Excerpt from book:
If he caught her, he'd kill her. Tonya Waters hunched lower in the bullfighter barrel and held her breath.
Don't move. Don't make a sound. Don't even breathe. She closed her eyes and sent up a prayer. Would he look in the barrel? It seemed like such an obvious hiding place. Then again, it was one of many barrels in the equipment room. It would take him a while to search each one. Hopefully, she would be able to get out before he reached her.
But the footsteps moved closer to her. That sickening sweet cologne she remembered from four years ago tickled her gag reflex. She swallowed and curled into herself as tight as she dared. Her fingers, gripping the straps that had been mounted on the inside of the sphere, went numb.
His low singsong voice sent shivers of fear coursing through her. Stars danced before her eyes and she drew in another shallow breath. If she passed out, it was over. The stars faded. She lifted her head a fraction, just enough to see out of the top of the barrel.
Screams from the rodeo crowd just over her head reached her. Tonya had thought she'd be safe here, be a part of the rodeo, blend in with the crew. She'd been almost positive that the clown makeup and baggy clothes would be enough of a disguise should any pictures appear in a newspaper or on the news. Being a rodeo clownor a bullfighter, as some were calledwas hard work, exhilarating work. Dangerous work.
But not as dangerous as having an obsessed ex-boyfriend finally track you down.
Now she'd have to run again. Change her name again. Find a new line of work.
Hank Newman had stalked her in college, threatened her family and nearly killed her. And now he'd come after her one more time. God, help me!
His good-looking exterior hid a heart of evil. Of violence and the potential to kill. Her throat tightened at the memory. He'd wrapped his fingers around her throat and pressed. Tight, tighter. Until she'd passed out. He'd dropped her to the floor and walked out, leaving her for dead.
She'd pressed charges and sent him to jail. And not even his powerful lawenforcement family could stop it. The fingerprints he'd left on her throat had matched his and a jury had put him away. But he hadn't stayed locked up for long. He'd shown up a few months later at her office, where she'd been working only a few weeks. Fortunately, she'd seen him before he'd seen her and she'd slipped out of the office without a backward glance, knowing she would never be safe as long as he was free.
And now he was here. Looking for revenge.
Her eyes closed, not wanting to remember the hate on his face in the courtroom. "I'll come after you, Tonya. You're mine. If I can't have you, no one will."
The whispered cliché often made her awaken drenched in a fear-induced sweat.
How had Hank found her? The question tumbled through her mind as her muscles began to cramp. She listened. He hadn't spoken a word except her name. She hadn't heard footsteps except the ones that had brought him next to her hiding place.
What was he doing?
Listening for her just as intently as she was listening for him.
Tears leaked down her cheeks.
A scraping sound against the floor brought her head up. Another scrape. More footsteps. A barrel rocking. Terror thundered through her. No, no, no.
He was searching the barrels.
She could feel him getting closer, heard him mutter something under his breath.
"Hey, what are you doing in here? This room is for approved personnel only."
Tonya jerked, then nearly cried in relief. She recognized Seth Starke's voice. A buckaroo. A tall, goSHE CAN'T ESCAPE
No matter where she runs, rodeo clown Tonya Waters's stalker always finds her. Now he's managed to track her down on the rodeo circuit. If bull rider Seth Starke hadn't saved her, she'd be dead. But when the handsome cowboy is injured in the ring and Tonya rescues him, Seth seems more determined than ever to keep her safe. But can she risk staying at his Tennessee ranch and bringing danger to his family? As her stalker gets more violent, Tonya and Seth vow to outsmart him before he makes good on his ultimate threat: if he can't have her, no one will.
Wrangler's Corner: Family comes first