Title: Last Hope Alaska
Author: Linda Trout
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Emily Redfern's ex-fiancé learned to kill on the back streets of New York. Now, she is his target. Broke, exhausted, and a step ahead of the man she once loved, she clings to one last hope: the wilds of Alaska. The quiet safety of her hide-a-way becomes addictive as she grows to care for the man who offers her refuge.
Released from prison after a wrongful conviction, native Alaskan Sam Tarkington is determined to regain his business, repair his reputation, and rebuild his life. But when he meets a desperate and vulnerable woman, guarding secrets of her own, she tugs at his heart. She's a distraction he can't afford. Sam must choose Emily or achieving his dreams.
Like Emily's life, the peacefulness of the wilderness is an illusion as danger lurks in the distance. Does Sam hold the key to her survival or will her past cost them everything?
The temperature in the forest was cooler than Emily had anticipated. A heavy jacket had seemed unwarranted when Sam insisted she bring it. Now she was grateful Molly had lent it to her. After they’d parked the car, Sam had retrieved a pistol and a very long knife from the trunk and strapped them on. To her surprise, neither girl made a move without his approval and waited patiently close by. Excitement bubbled to the surface. Like a kid in a candy store, the librarian in her wanted to witness things she’d only read about.
Not long after they’d headed into the tree-line, she got her wish. This was another world from anything she’d experienced. Nothing in Oklahoma or the Ozark Mountains compared. Even the path on Mount Roberts didn’t match the wonder of this forest. There weren’t any woodchips marking the path, or logs lining the way. Just a beaten down path humans and animals alike had taken through the brush countless times over the decades, winding around fallen trees and skirting peat bogs.
The all-encompassing silence surrounded them...enveloped them until she thought they were the only people on the face of the earth. Peace seeped into her pores…tension that had plagued her for weeks ebbed away. Even the apprehension of spending a couple days in close company with Sam receded to the background.
After a couple of hours, both girls tired. Now Lily lay curled against Sam’s chest, fast asleep. Glory walked quietly beside Emily, holding her hand. They were trudging behind Sam, her eyes on the floor of the forest to keep from tripping over anything when he stopped so suddenly that she stumbled into the back of him. “Oomph.” The contact seared her through her clothes. She quickly backed away, wondering if he felt it, too.
He turned and graced her with a knowing smile. Yeah. He did and darned if he wasn’t getting some perverse satisfaction out of her response. “We’re here.”
Those two words rapidly dispelled her urge to smack him. Yes! Civilization. Sort of. In the middle of a small meadow of lush low growing plants sat a cabin.
The structure was larger than she had expected. Single story with a large front porch, it simply begged for flowers to be scattered randomly around it. A large, old-fashioned wooden rocking chair would be perfect sitting to the right of the front door. Closed shutters covered the windows; a screen door created an inviting and welcoming feeling. The wooden siding had grayed naturally and she realized paint would have totally spoiled the look. Even though it was more of a house and not a cabin, as Sam had called it, the structure blended in with its surroundings.
He crossed the clearing, stepped up on the porch, unlocked the door, then disappeared inside. Glory released Emily’s hand and followed.
The setting was perfect. Why in the world did he ever bother to go to town? If she lived here... She sighed and stood there, soaking in the serenity, lost in a blissful world.
“You waiting on a special invite?” Sam’s voice broke the spell.
He stood in the doorway, watching her intently. The thought of being inside the cabin—with him—was a bit unnerving. Without waiting, he turned away and had started opening the windows and shutters by the time she entered the room. Light and fresh air flooded the interior, sending dust motes skittering and overtaking the musty smell of a room closed up too long.
At a glance, the house was warm and cozy, even if it did need more of a woman’s touch. However, his massive size dwarfed the room, making her wonder how the four of them would manage in the small confines. As if reading her mind, he headed for the door.
He stopped in the doorway, blocking out the sun. “I’m going to check the perimeter.” He gave her a speculative glance, turned and left, the screen door closing in his wake.
His absence gave her a chance to survey the area without him watching her every move. The living room, dining room, and kitchen were all grouped in one large area. A comfortable looking couch and overstuffed chair took up most of the space in the living room. To the side was a smaller room. She moved to the door and found both girls sound asleep in the middle of a large bed. Sam’s bed. He’d already opened the windows and shutters to allow fresh air for the girls, but had covered them with a blanket. The room didn’t have a closet, just a few pegs on the wall, reminding her of homes from the 1800s that she’d read about.
Even though she was as tired as the girls, she couldn’t sit idly around. Staying busy helped her deal with her emotions, so she unloaded the food supplies. Sam came through the door just as she finished putting things away.
He moved farther into the room, seeming to take up the oxygen with his size. Emily tucked her chin so she wouldn’t have to look at him, at least to keep from staring. Despite being wary of him, she was still drawn to his rugged good looks. But she absolutely would not let him know how drastically he affected her. However, with all the supplies put away, she couldn’t find anything else to do.
Except try to breathe.
With four long strides he stood on the opposite side of the table from her, placed both hands on the back of the chair and stared at her. His gaze cut to the core of her soul. Seeing…knowing. She concentrated on her clasped hands on the tabletop.
“I can’t figure you out,” he said. “Hell, I ain’t even sure about myself. But I do know that if we don’t clear the air before the girls get up, it’s going to be unbearable in here. What say we call a truce?”
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Have you ever wanted to go to Alaska, but don’t have the time or money? This is your chance to get a glimpse of what the area around Juneau looks and feels like. It’s rugged and beautiful and peaceful and dangerous all at the same time. It’s also one of the most wonderful places to visit. I have been to Alaska, and Juneau, numerous times and hope all the little insider details will captivate the reader. The state has sure captivated me.
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An Award-Winning and Amazon Bestselling author, Oklahoma native Linda Trout loves Happily-Ever-Afters. When she isn’t helping her husband remodel their home, she’s outside trying to tame a small portion of their ten-acres (a losing battle). Between her six rescue cats, who think they have to help her write, and planning where she wants to travel when the pandemic is over, she’s working on her next novel.
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Trout/e/B008NVX2Y4/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
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