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When Laramie Porter’s sister-in-law Julie is beaten so badly by her husband she miscarries her baby, Laramie takes her home from the hospital. But just a few minutes after the women arrive home, Julie’s husband, who also happens to be a drug addict and the local police sheriff, shows up at the house on a murderous rampage.
He kills Julie and attempts to murder Laramie. When he doesn’t succeed, he hauls them into the mountains and throws them off a cliff. Julie’s body lands in a pond, but Laramie hits a ledge, where she perches, terrified.
Derrick Garrison is in the mountains moving his cattle when his dog finds Julie’s body in the pond. Creeped out, Derrick at first doesn’t believe his ears when he hears a girl crying for help. But he finds Laramie and pulls her to safety. Before she can tell him anything, a lightning strike starts a forest fire and they flee to a hidden valley.
Fleeing a drug hazed killer, the fire, and a gun-toting old lady bent on collecting a reward, Laramie and Derrick do their best to evade all three . . . and fall in love along the way.
They rode on for what seemed like hours. At times, she couldn’t even see Nightmare’s haunches as they moved through the mist. But she knew they were moving down by the way Pale slid his hindquarters under him. Foggy cloud whispered across her face, soft as a mother’s touch. Laramie’s heart raced so hard she feared passing out. “Think of Mom and Dad and what this will do them.”
He ignored her.
“Daddy’s already so bad off, this will finish him.” Laramie’s voice broke as she thought about her father, living in a Denver nursing home, his body broken by a tractor accident.
Finally, Lawrence stopped and dismounted at a spot in the trail wide enough for the three horses.
“Oh, God. Thank you.” Laramie was so relieved that she’d finally broken through to her brother, she almost fell off Pale. Her hands had gone so numb she feared them never working right again. But her relief turned to terror when Lawrence untied Julie and lifted her body off Dancer’s back. With no show of emotion whatsoever, he carried her to the edge of the trail.
Hefting her high, he let go.
Far below, the sound of Julie’s body crashing into the rocks reached them.
Laramie’s screams reverberated through the mountains, bouncing from peak to peak. Frantic, she fought the leather binding her to the saddle. This cannot be happening. Please, please let me wake up! Pale danced dangerously close to the edge. Her movements were going to cause Pale to fall with her, dragging Dancer and Nightmare with them. Laramie froze.
Lawrence turned and walked toward her. She shook her head from side to side.
“Lawrence. You’re my big brother. You don’t want to do this.”
Like a robot, he untied her as she sobbed and begged.
As blood rushed back into her tingling hands, the pain became unbearable. She couldn’t
lift them to fight back when Lawrence unloaded her from Pale. She kicked at him, but he dodged her feeble attempts and carried her toward the same place he’d dumped Julie. Tears poured down her face as Laramie twisted and kicked, but nothing seemed to faze Lawrence. “Please listen to me. Think of what this will do to your career,” Laramie begged. “This will destroy it.”
As if he couldn’t hear her, he dangled her above the clouds below. Unable to hold on, Laramie was helpless. She tried to connect with Lawrence through her eyes, but he showed no sign of emotion, no remorse.
“Don’t,” she pleaded just before he let go.
About the author:
Falling in love with romance novels the summer before sixth grade, D’Ann Lindun never thought about writing one until many years later when she took a how-to class at her local college. She was hooked! She began writing and never looked back. Romance appeals to her because there’s just something so satisfying about writing a book guaranteed to have a happy ending. D’Ann’s particular favorites usually feature cowboys and the women who love them. This is probably because she draws inspiration from the area where she lives, Western Colorado, her husband of twenty-nine years and their daughter. Composites of their small farm, herd of horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, eight ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in her stories!