She needed to risk the truth to get a second chance…
Poppy Erickson had spent the year wondering how all their lives might have been different after hearing the deathbed confession of her childhood friend. She’d left South Dakota years ago because she couldn’t bear to watch the man she loved loving another woman. But now she knows the truth. She’ll keep the promise she made to a friend, but will Logan understand when he learns the truth? More important, can they again recapture the passion that had been between them all those years ago?
He needed to face the past to get the love of a woman he thought he’d lost…
Everyone knows that the Dakotas didn’t get the name Badlands for nothing. Harsh weather and rough living are a way of life. But single dad, Logan McKinnon, had seen more than his share of bad times after the death of his wife a year ago. The last thing he needs is Poppy Erickson, an old flame and his late wife’s best friend, showing up unannounced to help after devastating floods nearly washed away their hometown. With no place to stay in town, he has no choice but to offer her a bed at his house.
But can he live under the same roof with a woman he’d once loved passionately without feeling he’s betraying his late wife?
~ Bewitching BT
She’d spent a lifetime packing armor around her heart…
Raised an Army brat, Regis Simpson was used to calling new towns home, learning to quickly make friends but never letting anyone get too close. When devastating floods tear through the Badlands of South Dakota, she thinks Rudolph is just another town that needs to be rebuilt. Nothing more. The sooner she gets her work done, the sooner the people of Rudolph can heal and she can move on to the next town in need. She never counted on the sexy town doctor, Keith “Hawk” McKinnon or his determination to break down walls she’d spent a lifetime building, making it impossible for her to leave.
He’s determined to break down her walls and give her a reason to stay…
Nothing pained Hawk McKinnon more than seeing people he’d known his whole life hurting. He traded a high-paying salary at a city hospital to come back to Rudolph and make a difference where he’d dug his roots. When the beautiful Regis Simpson comes to town offering help, he’s immediately drawn to her even though she’s spent a lifetime believing that everyone she loves leaves. Now she does the leaving and once her work is done, she’ll be leaving again. He’s determined to do everything possible to make her stay.
~ Bewitching BT
Hotshot Sam McKinnon was always leaving town, chasing another fire until his own hometown became vulnerable during the fire season after a devastating winter flood left debris and destruction in its path. He didn’t expect out of town dispatcher, Summer Bigelow, to catch his eye or his heart.
It hadn’t been Summer’s idea to move from Providence to South Dakota, but when a serial murderer suddenly turns his attention on Summer, her boss insists she leave town…at least until the heat dies down. She’s dealt with high tension, life or death situations many times in her job. It isn’t until she meets Sam McKinnon and falls for the sexy Hotshot that she really begins to know fear. The fear of losing someone she loves.
~ Bewitching BT
Excerpt Her Dakota Man
” One look on Logan McKinnon’s face told Poppy that his foul mood had
very little to do with the devastating destruction all around the Badlands of South
Dakota…and everything to do with her showing up in town after nearly ten years.
She didn’t have to be standing next to him to feel his anger simmering
just below the surface of his composure. Sitting in her rental sedan was close
enough. What the hell was she thinking coming back home? Why had she made
that ridiculous promise to Kelly?
She parked the car next to his truck and took a deep breath, mumbling
under her breath as she pulled the door handle, “This may just turn out to be the
stupidest thing you have ever done, girl.”
Truth was, even as pissed off as Logan looked, he was still an amazing
sight to see. Part of her had hoped that she was wrong. That she’d gotten over him
a long time ago. That she’d take one look at him, make sure he and Keith were
okay, and be able to get back in her car and drive right to the airport in Rapids
He turned to her, standing tall and proud. His thick dark hair blew in the
March wind, fluttering around his face and making him all the more strikingly
He was taller than she’d remembered, and he’d long since lost that too-
lean teenage body that had driven her crazy in her youth. He worked hard on his
ranch and it showed in how much his arms and chest had filled with muscles.
Despite the cold, he’d taken off his jacket while he worked in the yard
and Poppy had a clear view of just how much his male body had filled out in
places she’d dreamed of touching.
Lord, help her. She was in trouble. And she hadn’t even stepped out of
the car yet. She pushed the door open and stepped outside to get it over with. It
was either going to be the shortest visit on record…or the life changing experience
she’d been dreaming of ever since she was a teenager.
Logan starred at her for a long, agonizing moment. She read the
emotional tug of war playing on his face as the sudden chill from the South Dakota
winds bit into her exposed skin like a whipping.
Then his expression turned hard. “What are you doing here?”
He must have heard the car drive up. But Logan’s four-year-old son,
Keith, remained so focused on the mud puddle he was poking a stick into to even
notice anyone was around. That was good. The next few minutes would go easier
for both of them if Keith weren’t aware of the tension.
Logan stared at her as if he’d been startled. Or maybe too focused on
making sure his son was safely playing nearby to notice her car had driven up.
Or perhaps he’d been too pre-occupied with assessing the damage the
recent angry South Dakota weather had done to his property. Poppy had seen just
how Mother Nature had shown no mercy to her childhood town as she drove from
the airport to the ranch. She couldn’t exactly blame Logan for being in a foul mood
because of that.
Seeing her was just the icing on the cake.
“What the hell are you doing here, Poppy?” he repeated.
She took in a deep breath, smelled the muddy earth and decay all around
her, and said, “I came to help.”
He took one long look at her, from her high-heeled boots, up the length
of her legs, pausing at her hips. She could almost feel his eyes as if he were staring
at the flesh beneath her fresh pair of blue jeans. When his gaze finally reached her
face again, she slid her sunglasses to the tip of her nose and stared right back at
him in challenge. A slow smile played on her lips. She could never last as long at
this as Logan before caving into laughter. But she knew Logan was in no laughing
“Poppy Ericksen. Rudolph was practically washed off the map from all
that rain we had. After all this time, what makes you think I need anything from
Even though his voice was even, she could tell he was still pissed. But
he’d never show it. Keith was still poking at the mud and puddles on the driveway
just a little ways away, completely unaware of present company.
“What’s the matter, Logan? You don’t look happy to see me,” Poppy
said, pulling her sunglasses off her face with a wary smile. ”
Excerpt Badland Bride
“After easing herself out of the car, Regis limped up the newly built wooden
ramp, unpainted and still sporting the color of wood that hadn’t been exposed to
the elements for long. She winced through the pain as she took each step toward
the front door. A small sign hung next to the door giving the clinic’s hours. She
tried the door and it wouldn’t budge. Her shoulders sagged in defeat.
“What does he do in the middle of the day? Go fishing?”
“Nope, house calls.”
Regis swung around to see a tall man walking up behind her on the ramp. He
had the Irish blue eyes she’d seen on many models in advertising magazines she’d
bought when she was a teenager, and the dark hair that looked a little unruly in the
wind, but seemed to fit him perfectly. The light scuff of a beard wasn’t more than a
day old, but already dark and covering his square jaw.
For a moment, Regis was so taken with this handsome stranger that she’d
forgotten why she was there.
* * *
“Dr. Hawk, or whatever his name actually is, does house calls? I thought
that sort of thing went extinct with the dinosaurs. The guy must be a hundred years
Hawk fought to keep from smiling. “There are days it seems that way.”
He then looked at the woman’s leg, and frowned as he saw the blood staining her
pants. “We’d better get you inside so that can be cleaned.”
“The door’s locked,” the woman said, leaning against the rail as he came up
beside her. Her face was pale, most probably due to the pain she was experiencing
and the loss of blood.
He smiled, looking down into her eyes. “Luckily, I have a key.” They were
pretty brown eyes, he decided. No, they were hazel. And the fact that he didn’t
want her to turn away so he could know for sure surprised him.
Standing six feet tall, he towered over her small frame, although he was
probably no more than eight inches taller than her. And she smelled like fresh
soap as if she’d just taken a shower. But looking at the dirt and blood on her hands,
that probably wasn’t the case.
“You must rate to have your own key to the doctor’s office. When does this
Hawk doctor usually come back?”
He slipped the key into the door and turned the handle. Then he smiled as
he pushed the door open and held it for her to come inside. “Why don’t you have a
seat here. It’ll just be a minute.”
Hawk curled his fingers around the woman’s upper arm gently and helped
guide her to the chair. As she sat down, a look of relief washed over her face.
“Does that take some pressure off?”
“Your leg. Does sitting help?”
As he waited for her to reply, he walked behind the receptionist desk and
sifted through the wall organizer that was filled with insurance forms. Nancy was
going to have a fit if he had this woman fill out the wrong one.
“Ah, a little.”
He felt a muscle pull between his eyebrow as he glanced at the forms. For all
his higher education, insurance forms were a mystery to him. Finally he sighed and
dropped the papers on the desk.
“I’m going to need you to fill out some forms, but I’m not sure which one’s
right at the moment and my receptionist, Nancy, will have my hide if I have you
fill out the wrong form. So why don’t we just have a look at your leg first and fill
out paperwork later?”
“Yes. She’ll probably be back from lunch before I’m done.”
“You? Wait, you’re Dr. Hawk?”
His lips curled up just slightly. “It’s just Hawk. But if you prefer, you can
call me Dr. McKinnon.”
Her mouth hung open just slightly. “Oh, I’m…oh, okay.”
“Did someone tell you I was a deranged killer?”
“What? No, of course not, it’s just…”
She was adorable, all flustered with her flub. Hawk couldn’t resist teasing
her. “They said I was a mean old bastard who was going to cut off your leg?”
She rolled her eyes. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
“You aren’t…I wasn’t expecting someone so…” She took a deep breath.
Color immediately stained her pale cheeks. “Young. You look like you just
He chuckled. “So they didn’t tell you I was good looking. They told you I
She sighed heavily. “No. Mr. Bennett didn’t say anything except your name
is Hawk. What kind of person walks around with a name like that anyway?”
“Me,” he said. “And I can assure you that you are in good hands. I may not
be a crusty old doctor, but I not only went to college, I made it all the way through
med school, my internship and a stint at the city hospital in Sioux Falls before
coming back to Rudolph and starting my practice here.”
Her shoulders slumped. “I didn’t mean to imply—”
“Let’s get you cleaned up,” he said. “Let me help you—”
He bent down to help her to her feet, and he caught a whiff of her soapy
scent again. Normally he didn’t notice such things. But he was having a hard time
not noticing every little detail about this woman from the slight hook of her nose to
the patch of too many freckles on her left cheek.
“No, I can do it.”
“Okay, follow me,” he said as they made their way down the hall to the first
examining room. He opened the door and let her into the well-stocked room first.
Then he carefully helped her to climb onto the examining table before going to the
sink to wash his hands. When he was done, he put on a white medical jacket that
was hanging from a hook on the door, and then turned to her.
“Now that you know my name, why don’t you tell me yours?”
“Regis Simpson. But people call me Reggie.”
“Why would people call you Reggie when Regis is such a pretty name?”
Her lips lifted to a sideward grin. “You’ve got one hell of a bedside manner,
“Did it make you forget the throbbing in your leg?”
She thought a second and then chuckled softly. “That’s not why you said
that to me.”
“Are you sure about that?” ”
Excerpt Dakota Heat
” The girl was new. Sam walked around the Interagency Fire Crew basecamp
with familiarity. He saw faces he recognized from working in different locations
over the past few years. But the girl… Yeah, she was new. He doubted he would
forget the soft blond color of her hair or the slight tilt of her head as she read
through paperwork, pretending she didn’t notice the people around her.
He grabbed two water bottles from the bucket full of ice in the back of the
Quonset hut and walked toward her. She didn’t look up until he held the water
bottle in front of her.
Blue eyes met his with a mixture of irritation and surprise.
“You’re dropping ice pieces on my paperwork,” she said.
He noticed the smooth as silk sound of her voice before the water splatter on
the top page of her paperwork. He immediately pulled the water bottle back a few
“Sorry. I thought you might like something to drink.”
Her face softened as quickly as it had shown irritation. She reached her
hand out and took the water bottle, and then placed it on the bench next to her
before shaking her hand of the residual moisture the bottle left behind. “Thank
“You’re new here,” he said as he sat down next to her.
Not looking up, she said, “So are you.”
She smelled like soap and lavender. After breathing in smoke and dirt for so
long, it was refreshing to breathe in the sweet scents of a woman.
“Not exactly. I grew up in Rudolph.”
That earned him a lingering second glance. One that afforded him a few
seconds to really look into her eyes, at her face.
“My whole life.”
She glanced around quickly. “When I got in last night I was told the
basecamp here was new this year. I didn’t realize South Dakota had a dedicated
Sam had never worked fire duty in his home state before. And he’d never
come to a new location and been so familiar with faces as well as the location. His
reason for wanting to come back to South Dakota this year was personal.
A lot of his friends who worked with the Interagency Fire Crew were still
reeling after the deaths of nineteen Hotshot firemen in Arizona last summer. Some
had quit fighting fires altogether at the urging of their family. Sam’s own mother
had tried her best to do the same during many phone calls since the tragedy, but
Kate McKinnon settled for having him come home to Rudolph to work.
“This was just constructed this year. The Black Hills are a hot spot this year
because of all the flood and ice damage that occurred over the winter. When I
found out they were setting up a base here to do fire control for the season, I put in
a request to work here.”
She nodded. “Must be nice to be home. At least for the season.”
She glanced down at her paperwork again.
He chuckled at how quickly she fell into her reading again. “You’re looking
at that like you’re cramming for a final exam.”
She shrugged. “I feel I am. This is my first season working fire dispatch
“Ah, then that explains it.”
“Must feel good to be home after—”
Both Sam and the girl looked up to see the chief calling out from across the
tent. The girl quickly collected her paperwork and stuffed it in a folder.
“Be right there,” she called out. She turned to Sam, lifting the bottled water
in her hand. “Thanks for the water.”
But she was already trotting over to the superintendent’s office. He hadn’t
even had a chance to get her name. But he would before the day was done. This
was one woman he had a feeling he wanted to get to know. ”
About the Author & Links:
USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Lisa Mondello, has held many jobs in her life but being a published authors is the last job she’ll ever have. She’s not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she’d still be penning stories with paper and pen.
Her first book, All I Want for Christmas is You won Best First Book in the Golden Quill. Her books have finaled in the HOLT Medallion, and the Colorado Award of Excellence contests. In 2011 she re-released her award winning book All I Want for Christmas is You along with a re-issue of her romantic comedy, The Marriage Contract, with a new contemporary romance called The Knight and Maggie’s Baby.
In 2012 she reissued the first 3 books of her popular Western Romance Series TEXAS HEARTS including Her Heart for the Asking, His Heart for the Trusting and The More I See. Writing as LA Mondello, her romantic suspense, MATERIAL WITNESS, book 1 of her Heroes of Providence series made the USA TODAY Bestsellers List.
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