A LONESOME COWBOY... Reporter Audrey Tyson had come
looking for Mark “Lone Cowboy” Malone - the
squarejawed, melt-your-heart hero that had haunted
her dreams for a decade. Only, the heartthrob with
the sexy smile that had once made her go weak in the
knees was gone. In his place was a broken-down bull
rider with a wary heart that hid dark secrets...
Audrey had secrets, too... and feelings so raw and
tender she wouldn’t share them with anyone, even
Mark, the man who now ignited her long-suppressed
passion into a sensual inferno.
Was their explosive lovemaking
enough to make a former plain Jane believe in
herself, or a worldweary cowboy realize he might be
Click here to order
your copy from
"I started reading this book at night,
expecting to read a chapter or two before bedtime. Well, bedtime
came awfully late that night because I couldn't put the book
down until I had read every last page! Mark Malone is a classic
tortured, flawed hero. He's a secretive man and although he
survived a painful childhood, he emerged into adulthood with
plenty of baggage. In many ways Audrey is lacking in self-esteem
but she can be just the woman to give Mark the swift kick he
needs. I loved the depth of both Mark and Audrey, and the
support of the secondary characters. HIGH STAKES PASSION is
thoroughly engrossing. I highly recommend this book." -
Alane Coppinger, Reviewer,
"Aubrey came for a story - to find out why
The Lone Cowboy has disappeared off the rodeo circuit. She's
determined to put her school-girl crush and hero-worshipping
ways behind her and prove she has what it takes to be a
journalist. All those thoughts go right out the window, however,
when Mark looks into her eyes and puts his arms around her
waist. High-Stakes Passion (4 1/2) by Juliet Burns has
everything a romance needs rolled into one neat package.
Passion, suspense, drama and plenty of good old-fashioned
chemistry with a cowboy doesn't hurt either." - 4 1/2 Stars!
"High-Stakes Passion is Juliet Burns’
debut novel and what a winner it is! Her hero and heroine are
not your typical Desire characters. Both have body-image issues:
Audrey and her weight and Mark and his injured leg. And Mark’s
probably the meanest hero I’ve ever seen. Ms. Burns, however,
does a remarkable job of redeeming him and endeared him to this
reader. This made the happy ending even sweeter for having
brought the hero so far to attain it. While I was able to
predict the black moment, I never saw the resolution coming and
was completely taken aback at the excellent use of circular
storytelling that played back into the scene that set up the
action in the first place.
My hat’s off to Juliet Burns for breaking the mold and taking a
chance. She pushed the envelope on her first book and pulled it
off brilliantly. I look forward to more from this talented
author." - Marilyn Puett,
Writers Unlimited Reviewer.
"Author Juliet Burns combines steamy
lovemaking and strong emotional conflict in her compelling debut
novel. Audrey's undercover reporter and Mark's drinking provide
a new twist to the much-loved rancher/housekeeper plot hook.
With his deep issues of betrayal, Audrey's secret profession
leads inevitably toward a powerful black moment. I look forward
to seeing more books by this talented writer." - Rob Preece
Books For A Buck.
"Juliet Burns does a fantastic job of
developing both Mark and Audrey. Both of these characters have
some hang ups and Juliet clearly illustrates these to the
benefit of the story... I enjoyed watching them grow and change
as they realize their problems are not insurmountable. What a
great story to sit and read and enjoy." - 4 Stars! Debby at
Audrey caught a movement from the corner of
her eye and jumped back. Her heart banged against her chest when
she glanced up and found Mark standing in the doorway, glaring.
“What the hell are you doing with that?”
With a shaky breath, she dropped the picture back on the armoire
and casually moved past him to the bed, smoothing the comforter
over the clean sheets.
Flexing chest muscles and a flat stomach revealed by low riding
jeans distracted Audrey from his question. Hadn’t his shirt been
buttoned before? It was hard to concentrate with his brown chest
hair arrowing down to well-defined abs.
He raised one brow in disbelief as he lifted a bottle of beer to
his lips. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he took a long swallow.
Following the movement of her hands, his piercing gaze journeyed
slowly to her chest, lingered a moment, and continued to scorch
over her hips and thighs.
Her façade of poise withered under his scrutiny. His intense
gaze made her feel like someone else, someone alluring and sexy.
It seemed awfully hot in here. Maybe she should have turned down
the air conditioner. Changing sheets was hard work.
But that didn’t explain the sharp ache between her thighs.
Mark’s gaze shifted to the bed, then back at her. “Gonna help me
get it all rumpled again?”
Audrey blinked. The romantic haze cleared from her eyes. She
crossed her arms and looked pointedly out the bedroom door. “I
thought you wanted to watch TV.”
He smacked his lips together and wiped his mouth on his
shirtsleeve. “Changed my mind.”
She rolled her eyes and grimaced, biting her tongue to keep her
criticism to herself.
“What? Go ahead and say it, Miss High-and-Mighty. I can see
you’re dying to give another lecture. You got your own personal
crippled cowboy crusade? I suppose you never drink?”
“Not at ten o’clock in the morning!”
His brows drew together and his scowl blackened. He advanced on
her, taking another swig from his bottle, and wiped his mouth on
his sleeve again. He closed in until she was nose to chest with
him, caught between him and the bed. He was so close she could
smell the beer on his breath.
Refusing to be chased away, she stood her ground.
He towered over her with a narrow eyed glare. “You know, you
should’ve been a missionary or something. I can see you now.
Marching for prohibition with all the other Miss Priss,
Goody-Two-Shoes, dried up, old spinsters!”
Audrey’s stomach heaved, like someone had socked her. His words
echoed in her mind--dried up, old spinster. It was true. That’s
exactly what she was. Refusing to cry, she forgot about holding
her temper. “Well, at least I don’t sit around wallowing in
self-pity all day!”
He leaned into her and nuzzled her neck. “You know. I kind of
like you all riled up. Your eyes spit fire and your...” He
stared blatantly at her chest. “I want you, darlin’.”
Oh, God. Her nipples peaked of their own accord, as if straining
to rub against his chest. Tiny goose bumps rose as his lips
nibbled the sensitive skin of her neck. Even with the smell of
beer on his breath, she wanted his arms around her and his lips
No. This drunk was not the man she’d once thought he was. She
pushed against his chest. “Move, and I’ll leave so you can drink
yourself into a stupor in peace.”
He set the bottle on the bedside table and abruptly fell
forward, pushing her down with him. Arms straight, he held
himself above her, his hands spread flat on the bed. Audrey lay
perfectly still, trapped between his strong, flannel-clad arms.
His lips parted and hovered just above hers.
“Peace is a pipe dream, Baby. I’ll take passion any day.”
Eyes wide, she reined in the urge to grab a hunk of his hair and
pull his mouth down to hers. Despite the long hair and beard,
she kept seeing the handsome, smiling hero from that long ago
night at the rodeo.
“Beautiful green eyes,” he mumbled. “Give me a kiss, baby.”
Feverishly, his lips covered hers, moving over her mouth,
begging for a response.
No need to beg. Audrey ran her fingers through his hair and
kissed him back with all that was in her.
He slowly lowered his body, settling onto her chest with a low
groan. His tongue slid in, stroking her lips and tongue.
She shivered and couldn’t hide a little moan of pleasure as his
lips traveled down her cheek to nuzzle her neck. The evidence of
his desire pushed against her thigh, long and hard. He pushed it
against her again and she realized his hand was sliding under
She must be insane! A minute ago, he’d called her an old
spinster. He only wanted her because he was drunk. She recovered
her wits and pushed on his shoulders. “No!”
He rolled away and sat up. “What’s the matter?”
Audrey bolted off the bed and flew to the other side of the
room, breathing hard. She didn’t know which feeling was
stronger—humiliation or regret. “You don’t even know me and you
were trying to, to...”
Grabbing his beer, he took another swig and ran a hand through
his hair. “Hell, what’s knowin’ someone got to do with it? The
women who wanted The Lone Cowboy didn’t know me.” He thumped his
chest and snarled at his famous moniker as if he were speaking
of someone else.
Crossing her arms, she dropped her jaw in disbelief. “That
doesn’t mean— Oh!” Did he think because she was a fat spinster
she wouldn’t say no?
Mark frowned and crossed his arms over his chest. “I get it. The
cripple ain’t good enough.”
Is that what he thought? As if that would make a difference if
she really— never mind. “Your injury has nothing to do with— ”
“Save it, lady. I know how women are.”
Audrey fumed, wishing she could scream. Why bother arguing with
him? “Think what you want. Do what you want. You leave me alone.
I’ll leave you alone, okay?” She spun on her heel and left the
Mark cursed and pitched his empty bottle on the floor.
Yeah, Mark thought. Alone. He was damn tired of being alone.
Excerpted from the book HIGH-STAKES PASSION, by Juliet Burns.
Released March, 2005 from
Desire. ISBN: 0-373-766440, © 2005. (Silhouette Desire
#1644) Visit the Desire Authors Website -