Sweet Dreams [The Cowboys' Curse 1]
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by Jenny Penn
Category: Erotica/Menage Erotica
Description: [Menage Amour 31: Erotic Western Menage a Trois Romance, M/F/M] Shawn and Trent Baxter have a problem. They need a woman. Not just any woman--their soul mate. They'll do just about anything to get her. Anna May might be just the woman the Baxter twins are looking for, but she isn't about to let two arrogant cowboys just walk into her life and take over, soul mates or not. Passions flare and tempers ignite when these three collide. When the dust settles will Shawn and Trent be able to convince Anna May to take a chance on love or will they lose it all? [Erotic Western Menage Romance: Contains graphic sexual content and adult language.]
eBook Publisher: Siren-BookStrand, Inc./Menage Amour, 2008 2008
eBookwise Release Date: September 2009
64 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [163 KB]
Reading time: 100-140 min.
"4.5 CHERRIES: I really liked this quirky tale of tiny twins; leather clad, motorcycle riding fairies and a Dreamland where nothing is a dream. This story is definitely worth picking up especially if you like ménages as Ms. Penn has a fantastic way with them and had me wanting the twins even if they were only two inches tall. I can't wait to see what the curse is for the rest of the Baxter boys."--Hibiscus, Whipped Cream Reviews
"4.5 BLUE RIBBONS: The Cowboys' Curse series is off to quite a fascinating start with this fast paced quirky storyline. Jenny Penn combines the wicked sexiness of cowboys with the fantasy of fairies, and she puts a unique spin on both that really keep this story hopping. What I especially appreciate about this story is the dynamics of Anna May's relationship with Shawn and Trent. She's a strong woman with definite ideas and no sweet talking or demanding cowboy is going to get her to change her opinions or dreams. I have to admit, I'm now anxious for the next addition to this series and revisiting the Baxter brothers."--Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies
"4 STARS: What a hilarious story! This is a great read for all those women who have longed to see a man pay for past transgressions. This was a very lighthearted story...if you are looking for something to brighten your mood, Sweet Dreams is the perfect book to grab. I look forward to reading the next story as one more brother succumbs to his cursed fate."--Stefani Clayton, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
"4 ANGELS: Sweet Dreams is an erotic fairytale that takes you into the dreamland of two sexy cowboys and a strong-willed heroine. Jenny Penn's erotic fantasy takes you on a journey of sexual discovery and the search for true love. This is the first time I've read one of Ms. Penn's novels, and I quite enjoyed her writing style. I'm interested in seeing what she has planned for the rest of the Baxter brothers. This is an enjoyable read."--Sandie, Fallen Angel Reviews
"Let this reviewer start off by saying, "Ride'um cowboy cause this book is a scorcher!" Not only is this book erotic as heck, it is very well written to boot (no pun intended). Ms. Penn's descriptive writing flows effortless page after page. Everything blended to perfection from the characters' lives to the dialogue between them. Ms. Penn's snappy wit even had this reviewer laughing out loud at times. Sweet Dreams: The Cowboys' Curse 1 is more than just a story of sex and cowboys, it is also touched with humor, true love, and a little magic with the help of Ms. Penn's crafty pen. This reviewer has just found another favorite author in Ms. Penn. Cowboy lovers saddle up and get your copy today of Sweet Dreams: The Cowboys' Curse 1."--Janalee Ruschhaupt, ParaNormalRomance Reviews
"Sweet Dreams is a laugh out loud funny start to a new series by Ms. Penn. What would you do if you were cursed and suddenly needed to find your soul mate but you have a bit of a logistical issue in finding her? Well if you want to learn, then you have to read Sweet Dreams. I enjoy the writings of Ms. Penn and this one is no different."--Tanya, Joyfully Reviewed
Mike Baxter narrowed his eyes on the pickup flying down the dirt drive. The back tires kicked up a dust storm, foreshadowing the thunder about to come. A shame given how long the day had been to end it with an early evening tantrum.
It had been hot and draining. He'd spent the day sweaty and dusty. He'd earned this moment of relaxation. Not that Leslie Dicks would care one bit about ruining his evening. Hell, it'd probably make her happy to know she had that kind of power.
The beat-up, old Ford spun into the front yard, tearing up the grass he and his brothers had spent long hours getting to grow just right. Figured the wench wouldn't have the decency to park in the gravel like everybody else. As if Leslie was like anybody else. She certainly did pissed off better than any hardened cowboy Mike knew.
From the snorts and snickers of his five brothers, they knew the fury about to unfold. In the tradition of younger brothers, they stayed settled on the porch, eager to watch the oldest of the clan get his. Their enjoyment of the moment only added to Mike's irritation.
Tugging his Stetson further down his forehead, he squared his shoulders, tightened his jaw, and stepped off the porch into the direct path of the worst plague a man could ever fear being cursed with. He didn't waste time hoping that Leslie would be rational or clear headed enough to conduct this conversation in privacy.
Before the truck could even come to a complete halt, Leslie threw open the door and bounded out. "Mike Baxter, you are the lowest scum in the entire world!"
"I swear if you were an ant, I'd get a magnifying glass and burn you bit by bit."
"I know just which part to start with!"
"Damnit, woman, it--"
"Course I would probably need a damn telescope to find that part as small as I hear it is!"
"Watch yourself, Leslie. I ain't--"
"I swear I ought to clock you so hard you'd fly back in time and end up in diapers! Then maybe your mama would have a chance to raise you right!"
"Don't you be talking about my--"
"And with that skank Rhonda." Leslie's face scrunched with disgust. "I had to take Melody to the damn clinic just to make sure she didn't catch anything!"
"She didn't, did she?" That pearl came over Mike's shoulder from his middle brother, Max.
"Shut up, Max!"
"I even made them test her for fleas."
"Fleas? For Christ's sakes--"
"I told you what I'd do if you screwed my sister over."
"Oh, for the love of God, you're not a witch, Leslie. Just running around claiming you are bonded with nature doesn't make it true."
"Ah, don't listen to him, little bit." That came from Marc.
"Yeah, curse him good, Leslie," Shawn chimed in.
"Shrink his head," Jason hollered over the growing chuckles.
"Which head would that be?" Trent snickered.
"There's only one that he really uses."
Jason's retort had all the brothers bursting into laughter. That final straw broke Mike's temper. He turned on his brothers with a quickness that spoke of an ability to kick any and all of their asses. He didn't even have to say a word. They quieted down, even if they all still wore smirks and grins.
"All you boys are just pure sick," Leslie shouted back at them. "Not a real man among you."
"I'm a real man, Leslie."
Trent hooked his thumbs through his belt loops and pulled them tight, showing off the erection that deformed the front of his jeans. Trent always got hard when arguing with a woman. Mike rolled his eyes at the idiocy of his youngest brother. Now was definitely not the time.
"Why don't you step on up here, and let me turn that frown upside down?"
"Shut the hell up, Trent!"
Damnit! If his moron of a brother didn't watch it, he'd get shot. Leslie may not possess any supernatural powers, but everybody knew she could hit a moving target nearly a half-mile off with the right rifle. Last year she'd proven her ability to pull the trigger on a man when her bullet had burned a path right over Doug Howard's ass.
"Just having some fun." Trent smirked. "Besides, little Leslie looks like she needs to work off some energy."
"I swear if she doesn't shoot you, I will. Now shut up!" Mike turned his scowl on Leslie. "What the hell are you doing?"
She didn't respond but continued to glare at him in that creepy way she had. It made all his hair stand up on end. He could almost feel the cold whisper of hands touching all over him. An unauthorized shudder moved through his body, trying to throw off the unwanted touch.
Mike had had enough. "Damnit, Leslie ... Where the hell are you going?"
She'd turned and strutted back to the open door of her truck without a word. With the door in hand, she paused only long enough to answer him.
"I put a curse on you." Her eyes darted over her shoulder and the cold twist of her lips held such malice it couldn't be called a smile. "On all of you sluts."
"Oh, please," Trent snorted.
"It starts tonight." Leslie's eyes narrowed on Trent. "On you and that ugly mutt that looks just like you." * * * *
Three Weeks Later--Dallas, TX
Lillie Mae blinked and then blinked again, trying hard not to laugh as she stared into the shoebox Mike Baxter held out to her. Of all the things she could have dreamed up when the large cowboy had said he couldn't explain his problem and she had to see it, this would never have made it onto the list.
"What are you looking at?" The deep baritone of the man boomed out at full volume, despite the miniature body looking up at her from the shoebox.
"What do you think she's looking at, you twit?" The second tiny male snapped back.
Like animated figurines, the two men were carbon copies of each other. Identical even down to their outfits which were nothing more than scraps of white fabric with holes cut out for their heads.
"Screw you," the first man shot back.
Right before her eyes, the little men broke into an argument that quickly escalated from words to fists. From under the hem of the itty-bitty makeshift ponchos, thin, little arms and legs flailed about as the miniature sized men hurled life-sized curses at each other. They fell into a ball of tanned skin and white fabric as the fight shifted and one brother managed to pin the other to the cardboard floor. The advantage didn't last and in a swirling sweep of white cotton the brothers rolled.
"Stop it, you two!" With an annoyed jerk of his wrist, Mike jarred the shoebox and sent both of the teeny men fumbling about.
"Just wait 'til I'm back to full size. I'm going to kick your ass, Mike!"
"Lillie Mae, let me introduce you to my younger brothers, Trent and Shawn. Trent is the one who is threatening bodily harm."
"My God." With a hand barely held steady, she gingerly reached in and picked up one of the little men for a closer look.
"Hey!" The man squirmed between her thumb and finger. "It may be small, but it still has feeling. Watch what you're squeezing, woman!"
"Squeeze it harder!"
"Screw you, Shawn!"
"It's your damn mouth that got us into this predicament in the first place."
"No, it wasn't. Mike's inability to keep his boner on a leash got us here."
"Shut up, Trent!" Mike still had to raise his voice to drown out the bickering of his brothers. They might have been all of two inches tall, but their voices hadn't shrunk a bit.
"Up yours, Mike! If it wasn't for your unruly cock, I'd be getting mine wet right now instead of pinched by some witch."
Mike tucked his middle finger against his thumb and aimed at Trent the way Lillie Mae imagined he would with a bug he intended to flick. "Wanna repeat that, little brother?"
Trent didn't, but he did grumble to himself, a slurring of obscenities that Lillie Mae couldn't make out. She set the annoyed man down on her table as Mike lifted and settled his twin next to them.
"Maybe I better explain how this happened."
Mike's words turned her attention, but not her eyes. They could not stray from the two men dressed like Halloween ghosts. "I'm dying to know."
"It's pretty simple really." That had to be an understatement. "They got cursed by a witch, and when they woke up the next morning--" Mike gestured to his brothers.
"They were two inches tall." Lillie Mae couldn't help but snicker at that. She'd heard and seen the worst of what people could do to each other, but never anything like this. Whoever this witch was, Lillie Mae had to give her points for creativity.
"Nice story, Mike," Trent grunted. "I like how you left out the part where you cheated on the witch's sister and she cursed all of us for your indiscretion."
"Shut up, Trent!"
"You're cursed, too?" Lillie Mae raised an eyebrow at Mike, who shifted uncomfortably before shrugging.
"Not that I can tell, but Leslie said she'd start with them."
"Can you fix it?" Mike didn't sound hopeful.
"I might be able to." She would certainly try. "Let me check something."
"I just want to see..." Lillie moved quickly to collect what she needed to determine the type of curse the other witch had laid down on the cowboys.
"What are you doing?" Mike's doubtful voice broke the silence as she arranged the crystals she'd collected around the miniature men before placing a candle within the circle. Not too close to the brothers though. She didn't want to kill one of them with a hot glob of wax.
"What you have described is beyond any human magic I know." Lillie lit the candle with a quick flick of the lighter she kept handy.
"Beyond ... what do you mean human?"
"Shhh." Lillie May ignored Mike's question and pinched out a small pile of dust from a velvet pouch. With a gentle breath, she sent the fine fragments into the air in a chaotic whirl of motion. They glittered and glimmered for a moment before condensing over the shrunken men, taking on a distinctly lavender glow.
"Fairies? What crack are you smoking, woman?" This came from Trent as he waved away the dust storm collecting over him.
"As I said, this is beyond human magic. This is fairy magic."
"Are you saying Leslie is a fairy?" That disbelieving question came from Mike. Lillie Mae wondered why he'd have such a hard time with the notion considering he had a twin set of two-inch tall brothers in front of him.
"Not necessarily." Lillie shrugged. "She could be, or she could be human with the blessing of a fairy. However it works, the curse put upon you is fairy magic."
"Does that mean we need to find a fairy to break the curse?" Shawn sounded disheartened by that prospect.
"You don't really break a fairy curse. That's not the way their magic works. That's more a gypsy kind of curse."
"Cut the crap," Trent snapped. "How do we get back to being our original height?"
"Fairy curses are kind of like ... a test. You have to pass it to return to your normal state."
"What kind of test?" Trent demanded.
"I don't honestly know. I'm going to ... need some help to determine that answer."
"Help?" Shawn asked.
"We're going to need a fairy."
"You know any fairies?"
"Well, no, but we know one person who does."
It took a moment for that statement to penetrate. Mike broke the men's stunned silence first.
"No. Leslie did this. Trust me, she's not going to help us."
They really had no choice, but Lillie Mae wasn't going to waste time arguing the point. "Then this will take a while."
"A while?" Shawn raised an eyebrow at that.
"Be quicker if I talked to this Leslie."
"No!" Mike snapped, his tone sharpening. A story lurked there behind the cowboy's obstinance. Lillie Mae might be curious, but she knew she wouldn't get her answers from the man. "Whatever it takes, but not that."
"Easy for you to say," Shawn retorted. "I say whatever it takes. I'm not spending my life this size." * * * *
Two months later--Macon, GA
Anna Moore all but floated out of the comfortable, climate-controlled building and into the oppressive humidity of the late summer day. Normally, sitting in the heat, waiting for the bus after a long, monotonous day wasted behind the receptionist desk accentuated her crappy luck in life. Not today.
Today, she grinned at the world passing her by, encased in their air-conditioned automobiles. Soon enough, she'd join them. Buying her first car would be her top priority once she got settled into her new life in Atlanta. She wouldn't have the money to afford the nicest car or one fully loaded with all the extras, but it would be hers and that would make it perfect.
Perfect The word described her day to a T. Today Dan Summerton had actually asked her out. Dan Summerton. A giggle escaped her just at the thought of the sexy accountant. A dream of muscles and dark hair with deep chocolate bedroom eyes, there wasn't a heterosexual woman alive that could resist his low-toned, bedroom voice, and he'd said she was sexy.
Sexy! Little old Anna May with the thick glasses and her hair always up in a bun, sexy? She didn't argue with him. Nor had she declined his offer to meet for drinks after work on Friday night.
It was too good to be true, like having Ed McMahon show up on her doorstep with some comical-sized check. Anna May didn't intend on questioning her fortune. No, sir, everything had finally started going right for her, and she wasn't about to drown herself in doubts or worry about any other shoe that might fall and shatter the dream world weaving itself around her.
"It's a beautiful day, isn't it?"
The question penetrated the happy bubble Anna had submersed herself in. Turning her head, she watched as a large woman settled into the seat on bench beside her. Her dark skin was a beautiful backdrop to the vibrant colors of her dress.
"Very nice." Anna couldn't help but grin. "Nice" didn't even begin to describe the day.
"You certainly have a big smile on your face."
"End of the work day." Anna fluffed off the other woman's comment with a generic answer. She didn't elaborate, wanting to savor her good luck and not threaten it by uttering any words aloud that would tempt the fates to take notice of her.
"Ah, yes. The time of the day when freedom truly rings." The other woman laughed and then shifted her brown lunch bag to extend a free hand in Anna's direction. "I'm Lillian Mae Turner."
The gesture caught Anna off guard. Nobody ever shook her hand at the bus stop. The people who gathered here might make a small comment or two, but nothing too familiar. Lillian didn't seem to understand the unwritten code of public transportation. Not that surprising, considering Anna had never seen her before at this stop.
"It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Turner."
"It's Lillie Mae, dear, and you are?"
"Now that's not the name your mama gave you."
"Oh, we're sisters, aren't we? A good name, Anna May, a proper Southern name. Tell me, darlin', where are you from?"
"Well, my family is from Dothan, Alabama, but--"
"Alabama, I should have known with that sweet accent of yours. Dothan, now isn't that the peanut capital of the world?"
"Yes ... yes it is." Anna laughed. Very few people actually knew about Dothan. Most who did, knew it only as a stop on the way to Panama City. "Where are you from, Mrs. Turner?"
"Lillie Mae, darlin', and I'm from Beaufort, South Carolina though now I live out in Texas. I was born under the old oaks and when I pass, my bones will be sent back to be laid to rest in their shade. There ain't no more beautiful place in the world than the Lowcountry. Have you ever been?"
"Um, no. I always went to Flor--"
"That's a shame. South Carolina is the greatest state in this union. From shrimp to crab to sweet corn and ripe, red tomatoes, we have everything. But you know what is the best?" Before Anna could even open her mouth to answer that, Lillie Mae continued talking.
"Our peaches. I know Georgia claims to be the peach state, but let me tell you, darlin', South Carolina outgrows Georgia. Our peaches are the best, sweet and juicy, nothing like them."
She'd never been a fan of peaches. Truth be told, she didn't eat much fruit. When she wanted something sweet, she looked toward sugar, candy, chocolate, cakes ... mmm. She got hungry just thinking of the list. Of course, her passion for sweets showed on her figure. Particularly her ass. Not that it really mattered, because Dan Summerton had said she was sexy.
"I have one right here in my sack."
The rustling of paper drew Anna's attention back toward Lillie Mae in time to see her draw out a pink and yellow-fleshed peach. With a warm smile, Lillie Mae extended the fruit to her.
"Go on and take a taste."
"Oh, I don't think--"
"I insist. Once you try our peaches, you'll understand."
"Really, I can't."
"I'll be insulted if you don't."
Checkmate. Claiming insult had to be the oldest trick in the Southern woman's handbook. Refusal at this point would be almost like slapping the older woman. Proper manners dictated she take a taste even if common sense dictated she not eat anything given to her by a stranger. Anna wavered as she stared at the peach, as if it might grow teeth and bite her first.
"Take a bite," Lillie Mae urged her. "You won't regret it."
With a forced smile at the woman, Anna accepted the fruit, but still hesitated. "I'm really not hungry. I had a big lunch and--"
"One taste and your appetite will return. Go on, just a little bite."
Anna tensed and then silently admitted defeat. Bringing the fruit to her mouth, she bit into the peach. It tasted sweet and juicy, just as Lillie Mae had promised, but another flavor lingered. Something Anna couldn't identify. The taste seeped down her body, making her feel strangely warm and relaxed.
Lillie Mae's image wavered before her, and Anna blinked, trying to bring her back into focus. The attempt failed and the image of the heavyset woman began to fade. Bit by bit, piece by piece, the world before her broke down into a million brilliant glittering lights, as if reality itself were altering before her very eyes.
Whispering, giggling, a thousand voices softly chanting in some foreign language echoed in her ears. For one striking moment, Anna's befuddled mind managed a single rational thought.
This wasn't right.