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Condemned for the name he carries…
Desperate to stop a fiery history from repeating itself, Capt. Nicholas Sinclair begins a frantic race against a madman. Never could he have imagined, while tracking his brother’s killer through a community racked with hate over his father’s arsonist past, that he would be propelled headlong into marriage with the beautiful daughter of the only man who might hold some answers…nor that Briana’s gentle way and her tiny imp of a daughter might actually manage to penetrate the well-guarded barriers of his worn and battered heart. But the clock is ticking—and as Nicholas intensifies his search, and struggles to save his young family, he begins to wonder if his greatest threat will come—not from his faceless enemy—but from the woman he’s dared to take for his own...
Haunted by a long-buried secret…
Briana Corwin will do anything to protect her daughter, and in a rash attempt to keep young Emily’s not-quite-legal adoption from coming to light, she soon finds herself the sacrifice that will keep her little girl safe. She hadn’t stopped to consider, however, that the price might well be as high as her own heart and soul, nor that the secret she has guarded for so very long could well destroy them all. How could she possibly have known that the little girl she has loved, and raised since infancy, is the very child of Nicholas’s own slain brother? A child he has believed dead for some three full years…
From the oak-strewn hills of a deteriorating plantation home in Post Civil War Virginia to the dark and mysterious swamplands beyond, Nicholas and Briana are drawn into the most horrific battle they will ever have to face. A battle of wills, a battle of hearts, and finally, a battle against the twisted sickness of an arsonist’s mind…
…she whispered his name and saw him tense, his knuckles going white against his grip on the knob. As if waging some silent battle within himself, Nicholas remained where he was, his back to her, head bowed low. When he turned back, his eyes swam with an uncertainty she was sure he wasn't aware of.
Oh, Faith...he's afraid of me. Afraid to get too close. Afraid to open himself to more hurt...
She rose up on her knees, reaching out to him.
Something intense flickered over his expression and, slowly, he moved toward her. He stopped, his large frame looming over her, but he did not touch her. She knew he was waiting, giving her a chance to change her mind...but she could no more push him away than she could offer him the full truth.
His large hand took her face and held it gently, his eyes searching, almost wondering. But so haunted, it near took her breath away.
She lowered her lashes, her gaze falling upon the thick section of scarring visible above his collar. Without will, her hand began to move, her fingertips gently tracing the curved length of puckered flesh at his neck, following it downward. She felt him go still...his whole being becoming completely, utterly rigid. But she did not stop her careful caress. Only when she was prevented from going any further by the soft folds of his shirt, did she dare to glance up. Imploring him with her eyes, she drew him against her, slowly, measuring.
A probing query came into his gaze, and for a moment, he only stared down at her. Waiting. Silent. An instant later, however, those blazing blue orbs became a slow burn against her skin, and when he spoke, his voice was a dangerous husk of sound...
“You're walking a dangerous line, wife.”