Dangerous Lies

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Amethyst Fox is perfectly happy helping her friends find love while she runs her jewelry-making business. Then a handsome stranger moves in next door. Wanting him to feel welcome in Emerald Falls, she attempts to befriend him. But when he is less than friendly, she becomes more determined to get to know him.

Sawyer Cooke is in hiding. Wanting to remain as anonymous as possible, when his gorgeous red-headed neighbor stops by with a plate of cookies and a welcoming smile, it takes all of his will-power to turn her away. When she doesn’t give up, he finds he enjoys her company much more than is safe. To keep his secret from being discovered—and to keep his enemies from finding him—he’s forced to lie to Amethyst about all aspects of his life.

Will a relationship built on lies destroy them both, or keep them safe from those who would do them harm?

This is a clean and wholesome standalone romance.

Scroll down to read the first chapter.

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Chapter 1

“Perfect,” Amethyst Fox murmured as she threaded the final moonstone onto the bar necklace. Leaning back in her chair, she let her gaze wander her studio—her favorite space in her house. Soft turquoise paint accented one wall, shelves with drawers and pouches containing all of her jewelry-making supplies adorned another, and a sparkly chandelier hung over it all.

Pleased with her work that morning, Amethyst smiled. Though she still had a number of custom orders to complete—orders that had been commissioned online—plus over two dozen standard pieces that she’d promised the boutique in town, she wasn’t about to complain. Knowing she was fortunate to do what she loved for a living, she was glad to be busy.

If only she had a busy love life.

With a wry smile, she shook her head. Before her love life could become busy, she needed to find someone she wanted to date. Like Gabby had.

Picturing her good friend Gabriella Peters, who was now happily dating Travis Haywood, Amethyst’s smile grew. Pleased that she’d played a part—however small—in getting Gabby and Travis together, Amethyst consoled herself with the knowledge that people she cared for were now walking down the path to true love.

You just need to live your life the best that you can. Don’t worry about finding true love. That will work itself out.

The words she’d heard her mother speak more than once echoed in her head, and she wished she could call her mother and talk to her. But her mother had passed away two years earlier.

Softly sighing, Amethyst decided to take a break and water the flowers in her front yard. A few minutes later, as she turned on the hose and began watering the colorful flowers that lined the front of her house, her gaze went to the house next door—the house that had stood vacant for the last few months. Now, however, there was a dark blue BMW parked in the driveway.

Amethyst knew that the former owner—an older woman—had passed away several months before. Since then, she’d briefly met the woman’s son who had inherited the house.

Was he back? Or maybe it was a realtor getting ready to list the place.

Keeping one eye on her flowers, Amethyst waited to see if the owner of the car would make an appearance. Curious to know what was going on, she finished watering the flowers and began pulling the few weeds that had grown since she’d last tended the flower bed. Still, no one came out of the neighboring house.

With a smile of irony that she wanted an excuse to stay outside but for once had nothing left to accomplish, Amethyst stood and brushed off her jeans. At that moment, she heard the creak of a door opening. Turning her gaze to the neighboring house, she watched as a man with dark hair and the beginnings of a beard walked out the front door, locking it behind him. Lifting her hand to shade her eyes, she called, “Hello.”

The man’s head jerked in her direction as if she’d startled him.

Despite the distance, she guessed he was about her age, maybe a little older. Pretty hot too. Was he a realtor? Then again, she didn’t think she had seen him around town.

He slid a pair of dark sunglasses over his eyes before he nodded in her direction, then he walked toward the car, climbed in, and drove away.

A little put off by the man’s lack of friendliness, she lifted her eyebrows in disapproval before going back to her studio to continue working.

* * *

Sawyer Cooke couldn’t help it. As he drove, his gaze shot to every car with a driver.

What if they had found him? They would kill him. No question.

Trying not to dwell on the situation he was in, he continued driving. The house his friend Paul was letting him stay in suited him fine, but he needed to get a few supplies. He’d left home in such a hurry that all he had were the items he’d been able to throw into a suitcase, plus his laptop. And though Paul’s house was furnished with his late mother’s belongings, there was no food in the place.

As he drove to the large town nearest Emerald Falls to buy what he needed, he pictured the woman who apparently lived next door to his new home. From where he’d stood on his front porch, her red hair had been unmistakable and her smile had been open and inviting.

That was an invitation he would just have to pass up. Getting to know the neighbors would only lead to trouble.

Sawyer frowned.

It was too bad. She was attractive. But it didn’t matter anyway. She was probably married or had a boyfriend.

His frown deepened.

Plus, the more people he meet in this little town, the more danger he might be putting himself in.

Pushing aside thoughts of the woman who’d greeted him, Sawyer focused on his errand.

* * *

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