THE War Between the States not only destroyed all Michael Cantrell loved, it left the young, former Confederate cavalry officer without faith or hope, a solitary, haunted man trying to escape his demons in the vast western frontier. Then, one spring day along the Wind River, he finds himself suddenly in the thick of another life-and-death struggle – Annie Devlin’s war.
Desperate to hang on to her ranch and her life, waylaid by gunmen hired by a powerful rancher who covets her land, Annie and her young brother, Robbie, fight a furious, rapidly losing battle for their lives.
When all seems lost, into the fray steps a cold-eyed, steel-nerved stranger – Michael Cantrell – who saves Annie and Robbie, but is himself grievously wounded.
With Annie’s care, Michael recovers not only his strength but a portion of his embittered soul as well. Fighting his powerful feelings for her, convinced he has nothing to give, Michael determines to stay with the Devlins only long enough to ensure their safety against the treachery that would destroy them.
Reluctantly, Michael, who for years has known only loss, allies himself with a stubborn, courageous young woman who will take his heart by storm and test the limit of his honor, his mettle – and his passion.
A finalist for the prestigious Orange Rose Award, TERMS OF SURRENDER takes the reader on a stirring adventure that is also a heartfelt, emotional journey. I hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt:
THE WOUNDED MAN’S GRIP was like iron. Annie couldn’t imagine where his strength was coming from. She could feel his whole body trembling against her, and the bandages wrapped around his shoulder and chest were soaked with sweat and fresh blood.
“No!” he cried, glaring at her with wide, wild eyes, feral and ferocious in the candlelight. “You can’t … have him! I … let him … before … No! Gavin!”
“Captain Cantrell! Michael!” Unable to wrench his hands from their grip on her small brother, Annie shifted and took Michael’s face in her hands, her fingers spread along both sides of his hard, sweat-slick jaw. Turning his head, she forced him to look into her eyes.
“Michael!” she commanded. “Listen! You must let go! He’s not Gavin!”
A flicker of confused uncertainty came into the man’s eyes, and the huge, black, dilated pupils seemed to constrict slightly, giving Annie a glimpse of deep blue irises.
“Yes, that’s right, that’s right. Good. Now listen to me, listen to me.” Her words, and the gentle stroking of her fingers, became fluid, hypnotic.
And finally, Michael listened. He could feel the warmth of her breath on his cheek, and for a single, brief moment all pain disappeared, replaced abruptly by a great hitch in his chest. He was dead certain his heart had stopped.
“Are you an angel?” he whispered. *
*copyright by Lorrie Farrelly. Available as ebook, paperback, or audiobook read by KEITH TRACTON
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