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Winter Fire

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Winter Fire

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Orphaned at thirteen, a mail-order bride at fourteen, widowed at sixteen, Sarah Kennedy has learned to depend upon no one but herself—reserving all her love for her younger brother Conner, and...
Orphaned at thirteen, a mail-order bride at fourteen, widowed at sixteen, Sarah Kennedy has learned to depend upon no one but herself—reserving all her love for her younger brother Conner, and...
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Description-
  • Orphaned at thirteen, a mail-order bride at fourteen, widowed at sixteen, Sarah Kennedy has learned to depend upon no one but herself—reserving all her love for her younger brother Conner, and for the wounded hawks she heals and returns to the air.

    A hardened Civil War veteran, personal tragedy has taught Case Maxwell three things: to be a patient, deadly fighter, to love nothing that can die; and that justice is blind. But when a confrontation with his sworn enemies, the Culpepper clan, leaves him near death, Case finds himself, like many another damaged wild creature, under the tender, unwanted care of Sarah Kennedy.

    Destiny has brought the healer and the warrior together to brave chilling risks and dangerous truths in a hard, magnificent land—two souls haunted by a perilous present and the bitter ghosts of the past. But the intense emotion both Case and Sarah fear—the passion that burns like fire in the very heart of winter—is the only thing that can truly save them, as together they seek the courage to face the greatest risk of all: love.

    Orphaned at thirteen, a mail-order bride at fourteen, widowed at sixteen, Sarah Kennedy has learned to depend upon no one but herself—reserving all her love for her younger brother Conner, and for the wounded hawks she heals and returns to the air.

    A hardened Civil War veteran, personal tragedy has taught Case Maxwell three things: to be a patient, deadly fighter, to love nothing that can die; and that justice is blind. But when a confrontation with his sworn enemies, the Culpepper clan, leaves him near death, Case finds himself, like many another damaged wild creature, under the tender, unwanted care of Sarah Kennedy.

    Destiny has brought the healer and the warrior together to brave chilling risks and dangerous truths in a hard, magnificent land—two souls haunted by a perilous present and the bitter ghosts of the past. But the intense emotion both Case and Sarah fear—the passion that burns like fire in the very heart of winter—is the only thing that can truly save them, as together they seek the courage to face the greatest risk of all: love.

 
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  • From the Book

    "Don't move. Don't even breathe."

    The man's low, emotionless voice was enough to freeze Sarah Kennedy in place. But even if his voice hadn't stilled her, the rest of him would have.

    Moving and breathing just weren't possible.

    Sarah was stretched out full-length on her stomach, pinned to cold slickrock at the edge of a drop-off, flattened beneath a stranger's overwhelming weight. The man covered her from head to heels.

    "Lord, but that's a lot of man, she thought fearfully. Not fat. Just big."

    "Too big."

    Even if the stranger gave her an opening, she wouldn't have a chance in a fight against him. Despite his size, he was quick and quiet as a hawk.

    Sarah had never even suspected that she was no longer alone beneath the stone overhang of the shallow cave.

    The stranger's body was as hard as the cold rock that was squashing her breasts and gouging her hipbones even through her winter clothing. The man's leather-gloved right hand was across her mouth with a grip that meant to stay there no matter how she twisted or tried to bite him.

    She didn't waste her strength in useless fighting. An unhappy marriage had taught her that even a young, healthy girl didn't have much chance against an old man her own size and weight.

    The man pinning her down right now was neither old nor her size and weight.

    And that wasn't the worst of it.

    Despite the dry winter chill, the stranger's left hand was bare. It held a six-gun that looked entirely too well used.

    As though Sarah's captor understood that she wasn't going to fight him, his grip eased enough for her to breathe.

    But not enough for her to cry out.

    "I won't hurt you," the man said very quietly against her ear.

    Like hell you won't, she thought. "That's all most men are good for. Hurting women."

    Silently she swallowed against the fear and nausea roiling in her stomach.

    "Easy now, little one," the man murmured. "I don't mistreat women, horses, or dogs."

    She hadn't heard that saying since her father's death. It startled her even as it gave her a flicker of hope.

    "But if those Culpeppers gathering at the bottom of the cliff get their hands on you," the stranger continued, "they'll make you pray for death. Your prayers will be answered, but not nearly quick enough to suit you."

    A chill washed over Sarah that had nothing to do with the winter night or the icy rock she was lying on.

    "Nod if you understand me," the man said.

    Despite his educated accents and the hint of a drawl, his voice was low, soft, deadly.

    She nodded.

    "Now, nod if you believe me," he added dryly.

    An absurd desire to laugh shot through her.

    Hysteria, she thought. Get hold of yourself. You've been through worse and come out right side up.

    Again, Sarah nodded.

    "Girl, I hope you're not lying to me."

    She shook her head vigorously.

    "Good," he murmured. "Because sure as God made little green apples, as soon as you scream we're going to be up to our butts in hot lead."

    Once again she felt a crazy desire to laugh. She controlled it.

    Barely.

    Slowly the stranger's hand came away from her mouth.

    Sarah took a long, deep, silent breath. The air she drew into her body tasted of leather and was spiced with an intriguing scent.

    Apple, she realized. He's just eaten an apple.

    A bit more of the aching tension left her body.

    Her husband had demanded sex only when he was drinking, not when he was eating.

    Even more reassuring to her, there wasn't the faintest trace ~, of liquor on the stranger's breath. Nor was there any hint of liquor on his skin or clothes. All she could smell was a trace of soap, leather, heat, and . . . apple.

About the Author-
  • Elizabeth Lowell's acclaimed suspense novels include the New York Times bestsellers Death Echo, Blue Smoke and Murder, Innocent as Sin, The Wrong Hostage, Always Time to Die, The Color of Death, Die in Plain Sight, Running Scared, and Moving Target, as well as four books featuring the Donovan family: Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. Lowell has more than thirty million books in print. She lives in Nevada with her husband, with whom she writes mystery novels under a pseudonym.

    Las aclamadas novelas de suspenso de la autora Elizabeth Lowell incluyen varios bestsellers en la New York Times. Lowell ha vendido más de treinta millones de ejemplares. Vive con su esposo en Seattle, Washington y Sedona, Arizona, con quien escribe novelas de misterio bajo un seudónimo.

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    HarperCollins
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