The third installment of the Outlaw Hartes trilogy!
Cassidy Harte has been burned once and vowed never to let it
happen again. When Zack Slater left Salt River with her
brother's wife a week before their wedding, Cassie suffered
shame and embarrassment and a soul-deep betrayal. Her
brothers thought he was a no-account drifter and, at
twenty-five, much too old for her, but she loved him with
all the passion of her eighteen-year-old heart and thought
he felt the same.
For the last ten years she's wondered how she could have
been so stupid -- and what she did wrong to drive him away.
But she's buried the pain and concentrated on helping raise
her niece. When her brother remarries and brings his new
wife to the Diamond Harte, Cassie decides to pursue her own
dream of opening up a cafe in Star Valley. She takes a job
cooking at a dude ranch outside of town to earn enough money
for a down payment. A few months after she starts, the ranch
changes hands and Cassie is horrified to learn Zack Slater
is the new owner.
What Cassie doesn't know is that Zack has returned to Star
Valley for vengeance. He was driven out of town by the
previous police chief, Carl Briggs, after Zack stumbled onto
a burglary ring run by the corrupt Briggs. Briggs gave him
two choices: Go to jail for the robbery or leave town. Who
was going to believe a no-account drifter's story over the
police chief? He had a record and a reputation as a
troublemaker and he knew he didn't have a choice. Zack
didn't want to put Cassie through the ordeal of seeing him
in jail so he left.
Now that he has money and power of his own, he has come back
to see that justice is served. He has no idea why people
said he left with Melanie Harte. He couldn't stand her. But
it doesn't much matter, the important thing is proving to
Cassie that he still loves her, that he has all these years.
While they work together at the dude ranch, Cassie
rediscovers the Zack Slater she'd fallen in love with so
many years ago but can she forgive him for leaving her? She
begins to, then a skeleton discovered months earlier in the
area is finally identified as Melanie, her brother's
ex-wife. Zack was the last one seen with her, which puts him
right at the top of the suspect list. But Cassie can't
reconcile the man she realizes she's never stopped loving
with someone who would be capable of murder.
Together, they must find the real killer and bury, once and
for all, the ghosts of the past before they can be free to
love each other again.