My very first bad boy hero--Captain Brett Logan--was a labor of love. One part Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, a splash of Captain Malcom Reynolds from Firefly and healthy dose of Marshal Raylan Givens from Justified. Part pirate, part cowboy, all alpha male.
In the first book, LANDLOCKED, Brett learns that he does indeed have a tender side, one he can share with Kathryn, his own personal heroine. This was the beginning of the PIRATES AT HEART series which I love writing because it explores an alternate reality in which the United States is no more, the western states have seceded into their own separate republics. Privateers such as Captain Logan supply weapons and munitions for the Resistance who are desperately trying to restore the United States. Kathryn and Brett cross paths after he’s been gravely injured in an enemy raid.
An Excerpt From: LANDLOCKED
Copyright © CINDY JACKS, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
No matter how many times she corrected herself, her gaze returned to his taut torso. In the light of day, the tattoos stood out against his tanned skin. Something about the tats intrigued her, made him seem more dangerous. Exciting. She’d never been with a man like that. Then she noticed another woman’s name scrawled across his chest.
He’s already spoken for, she reminded herself.
Wetting his hair, she brushed the fine strands away from his face. She lathered her hands again and set about scrubbing his scalp. Locks of hair slipped through her fingers like silk and more than once she smoothed them across her hand just because she liked the feel.
“Mm, that’s nice.” He looked up at her.
Her throat tight, she didn’t know how to reply. Ignoring the hammering of her heart, which echoed between her legs, she finished rinsing his hair with a few dipperfuls of water.
“Okay, you’re done.” She wiped her hands on her apron again.
“Thank you.” He sat up and blotted at rivulets of water that streamed down his sculpted neck.
“No big deal.”
He gave an impish grin. “It’s been awhile since a woman has touched me like that.”
Her cheeks grew hot and she tamped down the impulse to rake her fingers through his wet locks. Before she could stop herself, she asked, “Who’s Blanca?”
“On your chest,” she pointed at the tat. “Who is she?”
He looked down at the rose on his chest. “An amazing woman who will never be mine. I’d had a bit too much tequila the night I got that tattoo, thought it might impress her. It didn’t.”
“You still have a relationship with her?”
“Not so much a relationship as an arrangement—her word, not mine.”
“Hmph. Should’ve known.”
Still toweling his hair, he asked, “What’s that mean?”
“Nothing.” Her cheeks burned hotter, anger replacing chagrin.
“It meant something.” He crossed his arms over his chest, arching an eyebrow.
“You’re just that kind of man. A girl in every port, a flagrant disregard for social standards. It’s that devil-may-care attitude that lets you stretch the limits of decency.”
“Oh yeah? How so?” His posture stiffened, he towered over her, leaning forward, his scent flooding her nostrils.
“Well, you know.” She dropped his gaze and busied herself cleaning up. “Roy says you run heroin for the Mexican cartels.”
“Heroin?” Furrowing his brow, he shook his head. “No. Hell no. I’ve never smuggled hard drugs like that.”
“‘Hard drugs’? Am I correct in assuming you’ve run what you’d consider ‘soft drugs’?”
Again he advanced on her, too close for comfort. “Sometimes during the course of a business deal, I have to be flexible. I do favors for powerful men and they procure the medical supplies and munitions I need. But it’s only marijuana or generic Viagra, maybe counterfeit painkillers. Nothing that would ever hurt anyone.”
“It could hurt me and my son, having a drug smuggler in the house.”
He narrowed his eyes. “But when I was just a gun-running pirate, that was okay?”
Kathryn slammed her hand on the counter. “As soon as you’re stable to travel, I want you out of my house.”
“What’s with you? First you don’t like me because I’m a Texan and Texans didn’t do enough to keep the Union together. Now you don’t like me because I’m willing to go too far for a cause I believe in. You’re an awfully hard woman to please.”
“Why on earth are you trying to please me in the first place?”
His gaze locked with hers and he sighed, but gave her no answer.
Of all the stubborn, skirt-chasing, infuriating men. Kathryn ground her teeth. He talked about casual sex and smuggling dope as if these activities were as normal as eating breakfast. A man who tattooed himself with a woman’s name on a drunken whim? Had he no respect, no boundaries?
Throwing her hands in the air, she headed for her bedroom, but Logan stepped in front of her. At first she thought it an act of aggression, but instead of malice or annoyance on his face, she saw something else flame in his eyes. One large, work-calloused hand glanced over her cheek and he brushed away a stray lock of hair.
“What do you think—?” she began to object. He put a finger to her lips and caught her around the waist. More barbed indignation sprang to mind but her mouth refused to cooperate. In fact her whole body had turned mutinous at the feel of his warm skin. Visions of her dream flashed through her mind.
His lips pressed to hers. Not a peck or a whisper of a kiss, but a full measure of passion. His tongue sought out hers, hot breath against her cheek, strong arms bound her torso to his. She gripped his shoulders, struggling to resist the fire raging between her thighs.
How long their embrace lasted, she couldn’t say, but when they parted she had to fight the urge to draw him in again.
Her eyelids heavy, she opened them halfway to see his look of amused satisfaction.
“Sorry, I interrupted you,” he murmured. “You were saying?”
Damned if she could remember. She touched her fingertips to her chin, her lips still tingling. Without another thought, she grabbed his neck and pulled him into a deep kiss. The scent of his skin freshly shaven with her lavender soap filled her nostrils. Mixed with his body chemistry, the fragrance took on a woodsy musk. She inhaled again, unable to get enough.
Backing her against the table, he sent a few books and a pan of silverware clattering to the floor, not that either of them noticed. Her ears rang with the blood pounding through them, the same throb manifesting between her thighs. He moved his hands down to her backside, hitched up her skirt and scooped her up. Wrapping her legs around his hips, she clung to his neck, mouth hungry, their tongues intertwined.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Jacks/e/B003XRMLLS/