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Two years after watching Anderson walk out of the prison gates, Lem has a visitor who informs him that Anderson desperately needs his help. He scoffs at the idea until he is given an offer that he cannot refuse. He doesn’t know if he is finally ready to make peace with himself outside prison, or if he is ready to face the pain he has caused, but he also understands that he will never get another chance like this.
Anderson has tried to push Lem to the back of his heart, but he cannot find anyone who can measure up to the man that Lem was. Letters he meant to send sit on the table, and the dreams he had about rebuilding his life go by the wayside as he pines for a man he cannot have. He doesn’t believe he will ever be happy again and finds it increasingly difficult to keep up the cheerful facade his family expects.
But unknown to Anderson, the women in his life have colluded to bring him and Lem back together again. Will he and Lem rekindle their love, or will they burn everyone around them by falling back to their past mistakes?
LEM’S EYES SWEPT the visitation room. There was a small crowd of civilians and inmates talking quietly but he didn’t see anyone he recognized. Not that he thought he would recognize anyone from his past, certainly not after twenty years of prison. The only thing he could envision while getting dressed was that maybe one of his old co-workers had somehow stumbled into the place and asked for him. But even that was one hell of a long shot.
He went to the guard’s desk and handed in the pass. “I was told there’s a woman here to see me.”
“She went to the ladies’ room. She’s sitting right there,” the guard added, pointing to an empty table. “Have a seat until she comes out.”
“She say who she was?” Lem asked.
The guard looked up with a sneer. “Does this look like an information booth?”
Lem’s face hardened. He walked to the table in silence and sat facing the wall. He was surprised when a gorgeous, long-legged brunette sat down across from him.
“I’m Gia, Anderson’s sister.”
A small smile touched Lem’s lips. She was a stunning woman, almost as beautiful as Anderson, and he remembered her face from the day Anderson left. The small, unrealistic ache of Anderson’s departure suddenly popped into his mind, but he pushed it down again. On that morning, he had wished that he was the person standing outside the gate waiting on Anderson. It was the first time he had ever let such a feeling surface and it had cost him dearly. For weeks afterward, he had not been himself.
“I see beauty runs in the family,” Lem said.
She smiled slightly and blushed.
“Why are you here?” Lem asked after the silence stretched out to an uncomfortable length.
She wore a pensive expression and seemed reluctant to speak at first. Her hands twisted around each other on the table. “My brother needs you,” she said after a few more moments.
Lem couldn’t keep the surprise from his face. “There’s not much I can do for him, not in here.” He watched her start twisting the wedding band on her finger and noted the size of the diamond that went with it.
“We’re going to get you out.”
Her statement left him dumbfounded. “We?” he asked.
“Me. My brother doesn’t know anything about it.”
A curious suspicion overcame him, even as he tried to remain impassive at the unlikely longshot she offered.
Title: Heart of Timber (Cold #2)
Author: Brandon Shire
Publisher: TPG Books
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Purchase Links: Smashwords