The Seduction of Shamus O'Rourke: Jamesville, Book 4
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by N. J. Walters
Description: All small towns have secrets. This one could be deadly. Book 4 of Jamesville. After her father's death, Cyndi Marks returns to Jamesville, determined to settle here and lay the ghosts of years ago to rest once and for all. But the past has a way of catching up--and hanging on. When her car breaks down outside of town, a handsome stranger stops to help. He intrigues and attracts her, but then she discovers who he is. Shamus O'Rourke enjoys his job, his family and small town living. What he's missing is someone with whom to share it. Immediately drawn to Cyndi, he is determined to get closer to her, even as he senses her pulling away. But not everyone in Jamesville is happy to see Cyndi. People are hiding secrets. Secrets they would kill to protect. When violence erupts in her home, Cyndi turns to the only person in town she can trust--Shamus. In a situation where family loyalties are strained, Cyndi's life is threatened and everyone is a suspect, will their emerging love survive? Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, and violence.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2008 2008
eBookwise Release Date: January 2010
30 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [422 KB]
Reading time: 285-399 min.
Jamesville, Maine. It looked so peaceful nestled down in the valley below, but Cyndi knew that even a small town had dirty little secrets. Turning her back on the picturesque scene, she strode to the trunk of her car. She needed to keep focused on the task at hand and right now that included getting her car back on the road so she could reach her destination before dark.
The sun was low in the afternoon sky, but she had an hour or so until it finally sank. Lots of time to change a flat tire and get to the lawyer's office before it closed for the day.
Unlocking her trunk, she pocketed her keys and hauled out her two suitcases, setting them beside the car. Next came her laptop, which she tucked into the backseat for safekeeping. Two boxes containing her pillows and comforter, specialty teas, and her favorite snacks were next. She figured she'd need all the comforts she could get. She was under no illusion that the task ahead of her would be easy.
Cyndi ignored the small voice in the back of her head that whispered she didn't have to stay. She'd made her decision and she wasn't about to back down now. It was time for her to face down the demons of her past and put them to rest once and for all. The only way to do that was to settle in Jamesville. She'd put all her belongings in storage, let the lease on her apartment lapse, and quit her job as manager of an upscale bed and breakfast. For better or worse, she was here to stay.
Dragging out the jack and the spare tire, she carried them one at a time to the front of the car. The left-hand tire was as flat as a pancake. She must have picked up a nail or something. As soon as she hit town, she'd have to go to a garage and get it seen to.
As she was shoving the jack beneath the car, she heard another vehicle rumbling up behind her. She scooted in front of her car, not wanting to be out in the road as the other vehicle passed. She'd pulled her car as far off the road as she could, but the shoulder wasn't that wide and part of the vehicle was still on the pavement. A dusty, blue truck passed her, but the brake lights flashed almost immediately, and the vehicle rolled to a stop several yards up the road.
Cyndi climbed back into the driver's seat and locked all the doors. Maybe she was overreacting, but a woman on her own, on a fairly deserted stretch of road, couldn't be too careful. She knew what Jamesville used to be like, but that was a long time ago. The whole world seemed to have changed in the intervening years.
The truck door opened and a long, jean-clad leg came into view, quickly followed by another. The man who got out of the vehicle was huge, standing at least several inches over six feet. His shoulders were wide, straining the seams of his dirty, white T-shirt. The short sleeves of the shirt did nothing to hide his thick biceps and muscular forearms. His jeans were faded white at the knees and crotch area. Cyndi forced herself to look away. A stranger was coming toward her, and she was staring at his crotch. It had to be the stress she'd been under making her so loopy. Still, she did enjoy the view.
His large, booted feet quickly ate up the distance between them. Cyndi reached into her purse and yanked out her phone, ready to call for help if necessary.
The man stopped beside her door, leaned down and tapped on the window. "Didn't mean to frighten you, ma'am."
Cyndi got her first, really good look at his face and it started her heart pounding, but not from fear. The man was gorgeous, in a rough sort of way. His thick, molasses-brown hair was tied back at the nape, falling just below his shoulders. His face was all sharp angles and planes; his nose was large, but somehow suited his face. Eyebrows the same color as his hair were straight slashes above a pair of concerned, blue-gray eyes, eyes the same color as the sky just before a storm.
"Ma'am?" She heard his voice through the glass and realized she was sitting there like a fool simply staring at him.
Quickly she rolled the window down, but just a crack. "I'm sorry. What did you say?"
He tilted his head to one side, staring at her. Cyndi knew she looked a mess. She'd been traveling for hours, and the past few weeks had been extremely stressful. She knew she had dark circles under her eyes and wasn't wearing any makeup, save her clear lip balm. Her days of dressing to please other people were long over.
"I said that I didn't mean to frighten you." He smiled then, a slight upturn of the corners of his mouth, but the effect was devastating.
Butterflies danced in her stomach and she felt a throbbing between her thighs. She shook her head, desperately trying to fight the unwanted burst of physical attraction. She was thirty-nine years old, for heaven's sake, long past the stage of being ruled by her hormones. And he looked to be at least ten years younger than her.
"A woman alone can't be too careful these days." His words echoed her earlier thoughts. "You stay put in the car and I'll take care of that flat tire for you."
"No," she snapped. Realizing what she'd done, she softened her tone. After all, it wasn't his fault she was attracted to him. All he'd done was stop and offer to help. "That's fine. I'll take care of it myself."
He scrubbed his hand across his jaw and her eyes followed the action. She could see the five o'clock shadow on his chin. It made him appear even sexier, if that was possible. There was something elemental about this man. Even dressed in old work boots, faded jeans and a dirty T-shirt, there was an air of barely restrained power about him.
"I figured you could handle the problem on your own, ma'am, but there's no need for that now that I'm here."
Was he for real?
She guessed so when he turned on his heel and crouched down by the front tire. Within seconds, the front of the car was raised and he was using the tire iron to loosen the lug nuts.