Heart Series Book 3|
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble
She’s learning to live. He’s forgotten how. Love will be their teacher.
Lettie Brown has lived in the shadow of violence. After escaping her brutal past, she’s finally at home in Forestville, Wyoming, where she would live a normal life—if she knew how. She’s content working at The Blue Plate and printing the town newspaper, if not happy. Then a stranger stumbles into her world and turns everything upside down.
Shane Murphy is a shell of a man, destroyed by the aftermath of the war, his personal tragedies and a penchant for cheap whiskey. When he lands, literally, on Lettie’s feet, his future takes a hard right turn.
As they fumble through a relationship that should not have been, a deep love takes root, one that cannot be denied. Together they discover a bond as unbreakable as steel and as undeniable as life itself—until the past rears its ugly head and threatens the happiness they’ve found in each other.
Read an Excerpt
He held his breath until the door closed. The sigh that escaped him made ripples in the tiny tub of water. With grim determination he used his bandaged hands to wash his body as best he could, the effort costing him dearly. By the time the door opened again, he shook from head to toe, completely sapped of strength. But he was clean, almost.
“I couldn’t get my feet.”
“I’ll do them after I cut your hair.” She set the bucket beside the tub. Her fingers ran through his hair, separating the locks, bringing back the intense memories of her scalp scrubbing. Soon the snip-snip was the only sound in the room. He kept his eyes closed, trying desperately to keep his mind blank. However, his stupid stick, which decided to come to life again, kept yanking his thoughts back to Lettie’s hands.
He’d never much thought about women’s hands before. They did what everyone’s hands did. Yet there was something about hers, an indefinable attraction he couldn’t ignore. Lettie did not have delicate hands, which was good because she was not a small woman. Her fingers were long but slender and strong. Her palm was wide but not overly so.
The way she’d held him steady as he stepped into the bath, the way she washed his skin and especially the way she scrubbed his scalp sent a shiver down his body that had nothing to do with the temperature of the water or the room. Damn, he hardened even more.
“That ought to give you some relief.” She put the scissors down with a small clink on the wood floor. “I’ve got to rinse.”
He made a strangled sound, willing away the blood rushing through him as she touched him once more. The water, her fingers and the aroused state of his body all conspired together.
“There, it’ll do for a haircut in a tub.” The bucket made a clang as she set it back down. “Stand up so I can wash your feet real quick.”
Oh hell. He probably did not have the strength to stand without help, and his erection was currently waving at him in greeting. Two reasons why he could not possibly stand.
“I think I need to sit here for a spell.” His voice sounded weak.
“We also need to change the bandages on your hands. I’m not going to wait around with a naked man in a tub. Get up, Shane.” She put her arms beneath his and pulled him to his feet. The water splashed on the floor and, he was sure, on her since she hovered behind him.
His staff, on the other hand, stood at attention like a good soldier. He gritted his teeth, waiting for her reaction.
“Put your hand on my shoulder and lift up your left le—” She stopped in mid-sentence, her gaze glued to his hard-on. Her face flushed a soft shade of pink.
A beat, then two, passed. She stared, he grew harder, the air grew thicker. Shane didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the situation. Whatever he did, something needed to happen.
He put his hand on her shoulder and lifted his leg so she could wash his foot.
“I…uh… That is… Shit on a shingle. Why not.” To his surprise, Lettie washed his foot, then waited while he switched legs. She didn’t mention the erection nearly staring her in the face. The woman had grit, that was for damn sure.
“I’m sorry.” His apology was heartfelt if not as well said as it could have been.
“It ain’t the first time I’ve seen a man’s parts before. I was married once. He’s dead now.” Her voice was flat, devoid of any emotion. What kind of idiot jackass had she been married to? This was a woman any man would be proud to call his own. She was hard-working, handsome, smart and strong.
“Me too. Married once, I mean.” Shane could hardly believe he’d confessed that to her, to anyone. “She died.”
Oh how those two words summed up an ocean of pain and sorrow, of guilt and shame. How could there be a way to explain what happened? There couldn’t and there wouldn’t. That was as far as he would go to tell anyone the truth. The rest of it would fester inside him until he died, eaten alive by what he’d done.
Her gaze flew to his, and she seemed to search his face for something. “My condolences on losing your wife.” She meant what she said. Her honesty never skipped a beat.
“Thank you. It’s been almost seven years.” Why did he keep talking? Lettie was someone who brought out what he’d been keeping inside, whether or not he liked it. He had no idea what that meant either.
“Maybe it’s time to move on.” Lettie walked behind him and placed a towel on his shoulders. “Now step out of the tub. Don’t worry, I’ve got you.”
Her first comment cut like a knife, stealing his breath for a moment. She didn’t know him, had no idea why he hadn’t moved on. Lettie was like a confessor, not offering absolution but hard advice instead. He wanted to scream at her, tell her it was none of her business and that he couldn’t move on. Yet he didn’t. He had been the one who opened his mouth and told her about Vi, so why should she bear his wrath? Lettie had been blissfully ignorant of his widower status until he opened his mouth.
Her amazing hands held his hips as he stepped from the tub. Emotions ricocheted through him, dark and raw. He couldn’t control or identify them. As soon as he got his balance, he spun around until he faced her.
The moment stretched out, his heart’s thump-thump echoing through him. As he stared down at her brown eyes, she blinked, her expression a mixture of confusion and need.
Slowly, ever so slowly, he shifted closer until he was an inch from her. Time stopped around them. He lowered his head until their lips met, the briefest touch, then once more, harder and more insistent. Her lips were soft but firm, moving slightly under his for a fraction of a second. She stepped back, her shaking fingers pressed against her mouth.
This is a great historical western romance with every element that you could possibly want…And, in the end, it was perfect.—
Endless Heart is about kindness, forgiveness and love- a heady mix that drew me in from page one. Lang delivers a highly emotional story with characters you just have to love.—
Once again, Lang/Williamson pens a heartbreaking, sobering look at post-Civil War America and manages to make it an uplifting, rewarding experience.—
I loved this book. I loved the romance, I loved the drama, I loved the sauciness and I loved the Wild-West setting.—
I don’t know what it is about an Emma Lang story but I am so glad to read and review the latest in the Heart series.—
…this is a very well-written and entertaining historical Western romance.—
This historical western is full of compelling and lovable characters, mystery and intrigue, and action that will drive you to cheer the leading lovers on.—
I loved Endless Heart. It’s a gritty and honest story with two people who have their issues. This is a true Beth Williamson story, told the only way she can, with humor and affection for each character. Endless Heart proves that everyone can get a second chance, they just have to open themselves up and take a long look at their surroundings. One of my favorite books this year!—
…through their flaws, their tragic pasts, these two people come together in such a way to truly find magic in each other’s arms.—
Beth Williamson, writing as Lang, pens a winner with this tale of the Old West and its diverse inhabitants. She weaves intense friendships with new loves and dastardly bad guys.—