Blue As Sapphires
by Constance Bretes
Escaping from her abusive ex-husband, Marissa Simpson returns to her hometown to start over. She spends her days working at the local jewelry store, and the rest of her time is dedicated to mining along Red Rock River, searching for precious gems. Marissa has no intention of getting involved with another man, or with the community she left behind all those years ago. That is until Riley McCade shows up.
Riley is the Sheriff of Quartz County. He loves his community and goes out of his way to protect and serve. When he meets up with Marissa, he’s bound and determined to get to know her even though she insists she’s not interested.
The more Riley learns about Marissa’s past, the more he concludes that she may be in danger. When her ex-husband shows up, can Riley protect her? And can he earn her love in the process?
Content Warning: contains some sexual content
“Hello, Sheriff. What can I do for you today?”
“I thought you would have listened to me and reconsidered trying to make this place livable again.”
“Nope, I’m going to try to make a go of it.”
Riley splayed his hand on the back of his neck and gave her a small smile. “You need to go to the county office and get an inspector to come out here and determine what needs to be taken care of before you make this your home. The house has to be up to code.”
“And if I don’t?” she said evenly.
“I’d have to serve you with a notice and remove you from the premises until the house meets the building code.”
“Really,” she replied in a low voice, taut with anger. “I guess I’ll contact the inspector tomorrow and see when I can get someone out. Is that all, Sheriff?”
“For now. Tell me, Marissa, how have you been?” Riley asked. “You haven’t been here
in a long time.”
“I’m doing well. Thank you,” she replied icily. A suggestion of annoyance hovered in her eyes.
“So, are you married? Do you have children?”
“No, and no, and why?”
It seemed to Riley that Marissa was being evasive and noncommittal. She sure was an attractive woman, maybe a little too thin, but she had a lovely face and perfect rose-colored lips. Something about her piqued his interest.
“I just wondered how you were. Is this the first time you’ve been back to Frankenburg since high school?”
“What brings you back?”
“I wanted to come back.” She crossed her arms over her chest.
He was aware of her annoyance, he tried to coax her into a better mood, but failed.
“Marissa, if you’d like, I could make you an offer on the twenty acres of land. That would give you enough money to buy a nice home in town and live more comfortably than you would here.”
“Why are you so bent on me leaving this house?” Marissa shot him a cold look, uncrossing her arms and squeezing her hands into fists.
“I’m not bent on anything, but I told you before I think the house is dangerous to live in.”
“Well, it’s my problem, so I’d appreciate it if you would mind your own business.”
“Why are you so testy? We’re a tight community here in Frankenburg, you know that. We look out for each other and try to help when we can. I’m only trying to be neighborly and keep you safe.”
“I’m not interested in you being neighborly and keeping me safe. I’m capable of taking care of myself, and I don’t need any help.”
“All right, Marissa, but you get that inspector out here as soon as possible.” Riley’s voice was smooth, but insistent.
“Yes, Sheriff.” She spat out the words contemptuously, did a mock salute, whirled around, walked into the house, and slammed the door in his face.
About the Author:
I started writing contemporary romance and contemporary romance suspense fifteen years ago, and after multiple rejections, got my first contract for Delayed Justice, released in 2014.
I live in Basin, Montana, where three feline furballs own me and my husband, and a dog that lives next door named Sara, who thinks she also lives with the Bretes family. I love the mountains that surround my home, I love basket weaving, jewelry making, and just visiting all the folks in the small community we live in.
I currently have seven books published, and a number of other ones in various stages of edits. Right now, I’m working on a new book, called Roadside Love. A murder mystery/romance is a small town in Wyoming. I have two other books that are at the end of their editing days and now at critique partners, the books are Elkhorn In The Moonlight and Rocky River Gold. Both are small town romances.
I can be reached through the following media.
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