Page 68

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Dorothy A. Bell

The Cost of Revenge

Quinn O’Bannon should settle down. He has two likely candidates, both sensible, attractive, young women. His fantasies keep straying to Tru McAdam, that thieving, sloe-eyed vixen with a grudge against the whole darn O’Bannon family. Tru McAdam believes the O’Bannons, all of them are rotten, heartless cheats. God help her, she wants to believe the handsome, arrogant flirt Quinn O’Bannon is the worst of the lot. Stanley O’Bannon, Quinn and Royce’s old man, is on a mission to destroy his traitorous sons, and the folks who turned them against him. Tru believes destiny called her to Laura Creek to surrender her heart to her sworn enemy, Quinn O’Bannon. But why? All becomes clear when Quinn’s life is threatened and Tru strikes the fatal blow.

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“What-in-the-world made you think I’d appreciate having Elizabeth Tatom out here, Quinn?” Cleantha asked as she shoved the contents of her husband’s gun cabinet into his arms. “She’ll go home and report every little thing to Margret and Grandmother Tatom, you can count on it. She’ll tell them all about my burning the biscuits, and how I let the dust stack up on the mantle. Damn it, Quinn.” With his arms full, Quinn couldn’t defend himself and wound up with his back against the wall. “Whoa, she’s not a spy, it’s Elizabeth; she’s a little girl.” He’d intended his offhand remark to be funny, but made the mistake of chuckling to himself. With the tip of her cane, Cleantha jabbed him in the side to herd him toward the door to the hall. “Well, that’s how I feel. It feels like I’m being spied upon.” Her canes thumping the floor, she sailed past him in high dudgeon, moving on to the next room. “Grandmother Tatom thinks I’m slow-witted, as well as crippled. Margret and my father want to believe my marriage is too much for my crippled constitution to withstand, predicting it will end in some kind of horrible tragedy. Whatever Elizabeth reports to them will be set to their own measure of thinking.” Quinn followed Cleantha down the hall to the big bedroom she shared with her husband. In an attempt to justify his, and his brother’s thinking, Quinn said, “Royce wasn’t going to leave if I couldn’t find someone to help you.” He got down on his knees and started to stow the guns under his brother’s bed. Cleantha tapped her cane on the floor next to his ear in exasperation. “Anyone but Elizabeth Tatom. Why Elizabeth?” “It seemed a logical choice, Cleantha,” Quinn said, coming to his feet. “Come on, you’ll see, she’ll be a big help around here. You know Royce and I’ll back you up when it comes to Grandmother Tatom and Margret. No one, not even your father, could possibly find fault with the life you and Royce have made for yourselves here.” Shaking her head she said, “These days, whatever his dear Margret says, father takes as gospel. Having children in the house won’t cause my collapse, for pity’s sake. I’ve been a music teacher, teaching children, sometimes ten at a

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BTS Book Reviews September/October 2014  

Your Guide to Great Reading - Featuring New York Times Bestselling author Dianne Duvall, plus columns, book reviews, featured authors, and m...

BTS Book Reviews September/October 2014  

Your Guide to Great Reading - Featuring New York Times Bestselling author Dianne Duvall, plus columns, book reviews, featured authors, and m...

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