Monday, July 29, 2013

When Hearts Speak

By Karen Hudgins
Contemporary Romance, 423 pages
Cover image provided by, cover modes Jimmy Thomas & Jacqui, art by Erin Dameron-Hill

Sarah Grace Mayhew, a Southern widow, avoids new love. When enigmatic Wyatt Harper lifts her from a fountain, he gets under her wet skin. Yet how can she love the man whose phantom enemy also targets her? And why should Wyatt cherish a woman tied to his family’s worst nightmare? Only their hearts can say… 

Wyatt Harper spotted trouble as he downshifted the Harley rumbling beneath him. He cut across the parking lot of Gibbs
Plant Conservatory. Two men were quickly closing in on a woman standing alone by her car. One yanked her pink bag from her arm. She nearly lost her balance and cried, “Help! Help me, please!”
Hearing her frantic call, Wyatt winced, raised his right hand, and circled the air with his forefinger. In four seconds he and his two buddies, Ace and Willie Dean, surrounded the thieves and the pretty lady.
Surely, the fired up hogs would’ve deterred the assailants, but they were too busy. As if on cue, Wyatt and his friends dismounted. He removed his sunglasses and hung them on the handle bar. He then turned and strode into the fray, demanding, “What’s going on here, fellas?”
“None of yer damnation bizness,” growled the bigger of the men, who tossed the purse to his partner in crime. Wyatt swept his gaze over their victim. She was trim with long legs. A frown wrinkled her forehead, and she pursed her full mouth in distress. She widened her blue-green eyes. Shaking, she gazed into his.
Wyatt tightened his jaw. It’d been a long time since a woman had visited his eyes. She did it so sweetly it almost hurt. But he’d sworn off that kind of hurt last year when Celia had ditched him for a stevedore on the coast. He blinked once and thrust himself back into action.
“Let’s go,” the partner grunted and stuffed the purse down his gray t-shirt.
“I don’t think so,” Wyatt stated and yanked a fistful of the punk’s stringy hair. With one push he steered him into the receiving arms of Ace, who forced him down onto his knees. Willie Dean pinned the man in place with a meaty hand. “Give it up, you yaller dawg,” he said. The white lightning-scented robber hastily obliged him with the pink purse.
Meanwhile, the lead snatcher shoved the lovely woman against the fender. She seemed a delicate sort, fair of skin, with sun-streaked strawberry-blond hair. Sudden fire erupted in her eyes. She flung out an awkward swing at the crook with her fist as he jabbed her bare ankle with his foot. Missing her aim, she crumpled to the ground by a black portfolio.
Wyatt grimaced as the man reached down and grabbed the zebra-striped tote bag next to her.
“Drop it,” Wyatt demanded, closing the distance and keeping a wary eye on him and the woman, who leaned her back against a tire. Cowering, she pulled her knees up to her chest, and squeezed her beautiful eyes shut.
The snatcher shrugged, dropped the tote bag and pulled out a knife from a sheath on his waistband. “You want a taste of this? No? Then back off, dude. I’m busy here.”
Wyatt spat, “So am I.” He charged and delivered a serious kick to the robber’s ribs. The hoodlum reeled, quickly straightened and held his knife steadfast. Lunging forward, he swiped at Wyatt, almost nicking his earlobe.

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