Time After Time Series, Book 4
Leisure Press, Pocito Press
In paperback (2014) and e-book (2011)
Original paperback, 2002
Across the boundaries of time...
The mine lay deep in Colorado's San Juan Mountains, near the town of Silverthread, and was rich in ore, overflowing with wealth that could make a family's fortune-or destroy it. In it would begin the weaving of a web of deceit, a murderous tapestry of lies that would mean the deaths of many innocents.
But also in the shadowy mine lay the path to redemption and love. Its labyrinthine tunnels held a magic that could draw a woman one hundred years into the past, into the arms of one who could make her life whole. But crossing time was only the beginning.
To right the wrongs already done, to paint a new future, one brighter and full of love, Cara Reynolds would have to unravel several mysteries. She would have to depend upon the rugged man who emerged from the mine, trust his vow that he would keep her safe and cherish her forever. Then, and only then, would she truly understand the danger-and the power-of the Promise.
"This is Ms. Davis' best book yet."
~ About.com Guide to Romance
"The Promise admirably continues the fascinating time-travel romances Dee Davis has begun -let's hope there are more on the way!!”
~ A Romance Review, five roses
"THE PROMISE is more than the name of a silver mine; it's a promise of an unusual, sensual adventure that will hold you spellbound. It's a story where love does conquer all, and one I highly recommend."
~ Romance Reviews Today
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
“I don’t believe I’ve ever been this happy.” Cara Reynolds hugged herself in the backseat of the car. “It’s been such a marvelous day.
“Well, you’re the only daughter we have.” Her father’s voice was filled with love. Cara felt it reach out and surround her as she met his eyes in the rearview mirror. “Besides, you’re only going to be sixteen once.”
“Thank goodness. I’m not certain I could take this kind of excitement every day. First you give me the new foal, and then you take me up to the Mountain Retreat for skiing, and then dinner at the Bristol. And now this.” She held up the pendant hanging around her neck. “It’s a wonder I’m not spoiled rotten.”
“Who says you aren’t?” Her father’s voice was filled with laughter, and Cara thought again how incredibly lucky she was. Not everyone had the family she did. A mother and father who doted not only on her, but on each other. A grandfather who loved them all. She sighed with contentment. Life was practically perfect.
“Do you really like the necklace?” Her mother shot a smile over her shoulder.
Cara caressed the smooth silver, her fingers memorizing each line of carving. “It’s wonderful. It even feels old.”
“Almost a hundred years.” Her father squinted suddenly as a sharp white light appeared over the top of a hill. “Come on fellow, cut your damn brights.” His voice changed, his tone becoming irate.
“Jim.” Her mother reached over to place a gentle hand on her father’s arm. “There’s no need to use profanity.”
Cara watched mesmerized as the light came closer and closer, its beam filling the car with clear white light, throwing everything into relief. Her vision intensified, her mother and father etched in her brain like a photograph.
There was an odd grinding noise, and she thought she heard her father curse again. Then, against the sound of metal on metal and shattering glass, the world spun totally out of control. She was thrown forward and then whipped backward again, her head slamming into something hard. Light exploded in her brain, then vanished, pain crescendoing and then dissipating, blackness rushing up to meet her, engulfing her…
The world was amazingly quiet. And cold. Something soft and wet was tickling her nose. And her head hurt. Not just run of the mill hurt, but threatening to explode hurt. She tried to remember where she was, but her brain could barely function over the power of the pain. With a deep breath, she forced her eyes open.
She was lying in the snow.
Which made absolutely no sense at all.
Gritting her teeth, she slowly pulled herself up on her elbows, trying to remember where she was. The ground was bathed in an eerie light. Flickering. Firelight. In a rush everything came back.
There’d been a wreck.
Her vision cleared and she focused on the burning wreckage. A pick-up was balanced precariously on two wheels, its frame resting against something solid. She fought against a wave of nausea, narrowing her eyes. Their car.
Her brain kicked in with a rush, overriding the pain to send a terrifying message.
Her parents. Oh God, where were her parents?
Biting back a sob, she screamed out their names. When her attempts to stand failed, she crawled forward, inch by inch, still calling for them, her eyes searching the wreckage, her heart slamming against her ribs, the blood pounding to her brain.
The truck shifted, slamming down on the sedan underneath. She opened her mouth to scream, but before the sound left her mouth, both cars suddenly exploded, hot flames shooting up into the air, the falling snow doing nothing to dampen the fury.
A second explosion rocked the night. And hope died. Completely. Irrevocably. Cara dropped to the snow, sobs wracking her body. The pain almost unbearable. This time when the blackness came, she didn’t fight it. There was no pain in its mind-numbing embrace.
No pain at all -- only peace -- blessed, blessed peace.
Michael Macpherson pulled his sheepskin coat tighter around him. It was cold. Ball shattering cold. He bit back a laugh, hearing his father’s voice in his head. Duncan Macpherson wasn’t one to mince words.
And he also wasn’t about to be out in this kind of weather looking for cattle. No sir, he preferred to freeze his balls off up in the mountains looking for that elusive mother lode. Or maybe, if he was really smart, he was holed up somewhere with a bottle of whiskey for company. Michael had to admit that, right at the moment, the idea held a certain appeal. Not that he would trade places with his father.
Duncan had his share of problems. But then he also had Rose. Michael’s mother was the love of his life and, truth be told, Michael longed for someone like that in his life, too. Someone to wait up nights for him, the fire stoked, supper warming. Someone to share things with, to build a life with.
He sighed. His mother always said there was one man for one woman, and that his was out there somewhere. Waiting for him. All he had to do was find her. Not that he was in any hurry. After all he was only nineteen. For the time being, he was content to wait. There was plenty of time left.
He squinted into the falling snow, and tightened his hold on the reins. The storm was worsening. The wind whipping the snow into a frenzied dance. The force of it bordering on a blizzard.
He urged his horse forward, searching the gloom for lost cattle. Pete should have been out here with him. He could have used the help. But the ranch hand was laid up with a bum knee. An accident in the corral. And Patrick…
Hell, who knew where the kid was these days? At the Irish Rose helping his mother and Uncle Owen, no doubt. Patrick had no interest in ranching. He’d made that more than clear. Michael reined his horse in, his eyes catching the shadowy mound of a cow under a tumble of rock.
Damn. It looked dead. He swung his leg over the saddle and dropped to the ground, his long-legged stride taking him over to the fallen animal. It was covered in snow, and he bent down to brush it off, his heart heavy. He needed live cattle if he was going to make a go of his homestead. And the harsh Colorado winter, seemed determined to take them from him one by one.
His hand touched soft, cold skin and he froze, eyes widening in surprise. It wasn’t a cow at all. It was a woman. He knelt beside her, searching for a pulse, his eyes locked on her pale face. There were streaks of blood on her cheeks and her hair was crusted with snow and ice.
An ice princess.
She was exquisite. Not a woman. A woman-child. And, unless he was badly mistaken, she certainly wasn’t dead. He wrenched his gaze away from her and glanced up into the blinding fall of snow.
One thing was certain, if he didn’t get her to shelter fast, neither one of them would be alive much longer...
Excerpt from THE PROMISE by Dee Davis, Copyright ©2002 by Dee Davis. All rights reserved. Reprint only with permission from author. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.