Today I'm sharing an excerpt from my hot historical western Lies, Love & Redemption. Enjoy!
Lies, Love & Redemption
Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.
Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.
As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?
Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.
Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth? Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?
Sam wiped sweat off his brow with the back of his hand and forced himself to take another step. He grimaced as a white-hot pain shot up his right thigh. Keep moving. He had to keep moving. If he stopped, he’d die.
He sucked dusty air in through his clenched teeth and pressed on. One foot in front of the other. Left, right, wince. Repeat. After he’d hobbled a few more steps, his vision blurred, and the narrow wagon trail went fuzzy. Shit. That wasn’t good. The last time that happened, he woke face down on the prairie, half-fried in the sun. If he fell again, he’d never get up.
He shook his head to clear it and limped toward salvation. Just after sunrise, he had cleared the top of a hill and spotted a town in the distance. The wood buildings stood out like lighthouse beacons. How much farther was it? Five hundred yards? A thousand? It didn’t matter. He’d get there if he had to crawl. The town would have a doc to dig the bullets out of him—and water.
Water. He swallowed and felt an all-too-familiar burn in the back of his throat. His mouth was bone-dry and tasted like dirt. How long had it been since he’d had water? A day? Two? Hell, how long had it been since he was shot and left for dead?
He had stumbled across the Nebraska prairie for days, praying alternately for rescue or death. If God didn’t hate him, he would have come across a homestead, seen a rancher, or met someone on horseback—but he was alone. From time to time, he’d wondered if maybe he was already dead and cursed to wander like this for eternity.
But dead people didn’t feel pain. And yet, by all rights, he was supposed to be dead. The bastards who shot him had stripped him of the essentials: his horse, his canteen, and his guns. They had taken everything he needed to survive—but they didn’t get his satchel.
Something warm and wet trickled down his back in tiny rivulets. Was it sweat? Blood? He wasn’t sure anymore. He ignored it and clenched the leather satchel tighter in his right hand. Wouldn’t he be a sight for whoever found him when he got to town? Filthy, smelly, and covered in blood, he probably looked more dead than alive. If the doc—
His right leg buckled under him, and he sprawled to the ground. He lay in the grass, too weak to move. The wind blew dirt in his eyes as flies buzzed around his face. He tried to raise his left arm to shoo them away, but the pain was too much to bear. A bullet had ripped into his shoulder and probably was stuck in his back.
Sam closed his eyes. Why fight? It would be easier to stay here and die. By noon, buzzards would start swirling overhead, ready to pick at his bloodied flesh. Someone from town might wander out to see what the vultures were after, but it wasn’t likely. It wouldn’t take long to—
A banging noise interrupted his thoughts. He raised his head in the direction of the sound. Town. Someone was nearby. He had to call for help. Move. Get up and move. Now! He gathered what little strength he had left and pushed himself to his knees. A flash of pain cut across his ribs as he rose to his feet and turned toward town. A woman was sweeping the porch in front of a brown building. Thank God. Someone could help him.
He called out, but his feeble croak was lost in the wind. His heart sank as he realized she was too far away to hear him. The woman reminded him of an angel in her white dress with her long, blonde hair flowing loose around her shoulders. Surely that was a good sign. Maybe God had forgiven him and sent an angel to rescue him. Nah. That’d be ridiculous. God hated him.
Sam focused on the building and took a step. “Keep going. Only a little more,” he whispered.
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