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His legendary spirit is restless for revenge. But the touch of one woman could change his mind—and his destiny.
An irresistible force.
When Jared Beaudry’s restless spirit stumbles across a re-enactment of the Civil War battle in which he was murdered and mutilated, he jumps at the chance to find peace at last. Instead, his desperate leap into another man’s body triggers a deadly chain of events nothing can stop.
An immovable object.
Faced with an entire re-enacting unit possessed by spirits of the dead, psychic sensitive Taylor Brannon’s first instinct is to run. But she swallows her terror and stands her ground to protect her friends from a ghost who seems hell-bent on revenge and self-destruction.
Jared’s powerful spirit touches her in the most deeply guarded depths of her heart, and after one burning night in his arms, Taylor adds another impossible task to her list: To somehow help Beaudry’s Ghost find peace. Caught up in a runaway train of events that races inevitably toward one tragic conclusion, Taylor finds herself fighting for the life—and love—of a ghost.
The cost could be her soul.
This title has been revised and expanded from its previously published version.
Warning: This title contains explicit sex, a couple of recklessly sexy ghosts, bloody battle scenes, spirit possession, and yummy men in uniform.
Also available in ebook formats!
“Shhhh,” he said softly, his shoulders curved around her protectively. He rocked her until her breathing slowed to somewhat normal. Her spine felt as sturdy as a well-cooked noodle as he set her away from him and set to work on the buttons on the front of the sweater she wore. Her skin ached from the loss of contact. After a lifetime keeping herself separate from the rest of the world, she wanted nothing to more than to stay sheltered in this man’s arms until time ended. Then she glanced down at her right shoulder and grimaced. Blood spotted the peach-colored yarn.
“Ugh. Lane is going to kill me,” she said as he peeled away the sticky wet sweater from the wound. Dark blood oozed from under the soaked dressing.
“Then Lane will have to get through me, first.” His concentration was total as he cut the mess away and reached for a handful of fresh dressing sponges. He pressed the wad not ungently onto the wound, but the pain made her sway toward him, naked upper body and all. Modesty deserted her. At this point, she figured he’d already seen all she meagerly had to offer, anyway.
He supported her with one arm while pressing with the other hand, and dropped small kisses onto the top of her head as she leaned against him. She absorbed his tenderness and let it lay warm in her belly.
“I have to stop this, Jared.”
She felt him go still, and dug her fingers into his biceps to stop his automatic withdrawal.
“I mean, look at me.” Instantly his eyes flicked down then away, his ears going red. She laughed softly. “Then again, don’t look at me. My point is, I’ve barely slept since Troy died. In the past day I’ve been knocked upside the head, threatened with sharp objects, forced to shoot live ammunition at innocent people, and been shot myself. All in the name of having the last word with my dead brother. Maybe you think you triggered this whole thing, Jared, but what if it was me? What if my own selfish need to see Troy at all costs put all my friends—and you—in this terrible situation?”
Jared took a deep breath. “You didn’t—”
“No, let me finish, Jared Beaudry, because you’re as bad as I am. Worse. My god, you’ve been hanging around for a long time waiting to take revenge on a man who has already gotten what he deserved. We both have to—”
He pulled back and regarded her with a closed expression. “Your situation—”
“I know, I know, it’s completely different from mine. I know the hell you’ve been through, but we’ve both spent too much time looking back for something that can never be, when we should have been moving forward, honoring the memories of those who loved us.”
He looked as if she had just struck him. Disobeying her own rules, she reached for him, but he ducked away. With an impatient sound, she used her good left hand to snag one of his ears and drag him back to face her.
“They did love you. And they went on loving you even after you think you were dishonored. No one had to tell them the truth. The only one with any shred of dishonor was the one who put the bullet in your back. Not you.”
He stared at her for a long moment, his jaw set as if against agonizing pain, his eyes so bright she almost had to look away. Then he very slowly, very deliberately took her hand and laid it in her lap along with her weak right one, and spent the next long minutes in silence working to stem the flow of her blood and redress the wound.
She sighed in defeat and closed her eyes under his ministrations. And why had she expected any different? She was only now coming to terms with Troy’s death. She had no business thinking herself qualified to help Jared deal with his own losses.
And now, when she most wanted to throw away a lifetime of restrictions and do nothing but hold him, he was the one pulling back.
Finished with the first aid supplies, she heard him set them aside. When she would have expected him to leave her in order to find another shirt to cover her, she opened her eyes and found he still knelt between her parted knees. His hands gripped handfuls of blanket on either side of her hips, his head down. Tears threatened and she waited, hollow inside, for him to tell her to mind her own damned business.
But he lifted his head and touched her with his gaze, and this time no blush reddened his ears. She almost forgot how to breathe as his eyes, alive and restless as the sea outside their door, first traced every contour of her face, then down the long lines of her neck, then finally…
She gasped softly at the tangible sensation of his eyes trailing over her breasts, moving around each one until centering on her nipples, causing them to contract. It was as if, with just his eyes, he was communicating everything he wanted to do to her with his hands.
Namely, to touch her. Everywhere.
She wanted, suddenly and with every cell of her body, for him to do exactly that. With her good hand, she reached down and tried to pry his hand away from its mooring, but it was like trying to move a stone pillar with a butter knife.
“I would hurt you.” His voice was hoarse with restraint, his eyes still locked on her swelling breasts. Her lower body throbbed as if waves, slow and hot, crashed in her groin, lapping against the small spot that rubbed against the seam of her jeans.
“I’m already hurting.” She looked down where only a few inches of space separated their bodies. Even through the loose fabric of his borrowed jeans, his arousal was easy to see. A slight scoot forward, a small arch of her back, and she knew she could be pressed fully against him. Adrenaline flooded her tired body at the mental picture.
“Oh, lord, Miss Taylor, don’t look at me like that,” he pleaded through clenched teeth.
The last of her reason left her as she arched her back, offering herself precisely at the same moment he lowered his head.