Lips That Touch Mine

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In a small town in New York, a boarding house owner finds she's in for more than she bargained for when she tangles with Boyd Grayson, the smoothest tavern owner in the East.
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Lips That Touch Mine (Grayson Brothersââ

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Overview

In a small town in New York, a boarding house owner finds she's in for more than she bargained for when she tangles with Boyd Grayson, the smoothest tavern owner in the East.
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Editorial Reviews

Harriet Klausner
The third Grayson Post Civil War historical romance (see THE LONGING and SHADES OF HONOR) is an absorbing late nineteenth century tale...
Amazon - Harriet Klausner
The third Grayson Post Civil War historical romance (see THE LONGING and SHADES OF HONOR) is an absorbing late nineteenth century tale...
Amazon - L Brenner
Riveting - Lips that Touch Mine is a wonderful story. Couldn't put it down.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780843955064
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Pages: 369
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.68 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Lindstrom is a RITA Award-winning author of “beautifully poignant, wonderfully emotional” historical romances. Romantic Times has dubbed her “one of romance’s finest writers,” and readers rave about her enthralling characters and the riveting emotional power of her work. For more information about Wendy Lindstrom’s other books, excerpts, and sneak previews, please visit the author’s website. (www.wendylindstrom.com)
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Read an Excerpt



Lips that Touch Mine



By Wendy Lindstrom


Dorchester Publishing


Copyright © 2005

Wendy Linstrom

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8439-5506-6



Chapter One


Fredonia, New York
December 13, 1873

Boyd Grayson glanced over his shoulder at his part-time
bartender and local distiller. "Karlton! Pour me an ale and
charge it to Mr. Lyons. He's going to owe me a drink in about
ten seconds."

"The hell I will." Pat Lyons gritted his teeth as he arm
wrestled Boyd. He tried to force Boyd's knuckles the last few
inches to the bar, but Boyd didn't budge. "Damn you, Grayson.
You've got an arm like a lumberjack."

Boyd laughed, but the description was more accurate for his
older brothers Duke and Kyle. Both of them topped six feet
and were thick in the arms and chest. Boyd was their height
but lean like their eldest brother Radford.

It wasn't bulky muscle that was keeping Boyd's knuckles off
the bar-it was stubborn pride. At twenty-three, Boyd refused
to be bested by anyone, especially in his own saloon.

The regular patrons gathered around the bar, cheering and
placing bets, crowding in as the intensity of Boyd's nightly
arm-wrestling match escalated. The noise roused his dog,
Sailor, out from under the billiard table. The long-legged,
mixed-breed mutt paced between the men, searching for the
cause of the excitement.

Duke leaned his elbows on the bar to watch the match. "You're
losing your touch, little brother.The life of a saloon owner
is making you soft."

Boyd snorted. "Don't worry, Duke. I'll still be able to whip
your ass when I finish here."

Jovial laughter filled the tavern, and Boyd's arm slipped back
a couple of inches. Pat took advantage of Boyd's lack of
concentration and gained another inch.

Boyd leaned into the fight. "You're sweating, Mr. Lyons."

"And you"re talking too damned much."

Boyd grinned and tightened his biceps. Shouts filled the
smokey room as he lifted his fist upward away from the bar.

Pat's arm trembled as their clenched hands arched toward the
ceiling. "Ah, hell."

Slowly, Boyd dragged Pat's hand over and down to the bar.

A roar of male voices cheered as Boyd successfully ended the
match.

Duke lifted his mug in a toast, but Boyd felt a deep pang of
regret. He wasn't worthy of the pride in his brother's eyes.

"Bring him a drink," Pat called to Karlton.

As the short, stocky bartender placed a full mug of ale
between them, Boyd reached across the mahogany bar and
squeezed Pat's shoulder. "I earned this one," he said,
complimenting his best friend's strength.

Two years ago, Boyd had bought the Pemberton Inn from Pat, who
had turned the Inn into a busy saloon. Pat hadn't been at
home anywhere else, so like many of Boyd's customers, Pat now
spent nearly every evening at the bar, often as the bartender.

Boyd raised his mug and toasted his friend, then saluted his
patrons who were earning him, and ultimately his distiller
Karlton Kane, a small fortune. Karlton was in the business of
distributing liquor, but he worked as Boyd's second bartender
three nights a week.

Each night except Sunday the regulars would fill Boyd's homey
tavern and line up along the bar to arm-wrestle. Later they
would sprawl in chairs around the cast iron stove to thaw the
winter chill from their bones while they bragged with their
friends and taught Boyd's dog ridiculous tricks.

The Pemberton Inn was more than a place to drink ale. It was
a meeting place to discuss town business and commiserate with
friends, a second home for many hardworking men who didn't
have anywhere more welcoming to spend their evenings.

And it was Boyd's sanctuary. In the midst of the men and
noise he could pretend he was happy.

He circled the bar and sat beside Duke, careful to avoid the
revolver holstered at his brother's hip. Boyd kept a gun
behind the bar, but weapons were forbidden in his tavern.
Duke was the local sheriff, though, and not about to drop his
piece at the door.

"You found a new deputy yet?" Boyd asked, signaling his
bartender to refill Duke's mug.

"No." Duke accepted a fresh mug of ale from Karlton, gave him
a nod of thanks, then glanced at Boyd. "Want the job?"

"Hell no."

Duke's laughter was buried in an uproar of voices and
pounding, scuffling feet.

Boyd jerked his attention to the middle of the tavern where
Gordie and Louie Carson were tearing into each other. He and
Duke shot to their feet. Karlton came out from behind the
bar, and Pat Lyons leapt off his barstool, but before anyone
could get a hand on the brothers, they careened toward the
front wall.

Four hundred pounds of flesh and muscle slammed into Boyd's
front door. The casing shattered and the door blew open
sending the men tumbling outside and sprawling onto Main
Street.

With a curse, Boyd bolted outside after them. His patrons and
his brother ran out of the bar behind him with Sailor yelping
at their heels.

The neighbors were going to raise holy hell over this.

Gordie and Louie Carson pummeled each other, grunting and
huffing and kicking snow everywhere while the patrons hollered
and wagered on the outcome.

Boyd exchanged an exasperated glance with Duke as they reached
into the fracas to pull the brothers away from each other.
They yanked the men to their feet and turned them toward
Chestnut Street.

"Time to go home, boys," Duke said.

Gordie opened his mouth to argue, but Boyd nudged him in the
shoulder. "Go before I ask Duke to give you boys a room for
the night."

The sudden quieting of the patrons drew Boyd's attention. The
men were all gawking across the street at the widow's house.

A slender young woman stood on the porch pointing a revolver
at them. She clutched the gun with both hands, anger and fear
marring her beautiful face.

"Where is the owner of this saloon?" she demanded, her voice
shrill and trembling, the gun wobbling in her hands.

Boyd stepped forward, cringing as she carelessly swung the gun
in his direction. From the way she trembled and clenched the
revolver, he suspected she was scared to death and had never
touched a gun before in her life. "May I presume you are Mrs.
Ashier?"

"Yes, and you may also presume that I am furious and fed up
with the noise coming from that rum hole." She jerked the
nose of the gun toward his saloon. "I haven't slept a night
through since moving here. My boardinghouse is empty because
of you, and I have no other means to support myself, Mr.
Grayson."

So she knew his name. Good. That would make this little
exchange much easier. He nodded toward the gun. "Is that
loaded?"

"It most certainly is. I want these men to go home. Now,"
she said, sweeping the nose of the gun across the crowd.

"It's too early to send the boys home, but we'll head back
inside for the evening. Sorry to disturb you."

Her jaw clenched and she glared at him. "Do you think an
apology excuses your total disregard for your neighbors? I
don't want your apology. I want these men gone and that rum
hole closed."

"It's Saturday night, Mrs. Ashier. I can't close this early.
Now be reasonable and put the gun down before you hurt
somebody."

"Not until you and your inebriated friends go home."

"This is my home." He jerked his chin toward the saloon.

"You live there?"

He nodded and took a step forward, intending to remove the
revolver from her shaking hands.

"Don't come any closer," she warned.

"No need to get jumpy, Mrs. Ashier." He worked up his most
charming smile. "I'd just like to finish this conversation in
private," he said, starting toward her again.

"Stay away!" She tensed and pulled the gun to her chest like
a child protecting a coveted toy. An earsplitting crack
ripped through the night.

A window above his bar shattered.

The men below ducked flying shards of glass and swung
incredulous looks in her direction. Boyd stared in outrage.
"Are you crazy?"

Claire gasped and shoved the gun out in front of her because
she didn't know what else to do with it. She hadn't meant to
pull the trigger.

Her heart pounded so hard she could only draw half-breaths.
But for the sake of her own survival, she gripped the revolver
and stood her ground. She must end the noise coming from the
saloon before it put her out of business.

The Pemberton Inn was an attractive two-story structure on the
corner of Chestnut and Main Street at the top of West Hill.
But to Claire it was nothing more than a rum hole owned by an
inconsiderate man. She wasn't sorry at all that she'd shot
out a window.

A man stepped from the crowd, but Boyd signaled him to stop.
"Give me a minute, Duke." The man nodded, and Boyd turned to
face her.

Boyd was taller than most of the men in the street-and at
least five inches taller than she was. His hair was dark,
probably black, but when she saw his face bathed in the light
from her window, her stomach dipped. Not even the play of
shadow and light could ruin the perfection of Boyd Grayson's
face. If anything, it made him more dangerous.

"I understand that you're upset, Mrs. Ashier, but that doesn't
give you cause to shoot at my patrons."

"I hadn't intended-I wasn't shooting at anybody."

He nodded toward her house. "Why don't we go inside and
discuss this on more friendly terms."

Never would she invite a man like him into her home. "Unless
you're going to tell me that you're closing your saloon, I
have nothing to say to you. I am a widow trying to support
myself. The noise from that rum hole has chased away every
one of my boarders."

He stared back at her without a trace of shame on his handsome
face. His look of appreciation and speculation made her glad
that several feet separated them. "I'll be happy to rent a
room this evening if it will help."

She gasped at his audacity and jerked the gun toward him,
itching to pull the trigger and wipe the smile off his face.
How dare he try to seduce her. Her late husband had used his
looks and charm to lead her straight to hell. She'd vowed at
his grave-side that she would never again be manipulated by a
man's charm or good looks.

She refused to waste any more words on the insufferable
reprobate standing in front of her. She was nineteen dollars
away from being destitute. She wanted that saloon closed.

Now.

She waved the gun toward the crowd of inebriates. "This is my
last warning. Go home. All of you."

"Go easy with that, Mrs. Ashier, or you'll end up shooting
yourself." He nodded toward the gun. "Revolvers have touchy
triggers."

"So do I, Mr. Grayson."

The men chuckled, but she brandished the gun again.

"Send those men home and close your bar," she demanded, "or
I'm going to visit the sheriff in the morning. Your neighbors
deserve some peace and quiet."

"I'm sure my brother would enjoy your visit, Mrs. Ashier, but
he can't close a legitimate business."

"Your brother?" Her breath whooshed out, and she sagged
against her front door.

"That's right." He gestured toward the man to his left.
"This is Sheriff Grayson, my brother, and he's a regular
customer at the Pemberton."

To her shock, a bear of a man stepped from the crowd and held
up his hands, making the badge on his chest flash in the light
from her window. "Mrs. Ashier, these boys mean no harm. I'll
get them inside and they won't bother you again tonight."

Shivering from fury and the frigid cold, Claire gave the
sheriff a scathing look. "I'd suggest you step back, Sheriff,
because I'm serious about closing this saloon. You should be
ashamed of yourself for frequenting this rum hole."

"My job requires me to visit the saloons and keep the peace."

"Well, you've been remiss in your duty this evening. As long
as this saloon is open, there is no peace for this
neighborhood. And frankly, it doesn't impress me at all that
the owner of this hell-hole is your brother."

"I'm not overly impressed that he's my brother either."

She gaped at him, wondering if she'd heard him correctly.

The sheriff slanted a glance at Boyd then gave her a half
grin. "Boyd believes he can manipulate any situation to his
advantage. It's embarrassing to the family, but the blame
rests with my mother." The sheriff lowered his hands and
shrugged, clucking his tongue as he walked toward her. "Ma
had this burning desire to have a girl, but all she got was
boys. So even after Boyd had grown out of wearing gowns to
bed, Ma insisted on coddling him like a daughter. It's made
him a bit odd, I'm afraid."

Boyd laughed with his patrons as if sharing a private joke at
her expense.

"If you're going to divulge my secrets, Duke," he said, "it's
only fair that you share a few of your own. Tell her what you
wear to bed."

Dumbstruck by the absurdity of the brothers' conversation, she
shifted her gaze between them, wondering if they were drunk,
or insane, or both.

The sheriff looked her straight in the eyes. "Actually I
don't wear anything."

She opened her mouth, but was too shocked to come up with the
reprimand the fresh sheriff deserved.

He winked and plucked the gun from her hands. "Beg pardon for
the rude comment, Mrs. Ashier. Go on in to bed now. I'll
keep the peace tonight and return your gun in the morning."

Blast and damnation. The sheriff and his wretched brother had
purposely distracted her with their nonsensical conversation
in order to disarm her.

That she had been outwitted so easily infuriated her, but she
held her tongue. She had something more potent than a bullet
to put Mr. Grayson out of business. She had Dr. Dio Lewis, a
powerful temperance speaker from Boston, who held as much
disdain for intemperance as she did.

She'd written to Dr. Lewis shortly after moving to Fredonia
and learning the town was filled with rum holes. Dr. Lewis
would be arriving tomorrow, and every church in Fredonia was
going to omit their evening service so the townspeople could
gather at the Baptist church for his address.

Boyd Grayson didn't know it yet, but he was going to attend
that meeting.

Struggling to hide the mayhem raging inside her, Claire faced
her neighbor, knowing he couldn't refuse the request she was
about to make without being unpardonably rude. "Mr. Grayson,
if you would be willing to escort me to church tomorrow
evening, perhaps we can find a way to make this situation
tolerable for both of us."

There wasn't a chance in Hades she would accept anything less
than his closing his saloon, but that is exactly why she
needed to get Boyd Grayson to church. Dr. Lewis had a message
for the reprobate.

"In all fairness, Mrs. Ashier, it may not be in your best
interest to keep company with me, being a saloon owner and
all."

"I'm a respectable widow. I believe your reputation could
benefit from the association."

Muffled laughter rippled through the crowd as Boyd moved to
stand at the foot of her porch steps. "Are you sure it won't
sully your own reputation?"

"Quite."

"All right then."

At his nod of acceptance she turned to open her door, vowing
she would soon be rid of Boyd Grayson and his abominable
saloon.

"Mrs. Ashier?"

Gritting her teeth, she turned back to her reprehensible
neighbor.

"I'm looking forward to discovering the benefits of our
association." A slow, melting smile spread across his face.
He tipped an imaginary hat and gave her a courtly bow. "Good
night, fair lady."

An involuntary flutter filled her stomach. No man, especially
a drinking man, should have a face like a prince or own a
smile with the power to mesmerize a woman. She couldn't begin
to guess how many broken hearts Boyd Grayson had caused in his
lifetime, but she vowed hers wouldn't become one of them.

She closed the door in his face, and sagged against the
mahogany paneled wall of her foyer.

What had she gotten herself into?

(Continues...)





Excerpted from Lips that Touch Mine
by Wendy Lindstrom
Copyright © 2005 by Wendy Linstrom.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Cheryl

    I am enjoying reading this series very much. I am not getting much done around the house because as soon as I finish one I start the next book. Who says the family can't have take-out every night? I'm kidding, almost every night.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    excellent Post Civil War historical romance

    In 1873 in Fredonia, New York Widow Claire Ashier has had it with the Pemberton Saloon across the street from her boarding house. The noise spilling into the street has driven out her last patron and Claire needs her lodging to thrive in order to survive. She informs saloon owner Boyd Grayson that he needs to shut down or else. Though attracted to the courageous woman, Boyd tells her no he cannot afford the loss of business on a Saturday night. --- The Sheriff is on Boyd¿s side of the dispute though he insists that his being the saloon owner¿s brother has nothing to do with his decisions, but asks the two of them to peacefully work out their differences. She persuades him to escort her to church where she hopes he understands the nastiness of liquor when he hears the sermon. As Boyd and Claire begin seeing each other encouraged by his traitorous canine¿s visits to her, they fall in love; however she has vowed that ¿lips that touch mine will never have touched liquor¿ having suffered from the alcoholic abuses of her first husband. --- The third Grayson Post Civil War historical romance (see THE LONGING and SHADE OF HONOR) is an absorbing late nineteenth century tale due to the contrast between the personalities of the lead couple. Much of that difference was caused by Claire being a spousal abuse victim with no avenues to turn to except the church whereas Boyd, besides being a big man, knows his loving family especially brothers are there for him.. Wendy Lindstrom provides a strong tale driven by the protagonists who seem so opposite yet so in love.--- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 25, 2012

    THIS WA A GRAT BOOK I WOULD READ MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR. KEEP THE

    THIS WA A GRAT BOOK I WOULD READ MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR. KEEP THE GOOD WORK UP

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Great story

    You just fall in loves with all the boys!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2012

    Excellent Read - The story about Boyd and Claire has a unique as

    Excellent Read - The story about Boyd and Claire has a unique aspect (he
    owns a bar and she is against drinking) what a story line. I love how
    Boyd is alway there for Claire. This is the story about the 3rd Grayson
    brother and I wasn't disappointed. I can't wait to read about Duke.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Loving this series!

    I have read through the first three books in this series and now I need to slow down so I can savor the fourth book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    Can't get enough!

    I want more of her books to read! I can't stand to put one of her stories down once I begin reading! She is a superb storyteller!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Loved it!

    Couldn't put it down! I love the characters in this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 4, 2012

    really recommend it, give 5 Stars

    I discovered a new (at least for me)Author in Wendy Lindstrom.
    I really like her style of writing.
    Love Historical /Fiction/Romance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2012

    I am enjoying reading these historical romance novels about 4 in

    I am enjoying reading these historical romance novels about 4 interesting, loving, family-oriented brothers.
    This is about Boyd, bothered by his inability to let his father die, even though he was just a teen, and his eventual resolution. I love the author's touches of humor, and found myself smiling with her characters, as well as crying with them. A poinant story of abuse and the aftereffects, but finds Claire finally able to overcome her (well-founded) fear of living and loving, with Boyd's consistent and tender help.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    great book

    very good read. Must reas the series. Great following theses brother. Couldn't wait to get to the next book to see what was going happen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Excellent!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Awesome

    Great reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Would recommend

    Once you read the first one you'll finish the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2014

    Cant get enough!

    Just love the Grayson men. I think Wendy has captured many womens hearts with her talent. I envisioned every charactor, site, sound,moment like I was there. Her books always leaves me smiling.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    I have read all the series about the Grayson brothers and enjoye

    I have read all the series about the Grayson brothers and enjoyed all of the books. I would recommend these books to all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Another Excellent Grayson Novel

    I loved Radford, and then I adored Kyle...but wow how much am I enthralled with Boyd? You read and find out why.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Great!

    From beginning to end it was hard to put this book down! The author has done a great job, she captures your attention and doesn't release it until you get to the end, This is the 2nd book I've tead by this author, she doesn't disappoint.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Saw Mill Men...

    I really enjoyed this book..... I spent many summers in Canada...
    very touching stories ....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Seriously?!

    Lindstrom pulled me in with her other two books and I eagerly purchased this one...and I'm sorry I did. The other two in this series was AMAZING, heartfelt, tear-jerkers and had humor. This was just disappointing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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