(#eroticromance #contemporary #MF)
Esmerelda, harboring deadly secrets and passionate desires…
Esmerelda, Massachusetts, a community built on tradition, held secrets and painful memories. John William (J.W.) Dalton and Willow MacKenzie had once been passionate lovers, two halves of one soul, torn apart by greed and misunderstanding. Now, ten years later, J.W. is sheriff and Willow has returned to Esmerelda to finally lay to rest the tormenting ghosts that continue to haunt her. Her love for J.W. has never died. Willow’s return will open old wounds. Can J.W. protect her from the destructive truth that awaits?
… “Hello, Willow. It’s been a long time. I’m sorry about your mother, but I hope you’re not planning on staying long. We don’t need your kind around here.” His voice caressed and destroyed her in the same breath.
So much for pleasantries. The words had been meant to hurt and to send her into retreat. Hurt, they did. Retreat, never. She would not let him see her pain.
Willow turned away, rummaging through her suitcase, blinking rapidly to hold back the tears. She couldn’t find what she sought, so stopped looking. “What do you want, Sheriff? Are you here to railroad me out of town before I can cause another scandal?” She faced him, in control of herself now. Her hands were balled into fists, her stance rigid, and her head high. “I’m not seventeen, Sheriff, and I don’t scare easily. I’ll leave when I’m damn well ready to leave. Your scare tactics won’t work.”
“Think not?” His voice was deceptively quiet. “You’ve forgotten a lot since you left.”
He stood close enough to taste. His magnetism captured her. Willow had the sinking feeling her yearnings would defeat her.
Willow had been certain the years would blunt her response to J.W. She had underestimated. Exorcising his memory was why she was here, but it wasn’t working so far.
She stood mesmerized, unable to move, as he reached out and traced down the length of her naked arm with one finger. Chilled awareness raced up her spine.
Willow moved to step away, but one hand grasped her forearm, stopping her. His other hand yanked her close. The cheap white towel was no barrier to his fire. His breath whispered across her skin.
In a quick, unexpected motion, he dragged the turban from her head. Her hair fell in damp disarray to her shoulders.
J.W.’s unreadable eyes studied her. What was he looking for?
Willow withstood the look, unflinching. She would not surrender.
He anchored her to him, and the cold metal buttons on his shirt pressed into her. His left hand curled in her hair, and he was relentless as he drew back her head. “Sunlight. I wanted to see if it was still the sunlight I remembered.”
Loving him had never been passive. It was filled with intensity and burning, fierce and passionate.
“How many have there been?” His voice was like gravel under tires on a hot July day. The blue blaze in his half-closed eyes seared her with its intensity.
Willow did not pretend to misunderstand. “None of your business. You gave up that right a long time ago.”
She remained unresisting as his eyes bore into her, yet hoped she revealed none of the primitive lust seething inside. Her fingers itched to rip open his shirt, to expose his naked chest to her eyes, to her mouth.
Her breath hitched. The room closed in.
Without warning, he released her other arm and yanked the towel from her body.
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