Title: Saving Kimi by Brooke Stanton
Forbidden Romance Series Book Four
Publisher: Coco & Bee
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 258 pages
From an RWA award-winning and #1 bestselling author comes a scorching new historical romance!
Scandal is second nature to outcast Kimimela Wallace…and so are the passions she can’t deny.
Fleeing a forbidden desire in the small Oklahoma town where her white father raised her, Kimi escapes to the Cheraksaw Reservation to be with her mother—and quickly finds herself in the arms of her childhood friend, Soaring Falcon. But no sooner does she arrive than her mother forces her out to make it on her own. The only thing to do is to take work she doesn’t want…as a governess for hard-hearted widower, Alex Randall. But the rumors and the reputation Kimi fled in town follow her there. And so does her curiosity as Mr. Randall stirs new desires in her when she discovers his shocking secret. Then tragedy strikes, and Kimi must risk everything to save both men. But deciding who will win her heart may mean stripping away the one thing she values most—her freedom.
Can she give up one love for another, or will passion and forbidden desires lead to more than she thought possible?
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Her hand, which held the last bite of biscuit, froze halfway to her mouth. The deep timbre of Will’s voice sent a traitorous shiver of desire down her spine. Her back faced him, but she felt his presence in every inch of her body.
“Pappi Franklin says you’re getting along well here.”
Kimi sucked down a long, slow breath in an effort to calm her thumping heart.
“As well as one could hope waiting hand and foot on those little gremlins,” Kimi said, but her voice was light.
Will rounded the table and sat across from her. Kimi’s heart betrayed her calm demeanor and raced into a gallop. She stuffed the rest of the biscuit into her mouth and chewed, her gaze focused on Will. Though her inner world was screaming to run, she portrayed an unruffled façade, not daring to show Will how much he still affected her.
“If you aren’t happy, come back home,” Will said, his eyes soft and warm. Kimi bit her lip. He was ever so handsome.
“It’s not my home.” Kimi dumped the plate in the sink and packed up the basket for the children. “I don’t belong there.”
“Of course you do.” Will’s chair scraped against the wood floorboards. The energy shifted when he stepped behind her, her nerves spiking. “Lucy misses you. We both do.”
“I don’t mean the house. I mean Lucy and you and this whole town.” Kimi pawed at the heavy fabric of her lilac skirt.
She’d grown up in the township of Hillview, but every day that passed, her native blood pumped stronger in her veins. Her father had loved her fiercely, but he was dead. Her Indian mother was all that remained. And she came in and out of Kimi’s life like the wind.
A sadness welled in her chest, and she kept her gaze on the basket, ashamed of the tears that pricked her eyes. Tears did not make one strong.
“I don’t understand.” The hard clunk of Will’s booted heel alerted Kimi to his nearness.
Her throat constricted, and she snatched the basket and whirled from the kitchen into the warm sun outside, the smell of baked dirt penetrating her nostrils.
“You wouldn’t.” She threw the words over her shoulder. “You’ve always belonged in this world. Not simply as a white man, but as a rich man. Your father built this town, literally, with his hands and his lumber, and now the business is a quickly expanding empire. Everything has come easy to you.”
Will’s long stride caught up to Kimi. He stopped in front of her, and when she shifted right, then left, to maneuver around him, he mirrored her quick steps, creating a barrier.
“What do you want from me, William Arlington?” Kimi’s outburst startled them both, but she stood her ground and awaited his answer.
“I want you to be happy.”
His simple declaration washed over her in a warm wave. The only sign that it softened her calcified heart was a wobble in her chin, which she quickly tightened.
“My happiness is not your concern.” Kimi needed Will to depart. Now. “If you really want to make me happy, then leave me be. Walk away from here and don’t come back. I’ll return when I’m ready.”
Will opened his mouth to protest and Kimi’s gaze hardened. Will snapped his jaw shut and nodded once. “As you wish. But our door is always open to you.”
After her own misadventures in New York City, LA, and London, Brooke Stanton now lives in Dallas, Texas. She’s the bestselling and award winning author of the Bloom Sisters and Forbidden Romance series. Visit her website brookestantonbooks.com.
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