The stranger on the stool again drew Asha’s gaze, compelled her to look at him. Dared her to look at him. She tried to mask her glance, nonchalant, as though bored and seeking diversion, letting it sweep the whole room until it finally reached him. She failed. Their eyes locked and Asha nearly flinched as she felt the focus of his mind. A throb of radiant sexuality sent a shiver of physical awareness through her body, slamming into her womb with a force she’d never experienced.
This man unnerved her. Rarely did men do that to her. Actually, no man had. With her intense cat-like eyes, she could look down her nose and set even the strongest ones to feeling like slugs. That ability second nature to her, she turned on the frost and glared as if he were something she’d stepped in.
As a rule, that sent them running. Not this one. As though he not only knew the rules to the game, but also had a cheat sheet, the stranger leaned back against the counter with a wolfish grin and looked his fill. Not even pretending to do anything else, he just stared at her. It was damn unsettling. She couldn’t even pretend to gaze out the windows at the pastoral scenery of the horse farm across the road; she had asked Rhonda to close the blinds against the harsh afternoon glare.
“Here you go.” Netta set an iced Royal Crown Cola, a salad and a basket of rolls before her. She stepped so that her body blocked Asha from the stranger’s view. “You know that man at the counter?”
Thankful Netta had given her the perfect excuse for taking her eyes from the invader, Asha broke a roll and buttered it. “What man?”
Netta gave a mocking laugh and popped her gum a couple times. “Nice try, Sugarplum. Men like that are impossible not to notice.”
“Never saw him before in my life.” Asha sipped the cola. Oh, she would remember this man had they met.
A master gossip, Netta excelled at knowing when to tell all, when to hint. With her smart mouth and flashing baby-blue eyes, she’d charm a person’s life history from them in a wink. The Windmill likely had higher profits this past year and a long line of regulars due to Netta’s down-home charm. What she knew about the stranger would be forthcoming.
The only way to play the game, Asha mused, was to answer a question with a question. “Why would you think I know him?”
“Sexy Lips has a foreign accent. British I think, like yours. Gives a gal shivers.” Netta hugged herself and then chewed her gum. “Also, I get this sense he was waiting for something …maybe you. My granny knew things. She passed that on to me.”
“Steak’s up, Netta,” Sam, their cook, called through the open space, setting a plate up on the warmer.
“Back in two shakes.” Netta went to pick up the inch-thick steak and returned to place it before Asha. “Eat up, Sugarplum.” She glanced sideways at the black-haired visitor and raised her eyebrows. “Looks like you’re gonna need all your strength.”
The real Windmill Motel that is the setting for the book
The Montlake Romance team asked me to let you know that RIDING THE THUNDER will be included in our 100 Kindle Romances for $1.99 Each in the US marketplace, starting 9/15/2015 and running through 10/15/2015.
Please note the other titles in the Sisters of Colford Hall series are also included in this promotion