Our heroine is Guinevere Pierce, daughter of one of the slickest con artists in the west. Our hero is Cole Shepherd, the son of a small town sheriff. Their story begins in Abilene, Kansas, 1871 when Cole is just sixteen.
If our hero isn’t working or pursuing his studies, he can be found with his nose buried in an issue of The Police Gazette. His dream is to become a Pinkerton detective.
While watching a medicine show one day, Cole’s keen sense of justice is inflamed when he sees an adolescent boy pick a man’s pocket. And the chase is on.
The pickpocket is scrawny but nimble. He leads Cole on a merry scramble as the pair dart and dodge their way through the dusty streets of the bustling cow town and out to the cattle yards…
By now, the kid had reached the corral fence and was getting away. Cole glared at those dirty boots as they climbed first one slat and the next. He lunged, reaching out just in time to snag the kid’s pant leg. He refused to let go even as the boy kicked. “Give it up, kid! Give it up now, and it’ll go easier on you!”
Cole yanked hard, bringing the boy down. They collapsed into the mud, Cole landing on his back to wrap his arms around his captive’s middle. The contents of the kid’s pockets spilled out: an astonishing collection of coins, bills, watches, and playing cards.
Cole howled a curse when he felt teeth sink into his forearm, but he didn’t let go. He rolled over instead, flipping his adversary onto his back. They’d already lost their hats in the scuffle, and Cole saw russet-red hair fashioned into a crude bowl cut. It looked soft and glossy, and it was just as it occurred to Cole that he’d never seen hair like that on a boy that his palm swiped across the kid’s chest and he stopped dead to discover he wasn’t wrestling with a boy at all. They both froze.
“Sweet mercy,” Cole whispered.
He had never felt a girl’s breast. He had dreamed about it a few times, and, of course, he had contemplated it a lot. There were girls back in Beaver Creek who wouldn’t have minded if Cole came courting, but none were the type a fellow could rightly consider grabbing at. Besides, marriage was the last thing on Cole’s mind. A Pinkerton didn’t have time for a wife. No, Cole had finally been forced to reach the gloomy conclusion that breasts weren’t likely to play a large part in his future.
But now his moment had arrived! And he wasn’t quite sure what to do about it. His hand, however, suffered no such uncertainty. It refused to budge even as his conscience screamed, Get your hand off her bosom, Cole! Give it up now and it’ll go easier on you!
For more fun sneak peeks, hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!