Christmas in Freewill
Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.
Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.
When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?
~ Excerpt ~
Turning on her heel, Pearl marched off toward the stairs.
A weird kind of panic jolted through Ethan, one he’d never felt before in all his days. It was…he didn’t…. She couldn’t leave him. “Where are you going?”
She whirled to face him, her irritation plain. “I was seeking my bed before your arrival, and now I’m seeking it again. Help yourself to whiskey this one time. I got better things to do.”
Shoving to his feet, he strode to her. “Don’t just walk away when we’re discussing things.”
“We ain’t discussing nothing. You’ll be down here, waiting out the blizzard. I’ll be in my bed, doing what I was gonna before you arrived. That’s the end of it.”
Taking a step, she made to leave him. Again.
He grabbed her arm. “Don’t leave me.”
“Don’t tell me what to do.” Glaring at him, she stood before the bar, her magnificent hair slipping from its pins, her breasts rising and falling.
Abruptly, his mouth went dry. Clearing his throat some, he said, “You’re supposed to offer succor to those in need.”
“We’re closed, remember?” Paint-less lips pressed tight together, she glared up at him.
They were so close he could see the faint marks of freckles on her skin.
Pearl La Monte had freckles.
A kind of haze came over him, tightening his skin and bringing with it something all-fired powerful and completely unstoppable. All the years he’d known her crashed through him, all the times she’d flirted with him and meant something else, all the times he’d seen her perform on stage and wished he could have held such fire.
Grabbing her upper arms, he hauled her against him and, ignoring her shocked gasp, he covered her mouth with his.
~ Reviews ~
A very sexy and sweet historical romance.
– Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and More
This reader found Fool’s Gold a delightful read. The spin on Pearl, and Ethan, both coming from a background surrounding their families, and almost hiding a different identity was a nice premise. […] Cassandra Dean spins a story where this reader could share in the ache, and desire, that embraces the characters and brings out true emotion. She creates a story that has a way of making Christmas seem a bit brighter.
– The Romance Studio
Cassandra Dean has a marvelous talent for crafting a story that immediately catches the heart and refuses to let go…The author’s keen understanding of historic detail breathes life into each scene, and best of all, her characters are fascinating, complex, and work terrifically together. This one-sitting story is no exception, and it is impossible to enter the world of the Diamond Saloon without falling in love with Pearl and Ethan, and emerge craving more.
– Bridget, The Romance Reviews
~ Behind the Story ~
What’s in a name?
The nickname for Fool’s Gold was officially WTF 2:The Reckoning, shortened to The Reckoning. Gosh, I thought this was funny! Unfortunately, no one knew what I was talking about so Fool’s Gold ended up becoming The Second Western. Not as funny, but more effective 😉
The Story Behind the Story
Once I’d completed Rough Diamond, I had a hankering to find out just why Pearl and Garrett were so ornery at each other. I had vague thoughts of perhaps writing their tale next year. But then my editor asked me if Pearl and Garrett would ever have their own story and could I pretty please make it a Christmas tale? The rest is history!
~ Extras ~
Mrs Reynolds’ World Famous Variety and Burlesque Spectacular! (advertisement)