Series: Her Long Tall Texan
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (June 28, 2016)
The man who shattered her trust is back to protect her… New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer delivers a breathtaking story of second-chance love.
When Paul Fiore disappeared from Isabel Grayling’s life, he told himself it was for all the right reasons. She was young and innocent, and he was her millionaire father’s lowly employee. Three years on, Paul is the FBI agent assigned to Isabel’s case. Too late, he realizes what life in her Texas mansion was really like back then—and how much damage he did when he left.
Once love-struck and sheltered, Isabel has become an assistant district attorney committed to serving the law, no matter how risky it gets. But right now, the man she can’t forgive is the one thing standing between her and a deadly stalker. She knows Paul won’t hesitate to protect her life with his own. But if she can’t trust herself to resist him, how can she trust him not to break her heart all over again?
Paul was going through the process of applying to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. He had a friend who was a sniper in one of the two units, and he hoped that his skills and his physical condition would qualify him for one of the openings.
It was going to be a long shot. He was in his midthirties. He’d be competing against guys in their twenties, in much better physical shape than he was, with better weapon skills. But he couldn’t stay in San Antonio and risk running into Is abel, as he certainly would if he continued as a special agent. It wasn’t something that his heart could bear. The rigors of training, and the adrenaline rush of standing on ready night and day for assignments in the exclusive HRT would keep him from brooding too much.
Jon Blackhawk was less than enthusiastic about his plans.
“You’re one of the best agents I’ve ever worked with,” Jon told him with genuine feeling. “I hate to lose you.”
“Hey, I might not even get to apply,” Paul said, chuckling. “They don’t pick just anybody for the application process.”
“You’d have a good shot at it, if that’s what you really want to do,” he added. “You should talk to Garon Grier. He was with HRT for several years.”
“I’d forgotten that,” Paul said.
Jon nodded. “The guys who were on his former team came to the hospital when his wife was about to give birth. She had a leaky heart valve and didn’t tell him. Her life was al most taken by a serial killer when she was a little over eight months pregnant. She lived against all the odds.”
“I’d heard a little about him, but nothing that personal. Poor guy. He seems happy enough now.”
“A wife, a son, a good job and a ranch in Jacobsville. Not bad at all.”
Paul knew what the other man was saying. He pretended not to understand. “Anything else in the pipe about Morris?” he asked, changing the subject.
“We got a tip from a guy who thought he saw him in a res taurant here in the city,” Jon replied. “All our violent-crime agents are leaning on their CIs to see if anybody knows any thing.”
Paul understood the reference to Confidential Informant very well. Every agent had several, usually ex-cons who could be persuaded to feed information back to the Bureau. They were invaluable in tight investigations.
He thought of Isabel, still under the gun, along with Mer rie and Mandy, as long as Morris was on the loose. It unset tled him, thinking that Isabel could die. He’d gone through hell when he left Darwin Grayling’s employ years before. He’d almost gone off the deep end, remembering Isabel’s soft arms clinging to him, her mouth answering his in a hunger that easily equaled his own. She didn’t know, but he’d tried to hire back on two miserable weeks later. Darwin Grayling had been polite and friendly, but he’d already replaced Paul and there were no other positions. He was sorry, but surely Paul would be happier closer to his wife and child, Darwin had said. Paul had had to agree. The lie had carried him too far already to turn back. He just hadn’t known it.
The prolific author of more than one hundred books, Diana Palmer got her start as a newspaper reporter. A New York Times bestselling author and voted one of the top ten romance writers in America, she has a gift for telling the most sensual tales with charm and humor. Diana lives with her family in Cornelia, Georgia.