Charlie Wolf McCallister is part Kiowa and a bounty hunter. Negotiating for a squaw he’s thrown for a loop when Naomi Parker, a woman looking to hire him, sets his senses afire. A tightly laced spinster shouldn’t have this affect on him but she does. Using her desperation he negotiates a barter for his services in exchange for her as a bed companion. As her virtue is the only tender she has she agrees and sets in motion a whole new life for herself, whether she knows it or not. Surprised and pleased with Naomi Charlie decides to keep her, willing or not. He just has to convince her he’s the one for her. But how much convincing does he really have to do?
The old west was a brutal place and to survive one had to be just as brutal. While she looks helpless Naomi is more than she appears. Ashamed at her cowardice in the face of danger she is determined to right her wrong and will do anything, anything, to make it right. Her sacrifice buys her more than she could have ever dreamed of.
Charlie has always been separated from other people, even his cousins, and has shut off parts of himself accordingly. Naomi rips those parts of him wide open and takes up residence without even trying and rather than fight it, he embraces it.
This was a short read in the Eclipse Series. Naomi originally acted as she appeared but her true self came out after she shed the trappings of old maid, with Charlie’s help. Discovering her sensual side was exciting and confusing, especially since she couldn’t imagine being with anyone other than Charlie. Her choosing him when she had a choice means the world to Charlie and he strives to be a better man because of it. While I knew they loved one another they never actually said the words and that disappointed me a bit, but the development of their relationship made up for that, as well as the way they became a team without even trying. A good read.
When one straight-laced spinster tenders her body to one cynical sometimes savage, the unexpected bounty is love.
Miss Naomi Parker, deportment instructor at the Sparrow Creek Young Ladies Academy, can’t forgive herself for hiding during an outlaw attack. When the local sheriff refuses to pursue the gang of renegades who kidnapped her students, she decides to rescue the girls herself. But, she needs the help of the best tracker in the territory—half-Kiowa bounty hunter, Charlie Wolf McCallister.
Before he goes out on another bounty hunt, Charlie wants a long soak in a hot bath, a bottle of whiskey, and the pleasure of a woman’s company. He has two out of three when a school marm with cornflower-blue eyes invades his privacy.
Having established that he only works for pay, Miss Parker offers Charlie one night of sexual favors in exchange for his tracking services. Though he knows bedding a white woman will cause all kinds of trouble, he operates on the philosophy that a bird in hand is better than no bird at all.
After they’ve sealed their bargain, Charlie tries to leave Naomi safely behind. But the opinionated teacher insists on accompanying him. She’s impatient with his decisions, questions his authority, and generally ignores his warnings. But each time they make love, Naomi captures another piece of Charlie Wolf’s heart.
Also includes Destiny’s Dream.