Only Love (Only Series #4)

Only Love (Only Series #4)

4.4 20
by Elizabeth Lowell
     
 

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′There is no finer guarantee of outstanding romance than the name of Elizabeth Lowell′ - Romantic Times.

Cast adrift during the War Between the States, Shannon Conner grew to womanhood in a lonely cabin high in the Colorado Rockies. Though stubborn and courageous, Shannon is ill-prepared to deal with the predatory Culpepper brothers

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Overview

′There is no finer guarantee of outstanding romance than the name of Elizabeth Lowell′ - Romantic Times.

Cast adrift during the War Between the States, Shannon Conner grew to womanhood in a lonely cabin high in the Colorado Rockies. Though stubborn and courageous, Shannon is ill-prepared to deal with the predatory Culpepper brothers - and the intoxicating ardour of the man who defends her honour, Rafael ′Whip′ Moran.

A loner and a wanderer, a man tied to no place or promise, Whip aids the wary young ′widow′ who has a walk like honey and a determined grip on her shotgun. But neither the Culpeppers nor grizzlies are as dangerous to Whip as the passion Shannon offers him - a passion that could cost Whip the freedom that is as much a part of him as his soul.

Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
There is no finer guarantee of outstanding romance than the name of Elizabeth Lowell.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380772568
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/28/2003
Series:
Only Series, #4
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
692,365
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.04(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Summer 1868

Echo Basin, Colorado Territory

She's frightened frightened.

She has a walk like honey.

The two impressions came simultaneously to the man called Rafael ''Whip'' Moran. Whip didn't know which drew him to the girl more immediately, the fear or the honey.

He hoped it was the fear.

The heat in Whip's blood told him otherwise. Underneath the girl's threadbare mans wool jacket and trousers there was a very female body. And beneath her straight spine, high chin, and determination, there was very real fear.

Whip didn't know what caused the girl's fear or why it should matter so urgently to him. He did know that he was going to find out.

For a moment longer Whip stood in the cold mud in front of Holler Creek's only general store. The chill of the, high-country wind cut through his thick wool jacket. The girl must have felt the chill too. She shivered as she hurried through the grubby door of the mercantile.

With the easy motions of a man who was both fit and thoroughly at home in his own body, Whip followed the girl inside. The wind blew the door shut behind him with a loud bang. He barely noticed, He had attention only for the girl with the sweet, softly swinging walk.

She stopped in a shaft of light from the one window that hadn't been broken and boarded over. For a few moments her eyes ran hungrily over the scattered piles of dry goods, tools, and clothing. The fingers of one slender hand were clenched around something she held in her palm.

As though sensing Whip's intense interest, the girl turned toward him suddenly. He had a vivid impression of eyes the color of a wild autumnsky, a blue so clear and so deep that a man could look forever and never find an end to the beauty. What he could see of her hair beneath the hat was the color of autumn itself- glossy chestnut with red and gold running through it like leashed fire.

I've seen her before, he realized. But where?

With the next breath, realization went through Whip like lightning through a storm.

My dream. She's the girl in the cabin door, waiting, always waiting...

For me.

Motionless, Whip stared at the girl. A lock of hair had just escaped from beneath the girl's battered Stetson. The hair gleamed like silk against her pale cheek.

Without thinking, Whip walked closer and lifted his hand to tuck the strand back into place above her ear. When he realized what he was doing, he stopped, stepped back and touched his hat instead.

"Morning, maam," Whip said, nodding to her. The girl blinked and looked at his big hand, Whip knew why. He had moved so quickly that she couldn't be certain he had ever intended to touch her instead of tipping his hat politely.

Her glance went from his long fingers to the bullwhip coiled over his right shoulder. Her eyes widened.

Teamsters with bullwhips weren't particularly unusual in Colorado Territory, certainly not enough so that the presence of a bullwhip, should startle anyone. The girl's involuntary response told Whip that she probably knew him.

Or, to be precise, knew of him.

With a tight motion of her head, the girl acknowledged whips polite greeting. Then she turned away from him with cool finality.

"Mr. Murphy?" she called huskily.

Whip felt his body tighten as though the girl had stroked him from forehead to heels. Her voice, like her walk, was pure summer honey.

I've been too long without a woman.

No sooner had the thought come to Whip than he knew it wasnt true. He had never been a man to be controlled by his sexuality. He had spent too many years in too many cultures where women were prohibited to foreigners; even to a polite, softspoken foreigner with strong shoulders and smokegray eyes and hair the color of the sun.

"Mr. Murphy?"

There was a rattle and muttering, followed by the sound of reluctant footsteps from the back room. The storekeeper left his cozy seat by the stove for the barnlike, unheated room where supplies were heaped about in untidy piles. Owning the only store in Echo Basin's remote gold country had spoiled Murphy. He made his customers feel that he was doing them a favor by selling them his overpriced goods.

Behind Whip the mercantile's door opened. Reflexively he spun around and stepped out of the way. As he moved, his left hand went to the butt of the bullwhip, that was riding his right shoulder. Though quick, the motion wasn't threatening. It was simply the action of someone who was accustomed to living alone in dangerous places among the most dangerous of all animals-man.

The four men who crowded through the door were examples of why Whip was careful not to turn his back on anyone in Echo Basin. The Culpepper boys were worse than the usual run of gold hunters. Loud, lewd, unwashed and lazy, they weren't especially beloved by anyone. Including, if rumor could be trusted, their Arkansas mother.

Few people were really sure which Culpepper was Beau, or which was Clim, or Darcy, or Floyd. No one cared. There wasn't a finger's worth of difference in the lot of them. Brown hair, pale blue eyes, rawboned, quick to anger; the Culpeppers were all the same. They were pack animals. They prospected, hunted, fought, and whored together.

It was whispered that the Culpepper boys also worked together to rob miners who were taking their gold from Echo Basin to Canyon City, but no one had ever caught them at it. Nor had anyone pushed the matter, publicly or privately. Men who crossed the Culpeppers had a nasty habit of waking up bruised, bloodied, and of a mind to pull up stakes...

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Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has more than eighty titles published to date with over twenty-four million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the Western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 5, 1944
Place of Birth:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Education:
B. A., University of California, 1966

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Only Love 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book started out great! Then, dragged on and on. Felt like it was all about 'the guy' getting 'the girl' in bed. He thought she was a widow, but after several steamy scenes 'not all the way' they finally agree to go 'all the way,' he discovers she's a virgin and 'get this' gets MAD. This is about where it drags badly. Because the rest of the book is all about him not trying to have sex with her while page after page of his 'and her' thoughts of wishing they did have sex. 'Whip' started off romantic, i.e., flowers, hunting and chopping wood, etc, but he only had one goal...sex. Kinda weird in that the beggining implies he was 'searching' for the mysterious girl of his dreams that haunts him and greets him from a cabin. When he realizes he found that girl, he still just wants...sex and tells her he'll stay around only until the next 'sunrise calls him.' Whatever. Get this after they finally have sex 'page 330--good grief' it's page after page of him not trying to 'go all the way' in an effort NOT to get her pregnant. EGADS. I had to skim the last 1/4 inch just to FINISH this book. UGH! Loved the dog!
Shortstride More than 1 year ago
Oh WOW! I wish I could rate the "Only" series higher than an Excellent. These book were so great the rating could not get high enough. Don't just read this one, read all four. From Caleb and Willow, Wolfe and Jessi, Reno and Eve all the way to Whip and Shannon you will not be disappointed.
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Loved the hole series, great family bonds and emotions between siblings
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i-heart-romance More than 1 year ago
my favorite in the series! loved them all though.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Lowell never disappoints. This story is another proof as to why she's one of the best romantic authors today. Every single book is incredibly wonderful. You have to read it to believe it. I'm looking very forward to reading the other 'Only' books.