Can Policewoman, Dana Hayden, suppress her attraction for suspected murderer, Tim Morgan, and uncover a killer
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Local hermit, Ben North, is found murdered in his cabin at the top of Molly’s Mountain. Shot when he was already dead, the only clue is a white powder found on his face by responding officer, Dana Hayden.
Dana has just moved back to her hometown, Hopefalls, Montana, a place she fled at thirteen when a prank played by Tim Morgan resulted in the death of her aunt.
But nothing can prepare her for the bone-deep physical attraction she feels every time he’s near.
Ex-US Army Ranger Tim Morgan wants nothing more than to be left alone to care for his sick father, but he cannot escape the false allegations that have haunted him since he was fifteen. Now, after being accused of killing Ben, he realizes there is no place for him in Hopefalls, and there’s no chance of a future with the woman who haunts his dreams, Dana Hayden.
As Dana investigates, she realizes nothing is as it seems. Can she sort through the lies from the past, and suppress her growing attraction for Tim, to find the truth?
Ben North clutched a hand to his chest in an effort to control his racing heart. The woman sat at his kitchen table, displaying her magnificent, naked breasts. He hadn’t seen a bosom that superb since he’d served in Vietnam.
Her knee-length skirt had ridden up to her thighs, exposing her shapely legs. He should send her on her way, but the chance to spend time with a beautiful woman would be gone soon enough. He was two weeks away from his seventieth birthday and had more days behind him than ahead of him.
Besides, it would be rude to tell her to leave. To get to his cabin on Molly’s Mountain, she’d had to drive past protesters and negotiate a steep, narrow trail that, at times, teetered on the side of a cliff.
“Don’t you want me?” the woman at the table purred.
He wasn’t sure if he could pleasure her. It had been years since his last sexual adventure. He cleared his throat. “Of course, I do, but are you sure? What about your husband?”
She stuck her bottom lip out in a pout. “He’s having an affair.”
“And I’m your revenge?” He had no time for her weasel of a husband, and there was poetry in the idea of him being used as an instrument for retribution.
Her gaze slanted to the floor as she swallowed and then licked her dry lips. “You’re not the only one, but yes, you’re payback.”
There was something in her manner that was off. She could be lying, or maybe she felt guilty over her adultery. Yes, that was it. She wouldn’t lie about having other boyfriends, but still, it was a surprise. “You have other lovers?”
She nodded and met his gaze, seeming direct and honest.
He’d always thought of her as uptight and unyielding. Maybe she showed the world the strict and conservative side of her nature, but in the privacy of the bedroom, she was a wild woman. He liked that idea.
She smiled, straightened her back, thrusting her chest forward, and then curled her index finger, beckoning him closer. “I want you to lick my breasts and suck on my nipples.”
His cock sprang to life, which was comforting. Maybe he would be able to satisfy her. He stepped closer and knelt on the floor in front of her, ignoring the pain in his arthritic knees.
As he leaned in, she held up a hand to stop him. “Before you start, I need to get something out of my purse.” She plucked her bag off the floor and placed it in her lap. She was probably looking for a rubber. That was the way of it these days. You couldn’t have sex without protection, even if there was no chance of pregnancy.
She pulled out her compact mirror and lipstick and then placed her bag back on the ground.
He smiled. She wanted to make sure she looked good. Maybe she would primp her hair or touch up her makeup. He leant closer. He loved watching a woman put on lipstick. It was a feminine and intimate gesture. One he didn’t realize he’d missed until this moment.
She pursed her lips as she opened the compact, held it level with his face, and blew.
He coughed when a fine, white powder flew into his nose and eyes. He tried to wipe it away, but it just smeared.
She blew again.
A chemical taste coated his tongue. He spat as he pulled away, trying to rid his mouth of the dry, bitter substance. Then the world tilted and swayed. The floor seemed to buckle under him. He cried out and grabbed the table, trying not to fall over.
A pretty she-devil with the largest breasts he had ever seen moved toward him. Horns grew out of her fair hair. “Where’s the gold?”
He held his arms wide in an effort to prevent the walls from crushing him. “Why are the walls moving?”
“They’re not moving. You’re hallucinating. It’s a side effect of the drug I blew into your face. I know you found a can of gold coins because I heard you telling Jack. Where is it?”
Jack? Jack Morgan was his oldest friend. Jack would chase the devil away the same way he’d chased away Ben’s other demons. He tried to move to the door. He needed to get out of the house, to feel solid ground beneath his feet. But the floor slanted into an abyss. He gripped the table, scared he’d slip into the dark, inky blackness. “Help me!” he screamed at the devil-woman.
She smiled. Her evil eyes shone with blue fire. “I’ll help you if you tell me about the gold.”
He’d been tricked. The devil knew Ben’s weakness and had disguised himself as a beautiful woman.
“You’d better get out of here before she kills you,” the chair said.
The world righted itself, and he started for the door, ignoring the fact that chairs couldn’t talk. The furniture levitated, drifting around the room. His mouth was dry, so dry he thought his tongue would crack. Blood pounded in his ears. He took another step but didn’t have the energy to continue. He tried to inhale, but his lungs wouldn’t expand. And now the damned furniture was spinning.
“Just tell me where the gold is!” the she-devil shouted.
“It’s on Morgan land,” he yelled. He didn’t want to tell but was compelled to reveal everything. The devil controlled his mind.
“Where?” she insisted.
He opened his mouth to speak, but a crushing pain in his chest made him double over. He fell to his knees. Tim—he was supposed to meet him tomorrow and tell him about the gold. Now it was too late. He was a thief. He’d stolen from the Morgans, and the devil had come to claim him.
“Where is it?” The she-devil was on the ground next to him. “I need to know,” she yelled, grabbing him by the collar.
Her words stabbed at him, coalescing into a dark, sharp knife that pierced his heart. The spasm extended through his chest and down his left arm. His world exploded into a white light of pain, and then nothing.
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I'm currently writing a novella which will be included in a multi-author boxed set, due to be published in February 2019