When Rachel Murphy hires the mysterious new man in town to help repair her run-down Texas home, she thinks she’s doing him a favor by giving him a hand up. But she discovers Cash Thompson is more than just a master of repair and renovation. When he begins to stir the embers of her cautious heart, she has to push him away. If he ever finds out her tragic past, it will shatter the illusions that keep her safe. Cash can see the torment behind Rachel's eyes, but he won't allow her self-imposed solitude to drive a wedge between them. He knows what it’s like not to be able to escape your past, and he vows to stick by her regardless of the secrets she holds close to her heart.
Will Rachel allow Cash to be the healing love she needs, or will she turn away her last chance at happiness?
“What are you doing?”
Rachael screamed. She spun toward the deep voice behind her with the jagged stick held high, her heart pumping a staccato beat.
A tall blonde man ducked low, his hands lifted to protect his head. “Whoa, whoa! Don’t do it! It’s me, Cash! You know, from St. Marina?”
Rachael barely missed Cash’s eye as she pulled back on her swing. She dropped the stick, her hands shaking.
“You jerk! You scared me to death!”
Cash rose from his crouch and pushed long, wavy locks of hair from his eyes. “You want to talk about death? You almost had me in the grave just now.”
Rachael brushed wood bark from her still trembling fingers. “What do you want?”
He lifted his right hand in front her face. A large ring of keys jangled as they hung from his long fingers. “Father John found these in the church. He said they were yours, and I should take them to you before it was too late.” He glanced at the fractured wood protruding from the window, then raised one thick, tawny eyebrow. “Which I guess it is, by the look of things. You’ve bent the window frame. What were you trying to do, break into your own house?”
Rachael snagged the keys from his hand. “I was locked out.” She pulled her coat around her chest, unable to suppress a shiver. “Look, you brought the keys. Thank you. You can go now.”
“What’s…this?” Cash lifted a hand to her hair. She dodged him, but not fast enough. He pulled a long twig from her auburn curls, eyed it carefully, and tossed it aside.
Then, he smiled. A real smile, not the arrogant smirk he’d given Ella.
Rachael stared, for a moment feeling as if the frigid wind had disappeared.