★★★COMING FEBRUARY 25 ★★★
UNFORGIVEN by Jay Crownover releases soon!
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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a tough Texas Ranger and his first love–a woman in danger who insists she doesn’t need his protection.
Hill Gamble is a model lawman: cool and collected, with a confident swagger to boot. Too bad all that Texas charm hasn’t gotten him anywhere in his personal life, especially since the only girl he ever loved has always been off-limits. But then Hill is assigned to investigate her father’s mysterious death, and he’s forced back to the town–and the woman–he left behind.
When Hill left Loveless, he broke Kody Lawton’s already battered heart. And now that he’s working on her father’s case, avoiding him is impossible. She can handle Hill and her unwanted feelings–until he puts his life on the line to protect her. Suddenly, Kody realizes that Hill could be taken away from her…for good.
As I stood in the doorway, I took in the bar. It had a decent-size crowd
considering it was a Tuesday night. The mix of patrons was as eclectic
as the decor. It was all very Kody. The building was an old barn, so the
interior had a lot of western elements, including old whiskey barrels for
tables. But there were also brightly colored artwork and neon signs
brightening up the space. Instead of the big lighting fixture in the middle
of the bar being made out of antlers or wrought iron, it was an intricate
mix of colorful glass beads. The whole thing was very country and
western meets boho chic. The people filling up the seats were mostly
Loveless residents. They included the guys gathered near the bar
dressed in leather, covered in tattoos, and rocking club colors. The Sons
of Sorrow motorcycle club had moved into the hill country on the
outskirts of Loveless years after I’d left town. Now their flashy bikes and
intimidating presence were as commonplace as pickup trucks and horse
trailers. It made sense they liked Kody’s bar since it was between town
and their clubhouse, but I didn’t have to like it.
I really didn’t like the way the large, dark-haired man leaning across the
bar looked at Kody. I knew from Case that Palmer “Shot” Caldwell was
the current president of the Texas branch of the club. I’d taken it upon
myself to learn more about the man when he ended up in the middle of
the last case that brought me home. Shot was a former marine, a
decorated sniper, the son of the founder of the club, and someone Kody
was inexplicably close to. Everything about her relationship with the
biker set my teeth on edge and had me wanting to make a claim I had no
right to stake.
As I stepped forward, the heavy wooden door shut with a bang behind
me and drew the eyes of the people sitting closest to me. I saw a couple
of looks of recognition, and some people purposely looking away. I
nodded and touched the tip of my finger to the brim of my hat in a fairly
polite greeting. These people weren’t my friends. No one in this town
had tried to help my brother when he needed it the most, and I would
never forget that. Unlike the Lawton kids, I’d left Loveless in the rearview
mirror and planned on never looking back. All of my worst memories
were here. So was the one person I wanted more than anything but
knew I could never have.
Under the dim bar lights, I met Kody’s gaze across the room. She looked
pale. Her wild mane of multicolored blond hair was messier than usual,
and she appeared to be swaying slightly every time she let go of her
hold on the bar. Her eyes narrowed, and at first, I thought she was giving
me a dirty look, but the next instant her entire body lurched and she
toppled over, listing to the side and disappearing behind the wide, long
My heart stopped for a split second and I had to bite my tongue to stop
from screaming her name. I found myself in dangerous, deadly situations
due to my job, but I couldn’t recall a single instance when I had been as
terrified as I was in that moment Kody went down.
I heard the biker shout her name and was vaguely aware of him kicking
back his bar stool as he jumped to his feet. I was moving before I had
time to weigh whether it was a good idea. Kody didn’t like it when I was
in her space. She’d told me she hated me and ordered me to leave her
alone on more than one occasion, but none of that stopped me from
reaching the bar in record time. It didn’t slow me down when I planted a
hand near the biker’s empty drink and vaulted over the top of the bar.
I landed on the floor in front of Kody, ignoring the shouts and commotion
coming from all directions. I waved off the bartender hovering uncertainly
behind Kody and quietly asked, “Are you okay, Kody?”
The answer was obvious when, instead of biting my head off, her big,
bright-green eyes flooded with tears and her shoulders started to shake
with silent sobs. Having people burst into tears as I was talking to them,
was a pretty common occurrence considering my line of work. I’d
developed a natural immunity to tears of all kinds. But not to Kody’s.
Hearing her breath catch and watching her eyelashes get spiky and
damp as she struggled to hold the tears back made my heart twist
painfully in my chest.
About JAY CROWNOVER:
Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.
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