Published by: Grand Central
Publication date: February 26th 2013
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Thriller
On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman’s worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers. Robbed of her youthful ideals and at the center of scandal and tragedy, Jade ran as far and as fast as she could. But she never forgot the sleepy “company town” where every man, woman, and child was dependent on one wealthy family. And she never forgot their spoiled son, who with his two friends changed her life forever. Someday, somehow, she’d return . . . exacting a just revenge, freeing herself from her enemies’ grasp, and, perhaps, fulfilling a lost promise of love.
Excerpt"Leave me alone, Dillon!"
"Not until I understand what's going on."
"You're not supposed to understand."
"Why do you flinch every time a man comes near you?"
"I don't flinch."
"The hell you don't," he said softly. "You nearly fainted a few seconds ago when your breasts came up against me. And the expression on your face when you discovered I'm hard defied description.
"I didn't notice."
"You're lying. Is Hutch Jolly the man who made you frigid?"
"I'm not frigid."
"No? Could have fooled me."
"Maybe I just don't find you attractive."
He linked his fingers at the back of her neck beneath her hair where her skin was dewy from the heat. ''That's another lie, Jade." Ducking his head, be whisked his mustache across her lips. "You said yourself you liked my kiss."
He touched the comer of her lips with his tongue. It was thrilling, terrifying. His teasing caress made her hot and dizzy. She curled her hands into the front of his shirt, feeling the solid muscles beneath the cloth. His size and strength overwhelmed her; he could hurt her. He felt and smelled masculine. His maleness both seduced and repelled fought its appeal and her terror of it.
"Don't do this, Dillon," she begged against his seeking lips. "I can't replace her. No woman can."
His head snapped back. "What did you say?"
"I won't be one of those women you 'nail' in grief for your wife."
"Is that what you think you are, just another soft, wet route to forgetfulness?"
"It's possible, isn't it?"
He muttered an expletive. "Listen, if that's all I wanted, I could have a naked woman in my bed by nightfall."
"But would she also have a teenage son?"
"Oh, I get it," he said tightly. "Graham is supposed to be a replacement for the son I lost."
"You've certainly made overtures to get close to him."
His fury was as palpable as the heat. It shimmied through his body and into hers. He gave her a crude once-over, stopping at her breasts and at the tops of her thighs, before lifting his gaze back to her face. "You don't give yourself enough credit, Jade. Whether or not you had Graham, I'd still want to fuck you."
He turned and strode toward his parked pickup. Jade, now angry in her own right, charged after him. She caught up as he was climbing into the driver's seat. "If you persist in saying things like that to me, I'll have no choice except dismiss you."
"Go ahead,'' he said with a belligerent jerk of his chin.
He was probably only calling her bluff to scare her, but worked. The thought of his walking off the project now was sobering. Where would she find a contractor as good? What excuse would she give George Stein, who had nothing but glowing things to say about Dillon?
She tried another tack. "I'm still convinced that you're best man for this job, Dillon."
"Don't you see that it wouldn't be smart for us to become lovers even if . . . if I could."
"I never claimed it was smart."
"It would permanently alter our good working relationship. Neither of us wants that, do we?"
"TexTile is too important to both of us. We can't let personal conflicts interfere with our work.''
"If you say so."
"Then, you see my point?"
"I see your point."
"And I have your word that you won't pursue this any further?"
Until then, he had avoided looking directly at her. When he fixed his eyes on her, she felt their impact like a soft blow to the abdomen. Then he slid on his opaque sunglasses, and she couldn't see his eyes at all.
About the author
Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.
A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.”
In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.
Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
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