Tallchief: The Homecoming

BOOK: Tallchief: The Homecoming
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“You’d Fit In With The Tallchiefs Perfectly,

“if you’d put out one little bit of effort,” Michelle said. “I won’t go away until I have answers, you know.”

“What would you know of fitting in?” Liam asked too sharply, resenting the anger and frustration this woman could jerk from him. “You think you fit into this small town? You think you fit into my son’s life? You think you can push and shove and place people in neat little boxes and everything will be just fine?”

“Friday night, the Tallchiefs are having a party. Be there. It’s time you got to know them.”

She marched out of his house and slammed the door behind her. His instincts told him to capture that hot-tempered, pride-filled witch, to claim that soft mouth, to fill his hands with her hair and keep her close until she—

The woman was pure trouble. Trouble that he didn’t need….

 

Dear Reader,

Silhouette is celebrating our 20
th
anniversary in 2000, and the latest powerful, passionate, provocative love stories from Silhouette Desire are as hot as that steamy summer weather!

For August’s MAN OF THE MONTH, the fabulous BJ James begins her brand-new miniseries, MEN OF BELLE TERRE. In
The Return of Adams Cade
, a self-made millionaire returns home to find redemption in the arms of his first love.

Beloved author Cait London delivers another knockout in THE TALLCHIEFS miniseries with
Tallchief: The Homecoming,
also part of the highly sensual Desire promotion BODY & SOUL. And Desire is proud to present
Bride of Fortune
by Leanne Banks, the launch title of FORTUNE’S CHILDREN: THE GROOMS, another exciting spin-off of the bestselling Silhouette FORTUNE’S CHILDREN continuity miniseries.

BACHELOR BATTALION marches on with Maureen Child’s
The Last Santini Virgin,
in which a military man’s passion for a feisty virgin weakens his resolve not to marry.
In Name Only
is how a sexy rodeo cowboy agrees to temporarily wed a pregnant preacher’s daughter in the second book of Peggy Moreland’s miniseries TEXAS GROOMS. And Christy Lockhart reconciles a once-married couple who are stranded together in a wintry cabin during
One Snowbound Weekend….

So indulge yourself by purchasing all six of these summer delights from Silhouette Desire…and read them in air-conditioned comfort.

Enjoy!

Joan Marlow Golan

Senior Editor, Silhouette Desire

Cait London
TALLCHIEF: THE HOMECOMING

To my readers
who have enjoyed the Cait London Tallchief series
and asked for more.

Books by Cait London

Silhouette Desire

*
The Loving Season
#502

*
Angel vs. MacLean
#593

The Pendragon Virus
#611

*
The Daddy Candidate
#641


Midnight Rider
#726

The Cowboy
#763

Maybe No, Maybe Yes
#782


The Seduction of Jake Tallman
#811

Fusion
#871

The Bride Says No
#891

Mr. Easy
#919

Miracles and Mistletoe
#968


The Cowboy and the Cradle
#1006


Tallchief’s Bride
#1021


The Groom Candidate
#1093


The Seduction of Fiona Tallchief
#1135


Rafe Palladin: Man of Secrets
#1160


The Perfect Fit
#1183


Blaylock’s Bride
#1207


Rio: Man of Destiny
#1233


Typical Male
#1255

§
Last Dance
#1285


Tallchief: The Homecoming
#1310

Silhouette Yours Truly

Every Girl’s Guide To…

Every Groom’s Guide To…

Silhouette Books

Spring Fancy
1994

“Lightfoot and Loving”

Maternity Leave
1998

“The Nine-Month Knight”


Tallchief for Keeps

CAIT LONDON

lives in the Missouri Ozarks but loves to travel the Northwest’s gold rush/cattle drive trails every summer. She enjoys going on research trips, meeting people and going to Native American dances. Ms. London is an avid reader who loves to paint, play with computers and grow herbs (particularly scented geraniums right now). She’s a national bestselling and award-winning author, and she has also written historical romances under another pseudonym. Three is her lucky number; she has three daughters, and the events in her life have always been in threes. “I love writing for Silhouette,” Cait says. “One of the best perks about all this hard work is the thrilling reader response and the warm, snug sense that I have given readers an enjoyable, entertaining gift.”

FAMILY TREE

Tallchief and Una Fearghus

(A Sioux chieftain captures a Scots bondwoman, who tames him.) 5 children

Liam and Elizabeth Montclair

(As a virgin, the English lady would inherit an empire; to save her sister from torture, she takes an unwilling staked-out half-breed. Out for revenge, he finds love.) 3 children

Ewan and Josette Tallchief

(Her Alaskan salmon fishing boat wrecked, fiery Josette must depend on a man she detests, Ewan. Her husband of convenience doesnt make her life easy.) 3 children

Jamie and Tina Tallchief

(Whimsy store owner Tina isnt prepared for a rough woodsman with a criminal record. When shes in danger, he kidnaps her for a dogsled ride that ends in a secluded cabin.) 2 children

Legends of the Tallchiefs

LiamWhen a man and a woman, equally matched, strike against each other, fire will fly just as two flints striking sparks off each other.

THE FLINT AND THE FIRE

“When a man and a woman, equally matched, strike against each other, fire will fly—just as two flints striking sparks off each other. ’Tis a game, finding the strength of a man and challenging that truth. I am a woman used to having my way, and being captured by a man who had fathered my child was no easy matter. How I battled with him, that great hard man, Liam Tallchief, scarred with life. He did not yield to me, nor would I have him be less than he was. But in the end, he filled my heart and a softness grew between us. I knew no other would make me feel so alive. No other could take my heart as Liam Tallchief. When he held our son, and that gentleness came upon him, I knew—I claimed him with a ring, and marked him for my own. For his part, he gave me two flints, the tinderbox marked with the Tallchief symbol, and a love that burns true.”

—Elizabeth Tallchief

Prologue

P
lease forgive me, I should have told you that you were a stolen baby, but I couldn’t.

The paper in Liam’s trembling hand rattled, the woman’s dainty handwriting blurring before his eyes, “Liam” the envelope had read, tucked into the pages of Mary Cartwright’s beloved Bible. Mary had died when Liam was only six, and the years after her death had been sheer hell. Reuben—her husband—had little patience for a child, and Liam’s life had consisted of scrambling for food and clothing. He’d been far too young for the long hours worked at Reuben’s gas station.

Liam was a man now, at thirty-four, sorting possessions after Reuben’s funeral. Hard and bullying Reuben had outlived Mary, as well as Liam’s wife, who had passed away in childbirth.

Liam swallowed, the memory of his wife, Karen, tugging at his heart. Mary would have loved Karen, both
sweet and loving women. Liam scrubbed his hand across his forehead, damning himself again for yielding to her plea for a baby: his son’s birth had taken Karen’s life.

The small cluttered apartment behind the gas station offered little comfort for a man in the lonely hours of a Wyoming night. Liam’s hand curled around his son’s small plastic truck—a reminder that life went on and was good, and children could be raised by a single father and be well loved. “J.T.,” Jacob Thomas, was only two and sleeping quietly while Liam dealt with the past. Liam studied his hand—big and scarred and darkly tanned, a workman’s hand holding a delicate paper that he sensed would rip away his life. The mirror in the shadows reflected a harsh face, high cheekbones, searing gray eyes, a set jaw and a shaggy cut of thick, black hair—a contrast to Mary’s and Reuben’s fair complexions. As a young man, Liam had towered over Reuben’s stocky build, and the abuse had stopped.

Liam listened as J.T. sighed in his sleep, then returned to the letter Mary had hidden in a place Reuben would never look—the Bible. The letter to Liam had waited for years, and he braced himself to continue reading….

My own baby was stillborn that night, a little son with blond curls. Reuben had been drinking heavily, yelling at me for my failure. I’d lost babies before, and Reuben had no son, which he thought made his mark as a man. There was no doctor. Reuben said we couldn’t afford one for “women’s work.” I took drugs to escape the pain and Reuben’s fury and held my baby close for comfort. I remember that night, the way the lightning seared the windows, the thunder crashing. Reuben was muttering then, holding his whisky and staring out into the night. He said they were fools, whoever was driving across the
mountain river, he’d make them pay a flat fee for pulling them out with his wrecker.

Liam inhaled slowly, his hands shaking as he read Mary’s letter:
Then he was back, dripping with rain and taking away my baby, replacing him with you. “Let them think he’s dead,” Reuben said. I wept horribly. Then you nudged my breast, and milk dampened my nightgown and I took you for my own, loving you instantly. I guessed your age then to be about two weeks. We waited two more before asking a doctor to examine you and produce a birth certificate.

I knew it was wrong, but I wanted you more than my life. Reuben had said the car had crashed in to the river and there were no surviors, just you, and now you were his—and mine—a son at last. How selfish I was, wanting the baby suckling at my breast, cuddling you against the ache in my heart. “Liam” was embroidered upon your sleepers, and I insisted on that for your name. Reuben has forgotten the chest that was found with you, but it is hidden beneath the boards I cut in the bedroom floor. I have no reason to believe that Reuben will ever want a home away from here, or his gas station, so the chest will be safe. The sheriff investigating the accident said your parents were drowned, washed away in the torrent after their car went into the river. Their bodies were found, and the baby presumed dead. But I held you tightly and was silent, fearing they would take you away.

“Their names were Tallchief, Liam. Your name is Liam Tallchief, not Cartwright. I love you. Forgive me. Mary.”

BOOK: Tallchief: The Homecoming
9.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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