The Legacy

June 12, 2017

Read an Excerpt

Book 7

Adopted as a teenager, Noah Calhoun always struggled to find his place in the Malloy family. After a bull nearly kills his adopted father, Tyler, guilt-ridden Noah sets out on his own and find where he belongs. Schooled by Tyler in the art of capturing criminals, Noah lands a job as a sheriff in a small town.

Surviving without a home or parents since she was a child, Rosalyn Benedict was a strong, independent creature. She damn sure didn’t need the new sheriff poking his nose in her business or trying to fix her. He was handsome as sin but she couldn’t allow herself to rely on anyone, especially a man of the law.

Love doesn’t ask permission, however, it simply becomes what it will be. Noah has found the person he’s meant to be with and now he needs to convince her. Fate has other things in store for the unlikely pair, and they’ll need to set aside what they think they know and fight for what they can be.

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"Just like all the other Malloy stories, THE LEGACY, grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let you go until the end." — 5 Angels and Recommended Read, Fallen Angels Reviews

"THE LEGACY is a poignant story with so much depth and emotion that it is hard not to fall in love with Noah or Rosalyn…" — 4 cups, Coffee Time Romance

"Williamson continues to uphold her reputation for putting out compelling historicals. The plot is suspenseful and sensual, with emotions that are real." — 4 Stars, RT Book Reviews


Rosalyn waited until dusk to wash. After hiding from the sheriff in lots of places that hadn’t ever seen either end of a scrub brush, she needed to get the grime off her hands. She was so hungry her stomach nearly rubbed on her backbone, but she wanted to wait to be sure that sheriff wasn’t around. He’d forced her to miss dinner. She’d be damned if she’d let him make her miss supper too.

The horse trough in front of the post office was the cleanest, but it was right next to the jail. She bit her lip, arguing with herself for a good hour on whether or not to do it. When the noise in the street settled down on the north end, and most folks were at the south end in the saloons and restaurants, Rosalyn emerged.

Whiskers stuck to her side like an attack cat. She would’ve smiled if she hadn’t been so annoyed at the whole prospect of hiding from the man. It wasn’t as if he’d threatened her, or at least not with anything but polite concern, yet Rosalyn was still unsettled. She didn’t know if it was from her reaction to the man or something he’d done, but she followed her instincts. They were crying danger.

Dipping her tin cup into the trough, she set it aside to rinse. With the sliver of soap from her washrag, she soaped up her hands. Of course, her gaze strayed to the jail and she wondered if he was in there and what he was doing. She shouldn’t be thinking about the man, but there he was like a ghostie in her brain.

As if she’d conjured him, he stepped out of the jail into the fading sunlight. The orange glow from the sunset bathed him, turning his brown hair into a fiery halo. She stopped in mid-wash to stare, every small hair on her body standing on end. Her heart thundered, blood pumping past her ears until she could hear nothing but the rhythm of her body.
She’d never experienced anything like it. Before she could even think about running, he spotted her and smiled.


The man smiled like an angel from heaven above. Rosalyn’s feet were rooted to the ground, helpless as he walked toward her, a lean-hipped swagger that reminded her again of a big brown cat. He took off his hat and nodded. Her body had taken control and refused to budge an inch even as her head screamed at her to run.

“Good evening, Rosalyn.”

Well, now he knew her name. She wondered who’d snitched on her.

“I told you to leave me alone. Are you deaf or just stupid?” Her heated reaction was part annoyance, part arousal. Seeing the handsome man with the whiskey eyes did something to her no man had ever done—made her lose control. Whiskers meowed noisily at her feet.

“Neither, ma’am. I’m just trying to do the right thing.” He glanced at the soap in her hand. “Can I offer you some supper?”

Rosalyn’s heart slammed against her chest in anger and disappointment. Her temporary lunacy broke like a bubble. How dare he? She wasn’t a charity case to throw food at because he wanted to feel good about himself. After rinsing her hands with the tin cup of clean water, she wiped them on her handkerchief and walked toward him.

A look of puzzlement drifted across his features before he smiled again. Rosalyn smiled back then pushed him in the horse trough. He landed with a huge splash, spraying water every which way. The look on his face, however, sent her into peals of laugher. Shock, surprise and bewilderment. It had probably been years since anyone had taken advantage of the tough sheriff.

Unfortunately, Rosalyn forgot just how fast he moved. Within seconds, he was back on his feet and coming straight at her. Her hesitation cost her plenty because he got a hold on her arm, a tight grip that told her the surprise from the dunking was over. Sheriff Calhoun was angry.

Whiskers was nowhere to be found, but Rosalyn didn’t blame the cat. She tried to twist away but his hold was too strong. Before she could utter a protest, she was immersed in the horse trough. The cold water shocked her so much she left her mouth open and a gush of it slid down her throat. She choked and sputtered, trying desperately to crawl out of the water.

He hauled her out of the trough as quickly as he’d thrown her in. She flopped onto his shoulder, stomach down, and the water in her throat ended up on his backside. If she wasn’t gasping for air, she’d have laughed at the sight.

The sheriff spanked her behind once. “That wasn’t very nice, Rosalyn.” He stomped into the jail, slamming the door behind him.

A shiver of fear ran down her back and she struggled against him. Just because he was sheriff didn’t mean he wouldn’t throw her on the mattress and stick his prick in her. She’d promised herself years ago to protect herself from any and all men.

“Relax, little one. I’m not going to hurt you.” His voice echoed with sincerity, yet Rosalyn couldn’t stop the panic.

He set her on her feet and stepped back, closing the cell door in her face. Rosalyn gaped at the bars, then at him. He’d lost his hat somewhere along the way and his wavy brown hair hung in wet strands down his cheeks. A bit of green slime from the trough stuck to his jaw and she had the mad urge to wipe it off.

“What are you doing? Let me out of here.” Rosalyn touched the cold metal bars and shivered.

“You just assaulted an officer of the law, therefore, you broke the law. I’m within my rights to arrest you.” He put his hands on his hips and glared. “You had no call to push me in that trough.”

“You did the same to me.” Rosalyn didn’t mean to sound petulant, it just happened.

“No, I didn’t. I dunked you to teach you a lesson.” He pointed at the bars. “Just as this is meant to teach you a lesson. My pa believes the hardest lessons are the ones we remember the best.”

Rosalyn swallowed the tang of the water on her tongue. “I learned my lesson, now let me out.”

“You can stay here for tonight. I won’t let anyone else in here so don’t worry about that.” He swiped his hand down his face. “In the meantime, I’m going upstairs to get you a towel. I don’t suppose you have another set of clothes?”

“You can’t be serious.” Rosalyn’s anger kicked aside her apprehension.

“Oh, I’m serious.” He turned away, heading for the stairs at the end of the room. “Be right back.”

Rosalyn listened to his boots on the stairs, followed by a squishy sound from the water within them. She stuck her tongue out at the empty space. “Ha! That’ll teach you.”