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What happens when your life spins Out of Control?
Cole Martin only wanted some peace from his tours of duty as a Marine in the Middle East. His favorite memories of High Ridge, Texas were the summers he spent on his uncle’s ranch, learning to ride horses and help train the cutting horses. Twice on spring vacation he’d even participated in the roundup. Now he was back, this time as the new sheriff, with a rambling house about five miles out of town and the horses he rode regularly. He was as much cowboy as he was lawman.
Dana Moretti was back in High Ridge to learn about her painful past and fight her demons. Twenty-five years ago she was the only surviving victim of a pedophile who cut a two-year swatch through the children of Salado County. Her emotions have been frozen in time and though she thought changing her name and writing about unsolved crimes would help her move forward, she’s still held in the grip of the nightmare.
In the close-knit ranching community a villain hides behind a familiar face, watching the scene play out. He recognizes Dana as the one who got away and now he’s mentally rubbing his hands, ready to finish what he started so long ago.
When Dana begins digging into old files, when the chemistry between tem explodes, when the villain suddenly feels threatened – everything spins out of control.
“Can I help you?”
The deep voice that spoke to her sent shock waves through her. She whirled, her knees shaking. Oh, hell. It was him. The man in the truck. Wearing a uniform, for god’s sake.
“I have to say,” he went on, “you look a lot better when you aren’t soaked through by the rain.”
Dana’s legs were shaking, keeping time with the butterflies doing the rumba in her stomach. The first thing she thought was cowboy. He had the easy, relaxed yet alert stance she’d seen on men around horses and cattle. And his feet were shod in square-toed Western boots. She was sure his hat would be a Stetson.
But the way his eyes assessed her, the analytical gaze…military. Some kind of covert ops.
A dangerous combination in a man.
Dangerous to women. And to people who were misled by his friendly smile.
He was somewhere in his mid-thirties. At least six-four, broad shouldered, and lean hipped, the khaki of the sheriff’s uniform looking as if it were custom tailored for him. His face was all angles and planes, with deep-set, whiskey-colored eyes framed by dark brows and lashes. Even in her state of high anxiety, she couldn’t miss the sexuality that radiated from him.
The ultimate alpha male.
I’ll bet he has to beat the women off with a nightstick. Well, for sure he won’t have to worry about me. Oh, wait. After last night, he probably thinks I’m a nutcase anyway.
She wet her lips. “I gave my card to your…to the woman at the window. I’m Dana Moretti.”
“I know who you are.” His smile, like John Garrett’s, was professional and didn’t reach his eyes. “I’ve been expecting you. Come on.”
He swung the door wide, the muscles in his tanned arms flexing with the movement.
“If you’d identified yourself last night,” she told him, trying to keep the acid out of her voice, “I might have been more willing to accept a ride. I don’t make it a habit of jumping into trucks with strange men.”
His body brushed hers as he let the door swing shut, and lightning shot through her. What the hell? She knew what unexpected lust was. She often wrote about it, but it wasn’t a feeling familiar to her personally. Certainly not in a situation like this. Maybe this was a bad idea, after all.
“So, what kind of men do you jump in trucks with?”
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