Excerpt from AMELIA, The Brides of San Francisco, Book 5

ameliaThe driveway to Philip’s house was long and oval…the perfect layout for a horse race. Unfortunately it was paved with gravel which would be hard for the horses to run on. In the middle of the oval was grass and that is where the race would be conducted.

Amelia and Philip mounted their horses.

“I assume I can trust you to have given me a horse as fast as yours.” Amelia patted the neck of the beautiful gray he’d let her ride for the race.

“Of course. These are my fastest horses. I’ve ridden them both at one time or another and they are well matched. The only difference in this race is the rider’s skill.”

Amelia laughed. “In that case, have no doubt that I will win.”

“We’ll see. One time down to the end of the driveway and back. There is plenty of room to turn the horses.”

Wadsworth served as the race official.

“Ready. Set. Go.” He fired a gun in the air with his last word.

The horses took off. Amelia urged her mount forward and leaned over his long, sleek neck, putting her weight on the stirrups not the saddle.

She and Philip were evenly matched and staying close to each other as the horses ran.

He, too, rode his stallion the way she did. As they rounded the curve, Philip’s big, black stallion began to pull away from Amelia’s gray.

“Come on, baby,” she urged the horse. “You can do it, come on. Don’t let that mean horse beat you. You’re better than he is.”

She kept up the encouragement and the gray gave a last effort. It was enough. She pulled ahead of Philip on the last leg of the race and crossed the finish line before he did, by a nose.

Laughing, she slid from the horse.

Philip marched over to her, grabbed her by the upper arms, and kissed her. Not a gentle kiss, but one born of the energy filling them both from the race.

Amelia stood there, trapped, when all she wanted to do was throw her arms around his neck and feel his hard body against her.

Finally, he broke off and lowered his arms.

“I probably shouldn’t have done that.”

Philip smiled.

He didn’t look the least bit sorry.

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