Watching the woman he loves take paying customers upstairs is the hardest thing Charlie Walker has ever had to do.
Emelie Svennson’s dream is to sing on stage. When a musical troupe passes through her home in Wisconsin, she believes her dream will be fulfilled when the leader invites her to be the star of his show. By the time she realizes he is nothing more than an abusive bully and her dream is now her nightmare, she finds herself stranded in San Francisco with no money and on the run from the law. As she tries to make her way home to her family, she stops in Culpepper Cove and is drawn to the amazing melodies coming from the Red Petticoat Saloon. The handsome piano player is almost as remarkable as his music.
Charlie Walker adores all of the gems he works with, but from the minute he meets Emelie, he knows there is something special about her. As much as he wants her to stay in Culpepper Cove, the thought of her putting on red petticoats and entertaining men upstairs as Silver cuts him to the core.
As their pasts clash, Charlie will have to work hard to convince his new gem that he will not only love and honor her, but that he won’t hesitate to drag her across his knee for a bare-bottomed spanking that promises to warm more than just her backside. Can he convince the woman with the voice of an angel that dreams can come true?
After thirty minutes of non-stop music, Charlie stood for a short break. A smattering of applause greeted him as he headed to the kitchen for a glass of lemonade. The sight that greeted him when he arrived stopped him in his tracks at the door.
"I'm sorry, Miss Jewel, but I just can't do it. I thought I could, but I can't. Please..."
"Take a deep breath. We'll figure something out," Jewel comforted. Emelie stood in the middle of the room in the skimpy corset with a too-short skirt of pink petticoats that highlighted her petite bare legs peeking out. Her normally pale complexion was brighter than the pink petticoats that helped draw attention to her pencil thin waist. The fact that the only thing close to ample on her body were her curvy breasts spilling out of the top of her outfit had his already hard cock throbbing with pain in his breeches.
Yep, this was going to be a long night indeed.
He knew the second she spotted him in the doorway because her arms flew up to shield herself, as if she could. The sight of her was forever burned into his brain and he knew the vision would be the fodder for every single-handed wank he ever gave himself in the future.
"Tell her, Charlie." The room of women had turned, waiting expectantly for him to answer a question he hadn't heard.
"Excuse me? Can you repeat the question?" he asked sheepishly.
Jewel smiled indulgently. "I was just telling Garnet how beautiful she looked in her uniform."
"Who the hell is Garnet?" he blurted.
Nettie was closest to him and proceeded to reach up and whack the back of his head. "Are you daft, boy? Emelie of course."
His feet moved of their own accord, drawing him closer as Emelie's eyes grew larger with each step he took towards her. By the time he stood next to her, he could swear she'd collapse in a faint if he said "boo." She was trembling and her fear angered him.
"Begging your pardon, Miss Jewel, but this here gem is no garnet. She's a shiny piece of silver if I ever saw one."
Jewel stepped closer. "Yes, well I hardly think it's her name she's protesting. Seems she's having a bit of trouble with the outfit."
He tried to reassure her. "The first night will be the worst. It'll take some time getting used to the new uniform." He tried to make her smile with a wink. "And truthfully, I'm a bit jealous. You wait and see how sweltering hot it'll get in that crowded room by the end of the night in this summer heat. You'll be grateful for the lack of heavy clothes, you wait and see."
"Well, maybe we should switch outfits then and you can see how you like it." Emelie moved her hands to her hips, looking like she was ready for a fight.
So little Miss Emelie had some spunk after all.
"I'd be happy to, but I'm not sure the customers would take kindly to me wearing a dress and I'm certain they'll not like you hiding this beautiful body of yours."
She was embarrassed by his compliment and, in that moment, he knew she was an innocent. God help him, but it only made him want her that much more.
He watched her reaction as he made a suggestion to Jewel. "She says she's a singer. Why not have her skip serving customers for tonight and sing with me instead? It'll give her some time to get used to the goings on and break in this here dress. I'll be able to keep a close eye on her so she doesn't run into any rowdy customers who don't want to take no for an answer."
It sounded like a perfectly fine solution to their problem to him. Nettie thought otherwise, muttering under her breath as she walked back over to the stove to stir what smelled like chicken and dumplings. "We need servers, not singers and if he has his way, it'll be a lot more than singing going on between them two before the night is over."
The grin on Jewel's face confirmed she agreed with her friend. Charlie didn't much care what they thought. He was too busy being elated at the relief he detected in Emelie.
"You'd do that for me? Let me sing with you?"
He held out his arm as an invitation. "I'm counting on you at least being able to carry a tune. With your looks, you won't have to be stupendous. You just can't stink."
She smiled shyly. "I don't stink."
He leaned closer to inhale deeply near her long blonde locks. "No, you most certainly do not." He fought the urge to reach out and smooth down an errant curl. "Let's go pick out some songs you know."
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Livia Grant lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons... one a teenager, the other a furry rescue dog named Max. She is blessed to have traveled extensively and as much as she loves to visit places around the globe, the Midwest and its changing seasons will always be home. Livia started writing when she felt like she finally had the life experience to write a riveting story that she hopes her readers won't be able to put down. Livia's fans appreciate her deep character driven plots, often rooted in an ensemble cast where the friendships are as important as the romance... well, almost.
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