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On the Surface by Margo Hoornstra

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  • Brothers in Blue, Book 1

    Wrongly convicted ex-con and recent parolee Jenny Reynolds wants to forget her tarnished past and focus on a brighter future. One that begins with a return to the small tourist town where she grew up. The restoration of her family’s once proud Rest Easy Bed and Breakfast is the only thing on her mind. Fleeing an ex who refuses to let her go, what she doesn’t need to complicate her already problematic life is another man.

    Enter handsome handyman Brad, a man who seems to care as much about restoring the B and B as she does. A man who soon becomes ready, willing and able to steal her heart. A man, as it turns out, with more than a few secrets of his own. A dropout from law enforcement, the real Brad Collins will use anyone and anything to fulfill a personal vendetta.

    When two pasts collide and danger threatens, their budding love for each other may be the first casualty.

    Rating: Spicy
    Page Count: 372
    Word Count: 93614
    978-1-5092-1693-2 Paperback
    978-1-5092-1694-9 Digital

    Excerpt

    If nothing else, this sure beat biding his time. Doing nothing but ruminating about the woman he couldn’t seem to get out of his mind. Or any other part of him for that matter. Body. Soul. You name it. Good, bad or indifferent, he was thoroughly committed to one Jenny Reynolds.

    Whether she could stand to be in the same room with him or not. “What else did he say?”

    “Not much.” She closed the door and followed him into her kitchen. “He put on his usual macho act. Tough talk. Typical bullying tactics.”

    He spun on her. “Did he hurt you? Lay a hand on you?”

    “No.” Stopped short, she answered without looking at him then absently touched her shoulder. “Not at all.”

    Hand on her arm, he pulled her to a halt when she tried to move by him. “Really?”

    “He didn’t—”

    Ignoring her initial protest, he pushed her top aside at the neck. “He left a mark.”

    She winced but made no sound as his fingers brushed over what had to be an impression of the asshole’s handiwork.

    “Sorry.” He spread out his palm and pulled his hand away, more determined than ever to do for Jenny what she couldn’t do for herself.

    “It’s okay.”

    His hand returned to his side, and he curled it into a fist. “He had no right to hurt you.”

    It took everything in him not to expand on that. Explain to her he had no more right to hurt her either, go on to promise to love her forever. No matter what life chose to toss their way. Tell her, if he could have one wish, it would be that they’d met under different circumstances.

    He blew out a tension filled breath as he stretched open the fingers on both hands.

    His wishes didn’t count right now. Jenny’s did.

    “Just because I called for your help doesn’t change anything, you know.”

    He made sure to have his game face on before he shrugged. “Why would it?”

    “You’re right.” She gave a shrug too. “What’s done is done.” She kept her gaze on him steady and sure. “Are you going to help me get rid of him once and for all or not?”

    “Of course.”

    “I figured you would. After all, the bounty on his head still stands, doesn’t it?”

    He had no use for her sarcasm. “That’s not the reason I’m doing this.”

    “Don’t you mean only reason?”

    He stared at her until she lowered a defiant gaze. “Whether you believe me or not, this isn’t any longer about games or blind revenge. But I have no intention of taking precious time to convince you.” In the face of what he had to say next, he had to loosen his jaw so he could finish. “The bastard shot one of my best friends.”

    Jenny’s head came up then went backward as if she’d been slapped by the news. “Oh, Brad. No.” Her hand came out to take hold of his arm. “I won’t even ask about the particulars. Just tell me your friend is going to be all right.”

    “His vest took most of the force of the first bullet. A second one struck his upper arm.”

    She closed her eyes, and her lower lip trembled. “This isn’t just about me anymore, is it?”

    “It never was.” It took monumental effort to keep his hands at his sides and arms to himself.

    Jenny needed to be held, engulfed in the willing and capable embrace of someone who cared, and could assure her everything would be okay.

    Not possible. Sure as hell not by him. He had to concentrate on what he could do for her and nothing else. What he could do was put Donahue away for good. It was a gift he could give her. No doubt the only gift she’d accept from him, in this lifetime, at least.

    “So what do you plan to do?”

    He blinked then looked over at her. “Surprise is our best weapon.”

    “You’re not going to use deadly force?”

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On the Surface

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