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Dev placed his hands over Sarah’s belly.

“I can feel the baby kick you. I heard his heartbeat. But he still doesn’t feel...real.”

No, none of any of this felt real, most especially Dev touching her like this. But it would. At least the baby would. “He will. When you hold him. It’ll feel more real than we can imagine.”

Dev looked at Sarah. His gaze was searching. Open. There was something in those hazel eyes that had her breath catching in her throat.

But then he dropped his hands and stepped back. “We should get going. Don’t want to be separated any more than we have to be.”

Sarah could only nod, because her throat was too tight, and everything she’d dreamed of was too close. But instead of reaching for it, demanding it, she kept her mouth shut and followed Dev back out to the waiting room.

Because there was still a stalker torturing them, and no dreams were going to be realized in the midst of that...


Nicole Helm

Nicole Helm grew up with her nose in a book and the dream of one day becoming a writer. Luckily, after a few failed career choices, she gets to follow that dream—writing down-to-earth contemporary romance and romantic suspense. From farmers to cowboys, Midwest to the West, Nicole writes stories about people finding themselves and finding love in the process. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two sons and dreams of someday owning a barn.

Books by Nicole Helm

Harlequin Intrigue

A Badlands Cops Novel

South Dakota Showdown

Covert Complication

Backcountry Escape

Isolated Threat

Badlands Beware

Close Range Christmas

Carsons & Delaneys: Battle Tested

Wyoming Cowboy Marine

Wyoming Cowboy Sniper

Wyoming Cowboy Ranger

Wyoming Cowboy Bodyguard

Carsons & Delaneys

Wyoming Cowboy Justice

Wyoming Cowboy Protection

Wyoming Christmas Ransom

Stone Cold Texas Ranger

Stone Cold Undercover Agent

Stone Cold Christmas Ranger

Harlequin Superromance

A Farmers’ Market Story

All I Have

All I Am

All I Want

Falling for the New Guy

Too Friendly to Date

Too Close to Resist

Visit the Author Profile page at Harlequin.com.


Dev Wyatt—Former police officer who suffered major injuries at the hands of his father that led to him leaving the force. Now works as a rancher at Reaves ranch, which has been in his grandmother’s family for generations.

Sarah Knight—Rancher helping her father run their ranch next door to the Reaves ranch. Lifelong friends with Dev Wyatt, she convinces him to be the father of her baby with the understanding he won’t be involved in the baby’s life.

Duke Knight—Owner of the Knight ranch. Sarah’s adoptive father. Rachel’s biological father. Cecilia’s uncle. Foster father to Liza, Nina, Cecilia and Felicity.

Pauline Reaves—Grandmother to the Wyatt brothers.

Anth Wyatt—Man behind the threatening notes being left for the Wyatt brothers.

Jamison, Cody, Brady, Gage Wyatt—Dev’s brothers, who all work in various law enforcement capacities and are being threatened by the same man.

Liza, Nina, Felicity, Cecilia and Rachel—Sarah’s adoptive/foster sisters, all involved with their own Wyatt brother.

I have to dedicate my fiftieth published work to computers, because after watching the recent Little Women movie, I know I couldn’t have done it by pen.



Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen


Excerpt from Investigation in Black Canyon by Cindi Myers



“You’re avoiding me.”

Dev Wyatt looked up from the beer in his hand to the woman he was indeed avoiding at all costs. He didn’t know if she meant tonight at his brother’s and her foster sister’s wedding or in general, because both were true.

But he was especially avoiding her tonight because she was wearing a dress that made what he had been trying to ignore for years all too clear. Sarah Knight was hot and he had no business noticing the generous curves all too invitingly showcased in some silky siren-red fabric.

Worse, he had no business considering her... proposition. Even though it had been lodged in his head for the entire month she’d been hounding him over it. She was his neighbor, adopted daughter of the man he looked up most to in the world, a good eight years younger than him, and a business partner of sorts. With neighboring ranches, and their siblings losing their minds and all marrying each other, they helped each other quite a bit.

He took a swig of beer then scowled at her. “Of course I’m avoiding you, Sarah. You’ve lost your mind and I’m tired of you trying to drag me into it.”

He didn’t have to look at her to know she would have raised her chin at that.

“It isn’t losing my mind to go after what I want,” she said stubbornly. And worse, resolutely. Even his hard head had nothing on Sarah’s resolute.

She wanted a baby. Dev couldn’t figure out why. She was only twenty-five. She wasn’t exactly running out of time for the whole husband and kids thing.

When he’d brought that up, she’d scoffed.

I’m never going to find someone. I don’t leave my ranch, and I don’t want to. But I do want to be a mother. I’ve given it a lot of thought and you are the best option for father.

He’d given her every argument he could think of.

Sperm bank? Too expensive. Adoption? She herself was adopted and wanted someone in her life to be genetically related to her. Stranger at a bar? Similar reasons to the adoption and worse, what if the stranger wanted to be involved?

He’d tried them all, and she had rational, reasonable responses to every excuse he put up. Not that having sex with him to get a baby was in any way rational or reasonable to begin with.

“You’re young,” Dev insisted. “You might change your mind.” He nodded out to where his brother Brady was dancing with his new wife, Cecilia. He never would have predicted that. Things and people changed. “You might want all that in a few years.”

Sarah looked at Cecilia and Brady smiling at each other. She seemed to give that some thought, but he should have known better. She turned her big blue eyes on him.

“Are you going to change

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