Book 1 in the Winston Brothers
Tangled Sheets is featured in the anthology The Winston Brothers and is not available on its own.
Reviews of Tangled Sheets
is Book 1 in the Winston Brothers
The full series reading order is as follows:
- Book 1: Tangled Sheets
- Book 2: Tangled Dreams
- Book 3: Tangled Images
- Book 4: Wild
- Deuces Wild
- Hart and Soul
Read An Excerpt
She refused to spend her twenty-sixth Valentine’s Day as a virgin.
Despite her circumspect upbringing, despite the well-meaning stricture of the maiden aunt who’d raised her, she was ready to become a woman, in every sense of the word. And Cole Winston – bless his gorgeous, sexy soul – was offering her the opportunity she needed to see her plans through.
Sophie Sheridan scanned the flyer again as she hesitated just inside the door of Cole’s bar, previously called The Stud by some macho former owner, but changed to merely the Winston Tavern after Cole bought it. Heaven knew, the bar’s reputation was notorious enough without a suggestive label. Though, to Sophie’s mind, The Stud was pretty apropos, given what the Winston men looked like, Cole Winston especially.
All the neighboring shops had received a flyer inviting women to take part in a new Valentine’s Day contest. Not that the Winston men needed an incentive to draw in the female crowd. Women loved to come here, to see one of the four brothers serving, tending bar, simply moving or smiling. They were a gorgeous, flirtatious lot, but Sophie had her eye on one particular brother.
The door opened behind her as more patrons hustled in, allowing icy wind and a flurry of snowflakes to surround her. For just a moment, intrusive laughter overwhelmed the sound of soft music and the muted hum of quiet conversation. Distracted, Sophie stepped farther inside the bar, then headed for her regular seat at the back corner booth, away from the heaviest human congestion. Since she’d met Cole some seven months ago after buying her boutique, he’d gone out of his way to accommodate her, to make certain her seat was available for her routine visit each night. He did his best to cater to all his customers’ preferences, which in part accounted for his incredible success at the bar. Cole knew everyone, spoke easily with them about their families and their problems and their lives.
But he was so drop-dead sexy, Sophie spent most of her time in his company trying to get her tongue unglued from the roof of her mouth. It was humiliating. She’d never been so shy before; of course, she’d never received so much attention from such an incredible man before, either. Cole made her think of things she’d never pondered in her life, like the way a man smelled when he got overheated, so musky and sexy and hot, and how his beard shadow might feel on the more sensitive places of her body.
She shuddered, drawing in a deep breath.
While Cole believed she was timid and withdrawn, and treated her appropriately, Sophie had concocted some sizzling, toe-curling fantasies about him. Now, thanks to his contest, she just might be able to fulfill them.
Heat slithered through her, chasing away the lingering cold of winter, coloring her cheeks. Unfortunately, Cole chose that moment to set her requisite cup of hot chocolate in front of her. He’d put extra whipped cream on the top, and the smell was deliciously sinful. Almost as delicious as Cole himself.
His low voice sank into her bones, and she slowly raised her gaze to his. Warm whiskey described the color of his eyes, fringed by thick, black lashes and heavy brows. She swallowed. “Hi.”
Slow and easy, his grin spread as he looked down to see the flyer clutched in her hand. “Good.” There was a wealth of male satisfaction in his rough tone, and his gaze lifted, locking onto hers, refusing to let her look away. “You going to enter?” he asked in a whisper.
Here was the tricky part, the only way she could think to gain her ends. Their relationship, already set by her tongue-tied nervousness, was hard to overcome. She couldn’t merely go from reserved to aggressive overnight, not without confusing him and risking a great deal of embarrassment.
Her aunt Maude had drummed the importance of pride and self-respect into her from an early age. If she gambled now, and lost, she’d also lose the comfort of coming to his bar every night, the excitement of small conversations, and the heat of her fantasies. If he rejected her, she wouldn’t simply be able to pick up and carry on as usual. Something very precious to her – their relationship – would have been destroyed. Everyone she loved, everyone she felt close to, was gone. She didn’t want to risk the quiet, settling camaraderie she shared with him in the atmosphere of his bar. But if she won, if she was able to interest him for even a short time, it wouldn’t last. Cole was renowned as a diehard bachelor; he simply didn’t get overly involved with anyone. At thirty-six, you had to take his dedication to living alone seriously. The man obviously liked being a bachelor, had worked hard at staying that way.
His rejection could put a distance between them she wasn’t willing to chance. So she had to use deception.
End of Excerpt
is available in the following editions:
Out of Print Editions
December 28, 2001
February 1, 1999