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Bobbi Smith

BOOK: Bobbi Smith
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ROMANTIC TIMES
PRAISES
NEW YORK TIMES
BESTSELLING
AUTHOR BOBBI SMITH!

BRAZEN

“As sexy and gritty as [Smith] has ever written.”

HALF-MOON RANCH: HUNTER’S MOON

“Bobbi Smith is a terrific storyteller whose wonderful characters, good dialogue and compelling plot will keep you up all night.”

FOREVER AUTUMN

“Forever Autumn
is a fast-paced, delightful story.”

LONE WARRIOR

“Fast paced, swift moving and filled with strong, well-crafted characters.”

EDEN

“The very talented Bobbi Smith has written another winner.
Eden
is filled with adventure, danger, sentimentality and romance.”

THE HALF-BREED (SECRET FIRES)

“Witty, tender, strong characters and plenty of action, as well as superb storytelling, make this a keeper.”

BRIDES OF DURANGO: JENNY

“Bobbi Smith has another winner. This third installment is warm and tender as only Ms. Smith can do. . . . Ms. Smith’s fans will not be disappointed.”

BRIDES OF DURANGO: TESSA

“Another wonderful read by consummate storyteller Bobbi Smith. . . . Filled with adventure and romance, more than one couple winds up happily-ever-after in this gem.”

BRIDES OF DURANGO: ELISE

“There’s plenty of action, danger and heated romance as the pages fly by. This is exactly what fans expect from Bobbi Smith.”

MORE
ROMANTIC TIMES
RAVES FOR STORYTELLER OF
THE YEAR BOBBI SMITH!

WESTON’S LADY

“Bobbi Smith has penned another winner.”

HALF-BREED’S LADY

“A fast-paced, frying-pan-into-the-fire adventure that runs the gamut of emotions, from laughter to tears. A must-read for Ms. Smith’s fans, and a definite keeper.”

OUTLAW’S LADY

“Bobbi Smith is an author of many talents; one of them being able to weave more than one story. . . . Ms. Smith creates characters that one will remember for some time to come.”

THE LADY & THE TEXAN

“An action-packed read with roller-coaster adventures that keep you turning the pages.
The Lady & the Texan
is just plain enjoyable.”

RENEGADE’S LADY

“A wonderfully delicious ‘Perils of Pauline’ style romance. With dashes of humor, passion, adventure and romance, Ms. Smith creates another winner that only she could write!”

ONLY THE TWO OF THEM

For the first time in years, no thoughts of Jessie haunted Hawk. He was aware only of Randi, of how beautiful she was and how much he wanted to hold her close. He gave no thought to learning to dance. Instead, with utmost tenderness, he bent to her and claimed her lips in a cherishing kiss.

The kiss was gentle—for a moment.

Then the power of the attraction they could no longer deny overwhelmed them both.

A deep abiding hunger filled Hawk. He crushed Randi to him. His mouth moved hungrily over hers, and Randi responded without reserve. She met him in that passionate exchange, reveling in his nearness, glorying in the hard press of his body against hers.

Any thought that they might be discovered was forgotten. They clung together, thrilling in the excitement of their newly acknowledged need for one another.

It was only the two of them—alone in the sweet, blissful heat of the night.

Other books by Bobbi Smith:

BRAZEN

BAYOU BRIDE

HUNTER’S MOON

FOREVER AUTUMN

LONE WARRIOR

EDEN

WANTON SPLENDOR

SWEET SILKEN BONDAGE

THE HALF-BREED (SECRET FIRES)

WESTON’S LADY

HALF-BREED’S LADY

OUTLAW’S LADY

FORBIDDEN FIRES

RAPTURE’S RAGE

THE LADY & THE TEXAN

RENEGADE’S LADY

THE LADY’S HAND

LADY DECEPTION

The
Brides of Durango
series:

ELISE

TESSA

JENNY

Writing as Julie Marshall:

HAVEN

This book is dedicated to everyone at Ford
Motor Company, especially those working at the
St. Louis Assembly Plant. Thanks for keeping my
husband busy working all these years!

DORCHESTER PUBLISHING

Published by

Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.
200 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Copyright © 2005 by Bobbi Smith

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Trade ISBN: 978-1-4285-1757-8
E-book ISBN: 978-1-4285-1755-4

First Dorchester Publishing, Co., Inc. edition: August 2005

The “DP” logo is the property of Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.

Printed in the United States of America.

Visit us online at
www.dorchesterpub.com
.

Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Prologue

Texas, late 1860s

Chuck Green, foreman of the Bar T, was out working in the corral when he happened to glance up. He froze. Terror ate at him. There in the distance atop the low rise that overlooked the ranch was an Apache raiding party.

“Ray!” he shouted to the boss. “Indians!”

Ray Taylor rushed out of the stable just as the renegades started to attack.

“Quick! Warn the others and get in the house!” he ordered.

The ranch hands grabbed up their weapons and raced for what safety they could find in the main house. Ray only prayed they would be able to hold the savages off.

He knew the Apache had been raiding from across the border. Neighboring ranches had suffered attacks in the past few months. He also knew how devastating—and deadly—an attack could be.

Ray made sure all his men were inside, then slammed the door shut behind himself. His wife, Kate, quickly barred the door as Jessie, his nephew’s wife, ran to get all the guns and ammunition that were stored in the house. Ray had no doubt they were going to need it all.

The first wave of the attack closed in as the men of the Bar T took up defensive positions at the windows. Jessie and Kate joined them. They were both good with a gun and determined to help defend their home.

No one spoke. There was little to say. They all knew just by the size of the raiding party that they were in trouble.

Though the men of the Bar T were good shots, there was no stopping the raiders. They ran off the stock and set fire to the outbuildings, then closed in on the main house.

“Ray! What are we going to do?” Kate was horrified by the devastation, overwhelmed with fear of what was to come.

“Hawk and the other men are out on the range. They may be close enough to hear what’s going on,” Ray said, hoping their nephew might return early from checking stock. He and his men weren’t due back until later that night, but Ray realized they were his only hope.

“Uncle Ray!” Jessie cried out. “Chuck’s been shot!”

The foreman collapsed and lay unmoving on the floor near her.

“Keep shootin’!” Ray ordered.

“Dear God, Ray . . . the house is on fire,” Kate gasped in a strangled voice as she noticed smoke coming from upstairs.

“Stay here—I’ll see if I can put it out!” Ray disappeared up the narrow steps as the renegades continued their bloodthirsty attack.

It was late that afternoon when Hawk Morgan, Ted Johnson, and Will Fletcher rode for the Bar T ranch house. All three men were ready to relax and enjoy one of the delicious home-cooked meals Kate and Jessie served up every night.

Hawk was definitely looking forward to getting back, just so he could be with Jessie—his bride of only three months. During the years when he was growing up on the Bar T with his aunt and uncle, he’d never believed that he’d be able to find the peace and happiness others did. He’d always known he was different. His mother had been Comanche, and he’d been raised in her village until he was ten years old. That was when she’d died. His father, a trader who came to see them only a few times a year, had shown up a little while later. Learning of her death, he had taken his young son to live with his sister and her husband.

His aunt Kate and uncle Ray had taken him in and raised him as their own for these last ten years. He’d had some trouble adapting, but with their support and love he’d made the transition. He lived the white man’s life now, but there were always those who refused to let him forget that he had Comanche blood in his veins. And that was why he’d never thought he’d find someone like Jessie—a beautiful girl who loved him for who he was.

Hawk spurred his horse a little faster, thinking of his lovely wife.

“You that hungry or are you wanting to see your sweetie?” Ted joked.

“What do you think?” Hawk retorted with a grin.

“It ain’t the food, Ted.” Will chuckled.

They rode on for a few more miles, talking easily to pass the time. It was Ted who noticed the drifting smoke in the distance.

“Look!” Ted’s voice was suddenly anxious. “Is that coming from—”

“The ranch!” Hawk spurred his horse to a gallop.

Ted and Will were right behind him. Dread filled them as they raced toward the Bar T. They hoped it was only a brush fire, something that could be easily contained.

But it wasn’t.

They rode over the hill to find a scene of pure horror before them. All that remained of the Bar T were smoldering embers and broken-down fences.

Terror filled Hawk. He reined in violently before what was left of the ranch house.

“Jessie!” Hawk shouted as he threw himself from his horse. He prayed she had somehow escaped with his aunt and uncle, but he saw no sign of life.

Hawk began a grim and desperate search. Rage and frustration filled him as he tore through the still-smoking remains of the ranch house. Ted and Will worked by his side, combing the area, hoping that somehow, some way, someone had survived.

BOOK: Bobbi Smith
11.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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