An antique ivory locket catapults Aimee Reynolds back to the year 1847. Alone in St. Louis, Missouri, she has to find a way to get home to present day Seattle. She needs a suitable male willing to marry her or be left behind when the emigrant train departs for the Oregon Territory.
Jake Marshall, scout for the Markham Party, is the perfect, if unwilling choice. Undaunted by his overt rudeness, Aimee entices Jake to the alter, promising her diamond earrings as payment for a marriage of convenience. Properly wed, she secures passage on the wagon train, and discovers her future may be in the past.
Aimee flew through the air, hitting the ground with a solid thump. Groaning in pain, she opened her eyes, and then rolled away in panic as a team of horses almost ran her over. The driver cursed, snapping the reins as the wagon careened around her. The ignorant ass was a maniac!
“If you roll one more time,” an amused voice drawled, “your face’ll end up in that pile of horseshit.”
Her head tilted to the side. Sure enough, one more roll and she would have landed in a stinking pile of horse poop. Scrambling to her feet, she looked down. Her favorite outfit was covered in black mud. Filth caked her arms and legs, and she could only guess what her face looked like. Rubbing her hands down, she tried to dislodge some of the disgusting sludge, but it stuck like glue.
“If I were you, the next time one of my customers threw me out into the street, I’d make sure I was wearing more than just my petticoat,” The amused voice commented again.
“Excuse me?” Turning, she caught sight of the voice’s owner.
Kicked-back in a wooden rocker, his feet propped on a railing, the man regarded her from eyes the startling shade of Brazilian aquamarine, rimmed by black lashes so long and thick, she groaned with envy. Tanned by years of exposure to the sun, laugh lines accentuated his firm sensuous lips, while several days' growth of beard shadowed his chiseled jaw. A low-brimmed cowboy hat, tilted back, covered longish jet-black hair.
Jake Marshall leaned back in his chair, studiously admiring the little tart. She was a tempting little piece! He scratched his chin. What he couldn't figure out is where she came from. Seems like she just appeared, rolling in the mud and cussing a blue streak. No matter. He was enjoying the show. His eyes dropped, perusing her from the tips of her feet to the top of her thick mop of curling red-gold hair. Wide eyes the color of old amber flashed sparks, and even the frown she now wore couldn't disguise the perfection of her full lush lips. Slimmer than he generally liked, the muddied petticoat hid few of her charms – and he'd bet his bottom dollar she had nothing on under the thin chemise. Whores like her didn't usually get this far west. He'd seen some nice ones in the east and even a few in New Orleans, but never here. His groin tightened, reminding him it'd been awhile since he'd last had a woman. He wondered what she’d feel like beneath him as he ground against her, screaming as she climaxed.
He flashed her a wide smile, full of the Marshall charm. “If you’re finished with your last customer, I might be interested.”
She flipped her hair back, curling her lips in a sneer. “Customer? What customer? And why are you talking to me?”
Sassy, too! He liked sassy! He wondered if her skin tasted like peaches and cream. His mouth watered as his eyes rested on her pert breasts, visualizing his lips suckling the pebbled nipples. He shifted, easing the swelling in the front of his trousers. “Well, the goods you’re selling appear to be prime, and I’m not a man to look a gift horse in the mouth.”
“I still have no idea what you’re talking about, and I could care less, anyway.”
"I'll give you double what the last man paid."
Aimee’s Locket is the kind of book I love to snuggle up with for hours. Aimee is a spitfire, especially for the year 1847. When she’s ripped away from her sister and ends up in the past, her confusion, irritation and terror come across the page, as does her heartbreak as she realizes just where she’s ended up. A strong woman, Aimee doesn’t give up. Her and Jake’s interaction is filled with friction that’s too yummy to put the book down—he’s not exactly the gentleman of old. I love how she just can’t keep from stirring him up.
“Why are you helping me?”
He shrugged. “Guess it’s because I’m a gentleman at heart.”
“Are you?” she asked. “Are you a gentleman?”
Her unexpected question made him smile. “I can be when I need to.”
This is a story that will reach out and envelope you in a pioneer adventure that encompasses the good, bad and unexpected on the way to the Oregon Territory.
One of my favorite quotes:
The aching need to possess her was destroying his tightly held control.
Sassy, delightful, satisfying read that will leave you missing the characters after you reach the end.
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