NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
A woman surviving on the edge of a dark frontier
strikes a sensual bargain with
a handsome stranger
hiding a dangerous secret…
In a post-apocalyptic future, creatures who’ve hidden in the shadows for millennia are freed to roam in a world shrouded in darkness. Rancher Kate McKinnon runs Sanctuary Ranch—a last refuge on the western frontier. While running herd over her cowhands and integrating refugees into their self-sufficient refuge, she escapes her responsibilities the only way she has left—via radio to pockets of other survivors. One man, Ty Bennett, is her confidante, and she thinks she might be falling in love with his deep, rasping voice. Although they’ve never met, he seems to know her heart.
On a patrol to scavenge supplies, Kate and her cowboys are surrounded by a gang of renegades intent on claiming her. Rescue comes unexpectedly by a militaristic band led by the man she’s spent so many hours talking to through the dark nights. She brings him home only to discover she’s brought vampires inside the refuge.
Already half in love with the human woman, Ty offers added muscle to her defenses and promises to move her people to safety. Fighting his own nature and appetites, he seeks redemption for his many sins but can’t control his hunger to possess Kate. Getting past her prejudice and choking responsibilities tests his seductive powers.
This story was previously released under the title Undeniable. It has since been revised and expanded.
I haven’t read too many vampire stories lately so when I saw this one it intrigued me.
In this post-apocalyptic future their are many new and different dangers. One that plagues Kate McKinnon regularly is werewolves. They come in their wolf form and go after her cattle. Cattle she needs if she has any hope of feeding the people who have come to her for sanctuary.
Sam and Danny are her two ranch hands who have been with her since before her father died. Then there’s Ty Bennett, who she’s only communicated with on the short wave radio. He’s been trying to get her to evacuate the ranch to his location where they would be better protected.
Kate is stubborn and the ranch is all she has. After a difficult encounter with one of the wolves, she gets on the radio, wanting, no needing to hear Ty’s voice.
Once again holding him off as far as relocating, she prepares to do a run for supplies the next day. That run will change many things.
This is a favorite scene.
Kate jerked at the familiar deep tones of his voice. Her startled glance found Shep’s.
His eyes were narrowed in his lined face, and he shook his head. “You know him?” he whispered harshly. “Might be some kind a trick.”
“This is Ty Bennett,” the man outside said.
Kate closed her eyes and sank against the wall, feeling like her entire world was spinning out of control. In fact, the room did tilt beneath her boots, How could this be?
“Kate,” the man outside said, “the cavalry’s here, sweetheart.”
Ty held his breath as the slender figure descended the church steps. Although garbed in a long duster and wearing a cowboy hat that cast shadows over her face, he could tell a lot about the woman he’d come half the state away to rescue. Her slender shoulders were square, her chin held high.
The smart-mouthed woman he’d talked to endless nights looked brave—and brittle as glass.
The closer she came, the more his body tightened.
“She’s prettier than I expected,” Diego murmured as he stepped behind him.
Ty didn’t bother to say he’d noticed, too. He’d already been fighting an unexplainable attraction to the sassy voice on the radio, but he thought she’d be older. The woman walking toward him was shaping up to be a delicious surprise.
When Kate stopped several feet away, he noted the edge of her jacket tucked behind her holster and the suspicion glinting in her eyes. A shotgun barrel poked out a window of the church behind her.
A smile curved one corner of his mouth. Good girl. Someone was watching her back.
Kate stood motionless but swept his men with a quick glance as they dismounted their vehicles and waited beside them for direction. When her glance came back to him, her expression was stony. “You might have mentioned you were coming for a visit,” she said, her voice tight.
Her husky inflection tugged at his cock. The game had begun.
Knowing she was easily riled, he decided to bait her. He didn’t like her scared—angry, he could handle. He lifted one brow. “And I thought I told you to stay put.”
She narrowed her eyes. “I don’t follow orders very well,” she said, her tone dead level.
Diego snorted behind him, and Ty knew his buddy was laughing his ass off.
Kate lifted her chin toward the convoy. “Now, a person might wonder how men such as you came into possession of military vehicles.”
“A person? You wondering how, Kate?” he drawled.
“Maybe I’m just a resourceful kind of guy.”
Her nostrils flared, and her lips tightened. “And I’m just wondering what else you might be, Ty Bennett.”
That’s when he saw the hint of vulnerability in her gaze—and a glint of hope. This woman had lived a nightmare and needed what he offered worse than she knew. “Kate, we’re ex-military living at old Fort Davis in the Davis Mountains. Before things went to hell, we were part of a border patrol outfit—light infantry.” Some of it was true. What he left out would have to wait until she knew him better.
Kate’s lips relaxed a fraction. “Why no uniforms?”
“We were mustered out of the service when the post closed.”
“They left behind functioning equipment?”
“They were in a hurry. Everything was abandoned. We’ve taken over the camp.”
“Is this everyone? All your people?”
“I left men behind to guard the post.”
Her breath gasped softly. “Only men?”
He read her panic and decided to sidestep the issue for now. Concentrate on the pluses. “There’s a sturdy fence, a mess hall, food in storage to last a large unit months, an artesian well, and plenty of land to cultivate…everything a community needs to survive. We have room for you and yours, if you’ll come.”
“There are only half a dozen women at the ranch—three are married,” she said faintly.
“We won’t take what’s not offered.” The quiet, firm tone of his voice was meant to reassure her, but he knew she’d seen too much to trust blindly.
Her jaw flexed, and she looked away. “So, how’d you know it was me in there?”
“I sent out scouts in advance of the convoy. They saw you enter town, hit the grocery store like kamikazes, and then steal gas at the station. I don’t believe another female in this area would be so brazen. We got here as quick as we could when those bastards chased you here.”
She shot him a pointed glance. “Your timing was amazing.” Again, suspicion colored her tone.
He forced himself to keep his tone even. He didn’t like how skittish she was, how untrusting. It damn near broke his heart. “Remember, I didn’t expect to find you here. You were supposed to sit tight,” he said, baiting her again.
Kate snorted. “Like I said—”
His lips twitched. “Yeah, I know. You don’t follow orders well. That’s gonna change.”
Her dark eyebrows shot up.
Before she could answer the challenge he’d thrown down, he continued, “Katie, you can’t stay on Sanctuary Ranch any longer. You know it. Those men inside know it. You’re living on borrowed time until the werebeasts take down your fence.”
“It’s my ranch, my home,” she said through stiff lips.
“Maybe someday you can come back to it. For now, you need to get yourself and all those people depending on you somewhere safe. I’ve brought the trucks and the men—we can get you out of here.”
She drew a deep breath, and her hands clenched into fists. “Why, Ty? Why would you do this? You don’t even know me.”
He formed his lips into a lop-sided smile. “You won’t just let me be the Lone Ranger riding to the rescue?”
“I don’t believe in heroes anymore,” she said, her voice thickening. She blinked against the moisture filling her eyes, her sorrow and disillusionment etched in her strained features.
Ty gave her time to get herself under control but didn’t look away to give her any privacy. Every tear, every worry, every delight she held inside would be his. From this moment onward, he’d never let her hide.
Devlin, Delilah. Her Sanctuary (Texas Vampires Book 1). Kindle Locations (299-349). Kindle Edition.
Things heat up very quickly between Ty and Kate and I really love the verbal sparring they do.
I really can’t say much more about this without giving away too much of the story. I will say that Ty’s secret is a game changer.
Action, intrigue and a sizzling relationship. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Delilah!
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Up until recently, award-winning author Delilah Devlin lived in South Texas at the intersection of two dry creeks, surrounded by sexy cowboys in Wranglers. These days, she’s missing the wide-open skies and starry nights, but loving her dark forest in central Arkansas with its eccentric characters and isolation–the better to feed her hungry muse! To Delilah, the greatest sin is driving between the lines because it’s comfortable and safe. Her personal journey has taken her through one war, many countries, cultures, jobs and relationships to bring her to the place she travels now–writing sexy novels that hold more than a kernel of autobiography and often share a common thread of self-discovery and transformation.
Delilah Devlin is a prolific and award-winning author of erotica and erotic romance with a rapidly expanding reputation for writing deliciously edgy stories with complex characters. Whether creating dark, erotically-charged paranormal worlds or richly descriptive historical stories that ring with authenticity, Delilah Devlin “pens in uncharted territory that will leave the readers breathless and hungering for more…” (Paranormal Reviews) Ms. Devlin has published over 140 erotic stories in multiple genres and lengths.