READ THE BLURB
A woman without a prayer…
A widow with two children, Tempest Whitney had to mortgage everything to repay the money her husband had stolen. But even as she struggles to hold onto her Utah homestead, a scheming rancher buys up her debts, demanding she either get off his land or marry him. Then a dark-haired stranger shows up, claiming to be her dead husband…
A man without a past….
Buck Maddux spent two years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now a death bed promise has brought him to Tempest’s dugout. A man without roots, he doesn’t plan to stay—or to feel so fiercely protective of this feisty beauty he saves from a forced marriage. Suddenly, Buck yearns for a home, a family, a lasting love. But what can he offer Tempest? The surprising answer lies in the forbidden canyons of an ancient Anasazi tribe, where fortune and danger await—along with a passion more precious than gold…
READ AN EXCERPT
The walls were squeezing the last of the air from of Buck's lungs. He couldn't stay in that dark hole of a room another second without going insane. His mouth was desert-dry, his pulse stampeding. He could almost smell the stench of prison, hear the curses and moans of inmates, along with other sounds too repugnant to acknowledge. He felt the dampness of the stone prison walls, and the weight of hopelessness. Self-disgust threatened to destroy him.
Thrusting aside the bed covers, and a dozing Marmalade along with them, he leaped to his feet. He trembled with the effort it took not to tear through the house like a blind madman as he forced himself to move slowly, clinging to the shreds of his self-control. He didn’t bother with clothes. His fear of humiliating himself with hysterical screams was too great.
The candle and matches he'd had the foresight to place by his bed came quickly to hand. The acrid scent of sulfur filled the room as he struck a match. He shielded the glow to keep from waking Tempest or the children. The last thing he needed was for her to see him shaking and fumbling, panic shrieking from every pore.
Children were afraid of the dark. Babies. Not fully grown men.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Charlene first serious writing attempt came in 1980 when she awoke one morning from an unusually vivid and compelling dream. Deciding that dream needed to be made into a book, she dug out an old portable typewriter and went to work. That book never sold, but her second one, Tender Touch, became a Golden Heart finalist and earned her an agent. Soon after, she signed a three book contract with Kensington Books. Five of Charlene's western historical romances were published between 1994 and 1999: Taming Jenna, Tender Touch (1994 Golden Heart Finalist under the title Brianna), Forever Mine (1996 Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award Nominee and Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist), To Have and To Hold Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist); and writing as Rachel Summers, The Scent of Roses. Forever Mine and Tender Touch are available as e-books and after January 24, To Have and To Hold will be as well. When not writing, Charlene loves to travel, crochet, needlepoint, research genealogy, scrapbook, and dye Ukrainian eggs.