Garrison Taggart doesn’t have time to deal with touchy-feely junk like “trust issues” or “feelings.” His dad’s health is waning and the family’s Wyoming ranch is being sabotaged. Too bad his supernatural ability to tell when someone is lying has been exactly zero help in ferreting out the betrayer so far. So, when sweet schoolteacher Sara Lopez raises concerns about his son being bullied, who can blame a guy for getting a little testy?
The last thing Sara needs is any more attention or gossip after her recent breakup with big-shot rancher Hank Brand. So her attraction to surly but sexy Garrison, Hank’s rival, is entirely unwanted. When she uncovers an insane plot to kidnap the Taggart boy and throws herself in harm’s way to protect him, Garrison must risk his deepest secret and his own life to save the people he cares for the most. But will his heroics cost him everything?
Sensuality Level: Sensual
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 of Lies:
The footsteps in the hallway stopped, and a scuff transmitted through the classroom door. Like the person walking had pivoted. A shadow flashed by the small window in the door.
Her voice came out too high-pitched. “Well, if you have any other concerns about Lucas, please let me know. We’ll meet again in the springtime. But for right now, keep up the good work with the reading, especially over the holidays coming up.”
The couple stood and shook her hand. As he exited the room, the man placed his hand on the small of his wife’s back.
Something unpleasant, like emptiness mixed with jealousy, pinched in Sara’s lower back. She tried to ignore the discomfort.
But she couldn’t ignore the new hand that caught the door right before it closed. Big, square fingers with trimmed, work-roughened nails blanched as they gripped the metal. A flannel sleeve encased a thick wrist dusted with reddish hair. Sinews flexed as he pushed open the door.
Hail Mary … yum.
Sara blinked hard. Stay professional. She needed all her faculties with her today. She knew a little about Garrison Taggart’s life since he graduated high school five years ahead of her: his wife, his son, the sudden breakup and divorce. Heck, she had appreciated that the people in town had someone else to talk about for a while there.
All day, she’d wondered how it would go, meeting her adolescent crush, all grown up. A rush of terrified giggles threatened to burst out of her lips.
Get a grip on yourself. He had no clue about her teenage infatuation and didn’t deserve to walk into a parent-teacher meeting where the teacher was all aflutter. Besides, both of them were older, hopefully wiser, and world-wearier. She had that police record and a less-than-respectable family background. If the gossip could be believed, Garrison now had his own demons.
A colleague had warned her about Garrison Taggart’s unwilling participation in parent-teacher conferences. He disliked meetings, he didn’t have time for teachers, and he resented anything that took him away from his ranch. And God help anyone who said a critical word about his kid.
Odds were, he wouldn’t like what Sara had to say.
The man filled the doorway, blocking the light behind him for a moment. As he entered the room, he removed his tan cowboy hat, and short, wavy hair the color of burnt sienna became visible. Beneath thick slashes of reddish-brown eyebrows, his amber-colored eyes took her breath away as he broke eye contact long enough to dip his head in a curt nod. He raised an eyebrow and waited.
Her dry tongue unstuck enough to form words. “Please come in, Mr. Taggart. You’re right on time.”
“Of course I am.”
She flinched. The frigid tone rivaled the wind chill outside and made her glance at the clock on her wall: 4:22. She had run two minutes late for his time slot.
He crossed the worn linoleum floor in three strides, bringing with him scents of horses, hay, leather, and hardworking male. She inhaled, triggering fond memories of watching rodeo competitions featuring a certain steer roper.
Too bad her pleasant thoughts didn’t jibe with the scowling man standing next to the chair.
Keep it professional. Stay cool. You can do this.