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.
It’s post-apocalyptic Texas and those things that were dismissed as a bump in the night are now very real.
Kate McKinnon’s Ranch has been a sanctuary for over a hundred years. She’d protect those who came looking for help with her life. Now supplies are running low and she knows she has to make a plan to leave. It’s just very hard for her to think about.
With the werewolves, rogues and vampires out there and having to kill a wolf today, that time is coming faster than she wants.
Needing some comfort from the outside world, Kate turns to the old radio and waits for Ty Bennett to respond.
This is a favorite scene.
Kate scraped the dirt off her boots on the edge of the stoop before entering Cass’s kitchen. She gave a nod to the older woman who stood covered in flour up to her elbows, cutting biscuits from flattened dough.
She held up the bird by its feet. “What do you want me to do with this?”
Cass grimaced. “Stick him in the pot. Gotta blanche that buzzard good before I pull its feathers.”
A large stockpot filled with boiling water rattled on the old gas range. Kate lifted the lid and dunked the turkey buzzard, feathers and all, into the pot. “If anybody asks—”
Cass held up her hand. “I know. It was an old damn turkey. Coffee’s in the thermos. Help yourself.”
Kate poured a steaming cup, flashed a smile, then tromped through the house to her office, avoiding the living room. She knew she was being a little cowardly, but she didn’t think she could bear sitting in the living room with the families’ quiet chatter surrounding her. Now that the ranch hands’ bunk house had been subdivided into living quarters for the three families, she’d hoped for a little more privacy, but their noise and the sight of their haunted faces spilled over into her home as well.
So, she’d settle down to eat her meal in her office when it was ready. The large dining room table would be crowded enough with everyone eating in shifts. Not that there’d be much reason for anyone to linger. Food was scarce. Their meals meager. Soon, they’d be forced to make another run for supplies. She’d been waiting for sunshine, but the unrelenting black sky kept them trapped inside the boundaries of the ranch.
At times, the weight of her responsibilities crushed her, making her feel overwhelmed and a little scared when she thought about so many people—especially the families—arriving at the gates. She feared she couldn’t feed them, wouldn’t be able to save them in the end. To protect her heart and her sanity, she avoided knowing them too well.
So, Kate took her coffee at her daddy’s big roll-top desk and eyed the silent radio, knowing she shouldn’t turn it on and waste precious electricity. But dammit, this was her ranch house—her blood, her men, protected the people within Sanctuary Ranch.
Besides, the radio was their only link with the outside world.
She turned it on, let the old-fashioned transistors heat up, then turned the dial to tune into the band where she knew he’d be waiting. “This is KN5GST calling. My name’s Kate. Anyone listening? Over.”
A moment later, the whine from an engine sounded over the air. “This is AA3TZ. How are you, Kate?” he said, dropping the ham radio lingo.
Her hands clamped around the microphone as she held it, and she closed her eyes as his voice surrounded her like a soft, warm blanket. “Been better.”
“One got through today. I killed it.”
“I’m sorry about that,” he said softly.
She blinked—not because tears gathered in her eyes. Just dust. “It’s okay,” she said swiftly. “He was just another monster.” She’d try to forget how young and vulnerable he’d looked, lying naked and bleeding into the dry dirt.
“Still carrying that antique gun?”
Kate’s lips curved into a grin. What was it with men? Sometimes, Ty sounded a lot like Sam. “It did the trick,” she said, trying not to sound defensive.
“How many shots did you manage to squeeze off?”
“Two.” She shivered, remembering just how close the wolf had come.
“Goddamn, Kate, what’s it going to take to get you to be more careful?”
“I know what I’m doing,” she said, glad he couldn’t see how her lower lip pouted.
He was silent for a long moment, then, “You give any thought to what we talked about before?”
Kate shifted in her seat, uncomfortable with the direction he was going to take the conversation. “I have, but I don’t know how we’d manage it. ’Sides, we have most everything we need here, at least for a while.”
“Honey, you can’t hold out forever. They can. Soon, you won’t find enough gas pumps with gas in them or cars to siphon off to run your generator. Your propane won’t last long with as many mouths as you’re feeding now. What happens when you can’t scavenge enough food to hold off starvation?”
Every word he said was true. Eventually, they’d all have to leave Sanctuary. But not now. She wasn’t ready to let go just yet.
“Kate, the wolves are getting hungry enough to risk facing the armed men inside your game fence. When they’re inside, you’ll be the one who’s corralled.”
Kate knew in her gut he was right. But how could she abandon a hundred years of tradition—of McKinnons on Sanctuary Ranch? “I don’t have enough big trucks or men to protect a convoy for any distance.”
“I’ve been thinking about that problem, and I might have a solution for you. Let me get back to you.”
“All right.” She squeezed tighter on the mike. He’d pestered her about leaving, harangued her about her recklessness. Now, he’d say goodbye. Just like always.
“You doing okay?” she asked, wanting to extend the conversation.
“I’m fine. Stay put tomorrow. I’ll talk to you tomorrow night. Out.”
Devlin, Delilah. Her Sanctuary (Texas Vampires Book 1). Kindle Locations (111-148) Kindle Edition.
A trip to town for supplies is the catalyst that changes everything for Kate. She makes an agreement with Ty who has many secrets after he saves her and her men from rogues.
This is a quick read with plenty of action, sizzling heat and oh those secrets. I can’t wait for 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.