A Tarnished Knight
Fleeing her abusive husband, Victoria Van der Beck is captured by down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, Ryder MacKenzie. As she comes to love this man who hides his face in shadows, she wonders if he could be the valiant knight for whom she's been longing. Is he the champion who would save her from the evil prince, or is MacKenzie just a paid lackey determined to return her to her husband?
Ryder MacKenzie never believed anyone could love him, for he was cursed the day he was born. He only wants to be left alone to live on his ranch in peace. But rustlers have stolen his cattle. He's been ambushed and his horse killed. Now his one chance to get his life back is to simply return a society princess to her husband. Maybe his luck is about to change. At least she isn't pretty.
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The peacefulness of Ryder MacKenzie’s home settled into her soul with every breath of air she drew, soothing the restless need to run that had consumed her since she’d hit Nicholas with the whiskey bottle.
When she wandered back to the cabin, she expected Ryder to be in bed, but he was still in the tub, his knees drawn up, pale and knobby, his head resting on the rim.
She grabbed Beau by the scruff of his neck and shoved him outside closing the door with a sharp bang.
Ryder jerked upright, sloshing water over the sides.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’ll come back.”
“No.” He leaned back and closed his eyes. “I’m done. I just want to wash my hair.”
“I can do it for you.” Before the words were out of her mouth, she questioned what part of her brain they’d come from.
Maybe it was because Ryder was safe, and this was a chance to physically connect with a man on her own terms, without fear.
Maybe she needed to satisfy the curiosity that had taunted her all week, urging her to explore the body of this man she desired.
But maybe it was simply because he was Ryder MacKenzie, and in his own determined, unassuming way, he’d touched her heart and become her hero, and there would never again be a man she so ached to know.