Thank you for stopping by my blog! I hope you’re having a fabulous New Year’s Day! May the year be bright and full of hopes and dreams. And what better way to kick off the year than with a book sale? I’m offering my novella, Unexpected Wife, on sale for a limited time for $0.99! This is an adult read and is suitable for ages 18+. Keep scrolling to find out more…
Genres: Western Romance/Romantic Suspense
Having committed a murder, Ainsley McCullough is on the run to escape the law, desperate and ready to throw in the towel. When she stumbles across and abandoned farm house in an obscure town she thinks she’s found her salvation. Knowing she has to blend in, to become a true member of the town, she does the only thing she can of—she claims to be home owner’s fiancé.
An ex-con falsely accused of a crime, Braedan O’Connor has spent the past year in jail. Anxious to get home and start his life over, he’s surprised to find his home inhabited by a rather delectable woman.
Ainsley hadn’t expected to get caught in the man’s home. Face to face with the handsome stranger, one who makes her senses come alive, she isn’t sure what to expect. Knowing he was in jail frightens her, but her hands aren’t exactly clean either. Just how far is Ainsley willing to take her charade?
Blood stained hands gripped the steering wheel of the old truck, the knuckles white from the death-like grip. A storm raged outside, rain beating against the windshield, wind trying to force the truck off the road. Following the winding country road, Ainsley searched for a place to take shelter for the night. She paused on the road staring down a long drive to an old farmhouse. No lights shown from within and no cars were in sight. The peeling paint and overgrown yard gave it an abandoned feel. Turning the wheel, she pulled down the bumpy drive hoping her truck wouldn’t get stuck in the mud.
Pulling to a stop in front of the ramshackle house, Ainsley killed the engine. She grabbed the small bag on the seat beside her and opened the door. Making a run for it, she dashed through the mud and rain to the front porch.
The front door was crusted with dirt, the window cracked. Ainsley knocked on the door. When no one answered, she tried the knob. It stiffly turned in her hand, rust rubbing off on her skin. She leaned into the door until it popped open with a groan.
Closing the door against the violent weather outside, she looked around. Dust and cobwebs clung to nearly every surface. The banister on the stairs looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. Stepping into the small sitting room, Ainsley ran her hands over the cloth covered furniture. The sofa and chair loomed like ghosts in the dark room, the lightning outside the only illumination in the house. Curtains hung from the windows in tatters.
Ainsley walked to the wall and flicked the light switch on, hoping for a miracle. Nothing happened. She hadn’t really expected the lights to work, but it would have been nice.
Turning from the room, she walked up the stairs, the ancient boards creaking under her feet. She took her time, testing the boards as she went, not wanting to fall through if any were weak or broken. When she reached the landing, she walked into the first room on her right.
An old brass bed hugged one wall, a dresser sat across from it. The linens on the bed were dusty and aged. The wallpaper was peeling off the walls, brittle in spots.
Walking back to the landing, she pushed open the door to the next room. It was a small bathroom with grimy black and white tile. A claw foot tub sat against the left wall, dirt encrusted, with a rust stain around the drain. The sink fared no better with cobwebs dangling from the rim.
Holding her breath, Ainsley stepped into the room. She turned the knob on the sink. A bark of laughter broke free when the water came on. It oozed out, brown and rusty at first, but after another minute began running clean and clear. She could bathe! With another glance at the tub she grimaced. Well, she could clean the tub then she could bathe. Dropping her bag on the floor, she turned on the water in the tub.
Kneeling on the dirty floor, she used her hands to wipe the grime from the tub. An old fashioned shower head hung above her. She only hoped it worked.
Once the tub was relatively clean, she opened the bathroom cabinet in hopes of finding towels. They were a little dusty, but had been rather well preserved by the airtight space they were stored in. Pulling out a dark towel, she placed it on the floor to use as a bath mat.
Unbuttoning her top, she eased it from her body, wincing as her wounds pulled, reopening a few. She kicked off her boots and shimmied out of her jeans. Turning on the shower, she waited for her skin to become numb to the cold water.
Ainsley stepped into the tub and let the water wash away the blood and dirt from the past twenty-four hours. She sank to her knees in the bottom of the tub and cried, her tears mingling with the water running down her face.
“Why Andrew?” she whispered. “Why did you do it?”