You never know what waits beyond a door you thought you closed forever.
Madigan Moran walked away from both an alcoholic father, and the man she loved, putting a painful chapter in her life behind her. At least she thought so, until her father died. Returning home for the first time in years, she has a single purpose—sell everything and resume life as an up-and-coming artist. But she discovers nothing is ever simple and inexplicable happenings make her question whether her father’s spirit has actually moved on, or still lingers in her childhood home.
Having given up his career in Executive Protection, Sam Barstow leads an unassuming life despite his high-profile father’s badgering. Regardless of a promise to her dying father, he thought he’d hardened his heart towards the woman who tossed him aside like a half-eaten sandwich. But Maddie isn’t anything he expected and the heat between them burns as hot as ever.
When Sam confesses a secret battle, and Maddie is threatened and later accused of a crime, each has to face their personal fears or walk away. Will the ghosts from their past be the catalyst that holds them together, or the wedge that drives them apart?
Sam Barstow’s head exploded. At least it felt that way as the lamp caught him right above the ear, knocking his bandana flying and sending him heavily to his knees. He swore he actually felt his skin splitting. His eyes clamped shut against the pain, leaving him temporarily blinded. He planted his hands on the cool tile, concentrating on his breathing, while hoping she didn’t decide to take another shot at the back of his head while he was down.
Thankfully, he heard his assailant move away, and detected the muted beeps of his cell phone. Her voice was low and husky and took him right back to fast cars and warm summer nights. His groin twitched in involuntary response. The bitch had hit him with a lamp and he was fantasizing about her? It was official. He’d lost his mind. Maybe he needed to get out more. He had to be nearing the point of desperation if he was getting aroused by a sleep rumpled woman who ranked high on his shit list.
He heard the phone click off and the rattle of his tool belt. If she’d nearly taken him out with an old lamp, she’d be a hell of a lot more lethal with his claw hammer. He’d only had a brief glimpse of her before he couldn’t see anything at all, so it was difficult to tell how much she might have changed. Well, he’d deal with that in a minute, as soon as he managed to uncross his eyes.
Climbing slowly to his feet, assisted by the back of the chair, he blinked rapidly and groaned as he turned to face his would-be attacker. Yep, as small and slender as ever, her shapely bare legs poked out of a baggy pair of plaid boxers riding low on her narrow hips. A white tank top hugged her curves, and he could detect a hint of dusky nipple through the thin, clingy cotton. Her thick, dark hair was flat on one side, a riot of tangled curls on the other, and her green eyes were wide and wary as she braced her bare feet shoulder width apart, brandishing his hammer in front of her with two trembling hands.
“Just stay right over there.” She waved the hammer threateningly in the air. “The police will be here any minute, so don’t even think of trying anything.”
“Nice to see you again too, Madigan,” he wheezed dryly, annoyed that his voice lacked its usual authoritative tone. Her brows sailed into her hairline, and she lowered the hammer a fraction of an inch. “Welcome home.”
“Sam?” she whispered, the fear and uncertainty clear in her voice. “Oh my God, it is you. Sam Barstow, what in the hell are you doing here?”
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Sharon Saracino is a multi-published author who resides in the anthracite coal country of Pennsylvania with her long suffering husband, funny and talented son, and two insane dogs. When she is not reading, writing, or enjoying photography and genealogy, she brews limoncello, dreams of living in Italy, and works as a Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse.