Excerpt from book:
Rebecca Hughes held her chin up and kept alert as she thrust her shopping cart through the thick, oppressive North Texas heat. She blinked against the relentless sun, a light so intense her eyes hurt.
The van parked next to her car in the grocery store lot pricked her neck hairs. Blacked-out windows blocked her view of the driver's side or anything else that might be lurking, waiting, ready. A warning bell wailed inside her head as she neared her sedan.
Today marked the fifteenth anniversary of that horrible day when both she and her younger brother were abducted, and it always put her on edge. The two had been isolated in separate sheds. When an opportunity had presented itself to run, Rebecca had escaped, thinking she could bring back help. Instead, she got lost in the woods and never saw her baby brother again.
Steering her cart toward the center of the aisle, she made sure no one could surprise her by jumping from between two cars. Tension squeezed her shoulder blades taut as memories assaulted her. Those thirty-six hours of torture before she escaped without her little brother, the horror and Shane's disappearance would haunt her for the rest of her life.
Shuddering at the memory, she tightened her grip on the handle and pushed forward. The early Friday-morning crowd was out. Most people were just beginning to run errands at the same time her workday ended. Her overnight shift at the radio station kept her sane after years of being afraid to be home alone in the dark.
She and Shane had been twelve and seven respectively when she'd sneaked out to play that stupid game with her friends. They'd been told to stay inside while the annual Renaissance Festival was in town, in full swing. Parents were busy, distracted. Strangers in costumes were everywhere. People came from nearly every state, descending on Mason Ridge in RVs and trailers and filling camp sites. And Shane was supposed to be asleep when she'd slipped out her bedroom window to meet up with her friends, not following her.
But none of that mattered. She should've realized sooner that the little stinker was trailing behind, his favorite blanket in tow. Shane had been her responsibility. And she'd let him down in the worst possible way.
The unfairness of his disappearance and her survival still hit with the force of a physical blow. His screams still haunted her. An imprint left by the horrible man who'd been dubbed the Mason Ridge Abductor was the reason she still watched every stranger warily.
When no one else had disappeared and all leads had been exhausted, law enforcement had written the case off as a transient passing through town. Logic said the man was long gone. Point being, he couldn't hurt her anymore. And yet, every time she got spooked he was the first person who popped into her thoughts. That monster had caused her to lose more than her sense of security. He'd shattered her world and taken away her ability to trust.
Her parents had divorced and become overbearing; friends looked at her strangely, as if she'd become an outcast; and she'd eventually pushed away the one person she'd truly lovedBrody Fields.
The van's brake lights created a bright red glow, snapping her focus to the present. Panic pressed heavy on her arms. Maybe she could circle around the next aisle and get back to the store before being seen.
There were a million wackos out there waiting to hurt unaware women, surprise being key to their attacks. Rebecca was fully present. She tightened her grip on the cart handle a third time, turned around and stalked toward her car. No one got to make her feel weak and afraid again.
Reaching inside her purse as she neared her vehicle, she gripped her Taser gun. Anyone trying to mess with her would get a bigThe hunted becomes the hunter as the past threatens a small Texas town once again
Rancher Brody Fields stops cold when he receives a plea for help from Rebecca Hughes. The onetime love of his life, who was abducted along with her brother fifteen years ago, now believes the kidnapper has returned to tie up loose ends. Rebecca needs Brody's help bringing the kidnapperor killerto justice.
For Brody, the job is risky, but the real danger is their unexpected Texas-sized attraction. As they uncover answers to difficultand deadlyquestions, Brody has a question of his own: Can he trust the woman who once shattered his heart?