TWO VERY SPECIAL READS FROM AUTHOR
A woman without a prayer…
A widow with two children, Tempest Whitney had to mortgage everything to repay the money her husband had stolen. But even as she struggles to hold onto her Utah homestead, a scheming rancher buys up her debts, demanding she either get off his land or marry him. Then a dark-haired stranger shows up, claiming to be her dead husband…
A man without a past….
Buck Maddux spent two years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now a death bed promise has brought him to Tempest’s dugout. A man without roots, he doesn’t plan to stay—or to feel so fiercely protective of this feisty beauty he saves from a forced marriage. Suddenly, Buck yearns for a home, a family, a lasting love. But what can he offer Tempest? The surprising answer lies in the forbidden canyons of an ancient Anasazi tribe, where fortune and danger await—along with a passion more precious than gold…
Riding up to the house, he called out a hello and dismounted. Surrounded by barking dogs he proceeded to water his horse at a well built over a natural spring. From beneath the wide brim of his Stetson he searched for some sign of life. Finally he headed to the house, spurs jangling in his wake. His fist was raised, ready to knock, when the rough plank door swung inward and the business end of a Henry repeating rifle met with his nose.
“Judas!” He jerked back and stumbled over his own big feet. A cat screeched, letting him know he had mangled its tail. The critter got even by climbing Buck’s leg. Yelping and dancing while he tried to extract the cat, he trampled two or three more felines. Easy to do; half a dozen littered the yard, along with pigs and a flutter of chickens.
“Whoa there, ma’am.” He held up a hand. “Don’t mean you any harm.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
The cat took off, kinked tail in the air. Buck checked for damage and decided he’d live. “That’s a mite awkward to explain.” He took off his hat, wiped his brow on his sleeve and replaced the hat back, buying time while he studied her.
She wasn’t much to look at. The braid hanging to her waist appeared as though crows had been pecking at it. Dun-colored strands fluttering about her head gave her a wild look that belied the delicacy of her face. A strong chin balanced her large eyes and a mouth as stubborn as the mules in the pole corral. A patched apron hung to her scuffed boots and hugged her legs snugly enough hint she wasn’t wearing skirts. He was wondering what might be under the apron when she spat, “Spill it, mister. I haven’t got all day.”
A WOMAN’S SMILE
Rosalyn Delaney’s husband, Josiah, had vanished six years ago. Following a private detective’s lead, Rosalyn leaves Salt Lake City and boards a train heading t the mining town of Whiskey Ridge, Arizona. She arrives at Rose House, an old mansion reputed to be haunted, only to discover her missing husband has been killed, and his business partner, Whip Kincade, is wanted for his murder. Determined to uncover the secrets surrounding Josiah and his death, Rosalyn decides to stay-even when she begins to receive nightly visits from a charming “ghost”…
A GHOST’S KISS
Escaping a troubled past, Whip Kincade had hoped he could make a fresh start by coming to Whiskey Ridge and opening a saloon with his friend, Josiah. Now as a murder suspect hiding in his own house, Whip’s future looks bleak indeed…unless he can find the real culprit. But the unexpected intrusion of Rosalyn ruins his plans of sneaking out at night to investigate. Scaring her away is the first step in clearing his name, but Rosalyn doesn’t rattle easily. And Whip isn’t sure he wants the lovely widow to walk out of his life—especially when she would take his heart with her…
Her eyes resembled liquid emeralds, Whip thought, peering through the tiny peephole from the hidden passageway. Fine cheekbones, firm chin, and a disturbingly inviting mouth. He couldn’t be sure of the color of her hair due to her bonnet. She’d skinned the hair back from her face so tightly, it had to hurt. He didn’t know her name, but he recognized her scent. Roses and talcum.
Damn. It infuriated him to have to hide out in his own house, especially in a musty, cobwebbed rathole of a passageway. He ached with the need to get at the woman on the other side of the wall. She knew how and why his partner died last night, may even have pulled the trigger. She’d had Josiah’s blood on her, after all; had gotten it on Whip.
His mind filled with the memory of how small and fragile she’d felt in his arms, how oddly right, almost familiar, holding her had felt. He couldn’t account for the notion, and disliked it intensely, but could not banish it.
What had those innocent-seeming, shockingly green eyes seen last night? What had those tiny hands done? The rider he’d seen galloping from the house may have been the actual shooter, but the woman had taken some part in the killing. Why else would she have been hiding on the porch?
If he could just get her alone a few minutes. That’s all he’d need. He shifted, seeking a more comfortable position, and thick dust wafted around him. He twitched his nose to ward off a sneeze, then pinched his nostrils shut until the urge went away.
In the sitting room, Lucinda’s brother watched the Delaney woman as if he wanted to pour warm sorghum all over her and lick it off. Whip itched to strangle him.
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