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Wilder's Bandit

Historical Erotic Romance

Now available!

Robbing a bank wasn’t what reformed pickpocket Rachel Conroy had in mind. Yet when the lyin’ banker entangles her in one helluva financial fix, she finds herself in the bank of Diamond Bluff, Missouri, disguised as a lad and holding a gun on an unfamiliar teller. But the handsome man is so distracting she can’t keep her sex-addled brain on the task at hand—until he threatens to turn her over to the authorities to be hanged if she doesn’t return the money.


When village newcomer and winery owner Dierck Wilder mans his uncle’s small-town bank for a few fateful moments, he’s suddenly staring down the barrel of a revolver. His life veers off on a tumultuous path after he pursues the robber and uncovers a sexy diamond in the rough. Now to unearth the truth and tame Wilder’s bandit…

 A Romantica® erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

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An Excerpt From: WILDER’S BANDIT

Copyright © TITANIA LADLEY, 2012

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Beams of silver moonlight speared down through the overhead limbs, intermittently illuminating the soggy forest floor. Now and then Dierck could see the figure up ahead racing through the night, his black cloak flapping behind him like the wings of a raven. Fortunately, the soft carpet gave his steed the advantage of muted hooves, while the crook had the hindrance of the sporadic lighting.

He cursed when he lost sight of his prey for a moment, only to round a bend and spot the bandit dismounting near a darkened cavern in the side of a bluff. Dierck slid from his saddle, secured the reins to a low tree branch and crept across the distance. His pulse pounded in his ears, his mouth now dry with the chase. As he approached the cave’s entrance, a musty scent engulfed him. Far off in the forest behind him an owl hooted and the wind swished through the overhead branches. He caught the suspicious sound of a raspy murmur. The muted glow of a lantern followed, igniting deep within the hollow. Dierck slid along the cold inner wall until he reached a jagged protrusion, perfectly positioned between the lad and the cavern’s egress.

Shh, Gussy, it’ll be fine now.” The figure stroked the skittish horse’s nose. Dierck’s gaze became riveted by the pale, long fingers as he listened to the voice. It sounded higher, softer…perhaps a younger lad than he had first thought? “We’ll be home soon, and this nightmare, it’ll be nothin’ but a bad memory.”

The crook drew a gunnysack out of a crevice in the cave’s wall. Dierck tracked one hand as the lad set the sack down, dragged off the hat and jerked down the black mask. Dierck went still at that last revealing movement. His eyes widened. He struggled to suppress a gasp and his heart all but ceased rhythm within his chest…

He had been duped. The crook was a goddamn woman.

His gaze traced the dark head, moving down over the pert nose and silhouette of full lips. Against the stone wall, her chin shone small and delicate, tapering to a slim neck that disappeared into the cape. As if to appease his curiosity, she unfastened the cloak and shrugged her delicate shoulders until the wrap dropped to the dirt floor. A deep-chestnut braid trailed down the dingy shirt to her waist, but neither the garment nor the thick-bound plait could aptly conceal the curves and slimness of her backside.

Dierck’s hands curled unconsciously into fists. The arrow of the braid welcomed the eye’s journey, coaxing it to move lower and inspect the gently swelling rump inside baggy trousers. She had tied them at the waist and had stuffed the too-long ankles into boots she now toed off. He licked his lips, stunned and a trifle perturbed at himself that he had not seen through the disguise. But that sentiment promptly vanished. His groin quickened when she unfastened the breeches and bent to slide them over her round derriere and down the length of toned legs.

He sucked in a breath. Christus Mächtig. She wore no undergarments, and the knowledge of that made his mouth water and his blood simmer. Her pale buttocks were nicely curved and firm with the shadow of a tempting crevice. He imagined what it might feel like to nestle his cock within its warmth, to hold her supple form against him and explore the gentle arc of her lush hips with his hands. He stifled a moan as she stepped out of the garment. His blood went hotter still, rushing through his veins and pooling in his cock when she glanced over her shoulder with her bottom lip clamped between her teeth. It was then that he recognized her. He had only recently arrived in Diamond Bluff, but he’d had occasion to espy her in the village as she watched him from afar under long-lidded eyes, gnawing nervously on her lip as she did now.

Urgency lit her beautiful face like coals sparking to life within a hearth. She wrenched the shirt over her head and tossed it in the pile with the discarded garments and boots. A white gauzy fabric encircled her upper torso. She turned and faced him, her front side now ensconced in shadows, the lantern an enticing glow behind her as it haloed her curvaceous form. She tugged on a section of the wrap and unbound the cloth. Her naked bosom sprang free, shadowed here, caressed by golden lantern light there as she twisted and turned, unleashing the twin treasures.

Unable to remove his gaze from her, he gripped the uneven wall. Heat pulsed through his body and detonated in his loins like dynamite. It blazed there, tenting his trousers with the most painful, aching erection he had ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Her mounds were sloped like the nearby Missouri hills his newly inherited vineyard graced, and their fullness shown as ripe as a sweet grape in September. She angled away from him, presenting him with a half-profile, half-front view.

He saw that the nipples perched dark-pink and taut, the fleshy underside of her breasts two heavy crescents of creamy-white, silken weight. How heavy would they be in his cupped hands? Would they be firm or pliable, the nipples satin discs or tight buttons dragging over his wet tongue? Enough, you fool. But he just could not look away. Beneath their ampleness tapered a trim rib cage, narrow waist and well-developed hips, which should never have been mistaken for a young man’s. His gaze skimmed lower as if to reaffirm that thought. Yes, no lad here. The flat, feminine abdomen merged into her woman’s jewel graced by a small patch of dark curls.

Oh yes, she was all woman, and mother of God what a stunning creature at that.

Ah, but she’s also the bandit who robbed you and threatened to put a bullet through your head. His conscience screamed the admonition, making him contend with a wave of disappointment that had him groaning out loud.

She gasped at the unexpected sound.

Dierck flattened his spine against the cave wall, pulling in a breath and holding it in as if he were the hunted and she the hunter.

“Who’s there?” she asked in a sweet, husky drawl of panic.

He gradually released the air in his lungs. After one long moment, Dierck peeked out from behind the jagged protrusion.

WILDER'S BANDIT now available!

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4 Stars!

"Wilder's Bandit is a wonderful short story with plenty of steamy scenes, enduring characters, and just enough excitement to keep me reading. Ladley was able to write an impressive love story in less than one hundred pages. Rachel and Dierck are truly meant for each other... a great and unexpected twist." ~ LeeErin for Night Owl Reviews


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