Release Day: MAY 27, 2014
Alaska: Where the men are as bold and untamed as America's last wilderness...
It's been three years since Lane Bishop tragically lost her fiancé, and she's finally ready to risk her heart on someone else. The hot look in Dylan Brodie's eyes says he's going to be that man.
But when Lane flies to the remote 1930s fishing lodge to help him renovate, she discovers a little girl who won't speak, eerie legends and strange sounds in the night. And when she investigates the history of the lodge, she uncovers a legacy of injustice and murder.
As danger stalks his daughter and the woman he is coming to love, Dylan must risk everything to uncover the shocking truth.
Lane nodded and ducked into the bedroom. God, she wanted that man. She couldn’t remember ever feeling such lust for a man before.
Taking her hand, he pulled her up out of her chair and into is arms, bent his head to kiss her. At the last second, Lane turned away.
“I need time, Dylan.” Her hands trembled where they rested against his chest. She eased out of his arms, but her gaze remained on his face. “I won’t deny I’m...I’m attracted to you. But I’m not ready to jump in bed with you.”
“You can have all the time you want. I won’t push you. But when I see the same heat in your eyes I know you see in mine, don’t expect me not to act on it.”
Color crept into her face, which only confirmed he’d been right. She’d been wanting him, too.
“I came here to do a job,” she said. “Beyond that, I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”
“I think you know what’s going to happen. I think we both do.” Lane had traveled two thousand miles to come to Alaska and he didn’t believe for a minute it was only for the job. “But I won’t rush you. Not if you aren’t ready.” He gently touched her cheek. “You don’t have to be afraid of me, Lane. I’d never do anything you didn’t want me to do.”
Lane nodded, seemed relieved. “It’s been a long day. I think I’ll bring Finn in and head upstairs.”
“I’ve got to go to Waterside tomorrow. A delivery I’ve been waiting for came in. Would you like to go along?”
Her features brightened. “I’d love to. What time?”
“After breakfast.” A faint smiled tugged at his lips. “Did I mention town’s only fifteen minutes away?”
Lane laughed. “I believe you did. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Dylan watched her walk away. He was giving her time, but time wasn’t something they had a lot of, and he didn’t want to waste it. But along with that, she was there to do a job and he intended to let her do it.
Still he couldn’t help wishing she’d be spending the night in his bed--instead of alone in the room next door.
Lane left Dylan in his office and headed down the hall to get Finn. Her insides were still trembling. He’d almost kissed her. And God she’d wanted him to. But part of her wasn’t ready to move in that direction. She hadn’t been with a man since Jason. She needed time to sort things out, prepare herself.
It was dark as she shoved through the door, just a sliver of moon drifting across the sky. Tall pine trees cast shadows across the ground. A faint breeze rustled the needles on the branches.
“Finn! Come on, boy!” She clapped her hands. “Finn, where are you?”
She clapped her hands again, but there was still no sign of him. “Finn! Finn come here, boy!” Her pulse kicked up as fear snaked through her. Bears, wolves, moose. Dear God, had some wild animal gotten through the fence or had he dug out somehow? It wasn’t like him to run away.
Turning, she raced back into the house for a flashlight, saw Dylan striding down the hall.
“Finn’s missing! It’s too dark to see, but I don’t think he’s in the yard. I’ve got to find him!”
He caught her shoulders as she reached him. “Take it easy. He’s upstairs with Emily.”
She relaxed against him. “Thank God.”
“I went upstairs to check on her and there was Finn, sleeping on her bed.”
“I better go get him. I didn’t mean for him to cause any trouble.”
Dylan just smiled. “He’s fine. Emily must have brought him in.”
They went up the back stairs together. When Dylan opened the bedroom door, Emily was fast asleep, Finn sprawled across the mattress at her feet. Spotting Lane, the dog raised his head, jumped down and trotted over to where she stood in the doorway.
“You aren’t supposed to be any trouble,” she scolded, but she was glad to see him, which he seemed to know.
“Maybe I should get her a dog,” Dylan said. “Maybe it would help.”
Lane smiled. “Well, she’s got Finn now. I’m happy to share him.”
Dylan caught her hand and brought it to his lips, and a delicious little tremor went through her.
“Thanks,” he said, letting her go. But his eyes remained on her face. Lane thought how handsome he was and how strongly she was attracted to him. Dylan walked her to her room and she considered kissing him good-night. But she was afraid if she started kissing him, she wouldn’t want to stop.
“I’ll see you at breakfast,” he said a little gruffly.
Lane nodded and ducked into the bedroom. God, she wanted that man. She couldn’t remember ever feeling such lust for a man before. Not even Jason. Still, she needed to be sure. Sure of Dylan. Certain of her own emotions. And that took time. Waiting was better for both of them.
Lane brushed her teeth and climbed into bed, read for a while, a book of literary fiction she had been trying to finish for months but usually put her to sleep. Groggy, she finally set the book aside and turned off the light. It didn’t take long to fall asleep.
For the first few hours, she slept soundly. The chill in the room and nestled beneath a thick down comforter made for perfect sleeping. It was the loud clanging of metal against metal that jolted Lane awake in the middle of the night.
The red letters on the digital clock read 3:10 a.m. Heart pounding, ears ringing, she swung her legs to the side of the bed, grabbed her fleece robe and pulled it on, shoved her feet into a pair of slippers. Grabbing the flashlight off the floor, she hurried to the door.
The clanging continued, loud and grating on her nerves. Dylan was coming out of his room at the same time she was leaving hers. He was wearing a flannel robe, but it gapped open in front, showing a little of his hard-muscled chest.
“What is that?” she asked, trying not to stare.
“Sounds like a problem with the pipes. The crew was working on them today. They must have caused some kind of problem.” Striding off down the hall, he stopped to make a quick check on his daughter.
“She’s always been a sound sleeper,” he said and closed the door.
Lane fell in behind him as he turned and headed for the back stairs, and both of them hurried down. Mrs. Henry, a single thick gray braid nestled against her shoulder, stuck her head out the door of her room off the kitchen as they passed,
“What is that awful racket?”
“Problem with the plumbing. Go back to bed.”
Lane kept pace with Dylan, wide awake now and curious. Dylan flipped a switch at the head of the stairs, illuminating the basement, which was huge and dark, a big, seemingly bottomless black cavern.
“Stay here.” Taking the flashlight from her hand, he pounded down the stairs.
Lane followed him partway down, watched him cross the room toward the two big propane water heaters that had just been installed. The floor and walls of the basement were made of stone, the ceiling low overhead. The cavernous room was damp, and icy cold seeped beneath her fuzzy pink robe.
The clanging grew louder, sending chills down her spine. As Dylan moved around, shining the flashlight beam into cracks and crevices not illuminated by the overhead lights, the equipment in the room cast eerie shadows against the walls. Lane pressed her hands over her ears to shut out the grating noise, but just then the awful clanging ceased.
Dead silence fell.
Dylan had disappeared but she could hear his footsteps as he prowled the basement that covered the entire footprint of the lodge.
“I didn’t find anything,” he said as he returned and both of them climbed back upstairs. “I’ll have my crew chief take a look in the morning.”
“Has that ever happened before?”
“No.” He made a last survey of the basement, then stepped into the hall and turned off the lights. By the time they were back upstairs, Lane was yawning.
Dylan opened her door. “Get some sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.”
He turned back, those blue eyes suddenly intense.
What could she say? I’ve changed my mind? I want you to kiss me? She’d only be sorry in the morning. “Nothing. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Dylan disappeared into his room and closed the door. Lane figured if she dreamed tonight, it wouldn’t be about ravens--it would be about Dylan Brodie.
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MEET THE AUTHOR:
Kathleen Kelly Martin (aka Kathy Lawrence, Kasey Mars)
Kathleen Kelly was born on 14 July 1947 in the Central Valley of California, USA. She obtained a degree in Anthropology and History from the University of California in Santa Barbara. She was a real estate broker, when she met her future husband, Larry Jay Martin. A short time after the two became acquainted, Larry asked her to read an unpublished manuscript of an historical western he'd written. Kat fell in love with both the book and the author! Then, after doing some editing for him, she thought she'd try her own hand at writing. She moved on to become a full time writer.
Punlished since 1988, she singed her books with her married name, Kat Martin, but she also used two pseudonyms: Kathy Lawrence for a book incollaboration with her husband Larry Jay Martin, and Kasey Marx for her first contemporary romances. The New York Times bestselling writer, among her many awards, has won the prestigious RT Book Review Magazine Career Achievement Award. To date, Kat has over eleven million copies of her books in print. She has been published in seventeen foreign countries, including England, South Africa, Spain, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Bulgaria, China, and Korea.
Currently residing with her husband, a Western-writer and photographer, in Missoula, Montana, USA. But when they are not writing, they also enjoy skiing and traveling, particularly to Europe.
"I've always loved books. I was an avid reader, with any number of my own stories rolling around in my head. Writing them down seemed a logical step."
"I love anything old," Kat says. "I love to travel and especially like to visit the places where my books are set. My husband and I often stay in out-of-the-way inns and houses built in times past. It's fun and it gives a wonderful sense of a by-gone era."
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