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Authors: Suzie Grant,Mind Moore

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BOOK: For the Sake of Sin
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The way she moved intrigued him. Slow, smooth, calculated steps drew his attention as the rolling wheels on a passing wagon drowned out the tinkle of her Mexican spurs and the steady clomp of dusty black boots. The building’s overhang cast the woman’s profile in shade while late afternoon sun shed the shadow of lush curves across the wood-grain floor. He couldn’t see her face yet just the red hair set ablaze, the ends curling like flaming fingers around her waist.

She lowered one hand to rest on the set of Remingtons holstered on her waist. Gade narrowed his gaze. The customized army forty-fours had both of the wooden handles removed and replaced by solid silver.

What made a woman pack a set of pistols like that?

Plopping down in a chair outside the saloon, the woman offered a coin for a boot shine to the young boy, and propped one denim clad leg on the stool. A hand clapped down on his back and drew his attention. “Welcome back, Gade. It’s good to see you again.”

Gade whipped around toward the dark-haired man in the three-piece-suit and black boots. “I didn’t even notice you there, Garret.” He dropped his single bag on the ground to give his younger sibling a hearty hug. “It’s been too long, hasn’t it?”

Twelve years, but I’m glad you’re home.” His brother’s intense silver-grey eyes, familiar even after all the time away, crinkled under the sun’s rays. The slightest breeze trickled through the deserted main street and stirred the dust under their feet.

The telegram he’d received several weeks ago had been unexpected, and he couldn’t shake the feeling, like a noose had slipped over his neck. After twelve years, his father still tried to correct a wrong he couldn’t amend. Nothing would ever change the fact that he’d left this part of his life behind years ago. Not even the urgency in the letter could erase the memory of his mother’s suicide.

Garret retrieved a small metal case from his vest pocket. “Not everyone is going to be glad to see you.”

Yeah, I figured as much,” Gade replied, a dull ache developed in his chest as he realized the truth of those words.
Their brother never was the kind to forgive and forget.

I’m not sure how Warren is going to take the news of your return. So, don’t expect a welcome wagon from him.” Garret spoke around the cigarette in his mouth. “This place has gone downhill since you left.” He lit it and replaced the casing in his pocket. “As if it wasn’t bad enough already.”

One hundred and twenty-five miles northwest of San Antonio, Eden had little to commend it. A town full of numerous saloons, brothels and gambling halls nestled in a valley south of Edward’s Plateau.

Don’t worry,
, I don’t plan to be here long.” Gade pulled on the chain then flipped the top of his pocket watch open to look at the time.
I don’t want to be here any longer than I have to be.

Garret retrieved the discarded bag and urged Gade forward. “C’mon, let’s get a drink before we head out to the ranch. You’re gonna need it.”

He shuffled up the steps and past the red head. She tugged the brim of her hat down and he couldn’t get a good look at her face. The double swinging doors swooshed to and fro behind him as he followed his brother to the bar, propping a foot on the brass rail. He squinted to adjust his vision to the dim interior. One of Eden’s finest held about a half-dozen people. Three men played an early game of faro at the rear, and another sat at the other end of the bar. The stench of stale alcohol and cigars assaulted him, and the gauzy haze of smoke burned his eyes. An inch of dirt covered the interior of the Whiskey Spades and the grating scrape of his boots echoed in the curious silence of the establishment.

So this is paradise.

The doors thwapped open again and daylight spilled across the grainy floor. The woman entered behind them and headed for the bar, several spaces down. Her reflection distorted slightly in the smeared, cracked mirror and produced shards of color within the rows of bottles aligned across the counter. A whistle from a nearby stage driver split the late afternoon air and the soft murmur of voices increased at her entrance. Gade shifted. She appeared oblivious to the attention, or too confident to care.

Over the last thirty-five years, some of the most beautiful women since Eve fed Adam the forbidden fruit had taught Gade some valuable lessons in love, but he imagined this red-head could teach him something new. The woman who’d attracted his attention walked right by with little more than a cursory glance in his direction.

Like himself, she propped a foot on the brass rail. “Bartender. Get me a whiskey.” The husky timbre of her voice sent a curl of heat through him.

She glanced over at them and nodded. “Garret.”

Garret tipped his hat.

How did his brother know this woman? Who was she?
He was certain he would’ve remembered her if she were from Eden.

Gade waited for an introduction but seconds passed, and Garret had focused his attention out the window.

So what’s Pa want with me?” Gade asked, hoping to get his brother to open up about something.

I’ll let the ol’ man tell you that. It’s not my place.”

He figured they should head on out to the ranch, but Gade wasn’t ready to give up the view quite yet. His gaze met hers in the mirror. The first clear glance of the woman made his heart slam against his ribs and stick there. Classic features and a smooth complexion widened his gaze in surprise. But the full mouth turned up in a knowing smile as if she kept secrets from him. And he suddenly wished she’d whisper them in his ear.

Despite her delicate appearance, her dark midnight eyes were fierce, almost hostile. The intense look lasted only seconds, long enough for him to tip his hat in hello.

Hell, my unwanted family reunion is twelve years overdue, what’s one more night?



Check out more at



The Devil’s Defiance


Book two in the Devil Ryder Series available December2011


New York City Lawyer Garret Ryder takes the law into his own hands when a vicious killer gets away with murdering his family. Nothing will stop him from delivering the justice denied him by the law he vowed to uphold. But when the killer kidnaps a judge’s daughter, his childhood sweetheart, he must decide if any price is too high to exact revenge.


San Antonio socialite Sophia Maria Osbourne doesn’t trust easily. With a dirty politician and a blackmailing judge for a father, she learned not to rely on anyone but herself. But when her father’s shady dealings lead to her kidnapping, she must place her faith in the man who broke her heart, if she hopes to survive.




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BOOK: For the Sake of Sin
9.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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