Title: Shielding Her Heart
Author: Cheryl Yeko
Series: Milwaukee Series
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: Jan 8 2014
Edition/Format Available In: eBook
The woman Rick Smyth desires has shut him out of her life after being brutally beaten in her own home. But as a new threat arises, Sheila now turns to him for protection.
This time, not only does he vow to keep her safe, but he’s determined to win her heart as well.
The woman he desires shut him out of her life after being attacked in her home. When she's threatened by a stalker he steps back in to protect her. Only this time, he’s determined to win her heart.
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Rick paused, leaning heavily against her. Fear curled in her stomach at the sight of his blood stained shirt. His hand covered the wound and the sticky substance oozed between his fingers.
The sound of voices could be heard in the distance and coming their way. “Find her!” a growling voice snapped.
Rick glanced at her bare feet and his mouth set into a grim line. “I’m sorry, honey, we can’t stop. It’s not safe yet.” He stumbled forward, tugging her along behind him.
Sheila couldn’t tell how badly he was hurt, but knew they needed to tend his wound soon or he’d bleed to death right in front of her. Pure terror clutched her heart in a vise-like grip at the thought of Rick dying. Her feelings for him went deep, deeper than she’d wanted to admit to herself. But there was no denying those feelings now. A bone-deep anguish cut a path through her at the thought of a world without Rick in it.
They ran further into the woods as day slipped into night, and she could no longer hear anyone behind them. “Please, Rick. I can’t go any further,” she lied, growing desperate for him to rest.
Rick paused again and peered down at her. He reached out to steady himself on a tree, taking his weight off her. “Okay.”
A relieved sigh whooshed from her.
He scanned the area with narrowed eyes, then straightened, staring over her shoulder. “There.”
Sheila glanced over to see what he was looking at but saw nothing. “What?”
Is he delirious?
That thought sent another spike of fear through her. What would she do if he passed out . . . or worse? Before panic had a chance to take over again, Ricked tugged her toward an overgrown area of shrubs. As they got closer a shack of some kind began to take shape, until she finally realized it was a camouflaged building. A little larger than an outhouse, it was set deep inside the brush.
Rick pushed open the door and gently shoved her inside the small space, then stepped in behind her. The door swung closed, shutting out the view of the woods. The structure had slim, horizontal windows on each wall allowing streams of moonlight to filter in. A small sense of relief fluttered through her. Even if the people chasing them followed them here, there was a chance they wouldn’t see this well-hidden structure.
“It’s a hunting blind,” Rick said, telling her something she’d already figured out. He sat down hard and leaned against a wall. Scowling, he struggled to check the chamber of his gun, before placing it next to him. His long legs almost touched the opposite wall.
Blood continued to soak his shirt, dripping onto the wood floor. With her heart in her throat, she wedged herself next to him. “I need to stop the bleeding, Rick.”
He nodded. Leaning back against the wall, he took a deep breath and reached up to unbutton his shirt. His hand shook slightly with the effort.
“Let me,” Sheila said softly, moving to her knees and pushing his hand aside. He opened his eyes and watched her as she quickly unbuttoned his shirt. “Can you lean forward?”
His lips twitched. “I think I can manage.” The growing weakness in his voice indicated otherwise.
He managed to sit up straight and with her help slid the shirt off his muscular torso. There was a wound at the upper edge of his shoulder that looked raw and angry. Bile rose up her throat, but she tried not to show her distress.
“The bullet went straight through.” Rick gave her a lopsided grin. “Don’t look so grim, darlin’. It’s not the first time I’ve been shot. Compared to my leg, this is a piece of cake.” The pain in his voice belied his words.
Sheila’s mouth went slack and she stared at him in disbelief. Then she narrowed her eyes. He was so full of it. Although he tried to sound casual, she could see he was weakening fast.
She removed the ribbon from her hair and glared at him. Not sure if she was mad because he’d joked about being shot or the fact that he had been shot . . . twice. But she did feel a little less panicky that he seemed strong enough to tease her. “We need to wrap it, Rambo. So bite down on a bullet or whatever you heroes do at a time like this.”
His mouth curved into a sexy smile. “A kiss might help.”
She snorted and barely refrained from rolling her eyes, although her pulse raced a little. Even with his injury, she wasn’t unaware of how sexy he looked without his shirt . . . broad, hairless chest, and abs rippling with more than a six-pack.
At the sound of crunching footsteps, she froze. Her gaze shot to Rick’s and the ribbon slipped from her fingers and floated to the floor. He reached over and covered her mouth with his hand and shook his head in warning. Sheila nodded and settled back on her heels, taking a deep breath through her nose. She concentrated on keeping her breathing under control.
Rick removed his hand from her mouth and shrugged his shirt from his other shoulder. He returned her nod. His steady gaze offered her comfort, even as he slowly reached for his gun and turned his body toward the door.
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Cheryl Yeko is an award-winning author, and lives in Wisconsin with her husband Patrick. She loves to read, play piano, and spend time with family and friends. She enjoys novels with fast-paced action and steamy romance, protective alpha men and strong heroines. She belongs to several writing groups, and is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), as well as the Wisconsin Chapter.
Cheryl is also an Acquisitions Editor for Soul Mate Publishing. As an Editor, she welcomes Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, and Erotica.
Cheryl is thrilled to be able to add author/editor to her resume and would love to hear comments from readers.
Barnes and Noble
Soul Mate Publishing
Barnes and Noble
Soul Mate Publishing
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Other Works by Cheryl: