The tall younger woman kept her head lowered, and all he saw was her shapely backside while she tugged at the corner of her navy skirt caught under one leg of the safe.
“Let me.” He tilted the safe to free the fabric, then pushed the unwieldy block of metal into place.
“Oh, finally.” She shook out her skirt and bent to brush at the stain marring the hem. “Thank you—” When she straightened and looked up at him, she fell silent and paled as if she’d seen a ghost.
Hell, he figured she had. A phantom from her past.
“Beth? Beth Jeffers?” Of all the rotten luck, his friend Ivan would have to land himself in the same boarding house as Beth. Matt tried to mask the sensations raised by seeing her again—surprise, longing, heartache—but doubted he succeeded.
She, on the other hand, quickly recovered her composure and turned up her nose as if she’d smelled a skunk. “What are you doing here?”
“Honestly, Beth, I’m surprised at you.” Her mother looked from one to the other. “You two know each other?”
Beth pushed a stray golden curl from her face and raised her chin. “We met long ago.”
She wore her blonde hair in a bun, but wisps escaped to frame her face. Time had been good to her. The years had rounded her in the right places and softened her—except for her ice-cold blue eyes.
She gave Matt a measuring glare and balled her fists at her hips as if challenging him. “Whatever you want, you won’t find it here.”
Matt wanted to say something sharp to make her think he cared nothing for what she thought, but his mind went blank. Danged if she wasn’t prettier than when he’d known her six years ago, especially without bruises marring her ivory skin from her sonofabitch husband’s fist.
© Caroline Clemmons
Save Your Heart for Me
Author: Caroline Clemmons
Publisher: Wildrose Press
Genre: Historical (Western)
Six years ago Beth Jeffers fled her abusive husband. Now, she wants nothing more than to protect her son Davey and help her mother operate a boarding house. The women in her family have no luck with men, and she has no intention of letting any man mar her son's life. Not even Matt Petrov, no matter how much her heart urges otherwise.
Federal Marshall Matt Petrov fell in love with Beth the first time he saw her. She was another man’s wife, so he kept his longing to himself. But when he and the lovely widow cross paths again, he intends to seize his chance at happiness.