May 18 2017 11:00am

B. J. Daniels Excerpt: Outlaw’s Honor

B.J. Daniels

Outlaw's Honor by B. J. Daniels

She never expected this Cahill to be her hero—or the only man she'd need.

It's hard to forget a beautiful woman who picks your pocket the first time you meet. Darby Cahill recognizes Mariah Ayres the moment she walks into his bar looking for a job. He shouldn't hire her…or crave more after one impulsive kiss. But what starts as curiosity about her motives turns to concern when he senses how much danger she's in.

Mariah has been running ever since she left her fiancé at the altar. Now she's playing the part of the perfect employee, terrified that her past will catch up with her. But Darby has already seen through her act. He's the kind of guy who saves people. And even if Mariah's given him no reason to trust her, he's determined to protect her—and he'll risk his life to do it…

Get a sneak peek at B. J. Daniels's Outlaw's Honor (available May 30, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“Do you want me to help you?” a voice asked at his side.

Darby nodded to the festival volunteer. He threw another T-shirt, looking in the crowd for the woman. She was gone.

Once the box of T-shirts was empty, he hurriedly stepped off the stage into the moving mass. His job was done. His plan had been to have some fry bread and then head back to the saloon. He was happiest behind the bar. Or on the back of a horse. Being Montana born and raised in open country, crowds made him nervous.

The main street had been blocked off and now booths lined both sides of the street all the way up the hill that led out of town. Everywhere he looked there were chokecherry T-shirts and hats, dish towels and coffee mugs. Most chokecherries found their way into wine or syrup or jelly, but today he could have purchased the berries in lemonade or pastries or even barbecue sauce. He passed stands of fresh fruit and vegetables, crafts of all kinds and every kind of food.

As he moved through the swarm of bodies now filling the downtown street, the scent of fry bread in the air, he couldn’t help searching for the woman. That had been the strangest experience he’d ever had. He told himself it could have been heat stroke had the day been hotter. Also he felt perfectly fine now.

He didn’t want to make more of it than it was and yet, he’d give anything to see her again. As crazy as it sounded, he couldn’t throw off the memory of that sharp hard shot to his heart when their gazes had met.

As he worked his way through the crowd, follow­ing the smell of fry bread, he watched for the color­ful scarf the woman had been wearing. He needed to know what that was about earlier. He told him­self he was being ridiculous, but if he got a chance to see her again…

Someone in the crowd stumbled against his back. He caught what smelled like lemons in the air as a figure started to brush by him. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the colorful scarf wrapped around her head of dark hair.

Like a man sleepwalking, he grabbed for the end of the scarf as it fluttered in the breeze. His fingers closed on the silken fabric, but only for a second. She was moving fast enough that his fingers lost purchase and dropped to her arm.

In midstep, she half turned toward him, his sud­den touch slowing her. In those few seconds, he saw her face, saw her startled expression. He had the bi­zarre thought that this woman was in trouble. With­out realizing it, he tightened his grip on her arm.

Her eyes widened in alarm. It all happened in a manner of seconds. As she tried to pull away, his hand slid down the silky smooth skin of her forearm until it caught on the wide bracelet she was wearing on her right wrist.

Something dropped from her hand as she jerked free of his hold. He heard a snap and her bracelet came off in his hand. His gaze went to the thump of whatever she’d dropped as it hit the ground. Look­ing down, he saw what she’d dropped. His wallet?

Astonishment rocketed through him as he realized that when she’d bumped into him from behind, she’d picked his pocket! Feeling like a fool, he bent to re­trieve his wallet. Jostled by the meandering throng, he quickly rose and tried to find her, although he wasn’t sure what exactly he planned to do when he did. Music blared from a Western band over the roar of voices.

Copyright © 2017 by B. J. Daniels.
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author B.J. Daniels lives in Montana with her husband, Parker, and three springer spaniels. When not writing, she quilts, boats and plays tennis. 

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