Title: Within Temptation (Sons of Temptation #1)
Author: Tanya Holmes
Genre: Contemporary/Romantic Suspense/Mystery hybrid
Release Date: May 12, 2014
Love, betrayal and murder in a small town…Twelve years after her mother's murder, Shannon Bradford fears she may have helped convict an innocent man. Even worse, her prominent family may have had something to do with it. Desperate for answers, she seeks help from the one person least likely to give it. Her best friend and childhood crush, Trace Dawson. The man she sent to prison. Serving hard time for murder has left Trace angry and bitter. As far as he's concerned, digging into the past won't replace the years he's lost or erase the hell he's lived. Now that he's free, Shannon Bradford tops his list of bad memories. But he never counted on falling in love. WITHIN TEMPTATION is a contemporary/romantic suspense/mystery hybrid. Set in a sleepy little town during the dead of winter, this award-winning romance novel is a tale of one woman's quest for truth and a man's struggle to forgive.
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“If you’re after a clear conscience,” Trace said, “go elsewhere. Today’s performance didn’t change my mind.”
“You’d be in jail if not for me. Now you have the gall to—”
“Say you were putting on a show?”
I straightened. “It wasn’t a show.”
“And I have nothing to feel guilty about.” But I did feel guilty, real guilty.
“You’re right,” he said with a frosty smile. “Everybody knows you’re as blameless as baby Jesus. I mean, look at that fancy billboard of yours. What’d it say?” He tapped a finger to his swollen lips. “Oh, yeah. ‘Shannon Bradford: a name you can trust.’” He snorted. “What a load a bull.”
“You’re obviously beyond the point of reason.”
“You just figuring that out?” He studied me as if I were a puzzle and his mouth slid into a bitter smile. “Hell, maybe I was wrong. Maybe it’s not about guilt, and you’re just clueless.”
“No, you’re the expert in that area.”
Unfazed, he tilted his head and his eyes narrowed. “I’ll bet you’re one of those bleeding hearts. You prob’ly believe in prison reform too.” He laughed. “Think I’ve forsaken my murdering ways? Yeah, you wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
“What are you talking about?”
He tooled his gaze around the limo. “Alone in the back of this fancy ride with a certified lady-killer. You’re not worried?”
Of course I was, but I’d be damned before I’d admit it. “If you’re trying to frighten me, it’s not working.”
“You sure?” His sharp eyes held me. “All those years in Gainstown could’ve made the Butcher Boy even crazier. Maybe he’s just been biding his time ‘til he could settle a score.”
He wanted to scare me. Wanted me to believe in the monster the town had created, but it was a ruse. The monster was actually a wizard trying to distract me from the man behind the curtain. And that just made me angrier.
“Your opinion of me is quite clear,” I said, “so why didn’t you just let that Jeep mow me down?”
“Simple. I would’ve done the same for a dog.” Even as my eyes widened in shock, his stayed cold and dead. “Now go tell your bloodsucking family and your troll of a fiancé how I threw your little olive branch back in your face.”
Pain squeezed my heart. “You really hate me, don’t you?”
He studied me, blinking in that lazy way of his. “To be honest, I don’t feel much of anything where you’re concerned.”
About the Author
Tanya Holmes is a former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist, a recipient of the Maggie Award, the MICA Award, as well as Overall Winner of the Sandy Haddad Award and a two-time finalist and one-time winner of The Emily (Best of the Best). She's happily married with children and loves reading, writing and a good cup of coffee---but not necessarily in that order. Her debut novel, Within Temptation is due out on May 12, 2014.