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Hell Hath No Fury. . .

All Deacon wants to do is set things right with Rhea, then walk away from her for the last time. He knows it won't be easy, but maybe if she stopped pointing that rifle at him. . .

Like A Woman Scorned.

All Rhea wants to do is live her life as a self-proclaimed widow. It's been easy enough until Deacon returns and she is forced to live as his wife or admit her deceit to everyone.

Somehow, they must work together to keep their growing number of lies straight; alone, they must work to keep their feelings buried because despite Deacon's denials, they both know it's only a matter of time before he goes back again. . .

laura drewry's book excerpt
© copyright 2005

Penance, TX
Spring 1882

"Hell hath no fury..." Deacon paused at the bottom of the steps and eyed the ramshackle cabin. The last time he'd seen it, he'd all but expected it to collapse under a great sigh of aged wood and chipped paint.

He should have known better.

Much like its tenant, the house remained standing, determined to survive, daring something – or someone – to try and knock it over.

Sparse patches of weeds and brilliant yellow dandelions dotted the narrow yard, all fenced in by rickety wooden rails that looked like they'd blow over with the first big gust. From around back came the constant clucking of chickens and a faint waft of cow dung.

Ah, to be back among the mortals again.

Deacon had no sooner lifted his freshly polished boot to the bottom step, when the front door banged open, and out she blew with twenty-four inches of Winchester leveled at his forehead. Even she couldn't miss at this range.

Gazing down the length of the sleek black barrel, he dared to climb the first step.

"Hello, Rhea." He moved up one more, eyeing that twitchy trigger finger of hers.

"Go to hell."

He stopped, chuckled softly. "Just got back, actually."

Rhea's coffee-colored eyes narrowed; her heart-shaped face seemed thinner than usual and her lips, usually full and smiling, were drawn together in a tight line. Much of her long brown hair had fallen from its loose braid and now hung in chaotic waves over her shoulders and across her forehead. Her dress, an abominably ugly black rag, draped from her frame as though she were nothing more than a post it had been tossed over.

Deacon frowned. To look at her now, one would ever believe she had a waist, let alone curves that could send a man over the edge of sanity.

Shifting the rifle a little, she adjusted her grip and steadied her stance. "What d'you want?"

Best start with something small. He tipped his face up to hers and smiled slowly. "I suppose it would be too much to expect dinner?"

A loud snort ripped from her delicate throat. "The only meal you'll get from me is a mouthful of lead."

Deacon fought back a laugh. She'd never been overly concerned about the powers he wielded or what he could do to a little spit of a thing like her. No, that had never been Rhea's way.

He twirled his black bowler hat casually in his hands, but never took his gaze away from her or her rifle.

"That's not very hospitable of you."

"If it's hospitality you want," she spat. "You best go see your friend Salma."

"Salma…?" Deacon grimaced slightly. "Oh, her."

"Yes, her."

He lifted his right shoulder in the barest of shrugs. "She never meant anything to me."

Another snort. "She meant enough that you took her to bed."

"Pfft. That's how it would seem, yes." He considered moving up a step, but the look in her eyes kept him still. "But I can explain about that and how things have changed. I've changed."

"So have I. Now get."


The sound of her cocking the rifle echoed across the dry, deserted yard. Deacon backed down the steps slowly, his palms up.

"How about a cup of coffee? That's not asking too much, is it?"

The first shot sprayed loose gravel across the toes of his shiny black boots. All that time he'd spent buffing and polishing them... What a waste.

"Now, Rhea--"

The second bullet hit the dirt between his feet. Damn, she could cock that thing fast.

"You've been practicing."

The third shot would have hit him directly in the groin if he hadn't anticipated it and leapt out of the way.

He almost laughed at the absurdity of the situation, but choked it back when she stopped to reload.

"Let me explain--"

She lifted the rifle and set the sight directly at his chest. "No."


She squeezed her right eye closed, and focused her left on the gun sight. "One..."

"I'm sorry."

"Two..." Her fingers curled tighter around the barrel.

"Be reasonable."

"Thr--" The word died behind the blast of her next shot.


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laura drewry's book reviews

4 stars "Drewry's sense of humor and compassion, as well as the uniqueness of her characters within an Americana storyline, make this a delightfully different and satisfying read." - RomanticTimes BOOKreview
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4 Ribbons ". . .a delightful read not to be missed. . ." – Romance Junkies

4 stars ". . .clever and fun. . .an enjoyable treat." - – BooksForABuck
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5 spurs "A keeper." – Loves Western Romances