Claw Marks & Card Games by Maz Maddox
Series: Stallion Ridge #2
Cover Artist: Shaleah Poster
Release Date: October 1, 2018
Length: Novel / 74,000 words
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Genre/s: m/m romance, paranormal, western, action/adventure
Can be read as stand-alone story.
Cooper Woodlock is a man who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Between his gambling debt and being a widowed father, he can never seem to get Lady Luck back on his side.
Desperate for a winning hand, Cooper starts hitting saloons and tempting fate in order to keep the blood thirsty Spades at bay.
When a black clad gunslinger enters the game promising a slice of freedom, Cooper realizes all too late what he is actually playing for.
His cards were a sure thing. He was winning. He was about to double his winnings, and it was making his stomach dance, even as he kept his face schooled. This would ease the tension in his shoulders for a good month after tonight. The Spades would be off his back, and he could figure out his job situation. Hell, he’d even get Marybell some sweets to celebrate. His daughter deserved something nice.
This beautiful stranger not only saved his life, but was also about to make some of his troubles ease for a little while. As their cards were tossed onto the table and Cooper drank in the sight of each hand, a cold pit formed in his gut.
He had lost.
All the winnings of the night were swallowed up by one goddamn game. Cold sank into his bones as the blood drained from his face, his eyes locked on Gunner’s winning spread. The man didn’t make a move to collect everything. Instead he sat back and pulled a rolled cigarette from his vest and put it between his teeth.
“Guess you were right about your luck,” he said casually, striking a match and lighting his cigarette. The flare of the fire close to his face made his green eyes seem to glow as he focused them on Cooper’s devastated face.
“Fuck,” Cooper whispered, putting his head in his hands, fisting some of his hair in heartbreak. He had been so damn close to getting some peace in his life, and he blew it all in one stupid game of chance. Hell, he had almost died for that pot, and now it was all gone.
Smoke curled around Gunner’s face as he exhaled some smoke from his lips. “Win it back.”
Cooper shook his head, pulling his glasses off to rub at his tired eyes. “I ain’t got it in me. Not after all this.” Cooper huffed. “My head’s turned inside out, and my stomach’s in knots.”
“You have a chance to not leave empty-handed.”
Cooper glanced up as Gunner reached into his pocket, taking out a stack of rolled bills and tossing it onto the table. If Cooper’s jaw was able to reach the floor, it would have bounced off his boots. That stack was probably hundreds of dollars. Hundreds. Something that would actually put a real dent in what he owed the Spades and give him and Marybell a slice of life back.
Working some saliva back into his cottonmouth, Cooper finally croaked, “I ain’t got that much to wager.”
“What else do you have to wager?” Gunner asked, pulling from his cigarette, his tone deceptively calm. Cooper narrowed his eyes and pulled his glasses back on, sitting up taller to not look so defeated.
“What are you asking me, exactly?”
Available on Kindle Unlimited!
Meet the Author
Maz is an m/m romance fanatic, dabbles in yaoi, adores dinosaurs and writes romance stories with a healthy heaping of adventure mixed in.
When she’s not pairing up Centaurs with bank robbers, she’s plotting new stories and sending inappropriate texts to her friends.
Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter: @mazmaddox
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