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Dade (The Lawmen of Silver Creek Ranch Book 2) Kindle Edition

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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold millions of copies of her books worldwide. She's received the Booksellers Best and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice awards and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita. In addition, she's had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines. You can contact the author through her webpage at dfossen.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Kayla Brennan sure didn't look like a killer.

That was Deputy Sheriff Dade Ryland's first thought when his glare landed on the blonde who was running down the staircase. His second thought went in a different direction.

A bad one.

More specifically to her dark purple dress that hugged every curve of her body. Real curves. Something that always got his attention even when it shouldn't.

Like now, for instance.

Sex and Kayla Brennan shouldn't be occupying the same side of his brain.

He'd seen her before, of course, from a distance. Just over a year ago at the Silver Creek sheriff's office where she was being questioned about her husband's suspicious fatal car accident. That day Dade watched her from the doorway of his office. But she'd been pregnant then and had hidden those spicy blue eyes behind a pair of designer sunglasses. She'd shown no emotion of any kind.

Unlike now.

He saw just a flash of fear before she closed down. That pretty face became a rock-hard wall.

Dade cleared his throat and kicked up his glare a notch, hoping both would give him an attitude adjustment. It did. But then it wasn't hard to remember that this curvy blonde might be partly responsible for the death of someone he loved.

"I heard the doorbell," Kayla announced. She paused on the bottom step when she spotted Dade in the doorway, and her attention flew in the direction of the other man in the foyer. "Who's he?" she demanded.

Because Kayla apparently didn't recognize him, Dade tapped the badge clipped to his rawhide belt. "He has a name, and it's Deputy Sheriff Dade Ryland." He nudged the other man aside and stepped into the foyer so he could close the door.

Her left eyebrow rose, and her gaze slipped back to Dade. "You're a deputy?" She didn't wait for him to answer. "You look more outlaw than lawman."

Yeah, he got that a lot, but Dade wasn't about to let Kayla get away with the observation. "You'd know all about outlaws, wouldn't you?"

She flinched a little. Just enough to make Dade wonder exactly how raw that nerve was he'd hit.

Her flinch quickly turned to a scalpel-sharp glare, and she was almost as good at that particular expression as he was. "What are you doing in my house?"

House. That was a loose term for what was actually the Texas-sized mansion on the outskirts of his hometown of Silver Creek. A mansion she'd inherited when her husband had been killed. Dade had been raised nearby in a big ranch house with sixteen rooms, but he was betting the Brennan place was double that size.

The same probably went for Kayla's pocketbook, although Dade had some one-upmanship on her in that particular department. His family had earned their money through hard, back-breaking, honest work on the ranch. Kayla had married her millions, and those millions were as dirty as she no doubt was.

"I'm here on official business," Dade informed her. He glanced at the bald, gorilla-sized man who moved a few steps away. Dade knew his name was Kenneth Mitchell.

Kayla's so-called bodyguard.

Probably more like a hired gun as dirty as the woman paying his salary, and that's why Dade kept his hand on his gun tucked in his shoulder holster.

"The deputy says you're in his protective custody," Kenneth relayed to Kayla. His bulky body strained against his black suit, just as the muscles in his face strained against his skin.

She studied Dade, her eyes narrowing. "How did you know I was here? I led everyone to believe that I'd be at my house in San Antonio."

Dade shrugged, figuring the answer was obvious. "The district attorney, Winston Calhoun, called the sheriff and told him."

The way she pulled in her breath let him know that the answer had not been so obvious to her after all. "Mr. Calhoun assured me that he would keep my whereabouts a secret."

Dade tipped his head to the badge again. "He didn't exactly announce it to the press. He told me because you're in my protective custody."

Her eyes narrowed even more. "Protective custody?" she repeated. "How do you figure that?"

Dade walked closer to her. "Easy. You're the state's material witness, and the D.A. wants you alive long enough to testify against your father-in-law."

There it was in a nutshell, but that didn't begin to cover what Dade wanted from this woman. Yes, he wanted her to testify against her late-husband's scummy father, Charles Brennan. He wanted her to take the stand and spill her guts about the extortion and murders that Brennan had committed. While she was at it, Dade wanted to know if Brennan had killed his own son—Kayla's husband.

But those were just the icing.

What Dade really wanted her to admit on the stand was that she'd had some part in another crime.

Ellie's murder.

Dade had to take a deep breath as those memories crashed through him.

Ellie hadn't been just his sister-in-law and his twin brother's wife. Dade had loved her as deeply as he did his blood family. Kayla Brennan and her scumbag father-in-law were going to pay for killing Ellie.

"Don't worry," Kayla said with a sappy sweetness that couldn't be genuine. "I didn't come out of hiding just to let someone silence me."

No, but Kayla had come out of hiding after nearly a year. So she could testify, she'd told the D.A. But Dade wondered if there was more to it than that. He knew the D.A. had been trying to contact her for months, and she hadn't responded.

Until three hours ago.

Then, Kayla had called D.A. Winston Calhoun and told him that she would testify against her father-in-law in an extortion and racketeering trial. A trial that could send Charles Brennan to jail for several decades.

Hardly the death sentence Dade wanted for him.

However, Dade was willing to bet that Brennan had no plans to spend one minute behind bars, much less a decade. And he probably wouldn't. From what Dade had read, the case was weak at best, and witnesses kept backing out or disappearing.

But now Kayla had arrived on the scene.

Dade couldn't believe Kayla had doing her civic duty in mind. No, this was probably some kind of revenge move to get back at her father-in-law. No honor among thieves in the Brennan clan.

"I wasn't worried about you," Dade corrected. "Just doing a job I was ordered to do." And he had indeed been ordered by not just the sheriff, who was his brother, but by the D.A. Kayla was a star witness in every sense of the word, and a lot of people wanted her alive.

She made a sound of sarcastic amusement and breezed past him to head toward the double front doors. "I'll stay alive so I can testify, and I don't need you or anyone else in your family to protect me. That's why I hired Kenneth."

Dade stared at her. Well, he stared at her backside anyway because she was already walking away from him. Her low thin heels made delicate clicks on the veiny marble floor.

"I don't care how many guns you hire," Dade informed her. "You're still in my protective custody."

Kayla stopped and glanced at him from over her shoulder. The corner of her rose-tinged mouth lifted just a fraction, but it wasn't a smile on her face. "Protective custody, you say? Right. Those two words don't go together when it comes to you or any member of your family. The Rylands hate me."

Dade didn't deny it. "We have reason to hate you."

"No." She huffed, causing a wisp of her hair to move slightly. "You have reason to hate someone for your sister-in-law's murder, but I didn't have anything to do with it."

"Got proof of that?"

"Do you have proof to the contrary?" she fired right back at him.

He leaned in a little. "If I did, your butt would be in jail right now."

Another smirk. A short-lived one. She turned away so that he couldn't see her face. Her head lowered slightly. "Well, because I'm here and not in the Silver Creek jail, you obviously have no proof. So you can leave."

"I wish." Dade went closer while keeping an eye on Kayla's bodyguard. "Nothing would make me happier than to walk out that door and leave you to deal with the wolves, but I have my orders."

"You can take your orders and get out." She reached for the doorknob, but Dade snagged her wrist with his left hand.

The wrist snag obviously didn't sit well with her bodyguard because he reached for his gun. Dade reached for his, too.

"Stop this!" Kayla practically yelled. She jerked her hand away from Dade and shook her head. "Please," she said. Her voice was softer now but edged with the nerves that were right beneath her skin. "Just leave."

Dade's nerves were too close to the surface, too, and touching Kayla certainly hadn't helped. He felt ornerier than usual, and that wasn't good because he was the king of ornery. Best to go ahead and lay down some ground rules.

Dade aimed his index finger at Kenneth. "You draw that gun and I'll shoot you where you stand. Got that?"

Oh, the man wanted to argue all right. Dade could see it in his eyes, but he knew what was in his own eyes—determination to finish this damn job so he could get the heck out of there.

When Kenneth finally eased his hand away from his weapon, Dade turned back to Kayla. "Where's your baby?"

She pulled back her shoulders. "That's none of your business."

He tapped his badge in case she'd forgotten. "This isn't personal, lady. I'm asking because I need to establish some security measures." He got closer, violating her personal space and then some.

Not the brightest idea he'd ever had. His chest brushed against her breasts, and he got a fire-hot reminder that Kayla was a woman.

Dade held his ground and met her eye-to-eye. "Where's your son?" he repe...


Product Details

  • File Size: 499 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue (December 1, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 1, 2011
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005WJ7SFE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,536 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold millions of copies of her books worldwide. She's received the Booksellers Best and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice awards and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita. In addition, she's had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines. You can contact the author through her webpage at www.dfossen.net.

Author's Photo Credit: Joe Ellis/The Clarion-Ledger

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TimelessRomantic on February 25, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book catches your interest from the first page and holds it through to the nail-biting climax. The hero, Dade, a Texas lawman to drool over, is not only a sexy, very attractive man, but savvy, strong and cool-under-fire. A man any woman would want around to protect her. Much less to love her!

The interaction between Dade and Robbie, the young son of the heroine, Kayla Brennan, shows Dade is more than capable of love and caring for an innocent child, no matter the child's connection to those who may be vicious criminals. Your heart melts in the scenes between Dade and little Robbie. Even when facts seem to suggest the heroine is less than a worthwhile person, Dade fulfills his difficult job to protect her and her son, never shirking from his duty even with great personal harm and emotional strife dogging his every step.

Besides being a first-class suspense, the evolving story of Dade and Kayla's attraction, caring and eventual love even though faced with danger and horrific circumstances throughout the story, make you feel that the world is a good place after all and you cheer for the happy ending.

As in Ms. Fossen's other books, she feeds information out in such a way that keeps you guessing "who done it" and coming back for more as the story unfolds. This is a definite KEEPER and one to savor reading again another day.

Thanks for another GREAT read, Ms. Fossen!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By EllenToo on December 2, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book in Delores's The Lawmen of Silver Creek Ranch series starring the Ryland Brothers. This is another of those books I call my "can't put it down until the end" books. If you enjoy mystery and intrigue then this is an excellent book to read because the ending might just surprise you.
Each of the brothers are in law enforcement and they work closely together when one of them is involved in a dangerous situation. They are very close to each other having suffered through the murder and death of several family members.

Dade is the Deputy Sheriff of Silver Creek and he has been assigned to protect Kayla Brennan who is not real fond of because she is part of a long-standing feud with his family. Now he finds out that she is not as bad as he thought she was and actually falls or her and her son. But someone is out to kill Kayla and it is his job to make sure they don't manage to complete that task. But he doesn't totally trust her at first.
Kayla Brennan's father-in-law is out to have her killed because she is going to testify against him in court about a extortion and racketeering charge and her father-in-law is determined to kill her or have her killed before she can. Now even though she and Dade do not like each other they are going to be spending a lot of time together along with her son.
The big question is can Dade keep Kayla and her son safe until the trial or will someone get past his guard and kill her before she can testify?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SallMallReads on December 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
After reading Dade, Nate, and Mason's stories, I thought the situations were pretty similar in all of them. Though that was not a problem, I think if a similar situation is used in a series, the dialogue at least should be different. I found the characters saying a lot of the same things. The one that got on my nerves was how each of the character's child is not usually this comfortable with strangers. Also, a couple of the names were similar and confused me for a few moments. Carrie Collins - Connie Mullins and (from Nate?)Jake DENTon - DENT Wesley. I wasn't sure if that was intentional or just seems like it to me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Regina Harris on April 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dade is the second in the series and is a very good romance. Wonderfully muscled cowboys are always a turn on, and this series is full of them. Read them, you'll love them too.
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By betty oneal on April 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like having a mystery included in all the romance. Men being strong and sexy. Close as a woman can get to her dream man
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By dwszoo on December 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a must read for anyone who loves a great romance with a twist. read the whole series and defiantly recommend reading them all.
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By audra on December 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
was a wonderful story line. I did not know what was going to happen next. Will be reading more by Delores Fossen
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By Amazon Customer on August 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a real stick together family through all their ups and downs. This was a fast paced book with a good dose of mystery and romance
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