Pre-Order: Godsend (Hell Yeah! Heritage) by Sable Hunter

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Now available for pre-order!   


Godsend is the first novel in the Hell Yeah! Heritage series. If you ever wondered where those
McCoy men came from…these historical novels will take you to their beginnings. Deeply sensual stories of romance and adventure, they will capture your imagination and your heart.
History is definitely worth repeating.

Thrust from his home, Austin McCoy travels west to build a new life for himself in the wilds of Texas. Civilization has not yet arrived to the wilderness where he settles and his nearest neighbor is more than two days’ journey through Indian territory alive with bear, cougar and wolves. While difficult, carving out an existence amidst these dangers is not what weighs heavily on his heart. With nothing and no one to share his days, Austin is lost. The answer to his prayers comes from a very unexpected source…

Jolie Dumas has also been torn from the only home she has ever known. The beloved daughter of a plantation owner and his quadroon mistress, she is horrified to be sold into slavery after the death of her parents. Bought and paid for, she is chained and walked from New Orleans to Texas. Before she can be delivered to her master, the slave trader is killed and Jolie escapes. Alone and vulnerable, she seeks a safe place to hide, not knowing the sanctuary she finds may end up being the one place she truly belongs.

When Austin opens his heart and home to the beautiful woman, he has no idea the future she faces. Knowing what awaits her if anyone finds out the truth, Jolie hides her identity from him. Having been betrayed before by those she trusted, she has no idea that in Austin’s eyes she could not be more perfect.
She is his Godsend.

godsend teaser


“Come on, Sandy. Time to lock the door and call it a night.” Austin McCoy urged his dog to join him inside. “We’ve had a hard day. Time to rest.”

The big hound stepped over the threshold, making for the hearth and flopping down in his usual spot.

“We made good headway today. I think we’ve cleared another acre, soon we’ll have enough room for a few more cows.”

Sandy’s only response was to roll over.

“Are you hungry? I’ll hang this pot of stew over the fire to warm it. Tomorrow, I think maybe we’ll put some corn in the coals to roast.”

Austin’s voice rang in the empty space. Taking off his hat, he chunked it on the table. Yes, he was going crazy. The only live creature he had to talk to was his dog and Sandy was a poor conversationalist. He sank down in a ladder back chair with a cowhide bottom and let his gaze rove around the small log cabin he’d built with his own two hands. “Home, sweet home.” The simple dogtrot structure was made from pine logs he’d cut and stripped of their bark. After he’d peeled them smooth, he’d notched the logs on the corners, then set them together, filling the cracks with a mixture of red clay and pine straw. This humble abode was nowhere near as fancy as the home he’d left in Tennessee, but Austin was no longer welcome in his family home. After his mother died, his father had remarried. When his young wife’s wandering eye had fallen on Austin, his father quickly decided it was time for his only son to venture west and make his own fortune. Stephen McCoy had given Austin his inheritance early, wishing him well and sending him on his way.

The lure of adventure was strong and the prospect of his own land in the rich territory of Texas had been some consolation for walking off and leaving everything he’d ever known and held familiar. Now, six months since he’d broken ground six miles south of the spot the Indians called Red Mound, he was fast beginning to regret the decision. Hard work and the dangers he encountered daily were not the cause of Austin’s deep depression. No, it was the isolation. The loneliness. The complete and utter void that seemed to surround him, made Austin want to throw his fists in the air and rail at the heavens. What he wouldn’t give for someone to talk to, someone to hold at night–someone to love.

Austin longed for a wife.

How many nights had he lain alone in his bed and ached for release? He’d not been with many women, but since becoming a man he’d not gone so long without feeling the sweet relief that only a woman could give. And what scared him more than anything, was that there was no end in sight to this exile. Months and years of loneliness stretched before him. How would he endure it? Where would he find a wife in this wilderness? He’d made the long journey to Nacogdoches, only to find women as scarce a commodity as silk. And if there was one, he was no prize. His mind returned to his home in Tennessee, the women he’d courted, the plans he’d made. All of that was gone. What did he have to offer a lady?

Only love, only to be cherished.

Running a frustrated hand through his long hair, he stood up in disgust. “No use wishing for something I can’t have, is there boy?”

Feeling rested enough to feed his hunger pains, Austin hung the cast-iron pot on the hook over the flames. While he was there, he stoked the fire and added another log. Sandy raised up and cocked his ear. “Did you hear something outside?” Austin grew still to listen also. He heard howling in the distance, but nothing out of the ordinary. “Just that big old timber wolf and his pack, nothing unusual.” Sandy lifted his nose to take a whiff, giving Austin a long look from his limpid brown eyes.

“You want to check it out?”

Just voicing the question gave them both a jolt of energy. The dog and man both rose to head for the door. Austin picked up his rifle, just to be on the safe side. “Let’s go see what we can find.”

…In the small lean-to, full of tools, Jolie nestled down in the straw. She was scared and hungry, but at least she had shelter of a sort, enough to give her a chance at a few hours of sleep. The scratches on her body made her feel raw and achy. As she closed her eyes, the sorrow in her heart knew no bounds. With no food, no money, and nowhere to go, Jolie didn’t think she would make it. She’d tried to find some berries to eat, to no avail. The only sustenance to be found was the raw turnip she held in her hands, which she would attempt to eat as soon as she rested enough to have the energy. As she laid her head against the rough wood, Jolie tried to reason with herself about all that happened. What had she done to deserve this? Was she less than her Aunt Lisette or Grandmother Dora? Was she not a human being like they were?

Jolie hugged herself and tried to reason the mystery of slavery. All that her Grandmere and mother had told her, the whispers that she’d heard from Eula and her papa, all the things that she’d seen while at Oak Hill came back to her. The tiny cabins the workers had lived in, how they lined up for water and food to be doled out to them, the men who guarded them on horseback with dogs at their sides–all of the things that she’d chosen to ignore and not see. If she didn’t acknowledge the injustice, it wasn’t real. Closing her weary eyes, she knew there would be no more avoiding the travesty. The nightmare had become her reality.

…Sandy took off ahead, his nose to the ground. Austin followed closely, his rifle loaded and ready. Not too many days ago, he’d seen a panther. He had no wish to kill the big black cat, but it could take down one of his oxen, not to mention a full grown man. Austin cocked his ear toward the area where the three head of cattle were penned. There was no unrest, so he didn’t think there was a predator about. When they came even with the shed, Sandy veered over to nose around. The closer he came, the faster he walked, tail in the air. “What is it, boy?” Austin asked. “Something there?” He figured it was an armadillo or a possum, hopefully not a skunk. The last run-in the mutt had with a skunk, Austin had dipped him in the creek four times, scrubbing him with lye soap until they both could tolerate the stench.

With only the light of the moon to guide him, Austin drew closer to the shed where Sandy was now nosing his way past the door that had somehow been left ajar. Hearing the dog’s whimper, his curiosity rose to a high level. His animal wasn’t reacting the way he would expect if there was prey or some type of threat. No, Austin was confused to see Sandy’s tail begin to wag. “What have you found?”

Coming close, he pulled the door open a bit wider so the moon’s rays could filter into the near darkness. “What?” he whispered. At first he thought the intruder was a man. The hat pulled down over the face and the jacket obscured his view, but the long hair and bare legs sticking out from what appeared to be a dress of some kind convinced him otherwise. He blinked once or twice. Were his eyes deceiving him? Perhaps this was some kind of cruel joke that his mind was playing on him. This was a woman. Going to his knees, he knelt by the small trespasser. “Ma’am? Are you all right?” He shook her shoulder gently.

The touch jerked Jolie awake. All she could think was that Coffi or the bear had her. A scream erupted from her lips before her eyes focused on the face in front of her.

The sudden noise caused Sandy to bark. Austin sat back on his hills, giving the girl a little space. “It’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you.”

Before, Jolie would never have thought to fight for herself, but after what she’d been through, having been sold into slavery, defending herself had become second nature. But without a weapon or light enough to see her surroundings, all she could think about was running. Jumping to her feet, she tried to figure out a way to get past the big man who blocked her way. “Please, just let me go. I’ll leave. I promise.”

Leave? He took in her tattered clothing and bare feet. She was so small. “You don’t have to leave. Come into the cabin where it’s safe. Aren’t you hungry?”

The turnip she’d taken from his garden still lay at her feet. “Yes.” Could she risk it? There was the possibility this man could hurt her, but what choice did she have? “If you’ll let me rest for a little while, I’ll be on my way soon.”

Austin didn’t know what to think. “Are you alone? Where did you come from? Those questions and more were racing through his mind. He rose and offered her his hand. “The ground’s rough. Do you want me to carry you?”

Jolie would’ve laughed if she’d felt more confident. “No. I’ll be fine. I’ve walked a long way already.”

He couldn’t fathom what she was saying. Knowing what lay beyond his small clearing, Austin was flabbergasted to find this tiny female seeming to be at the mercy of the world. “Please, come in and let me check your feet and get you something to eat. Sandy and I were just about to have supper. Somehow, he knew you were out here.”

“He did?” Jolie laid her hand on the big dog’s head. “He’s soft.” The memory of the vicious dogs used on the plantation to keep the slaves in line caused her to jerk her hand back. “He won’t bite me?”

“No, he won’t bite.” Austin was anxious to get his guest inside. “We’re glad to have some company, aren’t we, Sandy?”

His dog answered with a bark, which made Jolie smile. “Okay, for a little while.”

As Austin led his guest back to the cabin, he tried to make her feel more comfortable. “My name is Austin McCoy. What’s yours?”

“Jolie.” She answered automatically, then immediately regretted it. Would her buyer look for her? Did he know her name? She really had no way of knowing one way or the other.

“Jolie.” Austin said it, savoring the way her name sounded on his lips. “That’s a beautiful name. Where are your folks? Were you attacked by Indians?” The thought of her just barely escaping with her life made his blood run cold.

“We were attacked. My parents are dead.” Both of those things were true, albeit unrelated.

“I’m so sorry.”

When he opened the door to the cabin, the smell of food caused her to sway. She hadn’t realized how weak she’d become.

Austin shot out a hand to stabilize her. “How long since you’ve eaten.”

“A couple of days.” She tried to remember. Coffi hadn’t really cared whether the women had eaten or not.

As soon as he got Jolie inside, Austin began to do everything he could do to make her welcome. “Here, sit here.” He gave her the more comfortable chair, a rocker that sat next to the fireplace. “And water, let me get you some water.” Moving to the bucket of well-water he kept on the small cabinet in what passed for his kitchen, Austin ladled a cup full and carried it to her.

Taking the water, she gratefully took a drink. “Thank you.” It tasted so good, she greedily drank it all.

“I’ll get you more.” He hastily refilled the cup, then found a bowl to dip up some of the stew. “This is rabbit, but I’ve added some potatoes and onions I raised in the garden. I think it’s edible.”

“You’re very kind.” Jolie sat the cup on the floor and raised her hands to grasp the clay dish with the tin spoon.

“My pleasure,” Austin said and he meant it. Even by the light of the kerosene lamp, he couldn’t make out her features. The hat cast a shadow over her face, but from what he could see of her neck and arms they were covered with mud and numerous scratches. “I think I’ve got an herb salve that might make those sore places on your face and arms feel better.”

Jolie heard him, she just couldn’t stop eating long enough to answer.

Raised a lady, she managed not to shovel the food between her lips–just barely.

It did Austin’s heart good to watch her eat, but he couldn’t stop worrying about what would happen to her if she left again. “Where will you go? Do you have relatives?”

Swallowing the last delicious bite, she licked her lips, then hung her head. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do.” Just the thought of trying to find a place to live, some way of making a living, was more than she could comprehend.

Austin wanted to offer help. He wanted to do something. Noticing again her tattered clothing, he spoke quickly. “Do you have any other clothes?” He hadn’t seen any type of satchel, but she might have left it at the lean-to.

Jolie glanced down at the rag she wore. “No, I must look a mess.” What could she say? “I ran to get away.”

He nodded. “I’m sure you were terrified. Would you like to wash up and change? I could pour up some water for you.”

Cleaning herself sounded like heaven. “Please, yes. But I have nothing else to wear.”

“I’m sure I can find something.” He rose to find her anything of his that would come close to fitting. “A shirt, I’ll find a shirt for you. As small as you are, the length will be almost like a gown.”

As Jolie sat there by the fire, her belly full, with a dog at her feet, she was transfixed by the big man with the long honey blond hair moving around the room, doing his best to make her comfortable. As she waited, she trembled. Residual shock from all she’d endured still echoed throughout her body.

“Jolie, you can come and clean up.” He snapped his finger. “Sandy, get up. We shall wait outside. When you finish, we’ll return.”

He gave her a kind smile, then left her alone. As soon as he was gone, she glanced around. After Oak Hill and even the bungalow, his home was simple and barren. But for the first time in weeks, she felt safe. Taking the rag he’d given her to use, she dipped it in the lukewarm water and began to clean the mud and blood from her body.

Outside, Austin leaned against the side of his cabin, flummoxed by all that had happened. How different this evening had turned out to be than the one he’d envisioned. For a little while, he was no longer alone. When a smile played upon his lips, his selfish feelings shamed Austin. How could he take pleasure when this woman had suffered so much loss?

Standing in the darkness, he kept an eye on Sandy who explored a few feet away. “Don’t go far, boy.” Austin was aware of the dangers that lurked in the darkness. The knowledge that Jolie had been exposed to those same dangers and soon would be again caused a shudder to rip through him. How could he let her return to the wilderness? The very idea was intolerable. He’d have to accompany her to a settlement, see that she was safely delivered to…his mind clamored for answer. Perhaps the Spanish mission in Nacogdoches could offer her sanctuary until she could find someone or…

“Mr. McCoy, Austin? You can come back in now.”

Her soft voice broke into his thoughts. “Very well.”

“Sandy.” He called his companion and they reentered the cabin. Aware she had changed into his clothing, he cautiously let his gaze move up her body, starting at her small feet, which were now clean from the mud that had been caked on them. By the time his eyes climbed to her face, Austin was speechless. He’d never seen a more beautiful woman. Her skin was the color of gardenias, and her eyes were a purplish blue that reminded him of a delphinium flower that had grown in his mother’s garden. The hat was gone and now he could see she had dark hair which fell to the middle of her back in long, loose curls…and her lips, her lips were the color of a pomegranate. Her beauty almost brought him to his knees.


Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of nearly 50 books in 7 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales where the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream

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Release Blitz: Hidden No More by Christina McKnight



Title: Hidden No More
Series: A Lady Forsaken, Book Four
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: March 31, 2016
Word Count: 83,000 appox.
Cover Artist: LFD Designs for Authors


A lady concealed from society…

Lady Ellington, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy marquis, has spent her entire life hiding from London’s high society—both as a result of her own desires and those forced upon her by her overbearing and abusive father. When the marquis passes away suddenly, Ellie feels as though a weight has been lifted and immediately assumes her role as mistress of Drake House. Though she is constantly looking over her shoulder, wondering when it will all be taken from her. And for good reason—no sooner has she shed her black mourning garb than a missive arrives, announcing an heir to the Marquisate. A person she has never heard of before, but one with enough power to change her fate entirely.

A man uncovering the secrets of his past…

Taken in by his nursemaid in infancy and raised as an orphan, Alex has never had the benefits of a name or a bloodline. Yet he’s content to work hard and earn his keep as a stable hand in one of London’s finest homes, proving himself worthy of both his position and his friendship to the beautiful Lady Ellington. When Ellie asks for his help with a delicate matter, he’s happy to oblige, but soon finds himself in the middle of more than he bargained for. His innocent meeting reveals secrets from the past that he never could have imagined, and he discovers that he’s a duke by birth. But even with the possibility of a title and all that goes along with it, Alex is unsure whether he can tear down the walls Ellie has built to protect her heart.

A love neither can hide…

While the two have a love that’s undeniable, it may not be enough to bridge the gap and overcome the obstacles standing in their way. And now, with every secret revealed, there’s even more at stake.

Don’t miss the highly anticipated final novel in Christina McKnight’s A Lady Forsaken Series! Regency Romance at its best!



Enter the GIVEAWAY to win the entire Lady Forsaken series



Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

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New Release: By Any Other Name by Lori Handeland


A Shakespeare meets Old West love story!

What’s in a name? For two young lovers . . . everything.

During the War Between the States, the feud between the Kansas Jayhawkers and the Missouri Bushwackers raged like wildfire. But it was nothing compared to the hatred between the Coltons and the Murphys.

Julia Colton is taught from birth that the Jayhawkers are her enemy, especially the Murphy’s who took the Colton’s rightful property.
When Ryan Murphy saves her from a band of renegades, she begins to question everything she thought was the truth.

Ryan lost his mother to a Bushwacker attack and has vowed vengeance. But Julia’s gentle ways tempt him toward love instead. The only time he feels at peace is when he’s with her. To save Julia from a loveless marriage to a violent man, they marry.

As the war heats up, along with the feud, they must choose between family and love, between vows of vengeance and vows of marriage. Is their love stronger than bullets, deeper than blood? Will it be just as true by any other name?





Lori Handeland has written over fifty novels, novellas and short stories in several genres–historical, contemporary, series and paranormal romance, as well as urban fantasy–for such publishers as: Dorchester, Kensington, Harlequin, St. Martin’s Press, Harper-Collins, Simon and Schuster and Penguin/Putnam

She is a New York Times, USA Today, Waldenbooks and Bookscan Bestselling Author and the recipient of many industry awards, including two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America for Best Paranormal and Best Long Contemporary Romance, a Romantic Times Award for Best Harlequin Superromance, the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, the Write Touch Readers Award, the National Readers Choice Award and the Prism Award.

Published world wide and known for her popular and highly acclaimed Nightcreature paranormal series, as well as the Urban Fantasy series – The Phoenix Chronicles, and the historical fantasy series, Shakespeare Undead, Lori also writes gritty, sexy western historical romance under the name Lori Austin. Look for her Once Upon a Time in the West series.

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╰☆╮AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Changing Lives by Tracey Kincaid╰☆╮

Changing Lives

What if love-at-first-sight was not the “first-sight” after all?

Natalie Star is a modern woman, with modern sensibilities. Practical and realistic, she finds herself falling for a man named Thomas Andrews. Thomas is a perfect gentleman, but his love for her seems to be old, solid, staid– the kind that grows after years of love and life together. He speaks in riddles when she asks why he seems to know her so well–they were together in a time she can’t remember yet.

Thomas longs to tell Natalie everything he knows about her, about them. But it’s time that is the problem yet. There is a tragedy that they must endure before she can fully accept who they are, and why they are destined to be together. A tragedy that Thomas has been through once, and will go through again to find the piece of his heart that has been missing all these many years. 

That tragedy is the Titanic…




As I touch it, I feel nothing but cold everywhere—in my bones, in my blood, in the room. I close my eyes, trying to touch the iceberg as long as I can, as the instructions say. This is what it felt like that night the Titanic sank. With all of those people dying in the cold water. As I stand with my eyes shut, I start to feel very cold and wet. I open my eyes and realize that somehow I’m in a small boat on the ocean at night with a life vest on and hundreds of people floating around me. Some dead, others screaming. Where am I? And where’s Thomas?

I start to yell Thomas’ name. How did I get here?

“Thomas, Thomas, Thomas? Help, anyone help!” I cry.

At that point, Thomas grabs me and pulls me away from the iceberg and back into the exhibit. His heavy breathing matches mine. We are the only two in the room as he grabs me and holds me tight. After a few moments as our breathing slows, I ask, “What just happened?”

“Like I said, you are not like the other people who walk through here. You are special. You were there,” he whispers.

“How is that possible? None of this makes sense.” I’m still shaking, and the room is very cold. “Can we please leave this room? I can’t stop shaking.”

“Yes, of course.” As we walk out into the lobby and through the front doors into the sunlight, I run to the first bench under a tree I can find. I want to be far away from everyone, from everything, from Thomas. I do notice that Thomas has stayed away from me for a while to allow me to breathe and try to figure out what the hell was going on. Thomas is sitting not far away, just watching me. And I’m thankful for the distance.

I start to recap the events of the past two days to myself. How is all of this happening to me? And why now? Who is Thomas Andrews really, and what does he want from me?

After what feels like hours of just sitting on the bench, I look up at Thomas, who’s just staring at me. He stands and walks over to me. “May I?” he asks.

I nod and he sits.

“Look, Natalie, I know this is a lot to take in—” he begins as I interrupt him.

“A lot to take in!” I shout. “You have not explained anything to me. You come to me and tell me we know each other from a long time ago. Yet you have told me nothing. I know nothing about you. I have no idea why I passed out in that room. And I have no idea what the hell happened when I touched that iceberg. Would you please just tell me what is going on, please?”

About the Author

Tracey Kincaid

Tracy Kincaid is a native Southern California girl who recently transplanted to South Western Pennsylvania. A wife and mother of three. When she is not writing you can find her reading or crafting. She enjoys the outdoors, whether it be working in the garden or hanging out with family and friends.

“Changing Lives” is her debut novel.

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╰☆╮AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: The Viscount Returns by Eryn Black╰☆╮

the viscount returns cover

Eight years away to seek his fortune, Lord Robert Edden, the Viscount of Carlton has returned to find his estate transformed and his young bride a grown woman. There is little he can confess to his wife of his years away as he demands answers from her for the misuse of his lands as he has been away. Robert had left as a young man eager for adventure, but he has returned to his wife a Viscount ready to claim everything, including his bride. After so much time passed, would she welcome him with open arms or cast him out of her bed? As master of the house would he find his place or seek the next shooting star to chase across the ocean?
Married at a young age and abandoned on her wedding night, Fiona has spent the last eight years working on the lands her husband had left behind with no expectation of his return. For eight years she had been haunted with the memories of that one night they had shared in her bed. With so much time passed is there hope that she could once again open herself up to the man who had abandoned her and would he be able to accept the consequences of their one night together?

**Content Warning: This story contains adult language and sexual situations, including M/M. It is not intended for anyone under the age of 18**



He smiled, remembering how scared she was when he came to her on their wedding night. She was in the very bed that she lay in now, with her coverlet pulled tight to her neck. Ready to get the whole business over when he rushed to her side, he pulled the coverlet back with force. Looking back now it was perhaps the wrong tactic to take. The intention was to make it quick and meaningless, just as he expected the rest of their marriage to be. He did not hesitate to take her maidenhead nor pause when she cried out in pain.
There was no denying that he had been a bastard to her that night. But then something changed and she came alive in his arms. Moving together their bodies spoke to each other and something changed between them that he had not expected. Their climax was in harmony and he was suddenly taken away to their many years together, of children and happiness. That was the moment he had made his decision, if he was going to make his escape and find his fortune he had to do it soon before he fell in love with her. He had been a coward. A knock at the door awoke Robert from his dream. He answered the door with admittance before hearing who it may be. Turning to the sound of a guttural sound, he saw Allen peering around the door. He had a sheepish cock to his brow and waited for Robert’s reply, which was quickly answered with a nod. Stepping in, he closed the door behind him. “Allen, I am sorry about what we have found here. I never expected—” Extending a hand before him, Allen silenced his friend. “Please, do not trouble yourself. I know how hard you have worked and I have been there when you sent out the bank drafts home and I do not need to look hard to see what you had described to me so often. It is obvious some wrong has fallenon your family.” He stepped closer, but seemed to keep a distance. “With the knowledge of your son and the condition of your marriage I think that your family and your estate need you.” There was no avoiding the divide that was coming between them from honor and obligation. They had both been at fault for trying to escape the lives and birthrights they had both been born into, and Allen knew as well as Robert that it was time to put their adventures aside to take their obligations with both hands. It was time for them to grown up, and in doing so they had to put their friendship aside in exchange for the family and people who had been waiting all these years for them to return to England.
“I know.” His head fell forward. Robert was weakened by his failure.“The first thing I need to do is find what became of the fortune I have sent over the years and what became of my steward. I have yet to see him since I have returned and I am beginning to fear that I was the fool in all of this.”Crossing to the window with determined steps, Allen released a deep breath. “I fear I may add to your pains. I will not be here when you awake.” It pained him to tell Robert. They had been friends for nearly eight years and lovers for almost six. “I don’t understand? Is there something—” Risking a step, he was stopped by the look on Allen’s face. Looking over his shoulder, his brow was creased in pain. “Your wife needs you and you need to know your son. That box you stowed in your saddle bag may be a few years late, but it holds every intention you had in taking your rightful place.” Nodding his head to stop Roberts’s argument. “You have a family here that needs you and I am a barrier for you.” Taking hold of Roberts’s shoulders, he smiled warmly. “This is not goodbye for us…we shall meet again.” He pulled him into his arms, their mouths molded together, but Robert could not find the peace in Allen’s touch that he was used to. “I could never stay away from you for good.” Tilting his head with a correction. “With the approval of your wife, that is.”

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