Esmerelda, Massachusetts, a community built on tradition, held secrets and painful memories. John William (J.W.) Dalton and Willow MacKenzie had once been passionate lovers, two halves of one soul, torn apart by greed and misunderstanding. Now, ten years later, J.W. is sheriff and Willow has returned to Esmerelda to finally lay to rest the tormenting ghosts that continue to haunt her. Her love for J.W. has never died. Willow's return will open old wounds. Can J.W. protect her from the destructive truth that awaits?
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Amber Quill Press, LLC
September 19, 2010
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Excerpt from Esmerelda's Secret by Adrianna Dane
..."J.W." Instinct had her body responding to him. She was not prepared for this.
He turned toward her. John William Dalton, eldest son of Jack Dalton, and the current favored son of Esmerelda. There stood the man who had stolen and destroyed her heart and soul, leaving her with long, dark years of emptiness.
In uniform, he appeared larger, more muscled than she'd remembered, his face chiseled in shadows. Hard eyes studied her, and it was obvious he found her lacking. Willow gripped the towel. How had he known she was here?
At last, he broke the silence. "Hello, Willow. It's been a long time. I'm sorry about your mother, but I hope you're not planning on staying long. We don't need your kind around here." His voice caressed and destroyed her in the same breath.
So much for pleasantries. The words had been meant to hurt and to send her into retreat. Hurt, they did. Retreat, never. She would not let him see her pain.
Willow turned away, rummaging through her suitcase, blinking rapidly to hold back the tears. She couldn't find what she sought, so stopped looking. "What do you want, Sheriff? Are you here to railroad me out of town before I can cause another scandal?" She faced him, in control of herself now. Her hands were balled into fists, her stance rigid, and her head high. "I'm not seventeen, Sheriff, and I don't scare easily. I'll leave when I'm damn well ready to leave. Your scare tactics won't work."
"Think not?" His voice was deceptively quiet. "You've forgotten a lot since you left..."