Title: Clay’s Quest
Genre: Sensual Contemporary Romance novella
Author: Christi Williams
Release date: January 15, 2014
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press/Torrid Books
She’ll do anything to get her way.
Tall, elegant and beautiful, Emma Thorpe has wanted a baby for years. The yearning for a child occupies all her thought, her time, her effort, and any money she and her husband can scrape up for medical intervention. After trying and failing to conceive, the solution that finally comes to her is to leave her husband and hope to find a man—any man—capable of fulfilling her deepest desire.
Big, handsome Clay Thorpe isn’t the kind of man to let his wife just wander away. It takes a few months of Emma’s absence from his bed to devise a plan, but he’s determined. Eventually, Clay lures Emma home with a convoluted strategy only he could concoct, involving an antique diamond ring, sex three times a day, and...a turkey baster?
Caution: This is a work of fiction. Please don’t attempt duplicating Clay’s methods!
He looked up. His hazel eyes glinted, crinkling at the corners as if he were holding back a smile from the lower part of his face but that he couldn’t entirely conceal from her.
She held her immediate reaction at bay. He wanted a gift for a woman, a special woman, and he made a beeline to her shop to buy it? The news that he was seeing someone else hit her hard, although it shouldn’t have. He was a man. A damned attractive man, if it came right down to it. Tall, well-proportioned and well-built, he was as physically compelling as he’d been when she first laid eyes on him in her late teens. If he let himself smile, he would display even white teeth along with the familiar endearing dimple in his right cheek. If he unclasped his webbed belt and let his pants drop to the floor with a clunk of holstered gun and pouches full of cop gear, she well knew he could show her another impressive part of himself, a part she had enjoyed the use of on many a memorable occasion.
She wanted to curl her hands into claws. She wanted to sweep the snarl of pendants from the counter. She wanted to cry out, to protest his involvement with anyone new, to grab him and reclaim him for herself. She could remind him they were still married. Neither had seen fit as yet to begin divorce proceedings, although she couldn’t have said why that was the case. But she didn’t cry or protest or grab at him. She couldn’t. Shocked at her own initial reaction, her hands still remained resting to either side of the pile of chains, and she forced them by sheer will power to hold their relaxed position.
“What is your price range?” she asked instead in as reasonable a tone as she could manage.
“Oh, money’s no object,” he replied with an airy wave of the hand holding his ball cap, as if she was unaware cops didn’t make near the kind of salary the local miners and oil and gas workers made and spent so freely.
He shook his head.
“Pictures or objets d’art?”
He grinned, but to his credit didn’t sneer at her use of such posh foreign terms. Again he shook his head.
“You weren’t thinking...jewelry?” God, she’d hesitated, almost choking on the word. She didn’t want to give away what she was thinking. She didn’t want him buying jewelry for another woman. Especially not in her store. She tried to hide that sentiment, but Clay hadn’t made it to patrol sergeant by being fooled by emotional women, especially one he knew so well. When he just gave a cool nod of his head, she asked, “A necklace, perhaps? It will take me a while to get the snarls out of these chains, but you can see what the pendants look like. There are all kinds of stones, emeralds, sapphires. There is even a rare black opal, very pretty. Or a bracelet? Or a squash blossom necklace? I have some lovely authentic Navajo pieces in silver and turquoise and coral on consignment.”
He was peering into the glass case under the pendants, not listening to a word she was babbling. He was looking at rings. Emma’s heart sputtered. Surely he wouldn’t ask to see rings.
“I’d like to see some of those rings,” he said, pointing to the top glass shelf of the old display case. He leaned over oak trim darkened through age and the touch of many hands over the years, his own hand resting where the palms of generations of people who stood before this cabinet to peruse and buy had rested.
So, Emma thought. Clay was changing tactics. No more asking her to come back. He obviously didn’t need her anymore. He’d come in today to announce by this oblique method that he had found someone new. Specifically, she suspected he had probably come in to her shop with every intention of punishing her. Show her what she had thrown away. Rub her nose in it. Make her eat dirt for ever leaving him in the first place.
Well, she supposed she deserved that. No matter how shocked she was at the thought that he had already replaced her. No matter how much it hurt. Why, until this very moment, had she never seriously considered that Clay would look for somebody else when she continued to refuse him? Somebody willing and female.
Christi Williams is the author of two novels and a novella in the Hawk Point Romances series. Take a Chance on Love is the story of the chance encounter of widow Chancie de Leur and hot Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper Micah Taylor. Perilous Promises is Perris and Noah Dalton's story of recovery from breast cancer and the effort to revive their formerly wonderful marriage. The novella Clay's Quest is the tale of a hot Wyoming cop who comes up with a wacky plan to save his marriage when he just won't accept that his beautiful wife wants to find someone else to father her baby. "To the One I Never Forgot" is a short story that launches the Wyoming Series of contemporary Western romances. Gianna and Zack were too young for love when they were separated. Now, all grown up, can Gianna be reunited with the one she never forgot?
Hawk Point Romances Series:
The Wyoming Romances Series: