by Mariah Ankenman
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Falsely accused of the murder of her best friend, Kayla Jenkins is on the run for her life. She ends up lost in dark, snowy woods off some backcountry road in the middle of nowhere. Frightened and colder than she’s ever been in her life, she almost thinks she’s hallucinating when a warrior on a white steed saves her.
In all his years as the sheriff of Peak Town, Colorado, Jake Ryder has never come across a half-frozen woman alone in the woods. She’s terrified…and lying to him, yet something about her calls to him on a primal level.
Even with her trust of law enforcement lower than the harsh temperature, Kayla finds it difficult to keep her secrets hidden from the kind and far too handsome sheriff. But as her faith in Ryder grows, she not only risks the real murderer finding her, but losing the one thing she has searched for her whole life and only just found…love.
“My name is Jake Ryder, but most folks call me Ryder.” When she didn’t return the introduction, he continued. “Can I ask how you came to be all the way out here in the middle of the night?”
Giving a guarded glance from the horse back to him, she simply said, “Got lost.”
And they say women were chatty. Hell, he had a pet parrot as a kid that talked more than this woman. Not a problem. As sheriff, he was used to interrogating uncooperative suspects. Not that she was a suspect, yet.
“Got lost...” He looked her over. Big, red, winter coat, long dark slacks and—were those high heels? “…shopping?”
Honestly, who the hell wears heels in the woods?
She scowled, wrapping her arms around herself. “My car ran off the road. I—I got out to find help. Wandered off the road and got lost.”
Something about her story smelled like Wind Chaser’s stall after feeding time. “Why didn’t you call Triple A?”
Her gaze darted to the side. “Cell died.”
Yeah, and I’m the King of England.
“You need a ride back to your car?”
Her eyes widened. “On that thing?”
“Her name is Wind Chaser, and yes. Did you think I had a car hidden in the trees?”
Her jaw clenched at his sarcasm. Well, excuse him. It was dark, cold, and the last thing he wanted to do was be out here trying to pull a story out of Ms. Lying-Crazy-Lady.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
RWA® Golden Heart® Nominated author Mariah Ankenman began writing at the tender age of five. Her first book “George and the Green Glob” received high praise from her mother. Many years, and green glob stories later, Mariah received a playwriting degree from the University of Wyoming. After a few years in Hollywood, working in “the biz,” she came home to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. When she’s not writing Mariah loves to read, crochet, and play her ukulele. She loves to hear from readers.
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