Read An Excerpt

by B.J. Daniels

Genre: Current Series Imprints, Harlequin Intrigue, Series

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Liza Turner had watched the man slog up the hill, his footsteps slow, his head down, as if he were going to a funeral. So she hadn’t been surprised when he pushed open the gate to the cemetery and stepped in.

At first, after reining her horse in under the pines, she’d been mildly curious. She loved this spot, loved looking across the canyon as she rode through the groves of aspens and pines. It was always cool in the trees. She liked listening to the river flowing emerald green below her on the hillside and taking a moment to search the granite cliffs on the other side for mountain sheep.

She hadn’t expected to see anyone on her ride this morning. When she’d driven into the ranch for her usual ride, she’d seen the Cardwell Ranch pickup leaving and remembered that Hud was taking Dana into Bozeman today for her appointment with the obstetrician. They were leaving the kids with Dana’s best friend and former business partner, Hilde at Needles and Pins, the local fabric store.

Liza had been curious and a bit suspicious when she’d first laid eyes on the stranger in the straw western hat. As far as she knew, no one else should have been on the ranch today. So who was this tall, broad-shouldered cowboy?

Dana had often talked about hiring some help since she had her hands full with a four- and five-year-old, not to mention now being pregnant with twins.

But if this man was the new hired hand, why would he be interested in the Justice-Cardwell family cemetery? She felt the skin on the back of her neck prickle. There was something about this cowboy… His face had been in shadow from the brim of his Western straw hat. When he’d stopped at one of the graves and had taken his hat off, head bowed, she still hadn’t been able to see more than his profile from where she sat astride her horse.

Shifting in the saddle, she’d tried to get a better look. He must have heard the creak of leather or sensed her presence. His head came up, his gaze darting right to the spot where she sat. He looked startled at first, then confused as if he was trying to place her.

She blinked, not sure she could trust her eyes. Jordan Cardwell?

He looked completely different from the arrogant man in the three-piece expensive suit she’d crossed paths with six years ago. He wore jeans, a button-up shirt and work boots. He looked tanned and stronger as if he’d been doing manual labor. There was only a hint of the earlier arrogance in his expression, making him more handsome than she remembered.

She saw the exact moment when he recognized her. Bitterness burned in his dark gaze as a small resentful smile tugged at his lips.

Oh yes, it was Jordan Cardwell all right, she thought, wondering what had made her think he was handsome just moments before or–even harder to believe, that he might have changed.