Release date: October 6, 2014
A.J. Owens is a woman on a mission. Convinced that her sister’s abusive marriage to Mike Towers drove her to kill herself, A.J. travels to his Texas ranch and concocts a daring plan to get closer to her brother-in-law. She’s also determined to rescue the champion racehorse he stole, Rebel Dorado, even if it means pretending to seduce the man.
Towers’s head of security, Chance Landin, knows there’s something fishy about this gorgeous blonde seductress. But when he discovers her real agenda, the former Marine is more than happy to help—he’s got his own plans for revenge against Towers. After the man framed his uncle for the cold-blooded murder of the thoroughbreds he cared for, Chance swore he’d bring him down.
They’re both determined to expose the madman’s deadly secrets, but when romance begins to spark between them, will love triumph over revenge?
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Leslie P. García lives in the unique culture of deep South Texas, surrounded by legends of La Llorona, the Wailing Woman, nine grandchildren, four children, her husband, and a plethora of annoying animals. You can find Leslie at Return to Rio.
An excerpt from A Love Beyond:
On the banks of the Rio Grande, Laredo, Texas
The river, black and barely visible, slid silently past. Trees pressed close to the bank, leaving only a narrow strip along the water’s edge, and AJ Owens set one foot in front of the other cautiously. She was unafraid of the water, but not eager to be found out, whether by one of the law enforcement agencies screening the river for illegal activity, or by any of the criminal agents plying their trade alongside the fabled Rio Grande. Unconsciously she tightened her hold on the worn leather reins in her hands. Slight rustling in the brush startled her, making her stiffen and stifle a gasp. Alongside her, the chestnut Thoroughbred balked, throwing his head up in alarm. His snort echoed through the still night, sending some unseen smaller animal scurrying off into deeper cover.
“Sssh,” she breathed, laying a hand against the horse’s face. “Steady, Goof.” The gelding’s nostrils flared and his head swiveled, dark eyes searching for cause to flee. After a moment, though, the big horse sighed heavily and dropped his head, allowing AJ to ease him forward along the riverbank.
His hooves thudded softly on the damp ground, echoing the dull pounding of her heart. Quietly they walked, shapes moving in the darkness, screened against tall reeds and stunted brush. Where the river curved slightly, its bank jutting out into the placid waters, AJ stopped, again laying a comforting hand against the horse’s head and stroking him gently.
The river was narrow here, although squinting, she could hardly make out the opposite shore, cloaked in darkness. Due to the severe south Texas drought gripping the area, it was shallow, too. Not a scenic spot along the river, by any means. But she knew what lay on the other side—whose land rose up from the river into the dry, cactus-studded Tamaulipas countryside.
Again the horse’s head came up nervously and its huge body tensed as he, too, peered across the water. Far off, a coyote yipped, and dogs, closer by, barked.
A breeze stirred the undergrowth behind her, carrying with it a sound, low and plaintive, like the moan of someone in distress. Someone stricken by grief, or overcome by an agony beyond imagination. Unbidden, the legends of childhood rushed back: La Llorona. The spirit of a humble woman, whose husband had abandoned her. A distraught young mother had drowned her three children in these dark waters, only to realize at daybreak what she had done. Now the ghostly figure of this woman strolled the riverbanks, wailing, calling endlessly into the night wind for her children.
AJ shivered. It was lunacy, being here, and she knew it. The legend of La Llorona, the wailing woman, was fantasy. Real threats, concealed in the shadows just yards away, might surround her now. Drug and alien smugglers, rabid coyotes—these were the real dangers. But there was no other alternative, no way out. She tightened her grip on the reins, keeping the horse still as he struck a hoof impatiently against the ground. If worse came to worst, she’d jump on him and ride out of harm’s way. But hopefully that particular race would wait. Racing a horse headlong over rough footing in the dark could wait. Giving him a final, calming stroke, she turned to lead him away from the riverbank.