Extended Excerpt: Northern Exposure by Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr

Check out a peek at Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr's co-authored erotica e-book, Northern Exposure. This extended excerpt will introduce you to the Compton brothers and find out why the oldest, Silas, has decided to leave his ranch and the two people that mean the most to him.

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Dry brush crackled under the hooves of Silas Compton’s roan gelding. It hadn’t rained in a while. He could tell it would be a long summer by the clouds of terra cotta dust rising in the wake of his brothers’ galloping horses as they raced across the mountain ridge.

Not that he’d know it where he was headed. Alaska would provide a total change of scenery. Exactly what he needed. Pain lanced his chest, causing him to tense in his heirloom saddle. Rainey’s ears flicked up. Silas patted the loyal animal’s neck, settling into the rhythm of their canter, and wondered how he would survive so far from the land that had been a part of him since he’d been born.

Somehow he would have to make it work.

He sure as hell couldn’t stay.

Like the three-legged dog they’d had as kids, he would learn to cope without an integral part of himself. If only he and his puppy had reined in their curiosity and avoided those damn traps…

But they hadn’t.

Lucy Silver, the veterinarian’s sweet daughter—who’d been dancing through his dirty dreams since he’d been old enough to have them—had spotted Silas making out with her boyfriend in the barn. It’d been like the day he’d watched his puppy scramble toward the razor-sharp jaws lying concealed under a pile of straw all over again.

Removing himself from the equation seemed like the only way he could halt imminent disaster and protect the two people he cared about most outside of his family. He’d already destroyed enough of Lucy’s innocence.

Christ, he couldn’t explain what had driven him to kiss Colby in the first place.

Impulsive. Rash. Reckless.

Qualities Silas didn’t value. The one time he gave in to the dark urges he wrestled, he paid a horrible price. But he’d caught Colby checking out his sweaty muscles as they’d worked together in the heat of the day. Desire had arced between them.

Irresistible. Delicious. Forbidden.

Until the agony on Lucy’s face had slammed him back to reality. Silas vowed to leave the couple to mend their fences and live in peace, without the threat of his interference ripping them apart. Lucy and Colby devoured each other with desperate gazes when they thought no one paid attention. It didn’t take a genius to figure out their love was the real deal.

He’d go, even if it meant giving up everything familiar and cherished, including his brothers and his two best friends. Because he sure as shit couldn’t stay and keep his hands to himself. Not with a double helping of temptation running wild.

Amber rays from the setting sun ignited the prairie below. The glowing grasslands seared into his memory. He’d never lose track of his roots. He’d never forget his heritage, Compass Ranch, even if he couldn’t accept his destiny as its head.

His brothers would pick up his slack.

Seth, a year younger than him, whooped then grinned over his shoulder as he spurred his mare faster. Wild as a mustang, he flew over the landscape to the spot they’d claimed as their own. The twins, Sam and Sawyer, followed suit.

They hadn’t discussed their plans for the evening. As soon as Silas had made his announcement to the family, the boys had glanced around the dining table—where all important family business was conducted—and nodded. They hadn’t objected to his desertion, but strain lined their faces, sorrow dimmed their eyes and the betrayal he feared flashed in the air a split second before they began planning how they’d support him.

Christ, their generosity had made him feel lower than the shit on the bottom of his muck boots because he hadn’t had the guts to admit why he really planned to leave. None of them would have been dumb enough to mess with something that wasn’t theirs. And if they had, they wouldn’t have lied about it on top. Such strong souls would thrive with or without him. But could he cut out something so essential to his being and live so wounded? So lost?

Cut adrift, he might not make it.

Silas gripped the reins too tight. He forced himself to relax his fingers.

One night. He’d give himself these final hours with his brothers to say goodbye to all he treasured. Tomorrow, he’d ride out. Forever.

Excited to read what happens next? Make sure to buy your copy of Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr's first Compass Brothers series, Northern Exposure, available now. 

Copyright © 2011 Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

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