by Kelli A. Wilkins
Today I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt from my new historical western, LIES, LOVE & REDEMPTION. This full-length novel is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a steamy romance with mystery and danger.
Here’s the summary:
Lies, Love & Redemption
Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.
Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.
As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?
Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.
Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth?
Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?
A mild excerpt:
Cassie dusted off a can of apricots and restacked it on the shelf. “Why do I even bother?” she muttered as she picked up the next can.
Another week had come and gone, but her days were always the same. Get up at dawn, sweep out the store, dust off the cans, and . . . wait. Her few customers strolled in on Saturday and Sunday afternoons to buy odds and ends, but nearly everyone bought their bulk goods at the general store in Baxter. Townsfolk came here only when they wanted something quick—or on credit.
The bell above the door jangled, but she didn’t bother to turn around. “That you, Luke? You’re up early. I bet you haven’t seen this side of ten o’clock in—”
She glanced over her shoulder and shrieked. The can of apricots slipped from her hand and rolled across the floor.
A stranger covered in blood leaned against the doorjamb.
She rushed to his side. “Who are you? What happened?”
The man locked his blue eyes onto hers. “Help me.”
He held a battered leather satchel out to her. “Hide this,” he said, then collapsed forward.
Cassie caught him around the waist and eased him to the plank floor. Was he dead? She felt the side of his sweaty neck. His heart was beating, but he looked like hell. His clothes were coated in blood and dirt, and his face had a sickly white hue to it. He was lucky to be alive. Someone had shot him full of holes.
Where had he come from? Holloway was in the middle of nowhere with no railroad connection, and it wasn’t on the stagecoach line. She hadn’t heard a horse out front, and he couldn’t have walked here from Baxter, could he? That would be suicide.
Wild ideas raced through her mind as she stared down at him. Maybe he was a fugitive or a bank robber. Decent people didn’t get themselves shot for no reason. Whoever shot him could’ve been following him, looking to finish him off.
Her gaze settled on the satchel. What was in it? Money? Gold? The deed to a silver mine? Why did he want her to hide it?
Cassie brushed her hair away from her face and frowned. What the hell was she supposed to do with him? Why had he wandered into her store, of all places? The last thing she needed was a half-dead stranger complicating her life. His being here would only stir up trouble—and she already had more than she needed.
Maybe she could— With a start, she realized he hadn’t moved. She shook his bloodied left shoulder. The man remained motionless. “Damn it to hell.” She yanked the satchel from his grip, then ran behind the counter and stuffed it in the bottom drawer. There wasn’t time to look inside and see what the stranger was hiding. Whoever he was, he needed help—fast.
Order your copy of Lies, Love & Redemption here:
Read more about the book and get links to other platforms here:
And if you love historical romances, don’t miss my other Medallion Press novels:
The Viking’s Witch:
and Dangerous Indenture:
In a future blog, I’ll share an inside look at the making of the book and a steamy excerpt.