Hi Dear Readers!
My next Delos series book, SECRETS, 2B2, is now available!
Novella, 2B2 is a sequel follow-up on “Unbound Pursuit”, 2B1, which was released on 9.29.16). This is Mark Reuss and Mattie Lockwood’s story.
If you read UNBOUND PURSUIT,2B1, you met Mark Reuss, who was a dark, secretive secondary character. He’s a man with a violent past and moves in and out of the lives of the people who love him.
Can love reveal the dark secrets he carries?
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT #3:
“Have you missed not seeing your old house, the one you grew up in?” Mattie asked Mark. They rode side by side, he on Tank, the sorrel gelding, and she on her favorite sorrel mare, Sugar. They were now in the canyon, a short distance away from the hidden stream surrounded by hardy trees that now stood bare in the winter sunshine.
“I never miss that ranch,” he admitted quietly, catching her glance. “Not with my father Jeb still there. Most of my memories are of the Rocking L, and they’re all good ones.”
Mattie liked it when their cowboy boots touched from time to time, depending upon the swaying walk of the horses they rode. “I’m glad you have good memories, Mark. You sure deserved some.”
He lifted his black Stetson off his head and then settled it back on. “I wish like hell I could surgically remove all those bad memories.”
She considered asking him a question, and then decided to do it. Nervously, she asked, “Do you feel like you have a home, now?”
“Yes, and it feels damn good, Mattie.” They came upon the stream hidden in an alcove of bushes and wintering trees. Dismounting, Mark walked over and held Sugar’s reins while Mattie climbed out of the saddle.
“Thanks,” she said, smiling up at him. Mattie had wanted this Saturday ride and luncheon to be a celebration. It would join other recent get-togethers when they’d made some sweet, new memories. She took the reins over Sugar’s head and led her over to the stream where the horse promptly planted her muzzle into the clear water. She drank deeply, and so did Tank, who stood next to Mark.
Mark looked and felt relaxed. Sometimes, Mattie saw him withdraw from her, but he wasn’t that way now, and relief flooded through her.
“I love all the things we’re doing together these days,” she murmured, coming up and sliding her gloved hand around his upper arm. “I‘ve always wanted times like these for us—light, happy moments.”
Reluctantly Mattie allowed her hand to slip from around his denim jacket. She could feel the hardness of Mark’s muscles beneath the rough material, tightening when she slid her fingers around his arm. Her own yearning ratcheted up, wanting closeness with him as never before.
Mark cocked his head in her direction, meeting her upturned gaze. “There’s nothing I want more, either.” He smiled a little and added teasingly, “You’re just a natural well-driller. You always see deeply into people’s psyches and you dig for the real person. It’s a gift, Mattie.”
She loved it when he complimented her. “I know I ask a lot of questions—and you’re right¬—I like getting to the bottom of things.” She breathed in the faint scent of his sweat along with the soap he’d used earlier, a lime fragrance. Mark had shaved, as well. She was hungry for him, and had to stop herself from wrapping her arms around those broad shoulders of his, drawing him up against her and never letting go.
Her instincts told her Mark needed that kind of affection, too. It was something she’d sensed around him, him being abandoned early in life, that loss of nurturing, and it hadn’t gone away to this day. “
Mark Reuss’ childhood was a living hell. The only bright spot in his life during those dark days was his best friend, Mattie Lockwood. Her beauty and spirit called out to him, but he didn’t want to drag her down into the gloom his life had become. So when he graduated high school, he joined the Marine Corps and left his past—and Mattie—behind.
Or so he thought. Mark never forgot Mattie, or stopped wanting her. Now he’s back in town, ready to face his demons and make a life with her. But before he can set his plans in motion, Mark must suddenly disappear once again, but it means keeping secrets from Mattie. Will he once again have to let go of the woman he loves?
PRE-ORDER for BN.com/NOOK readers
AUDIO: Tantor Media
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