I’m proud to introduce Lorhainne Eckhart, a fellow Canadian and writer, to my blog today with her latest book, Friendly Fire.
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Lorhainne Eckhart is a 2013 Readers Favorite Award winner, frequently a top 100 bestselling author on Amazon in Romance, Westerns and Police Procedural. Author of 25 titles which includes novels, collections, and short stories. She writes three genres, western romance, romantic suspense and military romance and has sold more than 250,000 eBooks since her bestseller The Forgotten Child landed on the Amazon #1 Bestseller list for Westerns and Western Romance.
The German Foreign rights for The Forgotten Child have since been acquired by a major publisher, retitled The Forgotten Boy and released March 18, 2014, now a top 100 overall bestseller on Amazon. Lorhainne lives on sunny Salt Spring Island with her family where she is working on her next book.
Friendly Fire (The Wilde Brothers)
Author: Lorhainne Eckhart
Publication: May 20, 2014
Genre: Adult/Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction/Western Romance
**CONTENT WARNING: Although this series is filled with ideals of family, love and loyalty, the Wilde brothers are strong sexy alpha males. Each book and short story in this series is filled with sexual tension, steamy romance, rough language, and passion. It is for those who enjoy adult contemporary romance, women’s fiction, western romance.
“I wish I could find a man like the Wilde Brothers.” – Tina
“Read the whole thing in 1 day. A page turner from start to finish. Makes me wish I lived in Idaho.” – Diane
In FRIENDLY FIRE, after a roadside bomb ends his career in the marines, Logan Wilde struggles to put his life back together. When he takes a job as a sheriff in a small Idaho town, he expects a quiet, peaceful life that will bore him to tears. However, Logan hides a painful secret: He suffers from sleepless nights and flashbacks that come out of nowhere, and anything can be a trigger.
From the moment the new sheriff walks through the door of Julia Cooper’s cafe, she fights the attraction between them, especially after Logan shoots a carafe right from her hands when he’s startled by a car backfiring in the street outside. Julia has seen that wild look before: She saw it in her father’s eyes right before he shoved a gun to his head and killed himself.
Julia decides she needs to meet someone average, someone who has never handled a gun. Everyone is convinced that her daughter’s teacher is the perfect match for her, but when she’s with him, she misses the sparks that always sizzle between her and Logan—and when her daughter goes missing, it’s Logan who’s there for her, Logan who searches with her, and Logan she leans on.
Worse, Logan suspects that the teacher knows something about the disappearance, and he may not be the safe, dependable guy Julia believes him to be.
THE WILDE BROTHERS:
The One (Joe & Margaret)
The Honeymoon, A Wilde Brothers Short
Friendly Fire (Logan & Julia)
A Matter of Trust (Ben & Carrie) Coming Summer 2014
THE OUTSIDER series:
The Forgotten Child (Brad & Emily)
A Baby And A Wedding (An Outsider Series Short)
Fallen Hero (Andy, Jed & Diana)
The Search (An Outsider Series Short)
The Awakening (Andy & Laura)
Secrets (Jed & Diana)
Runaway(Andy & Laura)
Overdue (An Outsider Series Short)
The Unexpected Storm (Neil & Candy)
The Wedding (Neil & Candy)
THE FRIESSENS: A NEW BEGINNING:
The Deadline (Andy & Laura)
WALK THE RIGHT ROAD SERIES:
Lost And Found
Blown Away, The Final Chapter
Logan saw the sign over the door, a big oval carved with a tree and roots. A plastic sign on the door said “Open.” Logan pulled in front, angling into a parking spot.
When he stepped out, Clinton shut the passenger door and pointed to his phone. “I generally go home for lunch,” he said. “Let me give my wife a call. I’ll be right in, Sheriff.”
Logan took in his deputy. The gun strapped to his side should have given him confidence, but the way he spoke about his wife made his courage seem fleeting.
“I’ll be inside,” Logan said.
He took in the coffeehouse, with about half a dozen tables and a glassed-in counter holding baked goods, sandwiches, and deli meats. He scanned the chalk menu board and strode up to the counter, where a woman with cropped dark hair had her back to him. She wore a white apron over a black long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans, and she turned around and glanced up at Logan with a bright smile and round face—and the most stunning green eyes he’d ever seen.
She hesitated, holding a plated sandwich. “Hey, there. I’ll be right with you,” she said. She had a killer smile as she strode around the counter and over to a table, setting a sandwich in front of an older man wearing a cowboy hat. She said something and then hurried back behind the counter. She had a neat and trim figure, with a small, rounded ass, and she wore sneakers.
Logan couldn’t take his eyes off her. He sat on one of the stools and took in her figure. Something about her had captivated him. She glanced his way, her wide eyes rimmed with long, dark lashes, all natural and so exotic. She wore not a stitch of makeup. Natural beauty, he loved it. He couldn’t help himself from taking in her round face, those soft, pink lips. She cleared her throat, setting both her hands on the counter, and his eyes went right there. No ring.
“You must be the new sheriff,” she said. As she watched him, all the light in her eyes vanished, replaced with something hard, as if she had figured him out in two seconds flat.
“I’m Logan Wilde,” he said. There was something about the way she was standing, so ramrod straight, that kept him from sticking his hand out to shake hers. No, what he wanted to do was put his hands on her, but that would definitely get him slapped. “And you are?” he finally asked, raising an eyebrow until she finally relaxed—almost, anyway. He realized this lady was not one to be toyed with. She was a difficult woman, strong, who reeled in his interest.
“Julia Cooper,” she replied. She clutched a dish rag and then tossed it down, extending her hand. “I own this place.”
Logan couldn’t help the smile that touched his lips as he took her tiny hand in his. Her soft, firm handshake stirred his interest further and scrambled all his good sense, too. “Nice to meet you, Julia.”
“So what can I get you, Sheriff?” she asked. He could tell she was still holding on to something. She had put up a wall and seemed ready to scurry behind it at any time. Logan couldn’t help wondering what that was all about. Did she have some trouble, or had something made her naturally cautious? That wasn’t necessarily such a bad thing, though it bothered him to think something had scarred her. He realized it wasn’t safe for her to take anyone at face value, anyway.
“Heard you make a mean sandwich. What do you recommend?” he asked, taking in the wide selection she gestured to on the chalkboard.
“Well, I have to say today’s special is pretty good: chicken and goat’s cheese on focaccia with a side of soup, your choice of minestrone or spinach and bean.”
He tapped his fingers on the counter. “Either sounds good. Why don’t you choose for me?”
She gave him a quick nod. “You got it, Sheriff,” she said, turning and opening the cooler, lifting out chicken, vegetables, and other fixings.
He couldn’t take his gaze off her back, with her slim curves—and that butt. Logan had never considered himself one of those guys who was a breast or ass man, but there was something about this woman. He wanted to figure out a way to get to know her a whole lot better. She was far from a super model, but she filled out a pair of plain old jeans. She wasn’t tall, either, and he was pretty sure he probably had a foot on her, but she’d sure fit nicely in his arms.
He wondered, for a moment, how responsive she’d be to his touch, or to him whispering to her in the dark. A tightening in his groin overcame him, and he swore under his breath. There had to be something wrong with him. Hell, he’d gone stretches before without a woman, but this last time…well, it had been over a year. Maybe that was his problem. He cleared his throat, trying to clear his head as well, forcing his thoughts to the meeting with Stan and Johnny Rhodes, but he just couldn’t shake the thought of Julia, who was such a distraction. The door chimed, and Logan glanced over his shoulder as Clinton strode in.
“Hey there, Julia,” Clinton said, also nodding to the older man eating a sandwich in the corner. “Slow today?” he asked as he took a seat beside Logan at the counter.
“Hi there, Clinton. Yeah, it’s been a little slow, but it should be picking up, with tourist season coming. I hope so, anyway. How’re your wife and that new baby of yours?” she asked. She had a sweet, soft voice, and Logan thought he could listen to her talk all day.
“Oh, they’re great. Annie is sleeping through the night now. She’s so sweet, and she has such a pretty smile,” Clinton said. He was already pulling out his cell phone, showing off baby pictures, and Julia leaned across the counter, taking in the photos with a natural excitement, as if she really was happy to see pictures of someone else’s baby. Maybe that was a female thing. To Logan, seeing baby photos was about as interesting as seeing some realtor’s face plastered across a billboard. He couldn’t even pretend interest.
Julia actually took the phone and touched her chest. “Oh, look at her! You have to bring her in. Tell Jenny to bring that baby over next time she’s in town.”
“Will do,” Clinton said, taking his phone back, a big smile on his face.
Logan could tell that his deputy was constantly distracted. With all the marines he had trained, he had hammered into them that they had to get their heads in the game. Clinton had two pretty faces waiting at home, but there was a time and a place for those thoughts. Logan couldn’t help wondering, if and when trouble hit, how Clinton would respond. He was soft, and the last thing Logan needed to worry about was having to knock on Jenny’s door and tell her she was a widow—and that her baby no longer had a father.
“What can I get for you, Clinton?” Julia asked, wiping her hands on a red and white dishtowel.
Clinton glanced over at the chalkboard and gestured to the special. “Special looks good, with minestrone. Would love one of them cappuccinos, with cinnamon on top, too, if you don’t mind.”
Julia nodded with a big smile. “You got it, Clinton,” she said, but when she faced the sheriff, her whole demeanor changed. She was back on guard, her smile now gone. “Sheriff, do you want something to drink?”
“Just a regular coffee would be great,” he replied, and she turned away, poured the coffee, and set it in front of him.
“Just a little milk,” he said. She set a creamer in front of him, and he watched her as she turned away again and started fixing his lunch.
“I’m just going to wash up, Sheriff. I’ll be right back,” Clinton said, disappearing through a door in the back.
Logan slid around on the stool, taking in the big front window. Cars and a couple pickups drove by, a few people walking past here and there—unhurried, nothing like the way people were in the city. Everyone wore cowboy hats and blue jeans, and the way they all walked and talked said “Midwest ranching community.”
He sniffed the air at the hiss of the espresso machine, frowning out the window at an older white Cadillac that drove past. His heart was racing, his hand shaking on the counter as if he knew what was about to happen. There was a high-pitched whistle, then a bang as the car backfired in the street, and his chest squeezed as he waited for the explosion. Everything was moving in slow motion, everything louder. Where had the explosion come from? He heard the sound of gunfire.
For a moment, it felt as if he wasn’t even there. Julia was screaming, shouting at him, and he stared and stared, blinking, hearing only his breath, long and loud. Her face was terrified, and his hand trembled around his pistol—aimed toward her. It took him a minute to take it in: the shattered glass, the handle she was holding, all that was left of the carafe. There was now a hole in the espresso machine.