave
Eclipse Heat-an historical erotic western series centering around a town in 19th century Texas.

Quincy’s Woman   |  Perfect Strangers  |  Wolf’s Tender  | Breed True 
 Five Card Stud  | Whispering Grace  | Trouble in Disguise 
--All titles available now, or coming soon from Ellora’s Cave Publishing.

Hello, my name is Gem Sivad. If you’ve seen me on twitter, Face Book or a romance loop, it was probably only a quick glimpse. I lurk a lot, say “hello” to the few peeps I know, read the daily updates from others, enjoy from a distance, and remain silent for the most part.
In my personal life, I also have hermit tendencies and live in a country setting near a small unincorporated town with a population of about five hundred (give or take a wild turkey or two). I love the people in my life but books have always been my best friend. Read more about Gen on her WEBSITE.

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