|Posted by lisagriffin on March 13, 2010 at 2:55 AM|
Now Available at Pink Petal Books!
After a ten year stint in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, a changed Cage Sinclair returns to his hometown. Hell-bent onclearing his name, trust is nonexistent—especially with the woman who loved and betrayed him in the same breath living in his deceased father’s house.
Caught off guard by the man's sudden appearance, and intent on protecting her son, Morgan O’Riley levels a shotgun on the amber-eyed stranger’s impressive chest. But with the revelation of Cage’s identity, caution shifts to desire, and on its heels, gut-wrenching trepidation.
Blackmail is an ugly word, and although Morgan still yearns for the love of her life to return, her own fear helped railroad him into prison. She has kept her silence to protect someone near and dear to her heart, but now that Cage is back, can he forgive her weakness as a frightened young woman or understand the reason behind her actions once a secret she’s carried for years is unearthed?
Inconceivable danger lurks in the shadows,but behind closed doors, embers ignite and old passions flame.
Amidst betrayal, deceit and shattered illusions, will the truth tear them apart or bind them together forever?
Cage Sinclair cut the pickup’sengine and stepped onto ground he’d never thought to see again. He breathed deeply, his lungs filling with fresh mountain air and the scent of pungent pine. The amber glow of a full moon illuminated the old homestead andsurrounding landscape. Anticipation rushed through his veins.
Bittersweet memories flooded his mind.He’d left wearing leg irons and cuffs. For ten years, he had longed for the open fields and rolling hills he’d explored as a child, the security andtranquility they had offered. He’d found love here, but had lost it, too.
A warm yellow glow spilled from thefront windows of what should have been an empty house, lighting his path. Tense and his body on full alert, Cage eased toward the front steps.
Tiny hairs prickled on his neck.Hesitant, he stepped to the porch. The rickety plank flooring groaned under hisweight. A coyote howled in the distance, a lonely sound echoing through the trees. With the house key in his hand, he pulled open the screen door. Barely attached by one hinge to the frame, it creaked loudly.
Who the hell—
A twig snapped. Trepidation slithered up his spine. He spun around to find a twelve-gauge shotgun leveled at his chest. The blood chilled in his veins, his heart skipping a beat—not from the dangerous glint of blue steel—but from the woman who wielded the weapon.
“Morgan O’Riley,” he croaked through a throat gone dry. “Is that you?”
“Step down off that porch, mister,if you know what’s good for you.”
Cage held up his hands and with calculated caution, acquiesced. Until she recognized him, he presented danger,and the determined gleam in her eyes warned him she’d fire if given a reason. Damn it, Morgan hadn’t changed a bit, but he had. His stint at Castle on theCumberland, Kentucky’s nefarious prison, had been a far cry from a stay at the Ritz Carlton. Any man who had to constantly watch his back, weathered and aged,but the woman before him had remained the same.
Her whiskey-colored hair, stilllong, shone ebony in the moonlight. He couldn’t see her eyes but remembered all too well their sky-blue hue. Mesmerized, he feasted his gaze on her body, about which he’d fantasized on many a lonely night.
“What are you doing here, Morgan?”
“How do you know my name?” She tooka hesitant step forward, squinted up at him.
Raspy laughter pushed from his throat. “Don’t tell me I’m that easy to forget. Hell, I may have changed, andit’s been an eternity since I held you, but how could you ever forget what we shared?”
Her body stiffened. “Cage?”
The muscles in his shoulders relaxed and he smiled. “Yep. One and thesame.” He nodded toward the shotgun. “You had me worried for a moment. And Ican’t say I appreciate that pointed at my chest, no matter who wields it.”
She stepped back, lowering the weapon.
“It’s really good to see you.” He moved closer and raised a hesitant hand.
“Why did you come back?” she whispered.
He dropped his hand to his side.“To right a wrong. I was innocent then. Still am.”
Morgan’s delicate featureshardened. “Sheriff Blakely testified otherwise.”
“And I’ll prove he lied.” Cravingto touch her, he stroked his mustache with his other hand and waited for his erratic pulse to calm. “You never answered my question. What are you doing here?”
“Your father invited me to stay.”
“Why would he do that?” Taken aback by her revelation, Cage shrugged off a sudden sense of betrayal and shored his resolve to unearth the truth.
A guarded look flitted over herface. “He had his reasons.”
Anger shot to his core at thequiver in her voice. Hell, she couldn’t be afraid of him. “Do I need an inviteto enter my own home?” He chuckled in an attempt to ease the growing tension.
“Of course not, but be quiet.Trent’s asleep.”
Cage paused mid-step, jealousy knotting his stomach. How could she bring someone else here, into his own home,after what they’d shared? The ache in his heart intensified. Jaw clenched,emotions masked, he trailed after her into the house, turning to face her. For the first time in ten years, he savored having her close enough to touch. She’d only grown more beautiful with time.
Unsure where he stood with her, or what she thought, he followed her into the kitchen. With each sway of her hips,his groin throbbed in memory. Merciful God. He clenched and unclenched his hands. No way would he ever forget the satin of her skin, the way she’dmoved beneath him, or her soft moans of pleasure.