Wyoming Strong

By: Diana Palmer

Dear Reader,

I am plagued with insomnia. It seems to run in my family. Some nights I don’t sleep. One morning at 3:00 a.m. when I was wide-awake, I saw a young man with dark eyes and beautiful long hair in a shot on YouTube, auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent. Beside him was a lovely young woman. The caption was something about a shy boy captivating the judges. So I clicked on it. Mr. Antoine was picked on in school. This video is every hurt child’s triumph.

I bawled the first time I heard it. To date, I have watched it at least fifteen times (along with 48 million other people). The young man’s name is Jonathan Antoine. His partner was Charlotte Jaconelli, a fellow music student. They auditioned as Charlotte and Jonathan on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012. Both have recording contracts now. I sincerely hope that Mr. Antoine has the attention of the Metropolitan Opera. I have never in my life heard such a voice.

This book which you are about to read is one that virtually wrote itself. It is about two very damaged people who grow together out of their own tragedies. Wolf Patterson and Sara Brandon were introduced in Texas Born, my Silhouette Special Edition story, where he accused her of harboring flying monkeys and using a broom for transport. Unknown to each, they play World of Warcraft together and are friends there, but enemies in real life. When Wolf is targeted by a psychotic former lover, Sara is drawn into the crosshairs with him.

Also out soon is The Morcai Battalion: The Recruit, for the first time in mass market paperback, with added scenes. It continues the turbulent relationship of the Morcai’s Dr. Madeline Ruszel and Dtimun, the mysterious alien Cehn-Tahr commander of the feared Holconcom. I am indebted to Harlequin HQN for giving me the opportunity to see it in print.

I am also indebted to all of you, who read my books.

I am still your biggest fan.

Diana Palmer







CHAPTER ONE

IT WASN’T THE long line so much as the company in it that was irritating Sara Brandon. Not only the company, but the way she was being watched, too.

He was lounging back against the nearby counter at the Jacobsville pharmacy, arrogant and amused, watching her with those icy Arctic-blue eyes that seemed to see right through her. As if he knew exactly what was under her clothing. As if he could see her creamy skin. As if...

She cleared her throat and glared at him.

That amused him even more. “Am I disturbing you, Ms. Brandon?” he drawled.

He was elegant. Devastating, physically. Lean-hipped, tanned, broad-shouldered, with big, beautiful hands and big feet. His Stetson was pulled low over his eyes, so that only their pale glitter was visible under the brim. His long, powerful legs in designer jeans were crossed, just the feet of his expensive tan boots peering out from under the denim. His chambray shirt was open at the throat. Thick, black, curling hair was exposed in the narrow vee.

The beast knew he was...stimulating. That’s why he did that, why he left those top buttons unbuttoned, she just knew it. She couldn’t completely hide her reaction to him, and he knew that, too. It drove her mad.

“You don’t disturb me, Mr. Patterson,” she said, her voice sounding a little choked as she tried to keep it steady.

Those eyes slid down her slender, elegant body in narrow black slacks topped by a black turtleneck sweater. His smile widened as she pulled her black leather coat closer and buttoned it, so that her sweater didn’t show. Her long, thick black hair dropped to her waist in back, waving around her exquisite face. Perfect, pouting lips led up to a straight nose and wide-spaced black eyes. She was a beauty. She wasn’t conceited about it. She hated her looks. She hated the attention she drew.

She crossed her arms against her breasts over the coat and averted her eyes.

“Oh, I wonder about that,” he drawled in his deep, slow voice. “You don’t look at all calm to me.”

“Do tell me what I do look like, then.”

He shouldered away from the counter and joined her. He was tall. He moved a little closer, as if to force her to look up and see how much he towered over her. She retreated a step, nervously.

“You look like a young filly, just taking her first steps out into the pasture,” he said quietly.

“I’ve been out in the pasture for a long time, Mr. Patterson, and I’m not nervous.”

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