Release date: March 27, 2017
Growing up as an honorary Taggart, Eric Patterson found the family he’d always wanted. Almost. He couldn’t ever manage to see the clan’s youngest and only daughter, stubborn spitfire Shelby, quite like a little sister. Suddenly, his long-suppressed feelings are determined to come to light.
Too bad Shelby’s cursed. Her double whammy psychic powers to read emotions and locate anyone anywhere have always made relationships impossible—and now they’ve begun to endanger her life. If she uses her echolocation skills again, it just might kill her.
But when a malevolent supernatural force invades the valley, threatening the Taggarts and their neighbors, the Brands, Eric and Shelby must contend with both their blossoming feelings and the increasing danger. Does Shelby dare risk using her powers one more time, sacrificing her own life to save Eric?
by Jillian David
Jillian David lives near the end of the Earth with her nut of a husband and two bossy cats. To escape the sometimes-stressful world of the rural physician, she writes while on call and in her free time. She enjoys taking realistic settings and adding a twist of “what if.” Running or hiking on local trails often promotes plot development.
An excerpt from Legacy Lost:
“Watch it! Incoming.”
The smug male voice’s command came almost too late to react to the bale of hay dropped from the loft. Shelby Taggart yelped and dodged the heavy projectile in time, but the chilly puff of straw dust kicked off another coughing fit that she couldn’t contain no matter how hard she tried.
Damn Eric Patterson, all healthy and fit, hucking fifty-pound bales like it was no big deal.
She stepped around a corner of the small barn and gave in to the wheezing as the lining of her lungs burned like someone had sprayed acid over them. Pressing her hand to her chest against the double layers of flannel she wore, she took slow, deep breaths. Damn it. She still hadn’t recovered from the smoke inhalation a few weeks ago. The cold, dry mountain air didn’t help. The evening forecast for Copper River, Wyoming, promised snow soon. And it was only late November. It was going to be a long winter.
Bad news for the Taggart family. Not enough time to prepare for the cold weather this year.
When the main barn with all the supplies and feed inside had literally gone up in flames a few weeks ago, the Taggart family’s future went with it. This winter was going to suck. Even luck might not be enough to keep the ranch afloat, at the rate bad things were happening here. Too many bad things. Weird coincidences. Too weird.
A chill hit her spine, and she whipped around, peering down the long line of stalls, half-expecting to see someone. Or something.
What was left of the singed hair on her forearms popped into goose bumps. She squinted. No movement. The only out-of-place noise was Eric’s booted feet stomping on the wood floor of the loft. Nothing else seemed wrong. Must be imagining things. A faint scent of sulfur irritated her nostrils and she coughed again.
The sensation of someone standing just out of sight continued, and she rubbed her shoulder.
At the sound of an impatient whuff, she shuffled over to a nearby stall. A velvety nose emerged from the darkness. Pink patches of healed burns dotted the roan head. Her horse, Bob, blinked his big brown eyes and nuzzled her neck. The ticklish pressure of his nose on her neck started the coughing all over again.
Had it been worth it? Running back into that fire to save Bob from the burning barn? Almost dying? Risking permanent lung damage?
He rested his soft chin on her shoulder and gave a great, horsey sigh.
Yes, totally worth it. As she leaned against the stall door, Shelby scratched her horse’s jowls and he stomped a hoofed foot in happiness.
“You know, a guy could get jealous of a horse, the way you’re mooning over him,” Eric’s sardonic voice started up again. Even without looking, she’d bet fifty bucks on him sporting a sarcastic twist of his mouth. “Before you two make plans for your happily ever after, you should be aware that he’s gelded.”
“And it improved his disposition immediately. Should be mandatory for all guys.”
Eric made a choking sound and a leather-gloved hand drifted over his groin.
Good. Served him right. Longtime family friend or not, it didn’t hurt to put him in his place every so often. Kept him honest. Knocked that grin off his too-handsome-for-his-own-good face.
She kissed Bob’s smooth nose. “Don’t judge. What Bob and I have is beyond your understanding.”
Eric laughed and shoved his unruly sandy hair back off his forehead. “I don’t want any details about your relationship with that . . . horse.”
“What? Wish you could wear a bridle and be tacked?”
“Naw. I don’t wear a saddle well. Chafes my delicate skin.” This cowboy? With his broad shoulders and solid frame? Nothing about him was delicate.
The laugh that bubbled up triggered another unfortunate coughing spell. He stepped forward, but she held up her hand. “I’m good.”