Smolder on a Slow Burn Book Feature
Allison Webster dreams of having an adventure like the characters in the books she loves. But there is no romance in being pursued by a man who wants her dead for educating the children of former slaves. Unlike the heroines she reads about she doesn't have a trusty companion to rescue her...until she literally runs into A.J. Adams, a former Confederate cavalry officer. Now, she just has to convince A.J. he really is the honorable man and hero depicted in the dime novel she is reading.
Branded a "traitor" for more than ten years, scarred by harsh treatment in an inhumane prisoner of war camp, A.J. Adams wants revenge. Allison Webster's arrival into his life provides the bait to destroy the men who murdered his wife and daughters and kidnapped his little brother. The men pursuing Allison are the very same men he has sworn to kill. Falling in love and admitting he might actually be a hero means surrendering his need for vengeance. Surrender is not part of A.J.'s battle strategy.
For the first time since she had met him he wasn’t wearing that battered cavalry hat and she noticed that the silvering at his temples wasn’t even. The silver among the black at his right temple traced nearly to the back of his head about two inches above his ear and followed a direct line with the thin scar along the slope of his cheek bone.
“May I ask what caused that scar? A deflected saber blow?”
He shook his head and plopped his hat on, tugging it into place. “Nothing so romantic. It was a rifle butt to the side of my head. As I recall, I said something the other man didn’t appreciate.”
Allison felt her stomach turn. “Why?”
“Why? Why was what I said unappreciated—?”
“Why were you struck in the head with a rifle butt?”
“Because even though I could say something that man didn’t appreciate, he still had the authority and the power to knock me senseless.” He lifted a shoulder in a negligent shrug. “Train’s slowing, which means the porter will be here shortly to let us know which town we’re coming to. Let’s not damage your reputation beyond repair, shall we?”
Allison wiped the tears from her face, aiming for some semblance of normalcy when the porter arrived. “Even if I’m mistaken, I want to thank you for not doubting me, Mr…A.J.”
He quirked a brow even as he stretched his legs out, crossing one ankle over the other. “I learned a long time ago that a woman’s intuition is often the best source of information available. A lot of men are complete fools for not giving it more credence.”
Allison glanced at the revolver tied down low on his thigh, visible where his greatcoat had slipped open. She lifted her face to his. “I don’t think many people would dare accuse you of being a fool.”
“You’d be surprised how often I have been accused of that.” He leaned back, another smile tracing new lines across his features. “And I do believe, Allison Webster, you’re flirting with me.”
Heat seared her cheeks, but she managed to keep her gaze steady on his face. “I suppose I am.”
Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.) She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show” and can be reached through her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LyndaJCox