Published by: Grand Central
Publication date: August 18th 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance, SuspenseSynopsis:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.
A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?
Holly [was] essentially alone with Crawford Hunt.
Besides that being inherently awkward, his physicality was intimidating. His boots added at least an inch and a half to his height which was well over six feet. He had appeared in court wearing well pressed blue jeans, a plain white shirt, black necktie, and a sport jacket.
At some point since then, he’d discarded the sport jacket, loosened his tie, unbuttoned his collar, and rolled up his sleeves to just below his elbows. His hair was defying the slick-back treatment he’d given it only minutes ago. Straw-colored and thick, it seemed to have a will of its own.
He went to stand on the other side of the hallway where he leaned with his back against the wall and just looked at her, his demeanor declaring them opponents. In her view, his animosity was unwarranted.
Trying to break the ice, she said, “Are the Gilroys all right? Your mother-in-law was terribly upset when she was finally allowed to leave the courtroom after being questioned.”
“She was shaken up pretty bad. Last I talked to Joe about an hour ago, she still hadn’t stopped crying.”
“How traumatic it must have been for them.”
He gave a grim nod.
“And how is your daughter?”
Visibly he tensed. “She’s on a sleep-over with a neighbor lady and her granddaughter. I thought it would be best if she spent the night there. She wouldn’t understand why Grace and Joe are so upset, and I was tied up here.”
Holly didn’t miss the deliberate implication that the sleep-over had been approved by him, as though he was the decision-maker where his daughter was concerned. The angle of his chin challenged her to dispute that.
But at least she had gotten a few words out of him, even if they had been cursory. Believing their conversation was over, she turned her head aside.
“What about you?”
Surprised by the question, she looked back at him.
He said, “You okay?”
She was about to respond with the polite lie she’d been giving her colleagues and friends. I’m fine, thank you for asking. That’s probably what he expected her to say. But, surprising herself, she gave an uncharacteristic burble of nervous laughter. “Not really, no.” Perhaps because they’d shared the experience, she felt she could be honest with him.
His eyes were the only part of him in motion as he took her in from head to toe. Meeting her gaze again, he said, “I landed on you hard. Did I hurt you?”
“No.” She accompanied her quick answer with a shake of her head.
“What about that?” He hitched his chin.
“Oh.” Tentatively she reached up and ran her fingertips over the tender spot just above her eyebrow. “When you pushed me down, my head hit the floor.”
“No apology necessary.”
“You have a goose egg.”
“Until my assistant called my attention to it, I didn’t realize it was there.”
“It’ll hang on for a while.”
“No lasting harm done, though. When I think about what could have been, I begin to lose it.”
“Then stop thinking about it.”
“Easier said.” She held her hands in front of her at waist level, parallel to the floor. “I’ve tried to keep it from showing, but they won’t stop shaking.”
“Not to me.”
“No. Typically I don’t scare so easily.”
“Today’s scare wasn’t typical.”
She crossed her arms over her middle in an effort to contain the shudder that passed through her. “I can’t get the image of him out of my mind.”
“He was freaky, all right.”
“Honestly, Mr. Hunt? I was terrified.”
He hesitated a beat, then, speaking barely above a mumble, said, “You held it together when it counted.”
It was a veiled compliment, delivered grudgingly, so it seemed inappropr
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.