Pampered Margarita McIntosh is not used to being forced to do things she doesn’t want to do—but when her father, Jock, sends her away for her own safety, she has no choice. The long journey from Flagstaff to Durango tests her personal strength of will as never before, and the secret she carries in her saddlebag could be the death of her.
A rough Irish gunman, known to her only as “Rafferty”, is entrusted with getting her to her destination “safe and intact”—something he fully intends to do to claim the reward he’s been promised by Jock McIntosh. With a price on his head, the promised money is Rafferty’s ticket to a new life, and he’s not going to jeopardize that for anything—not even love.
But there are steamy nights and dangers all along the arduous trail for MARGARITA AND THE HIRED GUN, with deadly secrets between them that passion cannot erase. With her father’s enemies after her and the secret she conceals, will Rafferty’s protection be enough to save their lives? And will the heat of their passionate love be enough to seal their future together—if they do survive?
It was the pounding in his head waking him. Not daring to open his eyes yet, he pressed the heel of his hand to the spot between his eyes where the pain was most intense. He was perspiring a cold sweat, emitting the odor of alcohol.
Sometimes, the pillar of ice in his chest began to melt, and the jagged edges it left hurt. At those times, he’d go on a bender and lose the memories tormenting him somewhere between a whore’s legs, holing up in a saloon for days.
Now sober, the pain was coming back—and not only the pain in his head.
For a confusing moment, the pounding in his head was making an awful racket. Then, he sourced the noise to the door. Someone was rapping away. Without having to look, he reached for his gun, which was always kept within reach. He opened his eyes—or rather, he cracked open one eye tentatively to gauge the damage. The whore next to him wasn’t even stirring. He leveled the barrel of the gun toward the center of the door.
“Rafferty?” someone called from out in the hall.
“I hear ya. For the love of God, stop making such a racket. Christ,” he called back.
“Rafferty. It’s Homer Jenkins. I have a job for you, if you want it.”
He set the gun back in its holster on the bedside table. “Give me a moment, here,” he said, swinging his legs out of bed, testing his stability, which wasn’t as good as he hoped. Homer Jenkins. Jock MacIntosh’s man. He didn’t like MacIntosh, but he paid better than most. He had to pay better, because his jobs were dirtier. That Scots devil was a cold-hearted, conniving sonofabitch.
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