About the book, Untamed
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: HQN Books (June 30, 2015)
Stanton Rourke lives life on the edge. The steely mercenary is dangerous in every way…especially to Clarisse Carrington’s heart. She and Rourke were playmates as children, but she’s not the innocent girl he once knew. When tragedy robbed Clarisse of her entire family, her life was changed forever. Besides, she’s a grown woman now, and there are secrets that hold her back from succumbing to her pursuer. As she struggles to keep her distance, sparks as hot as a Texas summer fly between them. But danger is following Clarisse, leaving her no choice but to rely on Rourke, even as the old wounds lying dormant between them flare up again…
Buy, read, and discuss Untamed
An icon in western romance, Diana Palmer has been writing with Harlequin since 1980 and has published over 180 titles, with over 61 million books sold! When not writing, Susan’s hobbies are gardening, knitting, crocheting, astronomy, archaeology and animals. She also has dogs, cats, birds and lizards.
Rourke turned around. “Why?” he asked in a hunted tone. “Why did you do it?”
K.C. was momentarily taken aback. “Why did I do what, exactly?”
“Why did you sleep with Tat’s mother?” he raged.
K.C.’s eyes flashed like brown lightning. K.C. knocked him clean over the sofa and was coming around it to add another punch to the one he’d already given him when Rourke got to his feet and backed away. The man was downright damned scary in a temper. Rourke had rarely seen him mad. There was no trace of the financial giant in the man stalking him now. This was the face of the mercenary he’d been, the cold-eyed man who’d wrested a fortune from small wars and risk.
“Okay!” Rourke said, holding up a hand. “Talk. Don’t hit!”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” K.C. demanded icily. “Tat’s mother was a little saint! Maria Carrington never put a foot wrong in her whole life. She loved her husband. Even drunk as a sailor, she’d never have let me touch her!”
Rourke’s eyes were so wide with shock and pain that K.C. stopped in his tracks.
“Let’s have it,” he said. “What’s going on?”
Rourke could barely manage words. “She told me.”
“She who? Told you what?”
Rourke had to sit down. He picked up the glass of whiskey and downed half of it. This was a nightmare. He was never going to wake up.
Rourke took another sip. “Tat was seventeen. I’d gone to Manaus on a job.” Rourke’s deep voice was husky with feeling. “It was Christmas. I stopped by to see them, against my better judgment. Tat was wearing a green silk dress, a slinky thing that showed off that perfect body. She was so beautiful that I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Her parents left the room.” His eyes closed. “I picked her up and carried her to the sofa. She didn’t protest. She just looked at me with those eyes, full of… I don’t even know what. I touched her and she moaned and lifted up to me.” He drew in a shaky breath. “We were so involved that I only just heard her mother coming in time to spare us some real embarrassment. But her mother knew what was going on.”
“That would have upset her,” K.C. said. “She was deeply religious. Having you play around with her teenage daughter wasn’t going to endear you to her, especially with the reputation you had in those days for discarding women right and left.”
“I know.” Rourke looked down at the floor. “That one taste of Tat was like finding myself in paradise. I wanted her. Not for just a night. I couldn’t think straight, but my mind was running toward a future, not relief.”
He hesitated. “But her mother didn’t realize that. I can’t really blame her. She knew I was a rake. She probably thought I’d seduce Tat and leave her in tears.”
“That could have happened,” K.C. said.
“Not a chance.” Rourke’s one eye pinned him. “A girl like that, beautiful and kind…” He turned away. He drew in a long breath. “Her mother took me to one side, later. She was crying. She said that she’d seen you one night at your house, upset and sick at heart because a woman you loved was becoming a nun. She said she had a drink with you, and another drink, and then, something happened. She said Tat was the result.”
“She actually told you that Tat was your half sister? Damn the woman!”
Rourke felt the same way, but he was too drained to say it. He stared at his drink. “She told me that. So I turned against Tat, taunted her, pushed her away. I made her into something little better than a prostitute by being cruel to her. And now I learn, eight years too late, that it was all for a lie. That I was protecting her from something that wasn’t even real.”
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