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The Deep Well of Love and Murder -- Brenda Whiteside

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The Deep Well of Love and Murder

A vengeful ex-husband and a high-stakes, bloody fight for land threaten a love-struck couple’s happiness.

After an abusive childhood and a bad marriage, Laura Katz finally finds a home, stability…and possibly love. But her blissful refuge as nanny on the Meadowlark Ranch, miles from Flagstaff, shatters when her ex is released from prison, determined to reclaim her.

Randy Silva, the ranch’s foreman, has dreams of his own ranch, but a nasty land grab is underway.While the battle escalates, Laura steals his heart, but dangerous outsiders and a criminal ex-husband stand in their way. Randy’s in a perilous fight for his land and the woman he wants by his side.

 

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“You let me be the judge of what messes I choose in my life.” His hands twitched at his sides, longing to hold her and stifle her anger. He narrowed his eyes and stared deeper into hers instead. “Taking care of your ex is a mess I look forward to.”

“This is my mess, not yours.” Her tone grew more combative. “I’ve handled what I’ve been dealt, and I’ll continue handling whatever gets thrown at me.”

“I don’t see it that way.” He kept his voice level, but hard edged. His own emotions, convincing her while fear of losing her, hammered his self-control. “You’re locking me out. Why? Because you think you aren’t allowed to be happy?”

Her mouth pinched in a tight line, and she glared at him. “Randy—”

“I think it’s about damned time you stopped blaming your mother, your ex, or whoever for your unhappiness.”

She whirled away, ready to flee, but he couldn’t stop now. He needed her and had to make her see how much she needed him. “Don’t be afraid of me, Laura Jane.” He shuffled a half-step closer.

“I’m not afraid.” She faced him again. “But I don’t need you to tell me how to run my life, if that’s what you think you can do.”

Perro jumped and planted his paws on Randy’s hip, panting heavily. “For Pete’s sake, Perro—”
Laura’s brow furrowed. “Do you smell that?” “What?” As soon as he’d asked, the hot, smoky scent assaulted his senses.

Fire.