A standalone novel in the Cougar Challenge Series
Lori Donovan accepts the Cougar Challenge and pledges to snag a hot young stud, knowing it’ll be tough once she moves back to her
An Excerpt From: DRILLED
Copyright © REGINA CARLYSLE, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
A bet was a bet!
Whatever had possessed her to jump on the Cougar Challenge bandwagon and pledge to snare a hot, young stud? Knowing she only had the alcohol and a lack of common sense to blame, Loralee Donovan, plain old Lori to her friends, looked around her grandparents’ old house and considered what her life would be like living out here in no man’s land. Not a hot, eligible young stud muffin within a twenty-mile radius, she figured. She’d only been here a few days and already the thought of the work facing her made her forty-one-year-old bones ache like hell. Boxes were stacked everywhere waiting for her to begin unpacking and then she faced the daunting challenge of getting on with her life after the divorce. Just thinking about what Grant had done to her made her want to cuss. Jackass!
Sighing deeply, she trudged into the old-fashioned kitchen and poured herself a cup of coffee before heading into the dining room to boot up her laptop. Time to check in with the other cougars. They’d met a few short months ago at an erotic reader and writers convention and they’d instantly clicked, each vowing over drinks in the bar to stop wallowing in misery and reach out for the hot, younger man of her dreams. Seven of them had already taken the plunge and now it was her turn.
Feeling none too confident, she signed into the cougar blog they shared to exchange news, confidences, and advice.
Hey, ya’ll! How are my fellow cougars and champion margarita drinkers? Wanted to let you know that I finally made it back to
Lori hit the publish button, tempted to bang her forehead on the keyboard. What had she gotten herself into? Well, if nothing else, she was a woman of her word and a deal was a deal. If she was to fulfill her promise, take the challenge, she had to find a younger guy, screw him silly and rediscover that wicked, naughty woman she’d once been. Could she do it? Here? The very notion made her laugh and shake her head. No way.
Before she could turn off the computer an IM box popped up on her screen. Autumn. Perfect timing as always.
Autumn: Hey chick! Did you get moved in?
Lori: Barely. Lordy, this place needs work. I’ve been back a couple of days. Currently staring at a bunch of unpacked boxes. How are you?
Autumn: Great! Couldn’t be happier. Can’t wait for you to meet Mitch. HA. The man rings all my bells and then some. Think you can come for a visit in a few weeks?
Lori: Damn! Lucky you! I’d love to come for a weekend but I just don’t know. There is so much to do here. Grandpa kind of let the place get run down after Grandma died. God, I miss him. Both of them. Anyway, when they left me the place, I was touched but I knew it was a real fixer-upper.
Autumn: Good luck with that. Okay, gotta ask. Are you ready to do it? The challenge?
Lori: Well, about that, hmm, yeah, I reckon so but I have a lot on my plate right now. First there’s the place and then I have to get a handle on all the stuff Grandpa had going on before he died.
Autumn: What stuff?
Lori: Looks like I’m sitting on a whole boatload of crude. Grandpa leased the land to a petroleum company and pump jacks are all over the place. Damn things look like a bunch of skeletons stretching off into the horizon.
Autumn: Wow, lots of money in that black stuff.
Lori: Don’t I know it. Need to check things out with all of this. I stand to earn a percentage of every barrel of oil they bring in so I need to stay on top of things. Oops. Phone. Gotta run. Talk to you later.
Rushing to the phone, she grabbed it up and breathlessly said hello.
“This is Jackson Blue of Blue Petroleum and Drilling. Did I catch you at a bad time?”
Damn but the man had a voice like dark, melted chocolate. Rich, slow and with a bit of an edge. Kind of like good sex. She settled in on the couch and tucked the phone against her face. “No, I’m still up. Um, I’ve been meaning to get out to the site. I’m behind. Sorry.”
His laughter was low and deep. Dear sweet heaven! The sound moved through her center to settle in the pit of her belly. Her pussy quivered just a little. Um. What the hell was wrong with her? Was she so desperate for the touch of a man that even a voice on the phone could turn her on? Pathetic. Yes, she was pathetic. He sounded young but there was no way to know for sure. “Some of the fellas said you’d taken possession of the house and I just wanted to give you awhile to settle in. I have some papers for you to sign to transfer the royalties over. Think you or your husband could meet me sometime tomorrow?”
Lori closed her eyes wishing he’d just keep talking forever. “I’m not married. Divorced.”
There was a pause over the line. “Ah, okay, that’s fine, Ms. Donovan.”
“Sure, Lori. Tomorrow then? Want me to come by the house?”
She thought about the mess, the boxes, and shook her head though she knew he couldn’t see. Jeez! Dumb. “No, let me come out there. I’m dying to get a look at everything.”
Oh yeah! She’d crawl through gravel to get a look at the man behind that sexy come-fuck-me voice.
Jackson Blue laughed again. “Not a hell of a lot to see but, yeah, come on by. We’re drilling about half a mile south of the house. Can’t miss us.”
“I’ll be there with bells on.”
“Better make that boots. This is rattlesnake heaven out here.”
“Damn! I didn’t think about that.” Lori laughed and shivered simultaneously. “Snakes. It’s been a long time since I’ve lived out here. How could I have forgotten?”
There was another short pause. “I didn’t know you used to live here.”
“A long time ago, yes. My grandparents raised me but then I moved to
“Must feel pretty weird to be back,” he said. “Coming from the Metroplex to the boonies is a flat-out culture shock.”
Laughter bubbled up. “You couldn’t be more right about that but honestly? A little solitude right now won’t hurt me a bit.”
She sighed, enjoying the conversation, enjoying him. “Guess I’ll find out. Ah heck, maybe I’ll hit Smoky Joe’s one night and join the land of the living.”
“Hey, that’s not a bad little honky tonk. I’ve been there a time or two since we rolled into town.”
“Best dance floor east of
“So they tell me. Maybe we could head out there for a drink one evening? There’s not a lot in the way of entertainment around here and I get sick of hanging with the guys all the time.” He chuckled. “Could use some civilized company.”
“Who says I’m civilized?”
Lori wanted to bite her damn tongue off. Where in the hell had that flirty comment come from? She didn’t know a damn thing about this guy. He was just a smokin’ hot and dead sexy voice on the other end of the line.
“Yeah, see you then.” When they’d disconnected, she groaned as embarrassed heat climbed over her body. She’d really stepped in it this time.