Wicked Wednesday – SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD is now available!

SOLDIER'S SECRET CHILD by Caridad Pineiro, part of the COLTONS:  FAMILY FIRST series from Silhouette Romantic SuspenseGood news! SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD is now available at Eharlequin.com and even better — it’s a special offer! You can get SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD for $3.99 while the special offer lasts.

Just click here to visit Eharlequin for this special offer.

This was a really compelling story for me. Single Mom. Troubled Teen. Sexy Soldier. It was a challenge to combine all three into a heart warming and emotionally charged story that was realistic in its depiction of how a single mom handles problems while also dealing with her attraction to a former love. I hope you’ll find that I was able to do that in a way that was realistic, sexy and romantic.

Without further ado . . . A Wicked Wednesday excerpt from SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD!

Deputy Rawlings stepped from one of the back rooms. He grimaced when he noticed them standing by the front desk, but swaggered over, his shoulders thrown back. Hands cocked on his hips.

“Macy. Fisher,” he said with a curt nod.

“Evening, Adam. I came to see when I could take TJ home,” she said, bracing her hands along the edge of the front desk.

Adam looped his thumbs through his pants loops and swayed side to side on his feet for a moment. “I’m sorry, but I’ve decided to keep TJ overnight while we continue our investigations.”

The other deputy rose from the desk, wisely making himself absent for the discussion that would follow.

“Excuse me,” Macy said, her voice rising with each syllable, prompting Fisher to reach over and place his hand on her shoulder to try to calm her.

“We need to be sure there’s no foul play,” the deputy said and beneath his hand, the tension escalated in Macy’s body.

“Come on now, Adam. There’s no reason — ”

“A young girl is missing. We have a witness who claims to have seen your son with her on the night she disappeared.”

Macy inched up on her toes, ready to erupt, but he applied gentle pressure to keep her in control. Macy didn’t normally have a temper, but when it involved her family, he didn’t doubt that she would tenaciously defend her son.

“You know Jericho wouldn’t do this,” she urged and he had no doubt about that. Jericho would not be handling this situation as badly as Deputy Rawlings, but he could see that the man was not responding well to being challenged.

He opted for a different approach, hoping that he could calm the deputy until his brother returned in a day or two. “No one doubts your concerns, deputy, but wouldn’t it be possible to release TJ into his mother’s custody? I’m sure she can — ”

“Handle him?” The deputy chuckled harshly and shook his head. “Mrs. Ward hasn’t done a very good job of controlling TJ so far. Until we know that there’s been no foul play, I’m going to hold TJ overnight. Maybe even longer.”

Macy’s body trembled beneath his hand, but she somehow kept her cool. “Please don’t do this, Adam. I promise to bring TJ back in the morning — ”

“I don’t think so,” the deputy said and Fisher was about to jump in and offer his assurances, but bit the words back. He knew little about TJ other than that both his brother and dad believed he was good, but confused. Worse yet, he knew nothing about how to deal with the boy and even if he did . . .

He would be gone in another couple of weeks.

Becoming involved in their lives not only made little sense, it would be cruel since he could promise nothing of permanence. But he needed to help Macy now.

“Let’s go, Macy. We’ll come back in the morning.”

Macy shot a worried look at him and while glancing her way, he said, “The deputy knows what he needs to do. He’ll take good care of TJ.”

He faced the other man and left no doubt about his words. “You will take good care, right?”

Adam stalked the remaining distance to the front desk and leaned over the barrier toward him. “That’s not a threat is it?”

“Just a reminder,” he said, dipped his head and smiled, making sure that the other man understood it was a promise of what might happen if TJ wasn’t cared for. Then he urged Macy back from the desk while he said, “We’ll see you bright and early, Adam. Have a nice night.”

Slipping his arm completely around Macy’s shoulders, he steered her out the door of the station and onto the steps, where she shrugged off his touch and wrapped her arms around herself.

“Jericho wouldn’t do this. He would know that TJ could never hurt that girl,” she said.

“But is TJ involved in her disappearance?” Fisher asked, but as Macy’s face paled at his words, he cursed beneath his breath.

“I’m sorry,” he said and took her into his arms. She was tense at first, but then she slowly relaxed and embraced him. Laid the side of her face on his chest as she said, “Thank you. I was a little tired of going it alone.”

He suspected that up until her cockamamie idea to marry Jericho, she had been going it alone ever since Tim’s death nearly six years earlier.

As she raised her face and her brown eyes, shimmering with unshed tears, met his, he wanted to tell her that she didn’t need to go it alone any more. That he would be there for her, but he couldn’t. But he also couldn’t resist the pull of that emotional gaze or the desire to soothe the spot on her lower lip that she was worrying with her teeth.

He bent his head as she rose up on tiptoe. Licked the abused spot on her lower lip before covering her mouth with his.

She pressed into him, cupping the back of his head with her hand and he dug his fingers into the silky lushness of her shoulder length brown hair.

When she opened her mouth to his, he pressed on, sliding his tongue along the perfect edge of her teeth before dancing it against her tongue. He wrapped his one arm beneath her buttocks and brought her full against him and with that dangerous full body contact, sanity returned.

They pulled apart abruptly, both of them breathing hard and obviously shocked by the intensity of the emotion they had unleashed with one simple embrace.

“Macy, I’m –”

She raised her hands to stop him. “Please don’t say you’re sorry because I’m not. There’s no need for apologies or regrets. All I want to say is thank you for being here for me.”

He dragged a hand through the short cropped strands of his hair and held back on telling her what he wanted — that he wanted her again. Wanted her next to him. Wanted her lips beneath his, opening to his invasion. Inviting him to take it further.

Instead, he took a deep breath and stuffed the tips of his fingers into the pockets of his snug jeans to keep from reaching for her again.

“You’re welcome. I’ll see you home.”

She wrapped her arms around herself once more and shook her head roughly, sending her hair into movement with the action. “You don’t need to do that — ”

“I do. Until Jericho is home, I want to make sure you’re okay.”

She looked away then, but he couldn’t fail to see the tear as it slipped down her face and she said, “I understand, Fisher. I won’t mistake what just happened for anything else.”

He longed to take her into his arms and shake her until she did understand only he wasn’t sure he knew why they were both standing there, shaking with desire. Hungry for another taste, but fighting it.

Because of that confusion, he said, “How about I just watch you walk to your car. If you need me in the morning — ”

“I’ll call,” she said, but as she walked away, he understood that she wouldn’t.

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