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A western/historical romance
On the run from a murderous uncle, Katie Beaumont married outlaw Ben Cready the day before he was supposed to hang. They shared one night of explosive passion and for six months, she'd believed herself a widow. Now Ben is back to claim what's his, and that includes the sweet bride he'd never been able to forget.
The jar Katie had been wiping dry slipped out of her hand and bounced off the walnut counter before shattering on the floor. She took a quick step back. A startled scream that had stuck in her throat escaped when she came up against the body behind her.
Strong hands came around her and moved her out of the way of the glass shards. The hands stayed on her waist, and the man behind her bent his head to survey the damage.
“Best clean that up.” He scanned the kitchen, and Katie noted that he must be searching for the broom.
“How . . . What?” she stammered as she turned away from those cold grey eyes she’d known for one afternoon. She pulled the broom out from the tiny closet and held onto it while debating whether to swat at him and see if he’d vanish into vapor, because, for certain, he could not be real.
He’d been on his way to the gallows the last time she’d seen him.
That had been why she’d married him in the first place.
“Irony’s a son of a bitch, darlin’.” His small mouth quirked up into what Katie guessed would have been a smile, if she ever imagined this man smiling.
At close to six feet, he towered over her, and his brown hair, sticking out from under his hat, was dusty and uneven and was in dire need of a wash and cut. It looked like he’d tried to cut it himself once.
Her fingers twitched at her sides, and she had to fist her hands to resist the urge to touch his hair. She almost scolded him for swearing but realized how ridiculous that would sound, to scold him in his own house.
That had been why he had married her in the first place.
He sniffed the air around her then moved his gaze to the fireplace. “Somethin’ smells good. That dinner?” He turned toward the pot over the fire. Crouching, he took a long, deep breath and inhaled the aroma, and Katie could only guess how hungry he must be.
“Uh . . . Mister—”
He turned back to her, and again, there was that cold half smile. “I believe the last time we talked I asked you to call me Ben.”
Katie’s cheeks flushed at the reminder. The last time he’d made the request he’d been inside of her.