Lacey Monahan is in a tough place in her life. After being betrayed by her boyfriend and fired from her job as a teacher in Portland, she seeks refuge in the mountains of western North Carolina, where she hopes to discover the origins of her great-great-grandmother, Abigail Pendergrass Lowry.
While there, she meets Rafe Prewitt, a former Motocross racer with a sensual smile who sets his sights on Lacey. Though Rafe's touch sends her over the moon, she's afraid to let another man close, especially a good-looking, smooth-talking man with hot eyes and wicked hands.
When she's given a chance to stay in Cullowhee and discover more about her mysterious ancestress and the buried secrets of her heritage, Lacey must make a decision: Stay and risk having her heart broken, or return to Portland without ever knowing if she could love again.
Released August 2014. Published by Bone Diggers Press, copyright 2014.
Excerpt from Chapter One
Lacephine Monahan noticed Rafe Prewitt the moment he swaggered into the room, and thought, There's the Devil, come to tempt me.
He was maybe half a foot taller than her own five foot four inches, and lean under a faded t-shirt and sturdy jeans. His dark blonde hair was sun-streaked and tousled over thick, straight brows, intense eyes, and a slightly crooked nose. The mouth, though, that was what got her. Soft and sensual in the narrow oval of his face, it promised long nights of hot, steamy passion.
Awareness shivered over her skin, and with it a hint of unease. She was a sucker for a man with a great mouth and that was the problem. Bitter fury stabbed at her as memory intruded. Bradley had had a great mouth, a sweetly kissable mouth that she’d been fool enough to trust.
She tucked the hurt and anger away and focused on the notes she was making from an old genealogy journal. Her stay in the Cullowhee, North Carolina, area was limited by resources and time. She refused to waste either by dwelling on regrets and broken promises.
She snuck a peek at Rafe out of the corner of her eye and bit back a dreamy sigh. What woman in her right mind wouldn’t notice a man like him? It wasn’t that he was handsome, though he was and probably knew it, too. No, it was his attitude. He exuded confidence, as if he’d never known failure, or if he had, he’d brushed it away as insignificant, dusted his britches off, and jumped right back into the saddle.
A man like that would be hell on a woman’s heart, if he stayed around long enough to touch it. Three days in town and she’d already been warned to steer clear of him, and by his own sister, no less. “He’s handsome as the devil and twice as charming,” Gabriella had told her yesterday at lunch. “And about as fickle as the wind. Guard your heart, Lacey. Better yet, just leave your heart out of it.”
After seeing him live and in person, she understood exactly why Gabi had cautioned her.
Rafe’s gaze zeroed in on his sister stationed behind the archivist’s desk and his mouth curled into a wicked smile. Lacey fumbled her pencil and dropped it as her heart did a backflip in her chest.
Holy Hannah, she thought, and sucked in a deep breath. Thank goodness he hadn’t looked at her like that, as if she were the only woman in the room, or she’d be putty in his hands. She turned back to her notes with hands that weren’t quite steady and tuned out Rafe and Gabi’s quiet conversation. She only had two weeks to find her great-great-grandmother. That left no time for a man with hot eyes and a sinfully promising mouth.