Who is M.M. Crane? Megan, of course!
Book 2 in the Fortunes of Lost Lake Series
The heat between them is enough to ward off the chilly Alaska cold front in the next Fortunes of Lost Lake novel from USA Today bestselling author M. M. Crane.
Bowie Fortune has always liked a risky proposition. A bush pilot out in the Last Frontier, flying in and out of places that give most pilots nightmares is what he lives for. That and his off-the-grid home out by Lost Lake, where his family has been living up close with the elements for generations. When his sister dares him to participate in the local version of a mail-order bride contest, he’s not interested—but Bowie doesn’t back down from a challenge. Even when the challenge turns out to be a woman who makes him want every last thing he knows he shouldn’t.
Entering a summer-long publicity stunt in far-off Alaska might seem extreme, but Autumn McCall has always had an indomitable spirit. She took care of her sisters and father after her mother died, and this is more of the same—since she intends to win the contest. Immersing herself in the pioneer lifestyle is one thing, but what she isn’t expecting is brooding, sharp-eyed Bowie with his wicked smile. As the sparks fly between them, will they burn each other alive—or learn how to simmer their way to a much bigger prize…together?
Explore the Fortunes of Lost Lake Series →
- ROMANTIC THEMES: Alaska!, Fake Relationship, Girl Next Door, Mail Order Bride, Modern Fairy Tale, Snowbound!, Special Ops Hero, Ugly Duckling
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Bowie Fortune never backed down from a dare.
Especially not if the dare came from his mouthy kid sister, who might not be a kid any longer, sure, but the principle remained intact.
Bowie liked to think of his refusal to back down—no matter how ridiculous the dare in question—as evidence not only of the high standards he maintained, but of a life well lived. The only kind of life worth living, to his mind.
And he’d tried several lives on for size already, so he could tell the difference.
As he landed his favorite longer-range Cessna in what passed for a runway in the middle of spectacular Montana ranchland, he figured his life was looking just fine. No thanks to Piper and the challenge she’d issued him. But the Rocky Mountains down here in the Lower 48 were giving him a gorgeous early-June welcome, as if summer really was on its way. The sky was big and bright. The land was pretty.
You could do worse, the Bitterroot Valley had seemed to tell him as he came in.
He set the plane down sedately and bumped along the countrified runway that was an upgrade from the gravel he was used to in Alaska. And laughed while he did it, because he laughed a lot more than some people considered appropriate—he laughed more the less appropriate they found it—and because sedate was not really his thing.
Mail-order brides weren’t really his thing, either, but here he was.
Bowie normally flew charter flights around the Alaskan bush for folks with a taste for the more thrilling things in life. It was a guaranteed adventure—and also something he would have done as soon as he got his pilot’s license, without anyone paying him. That he got to call it his job never failed to make him feel like he was getting away with something.
He never forgot for a minute that some poor slobs had to sit in airless offices and go to tedious meetings all day, a fate worse than death as far as he was concerned. But then, Bowie was from Lost Lake, out in Interior Alaska where it was an adventure to survive on any given Tuesday. Not to mention all ten and a half months of winter. He figured growing up off the grid the way he had was what had given him an appetite for taking risks the way folks in big cities took their buses and subways.
Compared to some of the things he’d done—most recently, flying like a lunatic through spring storms with a pack of equally fearless outdoor photographers, for example—this mail-order bride deal sounded pretty tame. What was pretending to be married, pioneer-style, for one measly little Alaskan summer with a virtual stranger next to the thrill of landing on a glacier at 7,200 feet or playing hide-and-seek in fog and rain with some of the tallest mountains in the world?
Piper had dared him to take part in this publicity-stunt-slash-contest being put on by a questionable collection of regional locals, mostly because, she’d maintained, he was too unruly and uncivilized to find himself a date, much less a wife. Even if the wife in question was fake and temporary, for the dubious purpose of a little prize money. Assuming they won.
I date plenty, Bowie had told her with a grin, sitting at the comfortable family dinner table in his parents’ house at the far end of the lake one blustery spring night. How and when and who is a little too much information for your tender ears.
There’d been a lot of snorting at that from the rest of the disreputable humans he claimed as his own, but Piper had only smiled at him in that particularly sisterly way she had. As if she pitied him.
It was meant to get his back up and it did.
You’ve gone full mountain man and you don’t even know it, she’d said sadly, with a shake of her head. You’ve become the character you play on your charter trips.
I beg your pardon. I do not play any characters. I provide local color and commentary, as requested.
But he’d been grinning lazily while he said that because maybe he did play a role or two. If he felt like it. He wasn’t an actor though. He could still remember the various attempts at community theater at the Mine. The Mine was the center of the lake community. It was a whole village except, unlike most villages, it was all under one roof at the head of Lost Lake rather than spread out around the lake or along a road. There were no roads. The Mine was the bar, the restaurant, all the shops, and a place to shelter from the inevitable weather, too.
Watching folks he knew parade around in costume, orating in a great big room he couldn’t escape even if he was actively trying to pretend it wasn’t happening, was the stuff of nightmares.
Piper had rolled her eyes at him. You’re going to die alone, eaten by wild animals, Bowie. Even if you tried to entice some poor woman to take a chance on you at this point, how would you get her to stay?
Little sister. I don’t know how to tell you this. Bowie had held Piper’s gaze and let his grin expand some. I’m very persuasive in the right circumstances.
What would happen if you had to actually get to know someone? his sister had asked, as if that was an idle question and she wasn’t directly challenging him. Because maybe Piper was a little bit of an actor herself. No song and dance on a flight past Denali. No flying off at dawn. What if you had to let someone get to know you?
Bring it on, Bowie had replied immediately.
The way Piper had likely known he would, because she’d smiled with a little too much satisfaction. I’m so glad you’re game, Bowie, she’d murmured. Smugly. Because there happens to be the perfect opportunity for you to prove it.
And then she’d told him about the so-called mail-order bride contest taking place this summer. The rules were simple, according to Piper. The ladies who entered chose their men, after a stringent vetting process that would include home visits. Together, the so-called couple would spend the summer exemplifying the Alaskan frontier spirit by performing and documenting as many survival tasks and adventures, as well as good, old-fashioned frontier living, as they could. They were to post a picture every day and at least one video to a dedicated social media account per week, the better to advertise the charms of the area here, that, while remote and unspoiled as the locals liked it, could benefit from some more tourism in the summer months. The contestants were expected to promote the area and the contest, and any disreputable behavior would lead to disqualification, as would anything illegal or even distasteful in the judgment of the judges. The judges were a selection of local officials from villages in this part of the vast Interior who would get together and name one “best old-school frontier couple” in August.
The mail-order bride part was a gimmick and meant as a throwback to how a lot of folks’ great-grandparents had met out here, as no weddings would actually be occurring—at least not as a part of the contest. What contestants did afterward was up to them.
When Bowie had suggested that might be the dumbest idea he’d ever heard, he discovered that said dumb idea had come about thanks in no small part to his own brother, the unofficial mayor of the unincorporated Lost Lake community. Quinn had been more than happy to discuss the whole thing in detail, even though Bowie thought it was about as foolish as that time Mia Saskin, known as Grand Mia to one and all around here, had decided they should have an Adopt a Bear contest one year. All fun and games until the bears in question took exception to being tracked.
With both Piper and Quinn going on about the mail-order bride thing, a lot like they were in cahoots, Bowie had been backed neatly into it. He’d had no choice but to laugh like it was his very own idea and sign up on the spot.
Then act like he’d enjoyed every minute that had brought him out here to Montana to collect his fake bride for the summer, in the hope they might win some money if they made it all the way to Labor Day and proved themselves the most old-school Alaska while they did it. Whatever that was.
He laughed again now as he climbed down from the cockpit and took a deep breath of Montana.
“Idiots,” he muttered into the stillness, though it was hard to say which idiot he meant. There were so many involved in this that it was hard to choose.
But it was done now. He’d chosen to fly down and pick up his bride for the summer because he could, and maybe because he’d wanted to both get his head straight with the nice, long flight as well as get to know the woman in question before they just . . . lived together. In his house.
Besides, there was no denying it was pretty here, and he’d always been a sucker for a pretty place with the wild still in it. Montana had that going for it. It was gorgeous by anyone’s standards, if a little soft by his. For one thing, there were roads. He’d seen them as he’d flown south. A person could drive anywhere, right on out to the interstate if they had a mind to. All the way to the sea or anywhere else that appealed.
Not like up in Lost Lake. There were no roads, only preferred tracks, rugged vehicles, and a lot of willpower, depending on the tricky Alaskan weather, to make it down to the nearest small village from their hardy little community. The town of Hopeless sat on a bend in the epically twisty Upper Kuskokwim River and had been named, originally, to indicate the state of mind of the gold rush hopefuls who had not gotten what they’d trekked all the way out into the hinterland to find. These days the locals figured the name kept undesirables—meaning, the kind of looky-loos who cluttered up the Southwest Passage on their cruise ships every summer—far away.
In Interior Alaska, roads were a luxury. But then, so was summer. Some years it was just midnight sun most of the night and gray skies all day. You made of it what you could. That was some real old-school Alaska right there.
Bowie let his feet get acquainted with Montana dirt while he stretched a little. He’d flown in over his would-be fake bride’s family ranch today to get a feel for the place. He knew that he had to walk a ways to get to the main house, and he took his time doing it.
He told himself he was getting the lay of the land. Could be he was also putting off the inevitable trouble coming his way. Because Bowie loved himself some danger. Thrived on it, even. But trouble he avoided like the plague.
And he’d never known a woman who wasn’t some kind of trouble.
He had to figure that the kind of woman who would sign up for a bizarre contest in the boondocks was trouble with a capital T.
It was perfect walking weather today, with plenty of time to appreciate his last few moments of untroubled freedom. A pretty day in the kind of coy spring that marked most northern places he’d been—warm and bright with a punch of lingering cold beneath it. The Bitterroot Valley was putting on a show. There were carpets of wildflowers everywhere. The Rocky Mountains were flexing their rugged beauty on all sides, some peaks still whitecapped.
If a person had to live outside Alaska, Bowie thought as he walked, Montana wasn’t a bad bet.
He walked for good fifteen minutes along the little dirt track before he wound around to the house he’d seen from up above. Then he slowed, because as he approached, he could see folks were already gathered out in the yard.
Bowie wasn’t the sort to turn down a parade in his honor, but somehow he guessed that floats and a marching band weren’t where this was going.
He made sure his face was set in its usual amiable, approachable expression, stuck his hands in his jeans pockets, and slowed his walk to a saunter. And he checked out the scene awaiting him from behind his standard-issue aviator shades while he approached.
The marines might not have been for him, in the long run. But that didn’t mean he hadn’t learned a few things along the way.
Like performing a little recon on all things whenever possible. He liked to look lazy and unbothered and infinitely unthreatening, but that was a lot easier when he already knew what he was walking into. In this case, he was going in blind.
Piper had laughed when he’d suggested that he should have the opportunity to personally vet the woman he’d be spending his summer with. A little theatrically, to his mind, there at her cottage where he had virtuously stopped by to help her out with a little springtime roof repair.
You’re not the customer here, idiot, she’d told him scornfully, squatting back on her haunches on top of her cabin with the lake behind her like a bright blue frame, this side of the spring breakup that melted all the ice. She’d wiped at her forehead. You’re a contestant.
He hadn’t liked that much, but he’d run with it. It’s really not fair to the other contestants, though, is it? he’d asked, treating her to his best charming grin.
Mostly because she was his sister, immune to his charm since birth, and his best grin usually made her roll her eyes. That time was no exception.
I don’t know what makes you think you have a hope in hell of winning, she’d said, returning her attention to the roof. I think what you should concentrate on this summer is a little information gathering. About yourself and how weird you’ve become.
Bowie was under the impression that being weird was a favorite Alaskan pastime, and that his sister lived in a glass house of her own strangeness, but he’d only laughed.
While attempting to look wounded. What? I’m a catch.
Catch and release, maybe, Piper had replied, her eyes gleaming when she’d looked at him again. I feel sorry for your poor mail-order bride, Bowie. Truly I do.
If he was honest, Bowie felt the same. But probably not for the same reasons.
Personally, he would not have signed up to be a fake mail-order bride under any circumstances. Especially not to take part in this contest that a bunch of town leaders all along their stretch of the Upper Kuskokwim had come up with, mostly in an attempt to rustle up some measure of tourist interest in an area that was always going to be a little too off the beaten path—even for folks who liked that kind of thing. The contest had been trumpeted all over the radio waves for months now. Reclaim Alaska’s Gold Rush Grit! the puff piece in the Anchorage Daily News had crowed, while also making it clear that everyone involved would be vetted thoroughly and made aware that it was all an elaborate game of pretend. That contestants would be judged on the difficulty of their attempted frontier projects—and also whether or not they worked—not any actual marriages. And maybe come away with the grand prize of $10,000!
Bowie had been required to submit an embarrassing personal profile. He’d had to allow Bertha Tungwenuk, the mayor of Hopeless, to poke around his cabin and his private hangar, where he kept the only harem he’d ever need. His planes.
Quinn had been there, too, because while he was only unofficially the mayor of Lost Lake, he was actually the official representative of the community. A role he had always taken entirely too seriously. Though he sure had seemed to be enjoying himself on home inspection day.
You have to sign a waiver, you know, Quinn had said, his arms crossed and a smirk on his face that Bowie would have liked to take off with his own hands, but he was pretending to be civilized. Also he wasn’t twelve. You have to sign on the dotted line that you will, to the best of your ability, represent the Upper Kuskokwim well. You’ll be subject to fines if you don’t.
Seems to me that representing something well leaves room for a lot of interpretation, Bowie had drawled.
Not so much, Bertha Tungwenuk had said, scowling at him. No stunts, Bowie.
I’m wounded, Bowie told them both. Neither of them had looked moved. Maybe this is just the opportunity I need to settle on down and make something of myself.
Also, Quinn had replied in the withering tone only a big brother could produce. You might want to keep in mind that I’m one of the judges.
Bowie shoved all that aside, because it was time to meet his so-called bride. No more pretending he wasn’t hoisted up high on his own petard. No more hoping for a sufficiently painful, yet not actually debilitating, accident to allow him to bow out with his pride intact. It was go time.
There were three women standing outside in the yard, watching his approach in a manner he could only call unfriendly, and none of them were Autumn McCall.
Because he’d seen a picture of Autumn, his very own fake bride-to-be. And the little video to go with it, in which she’d talked too long and too close to the camera. None of the three women draping themselves bonelessly on the fence, the grille of a pickup truck, and the porch railing, respectively, bore any resemblance to that video. They all looked about six feet tall, for one thing, and he had gotten the impression that Autumn was more compact. And all three of them had the kind of glossy blonde hair, pouty lips, and slim hips that whispered of expensive places Bowie avoided like the plague.
Bowie was sure he would have remembered pouty lips and that much blonde in a video that he’d liked only because Autumn had mostly talked—very quickly and matter-of-factly—about all the pioneer-type tasks she planned to perform over the course of the summer. Without furnishing the to-do list for a potential fake husband that most of the others had.
“This is quite a welcoming committee,” he said cheerfully as he drew close to the blondes.
“Less of a welcoming committee,” said the blonde closest to him, arms crossed as she propped herself up against the truck. “More of a gauntlet.”
“That’s a little less friendly,” Bowie agreed.
The closest blonde sniffed. The one by the fence stuck her hands on her hips, somehow managing to draw attention to her disturbingly long, oval-shaped, pale blue nails. He didn’t know how a person got anything done with nails long enough to cause damage. Then again, that was probably the point. She didn’t look like the sort of woman who concerned herself much with productivity.
“We don’t like anything about this,” she told him, the blue nails tapping out a beat at her hips. “We’ve been looking into you.”
Bowie supposed there were some who might take offense to that sort of greeting, but he wasn’t one of them. “That’s smart,” he said instead, and meant it. “Back in the day I guess a woman just answered an ad and hoped for the best. At least in this day and age you have the internet.”
“Word is,” said the third blonde from her place at the front door, studying him like he belonged under a painful sort of microscope, “you’re something of an adrenaline junkie.”
“Guilty as charged,” Bowie replied happily. “Are you all angling for a ride in my plane?”
“There will be no adrenaline junkie-ing,” said the first blonde severely. “Our sister is not a carnival ride.”
“We’re going to need her back in one piece at the end of August,” said the second, just as sternly.
“You, on the other hand,” chimed in the third. She let her words trail off. Then shrugged, with an admirable gleam of careless bloodthirstiness in her gaze.
“Message received,” Bowie drawled. “I wouldn’t want to call down the Furies on myself.”
“See that you don’t,” came another voice. “They’re a lot.”
And then, from inside the house, slapping her way out through the screen door, marched Autumn McCall.
Or anyway, the woman he’d be living with the rest of the summer.
Bowie felt a kind of chill run all the way down his back, and under different circumstances he would have called it a premonition. If he was flying, a near-shiver like that told him weather was coming no matter how blue the sky before him.
But today, under the Montana sun, he dismissed it, because this was all so ridiculous.
And maybe also because the word bride was settling in him in a way it never had before, especially when it wasn’t accurate in this situation. She was not his bride. She was not his. He didn’t allow that kind of thing, as a longstanding personal policy. Autumn McCall was like . . . a summer exchange student, maybe.
He told himself his odd reaction was heartburn from the significantly and gloriously fried food he’d tossed back at his last refueling stop, not that he usually suffered from that ailment.
Whatever it was, he forgot about it as Autumn marched off the porch and stopped when her feet hit the dirt, her hands finding her hips.
“Take it down a notch,” she was saying, glaring at her sisters. Then she turned that glare on him. “And this is all wrong. You must know that. I’m hardly a mail-order bride if you’re picking me up.”
“I sometimes deliver packages,” Bowie offered helpfully, going more genial in the face of all that glaring, as that was how he best needled the overly serious Quinn. “But I didn’t think we were going for historical accuracy so much as the general metaphor of the whole mail-order thing.”
“Metaphors are slippery,” Autumn replied. Her mouth curved a little. “You’ll want to watch them.”
And that heartburn in Bowie’s chest, because it had to be heartburn with all those dancing flames, seemed to get brighter.
Bowie had expected the hair, darker than her sisters and gleaming with bits of red here and there in the sunlight. He’d expected the hazel eyes and the generous mouth. He’d found her cute, if obviously overprepared for something he thought was idiotic, but he didn’t care if she was cute or not. He’d picked her because she’d described herself as the kind of sensible pioneer woman his own great-grandmother had been. Ida Lathrop had taken one look at a grizzled miner in Juneau, married him while hardly knowing his name, and followed him out into the middle of nowhere where, by all accounts, she’d proceeded to wrap him around her finger while also beating back the wilderness.
Practical, levelheaded, and resourceful. That was his great-grandma to a T and that was what Autumn McCall had called herself. He’d thought that sounded useful. And out by Lost Lake, usefulness was always celebrated, because there was always work that needed doing.
Decorations like the blonde Furies were nice and all, but they belonged behind glass in places on the electrical grid where they could bloom like the hothouse flowers they were. Bowie liked to look at pretty things as much as the next man, but he didn’t take them home.
He never took anyone home.
Maybe the truth was that he’d felt safe opening up his home to a woman who made him feel faintly protective, the way he felt about his sister when he didn’t want to kill her. The whole way down here, he’d been congratulating himself on choosing the least objectionable candidate for a role he didn’t actually want filled.
Sure, women were trouble, but he’d figured Autumn was the least likely to cause any. On purpose, anyway.
But he wasn’t prepared for the reality of the woman he’d seen only in a video.
She was shorter than her sisters, though not short. He estimated she would fit right beneath his chin if he held her close—which he obviously wouldn’t be doing. Ever. And she hadn’t really touched on a lot of personal details in her video, but what was getting him the most was that she hadn’t mentioned that hourglass figure.
That perfect, mouthwatering, too good to be true except he was looking at her figure that made him feel something like feverish.
She should have come with a warning label.
Because she made his mouth go dry, no matter if she was glaring at him. Hell, that only made her hotter. And Bowie might like a dare, but he had no interest whatsoever in torturing himself with killer curves he couldn’t touch. Because this wasn’t the gold rush and she wasn’t really coming up to the Interior to marry him and even if she had been, he wasn’t that guy.
He was a little concerned that he might be about to break out into a sweat, right there where her sisters could see. The blondes were all watching him closely, cataloging his reaction.
Waiting for him to indicate that he surely did notice that Autumn had a body of pure, delicious sin that he would have to somehow live with platonically for the next three months.
Waiting for a grown man to cry, more like it.
He’d thought their overprotectiveness was sweet. Now he got it.
Their sister was a time bomb.
In his profile, Bowie talked about his planes. He talked about the Fortunes’ many generations out on the lake, carving their lives out of an uncaring, inhospitable stretch of Alaska that happened to also be about the most beautiful spot in the world as far as he was concerned. He’d said he wanted his “bride” to understand that the land and the planes came first, always. And that both required hard work and perseverance. His mother had told him he sounded borderline unhinged and off-putting. His sister had only sighed and mouthed I told you so. He’d been thrilled at their reactions, expecting that he’d weed out most of the contenders, but had been surprised when he’d still had almost too many to choose from.
That was how the coupling part of this thing worked. The lady contestants indicated which gentlemen they’d consider, then the gentlemen chose from among whoever had already chosen them.
Because, as everyone had been at pains to declare all over the ad campaigns, this wasn’t, actually, the 1800s. The women weren’t answering ads and delivering themselves into the clutches of whoever answered, come what may. There was absolutely no coercion or expectation of intimacy. There was only the summer and the upbeat pictures and videos they were expected to create to exult in the Upper Kuskokwim beauty all around them, along with regular wellness checks from the judges.
Bowie hadn’t anticipated having any problems on that score. He hadn’t been kidding when he’d told Piper he was good with his own dating—he just liked to make his own choices, and far away from home, where there could never be any blowback. He didn’t do blowback, thank you. He’d been living hassle-free since he’d declined Uncle Sam’s offer to re-up that last time.
He had also made a promise a long time ago to keep himself unattached, and he’d kept it.
And though he had spent his entire life, up until this moment, thinking that Alaskan summers lasted all of about thirty seconds, the three months stretching ahead of him now seemed like an eternity.
Because Bowie was a man who liked dangerous things. Killer curves topped that list.
You are boned, he told himself then.
It had the ring of finality.
His jaw was getting tight, so he forced himself to smile again. But he could see in the way Autumn was looking up at him that she’d caught the moment. She’d clocked him looking at her and freezing up. When those eyes of hers went wary, he felt a twist inside him, a lot like regret.
But he shoved it aside. Wariness was appropriate. The more wary she was of him, the less he would need to worry that he might succumb to temptation. He preferred enthusiastic invitations to lose his head a little—not that he could do that here even with an invite.
He’d signed that damn contract, promising he’d behave.
And even if he hadn’t, he didn’t do entanglements with complications.
Nothing about Autumn McCall’s bombshell figure suggested good behavior was even a possibility.
“You don’t actually have to do this, Autumn,” Pickup Blonde was saying. “You can walk away right now.”
“No harm, no foul,” agreed Blue Nails Blonde.
“You should only do what you feel comfortable with,” he managed to say, though he sounded like he was talking with glass in his mouth. He was more grateful than he wanted to admit that he had on sunglasses no one could see through, because he had the terrible suspicion that he was staring. Gaping at her like a teenage boy who’d never seen a woman before.
Next his voice would start cracking again and he’d have to take himself out.
“I’m not walking away, thank you.” Autumn sounded unperturbed. Steady. It should have soothed him. But she was standing there in jeans and a T‑shirt. A perfectly casual outfit, but the jeans hugged her butt and the shirt was enough to make a man weep, and he wanted to chew on his own hands. “And besides, you know as well as I do that it’s high time Dad and Donna got some alone time.”
That kicked off a chorus of blonde commentary and Bowie was pretty sure he heard the phrase wicked stepmother come up. More than once.
“I’m your stepmother, girls,” came a voice from inside the house, and then an older woman stepped out, round and cheerful and unfazed. Followed by a man, clearly Autumn’s father, who made no secret of the way he was sizing up Bowie. “But I’m not wicked.”
“Fewer dramatics, please,” their father said, casting a look around the assembled blondes. He moved forward, frowning at Autumn as he passed her, then stretching out his hand to Bowie. “Hunter McCall.”
It was a relief to be forced to look away from the curve situation. He didn’t know that he would have, otherwise. The older man’s hand was firm and callused enough to suggest he put his own work into his land, which Bowie respected. He also didn’t try to crush Bowie’s fingers as they shook, though he continued to look suspicious.
He had every right to be, Bowie thought as he put in a valiant effort to stave off the great many images that wanted to flood his brain, all of them spelling out exactly the kind of trouble he didn’t plan to allow himself.
Not with the unexpected bombshell he absolutely should not be taking home with him today.
It’s fine, he assured himself. Just don’t look at her.
“Bowie Fortune,” Bowie replied to Autumn’s father. He made himself smile. He tried to look like he meant it. “Not to worry. Your daughter is safe with me.”
But to his surprise, Hunter McCall laughed.
“Glad to hear that, son,” he belted out. “But it’s not her safety I’m worried about.”
End of excerpt
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