Billionaire Akeem Abdul's arrival at the McKade ranch went from business to personal when he learned Taylor McKade's little boy had disappeared. Taylor had only become more beautiful over the years, and Akeem couldn't stand seeing the pain on her face. As they followed the kidnappers' orders and trekked through the Texas heat, Akeem admired the strength it took for Taylor not to fall apart. But he was there when she did--and vowed to bring her son home. Still, all the money in the world couldn't eliminate his secret fears: that if they didn't find her son, this woman he'd finally found again could be lost to him forever....
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March 09, 2009
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Excerpt from Desert Ice Daddy by Dana Marton
A half-dozen men were dead. And some of the clues pointed to a business associate of his, a man he had vouched for. If even the hint of terrorist involvement surfaced, it would end Texas Double A Auctions, the business Akeem Abdul had built from the ground up, the one thing most important to him. Jabar was a friend which was the most difficult part of the whole damned affair to accept.The darker side of his nature bubbled close to the surface, but he quelled it as he always had."I want a name, Mike." Akeem drove along the deserted Texas country road faster than he should have, sending up a cloud of dust behind him."I'm working on it," his head of security responded via the speaker on his cell phone. "I'm checking into who has the most to gain by messing with us."Akeem stared ahead, barely seeing the road. He'd been turning that question over and over in his head all morning. Having enemies was nothing new in his book. At thirty-one, he was old enough and successful enough to have acquired a few. When his equine auction house grew to be the largest in the state, not everyone celebrated with him. In Texas, horses were serious business, about serious money, whipping up plenty of emotions.And he was an outsider, which some people seemed determined not to let him forget."I want to be contacted the second there's any development," he told Mike, then thanked the man and hung up as he turned onto the tree-lined private road that led to Diamondback Ranch.A dozen or so exceptionally fine quarter horses grazed on either side of the road. And as he got closer to the heart of the ranch, reaching the first group of paddocks then passing them, his mind began to clear until it was no longer filled with thoughts of betrayal or security concerns. One image scattered all other thoughts without effort: Taylor McKade. They'd ridden fence together not far from here back in the day, her golden hair flowing in the wind. A smile on her lips He blinked his eyes to dispel that vision.Their fence-riding days were over. He would do well to remember that.He had seen Taylor only a handful of times in the past five years, briefly each time, exchanging only the most polite pleasantries. Their meetings had left him cut off at the knees. Damned if he knew how anyone could stand being next to the only woman he ever loved, knowing she was married to another man.He shook his head and spoke toward the horses in the distance. "Here we go again."His standard operating procedure was to stay away every time Taylor came to the ranch, which hadn't been too difficult until now. She didn't visit her brother's place all that often, and Akeem's business here was only occasional. Flint McKade, his best friend, the man who had built the five-hundred-acre Diamondback, did considerable business with Akeem's auction house, but they tended to meet in Houston for that. Especially of late.But Taylor had left her husband and was now staying at the ranch with her four-year-old son, for good. And the business that had brought Akeem here could not be postponed this time. Which meant they were going to meet again.Today.Now.He drove his white Lincoln Navigator down the gravel road, noting the quiet of the ranch. Two horses danced in the nearest corral, kicking up dust that flew high and wide. The ground was as dry as it ever got, rain desperately needed but not in the immediate forecast. Flint had worried about that last night when they had talked. Not that his friend didn't have his hands full enough with other things just now. Most of the men killed had been his employees.The straight, empty road didn't require much attention, so Akeem could allow his gaze to roam the rolling land. Not a ranch hand in sight. Nothing unusual about that around lunchtime. But with all the trouble the ranch had seen lately His muscles tensed again. He couldn't shake the sense of unease that filled the air. His instincts had been