All Blaire Kincaid really wants is to make her father proud. So far, though, her track record isn’t so good. That’s why she takes the case from Reva MacGlenary, one of the richest women in the area, to find Reva’s long lost nephew. The advance she gave her and the promise of more to come--should Blaire be successful in finding the black sheep family member--would go a long way in getting her new Private Investigator business up and going. So, using her newly polished P.I. skillset, she heads out to find the long missing Darian MacGlenary.
But Darian doesn’t want to be found. And when he sees her traipsing up his Appalachian holler, he wonders what a girl like her is doing in his neck of the woods. The burly and bearded mountain man has tucked himself far into the backwoods on purpose—he doesn’t want to see anyone. Man. Woman. Especially not a woman. But coming, she is, and for him.
When a chilled and ill Blaire arrives, followed by an early winter snowstorm, things heat up. Darian battles not only the ghosts of his past looming large in the small cabin, but also the woman who haunts every hot and bothered night they spend together within its four walls.
He knew the herd’s trail and routine better than he knew the time of day, for he’d repeated this routine every fall for the past four years. He was a crack shot, coming from years of hunting to provide himself food. He knew just exactly the buck he wanted, and he knew he’d have him come morning.
But now, as the sun grew higher in the sky, it was not a buck he watched, but a woman. A woman. And from the looks of her—what he could see through his binoculars, anyway, as she tripped through the woods and briars—a quite attractive young woman.
What the hell?
It had been years since he’d conversed with anyone except an occasional clerk at a discount store or the man who sold his meager crop of tobacco for him. The last thing he wanted today was someone on his property he had to actually talk to.
And a woman at that. Dammit.
For the briefest moment, he allowed his thoughts to drift to just what that meant. Woman. Scented, flowing hair…soft skin to a man’s callused touch…gentle kisses and feathery caresses…the musky scent of making love….
He smelled trouble.
Darian rubbed his bearded face with both hands trying to snuff out his thoughts. What she wanted and where she came from he didn’t know, and he didn’t give a tinker’s damn to know either. But she was coming. And he knew she was coming for him.
Darian held the panoramic view of his farm and the Kentucky hills he now called home firmly in his sight. Below him stood his modest log cabin, dusted in the browns and oranges of fall, nestled deep in the hills miles from his next neighbor. During this season, he was always reminded of Vermont and found his mind wandering to his boyhood home. Quickly shaking away those thoughts, and the chill that traveled his spine at the remembrance, he returned his attention to the problem at hand.
He had first watched her car make its way down the rocky road as far as it would go. He realized the driver was a woman when she left it behind and began walking. Through his binoculars he’d picked up the scowl on her face and her lips moving as if she were muttering to herself as she began the hike. He took in her pert nose, her pixie sunlit-blond haircut, her full lips, her…
He shook away his next thought. He had to hand it to her, not many people, strangers or locals alike, dared to venture down his hollow. Most people knew better. He’d seen to that years ago. And for her to get this far, she’d had to do some heavy investigating. Everyone around here knows he demands nothing from no one—except to be left alone.
He turned back to watch her again.
Once in a while she would disappear under the trees and he’d wait for her reappearance. Each time she did, his groin tightened, his brain spun with thoughts of why she was coming, and his stomach knotted with the anticipation of the thing that was important enough for her to go to such lengths—traipsing through the two miles or more of brush and stubble, of rocks and steep terrain, to get to him.
And would she get to him?
God, he hoped not.