Recently widowed, Charlotte Pennyworth is relishing her independence and it rankles to have to rely on a man to help her with an increasingly sinister stalker. Former Yardman, Elliot Baker, is reluctant to take on Charlotte’s case but despite himself and his history with another woman, he is drawn to the bright, attractive widow.
Sparks smolder between the PI and his client but neither is looking to form an attachment. Elliot thinks Charlotte is hiding something. Charlotte has no desire to marry again, especially to a private investigator, no matter how handsome, brave and kind he is. The risk to his life and her heart is too great. But more dangerous than a menacing stalker is secrets and when Charlotte’s come to light, even the passion between them might not douse the flames of Elliot’s distrust.
Callie Hutton, the USA Today bestselling author of The Elusive Wife writes both Regency and western historical romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs and her top cheerleader husband of many years. Her family also includes her daughter, son, and daughter-in-law. And twin grandsons “The Twinadoes.”
Callie loves to hear from readers. Sign up for her newsletter to receive information on new releases, appearances, contests and exclusive subscriber content.
A light rain had begun to fall when he exited the building. Elliot opened his umbrella and decided to catch an omnibus instead of walking. What he was looking forward to now was an evening in his rooms with a brandy, a warm fireplace, and thoughts of Charlotte.
Now there was a true conundrum. Truth be told, he would enjoy an evening in his rooms with a brandy, a warm fireplace, and Charlotte sitting on his lap. Curled up with her head resting on his shoulder, her plump breasts pressed against his chest. He would slowly unbutton the back of her dress and ease it off her silky-smooth shoulders.
His lips would cast feathered kisses over her neck, his teeth nipping her earlobe. Then, he would—.
The devil take it, he was hard as a rock and sweating, just thinking about her. This nonsense had to stop. She was his client, nothing more. The kisses they’d shared were an aberration. They should not have happened and would not happen again. Yes, she was a lovely woman, but she was hiding something. He sensed it, and his past experience with Annabelle made him more attuned to deception.
He hailed the omnibus and climbed aboard. The light drizzle had turned to a steady rain. Darkness had descended earlier due to the weather, and he shivered, anxious to be home in dry clothes. The horses plodded along, stopping to allow riders to alight and board the vehicle.
Eventually, the conveyance came to a stop a block from his rooms. He stepped onto the pavement and opened his umbrella. He raised the collar on his jacket, and head down against the rain, he hurried toward home. Before he even identified the sound as footsteps behind him, he was thrown to the ground, a large body landing on top of him with a grunt.