Once a Rebel
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by Angela Ashton
Category: Historical Fiction/Romance
Description: Raped at 14, Galen Stewart awakens from a state of shock to find her foster father's blood on her hands. Determined to stay two steps ahead of the man's politician brother who'd rather see her dead than reveal his darkest secret, she's forced to use the only gift Fate has seen fit to bestow upon her. Hiding beneath an array of identities, Galen works the oldest profession in the book. Instead of committing the carnal act, she concocts a tonic that sends her 'Johns' into a slumberous stupor while she plunders their pockets. The perfect plan until two of her patrons die of overdoses. To make matters worse, someone has gone to a lot of trouble to frame her for murders she didn't commit. Sheriff turned bounty-hunter Joshua Hassett takes matters into his own hands. Besides the fact that he's been hired by the farmer's ambitious brother, Joshua has his own reasons for wanting to find the elusive waif. When a surprising clue sends him on the hunt for a raven-haired harlot, Joshua's world is turned upside down by an auburn-haired angel working one of the saloons. When she's accused of murder, he sets out to prove her innocence and soon finds himself entangled in her web of lies. Once Joshua discovers the truth, will he be able to choose between his heart and his oath to uphold the law?
eBook Publisher: Champagne Books, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: January 2008
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [398 KB]
Reading time: 257-360 min.
The tall lean bar dog nodded and filled a glass before settling it before Josh. "I don't suppose you'd happen to have a pretty little redhead answers to the name of Scarlet working for you?"
"No sir, but we do have a few pretty little redheads floating about that I've no doubt would answer to anything you might fancy to call them." The man winked and immediately Josh found that he liked him.
He laughed and lifted his glass in amicable salute before downing the amber liquid and setting his glass up for a refill.
"It's my birthday!" a familiar voice squealed from somewhere behind him. Josh spilled the refill down the front of his shirt. His heart thundered in his ears. He caught a glimpse of the cunning harlot in the mirror before spinning round and seeing the minx work her charms on a potential john. Seeing her there, in another man's lap with a smile on her face the size of Texas and batting her eyes did unspeakable things to his insides.
Under a possessive rage, Joshua marched over to the table where she was sitting with the octopus-like man and jerked her, none too gently, off his lap. "Where's my horse?" he demanded, chest heaving in his berserk fury.
Pain unlike any he'd ever known seized his heart when she looked up at him in stunned horror and he saw the bruise that marred the area just above and below her left eye. He swallowed, battling the sudden craze to pummel every man in the saloon for being suspect to the cause of her anguish.
"Let go of me," she demanded in a huff while attempting to tug her arm free.
He pretended not to care about her injuries. "Not until you tell me what you've done with my horse."
"Your horse?" Her eyes rounded in surprise.
The man whose lap she'd been sitting in came to his feet, as did several others at the table. "Take your hands off Miss Eve." The man went for his gun, but Josh was quicker.
"Stay out of this," Josh warned, keeping one hand on the woman and the other on the weapon aimed at the octopus's heart. He turned his eyes back to Scarlet. "Eve?"
She shrugged and flashed a sheepish grin. "Look gentlemen, I'm sure we can settle this without resorting to violence." At that moment, the bar dog came over.
"Miss Eve, he your husband?"
Josh's brows shot upward. "Husband? My, my, you're chock full of surprises."